Thursday, July 29, 2010

Mianwali District

Mianwali District

Country  Pakistan
Province Punjab
District Mianwali District

Elevation 210 m (689 ft)
 - Total 110,359 (2,009 estimated)
Time zone PST (UTC+5)
Calling code (+92)0459
Mianwali (Urdu: ضلع میانوالی) is a District in the north-west of Punjab province, Pakistan. It borders Lakki Marwat district in the west, Kohat and Karak districts in the North west and Dera Ismail Khan District in the southwest. Attock lies in the north, Chakwal in the north east, Khushab in the east and Bhakkar in the south.
In November 1901, the North-West Frontier Province was carved out of Punjab and present day towns of Mianwali, Isa Khel, Kalabagh, and Kundian were separated from Bannu District (NWFP) and hence a new district was made with the headquarters in Mianwali city and placed in Punjab province.


Mianwali city is the economic and commercial hub of the Mianwali district. The city has a FM Radio Station, municipal library, sports complex, hockey stadium. There are several educational institutions from elementary to post-graduate level.
The city has an airport built near the old World War II aerodrome and known as PAF Base Mianwali. It is one of the major operational bases of the country. The No.1 Fighter Conversion Unit of the PAF is stationed here.
There is also a railway connecting the city with Multan, Lahore and Rawalpindi.
The main highways connecting the city to the other parts of the country include the Sargodha-Lahore road [N-60], MM Road ( Mianwali-Muzaffargarh road ), Talagang-Rawalpindi road, and the Kalabagh- Bannu road [N-60].


Trible, Sirayki, city of Punjab which is most dangerous as it is located at the boundary of NWFP (Sarhad Province). Drugs, smuggling, killing and unlawful is wide spread here. Most people are involved in unlawful activities. it as strong hold of criminal people who had gave it a bad fame. Even major politician don't like to live here. They do visit during elections only. The city is the most backward city of Pakistan. Majority of people follow the life style of savages. Women all the life pass in homes and wear shuttle cock veil (Burqa). Women and young boys had to suffer a lot at the hands of vagabonds. So the both are bound to stay at homes. According to the 1998 census of Pakistan, the district had a population of 1,056,620 out of which 20.39% i.e. 85,000 inhabitants live in the district capital Mianwali. Niazi tribe is the most dominant and major tribe of this district with an estimated 70% of the total population. Niazi tribe exists in all parts of the district but most notably living in Mianwali City, Shahbaz Khel, Musa Khel,Sohrabwala, GuddiKhelan Wala, Mochh, Utra Kalaan, Sawans. Another tribe known as Jats live mostly in Ding Khola, New Ding Sharif , Saeed Abad ,Hashim Naggar/Lal wala(Saifun Pull),KhanQah Sirrajia, Bakharra/Kacha Kalo, Kacha paar,khita-e-Atlas, Kacha Gujrat, Kacha Shahnawaz Wala, Phaati, Hurnoli, Alluwali, Duaba, Jaal Janub/Shumali , Piplan,Wan Bahhchran, Wichveen Bala,Kundian, Moosa Khel, Shadia an so on. There are small minority of Pashtuns and Punajbis.
Mostly people in the district speak Seraiki language. However the Khattak tribes living in the suburbs of Isakhel, Chapri, Bhangi Khel, Sultan Khel, Makarwal and Bani Afghan are bilingual, Pashto being their primary language but can easily communicate in Seraiki as well. Awans living in the Salt range of Mianwali speak a dialect of Potohari which is called "Uttraadi"(pertaining to the highlanders).


Deputy commissioner used to be the head of the district until 2004. The first deputy commissioner was Captain A.J.O'Brian and the first district judge was Sardar Balwant Singh. It is worth mentioning that Capt.O'Brian served Mianwali not once but thrice. He was again given the charge of D.C.Mianwali in 1906 and then in 1914. This time he was promoted to the rank of Major.
The system continued even after the creation of Pakistan as a sovereign nation. It was not until year 2000 when the new local government system was introduced by the President of Pakistan Pervez Musharraf.Three basic changes were made
  • Divisions which used to be third tier of the government were abolished and more autonomy was given to the districts under the motive of devolution of power.
  • With this new status of the districts Nazims were to become the administrators of the district with more authoritative powers.
  • The post of D.C. was abolished with the aim to put an end to the bureaucratic rule however the bureaucracy was offered an olive branch by creating a new post of District Co-ordinating Officer.However the Nazim remains the main elected representative and administrator while the D.C.Os serve as representatives of the government.
The district is administratively divided into three tehsils and 56 Union Councils:
Name of Tehsil No of Union Councils
  Isakhel       14
  Mianwali       28
  Piplan       14
  Total       56                                                               


