Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (Pashto: خیبر پښتونخوا Urdu: خیبر پختونخوا (KPK) formerly
called North-West Frontier Province, is one of the five provinces of Pakistan, located
in the north-west of the country. It borders the Federally Administered Tribal Areas
to the west and south, Gilgit Baltistan to the north-east, Azad Kashmir to the east,
Punjab and the Islamabad Capital Territory to the south-east and Afghanistan to
the north-west. The province of Baluchistan is located its southwards. The provincial
capital and largest city of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is Peshawar.
Before independence, the North-West Frontier Province voted to join Pakistan in
a referendum on July 2, 1947; 50.1% of the registered voters(only 15% less than
that in 1946 elections) exercised their vote and majority (99.02%) of them voted
for Pakistan. There was no option in the poll to vote to become a sovereign state
independent of India and Pakistan. Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan and his Khudai Khidmatgars
boycotted the polls with other nationalistic for pro-India Pashtuns. Some have argued
that a segment of the population was barred from voting.
Afghanistan claims Pashtun-dominated western areas of the territory as its own.
After the independence of Pakistan in 1947, Afghanistan was the only country to
vote against Pakistan’s accession to the United Nations because of Kabul’s claim
on the Pashtun territories on the Pakistani side of the Durand Line. The population
of this region as per the 1901 Census of the North West Frontier Province was 2,125,480,
out of which Muslims were 1,957,777, Hindus were 134,252 and Sikhs were 28,091.
Afghanistan's loya Jirga of 1949 declared the Durand Line invalid, which led to
border tensions with Pakistan. Afghanistan's governments have periodically refused
to recognize Pakistan's inheritance of British treaties regarding the region.] During
the 1950s, Afghanistan supported the secessionist Pushtunistan Movement that failed
to gain substantial support amongst the tribes of the North-West Frontier Province.
Afghanistan's refusal to recognize the Durand Line and its subsequent support for
the Pashtunistan Movement has been cited as the main cause of tensions between the
two countries that have existed since Pakistan's independence. After Ayub Khan eliminated
Pakistan's provinces, Yahya Khan, in 1969, abolished this "one unit" scheme and
added Amb, Swat, Dir, Chitral and Kohistan to the new North-West Frontier Province
as the Provincially Administered Tribal Areas.
During the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan (1979–1989) the North-West Frontier
Province served as a major base for supplying the Mujahedeen who fought the Soviets
during the 1980s. Following the arrival of Soviet forces, over five million Afghan
refugees poured into Pakistan, most residing in the North-West Frontier Province
(as of 2007, nearly 3 million remained). The province remained heavily influenced
by events in Afghanistan. Civil war in Afghanistan (1989–1992) led to the rise of
the Taliban, which had emerged in the border region between Afghanistan, Baluchistan,
PATA and FATA as a formidable political force.
Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the FATA and bordering North-West
Frontier Province became a front-line region again, as part of the global "War on
Terror". In 2010 the name of the province changed to "Khyber Pakhtunkhwa". Protests
arose among the local Hindkowan, Chitrali, Kohistani and Kalash populations over
the name change, as they began to demand their own provinces. Seven people were
killed and 100 injured in protests on 11 April 2011.
HISTORIC VISIT OF FATHER OF THE NATION OF PESHAWAR
BACHA KHAN INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
Bacha Khan International Airport (IATA: PEW, ICAO: OPPS), previously called Peshawar
International Airport, is an international airport located in the city of Peshawar
of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. Located about a 10-minute drive
from the centre of Peshawar, it is the fourth busiest airport in Pakistan. One unusual
feature is that one end of the main runway is crossed by a railway line – the seldom-used
by Khyber safari train for Landi Kotal in the Khyber Pass. The airport was renamed
on 27 January 2012 after Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan (also known as Bacha Khan), a Pashtun
nationalist political leader.