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Divisions of Pakistan

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Title: Divisions of Pakistan  
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Divisions of Pakistan

Divisions are the third tier of government in Pakistan, between the provinces and districts. They were abolished in 2000 by the government of former president Pervez Musharraf to make way for local governance via district governments. As of August 2008, divisions in some provinces have been restored with Punjab taking the lead and restoring its eight divisions.[1]

The four provinces of Pakistan are subdivided into administrative "divisions", which are further subdivided into districts, tehsils and finally Union councils. The divisions do not include the Islamabad Capital Territory or the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, which are counted at the same level as provinces.


  • History 1
  • New Divisions 2
  • Abolition 3
  • Restoration 4
  • The Divisions 5
  • Divisions by population 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


Administrative divisions had formed an integral tier of government from colonial times. The Governor's provinces of British India were subdivided into divisions, which were themselves subdivided into districts. At independence in 1947, the new nation of Pakistan comprised two wings - eastern and western, separated by India. Three of the provinces of Pakistan were subdivided into ten administrative divisions. The single province in the eastern wing, East Bengal, had four divisions - Chittagong, Dacca, Khulna and Rajshahi. The province of West Punjab had four divisions - Lahore, Multan, Rawalpindi and Sargodha. The North-West Frontier Province (as it was then called) had two divisions - Dera Ismail Khan and Peshawar. Most of the divisions were named after the divisional capitals, with some exceptions.

From 1955 to 1970, the One Unit policy meant that there were only two provinces - East and West Pakistan. East Pakistan had the same divisions as East Bengal had previously, but West Pakistan gradually gained seven new divisions to add to the original six. The Baluchistan States Union became Kalat Division, while the former Baluchistan Chief Commissioner's Province became Quetta Division. Most of the former Sind Province became Hyderabad Division, with some parts joining the princely state of Khairpur to form Khairpur Division. The former princely state of Bahawalpur became the Bahawalpur Division. The Federal Capital Territory was absorbed into West Pakistan in 1961 and merged with the princely state of Las Bela to form the Karachi-Bela Division. In 1969, the princely states of Chitral, Dir and Swat were incorporated into West Pakistan as the division of Malakand with Saidu as the divisional headquarters.

New Divisions

When West Pakistan was dissolved, the divisions were regrouped into four new provinces. Gradually over the late 1970s, new divisions were formed; Hazara and Kohat divisions were split from Peshawar Division; Gujranwala Division was formed from parts of Lahore and Rawalpindi divisions; Dera Ghazi Khan Division was split from Multan Division; Faisalabad Division was split from Sargodha Division; Sibi Division was formed from parts of Kalat and Quetta divisions; Lasbela District was transferred from Karachi Division to Kalat Division; Makran Division split from Kalat Division. The name of Khairpur Division was changed to Sukkur Division.

During the military rule of General Zia-ul-Haq, the Advisory Council of Islamic Ideology (headed by Justice Tanzilur Rahman) was tasked with finding ways to Islamicise the country. One of its recommendations was that the existing four provinces should be dissolved and the twenty administrative divisions should become new provinces in a federal structure with greater devolution of power, but this proposal was never implemented.

In the early 1990s, Naseerabad division was split from Sibi Division; Zhob Division was split from Quetta Division; Bannu Division was split from Dera Ismail Khan Division; Mardan Division was split from Peshawar Division; Larkana Division and Shaheed Benazirabad Diviosion [2] were split from Sukkur Division; Mirpur Khas Division and Banbhore Division [3] were split from Hyderabad Division. The capital of Kalat Division was moved from Kalat to Khuzdar.


In August 2000, local government reforms abolished the "Division" as an administrative tier and introduced a system of local government councils, with the first elections held in 2001. Following that there was radical restructuring of the local government system to implement "the principle of subsidiarity, whereby all functions that can be effectively performed at the local level are transferred to that level". This meant devolution of many functions, to districts and tehsils, which were previously handled at the provincial and divisional levels. At abolition, there were twenty-six divisions in Pakistan proper - five in Sindh, six in Balochistan, seven in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and eight in Punjab. Abolition did not affect the two divisions of Azad Kashmir, which form the second tier of government.


In 2008, after the public elections, the new government decided to restore the divisions of all provinces.[4]

Currently Punjab has nine divisions (and a total of 36 districts) with Sahiwal Division being the newest.[5]

In Sindh after the lapse of the Local Governments Bodies term in 2010 the Divisional Commissioners system was to be restored.[6][7] [8]

In July 2011, following excessive violence in the city of Karachi and after the political split between the ruling PPP and the majority party in Sindh, the MQM and after the resignation of the MQM Governor of Sindh, PPP and the Govt. of Sindh decided to restore the commissionerate system in the province. As a consequence, the five divisions of Sindh have been restored namely, Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Mirpurkhas and Larkana with their respective districts.[9]

