Dir was a small former princely state located in the modern North-West Frontier Province in Pakistan. The state ceased to exist in 1969 when it was incorporated into Pakistan. The area once occupied by the state (5,282 km²) now forms two districts of Pakistan – Upper Dir and Lower Dir. The two districts were part of Malakand Division until divisions were abolished as an administrative tier.
The State’s relations with the British were governed by the Agreement of 1925.
Accession to Pakistan
On 18 February 1948, the ruler of Dir, Muhammad Shah Jehan acceded to Pakistan.
At Partition there was a Muslim majority in Dir with small minorities of Hindus and Sikhs who left for India during partition.
The main language of the State of Dir was Pashto.
The population of Lower Dir district total 37 Union Councils is 797852 according to the 1998 census report, the projected population of the Dir Lower is 1037091 in 2005 with the same growth between 1981 &1998 census i.e. 3.42% per annum. The projected male population of Dir lower in 2005 is 514072 and the female is 523020.
The rulers of Dir originally held the title of Khan but from June 1897 onwards were styled Nawab Khan Bahadur. The royal status of the rulers was abolished in 1972 at the same time as most other princes of Pakistan.
Division of Dir:
Dir district was officially split into Upper Dir and Lower Dir in 1996. Until 2000 as funds were not available to provide the accommodation needed at Dir town by government departments at a district headquarters, both districts continued to he administered by a single deputy Commissioner stationed at Timergara in Lower Dir.
Upper Dir District:
Upper Dir is one the 24 districts of North-West Frontier Province, Pakistan. The district was formed in 1996, when Dir District was divided into Upper Dir and Lower Dir.
Upper Dir district is 3,699 square kilometres in area and formed part of the former Malakand Division, lying along the Afghanistan border between Chitral, Bajaur Agency and Lower Dir.
Almost all of the district lies in the valley of the Panjkora river which rises high in the Hindu Kush at Lat. 35.45 and joins the Swat River near Chakdara in Malakand District, at Lat. 34.40. Upper Dir is rugged and mountainous with peaks rising to 16,000 feet (4,900 m) in the north-east and to 10,000 ft (3,000 m), along the watersheds with Swat to the east, Bajour Agency to south west, Chitral to North, Lower Dir to south and Afghanistan to the west.
It is connected with the Kohistan District via the Badawi Pass.
The majority of the population in this area are Yousafzai Pashtuns speaking Pashto.
The district is administratively subdivided into six tehsils which contain a total of 31 Union Councils
Name of Tehsil
Barawal, Chapar, Kotkey, Dir, Kalkot, Khal and Wari
Upper Dir is represented in the National Assembly and Provincial Assembly by one elected MNA and three elected MPAs respectively.
The only motor road to Chitral reaches 10,234 ft (3,119 m) at the Lowarai Pass. The district headquarters, Dir, lies at the foot of the Lowarai. Except for Dir and a number of rapidly growing bazaar towns along the main roads, the population is rural, scattered in more than 1200 villages in the deep narrow valleys of the Panjkora and its tributaries. Of these the largest are
Kotkey, Barawal, Karo, Nihag, Toormang, Usherai, Katiagam Wazirzada
Lower Dir District:
Lower Dir is one the 24 districts of North-West Frontier Province, Pakistan. The district was formed in 1996, when the district of Dir was divided into Upper Dir and Lower Dir.
The district is 1,582 square kilometres in area and formed part of the Malakand Division until divisions were abolished in 2000. Almost all of it lies in the valley of the Panjkora which rises high in the Hindu Kush at Lat. 35.45 and joins the Swat River near Chakdara, where the district is usually entered, at Lat. 34.40. Apart from the tehsils of Adenzai round Chakdara and Munda in the south-west, Lower Dir is rugged and mountainous.
The district is bounded by Swat District to the east, Bajour Agency to the west, Upper Dir to the north, and Malakand District to the south.
Timergara, the district headquarters, lies at only 2,700 ft (820 m). Except for Timergara and a number of rapidly growing bazaar towns along the main roads the population is rural, scattered in more than 1200 villages over the plains of Adenzai and Munda and the deep narrow valleys of the Panjkora and its tributaries.
The road from Timergara to Dir, a 1.5 hour car journey, following the bank of the river Panjkora, is very scenic. It passes the villages of Danwa, Rabat, Khal and Wari (Warai).
Kat Kala, at the entrance to the Talash valley, was identified by Sir Olaf Caroe as a possible site of the town of Massaga, captured by Alexander the Great in 327 B.C.
The district is administratively subdivided into two Tehsils which contain a total of 13 Union Councils:
Samar Bagh, Timargara
The district is represented in the provincial assembly by four elected MPAs.
The population of the Lower Dir district’s 37 Union Councils is 797,852 according to the 1998 census report. The projected population of Dir Lower was 1.037.091 in 2005 with the same growth between the 1981 and 1998 census i.e. 3.42% per annum. The projected male population of Dir lower in 2005 is 514,072 and the female is 523,020.
The literacy ratio of the district among the population aged 10 years and above is 29.90 percent which has increased significantly since 1981 when it was just 10.16 percent. The male literacy ratio is higher i.e. 48.76 compared to 12.25 percent for females, according to census report 1998.
Dir is considered one of the most sensitive areas in Pakistan in term of religious extremism. Religio-political parties have taken root in Dir, e.g. JUI, JI and TNSM. The development indicators in Dir have always been discouraging. Dir was ruled by a princely dynasty till 1969. There were limited facilities for education, health, road, transportation and communication for the inhabitants of the Dir State.