Nawab of Kalabagh Malik Amir Muhammad Khan(1910–1967),Ex-Governor West Pakistan.
Mianwali district covers an area of 5,840 square kilometres. The area in north is a continuation of the Pothohar Plateau and the Kohistan-e-Namak. The district consists of various towns, including Kalabagh, Isa Khel, Kundian, Paikhel, Piplan, Kamar Mushani, Mochh, Rokhri, Harnoli, Musa Khel, Wan Bhachhran, Daud Khel and the district capital - Mianwali city.
  • Mianwali City is the capital of Mianwali district. It is the largest city of the district with a population of about 85000 people and economic & commercial hub of the district.
  • Kundian is the second largest town at a distance of 15 km from the city of Mianwali. Important sites such as Chashma Nuclear power plant(Chashnupp), Chashma Barrage, Kundian-Jehlum or Chashma-Jehlum) Link Canal are located.
  • Piplan is another important town and tehsil headquarter located in the souther part of the district.
  • Kalabagh is famous for the Kalabagh Dam and the Nawab of Kalabagh and for the red hills of the salt range and scenic view of mighty Indus River.
  • Isa Khel is another important town and tehsil headquarter located in the west of Mianwali. It is a historical town named after *Isa Khan, a famous Niazi chief.
  • Kamar Mushani is famous for its trade and minerals.
  • Mochh is another important town of Mianwali district.


Mianwali district has several educational institutions from elementary up to post-graduate level, affiliated with the University of Punjab. There are numerous private schools and colleges in the district.


Mianwali district has an extreme weather. Summer lasts from May to September and winter lasts from November till February. June is the hottest month with average temperatures of 42°C (highest recordand temperature 52°C) whereas in winter, December and January temperature is as low as 3 to 4°C average per month. The average rainfall in the district is about 250 mm.

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Avg high °C 19 21 26 33 38 42 39 37 37 33 28 21 31
Avg low temperature °C 3 6 12 17 22 27 27 26 23 16 9 4 16
Rainfall in. (Cm) 1.6 2.1 4.1 2.4 1.9 1.8 7.6 11 4.5 0.7 0.1 0.9 38.5
Source: Weatherbase

 Brief history

Mian Ali Sahb who was a great spiritual saint first of all lay foundations of Mianwali. In those days it was called "Mian Ali Wali", which later converted to Mianwali. Traditionally all major rulers of South Asia governed this area in their turn. Mughal emperor Babur mentions Isa khel whilst he was fighting against the Pakhtuns as part of his campaign to conquer the Punjab during the 1520s (ref. Baburnama). Then came the Sikhs, that era was famous for lawlessness, and barbarism, they ruled until the annexation of Punjab in 1849 by the British. During British rule, the Indian empire was subdivided into province, divisions and districts, (after the independence of Pakistan divisions remained the third tier of government until 2000). The British had made the towns of Mianwali and Isa Khel tehsil headquarters of Bannu District then part of Dera Ismail Khan Division of Punjab province.
The district of Mianwali was created in November 1901, when the North West Frontier Province was carved out of Punjab and the towns of Mianwali, Isa Khel, Kalabagh, and Kundian were separated from Bannu District which became part of the NWFP. A new district was made with the headquarters in Mianwali city and placed in Punjab, the district became a part of Multan Division. Mianwali originally contained four tehsils namely Mianwali, Isa Khel, Bhakkar, and Layyah, in 1909 Layyah was transferred to Muzaffargarh District. The district became a part of Sargodha Division in 1961, in 1982 Bhakkar tehsil was removed from Mianwali and became a separate district of Sargodha Division.


Notable personalities ==

The Rule of the Ghakkars in the North - Invasion of Nadir Shah in 1738

Prior to the invasion of Nadir Shah in 1738, there is little to relate concerning the history of the northern part of the district. The upper half of the district was ruled by the Ghakkars, who became feudatories of the Mughal Empire, of which the district continued to form a part until the invasion of Nadir Shah. In 1738 a portion of his army entered Bannu, and by its atrocities so cowed the Bannuchis and Marwats that a heavy tribute was raised from them. Another portion of the army crossed the Pezu pass and worked its way down to Dera Ismail Khan. The country was generally plundered and contingents raised from the neighbourhoods of Bannu and Dera Ismail Khan marched under Nadir Shah's banner to the sack of Delhi. In 1739 the country west of the Indus was surrendered by the Emperor of Delhi to Nadir Shah, and passed after his death to Ahmad Shah Abdali.