Karachi district has been de-merged into its 5 original constituent districts namely Karachi East, Karachi West, Karachi Central, Karachi South and Malir. These five districts form the Karachi Division now.[10]

The Divisions

The following tables show the current Divisions by province.
Divisions of Balochistan Province
Division Area (km²) Capital
Kalat 140,612 Khuzdar
Makran 52,067 Turbat
Naseerabad 16,946 Naseerabad Quetta 64,310 Quetta
Sibi 27,055 Sibi
Zhob 46,200 Loralai
Divisions of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province
Division Area (km²) Capital
Bannu 4,391 Bannu
Dera Ismail Khan 9,005 Dera Ismail Khan
Hazara 17,194 Abbottabad
Kohat 7,012 Kohat
Malakand 29,872 Saidu Sharif
Mardan 3,046 Mardan
Peshawar 4,001 Peshawar

Divisions of Punjab Province
Division Area (km²) Capital
Bahawalpur 45,588 Bahawalpur
Dera Ghazi Khan 38,778 Dera Ghazi Khan
Faisalabad 17,917 Faisalabad
Gujranwala 17,206 Gujranwala
Lahore 16,104 Lahore
Multan 21,137 Multan
Rawalpindi 22,255 Rawalpindi
Sargodha 26,360 Sargodha
Sahiwal 10,302 Sahiwal
Divisions of Sindh Province
Division Area (km²) Capital
Hyderabad 48,670 Hyderabad
Karachi 93,528 Karachi
Larkana 15,543 Larkana
Mirpur Khas 38,421 Mirpur Khas
Banbhore Division 10,000 Makli
Shaheed Benazirabad Division 24,000 Nawabshah
Sukkur 34,752 Sukkur
Divisions of Azad Jammu & Kashmir
Division Area (km²) Capital
Muzaffarabad - Muzaffarabad
Poonch - Rawalakot
Mirpur - Mirpur
Divisions of Gilgit Baltistan
Division Area (km²) Capital
Gilgit - Gilgit
Baltistan - Skardu

Divisions by population

Division Pop-1998 Pop-1981 Area
(in km.²)
Azad Kashmir 2,800,000 1,980,000 11,639 Muzaffarabad
Bahawalpur 7,635,591 4,668,636 45,588 Bahawalpur
Bannu 1,165,692 710,786 4,391 Bannu
Dera Ghazi Khan 6,503,590 3,746,837 38,778 Dera Ghazi Khan
Dera Ismail Khan 1,091,211 635,494 9,005 Dera Ismail Khan
Faisalabad 2,885,685 6,667,425 17,917 Faisalabad
F.A.T.A. 3,176,331 2,198,547 27,220 Islamabad
Gujranwala 4,431,058 7,522,352 17,206 Gujranwala
Hazara 3,505,581 2,701,257 17,194 Abbottabad
Hyderabad 6,829,537 4,678,290 2000 Hyderabad
Islamabad 805,235 204,364 906 Islamabad
Kalat 1,457,722 1,044,174 140,612 Khuzdar
Karachi 15,856,318 5,437,984 3,528 Karachi
Kohat 1,307,969 758,772 7,012 Kohat
Lahore 4,248,641 8,670,358 16,104 Lahore
Larkana 4,233,076 2,746,201 15,543 Larkana
Makran 832,753 652,602 52,067 Turbat
Malakand 4,262,700 2,466,767 29,872 Saidu
Mardan 2,486,904 1,506,500 3046 Mardan
Mirpur Khas 3,936,349 2,419,745 38,421 Mirpur Khas
Multan 11,577,431 7,533,710 21,137 Multan
Nasirabad 1,076,708 699,669 16,946 Nasirabad
Northern Areas 910,000 562,000 72,520 Gilgit
Peshawar 3,923,588 2,281,752 4,001 Peshawar
Quetta 1,699,957 880,618 64,310 Quetta
Rawalpindi 6,659,528 4,552,495 22,255 Rawalpindi
Sargodha 5,679,766 3,930,628 26,360 Sargodha
Sahiwal 6,271,247 10,302 Sahiwal
Sibi 494,894 305,768 27,055 Sibi
Sukkur 5,584,613 3,746,446 34,752 Sukkur
Zhob 1,003,851 749,545 46,200 Loralai


See also


  1. ^ "Office of Div Commissioner restored". 
  2. ^ 
  3. ^ 
  4. ^ "Commissionerate system restored". 
  5. ^ "Punjab Government Plans to Carve a New District from Lahore". 
  6. ^ "Commissioner system to be restored soon: Sindh CM". 
  7. ^ "Commissioner system to be restored soon: Durrani". 
  8. ^ "Sindh: Commissioner system may be revived today". 
  9. ^ "Commissioners, DCs posted in Sindh". 
  10. ^ "Sindh back to 5 divisions after 11 years". 
  11. ^

External links

  • Decentralisation Programme
  • National Reconstruction Bureau
  • Devolution Trust of Pakistan
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