It forms the base for all punitive expeditions to the Tochi Valley and Waziri frontier.
The principal tribes inhabiting the district are: (1) Waziri Pathans, recent immigrants from the hills, for the most part peaceable and good cultivators; (2) Marwats, a Pathan race, inhabiting the lower and more sandy portions of the Bannu valley; (3) Bannuchis, a mongrel Afghan tribe of bad physique and mean vices.
The inhabitants of the valley itself are now peaceful, but it is always subject to incursion from the Waziri tribes in the Tochi valley and the neighbouring hills.
The Salt Range crosses the Indus in the Mianwali tahsil of the Punjab, and forms the boundary between Bannu and Dera Ismail Khan, merging eventually in the Waziri hills.
By the agreement of 1893 with the amir most of the Waziri clan and also the Afridis had been left outside the limits of the amir's influence and transferred to the British zone.
Soon after that date the establishment by the British military authorities of posts within the Waziri country led to apprehension on the part of the local tribesmen.