Expulsion of the Ghakkars in 1748

In 1748 a Durrani army under one of Ahmad Shah's generals crossed the Indus at Kalabagh, and drove out the Ghakkars, who still ruled in the cis-Indus tracts of the district, owing nominal allegiance to the Emperor at Delhi. Their stronghold, Muazzam Nagar, was razed to the ground, and with their expulsion was swept away the last vestige of authority of the Mughal Emperor in these parts.
The armies of Ahmad Shah marched repeatedly through the district, the cis-Indus portion of which was, with the rest of the Punjab, incorporated in the Durrani Kingdom in 1756, and for the next sixty years a precarious hold was maintained on their eastern provinces, including this district, by Ahmad Shah and his successors to the throne of the newly created Kingdom of Kabul.
The history of the Bhakkar Tehsil comprising the southern part of the district (both in the period which preceded and that which followed the incorporation of the district in the Durrani Kingdom) requires separate recording. Its history is bound up with that of Dera Ismail Khan and of Leiah, and to some extent with that of Dera Ghazi Khan.
During the reign of Ahmad Shah, no regular Governors were appointed by the Kabul Government. The country was divided between the Hot and Jaskani chiefs, whose predecessors had been the first Biluch chiefs to form settlements along the Indus.


Saraiki Language is the most spoken language.

Tribes & Clans

The populations of the district is split into four main groups, the predominant Niazi tribes who are mainly present in riverain Mianwali Tehsil and Isa Khel Tehsil, the Awans who are found mainly in the Salt Range and Kalabagh in Isakhel Tehsil. The Thal desert portion is held by Jat and Baluch tribes. The city of Mianwali and town of Wan Bhachran are both home to the Qureshi - Makhdooms and Miana tribes respectively.
The district includes descendents of refugees from East Punjab and Haryana in India, who settled after partition


The district has been settled by triple immigration from opposite directions; Niazis from the north-west of Pakistan, Awans from the north-east, and Jats & Balochis up the valley of the Indus from the south.

The Niazis Immigrations

Mahmud of Ghazni is said to have conquered the upper half of the district and Bannu, expelling its Hindu inhabitants. Hence there was no one left, capable of opposing the settlement of immigrant tribes from across the border. The series of Pashtun immigrations into Bannu took place in the following order :-
  1. The Bannuchis, who about five hundred years ago displaced two small tribes of Mangals and Hannis, of whom little is known as well as a settlement of Khattaks, from the then marshy but fertile country on either bank of the Kurram.
  2. The Niazis, who some hundred and fifty years later spread from Tank over the plain, then sparsely inhabited by pastoral Jats.
  3. The Marwats, a younger branch of the same tribe, who within one hundred years of the Niazi settlement of Marwat, followed in their wake, and drove them farther eastward into the region now known as Isa Khel and Mianwali.
Imran Khan Niazi: The Pride of Mianwali
The Bannuchis must have settled down for nearly two centuries, before the Niazi arrival into Marwat took place. The Niazis occupied the hills about Salghar, which are now held by the Sulaiman Khels, until a feud with the Ghilzais compelled them to migrate elsewhere. Marching south-east, they found a temporary resting place in Tank. There the Niazais lived for several generations, occupying themselves as traders and carriers, as do their kinsmen the Lohani Pawindahs in the present day. At length towards the close of the fifteenth century, numbers spread north into the plain now known as Marwat, and squatted there as graziers, and perhaps too as cultivators, on the banks of the Kurram and Gambila, some fifteen miles below the Bannuchi Settlements. There they lived in peace for about fifty years, when the Marwat Lohanis, a younger branch of the Lodi group, swarmed into the country after them, defeated them in battle, and drove them across the Kurram at Tang Darra, in the valley beyond which they found a final home. At that time, Marwat seems to have been almost uninhabited, except by a sprinkling of pastoral Jats; but the bank of the Indus apparently supported a considerable Jat and Awan population. The most important sections of the expelled Niazais were the Isakhel, Mushanis and a portion of the Sarhangs. The first named took root in the south of their new country and shortly developed into agriculturists ; the second settled farther to the north roundabout Kamar Mushani, and seem for a time to have led a pastoral life ; of the Sarhangs, some took up their abode at Sultan Khel, while others, after drifting about for several generations, permanently established themselves cis-Indus on the destruction of the Ghakkar stronghold of Muazzam Nagar by one of Ahmad Shah's lieutenants. That event occurred about 1748, and with it terminated the long connection of the Ghakkars with Mianwali.They seem to have been dominant in the northern parts of the country even before the emperor Akbar presented it in jagir to two of, their chiefs. During the civil commotions of Jehangir's reign the Niazais are said to have driven the Ghakkars across the Salt Range, and though, in the following reign, the latter recovered their position, still their hold came to an end about the middle of the 18th century as stated above. The remains of Muazzam Nagar, their local capital, were visible on the left high bank of the Indus about six miles south of Mianwali, until the site was eroded by the river about the year 1870. The Niazais thus established themselves in Isa Khel over three hundred years ago, but their Sarhang branch did not finally obtain its present possessions in Mianwali, until nearly 150 years later. The acquisition of their cis-Indus possessions was necessarily gradual, the area having a settled, though weak Government, and being inhabited by Awans and Jats.


