Welcome To Dir State
The Land of Peace & Hospitality ....

Engr Syed Ziafat ali

DIR STATE...

Dir, situated in the North West Frontier Province khyber pakhtunkhwa (NWFP) of Pakistan, is one of the most important regions, both historically and culturally. Its territories stretches between 34° 22′ and 35° 50′ North and 71 ° 02′ and 72° 30′ East and mainly comprises the terrain drained by the Panjkora river and its affluents. Dir takes its name from the name of a village, Dir, which served as capital of the state during the Nawabs era. It has District Swat in the East, Bajaur on the West, Chitral on the North and Malakand Agency on the south. Pushto is the main spoken language of the population, followed by Kohistani and Gujri. The people of Dir, who are courageous and hospitable, have deep reverence for their religion.

For Info About Dir Legends please Click Here... 

The history of Dir goes back to at least the 2″d millennium BC, which is testified by the excavations of numerous burials of Aryans at Timargarha and other places, dating from 18th to 6th century BC. The Aryans were followed by the Achaemenians, who were ousted by the invasion of Alexander in 327 BC, though he faced great difficulties in subjugating the local population. Greek historians have paid great tributes to the population, the army and the queen of Massaga, an ancient site near the modern Ziarat village, located between Chakdara and Timargarha. After the Greeks, the area witnessed the Gandharan Civilization, which achieved great fame. This period is signified by the presence of the monumental remains of the Buddhist stupas and monasteries, a few of which has already filled the museum at Chakdara.

The Yousafzai Pathans, who established themselves here in the 5th century AD, are responsible for the tribal, social, political and economic life of the region. Akhund lIyas Painda Khel of the Malaizi tribe (1640) enjoyed popular support among locals and was recognized as a spiritual leader. His descendants built upon this support and ultimately increased their power over the people and laid the foundation of a distinct political state, then called the state of Nawabs. The British annexed Dir in 1897 and demarcated its boundaries. After independence of Pakistan, it still enjoyed the status of a separate state, but was amalgamated with Pakistan in 1960 as a tribal agency. It was finally merged as a district with the khyber pakhtunkhwa in 1969. Recently, due to administrative constraints, Dir District was divided into two districts-Lower and Upper Dir- with Timargarha and Dir as their respective headquarters.

Dir occupied an important position as a centre of Gandhara Art. Pilgrims and historians have defined Gandhara, (the land of fragrance and beauty), as “the area to the west of Indus and north of Kabul rivers which included the valleys of Peshawar, Swat, Dir and Bajaur, extending westwards to Hadda and Bamiyan in Afghanistan and Taxila Valley in Punjab in the east”. The region of Dir is therefore littered with the remains of the Gandharan Civilization and Dir Museum, Chakdara, offers a fine and unique collection of Gandharan Art.

ADENZAI CHAKDARA

Adenzai has been assigned a special status as a unit of Dir (Lower) ever since the first Nawab. It comprises of Babu Khel on the Eastern side, Talash on the Western and Brangola-Khadakadzai on the South Western end. Chakdara bridge or Swat river is the limit of its Southern frontier.Some important historical facts about Adenzai are worth mentioning. There is a dividing mountain between Dir and Swat on the Eastern end of Adenzai. A natural cut in the hill is called Babar Ghakhai. The latter word (Ghakhai) in the local dialect means a cut. It is named after Babar the first Moghul Emperor, who crossed over from Adenzai to Swat via this dent in the mountain.

 Chakdara Adenzai(Laram hill)                                                                           By Ziafatali

 

Alexander the Great came to Adenzai area from Bajaur and enroute faced astiff resistance in Talash. During a skirmish, an arrow pierced through his heel and he was confined to bed for sometime. The local ruler then was a woman and it so happened that a patch up was negotiated between the two opposing heads and strangely enough it culminated into a conjugal life as a result of such neogiation. During the British Invasion of Malakand in 1895 the people of Malakand and Adenzai fought bravely against British forces.

