Introduction and Historical background
According to the sources available, it appears that this district was a part of Bannu(When Bannu was of the administrative part of Punjab) district and known as ‘Kachachi’ till somewhere in the 16th century (District Census-1998). The name was changed to ‘Mianwali’ during this century after the name of a local saint, Mian Ali, who lived in a hamlet on the eastern bank of the river Indus (ibid). Un-till relatively recently i.e., till 1982, district Mianwali covered a much larger area as it also included Bhakkar district.
Being part of the Indus Valley, this district is one of the oldest human inhabitation i.e., the Indus Civilization (District Census-1998). All major rulers and invaders of the Sub-continent have governed this area. According to the ancient history records, this area was called Hindu Shahi when Alexander the Great invaded India in early 4th century B.C. Mahmud Ghaznavi, followed by Mohammad Ghori, annexed this area, along with a greater part of Punjab to the Ghazna empire. The large-scale conversions to Islam among the local population were initiated during this period. During the following period, the Niazi Pathans poured into the north-west of the area, pushing the Awans east-ward, beyond the Salt range. The Mughal emperor Babur mentions Esakhel when he was on his mission to conquer the Pakhtuns and the Punjab in 1520. The Mughal ruled through the Ghakkar feudatories. The latter were uprooted by Niazis at the decline of the Mughal empire and in the wake of Nadir Shah’s invasion of India.