Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, formerly North-West Frontier Province, is the northernmost province of Pakistan. It is bounded by Afghanistan to the west and north, Azad Kashmir and the Gilgit-Baltistan to the east and northeast, Punjab province to the southeast, and Balochistan province to the southwest. Peshawar is the provincial capital.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa means the “Khyber side of the land of the Pashtuns, whereasthe word Pakhtunkhwa means “Land of the Pashtuns”, while according to some scholars, it refers to “Pashtun culture and society”. The province is so named due to its ethnic Pashtun majority.
When the British established it as a province, they called it “North West Frontier Province” (abbreviated as NWFP) due to its relative location being in north-west of their Indian Empire. After the creation of Pakistan, Pakistan continued with this name but a Pashtun nationalist party, Awami National Party demanded that the province name be changed to “Pakhtunkhwa”. Their logic behind that demand was that Punjabi people, Sindhi people and Balochi people have their provinces named after their ethnicities but that is not the case for Pashtun people.However, to avoid any confusion with just one ethnicity in the Provice the name of Khyber was added before the name was finally changed through legislation.
During the times of Indus Valley Civilization (3300 BCE – 1300 BCE) the modern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Khyber Pass, through Hindu Kush provided a route to other neighboring regions and was used by merchants on trade excursions. From 1500 BCE, Indo-Aryan peoples started to enter in the region(of modern-day Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, North India) after having passed Khyber Pass.