Churchill PICQT Adanzai

 

The British were Vanguard ultimately. Memoirs by two Political Officers Mr McMahon Political agent and Mr Ramsey Assistant Political agent say that the British had underestimated these people. Mr Winston Churchill the one time Prime Minister was a Lieutent and Military correspondent then. A Picket on a hilltop by the riverside is named after him. The present British Queen Elisabeth during her visit to Swat in 1961 on the Invitation of the then President Ayub Khan visited Chakdara and the Churchill Picket and sent a message from there to Mr Churchill. (From Adenzai.com)

 

 Chakdara Adenzai(Laram hill)                                                                        By Ziafatali

The museum remained a state museum till 1969 and when the state was merged with khyber pakhtunkhwa(NWFP), the museum was handed over to the provincial government. The provincial government constituted a Board of Governors under the NWFP Educational and Training Ordinance 1970 to run the affairs of the museum. Lt. General Azhar Khan, the then Governor of khyber pakhtunkhwa(NWFP),  laid the foundation of the museum on 20.9.1970. Lt. General (Rtd.) Fazl-e-Haq, the then Governor khyber pakhtunkhwa(NWFP),  inaugurated the museum on 30.5.1979. The purpose of the museum is to exhibit the archaeological, Islamic and ethnological collection of the area, including sculptures, coins, jewelry and weapons etc.

Dir museum has a total collection of 2161 objects, with more than 1444 Gandharan pieces. The collection of this section includes the themes of Buddha’s pre-birth and life stories, miracles, worship of symbols, relic caskets and individual standing Buddha sculptures. The most represented pre-birth stories or Jatakas are Dipankara, Maitryakanyaka, Amara, Syama and Visvantara Jatakas. The most important scenes from the Buddha Life Story includes Queen Maya’s dream, interpretation of the dream, birth of Siddhartha, bath scene, seven steps, going to school, writing lessons, wrestling matches, palace life, marriage scene, renunciation, great departure, ascetic life, first meditation, demons attacks, attaining enlightment, first sermon at Sarnath, conversion of Kasyapa, monks, death scene, cremation of Buddha, distribution and guarding of relics and the construction of stupas on the relics. The miracle of Sravasti and taming of a wild elephant are the two commonly represented miracles in the museum collection. Different types of the relic caskets, stupa models and life-size Buddha statues also make part of the collection.

The Hall of Tribes or the Ethnological Gallery of the museum was established in 1977 with 498 objects and includes manuscripts, weapons, jewelry, dresses, ceramics, musical instruments, household objects, furniture and wooden architectural elements.

The Gandharan art pieces in the Dir Museum mainly come from the sites of Andan Dheri, Chat Pat, Baghrajai, Bumbolai, Jabagai, Shalizar, Ramora, Tri Banda, Macho, Amluk Darra, Nasafa, Damkot, Bajaur and Talash, Dir, Malakand, Balambat, Timargarha, Shamlai Graves, Inayat Qila, Shah Dheri Damkot, Gumbatuna, Jandol, Matkani and Shalkandi.

The important Garidharan sites in the vicinity of Dir Museum include & Andan Dheri, Chat Pat and Gumbatuna. The museum collection is growing and after necessary up-gradation, the museum will provide better facilities to all concerned.

 Pakhtunkhwa.pk

 

 

A BEAUTIFUL VIEW OF RIVER PANJKORA

The Panjkora River (Sanskrit) is a river in northern Pakistan. It rises rises high in the Hindu Kush at lat. 35.45, flows south through Upper Dir and Lower Dir Districts and joins the Swat River near Chakdara, Malakand, khyber pakhtunkhwa(NWFP),  Its name is derived from the Persian for 'panj' (meaning 'five') and 'kora' (meaning 'river').

 

 

 

BRIEF HISTORY   

Simon Gillet  Excerpts from "Tribesmen, Politics, Opium & Development in Dir" khyber.org

Dir district  is 5,280 square kilometres in area and part of the Malakand division of Pakistan's North-West Frontier Province, lying along the Afghanistan border between Chitral and Peshawar. 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 Chakdarra, where the district is usually entered, at Lat. 34.40. Apart from the tehsils of Adenzai round Chakdarra and Munda in the south-west, Dir is rugged and mountainous with peaks rising to 16,000 feet in the north-east and to 10,000 ft. along the watersheds with Swat to the east and Afghanistan to the west.

