Names of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

Names Of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

Names of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

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The Pakistani province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (Urdu, ) has been known by a number of names during its existence. In addition to North-West Frontier Province, the official name by which it was known from 1901 to 2010, other names used or proposed for the province include Afghania, Pakhtunistan, Pashtunistan, Pathanistan, Sarhad, Abasin, Khyber, or a combination of these and other names.

North-West Frontier Province

For over a hundred years from its founding as a province of British India in 1901, was known as the North-West Frontier Province ( Śhumāl maġribī sarhadī sūbha). Unofficially, it was known as Sarhad (), derived from the province's Urdu name.


Pakhtunkhwa, Pakhtoonkhwa, Pukhtunkhwa, or Pashtunkhwa () has often been the name used by the Pashtun people for the Pashtun-dominated areas of Pakistan. More recently it was used by Pashtun nationalists in Pakistan as the name by which they wanted to rename the former North-West Frontier Province (NWFP), where they are the ethnic majority.

Pakhtunkhwa, et al. means "near the Pakhtuns" or "Pashtuns". The nationalist Pashtuns claim Pakhtunkhwa is an old name of the area inhabited by Pashtuns. But in fact Pashtun leader Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan (Bacha Khan) proposed this name as alternative to Pakhtunistan to military dictator Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq in 1978 when the latter refused to accept the demand from the former to rename the NWFP as Pashtunistan. The famous Greek historian Herodotus had...
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