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Mohmand Agency


INTRODUCTION:

Mohmand agency takes its name from the Mohmand tribe which lives in the area. The agency was established in 1951. Earlier this area was under the administrative control of political agent Khyber. The agency headquarter is located in Ghalanai. It lies between 34° 10' to 34° 43' north latitudes and 70° 58' to 71° 42' east longitudes. It is bounded on the north by the Bajaur agency, on the east by Malakand protected area and Charsadda district, on the sough-east by Peshawar district, on the south by Khyber agency and on the west by Afghanistan. The total area of the agency is 2296 square kilometres.

PHYSICAL FEATURES:

Mohmand agency is an area of rugged mountains with barren slopes. General slope of the area is from north-east with an average height over 1450 meters. Ilazai (2716) is the highest peak near the pak afghan border. Other important peaks are Yari sar (1929 meters) and Silai of Mohmand agency. The most extensive part of the territory included in Mohmand agency lies in the glens and valley that start from the mountains of Tartarra, south of the Kabul river; and Ilazai, north of this river, and chief among these settlements are the valleys of Shilman, Gandab, Pindiali and the banks of the Kabul river. The Mohmand settlements are generally dry and arid, water-courses, raging torrents during heavy rains, usually presenting a stony and shingle bed, from which slopes of barren ground lead to the rocky spurs and ranges that flanks them. Running water is hard to find in most of these valleys except Gandab and Shilman valleys. In the Mohmand hill there are dry ravines between long rows of rocky hills and crugs, scantly clothed with course grass, scrub wood, and dwarf palm (mizri) leading upto the higher peaks of Ilazai and Tartarra.

Mohmand agency is geographically sub divided for administrative convenience into Upper and Lower Mohmand areas. Lower Mohmand area is rather fertile whereas Upper Mohmand area is comparatively less productive.

CLIMATE:

The climate in Mohmand agency is hot in summer season while cool in winter. The summer season commences from May and continues for 4 months till 31st August. The winter season starts from November and continue till February. The rainfall is scanty. Most of the rainfall is during winter season.

RIVERS:

The following two rivers pass through the area of the Lower Mohmand:-

Kabul River:

Kabul River forms the boundary between the Khyber and Mohmand agencies after entry into Pakistan territory. The flow of the water is from the west towards the east. On entry into Pakistan territory, the course of the Kabul River is through high mountains gorges till after it passes through the Warsak Dam, where after it starts running through the Peshawar valley area.

Swat River:

Swat river flows from the north towards south after entering the agency limits from the Malakand and passes through the area of Prang Ghar/Pindiali Tehsil. The course of this river is also through mountainous territory till it reaches the Munda Headworks wherefrom it starts running through the plains.

DRESS AND ORNAMENTS:

The tribal communities of Mohmand agency normally wear Shalwar and Kameez with a turban around a golden Kulla as head wear. In case of females, the dress is a loose shirt and Shalwar with a Dupatta on it.

The chaddar is an essential item of male dress. The common footwear is Chappli, whereas in case of female it is chappal. The putting on of a rifle, pistol or revolver in deemed to be a sign of respectability and importance.

DWELLING:

A Mohmand village is a single large fort with mud walls and one or more flanking towers.

Sometimes each sub section of a village has its own fort, among its own fields. The fort is known by the name of the owner. Their houses, enclosed within this fort, are usually made of stones and mud. In construction of their houses, the rich people, use better material like bricks, dressed stones, cement or lime mortar and iron bars.

PLACES OF INTEREST:

Warsak Dam:

Warsak Hydel Power station is situated on the river Kabul about 32.2 km from Peshawar. The construction of the project was started in 1955 and the power station was commissioned in 1960. Before commissioning of Mangla Power station, it was one of the major sources of power.

Munda Dam:

Munda dam is being constructed on Swat River to the east of the agency which is an ideal site for a hydro power station.

Gandab valley:

This historic valley is situated in the Mohmand agency and shoots forth in the north- west direction from Pir Killa, a village on the main Michni Shabqadar road, and 32 km to the north of Peshawar. It runs parallel to a dry bed of a nullah; it is inhabited by the Halim zai section of the Mohmand tribe.

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