Orakzai Agency is one of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. It has a population of 450,000 and an area of 700 square miles (1,800 km2). The Orakzai and Bangash are the two major tribes that inhibit this agency.
The Orakzai tribes take their name, which literally means the lost son (Wrak Dzoy), from a romantic legend about their ancestor, Sikandar Shah, who was a prince from Iran, was exiled or lost, and after many adventures married and ruled in Tirah. The tribal area now forming Orakzai Agency was previously included in Frontier Region Kohat district and remained as such until 30 November 1973.
The Biland Khel, a small pocket measuring about 6.5 square kilometres, is also part of this agency and lies a couple of kilometres off Thall, bordering North Waziristan and Kurram agencies. Responding to a long-standing demand of the Orakzais, the then President of Pakistan announced the creation of Orakzai Agency on 3 November 1973 and was formally inaugurated on 1 December 1973. Prior to its upgrading to agency status, this area was administered as a Frontier Region of the Kohat district by the Deputy Commissioner of Kohat.
The Orakzai Agency consists of two sub-divisions: Upper sub-division and Lower sub-division. The Upper sub-division comprises two Tehsils, Upper Tehsil and Ismailzai Tehsil, while the Lower sub-division also has two Tehsils, Lower Tehsil and Central Tehsil. The land of the Orakzai tribes is located between 33° -33' to 33° -54' north latitudes and 70° -36' to 71° -22' east longitudes. It is bounded in the north by Khyber Agency, in the east by FR Kohat, in the south by Kohat and Hangu districts, and in the west by Kurram Agency. The total area of the agency is 1,538 square kilometres
Culture of the area is dominantly pashtoon, with people adhering strongly to the pashtoon code of conduct also known as "Pakhto or Pashtunwali". Religion is evident in their lifestyle. People are very much social and maintain Hujra culture. Hujra is a community centre, guest house, meeting place, court and shelter. People adhere strongly to the jirga system for peace and justice where saying of the respectable elders is observed.
Talibanization of the area started back in 2006 when sectarian violence was at an apex. In the beginning, the Taliban were welcome because no one knew their actual objectives, they intermingled with the locals in the start and when they were in sufficient numbers, they started to dictate the people. The local people found themselves helpless and were forced to obey. The Shia population resisted Talibanization in the first place. After a humiliating defeat in Waziristan, the Taliban fled to Orakzai Agency. Very soon the area witnessed intense violence and the Army started an unannounced offensive(Orakzai and Kurram offensive). The army cut them in the west from the Kurram Agency, in the south from Kohat and in the east from Bara and started a three pronged attack, locals supported the army to their capacity and soon they were forced to flee and evacuate the lower subdivision. Heavy damages were inflicted upon them in the upper subdivision also and their influence in the area reduced very much. This resulted in the mass evacuation of the IDPs towards Kohat and Hangu where they were given shelter in camps. The situation has defused greatly in Lower Orakzai division but an army operation against Taliban militants continues in Central and Upper sub-divisions.
Lower Orakzai Agency Village Jalaka Mela. It is a small village in the centre of Lower Orakzai Agency. People say it the Heart of Orakzai. Sohbat Khan the leader of Orakzai belong to this village.
There are eighteen major Orakzai tribes:
1) Ali Khel
2) Mullah Khel
5) Rabia khel
6) Ber Muhammed khel
7) Mani khel
8) Feroz khel
13) Ali Sherzai
14) Mirazi khel
15) Bizot Khel
16) Utman Khel
17) Stori Khel