The 18–14 Ma Kamlial Formation Himalayan foreland basin sedimentary rocks in the Chinji Village region, Potwar Plateau, Pakistan, are characterized by: (1) lithofacies indicative of deposition by a large river; (2) a dominant magmatic arc provenance completely unlike the ‘recycled orogen’ foreland basin deposits stratigraphically below, above, or coeval with these rocks; and (3) subordinate contribution from a rapidly exhuming source, interpreted as either the Nanga Parbat Haramosh Massif or the southern margin of the Asian crust. The start of Kamlial Formation deposition at this locality at 18 Ma marks a major break with the older Murree Formation rocks, which were deposited by rivers draining predominantly the Himalayan thrust stack south of the arc. We interpret this change as the result of diversion of the paleo-Indus River to its present position, which crosses the Kohistan arc and Himalayas and debouches into the foreland. If the rapidly exhuming subordinate source region were the Nanga Parbat Haramosh Massif, then initiation of its uplift would have resulted in significant arc detritus to the basin as the overlying arc carapace was exhumed. As the carapace was progressively breached, arc material would have become a less substantial component of detritus to the basin, consistent with the reported petrography of the overlying Siwalik deposits.