Nowshera, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Nowshera (Pashto: نوښار) (Urdu: نوشہرہ) - known locally as Nowkhaar or Nowshaar in the Pashto dialects is the chief city of Nowshera District in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province of Pakistan. It is also one of the largest cities of the province and lies on the Grand Trunk Road 27 miles due east of Peshawar at 34°0'55N 71°58'29E.
Nowshera city is notable for its colonial era cantonment, which is located at 33°59'48N 72°0'47E and is home to the Pakistan Army School of Artillery, School of ASC, ASC centre, Armour centre, Armed Forces Medical Stores Depot and School of Armour. The area is the home of many Pakhtun tribes, including the Babars, Yousafzais,Muhammadzais,Parachas, Awankhel, Kaka Khels,Manki khel and Khattak. (It is a matter of debate whether Kaka Khels qualify as a Pashtun tribe as they are a family group with affiliation to one progenitor, Kaka Sahib – but it is not known if he was a Pashtun – Mian or Miah are the descendents of Kaka Sahib.) Khattak is the predominant tribe, making up 65% of the population of the District. The GT Road is the main road connecting villages and towns across the District. The town is also at the junction of Peshawar and Swat Road.
During British rule, Nowshera was a town and cantonment as well as tehsil of the Peshawar District (later Peshawar Division). The town was on the route of the North-Western Railway. The population according to the 1901 census of India was 9,518.
The Imperial Gazetteer of India describes the cantonment as follows:
The cantonment stretches along the right bank of the Kābul river on a sandy plain, 3 miles in diameter, and is surrounded by low hills on all sides except the north, which is open towards the river. The garrison now consists of one British infantry regiment, two Native cavalry and four infantry regiments, a mountain battery, and a bearer corps, belonging to the Peshāwar division of the Northern Command. The Kābul river is crossed by a permanent bridge of boats, whence roads lead to Mardān and Chārsadda. The iron road and railway bridge across the river was opened on December 1, 1903. The village of Naushahra Khurd, west of the cantonment, and the large village of Naushahra Kalān, on the north bank of the Kābul, are both outside cantonment limits. The headquarters of the Naushahra tahsīl, with the police station, are in the former, 3 miles from the cantonment. The town contains a Government dispensary and a vernacular middle school, maintained by the District board.
Languages and major tribes
Historically locals use to speak Jandali (Hindko) dialect of Punjabi which is spoken in areas of Nowshera Kalan, Akora Khattak, Shaidu, Jehangira and several other villages situated along the Grand Trunk Road. After demographic changes in recent decades due to Afghan Refugees and Tribal peoples arrival, Pashto language speakers are in majority today. Urdu being National language is also spoken and understood. The major tribes in the district include the Khattak, especially their sub-tribe Akora Khattak, Babar, Kakakhel
The Kakakhels are a prominent Syed clan of Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa. Their roots reach to Hazrat Ali bin Ismail bin Imame-Jafer Sadiq. Kakakhels are descendants of the Islamic Sufi (wali) Syed Kastir Gul (also known as Kaka Sahib), and Sheikh Rahamkar - a student of Sheikh Hazrat Akhun Adeen/Adyan Seljuki. Kastir Gul was affectionately known as "Kakasahib", and his descendants are known as Kakakhels - meaning "the sons of Kakasahib". The clan originated in a small village known as "Kakasaib" in Nowshera
Khattaks are the Largest tribe in District Nowshera with approximately 65%-70% of total district population. Nizampur area, Khairabad, Akorra Khattak, Mera Akorra, Misri banda, Jehangira, Merra Jehangira, Shaidu, Wattar, Surya Khel, Cherat area, Manki Sharif, and all surrounding areas of these villages are dominated by Khattak tribe.
- "Geography". Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Retrieved August 29, 2011.
- Naushahra Town - Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 18, p. 417.
- Nowshera Cantonment - Falling Rain Genomics