Pir Piai is a small village and Union Council in Nowshera District of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. It has a population of more than 35,000 and one of the highest literacy rates in the country at about 99.0%. It is surrounded by industrial areas and factories that feed the region with jobs and valuable revenue sources. The Pirpiaiwal have traditionally been known as farmers and landlords.
Seventy-eight people from Pir Piai took part in the First World War as Indian Army soldiers, four of whom died during the war. Pir Piai is one of the very few villages in Pakistan which has an official plaque commemorating its First World War contribution.
Many famous British Generals were invited to the village by the late Col. Mir Haider Khan. These included General Sir Douglas Gracey, Sir George Roos-Keppel, and many more notables of the time. They became renowned for barbecues and shooting parties.
The village is divided into smaller sectors known as "Mohallah", a few of which are: Mohallah Qamarkhel, Mohallah Baba Khail, Mohallah Sadri Khail, Mohallah Tapu Khail, Mohallah Janabad, Mohallah Miskeen Khail, Mohallah Babar, Mohallah Sadat, Mohallah Zar Muhammad Khail and Mohallah Mandoori.
The village has more than 35 mosques within its own Mohallahs. Each Mohallah has at least two mosques. Daily necessities such as groceries, poultry and meat are available around the clock. The village has a bank, a post office, a railway station and a dry port. Facilities such as electricity, gas, water, telephone and internet are available. Cellular mobile phone services are available in the area, and all the five mobile operators of Pakistan have a presence in the village.
Pir Piai is known for having produced hundreds of army, navy and air force officers over the years. It is also famous for producing a bevy of politicians, civil servants, bureaucrats, foreign service personnel, engineers, doctors, a number of ambassadors, actors, film and television technicians and media personalities.
Some famous people from Pir Piai include:
Naseerullah Babar (retired Army General who served as the Governor of NWFP from 1975-1977 and as Interior Minister from 1993-1996)
Farhatullah Babar (Politician and Parliamentarian who has served in the Pakistan Senate and is a member of the Pakistan People's Party)
Pir Piai is said to have been named after Pir Muhammad Khan, who migrated from Afghanistan. At that time the area was part of Afghanistan. Pir Muhammad Khan was the son of Daulat Khan. Daulat Khan was a commander and confidant of Nadir Shah Afshar, the ruler of Iran. Nadir Shah Afshar, having defeated the Pushtun Hotaki ruler Mir Hussain Hotaki in Herat and Ghazni in 1738, intended to invade India.
After his defeat Mir Hussain Hotaki agreed to send Pushtun forces with the army of Nadir Shah. There were 12,000 Abdali (Durrani) and 4,000 Pushtun Khilji soldiers in this army. A hamlet of the Dalazak tribe was on the south bank of the Kabul River near present-day Pir Piai.
The area along the river was forested at that time. When the Shah's forces reached this area they asked the Dalazak tribe to join their army, but they refused. Nadir Shah then ordered his army to destroy and burn the village, causing the Dalazaks to flee from the area. Nadir Shah awarded the area to Daulat Khan, his confidant. Daulat Khan belonged to the Gamaryani, also known as the Zamaryani tribe, which is a branch of the Kassi tribe.
Daulat Khan rebuilt the village, but it was later destroyed by flooding of the Kabul River. Pir Muhammad Khan, an Afghan from Ghazni, the son of Daulat Khan, moved about two and a half miles south and established the village of Pir Piai.
According to the Tareekh-e-Peshawar by Rai Bahadur Munshi Gopal Das, in 1874 there were 52 Hindus and 1502 Muslims living in the village.
Originally Pir Piai acted as a merchant town for passing travelers. It is situated beside the original Sher Shah Suri's Highway, known in modern times as the Grand Trunk Road. The Mughals and their armies used this route many times.
Outside the village, near the police station, there can be found a roadside motel built by the Mughals. The building is known as "Bawlai" and is in danger of collapsing because it is not maintained by the federal, provincial or local governments. It well known that men from the village were often recruited by the passing armies. Bahadur Baba was a famous soldier recruited at that time. He was an older man but fought fiercely and with great skill. When he died fighting for the Mughal armies, he was sent back by the Mughal Emperor to be buried in his native village of Pir Piai, as this was Bahadur Baba's last wish. Pir Piai is also called Small England, due to its high literacy rate and modern living standards, as compared to other villages in Pakistan.
There are several private and government schools in the village for education up to higher secondary school level. Parents are highly motivated to properly educate their children and take great interest in their studies.
In 1963 Col. Mir Haider Khan contributed the majority of funds necessary for building Pakistan's first girls-only high school. Pir Piai also has separate colleges for boys and girls up to a college degree level. The system is asserted to be without any discrimination; all girls are meant to have equal opportunities in education. The village has 6 primary government schools, 3 high schools, 2 boys colleges and 1 degree college for girls. There are also several private schools.
All basic healthcare and medical facilities are available at a satellite government hospital in the village. However, for major medical problems and specialized care, patients are usually referred to hospitals in Nowshera and Peshawar. There are several private medical clinics and plenty of pharmacies located in the village.
Most of the young Pirpiaiwal people love sports and music. In the early 1990s there were several recreational areas available, but with the surge in population and construction, that number has decreased. However, young people still often organize and play cricket, soccer, hockey and volleyball. The village also has a 30-acre (120,000 m2) park with lakes and birds 1 km away on the Grand Trunk Road, towards Peshawar.comments powered by Disqus