Dera Ismail Khan District

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Dera Ismail Khan District
Map of Dera Ismail Khan
Map of Dera Ismail Khan
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's location in the Pakistan
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's location in the Pakistan
Country Pakistan
Province Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Headquarters Dera Ismail Khan
 • Total 7,326 km2 (2,829 sq mi)
Population (2017)[1]
 • Total 1,627,132
 • Density 220/km2 (580/sq mi)
Time zone PST (UTC+5)
Main language(s) Saraiki, Pashto

The District of Dera Ismail Khan (Pashto: ضلع دېره اسماعیل خان‎,Urdu: ضلع دیره اسماعیل خان‎, Saraiki: ضلع دېره اسماعیل خان‎ ; often abbreviated as D.I. Khan) is the most southern of the 26 districts in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. The capital of the district is the town of Dera Ismail Khan. The district has an area of 7,326 km2 (2,829 sq mi) and a population of 852,995 as of the 1998 Census.


The district of Dera Ismail Khan is bounded on the east by the Bhakkar and Dera Ghazi Khan districts of Punjab. Eastern portions of the district along the Indus River are characterized by fertile alluvial plains, while lands farther from the river consist of clay soil cut by ravines from rainfall. The district is bound on the southwest by a thin strip of South Waziristan district of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, which separates DI Khan from the Takht-e-Sulaiman Mountain in neighbouring Baluchistan province. In the northwest is the northwest by Tank District.[2]

DI Khan is separated from the Marwat plains of the Lakki Marwat district by a spur of clay and sandstone hills that stretch east from the Sulaiman Mountains to the Indus River known as the Sheikh Buddin Hills. The highest peak in the range is the limestone Sheik Buddin Mountain, which is protected by the Sheikh Buddin National Park. Near the Indus River is a spur of limestone hills known as the Kafir Kot hills, where the ancient Hindu complex of Kafir Kot is located.[2]

Dera Ismail Khan mines

Attacks in Dera Ismail Khan


DI Khan is home to the millennium-old ruins at Kafir Kot.
The Lal Marah Tombs.

The Dera Ismail Khan District is littered with ruins from ancient civilizations. DI Khan is home to the collection of Hindu ruins at two separate sites 20 miles apart,[2] jointly known as Kafir Kot. The district is part what was historically territory inhabited by the Baluch people, who were invited to settle the region by Shah Husayn, of the Langah Sultanate of Multan. These Baluch settlers were displaced by, or assimilated into, later waves of Pashtun settlement.[2]

DI Khan was created as an administrative unit of British India, part of the Derajat Division of the North-West Frontier Province. It was formerly divided into two almost equal portions by the Indus River, which intersected it from north to south. To the west of the Indus the characteristics of the country resembled those of Dera Ghazi Khan. To the east of the present bed of the river there is a wide tract known as the Kachi, exposed to river action. Beyond this, the country rises abruptly, and a barren, almost desert plain stretches eastwards, sparsely cultivated, and inhabited by nomadic tribes. In 1901 the trans-Indus tract was allotted to the newly formed North-West Frontier Province, the cis-Indus tract remaining in the Punjab jurisdiction. The cis-Indus portions of the DI Khan and Bannu districts now comprise the new Punjab district of Mianwali. Wheat and wool were exported. In 1901 it contained an area of 8,814 km2 (3,403 sq mi) and a population of 252,379. In 1947 it became part of the newly independent Pakistan.

In 2016, 191,000 acres in the district were brought under cultivation with completion of the Gomal Zam Dam, and a series of irrigation canals partially funded by the United States Government.[3]

Language distribution

The main language of the district is a dialect of Saraiki. Its local name was "Hindko", but the term "Saraiki" has gained popularity in recent decades,[4] alongside a growing identification with the goals of the Saraiki language movement.[5] In the census of 1998, 72.5% of the population reported their first language[6] as Saraiki, while Pashto (primarily spoken in the north-west) accounted for 22.0% and Urdu represented 3.26%.[7]


The district is represented in the National assembly by Two elected MNAs who represent the following constituencies:[8]

Constituency MNA Party
NA-24 Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman JUI(F)
NA-25 Dawar Khan Kundi PTI

The district is represented in the provincial assembly by five elected MPAs who represent the following constituencies:[8]

Constituency MPA Party
PK-64 Ali Amin Khan PTI
PK-65 Sami Ullah Khan Alazai Independent
PK-66 Maulana Lutf Ur Rehman JUI(F)
PK-67 Ikram ullah Khan Gandapur PTI
PK-68 Ehtsham Javeed Akber Khan PTI


Map of Dera Ismail Khan district

The district is subdivided into five tehsils which contain a total of 47 Union Councils:[9]

Name of tehsil No. of Unions
Dera Ismail Khan 21
Kulachi 4
Daraban 4
Proa 7
Paharpur 11

Notable People



Sardar Israr Gandapur shaheed ( Former law minister kpk)


See also


  2. ^ a b c d Tolbort, T (1871). The District of Dera Ismail Khan, Trans-Indus. Retrieved 12 December 2017. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ Shackle, Christopher (1980). "Hindko in Kohat and Peshawar". Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies. 43 (3): 484. doi:10.1017/S0041977X00137401. ISSN 0041-977X. 
  5. ^ Shackle, Christopher (1983). "Language, Dialect and Local Identity in Northern Pakistan". In Wolfgang-Peter Zingel, Stephanie Zingel-Avé Lallemant (eds.). Pakistan in its fourth decade: current political, social and economic situation and prospects for the 1980s. Mitteilungen des Deutschen Orient-Instituts. 23. Hamburg: Deutsches Orient-Institut. pp. 175–87. 
  6. ^ defined as the language for communication between parents and children
  7. ^ 1998 District Census report of Dera Ismail Khan. Census publication. 50. Islamabad: Population Census Organization, Statistics Division, Government of Pakistan. 1999. p. 20. 
  8. ^ a b Constituencies and MNAs of the National Assembly of the Pakistan[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ Tehsils & Unions in the District of D.I. Khan – Government of Pakistan Archived February 9, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.

Coordinates: 32°00′N 70°30′E / 32.000°N 70.500°E / 32.000; 70.500

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