Khyber Pakhtunkhwa – Land of the Valiant Pakhtuns nestled primarily on the Iranian Plateau, holds a significant strategic place in the country’s geographical setting. The famous Khyber Pass links the province to Afghanistan sharing borders in the west and north, Azad Kashmir and the Northern Areas (the Pakistani-administered areas of the Kashmir region) to the east and northeast, Punjab province to the southeast, and Baluchistan province to the southwest. On the western boundary, along the Afghan border, lie the erstwhile federally administered tribal areas (FATA) which were recently integrated with and merged into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa under the 25th Constitutional Amendment transferring all executive authority to Chief Minister KP and his cabinet.
Sloping down from the breathtaking beauty of the Hindu Kush to the sun baked plains of the Derajat, the province can be divided into two zones based on its diverse geography. The northern zone with its surreal landscape cladded with snowy peaks and lush green pastures supports a cold climate with heavy rainfall and pleasant summers with the exception of Peshawar basin, which tends to be hot in summer and cold in winter with moderate rainfall. While the southern end with its contrasting spur of clay and sandstone hills stretching onwards from Peshawar to the Derajat Basin, is arid with hot summers and relatively cold winters and scanty rainfall. The major rivers that criss-cross the province are the Kabul, Swat, Chitral, Kunar, Siran, Panjkora, Bara, Kurram, Dor, Haroo, Gomal and Zhob.