 Upper Dir

The only motor road to Chitral reaches 10,234 ft at the Lowarai pass. Timergara, however, the district headquarters, lies at only 2,700 ft. twice the altitude of Peshawar but much lower than the traditional and eponymous capital of Dir at the foot of the Lowarai. Except for them 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. Of these the largest are Barawal, Usherai, Nihag, Karo and Toormang.

 

 Upper Dir receives over 1,000 mm of rain annually and between 4,000 and 10.000 ft. much of it is still forested: deodar and other conifers are dominant at the higher altitudes, and deciduous species including oak, wild olive and walnut proliferate lower down. Increasing population pressure and the insatiable demand for firewood locally and for timber throughout Pakistan has reduced tree cover drastically. Much cleared forest has become seriously degraded through uncontrolled grazing and conversion to arable. Unfortunately, unless new farmland is laboriously terraced and irrigated the thin soils soon erode and lose fertility. Even as rough pasture such steep slopes are of little value, since high rates of evapo­transpiration and unshaded capped soils inhibit the maintenance of grass and shrub cover.

 Upper Dir

Although there is still room to expand summer cultivation of maize and potato above the 7,000 ft. contour where winter cropping ceases, little remains below it for either winter or summer crops. Dir's population has grown at over three per cent annually in the last fifty years and in the 1998 Census was found to be almost 1.3 million. In the last thirty years living standards have nevertheless risen through the expansion and diversification of agriculture and through the remittances of very large numbers of men working in the cities of Pakistan, in the coal mines of Baluchistan and in the Gulf states. If living standards are to be sustained, much more needs to he done to intensify commercial agriculture and horticulture, to provide work outside agriculture and to reverse environmental degradation. in particular deforestation. 

 Haji Abad Tamergara                                                                             By Ziafatali

Upper Dir receives over 1,000 mm of rain annually and between 4,000 and 10.000 ft. much of it is still forested: deodar and other conifers are dominant at the higher altitudes, and deciduous species including oak, wild olive and walnut proliferate lower down. Increasing population pressure and the insatiable demand for firewood locally and for timber throughout Pakistan has reduced tree cover drastically. Much cleared forest has become seriously degraded through uncontrolled grazing and conversion to arable. Unfortunately, unless new farmland is laboriously terraced and irrigated the thin soils soon erode and lose fertility. Even as rough pasture such steep slopes are of little value, since high rates of evapo­transpiration and unshaded capped soils inhibit the maintenance of grass and shrub cover.

 Chakdara Adenzai(Laram hill)

Although there is still room to expand summer cultivation of maize and potato above the 7,000 ft. contour where winter cropping ceases, little remains below it for either winter or summer crops. Dir's population has grown at over three per cent annually in the last fifty years and in the 1998 Census was found to be almost 1.3 million.

Dir Bazar

In the last thirty years living standards have nevertheless risen through the expansion and diversification of agriculture and through the remittances of very large numbers of men working in the cities of Pakistan, in the coal mines of Baluchistan and in the Gulf states. If living standards are to be sustained, much more needs to he done to intensify commercial agriculture and horticulture, to provide work outside agriculture and to reverse environmental degradation. in particular deforestation. 

 Jehaz Banda Upper Dir

The people of Dir now facing this challenge are the Yusufzai Pakhtun who arrived in the sixteenth century absorbing the existing population or driving it into the high valleys of Kohistan above the altitude at which winter crops can be grown. Even there only the Bashkar and the nomadic Gujars retain distinct languages. In the rest of Dir until well into the 20th century endemic warfare between the different Yusufzai Khel [2] favoured those who had settled in the well-watered and forested upper Panjkora valleys. There they were secure from attack and could raid the people of the plains. Each clan was fiercely independent, but the primacy of the Painda and Sultan Khel in Nihag, Usherai and Karo valleys seems to have been early recognized. It is from Kohan in upper Nihag that the Khans of Dir emerged in the 18th century to seize control of the trade routes with Chitral and Afghanistan.

 Chakdara Adenzai(Laram hill)

Throughout the 19th century the Khans of Dir effectively controlled only upper Dir and their attempts to dominate lower Dir and even lower Swat were strongly resisted. A notable opponent was the famous Umra Khan of Jandool, a bitter enemy of British hegemony. In 1895 he intervened in the struggle for the succession to the Mehtar of Chitral and besieged the British Political Agent. After some hesitation Khan Mohammad Sharif of Dir assisted the 10,000 strong British relief force and was duly rewarded. During the withdrawal of the relief force he met the Political Agent Malakand at Janbhatai Kandao.

