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North-West Frontier Province (1901-1955)

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Title: North-West Frontier Province (1901-1955)  
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Subject: Third Anglo-Afghan War, John Maffey, 1st Baron Rugby, Tirah Campaign, Fourteen Points of Jinnah, Monorail history, Peshawar Division, British expedition to Tibet
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North-West Frontier Province (1901-1955)

For other uses, see North West Frontier.

North West Frontier
Subdivision of Pakistan
9 November 1901–14 October 1955


Location of North West Frontier
Map of Pakistan with North West Frontier highlighted
Capital Peshawar
 -  Established 9 November 1901
 -  Disestablished 14 October 1955
Area 70,709 km2 (27,301 sq mi)
Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Former administrative units of Pakistan

The North-West Frontier Province was a former province created by the British in their vast territories in South Asia then called British India. It was established in 1901 and dissolved in 1955, after eight years as part of the independent state of Pakistan.

The province covered an area of 70,709 km², including much of the current Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (also called KPK) province but excluding the former princely states of Amb, Chitral, Dir, Phulra and Swat. The capital was the city of Peshawar and the province was composed of three divisions (Peshawar, Dera Ismail Khan and Malakand. Until 1947 the province was bordered by five princely states to the north, the minor states of the Gilgit Agency to the northeast, the province of West Punjab to the east, and the province of Balochistan to the south. Afghanistan lay to the northwest, with the tribal agencies forming a buffer zone.


Most of the territory of this province was originally a part of the Afghan Durrani Kingdom from the 18th century to around the 1820s, when the Sikh ruler or Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the former mayor of the Punjabi city of Lahore, taking advantage of the internal chaos of the Afghan ruling family, declared independence and annexed it to his own empire based out of the Punjab. Later on, after the Second Anglo-Sikh War of 1848–49, when the Punjab came under British rule, this region along with the 'Frontier Tribal Areas' acting as a 'buffer' zone with Afghanistan. The Province was formally created in 1901 by the British administration, out of the North-Westerly areas of the old Punjab, initially under a Chief Commissioner, and then a full-fledged Governor from circa 1938 onwards. Referendum was held to decide the future of NWFP state, efforts were made by famous muslim leaguers such as leaders like Abdul Qayyum Khan, k.B Jalaluddin Khan Jalal Baba, I.I Chundrigar and it was made part of Pakistan. After Indian independence in 1947 that divided the country into two, the NWFP became part of the new nation of Pakistan. The province lasted until 1955 when it was merged into the new province of West Pakistan, under the One Unit policy announced by Prime Minister Chaudhry Mohammad Ali. It was recreated after the dissolution of the One Unit system and lasted under its old nomenclature until April 2010, when it was renamed as the 'Khyber Pakhtunkhwa' province.


At independence there was a clear Muslim majority in then North-West Frontier Province, although with some of small minorities of Hindus and Sikhs. The official language of the North-West Frontier was Urdu, although most of the population spoke Pashto and Hindko. Prior to the arrival of the British, the lingua franca, or common language of trade and communication, was Persian, as it was in Punjab and throughout the region which later became West Pakistan. The British encouraged the abandonment of Persian in favour of English in order to institute a common language throughout their vast holdings in the Indian subcontinent.


The offices of Governor and Chief Minister of the North-West Frontier Province lasted until 14 October 1955.

Tenure Governors of the North-West Frontier Province [1]
14 August 1947 – 8 April 1948 Sir George Cunningham
8 April 1948 – 16 July 1949 Sir Ambrose Dundas Flux Dundas
16 July 1949 – 14 January 1950 Sahibzada Mohammad Kursheed
14 January 1950 – 21 February 1950 K.B Mohammad Ibrahim Khan(Judicial Commissioner) (acting)
21 February 1950 – 23 November 1951 Ismail Ibrahim Chundrigar
24 November 1951 – 17 November 1954 Khwaja Shahabuddin
17 November 1954 – 14 October 1955 Qurban Ali Khan
14 October 1955 North-West Frontier Province dissolved
Tenure Chief Ministers of the North-West Frontier Province [1] Political Party
1 April 1937 – 7 September 1937 Sir Sahibzada Abdul Qayyum Khan Non-Party Government Nominee
7 September 1937 – 10 November 1939 Dr. Khan Sahib (1st time) Indian National Congress
10 November 1939 – 25 May 1943 Governor's rule
25 May 1943 – 16 March 1945 Sardar Aurangzeb Khan Muslim League
16 March 1945 – 22 August 1947 Dr. Khan Sahib (2nd time) Indian National Congress
14 August 1947 Independence of Pakistan
23 August 1947 – 23 April 1953 Khan Abdul Qayyum Khan Pakistan Muslim League
23 April 1953 – 18 July 1955 Sardar Abdur Rashid Khan
19 July 1955 – 14 October 1955 Sardar Bahadur Khan
14 October 1955 North-West Frontier Province dissolved

See also


External links

  • Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

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