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Bannu District: Wikis


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District Bannu
—  District  —
Map of North-West Frontier Province with Bannu District highlighted
Country  Pakistan
Province North-West Frontier Province
Capital Bannu
 - District Nazim
 - District Naib Nazim
 - Total 1,227 km2 (473.7 sq mi)
 - Total 677,346
 - Density 552/km2 (1,429.7/sq mi)
Time zone PST (UTC+5)
District Council

Bannu District (Urdu: ضلع بنوں is one of the twenty four districts of the North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan, it is represented in the provincial assembly by four MPAs.[1] The chief city of the district is Bannu. The major industries are cloth weaving and the manufacture of cotton fabrics, machinery, and equipment. Bannu is famous for its weekly Jumma fair. Bannu is very green amidst rugged and dry mountains and has very fertile land. Early English visitors called it a "paradise".

It has only one University, University of Science & Technology,Bannu, Two distance Learning education centre i.e BEST, Sarhad University and Danish Kadda, two post graduate colleges, a Campus of Engineering University Pshawar which is affiliated with the University of Engineering and Technology U.E.T, Peshawar, Six degree colleges for girls, and more than 500 primary, middle, high and higher secondary schools for girls and boys.


Physical features

The District forms a basin drained by two rivers from the hills of Waziristan, the Kurram and the Gambila or Tochi[2]. The valley of Bannu proper, stretching to the foot of the frontier hills, forms an irregular oval, measuring 60 miles (100 km) from north to south and about 40 miles (60 km) from east to west.[3]

Of the rivers the larger is the Kurram, which, entering the District at its north-western corner close to Bannu town, runs first south-east, then south into Lakki Marwat. The Tochi river enters the District about 6 miles (9.7 km) south of the Kurram and flows in the same direction, into Lakki Marwat where the streams eventually unite. Between these rivers, and on the left bank of the Kurram in the upper portion of its course, lie the only tracts which are perennially irrigated. For the first 10 miles (16 km) of its passage through the District the Kurram runs between banks of stiff clay which rise abruptly to a height of 10 to 30 feet (9.1 m), and its bed is full of stones and boulders; but lower down it spreads over long stretches of marsh land. Its flow is rapid, but it is highly charged with a rich silt which renders it most valuable for irrigation[2]


In the fourth century BCE, Bannu was noted by the Sanskrit grammarian Pāṇini as the historical country of Varnu. In the seventh century AD, the Chinese pilgrim Hsüan-tsang visited Bannu and Jaguda, Ghazni, while crossing the land of O-po-kien (Afghans i.e. Pashtuns).

Varəna, one the 16 perfect lands created by Ahura Mazda according to Avestan Vendidad, is also associated with Bannu.[4]

The history of Bannu goes back many years, due to its strategic location there are many historical relics dating back to the 2nd Century BC. The Akra mounds are one of the relics from the ancient Indus Valley Civilization Ancient Indus Civilization. There are also relics left behind by Central Asian Invaders en route to the sub-continent.


Origins of name

Bannu is the Punjabicized (altered) name of Bana (also Bani and Bani Gul). Many theories have been proposed about the origin of the word “Bannu”. But the most widely recognized view is that the word “Bannu” is derived from “Bano.” “Bano” was the wife of Shah Farid alias “Shitak- the founder of the present day Bannu and the founder of Banouchi Tribes. “Bano” was the sister of “Rustum” and the daughter of Zalizar and when she was married to Shah Farid, Rustum conferred upon her as dowry.

British era

After the annexation of the Punjab, which then included the NWFP, the valley was administered by Herbert Edwardes so thoroughly that it became a source of strength instead of weakness during the Indian Rebellion of 1857. Although the valley itself was peaceful it was subject to incursion from the Waziri tribes in the Tochi Valley and the neighbouring hills. Salt was quarried on government account at Kalabagh and alum obtained from the same area. The chief export was wheat.

The modern district of Bannu was originally a tehsil of the old Bannu district of British India, in the Derajat Division of the North-West Frontier Province. The capital Bannu in the north-west corner of the district was the base for expeditions by troops of the British empire to the Tochi Valley and the Waziristan frontier, a military road led from Bannu town towards Dera Ismail Khan.

