British Colonial Policies in the North-West Frontier Region: A Case Study of the Mohmand Uprising, 1897-98


  • Shahid ul Islam M.Phil. Scholar, Department of History, Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad, Pakistan.
  • Dr Amanullah Khan Assistant Professor at Department of History, Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad, Pakistan.


Mohmand, Haddah Mula, Shabqader fort, Durand line, British India


The North-West Frontier region of British India was of great importance in the history of the Indian subcontinent. The NWF region, which was part of British India till 1947 and, from then onward, part of Pakistan, was renamed Khyber Pukhtunkhwa in 2010. Situated at the crossroads of South Asia, Central Asia, and China, the region was of great geographical significance. This study explores the colonial policies implemented in this region shortly before it underwent administrative reform. Focusing on the Mohmand tribal tract, historically governed by various powers including the Ghaznvids, Ghauris, Mughals, Sikhs, and British, the study examines British policies that sparked dissent among the local population. The resultant armed resistance spread to neighbouring regions such as Swat, Malakand, Waziristan, and Khyber. Specifically, this paper explores the Mohmand Uprising of 1897–98, a significant event in NWF history. Central to this uprising was Akhunzada Najm-ud-din, also known as Haddah Mula, who mobilised the Mohmand populace and led attacks on Shankargarh village and Shabqadar fort. Subsequently, the British launched punitive expeditions against Mohmand clans and residents in response to these assaults.