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Mohmand agency takes its name from the Mohmand tribe which lives in the area. The agency was established in 1951. Earlier this area was under the administrative control of political agent Khyber. The agency headquarter is located in Ghalanai. It lies between 34 10' to 34 43' north latitudes and 70 58' to 71 42' east longitudes. It is bounded on the north by the Bajaur agency, on the east by Malakand protected area and Charsadda district, on the sough-east by Peshawar district, on the south by Khyber agency and on the west by Afghanistan. The total area of the agency is 2296 square kilometers.

Mohmand Agency is the most heavily populated Agency with an area of 890 square miles and population of around 600,000. Since the Mohmands had no international highway nor did a road to an output of the empire run though their area, the British penetrated no deeper than the outer fringes of their land. The Mughals, Sikhs and the British had given them a wide berth -so much so that this was the only area left undemarcated (boundary pillars) when the Durand line was finalised. It would be pertinent to add that until 1973 the upper Mohmands by and large drew their allowances from the Afghans.

Mohmand agency is an area of rugged mountains with barren slopes. General slope of the area is from north-east with an average height over 1450 meters. Ilazai (2716) is the highest peak near the Pak-Afghan border. Other important peaks are Yari sar (1929 meters) and Silai of Mohmand agency. The most extensive part of the territory included in Mohmand agency lies in the glens and valley that start from the mountains of Tartarra, south of the Kabul river; and Ilazai, north of this river, and chief among these settlements are the valleys of Shilman, Gandab, Pindiali and the banks of the Kabul river. The Mohmand settlements are generally dry and arid, water-courses, raging torrents during heavy rains, usually presenting a stony and shingle bed, from which slopes of barren ground lead to the rocky spurs and ranges that flanks them. Running water is hard to find in most of these valleys except Gandab and Shilman valleys. In the Mohmand hill there are dry ravines between long rows of rocky hills and crugs, scantly clothed with course grass, scrub wood, and dwarf palm (mizri) leading upto the higher peaks of Ilazai and Tartarra.

Mohmand agency is geographically sub divided for administrative convenience into Upper and Lower Mohmand areas. Lower Mohmand area is rather fertile whereas Upper Mohmand area is comparatively less productive.

The climate in Mohmand agency is hot in summer season while cool in winter. The summer season commences from May and continues for 4 months till 31st August. The winter season starts from November and continue till February. The rainfall is scanty. Most of the rainfall is during winter season.

Mohmand is an ancient tribe. It is a branch of Ghani Khel Afghan, and for centuries before their migration to their present settlements lived near the Tarmak and Oxus river in central Afghanistan. According to the historians they moved to the present areas of occupation between 13th and 15th centuries, expelling and subduing the original native Hindus and other non-Afghan groups.

When Peshawar was annexed formally by the British, the area that comprises the present Mohmand agency was ruled by the local tribesmen and was under the influence of Khan of Lalpura. Safis were under the control of Khans of Bajaur and Utmankhels wereindependent of any Khanate.

The major tribes in Mohmand agency are as under:-



Sub tribe



1.       Tarak zai

2.       Halim zai

3.       Khwae zai

4.       Bai zai



1.       Qandhari

2.       Gur baz

3.       Masood

4.       Shinwari


Utman Khel

1.       Ambar Utman Khel

2.       Laman Utman khe

Two rivers pass through the area of the Lower Mohmand. Kabul River forms the boundary between the Khyber and Mohmand agencies after entry into Pakistan territory. The flow of the water is from the west towards the east. On entry into Pakistan territory, the course of the Kabul River is through high mountains gorges till after it passes through the Warsak Dam, where after it starts running through the Peshawar valley area. Swat river flows from the north towards south after entering the  agency limits from the Malakand  and passes through the area of Prang Ghar/Pindiali Tehsil. The course of this river is also through mountainous territory till it reaches the Munda Headworks wherefrom it starts running through the plains.

The tribal communities of Mohmand agency normally wear Shalwar and Kameez with a turban around a golden Kulla as head wear. In case of females, the dress is a loose shirt and Shalwar with a Dupatta on it.

The chaddar is an essential item of male dress. The common footwear is Chappli, whereas in case of female it is chappal. The putting on of a rifle, pistol or revolver in deemed to be a sign of respectability and importance.

The food of an average person is simple. During summer it consists of barley or wheat bread, vegetables, occasionally meat, milk and its products. In winter maize is the staple diet as it is said to be more invigorating. They take three meals a day. Their traditional dish is roasted meat. The richer class add some delicacies like fowls, fish and rice to their menu.

A Mohmand village is a single large fort with mud walls and one or more flanking towers. Sometimes each sub section of a village has its own fort, among its own fields. The fort is known by the name of the owner. Their houses, enclosed within this fort, are usually made of stones and mud. In construction of their houses, the rich people, use better material like bricks, dressed stones, cement or lime mortar and iron bars.

The sources of income are very limited in general except agriculture and some trade/business. Most of the locals are earning their livelihood in the Gulf States.

Warsak Dam
Warsak Hydel Power station is situated on the river Kabul about 32.2 km from Peshawar. The construction of the project was started in 1955 and the power station was commissioned in 1960. Before commissioning of Mangla Power station, it was one of the major sources of power.

Munda Dam
Munda dam is being constructed on Swat River to the east of the agency which is an ideal site for a hydro power station.

Gandab valley
This historic valley is situated in the Mohmand agency and shoots forth in the north- west direction from Pir Killa, a village on the main Michni Shabqadar road, and 32 km to the north of Peshawar. It runs parallel to a dry bed of a nullah; it is inhabited by the Halim zai section of the Mohmand tribe.

The Political Agent is the over all in charge for the agency administration, assisted by Assistant Political Agents. The agency headquarter is located at Ghalanai. The agency is divided in two sub division and seven tehsils. The Political Tehsildar is the in-charge of each Tehsil.

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Page last modified: 09-07-2011 13:03:00 ZULU