324 MIÂNWjLI DISTRICT
to detect, owing to the great distances between police stations. Pro-
fessional trackers are largely employed, and occasionally accomplish
marvellous feats of long-distance tracking.
The fiscal conditions which obtain in the north are very different
from those of the southern tahsils, and even the two northern tahsils
have widely different histories. Mianwâli appears to have paid the
large sum of r4 lakhs under Sikh rule. Lump assessments were made
on annexation and in 1850, until in 1853 the Deputy-Commissioner
of Leiah made a summary settlement of all the country west and south
of the Salt Range, including the modern tahsils of Mianwali, Leiah,
and Bhakkar. Leiah and Bhakkar had been summarily settled once
before, and a careful measurement of all the cultivation was made.
The demand for the three tahsils was more than 3z lakhs. Various
other summary settlements were made in these tahsils, but the Leiah
District was broken up in 1861.
Isa Khel became subject to the Durranis on the downfall of the
Mughal empire, and paid revenue to them, sometimes without, but
more often after, coercion. In 1836 the Sikhs established themselves
here. The annual amount they realized is not known, but after
annexation a quarter of the estimated value of the crops was collected
for four years. In 1853 John Nicholson made a summary settlement,
based on these collections, imposing a severe assessment which lasted
for five years. In 1857 another and more lenient summary assess-
ment was made, which remained in force for eighteen years.
The regular settlement of Bannu District, made in 1871-9, treated
the tahsils of Miânwali and Isa Khel very lightly. A fluctuating
assessment was generally levied in the riverain tracts, Rs. 1-4 per acre
being charged on all land sown in any year, except land newly broken
up, which paid 12 annas. These tahsils came under revision of
settlement in 1903, and an increase of Rs. 72,000, or 39 per cent.,
on the old revenue of 1-9lakhs is expected.
The regular settlement of Dera Ismail Khân District was carried
out from 1872 to 1879. The Thal tract of the Bhakkar and Leiah
tahsils was assessed at a fixed revenue, but the assessment broke down,
and since 1887 a semi-fluctuating system has been in force. The
Indus valley portion of these two tahsils was originally assessed at.
a fluctuating acreage rate. At the latest settlement, 1898--1904, the
same system of semi-fluctuating assessment, somewhat modified in
its details, has been continued in the Thal of both tahsils. The
principle is that, when a share equal to from one-fourth to three-fourths
of the area irrigated by a well falls out of cultivation, a corresponding
fraction of the assessment will be remitted. The revenue on the `dry'
cultivation and the grazing revenue are fixed. In the Indus valley
a system of fluctuating crop-rates has been introduced, and the whole