Chitral District

former district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan

Chitral (Urdu: ضلع چترال) is a district in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. It has population of about 318,689 people at the 1998 Census, which grew to about 378,000 people by 2004. It has one of the highest mountains of the world, Tirich Mir. It is the largest district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, with an area of 14,850 sq. kilometres.

Map of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with Chitral District highlighted
Map of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with Chitral District highlighted
Coordinates: 36°15′N 72°15′E / 36.250°N 72.250°E / 36.250; 72.250
ProvinceKhyber Pakhtunkhwa
 • District NazimHaji Maghfirat Shah
 • District Naib NazimSultan Shah
 • Total14,850 km2 (5,730 sq mi)
 • Total378,000
 • Density25/km2 (60/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+5 (PST)
Number of Tehsils6



Chitral District is the most northerly district in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. to the west and north is Afghanistan. To the east of Chitral is Kashmir and to the south are the Pakistani districts of Upper Dir and Swat. Chitral can be accessed by air via the Chitral Airport which is approximately 3 km from the town. Regular flights from Peshawar and Islamabad are run by the PIA.



The terrain of Chitral is quite mountainous, part of the Pamir Mountains are situated here. Tirich Mir which at 25,289 feet (7,708 metres) is the highest peak of the Hindu Kush, rises in the north of the district.

Chitral is connected to the rest of Pakistan by only two road routes, the Lowari Pass (el. 10,230 ft.) from Dir and Shandur Top (el. 12,200 ft.) from Gilgit. Both routes are closed in winter. The Lowari Tunnel is being constructed under the Lowari Pass and is opened two times a week when Lowari Top is closed due to snowfall.

It was reported in 2004 that Afghanistan had agreed to allow access from Pakistan to Chitral though Afghan territory and the Kunar Valley, by passing Lowari Pass.[1]

Two other passes give access on foot to Chitral, the Broghol Pass and the Dorah Pass, both from Afghanistan. Both are closed in winter.



The general population is mainly of the Kho people, who speak the Khowar language (or Chitrali), which is also spoken in parts of Yasin, Gilgit and Swat. Chitral is also home to the Kalash tribe who live in three remote valleys southwest of Chitral town.

The Norwegian linguist Georg Morgenstierne wrote that Chitral is the area of the greatest linguistic diversity in the world. Although Khowar is the predominant language of Chitral, more than ten other languages are spoken here. These include Kalasha-mun, Erina, Savi Palula, Dameli, Gawar-Bati, Nuristani, Yidgha, Burushaski, Wakhi, Kyrgyz, Persian and Pashto. Chitrali language is written in Perso-Arabic script.



Until 1969, Chitral was a princely state, within the Malakand Agency. In 1970 Chitral was absorbed into Pakistan as the new Chitral District, until 2000 within Malakand Division.



The district of Chitral is divided into two tehsils [2]

National Assembly


This district is represented by one elected MNA (Member of National Assembly) in Pakistan National Assembly. Its constituency is NA-32.[3]

Member of National Assembly Party Affiliation Year
Abdul Akbar Khan Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal 2002
Shahzada Mohiuddin Pakistan Muslim League 2008
Shahzada Iftikhar Uddin All Pakistan Muslim League 2013

Provincial Assembly


The district is represented by two elected MPAs in the provincial assembly who represent the following constituencies:


  1. "Pakistan-Afghan Accord: Joint Ventures to Obliterate Terrorism - Pakistan Times". Archived from the original on 2011-05-16. Retrieved 2010-03-30.
  2. "LIST OF TEHSILS/TALUKAS WITH RESPECT TO THEIR DISTRICTS". Archived from the original on 2010-03-05. Retrieved 2010-03-30.
  3. "Election Commission of Pakistan". Archived from the original on 2015-11-10. Retrieved 2017-11-09.

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