BRIEF ON DISTRICT BUNER
Valleys of Buner are still echoing with gallant armies of the past, most of them faced military disaster at the hands of militants of these mountains areas. Olaf Caroes has pointed out that the armies of Alexander the Great has passed through Karakar, Daggar, Ambela and Malndrai passes in 327-326 BC. The same route was later on followed by Mughal armies in 1586 AD. This has been referred by Sir Robin Lane Fox in his book “Alexander the Great” and the Olaf Caroes in his book “The Pathan”. The Yousafzai Tribe had occupied Buner shortly before 1519 AD after which the great land settlements by venerated Sheikh Mali had been carried out in this area. Throughout history, even in this time of Alexander the Great. Akbar, Aurang Zeb, the Sikh or the British, the ancient inhabitants and later on the Yousafzai of the area had never remained the subject of any empire.
In 1587 AD Akbar’s armies had passed through Karakar, Torwarsak, Daggar (Barandu) who were ultimately defeated at Malndrai wherein King Akbar’s beloved Raja Bairbal and his 8,000 men lost their lives. Akbar could not get even the body of Raja Birbal to be burnt. During Sikhs rule over Frontier, they could never enter the area of Buner. This area became sanctuary and strong citadel for the Muslims fighters of Hazrat Syed Ahmed Shaheed Rahmatullahe alaihe and his followers for about 130 years. The great Syeds of Sitana, Malka and Takhtaband loyally stood in support of those Mujahiddins against the Sikhs and the British. The people of Swat and Buner got united and formed state, under the rule of the great freedom fighters Syed Akbar Shah Rahmatullahe alaihe (Sitana) from 1849-1857. After his death in 1857(exactly on the same day the independence War of 1857 started), the area remained without a ruler till 1915 which period is known as “Era of Pukhtoo” where every tribe was ruled by its own elders.
The armies tried to reach Malka, a strong hold of Mujahiddin through Ambela in 1863 AD which resulted in the famous AMBELA WAR. The Raja shamefully failed to achieve the target. The British persuaded the Khans of Buner through Ajab Khan and Aziz Khan of Sudham, District Mardan to strike a deal, who went to British officers, burnt few houses and thus saved their prestige. The British, as per their own record had lost the largest number of British officers and soldiers in a single military expedition in India i.e. 238 dead and 670 injured. They could not establish their rule in Buner till independence in 1947.
The light of Islam had reached the area through Sufis and Ulamas much earlier but shortly after 1000 AD, the forces of Sultan Memood of Ghazna defeated the last Budha ruler Raja Geer under the command of “Pir Khushal” and the Yousafzai tribe started entering Buner and thus spread the religion of Islam. The arrival of Hazrat Pir Baba Rahmatullahe alaihe(1502-1575 AD) accelerated the spread of Islam in the area. His shrine at Pacha Kalay is still the center of attraction for Muslims throughout sub-continent. In 1915 Syed Abdul Jabbar Shah of Sitana became Badshah of Swat but in 1917 Mian Gul Abdul Wadood manipulated his expulsion from Swat and became a ruler himself. He was succeeded by his son Mina Gul Jehanzeb in 1949. Buner remained as a pert of Swat state till it merged with Pakistan. On 29th July 1969 In 1991 Buner was upgraded to the District level.
The whole area is homogenous; however Hindus and Sikhs minorities are also living in the district since partition in a scattered shape. Local language is Pashto. The Ajars and Gujars from Behrain (Swat) seasonally visit the area and speak Gojri language.
The whole population belongs to Sunni sect of Islam and dress themselves in the traditional Shalwar, Qamees and Chaddar. Hospitality, locals of the areas are divided into sub-tribes known as Khel. Economically, majority of the people are poor while few people are engaged in marble business and are relatively rich. Majority of the people depend on agriculture and livestock. At village level 95% income comes from agriculture and livestock, 4% from daily labour and 1% from other activities. Joint family system is common in the area. Most of the
houses area made of mud. Living standard is gradually improving as most of the people are presently serving abroad or in the down cities of Pakistan.
LOCATION: Buner lies between 34-9 and 34-43 N latitude and 72-10 and 72-47 E longitude. It is bounded on the North by Swat District, on the West by Malakand Agency, on the South by Mardan District, and on the East by river Indus and Hazara Division. The region is encircled by hill on all side and is separated from Swat by a range of mountains. Elevation varies from 1200 ft in Totalai (Khudukhel) in the South to 9,550 ft of Dosara Peak in the North. The hilly tracks are enriched with mineral which has now become the vivid symbol of business in the area.
The District for revenue administration is divided into six (6) Tehsils vis-à-vis Gadezai, Daggar, Gagra, Chagharzai, Chamla, and Totalai. Buner is one of the less developed District of the North West Frontier Province.
GEOLOGY & PHYSICAL FEATURES.
Buner lies between 34-9 and 34-43 N latitude and 72-10 and 72-47 E longitude. It is bound on the North by Swat District, on the West by Malakand Agency, on the South by Mardan District, and on the East by River Indus and Hazara Division. The region is encircled by hill on all side and is separated from Swat by a range of mountains reaching to an elevation of 9,550 ft Elevation varies from 1200 ft in Totalai (Khudukhel) in the South to 9,55, ft of Dosara peak in the North. The hilly tracks are enriched with mineral, which has now become the vivid symbol of business in the area.
The area of Buner District is mostly surrounded by big hills which are covered with pine trees. There are three main rivers namely Barandu, Chamla and Budal and the former flows in the midst of the District. Most of the population is rural and main source of their livelihood is agriculture. Main crops of the area are wheat, maize, tobacco, and sugarcane.
GENERAL ASPECT: Total Area:
1865 Sq Km
Population Density (P/km):
22.6% (Male 38.20% and Female 7.7 &)
1, 36,880 Acres
Rain Fed Land:
1743.67 Sq Km i.e. 4, 25,757 Acres.