Sunday, March 14, 2010

Kala Dhaka

Kala Dhaka...

Kala Dhaka historically known as the Black Mountain of Hazara & in Pashto it is known as "Tor Ghar" is a mountain range and a tribal area of Mansehra District on the north-western Hazara border of the North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan.


It lies between 34º32' and 34º50' N. and 72º48' and 72º58' E. It is bounded on the east by Agror and on the south by Tanawal, toward east it is bounded by Buner, On North East this area border with Batagram the range has a length of 25 to 30 miles from north to south and an elevation of 8,000 feet above sea level. This area has also been called as Chagharzai , because of adjoining Chagharzai Areas Of Buner District. Opposite to Kala Dhaka, across River Indus is District Shangla, mainly the area belonging to Tehsil Martung. The Indus washes its northern extremity and thence turns due south. Between the river and the crest of the range the western slopes are occupied by Yusufzai Pakhtoons. The rest of the range is held by Swatis tribal group of Pakhtoons. The Black Mountain forms a long, narrow ridge, with higher peaks at intervals and occasional deep passes. Highest peak is known as "Machay Sar" which is visible from Agror & other adjoining areas. Numerous spurs project from its sides, forming narrow gorges in which lie the villages of the tribes. The upper parts of the ridge and spurs are covered with thick forests of pine, oak, sycamore, horse-chestnut, and wild cherry; but the slopes are stony and barren[1].

Picture showing the Indus River.

RVDO (Rose valley Development Organization) DWF (Dost Welfare Foundation Joint approach In Kala Dhaka five Tribs about Drugs addict patients .RVDO/DWF established a dara ul Falah Center in Darband area .Those patients are refres from kala dhaka to Darband Dara ul falah center


Kala Dhaka is a Provincially Administered Tribal Area (PATA) of Mansehra district. It cover an area of 497km2 (25,8125 acres) and is divided into 11 Union Councils.


‘The Black Mountain massif was a series of spur running up to a central, dominating ridge line, which as its highest, the peak of Machai Sar reached 9817 feet. Along this ridge ran the line beyond which the British writ did not run, though the local tribes lived on both sides regardless. The area was not on road to anywhere and the british had been happy to let it be; unfortunately the inhabitants were not inclined to let them do so. These were unusually mixed group of tribes, not aprticularly large or powerfull, although combined the could put up between six to seven thousand men in the field, but warlike, and in some cases, religiously inspired against the infidel British. Politically, they were nominally under the influence of two independent princelings, the Nawab of Amb and the Wali of Swat, but these exercise little real power in the hills. On the eastern mountain, nearest British territory, lived the Swatis who pretended to be Pathans but fooled neither their neighbours nor the British, and were so little regarded that they were described by a contemporary as 'cowardly, deceptive, cruel, grasping, lazy. Replacing the bold frank manner of the Pathan by the hand-dog look of the wipped cur. On the Western flanks of the Black Mounatins, and on either sides of the indus riverwhich ran around it, lived men the british regarded as of better stock, isazai pathans of the yousafzai tribe.[2]’

The British sent more than four expeditions to subdue the Black Mountain Tribes between 1852 to 1892 because Ata Mohammad Khan Swati, the Khan of Agror and Arsala Khan of Allai, and his sons intrigued against the British Government.

In 1851 two officers of the British Customs (Salt) department within the borders of Tanawal were killed, allegedly by the Hasanzai sect of the Yusufzai. The British then sent an expedition under Colonel Mackeson which destroyed a number of tribal strongholds. In 1868 the Yusufzai, instigated by the Khan of Agror, who resented the establishment of the police post at Oghi in the Agror valley, attacked that post in force, but were repulsed. Further attacks on the troops of the Khan of Tanawal, who remained loyal, followed. This culminated in a general advance of the Black Mountain tribes against the British position. It was repulsed, but not until 21 British villages had been burnt, and a second expedition under General Wilde had overrun the Black Mountain and secured the full submission of the tribes.

"The Black Mountain adjoins the territory of the Wali of Swat. It is so called from the dark forests of that cover its slopes. The eastern sides are held by the original people of swat. They are not Pathans at all. The western ridge is the homeland of Yousafzai tribes. The Black Mountain tribes are less warlike and weak in number. There is constant struggle among small tribal chiefs. The most important of these is the Nawab of Amb. He enjoys the unique distinction of being an independent chief across the Indus. The Nawab of Amb has an arms factory. He manufactures rifled cannon. This cannon can throw a solid ball 3000 yards. It is a useful weapon for pounding to pieces a tribal fortress."[3]

