District Peshawar, the provincial capital, covers an area of 1,257 Km2 and consists of 4 towns (or tehsils/sub-districts) and 93 union councils. District Charsadda, a small district to the north of Peshawar, covers an area of 996 Km2. It consists of 2 Tehsils and 46 union councils. In the northeast of Peshawar, is District Nowshera, which consists of three cantonments that were created during the British Raj and 47 union councils. The district covers an area of 1,748 Km2.


As per the 1998 District Census Reports, Charsadda has a population of 1 million; Nowshera about 0.8 million people and District Peshawar is home to about 2 million people.


The districts are neighbours not only to other districts in KP but also share borders with tribal agencies of Pakistan. Mohmand Agency borders district Peshawar in the north and district Chatsadda in the west. Khyber Agency covers the western border of Peshawar. Likewise, Orakzai Agency has common southwestern borders with District Nowshera. Parts of these three agencies have seen considerable unrest in the recent past due to extremism and the ensuing military counteracts. As a result of this, Peshawar has received hundreds of families of internally displaced persons. Peshawar also sits close to the Frontier Regions (FR) of Peshawar and Kohat. The district is along the Pak-Afghan border, which is approximately 40 Km in the west.


While, the three districts have rich resources in agriculture and horticulture the economic potential remains low. The 2011 Human Development Index for districts in Pakistan shows that all three districts fall in the medium category. Peshawar has an HDI ranking of 0.639, Charsadda 0.629 and Nowshera stands at 0.655.


are under supplied in the districts. As a result, the literacy rates are lower than provincial and national averages. The literacy rate of District Peshawar is 41.79 percent and that of Charsadda is 31.1 percent, while Nowshera’s literacy rate is 42.5 percent.


District Peshawar, which is a provincial capital, offers multiple employment opportunities. It attracts people from adjacent areas and from districts as far as those in the northern parts of the province. Agriculture, wholesale and retail trade form a significant part of the main occupations in the district. District Charsadda is a small district with most of its population living in rural areas. The main occupations include agriculture, fishery, craft related trades besides other elementary occupations. In district Nowshera the main occupations are similar to those of Peshawar and Nowshera.