North Waziristan (Urdu: شمالی وزیرستان) is the northern part of Waziristan, a mountainous region of northwest Pakistan, bordering Afghanistan and covering 11,585 square kilometres (4,473 sq mi). Waziristan comprises the area west and south-west of Peshawar between the Kurram River (Tochi River) to the north and the Gomal River to the south, forming part of Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). Miranshah is capital of North Waziristan. Bannu, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa lies immediately to the east. The region became an independent tribal territory in 1893, remaining outside of the British empire and Afghanistan. Tribal raiding into British territory was a constant problem for the British, requiring frequent punitive expeditions between 1860 and 1945. The region became part of Pakistan upon its independence in 1947.
Waziristan is divided into two "agencies", North Waziristan and South Waziristan, with estimated populations (as of 1998) of 361,246 and 429,841 respectively. The two parts have quite distinct characteristics, though both tribes are subgroups of the Waziris and speak a common Waziri language. They have a formidable reputation as warriors and are known for their frequent blood feuds. Traditionally, feuding local Waziri religious leaders have enlisted outsiders in the Pakistani government, and U.S. forces hunting al-Qaeda fugitives, in attempts at score-settling. The tribes are divided into sub-tribes governed by male village elders who meet in a tribal jirga. Socially and religiously, Waziristan is an extremely conservative area. Women are carefully guarded, and every household must be headed by a male figure. Tribal cohesiveness is strong because of "Collective Responsibility Acts" in the Frontier Crimes Regulation.
In 1910, North Waziristan Agency was constituted as a full-fledged agency with its headquarters at Miranshah. It is inhabited by the Pashtun Wazir and Dawari tribes. The agency lies from 32.35 degrees to 33.22 degrees north latitude and 69.22 degrees to 70.38 degrees east longitude. It is bounded on the north by Afghanistan, Kurram Agency and Hangu District, on the east by tribal areas adjoining the Bannu and Karak Districts, on the south by South Waziristan Agency and on the west also by Afghanistan. The total area of the agency is 4,707 square kilometres (1,817 sq mi).
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