Location and size District Mianwali
Location and size District Mianwali is situated in the west of the Punjab province but it is located almost at the center of the country, about 200 kms in the south-west of Islamabad. In its north is situated the district of Kohat (NWFP) and Attock (Punjab); in the south is located the Bhakkar district (Punjab). While in its east are Chakwal and Khushab districts (Punjab), in the west, are the districts of Karak, Marwat and D.I. Khan (all in the NWFP). The Indus River flows across the district, starting in the north-east and separating the district into two un-equal parts till it faces the district D.I.Khan across the river, in the south-west of the Mianwali district (see Map, District Mianwali). Mianwali district lies between 32 – 10’ to 33 – 15’, north latitudes and 71 – 08 to 71d -57 east longitudes. The district covers an area of 1,426,000 acres or 5,840 sq. kms. A little more than one-third of this area (of Isakhel Tehsil) are in the trans-Indus zone of the Salt Range and almost half of the Mianwali Tehsil excluding an area as big as almost one-fifth of the total of Piplan Tehsil are in the cis-Indus zone of the Salt Range. The area in the north is a continuation of what is known as the Potohar Plateau and Kohistan-e-Namak. Geography and ecology The district Mianwali may be divided into two main parts: A hilly terrain in the north, north-east and south west A firm clay plain falling in front of Salt Range and Dhuk hills, a sandy plain in the centre and the south. There are many mountains, the major among them are Bhangi Khel in the extreme north all along the Indus, Khattak hills which are in a large part also in district Kohat Niazi mountains in the north and north-west and the Salt Range in the south-east.The mountainous area has many steep hills, gorges, deep ravines, nullahs and streams. Cultivation in this area is possible on the hilly slopes, flat hill-tops and along the beds of torrents. The Kheshore hills are spread along the southern boundary of Isa Khel Tehsil. The Sakesar hills in the Salt Range proper, which were summer headquarter for the district before the partition. They remain still a pleasant summer resort for tourists because of the cooler temperature in summer and greenery (highest peak at 1,520 metres). The central and southern plain area includes cultivated tract between the river Indus and its elevated banks and the sandy desert of Thal. The latter starts at the south of Sakesar hills, spreading across the southern boundaries of the district. Since the Thal canal channels pass from here, there has been much tree-plantation in this otherwise naturally desert and rugged area. The climate and weather are shaped by a combination of factors such as: General nature of the area or terrain i.e., mostly hilly Average height above sea level Conspicuous river-effect i.e., a large district area lies on the banks of the Indus Distance from Arabian sea The climate of the district varies from very hot in summers to cold in winter with highest temperature of above 42 degrees centigrade in June and lowest up to 3 degrees in January. The district receives only scanty rainfall. The average rainfall does not exceed 44 millimeters (mainly in the monsoons, August-September, up to 100 millimeters). 1. However, heavy rains anywhere above the Indus even beyond the district result in floods in the Indus River. These floods cause huge disasters especially in the Nasheb and Katcha areas along the river-banks (from the north-east to south-west of the entire district). The high floods during the monsoon months this year and the year before, affected several thousand persons, many human lives, loss of livestock, crops and land eroded besides leaving as many without homes. Many villages of Mianwali district in Katcha or pond-area of Jinnah and Chashma Barrage had been inundated due to floodwater (Oxfam flood reports July 18, 2005 and July 19, 2006. and The Nation, 5 July 2005)2.