Location and Area
Khyber Agency is located in the north of Pakistan. It is bordered with Afghanistan, Peshawar city and the Kurram and Orakzai agencies. The total area of the agency is 2,576 square kilometers, with 8.22% of the total area of the agency being forest. See Figure 1 for the map of Khyber Agency.
The Khyber Agency consists of three tehsils; Bara, Landi Kotel and Jamrud.
Khyber Agency has a barren and rugged mountainous terrain. It consists mostly of hilly tracks and mountains, with narrow strips of valleys. It is the meeting place of a series of ranges, such as the Koh-e-Safaid, an off-shoot of the mighty Hindukush Mountains. Lacha Ghar, Karagah Ghar, Surghar, Tor Ghar, Morgah and Kalauch; are some of the mountains located in the agency. Generally, the hills of this agency are barren.
It has some beautiful valleys with plain arable areas, such as, the valleys of Rajgal, Maidan, Bara and Bazaar. The major plains are the Khajuri Plain and the Bara Plain. There are two main rivers; the Bara and Chora Rivers. On the northern border, River Kabul runs between the area of Shalmanis and Mullagoris and separates the Khyber Agency from the Mohmand Agency. All these rivers run into the Peshawar Valley.
The Khyber Agency has extreme temperatures, from cold to severe cold winters and warm to scorching hot summers. The hottest months are from May to August, whereas, the coldest are from November to January.
Rainfall, however, is very scanty. Winter rain is brought by westerly winds, while the summer rain is associated with the monsoon. The average annual rainfall is about 400 mm.
Khyber Agency has scanty rainfall; therefore most of its area is barren, with some cultivated area found near the valleys. The total cultivated area is about 20,075 hectares, whilst uncultivated land is 237,579 hectares, with 2070 hectares as forest area. The total cropped area is 19,365 hectares. (Source: FATA Development Statistics, 2012).
In Khyber, the total length of paved roads is about 335.52 km, while unpaved roads are about 372.16 km. The National Highway Authority supervises the 41 km long Jamrud-Torkham road (N5), which connects Pakistan and Afghanistan at Torkham. The Landi Kotal-Mullagori road (64 km) connects Peshawar with Landi Kotal and Torkham, as an alternate route.
Large areas within the agency are inaccessible, such as the Tirah in Bara subdivision, Bazaar Zakha Khel in Landi Kotal subdivision and Chora in Jamrud subdivision.