Kurram Agency

The history of Kurram Agency dates back centuries. It was regarded as the preferred gateway to Kabul and Gardez from India through the Peiwar Kotal Pass, in ancient times. Kurram Agency has been inhabited by the Hindu Aryans in 1600 B.C. Kurram became part of the Kingdom of Afghanistan in the early 19th century, until it was brought under the British rule in 1848. Kurram Agency was declared an agency in 1892 under the British Rule. Kurram Agency takes its name from the Kurram River. It is the most scenic valley in the entire tribal belt on Durand Line. It is located in the northwest of Pakistan and more specifically in central FATA. It is bordered with Afghanistan in the north and west, Kohat in the southeast, North Waziristan in the south and Khyber and Orakzai agencies in the east. The total area of the agency is 3,380 square kilometers

Kurram agency is mostly hilly and mountainous. The Sufaid Koh Mountain forms the territorial boundary between Kurram Agency and Afghanistan. The other famous mountains are the Sur-Ghar and Spin-Ghar mountains, which used to be dense with forests, but now there is limited forest cover in these mountains. The notable valleys and streams in the agency include: Peiwar, Shalozan, Shian, Zeran, and Daradar. The other important feature is the Kurram valley. The valley is well irrigated, highly populated, and crowded with small fortified villages, orchards and groves, with dark pine forests and alpine snows of the Sufaid Koh Range. After that the valley opens up into the Parachinar Plateau, which is a large oval shaped plain sloping towards southeast. The main river is the Kurram River, which extends into the Khurmana and the Kirman rivers that are prone to violent flooding.

Land use data from the FATA Development Statistics (2011-12) shows that 8% of the total geographic area of Kurram is cultivated, while more than 91% of the land is not available for cultivation. This puts intense pressure on the available agriculture land. Some 12% of the land consists of cropped area, out of which 27% is sown for more than once per annum. The total forest cover, both manmade and natural, is 22% of the total forest area of FATA. According to the 1998 census, the total population of Kurram is around 448,310. The annual average growth rate is estimated at 2.5%. Thus, according to recent estimates, the population has crossed 0.6 million. Around 6% of the population lives in urban centres of Sadda and Parachinar, while the remaining 94% in rural areas. The gender ratio is 105 males to 100 females. (Source: Bureau of Statistics- FATA Cell, 2008-09).

Kurram Agency Map Showing its Geographical Location and Major Settlements