The people of Malakand are Suni Muslims. They speak pure Pashto language. The main tribes dwelling on the Malakand soil are: Akozai Yousafzais, (Khan Khel and Ranizai), Uthmankhel, Piran-Syeds and Gujars.
The Baizai and Ranizai are sub-sections of the well-known Akozai Yousafzai tribe who had migrated from Afghainstan to their present locations in the latter half of the fifteenth century. During the ruling days of Alagh Beg, uncle of Babar, they were dusted out from Afghanistan. Alagh Beg had reason to feel insecure and apprehensive on the presence of the Yousafzai. He thus started conspiring against them. He killed hundreds of Yousafzai Sardars at a banquet. However, one of the young Maliks, Ahmad Khan who was 14 years old, escaped.
The same Malik Ahmad Khan gathered the Yousafzai who later declared him as their leader. The whole tribe left Kabul and came down to Peshawar valley. They adopted different routes into the North West Frontier Province, displaced the Dalazaks and occupied the present territory of Dir, Swat, Mardan etc. In Swat after defeating Sultan Awais in the early 16th century, the Yousafzai leader Malik Ahmad Khan established Thana and Chakdara areas as centre of activities and also consolidated his position further.
The Baizai are now settled at Thana and Palai while the Swat Ranizai are located between Alladand and Totakan. The Khan Khel section of the Baizai presently at Thana have remained the chiefs of the Yousafzai tribe for many a century.
It was Malik Ahmad Khan who established stern resistance to the Mughal King Babar and forced him to avoid battling with the Yousafzai. Instead of battling with them the King Babar despatched a jirga, which carried out negotiations with the Yousafzai. King Babar also succeeded in getting hand of Bibi Mubarika, daughter of Malik Mansoor, one of the cousins of Malik Ahmad Khan.
The Yousafzai leader Malik Ahmad Khan when died was buried at the outskirt of village Dheri Alladand on the bank of the main Thana-Alladand road.
The Baizai and Ranizai sections live in large villages unlike scattered houses and hamlets of other tribes. Their normal dress is Shalwar, Qamees and a white turban. They have also adopted Pakol(cap) as their head cover.
The Baizais of Thana have produced highly educated and well-placed officers in government service. Majority of the Baizais are agriculturist.
The Uthmankhel tribe claims initial origin from Tank and Gomal valleys in D.I.Khan., from where they migrated to Afghanistan and then back to their present location in Bajaur and Malakand agencies along with Yousafzai. Some of the Uthmankhel are also settled in Mohmand Agency. The Uthmankhel are from the Kodai branch of Karlanri Pathans. They are equally settled in Bajaur and Malakand at the foot hills of Kohimor.
The Uthmankhel have the peculiar style of well-organized tribes like the Mohmands and Afridis. They have occupied the rugged mountains, which indicate that it was either a weaker tribe or had no choice at the time of settlement. They are tough, well-built and brave people. They are good fighters but have never remained united unless the appearance of a common and external danger.
Although they still live in scattered hamlets, they have done away with the tower systems in the middle or corners of their houses. They are conservative in nature and being poor people, migrate in search of greener postures. Their dress is like Mohamands wearing Shalwar, qamees and Qula(Turban). Majority of the Uthmankhels serve in the civil armed forces. They are settled in Qulangi, Agra, Kot, Khanori and Haryankot areas. Their dialect is the same to that of Mohmands.
The Gujars are the original inhabitants of this region before the Arians took command of the area. They are of Dardi race (Drawar) with peculiar small yellow eyes and dark complexion. They speak Gujar language but can also speak Pashto. The Gujars have gone through strange social changes. They are brave and good fighters due to which they were very instrumental in the king making process of Swat. However, they have become almost nomadic tribe. Their concentration is in Mura hills to the east of Thana. They still stick to their traditional profession of cattle breading. They live in unhygienic conditions and their women-folk suffer from malnutrition. They are stubborn, revengeful and get united against aliens.
A significant population of Khattaks, Mohands and Shalmanis also live among the Sam Ranizai, thus making them a heterogeneous segment of society.
The people of Swat Ranizai are Yausafzai Pathans who had come from Afghanistan through Bajaur Agency. The people of Sam Ranizai do not have definite tribes. They are a multi-tribal combination who came and settled here as tenants of the Khans of Dheri Alladand of Swat Ranizai, with the exception of people of Haryankot, who belong to the Uthmankhel tribe. Till 1870 the people of Sam Ranizai were paying their lease regularly to the real owners.
Later, they were encouraged by an exiled Khan of Alladand namely Sher Dil Khan and instigated them to a revolt against their masters and refused to pay the rent. Defying all efforts to subdue them, they declared themselves as owners of the lands of which they were tenant cultivators.
Before the advent of the British, the tribal elders and the landlord class ruled the people of Malakand. After the inception of the foreigners, the tribal elders acted as the judiciary under the FCR. Matters relating to crimes and punishment were to be referred to the Jirga members who would pass their judgements. These judgements were to be executed by the Political Agent as a chief executive. The landless class had no say in the affairs of the agency and lived as tenants. With the passage of time and spread of education the landless class grew conscious. They raised their voice against the law that had kept them subservient to the will of the landed class.
This treatment with the landless class continued till many years after partition. In 1970, the right of adult franchise---much against the inclination of the landlords--- was given to the people of Malakand. The people wholeheartedly commended the decision and took keen interest in the politics of the country. They began to send their representatives to the national and provincial assemblies. The FCR was abolished and the jurisdiction of high court was extended to Malakand in 1974. District and Civil courts were opened here to dispose off cases of the people. The local body elections were held here for the first time in 1979.
Before the local bodies government was set up in 1979, all the funds of Malakand were to be kept on the disposal of the Political Agents who would use to provide them for different developmental schemes. After establishment of the first local government in 1979, these funds were placed at the disposal of the newly elected Chairman of the District Council, Malakand who would be the signing authority to utilize these funds. The Political Agent of Malakand was to be the administrator of the then District Council and the Chairman of District Council would have to consult with the administrator of the council in the utilization of the District Council funds and other matters as well. There would also be few members and chairmen of the union councils who would also had a share in the funds and other matters of the Malakand particularly in carrying out the developmental schemes.
After the government of General Parvez Musharraf implemented the ‘Devolution Plan’, local body elections were held again and like the other districts, district government was also set up in Malakand. Now the financial matters are being supervised by the District Nazim, District Coordination Officer, District Naib Nazim, Tehsil Nazimeen and union council nazimeen as well.


The graveyard where thousands of Muslim martyrs of the two battles of Malakand were buried. A tick olive forest is clear testimony to the fact that these sublime souls were struggling for peace and sacrificed their lives for peace. The two important battles of Malakand were fought in 1895 and 1997.