Operations in Waziristan

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Operations in Waziristan
Part of North West Frontier Campaigns
Date: November 1936 - December 1937
Location: Waziristan, NWF
Presidency: Bengal
Co-ordinates: 33.542357°N 70.326721°E
Result: Submission of tribesmen
British & Indians Waziri tribesmen
Gen Sir John Coleridge Fakir of Ipi
Up to 60,000 regular and irregular troops 4,000 tribesmen


Tori Khel tribesmen of North Waziristan led by the Fakir of Ipi were enraged at the outcome of the case of Islam Bibi, a Hindu girl who converted to Islam but was handed back to the Hindu community, and rose in revolt. The British decided to sent an expedition into the Khaisora Valley to reassert control. Columns from Razmak and Mir Ali met fierce opposition and were compelled to withdraw to Mir Ali. The insurrection spread through Waziristan and the British had to reinforce their garrisons. It proved impossible to engage the tribesmen in pitched battles and guerilla actions cost considerable casualties. Support for the Fakir began to wane and most of the additional forces were withdrawn towards the end of 1937. Trouble flared again in 1938 when a lashkar attacked Bannu. The Fakir was never caught but caused trouble to the Pakistan government until his commander, Mehar Dil, surrendered in 1954. The Fakir died in 1960.

Related articles

FIBIS resources

External links

  • Waziristan campaign (1936–1939) Wikipedia
  • Waziristan 1937-1939 (9 page pdf) by Lieut Colonel H E M Newman The Royal Engineer Journal Volume 95, number 2, 1984
  • "The Shahur Tangi Ambush, North-West Frontier, 1937". Includes details of some of the gallantry awards for several of the regiments involved. royalsignalsoperationalawards.com
  • "Fakir of Ipi: A Brief Review of the anti-British Activities of a Waziri Mujahid" by Farah Gul Baqai Pakistan Journal of History and Culture Vol. XX 1 Jan - Jun 1999
  • Details of Film: India, North-West Frontier, 1937. colonialfilm.org.uk. Film shows various military scenes, including numerous scenes of the RAF in action, bombing, shooting and dropping leaflets in Waziristan. Note, the film is not available online.
  • Waziristan In 1937 AD.Flv YouTube video. The description of the video says North-West Frontier, South Waziristan in 1937 AD. Film shows various military scenes, including numerous scenes of the RAF in action, bombing, shooting and dropping leaflets in Waziristan. Also includes scenes of Indian Army in the field, Waziristan. Footage at 1.20 minutes shows armoured cars at Miranshah.
  • Obituary: John Prendergast 1910-2008 The Telegraph 03 March 2008, archived. He was awarded the Military Cross when serving with the Tochi Scouts (North Waziristan Transborder Armed Police) in May 1937. He was later awarded a DSO for the Burma Campaign. His books include an autobiography Prender’s Progress: a soldier in India, 1931-47, published 1979, available at the British Library, UIN: BLL01009394176 .

Historical books online

Also available in a reprint edition[2] which in turn is available as part of an online book on the Ancestry owned pay website fold3.[3]


  1. The most detailed account of this campaign is to be found in Official history of operations on the N.W. frontier of India, 1936-37. Available online, refer above.
  2. Official History Of Operations On The North-West Frontier Of India 1936-1937 Naval & Military Press
  3. Official History of Operations on the NW Frontier of India fold3 (located in Military books/India). Consists of 2 books.