The North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) was a province of British India. It was established in 1901 and was known by this name until 2010 (except for a brief period during the One Unit program of West Pakistan) The area became Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province on April 19, 2010 when the Eighteenth Amendment was signed by President Asif Ali Zardari.
The province covered an area of 70,709 km², including much of the current Khyber Pakhtunkhwa but excluding the princely states of Amb, Chitral, Dir, Phulra and Swat. The capital was the city of Peshawar and the province was composed of three divisions (Peshawar, Dera Ismail Khan and Malakand). Until 1947 the province was bordered by five princely states to the north, the minor states of the Gilgit Agency to the northeast, the province of West Punjab to the east, and the province of Balochistan to the south. Afghanistan lay to the northwest, with the tribal agencies forming a buffer zone.
Most of the territory of this province was part of the Durrani Empire from the 18th century to around the 1820s, when the Sikh ruler or Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the former mayor of the Punjabi city of Lahore, taking advantage of the internal chaos of the Afghan ruling family, declared independence and annexed it to his own empire based out of the Punjab.
Later on, after the Second Anglo-Sikh War of 1848-1849, when the Punjab came under the control of British East India Company, this region along with the 'Frontier Tribal Areas' acted as a 'buffer' zone with Afghanistan. The Province was formally created in 1901 by the British administration, out of the North-Westerly areas of the originally Pashtun lands which were merged with old Punjab, initially under a Chief Commissioner, and then a full-fledged Governor beginning circa 1938.
At the Partition of India, a referendum was held to decide the future of NWFP. Following a boycott of the vote by Bacha Khan and the Khudai Khidmatgars, the NWFP became part of the new nation of Pakistan. The province lasted until 1955 when it was merged into the new province of West Pakistan, under the One Unit policy announced by Prime Minister Chaudhry Mohammad Ali. Mianwali and Attock were removed from it and merged with Punjab. It was recreated after the dissolution of the One Unit system and lasted under its old nomenclature until April 2010, when it was renamed as the 'Khyber Pakhtunkhwa' province.
At independence there was a clear Muslim Pashtun majority in then North-West Frontier Province, although there were some small minorities of Hindus and Sikhs. The languages of the North-West Frontier Province included Pashto, Hindko, Kohistani and others, although most of the population spoke Pashto. Prior to the arrival of the British, the official language, for governmental uses and such, was Persian.
The offices of Governor and Chief Minister of the North-West Frontier Province lasted until 14 October 1955.
|Tenure||Governors of the North-West Frontier Province |
|14 August 1947 – 8 April 1948||Sir George Cunningham|
|8 April 1948 – 16 July 1949||Sir Ambrose Dundas Flux Dundas|
|16 July 1949 – 14 January 1950||Sahibzada Mohammad Kursheed|
|14 January 1950 – 21 February 1950||Mohammad Ibrahim Khan Jhagra (acting)|
|21 February 1950 – 23 November 1951||Ismail Ibrahim Chundrigar|
|24 November 1951 – 17 November 1954||Khwaja Shahabuddin|
|17 November 1954 – 14 October 1955||Qurban Ali Khan|
|14 October 1955||North-West Frontier Province dissolved|
|Tenure||Chief Ministers of the North-West Frontier Province ||Political Party|
|1 April 1937 – 7 September 1937||Sir Sahibzada Abdul Qayyum Khan||Non-Party Government Nominee|
|7 September 1937 – 10 November 1939||Khan Abdul Jabbar Khan (1st time)||Indian National Congress|
|10 November 1939 – 25 May 1943||Governor's rule|
|25 May 1943 – 16 March 1945||Sardar Aurangzeb Khan||Muslim League|
|16 March 1945 – 22 August 1947||Khan Abdul Jabbar Khan (2nd time)||Indian National Congress|
|14 August 1947||Independence of Pakistan|
|23 August 1947 – 23 April 1953||Khan Abdul Qayyum Khan||Pakistan Muslim League|
|23 April 1953 – 18 July 1955||Sardar Abdur Rashid Khan|
|19 July 1955 – 14 October 1955||Sardar Bahadur Khan|