Orakzai District

Trend Analysis




Area SqKms






Population Density / SqKm



Urban Population



Rural Population



Total Housing Units



Housing Units having Electricity



Housing Units Having Piped Water



Housing Unit using Gas for cooking



Source: Pakistan Bureau of Statistics


Orakzai district was one of the agencies of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and is spread over an  area of 1,538 sqkms. It is bounded by Kurram in the west and Khyber in the north, Kohat district in the south and Peshawar in  the east. Orakzai district is a mountainous tract dissected by numerous dry water courses especially in the south western part of the agency. The capital of Orakzai is  Kalaya  Town.  However,  these  tribes  have  been  assimilated  into  the  Orakzai  culture  and  are considered to be Orakzais. Total population of the area is estimated to be 254,356.


 1. Tourism

In  Orakzai  district ‘important  tourists’  sites  are  Kalaya,  Samana,  Gulistan  Fort,  Feroz  Khel,  Zaira, Landok,  Manawar  and  Khalwat.  Samana,  Gulistan  Fort,  Kalaya  and  Zaira  are  the  recommended potential tourist sites in Orakzai. Metallic road exists for reaching most of the places; however, there is need for widening and improvement of roads. Small informal hotels and restaurants exist at some sites. Electricity is available at all places. Tirah Valley laden with scenic beauty; hills, streams, forests make Tirah Valley a prime tourist place.

2 (1)

 2. Agriculture and Forestry

Orakzai Agency is a hilly region with a fertile valley. Its territory comprises of a mountainous tract, dissected by numerous dry water courses. The elevation of the hills varies from over 10,000 feet (3,000 m) in the west and to less than 6,650 feet (2,030 m) in the east, while that of the plain area varies from 5,200 to 5,500 feet (1,700 m), above sea level.

Important  peaks  are  Sangla  (6325  ft.)  and  Chara  Kandaco  (5643  ft.).  The  major  valleys  in  Orakzai Agency are: Khanki, Mastura and Khurmana, whereas the two major streams are the Mastura and Khanki Toi, both originating from the hills in the west and running to the east.

The soil is  fertile and used for wheat, maize, sorghum and bear with some shrubs, grasses and trees at the mountains slope. The district has eight substantially forested areas. The total area under forest is  around  1318  acres.  These  forests  are  privately  owned  by  different  tribes.  Most  of  the  tribes accordingly engage themselves in meager agriculture and raising of livestock.


 3. Mineral

Orakzai district- has the reserves of Coal (8 M tons), Iron ore (0.050 M tons) and Oil and Gas reserves as per FATA Development Authority report.

KPOGCL help operations in once dormant Exploration Blocks like Kohat, Marwat, Orakzai, Tirah, Paharpur, Baska North, Latambar, Pezu, Kulachi, Karak North, Baratai & Peshawar etc. these blocks are now active.

Two new schemes for Metallic Minerals Exploration and Decorative & Dimension Stones in FATA  are approved. Work in Orakzai & Kurram Agencies has been started.


4. SWOT Analysis


  • Thick wooded forests on 60,633.
  • Orakzai possesses reserves of Coal & Iron Ore, Oil and Gas.


In order to overcome the above mentioned challenges faced by the mentioned sectors, following opportunities can be availed;

  1. Hotels and restaurants could be constructed in the area for tourist facilitation.
  2. The tourist accommodation facilities can also offer trekking tours to the majestic Koh-eSufaid.
  3. Hunting facilities can be made available in the area.
  4. Road to Koh-e-Sufaid needs improvement and maintenance. Hotels and cafes should be built.
  5. There is potential for developing a Chair Lift project in the area; linking Koh-e-Sufaid with Orakzai. This can become a major attraction for the tourists,  for enjoying the scenic beauty of the area and in view of its close proximity to Pak-Afghan border.
  6. Khanki Toi and Mastura rivers (also names of the valleys where these flow) are fed by numerous  smaller  streams  many  of  which  are  seasonal.  The cultivated  land  is  found primarily in the Mastura and Khanki Toi valleys, and in those of their tributaries. These streams could be utilized for irrigation purposes.
  7. Lockhart Fort and Gulistan Fort could be converted into tourist resort.
  8. Carbon Credits could be earned by utilizing these forests.
  9. Minerals processing facility could be established to process the minerals excavation from the  district.  As  the  roads  are  in  good  conditions,  the  freight  cost  would  be  lower  as compared  to other districts in the vicinity.  Oil and Gas service industry or in the nearby Economic Zone.
  10. Hospitals could be established to provide health facilities to the people easily.

5. Conclusion

Orakzai is a soothing scenic district with a potential to provide hefty outcomes in tourism sector. But the acts of militancy have ruined its image in the minds of investors and life has returned to normalcy. Though the efforts of KP Government could promote the tourism sector, establish mineral processing and value addition facilities, oil and gas service industry in the district  could flourish with the help of potential investors. The district would surely be profitable for investment in the long run.