Watercolour of an Awan sepoy, painted by Major A.C. Lovett, circa the early 20th century
The Awans now occupy part of the district which lies east of the Dhak Spur of the Salt Range and is known as Khudri, Pakhar, or Awankari. "Men of Mianwali mostly know the name Pakhar; but residents of the Kacha and Isakhel generally speak of the tract and parts beyond as utrad. i.e., the high country."Bannu district Gazetter
They have been almost the sole occupants of that extensive tract for at least six hundred years and may perhaps have resided there since the Arab invasions of the seventh century. Previous to the decilne and extinction of Ghakkar tribe authorities in Mianwali, the Awan possessions extended westward of the Salt Range. Later, Niazis challenged them and drived them eastwards.
The Awans were amongst those who formed an important part of the British Indian army, serving with distinction during World Wars I and II. Along with Rajputs, Awans occupy the highest ranks of the Pakistani army.
Awans claim themselves to be of Arab origin , a claim which is disputed by many British anthropologists and historians. Some label them as remnants of "Bactrian Greeks" while the others insist that they are the descendants of Raja Risalu of Sialkot , thus insisting on their Rajput origins. Some also relate them to the Qutab Shah who had Arab ancestry thus giving a proof to their claim.

The Jat and Baloch Immigration

Before the fifteenth century the lower parts of the district wwere probably occupied by a few scattered tribes of Jats, depending on their cattle for subsistence. The valley of the Indus was a dense jungle, swarming with pig and hog-deer, and frequented by numerous tigers; while the Thal must have been almost unoccupied.
All the traditions of the people indicate that an immigration of mixed tribes of Jats Talokar/Tilokar/Talukar/Thalokar,(Siyars, Chhina, Khokhars, &.c.,) set in about the beginning of the 15th century from the Multan and Bahawalpur direction. They gradually passed up the valley of the Indus to the Mianwali Tehsil, occupying the intervening country. Most of their villages would have been located on the edge of the Thal and a portion of the immigrants probably crossed the river and settled along its right bank. After these came the Balochis. They also came from the south, but in large bands under recognized leaders, and they appear to have taken military rather than proprietary possession of the country. They were the ruling class, and served under their chiefs in the; perpetual little wars that were then going on in every direction. It is probable that the Jat immigration continued for sometime after the Balochis first came into the country. However it may have been, all the Kachha, immediately adjoining the Thal bank, seems to have been parcelled off to Jat families. Each block was accompanied with a long strip of Thal to the back. These estates are the origin of the present mauzas as far north as Kundian in the Mianwali Tahsil. They are almost all held by Jats. Here and there, shares are held by Balochis, but these have mostly been acquired in later times by purchase. In the same way the unoccupied lands towards the river were divided off into blocks, and formed into separate estates; and sometimes; where the hads first, formed had too much waste land, new hads were formed in later times by separating off outlying portions of the old estates. This division into hads extended right up to Kundian. In course of time, as the Balochis settled down in the country, individuals acquired plots of land for wells, but generally in subordination to the had proprietors or lords of manors. Here and there a small clan settled down together, but this was the exception. Balochis are still numerous all through the southern part of the Kachha, up to Darya Khan; but though they were originally the ruling race, still, as regards proprietary rights in the land they hold a position inferior to that of the Jats and Sayyads, by whom the superior proprietorship of hads is generally held. North of Darya Khan there are very few Balochis. In the Thal the population is nearly entirely Jat.

Baluch Clans

The Mamdanis of Khansar, the Magsis, a tribe which came in very early, and settled in the eastern Thal about Dhingana and Haidarabad, and the Durranis of Dab in the Mianwali Tehsil, are almost the only considerable bodies of Balochis to be found in the Thal.

