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Tank



INTRODUCTION:

The administrative setup of the tribal area is looked after by the district coordination officer Tank district. It is known as Bhittani Area. As a whole it is located between 32°-13’ and 32°40’ and 32°40’ north latitudes and 70°-20° and 70°36° east latitudes. It is bounded on the north, south and west by South Waziristan agency and on the north-east by Lakki Marwat district and on the south-east by Tank district. Its total area is 1,221 square kilometers. The total population of the area was 27,216 in 1998. There are no urban localities in the area. There were 13 villages in 1998.

PHYSICAL FEATURES:

It is mostly covered by the dry Bhittani hills, gradually sloping from north-west towards south-east. The highest point of these hills is 1,943 meters above the sea level, located near the northern border on the watershed of Zia plaiwan stream. Almost all the streams which originate from this area are seasonal and normally end up in arid plains of D.I. Khan.

WEATHER:

It experiences hot summers and cold winters. Summer season starts in April and continues till October. June, July and August are the hottest months. Winter season starts in November and lasts till March December, January and February are the coldest months.

RACE AND TRIBES:

The Bhittanis, as evident from their name, claim decent from Baitan, the third son of Qais, the founder, according to one doctrine, of the Pukhtoon race. They also inhibit F.R. D.I. Khan and F.R. Bannu, mostly the mountainous area on the borders of Tank and Bannu from the Gabbar mountain in the north to the Gomal valley in the south.

This tribe is divided in three sections: Tattao- at Jandola and Siraghar in the Dera Ismail Khan and some adjoining areas; Dhanna- on the Gabbar mountain and in the Bannu F.R.; Waraspun- inhibinting the F.R. Dera Ismail Khan and some adjoining valleys.

According to traditions, they were first living in Koh-i-Sulaiman, but the Ghilzais drove them out of their homeland and they settled where they are now. During the reign of Afghan Sultans of Delhi they enjoyed prestigious positions, and a large number of them used to serve in the Sultanate’s army.

CUSTOM AND HABITS:

The bhittanis are of medium weight, wiry and active. They have no common chief. The proverbial wit of the country side expresses their innocence and thriftlessness.” The drum was beating in the plains and the Bhittanis were dancing on the hills”, “A hundered Bhittanis eat a hundered Sheep” etc. in physique they closely resemble Mahsuds. They have discarded the dress of their neighbors of the Waziristan highlands for the dress of the plains. It is very difficult to understand their local dialect.


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