Tank District

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Tank District
Location in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Location in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Country Pakistan
Province Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Headquarters Tank
 • Total 1,679 km2 (648 sq mi)
Population (2014)
 • Total 393,000
 • Density 142/km2 (370/sq mi)
Time zone PST (UTC+5)
Number of Union councils 16

Tank (Urdu: ٹانک‎, Saraiki: ٹاک), is a southern district in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. The city of Tank is the capital of the district, which consists of Union Council City I and Union Council City II. There are sixteen Union councils of district Tank. Tank was formerly part (Tahsil) of district Dera Ismail Khan District. Tank is bounded by the districts of Lakki Marwat to the northeast, Dera Ismail Khan to the east and southeast, and South Waziristan to the southwest, west, and northwest. The climate in Tank reaches 110-120 °F. However, in the cold, harsh winters in the mountains to the west, people come to Tank to enjoy a pleasant stay and then return during the summer.


The district contains one tahsil (subdivision), also called Tank.[1] And is represented in the Provincial Assembly by one elected MPA, Ghulam Qader Bittani, who represents the following constituency:[2]

  • PF-69 (Tank-1)


The Macedonians flee[edit]

At the Battle of the Hydaspes (now the Beas River), fought between Alexander the Great's army and the Indian king Purushotthama (better known as Porus), the Macedonian army refused to go any further. It is said that Alexander's army's was at risk of being trapped, or was faced by an enemy army too big to defeat, and had to retreat southwards through the Makran Desert.

Lord and Lady Curzon alongside prize kill, a tiger

The Sikh and British invasions[edit]

Finally, the Sikhs from the south overran the local tribes. They annexed the land in 1838. Somewhere in the midst of this turmoil, the British were assembling against the Afghans and the First British-Afghan War commenced. The British took over in 1848. The British regiments weren't able to occupy the entire territory and remained in camps at the foothills of the mountains, while the harsh and dangerous upland terrain remained unexplored.

"...even the shadows of the hills were hazardous."[3]

The British colonial rule[edit]

The eastern border of the Kingdom of Kabul (Afghanistan) was undefined until 1893 when the Durand Line was demarcated. Done in haste, the Durand Line demarcation is still rallied against (see Interesting References section for more on that). At that moment, the line was used to intentionally separate the fierce Pushtun tribes from the tame. Under the same agreement, the tribes of Waziristan were clearly designated as being under the British rule.

Tank seen as a centre for negotiation[edit]

The British negotiated with the tribes through their agents in the border towns and Tank was a centre of negotiation with the Mahsud tribe - the Nawab of Tank having married a Mahsud wife. For the Britishers the Mahsud tribe was the most difficult to control, and in 1860 when the Mullah Shaleem kaka machi khel Mahsuds lushker attacked the British with a 3000 strong army the British were forced to penetrate into the territory of Tank to control them.

The birth of a province[edit]

In January 1899, Lord Curzon was appointed Viceroy of India. Reaching India shortly after the suppression of the frontier risings of 1897-98, he paid special attention to the independent tribes of the north-west frontier and inaugurated a new province called the North-West Frontier Province (now Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), and pursued a policy of forceful control mingled with conciliation. The only major armed outbreak on this frontier during the period of his administration was the Mahsud Waziri campaign of 1901.


The current incumbent of Tank National Assembly seat (NA25) is Engineer Dawar Khan Kundi of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, Mehmood Khan Bhittani had won Provincial Assembly seat of PK-69 in the General Elections, 2013.


Languages of Kyber Pakhtunkha.jpg

Saraiki (A Punjabi Variant) is mainly spoken in Tank which is also spoken in neighboring D.I.Khan district. Tank also has few people speaking Pashto. The vast majority of people are conversant in Urdu. English is understood by the educated.[4]

Culture and society[edit]

People make their livelihood by farming, land ownership, gun running, smuggling, falcon catching, migration for employment to the Persian Gulf, or by ownership of shops and businesses in Tank.

"Jirga" by definition means council. These are the religious circles and a group of people that decide the fate of the dwellers and rule the people by their sets of laws and principles.

See also[edit]


Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. 

External links[edit]