View of Tamergara city

 

The resulting treaty recognized the Khan as ruler of both upper and lower Dir and also lower Swat. British protection was guaranteed provided he refrained from contact with all foreign rulers, especially with the A mir of Afghanistan.

 Upper Dir

In lieu of his right to charge tolls he received an annual subsidy of Rupees 10,000 and an additional grant of Rupees 15,000 to pay for a corps of levies to protect postal services, troop relief's and other traffic with Chitral. Further assistance was provided to build forts or levy posts between Chakdarra and Lowarai which are still in use. Finally, after a visit to the Viceroy in Calcutta Mohammad Sharif was awarded the title

of' Nawab.

 

 Upper Dir

Mohammad Sharif proved his loyalty to the British during the Malakand rising of 1897, dying in 1904. Both he and his successors, Aurangzeb 1904-1925 and Shah Jehan 1925-1960, were however deeply reactionary autocrats opposing all forms of social and economic development and especially suspicious of any subject who sought a moder  education.  

  education.

A view of Dir Kohistan

The Nawabs' attitudes and policy were in marked contrast with those of the Wali of Swat, the first of whom had regained lower Swat from Dir and obtained British recognition in 1917. As a result and to this day, Dir remains poorer, less developed, less liberal in religion and politics and less stablethan its better known neighbour.

After Partition in 1947 Nawab Shah Jehan made his three sons governors of different parts of the state; Mohammad Shah Kisro taking upper Dir, Shahabuddin Khan governing Munda and Samar Bagh in the south-west and Mohammad Shah administering Balambat and Maidan (tehsil Lalqila). In Maidan the people tired of Mohammad Shah's oppressive rule and in particular his demands for forced labour.

 View of Sado Village Tamegara

They broke out in revolt in 1960 killing 200 of the Nawab's men including its commander. This attracted unfavourable notice in the press and General Yahya, Field Marshal Ayub Khan's successor as Pakistan's Head of State, exiled Nawab Shah Jehan to Islamabad where he died in 1968. He was replaced by Mohammad Shah Kisro who left the business of government to the Political Agent until 1969 when he too was removed along with the Wali of Swat and other traditional rulers whose territories were then formally annexed into Pakistan.

 

 

Dir's subsequent political and administrative status has been riddled with anomalies. Designated one of the Provincially Administered Tribal Areas (PATA) it was given a Deputy Commissioner and made subject to both the Penal and the Criminal Procedure Codes, while the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) continued under Political Agents and subject to the Frontier Crimes Regulations of 1901.

A view of Katora jheel Jehaz Banda 

As part of the khyber pakhtunkhwa(NWFP), Dir also obtained representatives in the Provincial and National Assemblies elected by all adult males, whereas the FATA Agencies continued to be restricted to representatives in the National Assembly elected only by tribal elders. Finally, although the Pakistan Civil Code was also extended to Dir, no land settlement has been carried out, so title to land is determined solely by customary law.

 Khall Lower Dir

Handicapped by these anomalies it has not been easy for the district administration to maintain law and order in the mountainous centre and north of Dir. Even in the south there have been endemic, often violent, disputes over Land between the former feudatories of the Nawabs and their tenants, which the courts have been unable to resolve.

 A view  Upper dir

In the north and centre disputes over rights to extract forest timber, formerly strictly controlled by the Nawabs, resulted in widespread disturbances in 1977. The Government then reduced its share of the value of felled timber to 20% in favour of customary owners, but their rights were and largely remain unrecorded. As a result it has not been difficult for entrepreneurs in collusion with tribal elders to clear extensive tracts without any benefit accruing to the majority of communal owners. Some have benefited from the operations of the Government controlled Forest Development Corporation between 1977 and 1997, but forest rights and their exploitation remain a major political and administrative problem which has only recently begun to receive adequate attention.

