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North Waristan Agency


INTRODUCTION:

It was in the year 1910 when North Waziristan Agency was constituted as a full fledged agency with its headquarters at Miran shah. It is inhabited by extremely gallant and valiant tribes of Wazirs and Daurs. The agency lies from 32.35 degrees to 33.22 degrees latitudes and 69.22 degrees to 70.38 degrees longitudes. It is bounded on the north by Afghanistan, Kurram Agency and Hangu District, on the east by Tribal Areas Adjoining Bannu District and Tribal Area Adjoining Karak and Bannu Districts. On the south by South Waziristan Agency and on the west also by Afghanistan. The total area of the agency is 4707 square kilometres.

PHYSICAL FEATURES:

Geographically, the whole of Waziristan is a single unit. However for the administration convenience it has been split into two agencies i.e North and South Waziristan. The area has been described as the land of high and difficult hills with deep and rugged defiles. The mountains of North Waziristan are geographically apart from the larger mountain system of the Koh-e-Sufaid in the north and the Sulaiman in the south. The Waziristan hills were subject to igneous activity during the late Cretaceous period. The highly mineralized zone of Razmak is connected with it. The mountains and hills form a rampart between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Average height of the Waziristan hills are about1500 to 2500 metres above the sea level. The important ranges in the Waziristan hills are Derwesta, Laran, Vezda, Ingame, Shoidar, Shawal, Eblunkai, Alexandra, Muzdak and Zakha. Tochi river flowing through the agency have formed the Tochi Pass named after the river, through which armies, people and cultures have moved in and out of this region. The Tochi Pass connects Ghazni in Afghanistan with Bannu in Pakistan. Tochi river has carved sufficiently large and important valley which is bounded by hills and mountains on all sides except the eastern side. It is about 100 kilometres in length and opens up into Indus valley near Bannu. The Tochi valley is fertile and cultivable. Ketu and Kurram are the other two minor rivers which flow in the northern part of the agency.

CLIMATE:

The climate of the area is cold in winter and warm in summer. Summer season starts from May and continues till September. June is generally the warmest month. The mean maximum and minimum temperatures during the month of June are 31 and 18 degree Celsius respectively. The winter starts in October and continues till April. December. January and February are the cold months. The mean maximum and minimum temperatures during the month of January are 10 and minus 2 degree Celsius respectively. Rainfall is scanty except in the Razmak area where the rainfall is slightly higher.

RIVERS AND STREAMS:

There are five notable rivers namely: Tochi; Kaitu; Kurram; Khaisor and Shaktue. There are some streams namely: Khoni Aigad; Chashma Aigad; Saidgi Algad; Kanungo Aigad; Sagga Aigad; Tauda China Algad; Damoma Algad; Tarkhobi Algad; Suedar Aigad.

DRESS AND ORNAMENTS:

The common dress of tribesmen consists of shirt, trousers, Waist-coat, sheet of cloth, turban and Chappal. The Wazir woman wears a sleeved blouse or petti-coat and a long heavy shirt with trousers. She covers her head and body with a sheet of cloth. A married woman wears coloured trousers while unmarried wears simple trousers. On festivals and marriages Wazir women put on colourful and ornamented blouse and a multi-coloured frock some times made of 40 metres cloths. To further adorn themselves the women put on rectangular pieces of silver and gold that hung on their forehead and side-ways down to ears. A Daur woman's dress is almost similar to a Wazir woman. As footwear she uses Chappal of leather.

DWELLING:

The Daurs live in houses closed together in a compact area. In case of Wazirs a large joint family lives either in one and the same house called Ket or Kot or in houses adjacent to one another, but separated from the houses of the other families. A walled enclosure of mud or mud and stones. three to five metres high is called Kot. Most of the Kots have fort like structure with a tower in the centre of every' Kot used as a strategic point for fighting with the enemy, when hostilities break out. Every section in a village has a Masjid and a common sitting place. One or several households have a private guest house hujra attached to the house. in a house there may be one or several rooms.

PLACES OF INTEREST:

Miranshah town is the headquarters of North Waziristan Agency, It is connected with Bannu and other important places in the agency by metalled roads. This town houses the offices of all government departments in the agency and also serves as a market centre for people of the area.

Razmak valley is a summer resort Ghulam Khan Pak-Afghan border and Keitu valley which also share Pak-Afghan border are some of the other places of interest in the agency

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