The district of Bannu equivalent to the now defunct Bannu Division, upon the creation of the North-West Frontier Province in 1901, contained an area of 1,680 mi² (4,350 km²) lying north of the Indus, the cis-Indus portions of Bannu was ceded to Mianwali District of the Punjab.

In 1901 the population was 231,485, of whom the great majority were Muslims. The principal tribes inhabiting the district are:

  • Banizi, a Pathan people. The inhabitants of this district have always been very independent and stubbornly resisted the Afghan and Sikh predecessors of the British.
  • Wazir, comparatively recent immigrants from the hills, for the most part peaceable and good cultivators.

The Indus, which is nowhere bridged within the district, is navigable for native boats throughout its course of 76 mi (122 km). The main frontier tribes on the border are the Wazir, Betani and Dawar.

After independence

Bannu became a Divisional Headquarter in 1990. Nawaz Sharif announced its upgradation. The district of Bannu was divided into two, and Lakki Marwat was separated from it as an independent new district.


Bannu district is approximately 192 kilometres to the south of Peshawar and lies in a sedimentary basin. It is flanked and guarded on all sides by the hard and dried mountain ranges of Koh-e-Safed and Koh-e-Suleiman. It is a scenic part of the southern region, due to the "Kurrum” river and its tributaries. They have made it a land of meadows, crops and orchards. Every kind of crop and fruit can be grown in it, but the banana, dates, figs and rice are unique in their taste, smell and shape.

Geographically, the modern day Bannu is located in the heart of the southern region with its boundaries touching the districts of Karak, Lakki Marwat and the North, South Wazirestan Agencies.


Bannu has huge economic importance as it is the central market of the whole “Southern Region”, and furthermore it provides a safe and short route to the “Central Asian Markets”.

Baran Dam is a unique source of irrigation it is the only dam in Pakistan, situated in a natural low basin area and has never needed reconstruction since its initiation. Bannu has pure drinking water provided to all the segments of society.

-- Bannu Wollen Mills
-- Bannu Sugar Mills
-- Bannu Shoes


Bannu has produced famous names and personalities who worked hard all their lives for the well being of the people of Bannu. From 1974 until 2005 the people of Bannu had been continuously requesting the Federal as well as Provincial Governments to establish a University in Bannu. Akram Khan Durrani Chief Minister of the NWFP announced a University would be created in Bannu, The University of Science & Technology Bannu. The Governor of NWFP substantiated the idea and issued an ordinance regarding the establishment of the University of Science and Technology Bannu and appointed a local professor as the founder Vice Chancellor.

The Honourable Ex-Chief Minister Muhammad Akram Khan Durrani worked hard and extended every co-operation for the success of the University. Their efforts would certainly revolutionise the Socio-economic and political conditions of Bannu in particular and of NWFP in general. This University will bring social change and will enhance literacy rate of the neglected and ignored Southern Region of the NWFP. Moreover, all the adjacent tribal areas of Bannu, Lakki and North Waziristan Agency will be equally benefited in terms of literacy enhancement, and cultural and traditional changes.

Initially the University has been started in the newly constructed building of the Government Higher Secondary School for girls. The University has 10 programmes; BBA (Hons), BBA-IT, B.Ed, B.LIS and BS(CS) at Bachelor Level while MCS, MBA, MBA (Exec), M.Ed and MIT at Master level and almost 500 students have been enrolled in the Morning and Evening Programmes.

Educational Institutes
Bannu University of Science and Technology
NWFP University of Engineering and Technology Bannu Campus
Bannu Medical College


The district has a population of 677,346 spread over an area of 1227km2, the main tribes of the district are: Main clans: Banizi, Wazirs, Mahajers (Hindustanis), Marwats, Niaziنیازی, Khattaks, Pertani (Fatma Khel, Namwar Khel, Beli Kala,bazar ahmed khan etc). Other tribes include Bhitani, Syedon and Hindkion (Jats migrated from Punjab). Most of the population are Muslims 99.5%; Ahmadis 0.3%; Christian 0.19 and Hindus 0.03%. The Main Languages are Pashto 98.3%; Urdu and Punjabi 1.03%. The literacy rate is 32.11%, the economically active population is 18.97% of the total population.

The main occupations are Professionals 5.7%; Agriculture workers 39%; Elementary occupations 23.7%; Service and shop workers 9.23%; Craft and related trade workers 6%; Others 16.2%.


External links

Further reading


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