Tank (Urdu: ٹانک, Saraiki: ٹاک, Pashto: ټک ṭak) is a southern district in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. The city of Tank is the capital of the district, which consists of Union Council City I and Union Council City II. There are totally sixteen Union councils of district Tank. Tank was formerly part (Tahsil) of district Dera Ismail Khan District. Tank is bounded by the districts of Lakki Marwat to the northeast, Dera Ismail Khan to the east and southeast, and South Waziristan to the southwest, west, and northwest. The climate in Tank reaches 110-120 °F. However in the cold, harsh winters in the mountains to the west, people come to Tank to enjoy a pleasant stay and then resort back during the summer.
The district contains one tahsil (subdivision), also called Tank. And is represented in the Provincial Assembly by one elected MPA, Ghulam Qader Bittani, who represents the following constituency:
The northern territory between the Indus river and the mountains of Afghanistan was deemed impossible to tread in the days before the creation of Pakistan. Many a kings and great warriors tried to conquer the land by might but the fierce natives would flee them away. With successive by empires from the north like Alexander the Great, the great and Genghis Khan and Mongols from the east and the south, the natives were centred into a limited and desolate land, yet not defeated completely.
The Macedonians flee
At the Battle of the Hydaspes (now the Beas River), fought between Alexander the Great's army and the Indian king Purushotthama (better known as Porus), the Macedonian army refused to go any further. It is said that Alexander's army's was at risk of being trapped, or was faced by an enemy army too big to defeat, and had to retreat southwards through the Makran Desert.
The Sikh and British invasions
Finally, the Sikhs from the south overran the local tribes. They annexed the land in 1838. Somewhere in the midst of this turmoil, the British were assembling against the Afghans and the First British-Afghan War commenced. Soon the British they took over in 1848; . The British regiments weren't able to occupy the entire territory and remained in camps at the foothills of the mountains. The harsh and dangerous upland terrain remained unexplored.
"...even the shadows of the hills were hazardous."
The British colonial rule
The eastern border of the Kingdom of Kabul (Afghanistan) was undefined until 1893 when the Durand Line was demarcated. Done in haste, the Durand Line demarcation is still rallied against (see Interesting References section for more on that). At that moment, the line was used to intentionally separate the fierce Pushtun tribes from the tame. Under the same agreement, the tribes of Waziristan were clearly designated as being under the British rule.
Tank seen as a centre for negotiation
The British negotiated with the tribes through their agents in the border towns and Tank was a centre of negotiation with the Mahsud tribe - the Nawab of Tank having married a Mahsud wife. For the Britishers the Mahsud tribe was the most difficult to control, and in 1860 when the Mahsuds attacked the British with a 3000 strong army the British were forced to penetrate into the territory of Tank to control them.
The birth of a province
In January 1899, Lord Curzon was appointed Viceroy of India. Reaching India shortly after the suppression of the frontier risings of 1897-98, he paid special attention to the independent tribes of the north-west frontier and inaugurated a new province called the North-West Frontier Province (now Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), and pursued a policy of forceful control mingled with conciliation. The only major armed outbreak on this frontier during the period of his administration was the Mahsud Waziri campaign of 1901.
The current incumbent of Tank National Assembly seat (NA24) is Maulana Atta ur Rehman of JUI (F)., Haji Gulistan (Late) had won Provincial Assembly seat of PF-69 and after his death his brother Mr. Ghulam Qadir Khan Bittani has won the cited seat of PF-69 while his uncle Eng: Zaffar Baig Bittani (Independent from F/R Tank along-with other Five F/Rs of FATA) has elected as Memebr of National Assembly from NA-47 (FATA). Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) is also active in the area. Pakistan Tehrike Insaaf (PTI) is also making inroads in the area, and announced intentions to contest in this area for the first time.. Actually District Tank is specified for JUI (F). Mehmood Khan Bittani s/o Haji Ramzan Khan Bittani (Late) is hot candidate for PF-69.
Pakistan Tehreeke Insaf (PTI) initiated a membership drive in Tank District and secured membership of over 11000 people.
Culture and society
The main language of the distrcit is Derawali sub dialect of thalochi dialect of Punjabi/Saraiki. The northern settlers are Pushto-speaking
Culture and society
People make their livelihood by farming, land ownership, gun running, smuggling, falcon catching, migration for employment to the Persian Gulf, or by ownership of shops and businesses in Tank.
"Jirga" by definition means council. These are the religious circles and a group of people that decide the fate of the dwellers and rule the people by their sets of laws and principles.
1.^ LIST OF TEHSILS/TALUKAS WITH RESPECT TO THEIR DISTRICTS - Government of Pakistan
2.^ Constituencies and MPAs - Website of the Provincial Assembly of the NWFP
3.^ Tank: Crossroad to the Frontier Tribes