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a province in northwestern Pakistan, on the border with Afghanistan. Area, 74,500 sq km. Population, 8.4 million (1972). The capital is Peshawar.
Most of the North-West Frontier is covered with mountains. The northern part of the province is occupied by western spurs of the Himalayas and ranges of the Hindu Kush; the Hindu Kush rises to an elevation of 7,690 m at Mount Tirich Mir, the highest point in Pakistan. The western part of the province is an arid region, with low mountains and a plateau.
Agriculture predominates, although much of the land is not suitable for it; 1.4 million hectares are cultivated, mostly in the Peshawar valley. The province, which includes 9.3 percent of Pakistan’s land area and 12.9 percent of the population, produces 8 percent of the country’s wheat harvest, 3 percent of the rice, 0.1 percent of the cotton, 51 percent of the corn harvest, approximately 30 percent of the tobacco, and 18 percent of the sugarcane; vegetables and fruits are also grown. The North-West Frontier accounts for 5 percent of Pakistan’s industrial production. Industry includes food processing (especially sugar) and textile manufacture (cotton). There are a number of small machine shops. Handicraft production—primarily the production of pottery and household articles—is extensively developed. Rock salt is mined and limestone is quarried.
The North-West Frontier was formed in 1901, after its territory was separated from the province of Punjab in British India.
In 1947, the North-West Frontier became part of Pakistan. In 1955 it was incorporated into the single province of West Pakistan, but in 1970 it was again made a separate province.