In 1888 the British blockaded the area due to the raids by the Hasanzai and Akazai aided by the Madda Khel into the Agror valley. While more stringent measures were being organized, Major Battye and Captain Urmston and some sepoys of the Fifth Gurkhas were surprised and killed by Gujar dependents of the Akazai. Hashim Ali, the head of the Hasanzai and Akazai, was suspected of having instigated the attack. An expedition was sent in the same year, with the result that the tribes paid the fines imposed upon them, and agreed to the removal of Hashim Ali from Kala Dhaka and the appointment in his place of his near relative and enemy Ibrahim Khan ( Hasanzai Tribe Elder). In 1890 the tribe opposed the march of troops along the crest of the Black Mountain, and an expedition was sent against them in the spring of 1891. Immediately after the withdrawal of the troops, the Hindustanis and Madda Khel broke their agreement with the British Government by permitting the return of Hashim Ali Hasanzai. A second expedition was dispatched in 1892 which resulted in the complete pacification of the Black Mountain border.[1]


The Black Mountain itself has a total length of 20 to 25 miles, and an average height of 8,000 ft. It rises from the Indus basin near the village of Kiara up to its watershed by Bruddur, thence it runs north west by north to the point on the crest known as Chittabut. From Chittabut the range runs due north, finally descending by two large spurs to the Indus again.

The only road that traverses Kala Dhaka from Darband to Thakot is 84 Kilometres Long. This Road connects the area with the Outer world.

Thakot is on the Karakoram Highway and thus coming out of Kaladhaka Via Thakot is a much better route as compared to choosing the Darband Route. The Karakoram Highway is in a much better shape from Thakot down to Abbottabad. The Road that traverses through Kala Dhaka keeps in touch with the Left bank of River Indus almost throughout its course.

Kala Dhaka is called F.R Mansehra as well. F.R denotes Frontier Region. This tribal area is administered by Administrator Kala Dhaka on the behalf of Provincial Govt. who is based at Mansehra. There is also a Political agent/Political Havaldar who is usually based at Oghi Town (Ogai ) in the Map.

1. Darband To Thakot Road.
2. Khanano Dheri (Buner District) to Manjakot (not completed yet) 3. Petao Amazai (Distt: Shangla) To Mada Khel.(not completed yet) 4. Shugli Bandi Oghi To Tilli Saydan Hasanzai.
5. Choor Kalam Oghi To Machai Sar.
6. Gijborri (Batagram District) To Mangri & Kamasir.
7. Kotgala (Batagram District) to Bartooni.
8. Topi(district swabi)to teetay madakhail(the best way to travel to kala dhaka)

On the western slopes most people in Kala Dhaka are Pukhtoons of the Yousuf Zai, Priari Syyads and Tanolis clan , while eastern slopes dominated by the Swati clans, some Hindko speaking people can be found at the fringes of the region.

The Black Mountain's (Kala Dhaka) tribe have a more certain origin among the people of Mansehra district. They belong to Isazai and Malizai clans of the Yousafzai Tribe. These are divided into five sections or "Khels" which are Nusrat Khel, Basi Khel, Hasanzai, Akazai, Madakhel. The first two belong to the Chagharzai segment of Malizai clan while the other three are the descendant of Isazai. Basikhel is the largest group consisting of 37% of the population Kala Dhaka while Nusrat khel and Akazai constitute 12% each and the population of Hasanzai & Mada khel is 18.5% and 20% respectively. Basi Khel, Nusrat Khel and Akazai are inhabitants of the left bank of Indus while the Mada khel tribe resides on the right side and Hasanzai area is situated on both the sides of river Indus.

Major Tribes:

1. Akazai .
2. Basi khel.
3. Nusrat khel.
4. Mada khel.
5. Hssanzai or hasanzai.


The population of the Kala Dhaka (Approximately) : See table below.

Kala Dhaka's Tribes: Tribes Population(Thousands)
Mada Khel 24,000 Approx
Hassanzai 35,000 Approx
Akazai 29,000 Approx
NusratKhel 12,000 Approx
Basikhel 85,000 Approx


Total Population Of 5 Major Tribes= 185,000

Tribe: Yousaf Zai
Sub- Clans: Isazai, Malizai


There are growing concerns about the presence of militants in this area. A large number of fugitives are hiding in the area after the recent military operation against them in the adjacent Swat valley by the Pakistan army. In this regard, a warning has been issued to the elders of the tribes to locate their hideouts to be targeted by the military. Some influential people of the area are blamed for assisting their safe arrival and stay in the area. NGO access is significantly restricted, however Médecins Sans Frontières has been operating the ER, IPD and female outpatient departments of a hospital in nearby Darband since late 2008. This hospital receives patients from throughout Kala Dhaka, including cases of malnutrition and cutaneous Leishmaniasis. MSF has also recently commenced mobile clinics in one village after invitation by the elders, however general access to health care remains poor for the region.