It lies between 31-15 to 36-55 north latitudes and 70-05 to 74-08 cast longitudes. Its extreme length between these parallels is about 600 kilometres and its extreme breadth between these meridians is about 400 kilometres. It is bounded on the north and north west by Afghanistan, on the north east by the Northern areas, on the east by Azad State of Jammu and Kashmir and the Punjab province, on the south by Dera Ghazi Khan district of the Punjab Province and in the west by the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) across which lies Afghanistan. The total area of the province is 74,521 square kilometres.
It has been the cradle of Buddhist civilization, Ghandhara civilization (sixth Century BC). NWFP is regarded as western border of sub-continent and was traditionally trade route from Asia to India, through its passes have travelled many famous conquerors and explorers like Mahmood of Ghazna, Cyrus, Alexander the great, Tamuriane, emperor Babar, Nadir Shah and Ahmad Shah Abdali.
The N.W.F.P. was a part of the Punjab ever since the occupation of Punjab in 1849 by the British. In order to stop the tribal crisis and the revolts against the Government of India, sporadic crisis of one tribe with another tribe over the communication routes and for the removal of the British forces for the advance position and employment of tribal forces for the defence of tribal country and concentration of the British forces in the British territory, it was decided by the Government of India to separate settled districts of Kohat, Hazara, Peshawar, Bannu and transborder tracks which lay between its administrative and Durand boundaries from the Punjab and constitute it into a separate province to be headed by a Chief Commissioner. It was also proposed to include the five political agencies - Malakand, Khyber, Kurram, Tochi and Wana in the new Province.The new Province came into being on King's birth day i.e. November 9th 1891, and Lt: Col: Deane was appointed the first Chief Commissioner. The Province was given the status of Governor's Province on 17.04.1932 with a Legislative Council as well. NWFP, during its hundred years life has made tremendous progress in some of socio-economics fields, notwithstanding heavy growth in its population. In hydal and fossil fuel NWFP, has a unique role, which is described 30% of hydal power generation in Pakistan. All the famous dames, Tarbela, Warsak, Malakand exists in NWFP, and there is great further potential of hydal power generation. Inspite of prevailing political instability over the years and the influx of million Afghan Refugees, various steps for the economic development have been taken by the governments. Industrial Estates have been established i.e. Gadoon Amazai, Hattar and Hayatabad Industrial Estates for economic development of the province. In the field of communication Indus Highway Peshawar, D.I. Khan has been established besides other network of roads linking Peshawar to Mardan, Swat, Chitral, Gilgit are worth mentioning. lslamabad Fleshawar motorway and Kohat tunnel are the mega projects in the field of communication.
Educationally NWFP was very much backward at the time of its formation. By now more than 8 Universities in the public and 12 in the private sector are promoting the cause of high learning. Medical, Agricultural and Engineering, Forest Colleges are some of the notable professional colleges established in the NWFP, G.I.K Institute at Topi, Swabi and Kohat University of Science and Technology (KUST) are providing international standard education in the field of Science and Technology. However the literacy rate of the province is still below 50%.Pushto is the main language of the majority of the population of NWFP, Hindko, Urdu, Saraiki Puniabi, Khwar, Persian etc. are also spoken in the NWFP. In NWFP, usually Shalwar Kameez Peshawari or Kohati Chappel and White Caps are generally used. Pakool cap is widely used in NWFP, and Afghanistan in winter.NWFP, is famous for its scenic beauty and its health resorts situated in Swat, Naran, Kaghan, Northern Areas etc. The traditions and customs collectively known Pukhtoon wali is compatible with teachings of Islam to a great extent. Traditional jirgas (councils of the elders) settle disputes of the people, Religion has great impact on the culture of the people. Majority of whom are Sunni Muslims. The population of the province is generally punctual in offering prayers and observing fast during the month of Ramazan regularly. Visits to the shrines of Kaka Sahib, Peer Baba, Rehman Baba are also common among the people. Date of Issue (March 23, 2003)