The North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) was a province of British India and subsequently of Pakistan. It was established in 1901 and was known by this name until 2010 (except during its abolition between 1955 and 1970, during the One Unit program of West Pakistan). The area became Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province on 19 April 2010 when the Eighteenth Amendment was signed by President Asif Ali Zardari.
The province covered an area of 70,709 km², including much of the current Khyber Pakhtunkhwa but excluding the princely states of Amb, Chitral, Dir, Phulra and Swat. The capital was the city of Peshawar, and the province was composed of three divisions (Peshawar, Dera Ismail Khan and Malakand). Until 1947, the province was bordered by five princely states to the north, the minor states of the Gilgit Agency to the northeast, the province of West Punjab to the east and the province of Balochistan to the south. Afghanistan lay to the northwest, with the tribal agencies forming a buffer zone.
Most of the territory of this province was part of the Durrani Empire from the 18th century to around the 1820s, when the Sikh ruler or Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the former mayor of the Punjabi city of Lahore, taking advantage of the internal chaos of the Afghan ruling family, declared independence and annexed it to his own empire based out of the Punjab.
Later on, after the Second Anglo-Sikh War of 1848–1849, when the Punjab came under the control of British East India Company, this region along with the 'Frontier Tribal Areas' acted as a 'buffer' zone with Afghanistan. The Province was formally created in 1901 by the British administration, out of the North-Westerly areas of the originally Pashtun lands which were merged with old Punjab, initially under a Chief Commissioner, and then a full-fledged Governor beginning circa 1938.