The politics of democracy 1980-1999

Maulana Sufi Muhammad of Tehreek Nifaz Shariat MuhammadiThe last two decades have seen the pro-Islamist military regime of General Zia ul Haq, followed by the alternating elected governments of the Muslim League led by Nawaz Sharif and the Peoples Party of Benazir Bhutto. Their regimes have held office at both national and provincial level, and any practical difference in their policies has been hard to detect in Dir. Both are committed to "modernisation" and are equally rejected by the majority of voters with little or no education other than that provided by the village madrassa. For them the Islamic simplicities of the Jamaat Islami party or its more radical local rival the Tehrik Nifaz e Shariati Muhammadi (TNSM) of Maulana Sufi Mohammad of Maidan are much more attractive. Unfortunately the religious parties reject the ballot box and as a rule offer no candidates at elections. As a result, only 20% of registered electors voted in the general election of 1997 which brought Nawaz Sharif back to power.[4] All of them were men, since although women are under the Constitution entitled to vote, attempts to permit them to register have everywhere with

 

opposition, often violent.

 

 

Lacking any ideological appeal to the masses, both PML and PPP politicians have only been able to attract support by the politics of the pork barrel. The metaphor is inappropriate in a Muslim country, but what it means is that candidates seek election by offering the better educated and wealthier voters jobs for their relatives in the civil service or funds from provincial or central government for building a school or a health centre, for erecting electricity cables or for anything else that fits into the government's development plans.

 Khongi village tamergara

Where they can, civil servants try to ensure that these funds are spent on properly planned and executed schemes, but MPAs and MNAs of both parties have been quick to realize that a word with the relevant minister will ensure that civil service rules are manipulated to favour the contractors and candidates for office known to them. By such means public funds are wasted and civil servants corrupted and demoralized. Worse still, because the people are still too unsophisticated to appreciate the benefits of the franchise, political influence remains with their "natural" traditional leaders, the more or less educated and wealthy tribal maliks. When they do use their votes independently they may still be fooled. For example in 1997 the PML candidate for the National Assembly had promised a large number of people that if they deposited money with him he would buy cars for them at very favourable prices.

 komrat upper Dir

When pressed to deliver the vehicles, he admitted he was unable to do so and obtained their votes because if elected he would be able to buy the cars with public funds. He is not the only parliamentarian from Dir with a criminal record.

Political corruption of such gravity is of course common elsewhere in Pakistan. It has been accentuated in NWFP by the continuing suspension of the District Councils and the lower tier of Union Councils. Their members were closer to the people and should therefore have been more easily held to account. However, in Dir there is no land settlement and no land revenue nor other direct taxes, so these local bodies were also largely concerned with the distribution of central government grants. Their corruption, inactivity and inefficiency were the pretexts for suspending them, but the failure to reinstate them before the military coup of October 1999 was undoubtedly due to the reluctance of MPAs and MNAs to share the government's pork barrel with them.

For all these reasons democratic politics has, to put it mildly, lacked accountability. This will he difficult to change even if the devolution plans of the current military regime proceed smoothly. Until the new local councils develop an adequate revenue base independent of government. voters will not learn the fundamental lesson that while there should be no taxation without representation, responsible and effective representative government is unattainable without taxation.

 

 

 

ZiafatAli11@gmail.com

About Web Site Owner............

OTur New Project www.ZamaDir.com is under Construction

This Web Page Is Dedicated To All Dirojians....

Engr Syed Ziafat Ali,
vill Haji Abad 
(Khyber Pukhtoon Khwa) 
Timergara Distt Dir Lower ,
Telecom Engneering From
FUIEMS ISLAMABAD .
(Bs Telecom 2007)
working as a VSat Engineer at
SKYBAND KSA (www.skyband.com.sa)
(Company of Saudi Int'ltec)


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To My Mother.......

If the whole world were put into 1 scale,

and my mother in the other,

the whole world would kick the beam...

           
        

My Miracle Mother

Mom, I look at you

and see a walking miracle.

Your unfailing love without limit,

your ability to soothe my every hurt,

the way you are on duty, unselfishly,

every hour, every day,

makes me so grateful

that I am yours, and you are mine.

With open arms and open heart,

with enduring patience & inner strength,

you gave so much for me,

sometimes at your expense.

You are my teacher,

my comforter, my encourager,

appreciating all, forgiving all.

Sometimes I took you for granted, Mom,

but I don’t now, and I never will again.

I know that everything I am today

relates to you and your loving care.

I gaze in wonder

as I watch you being you—

my miracle, my mother




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