The Jat Clans

All through the Kachha the mass of the villages are named after Jat families, who form the bulk of the proprietors. These are generally the descendants of the original founders, and have stuck together as like 'Jat Talokar/Tilokar/Talukar/Thalokar in Ding Khola(Khanqah Sirrajia) and bakhharra(kachha).'''' In the Thal there are a large number of villages held in the same way by men of particular families ; but in most the population is very mixed, nearly every well being held by a man of a different caste. The only Jat tribes in the Thal deserving of special mention are the Chhinas and Bhidwals. The Chhina country extends across from Chhina, Behal, Lappi and Notak, on the edge of the Kachha, to Mankera and Haidarabad on the further side of the Thal. The Bhidwals possess a somewhat smaller tract round Karluwala and Mahni in the neighbourhood of the Jhang border. They have always been a good fighting tribe.

Balouch Pashtuns

A few families of Balouch Pashtuns came across the Indus River from the Paniala Hills. Of these, one became dominant at Piplan, while the others moved on into the Thal and took up their abode eventually in and about Jandanwala.


Is a tribe living in Pai Khel,Mianwali.Hundred years ago there was a great sufi saint, named "Mian Muhammad Wirali".He was a philanthropist with much regard among the masses.He distributed his land to the poor.Now a days his shrine is at Pai Khel,in the base of a mountain from where dolomite is extracted for steel mills. After him, his tribe is known as "Wirali".

Places of Interests

A beautiful view of Namal lake in Mianwali Salt range
Ruins of centuries old hindu temples in salt range near Mari Indus (River Indus can be seen traversing through hills)
"Days of Yore" PR ZE. class 230 enroute to Lakki Marwat from Mari Indus in frosty winter morning circa 1987.(Mianwali was the only district in Punjab with about 80 km of Narrow Gauge section which was closed in 1992)
  • Kalabagh Dam
  • Chahshma Barrage and Lake
  • Jinnah Barrage
  • Namal Lake: Namal or (Nammal) lake is a place of interest for the hikers and holiday-makers near Chakrala.
  • Thal Desert: It is a large area which is mostly desert and semi-arid. It is located between Jhelum and Indus river (The Sindh-Saagar Doab). The boundaries of the old district established in 1901 included almost 70 % of this great area, but after the separation of Layyah and then Bhakkar Tehsils, only about 20% remains in this district. First deputy commissioner Mr. A J O'Brian wrote in his memoirs- "In 1901 the District of Mianwali was formed out of the two Punjab halves of two older districts, and I had the good fortune to be put in charge. It was a lonely District with, as my Assistant Mr. Bolster called it, 'three white men in a wilderness of sand.'"
  • River Indus
  • Kalabagh Old town
  • Ruins at Mari Indus & Mari City: At Mari in the Mianwali Tehsil, there is a picturesque Hindu ruin, crowning the gypsum hill, locally called Maniot (from Manikot, meaning fort of jewels), on which the Kalabagh diamonds are found. The ruins themselves must once have been extensive. It appears that the very top of the hill was built over with a large palace or fort.
  • Architectural Objects and Remains: In the southern part of the district the general absence of antiquarian remains also tends to prove that it can never have been the site of a rich and populous Government. In the Kachhi tract, of course, such remains could not survive the action of river floods, and this tract must, at one time, have been much wider than it is now. The Thal, however, is admirably suited for the preservation of antiquarian relics, had any such ever existed, but there are none that date from earlier than the fourteenth century.
  • Architectural Objects and Remain-Ruins of Sirkapp Fort: Overlooking the village site of Namal in the Khudri is a ridge of great natural strength, cut off on three sides by hill torrents. On the top of this ridge there are extensive ruins of what is said to have been the stronghold of Sirkapp, Raja of the country , who was a contemporary of Raja Risalu of Sialkot, by whom he was vanquished. The outer wall of the fort still exists in part in a dilapidated condition, but the enclosure, which must once have contained accommodation for a fairly large garrison , is now one mass of fallen houses and piles of hewn or chiselled stones . The series of lifts, made for carrying water from the bed of the stream to the top of the hill, have left their marks.
  • Other Antiquities: The above, together with two sentry-box like buildings, supposed to be dolmens, midway between, Namal and Sakesar, and several massive looking tombs, constructed of large blocks of dressed stones in the Salt Range, comprise all the antiquities above ground in the district. No doubt many remain concealed beneath the surface. The encroachments of the Indus and even of the Kurram near Isakhel often expose portions of ancient masonry arches and wells. The only other antiquity worth mentioning is a monster baoli at Wanbhachran , said to have been built by order of Sher Shah Suri. It is in good preservation and similar to those in the Shahpur District.