The Northwest Frontier Province is a tribal area which is bordered on to the north and west by Afghanistan; its capital is Peshawar.
It was a part of India until 1901, when the British created the separate province, which joined Pakistan following its establishment in 1947. The independent pride of the area's Pashtun population is legendary. As the official website of the NWFP puts it:
The warlike Pukhtoons [Pashtuns], who live in NWFP and the adjoining areas of Afghanistan, making them a race apart, a chosen people, and no one, has ever managed to subdue them. The Mughals, Afghans, Sikhs, British and Russians have suffered defeat at their hands. The Pukhtoons are divided into numerous sub-tribes and clans, each defending its territory and honor.
In May, 2008, the Pakistani government approved the name, Pukhtunkhwa (Land of the Pashtuns), to replace Northwest Frontier Province. The change was not welcomed by the province's other ethnic groups.
The border between Afghanistan and Pakistan has always been porous; it absorbed several million Afghan refugees following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. This porousness, plus the allegiance of ethnic Pashtuns across the border, makes the province in effect a part of the war in Afghanistan. Taliban and Al Qaeda members roam freely in the area, while the historic independence of the tribal area means it is not easily controlled by central government wishes.