capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, Pakistan

Peshawar is a city in Pakistan, and it is the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. With a population of 1,970,042 according to the 2017 census, Peshawar is the largest city in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the sixth-largest in Pakistan.

Etymology change

Peshawar is derived from Purushapura which means city of men (In Sanskrit Purusha means Man and Pura means settlement). It is also locally pronounced as Pekhawar.

History change

Peshawar is in a valley near the historic Khyber Pass, close to the border with Afghanistan, Peshawar's recorded history dates back to at least 539 BCE, making it the oldest city in Pakistan and one of the oldest in South Asia. Peshawar was the capital of the ancient Kushan Empire and also served as the capital for the Durrani Empire.

Geography change

The city has always been very important as it served as a trading center during the Mughal Empire. It is connected to important places in the country by road, rail and air.

Demographics change

The main language spoken in Peshawar is Pashto while some speak Hindko. Urdu is understood throughout the city.

Religions change

Peshawar is mostly Muslim which make 98.5% of the city's population in the 1998 census. Christians make up the second largest religious group with around 20,000 adherents, while over 7,000 members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community live in Peshawar. Hindus and Sikhs are also found in the city − though most of them migrated to India following the Partition of India in 1947.

Afghan refugees change

In 2005, Peshawar district was home to 611,501 Afghan refugees — who made-up 19.7% of the district's total population and 20% of all Afghan refugees in Pakistan.

Crime change

Peshawar has been attacked by Islamist terrorists many times. They include a car bombing at a market in 2009, a suicide bombing at a church in 2013 and a school massacre in 2014. Over 100 people were killed in each of those attacks.