Tank District

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Tank District
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 FR-Tank 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)

Problems of Tank[edit]

Tank city is one of the less developed district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. I would like to mention few of problems being faced by the people of Tank. In Tank, there is only one Government Civil Hospital which is not sufficient for the people which is more than one million in numbers. The second important problem is shortage of clean drinking water. It may be mentioned that the water used for drinking availed from open stream coming from Tank Zam and stored near the city and later given to people. While using you watch dust filled in the water and people use it which is very dangerous for health. The third most important problem is education. There is only few high schools in the city and the existing also need proper maintenance of attention of the government. There is need to establish more high schools for girls students and in my knowledge there is only one or two high school in the city. There is only one Boys Degree College and recently established Girls Degree College which is good addition. But there is need to establish more education institutions in the city. In Tank PPP government established Passport Office which is very good and helpful for the poor people. In Tank on so called Vocational college also operating but nobody check them. In the jurisdiction of city, there is big agriculture land and if government manage water for the farmers they can produce good wheat and other crops.

Tank People[edit]

Saraiki People are supposed to be the permanent residents of this city but during last two decades the city become the second home for the tribes of South Waziristan Agency (Mehsud tribe) and Frontier Region Tank (Bhittani Tribe). Most of the tribes built their houses in these city. Bhittani tribes living in the outskirts of the city which is named Umar Adda and its adjacent villages and FR Tank. While most of the Mehsud tribes also built their houses in the city. A number of Marwat also residing in Union Council Kundi area of the city. In Jatta Thar area, mostly saraiki people are residing but now they can speak Pashto and Saraiki. Due to presence of number Pashtu Speaking people, the Saraiki people also started speaking Pashto with them. Tank have a considerable population of influential Arain tribe. The Arains of Tank District found both as Pashto speaking and Saraiki speaking. The Arain tribe found predominantly in Tank as Islam arrived in Tank in the 8th century A.D. during Muhammad Bin Qasim's expeditions towards Multan. The Arains of Tank are the descendants of those Arab tribes who came in the region with Muhammad Bin Qasim and later headed toward Sulaiman mountain range towards west of Multan. Arain tribe have really good reputation in the Tank city area and surrounding areas since centuries. Current nazim of the Tank city Advocate Zahid Khan Arain is also elected from the Arain community.

Shrines of Tank[edit]

Shrine of Pir Sabir Shah Baba is one of the prominent and most visiting place in the city. A number of devotees from the city and adjacent districts including Bannu, Lakki and Dera Ismail Khan visiting this Shrine. The three-day Urs of Pir Sabir Shah Baba annually organized from June 2 to June 5. Earlier, the Urs was considered to be one of the big festival of the city and a large number of people attending the Urs. The Shrine Custodian still distribute foods among people visiting the Shrine and Halwa (Traditional Sweet) given on every Wednesday. Socond popular Shrine is Mama Pir Ziarat which is located near Umar Adda and a number of devotees visiting the Shrine of Mama Pir. The Urs of Mama Pir also organized annually.

Nawab Qilla Tank[edit]

Nawab Qilla is a mud fort built most probably by Nawab Katal Khan with a spectacular view and spread over an area of approximately more than two hundred Kanals of land. The Qilla is situated at one corner of tank city and that is the imaginary line-dividing Tank in to upper and lower part. The mud walls are several feet high approximately equal to a modern day three-story building. Huge trunks of trees can be seen pocking out from the walls of Qilla. These were used to give strength and stability to the mud walls. There were four huge Burgs at each corner of the Qilla with several intervening pickets at regular distance all around. The four main burgs were used as an entrance for armed men who could move around and reach guard posts from with in the Qilla with out being seen from out side. The Qilla had three gigantic gates. The diameter or thickness of the wall from the top was initially equal to so that a Tanga (Horse Cart) could easily move over it. The residence of NAWAB Sohib was in the center of Qilla. The house of nawab saib was ordinary earthen baked brick made not as impressive as one would imagine from the huge area of the Qilla.

NAWAB OF TANK Garden[edit]

The Nawab Bagh was situated at the back of Nawab Qilla, spread over an area of more than five hundred Kanals of land. This bagh was well looked after before, during Nawab Qasim Khan time and perhaps in the early days of Qutbuddin Khan. Nawab Qutbuddin Khan had kept large herd of buffalos, cows and it was not unusual to see a herd of two hundred or more buffalos, cows moving toward Nawab Qilla every day. Nawab bagh as said before even in the sixties was deserted, has now completely disappeared as the land was sold by Qutbuddin s’ sons and a housing colony named Qutub colony has been constructed over its place right up to city police station and Pir Sabir Shah mausoleum.


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.

Arrival of the Islam[edit]

The Islam came in the Tank region in eighth century A.D. when Umayyad general Muhammad Bin Qasim had attacked on the Multan and nearby areas. The tribe known as Arain in Tank District is the generation of those Arab soldiers who came towards Multan with Muhammad Bin Qasim.

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 Pashtuns 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 was undefined until 1893 when the Durand Line was demarcated. 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 - 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 rulers of Tank were Katti Khel pashtuns. 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. Tank considered to be the main center of Jamiat Ullema Islam (Fazal) and a number of time JUI-F chief Mualana Fazl Rehman and his brother Attaur Rehman elected as a member of National Assembly from this district. Another prominent political family is Kundi family and they also elected from this area in past. But both families Kundi's and Mualana Fazl family failed to resolve the problems specially scarcity of pure drinking water is one of the bigger problem being faced by the people. Particularly, Mualana brother Atta Ur Rehman elected from Tank twice as a Member of Parliament and later he enjoyed as a federal minister for Tourism but he never bothered to visit Tank during ministership. Because of that the in election 2013, people rejected Mualana son Mualana Asad ur Rehman and elected Dawar Kundi as MNA, PTI. The current Nazim of Tank District is Advocate Zahid Khan Arain.


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. Punjabi is also spoken in the district and English is understood by the most educated people.[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]