|Author:Laxman Burdak, IFS (Retd.)|
Gomal River (Urdu: دریائے گومل, Pashto: ګومل سیند، ګومل دریاب, Sanskrit: गोमती), also Gumal River, is a 400 km long river in Afghanistan and Pakistan, which is mentioned in the Rigveda as Gomatī (full of water).
Gomal River's headwaters are located south-east of Ghazni. The springs which form the headwaters of the Gomal's main branch emerge above the fort at Babakarkol in Katawaz, a district inhabited by Ghilzai Pashtuns from the Kharoti and Suleiman Khel clans, in Paktika Province.
Origin of name
Alexander Cunningham writes that The name of Kophes (Kabul) is as old as the time of the Vedas, in which the Kubha River is mentioned as an affluent of the Indus. The Kunar River, the Kurram River, and the Gomal rivers to the west, and the Kunihar River to the east of the Indus, all of which are derived from the Scythian ku, " water."
The Gomal's other branch, the "Second Gomal", joins the main channel about 14 miles below its source. The Gomal flows southeast through eastern Ghilzai country for approximately 110 miles before it merges with the Zhob River, its major tributary, near Khajuri Kach. It is about 100 miles from the Zhob River to the Indus River.
Within Pakistan, the Gomal river surrounds the South Waziristan agency and forms the boundary between Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan. From South Waziristan, the river enters the Gomal Valley in the district of Tank, Pakistan at a place known as Girdavi, Murtuza which is inhabited by the Miani tribe. It is mainly here that the water of Gomal is used to cultivate the lands in Gomal Valley through Zam System (Rod Kohi). The river passes then through the Damaan plain in Kulachi Tehsil and later on through Dera Ismail Khan Tehsil, It then joins the Indus River 20 miles south of Dera Ismail Khan.