Geochemical and isotopic data are presented for 18 representative samples from the intraoceanic phase of the Kohistan arc. A restricted range of initial 87Sr/86Sr (0.7036–0.7066) and ºNd (+2.8 to +7.4) along with measured 206Pb/204Pb (18.0–18.6) are consistent with formation of the arc complex in an intra-oceanic setting. The isotopic data demonstrate the involvement of enriched, DUPAL-type mantle, suggesting that the Kohistan arc formed at or south of the present equator. Subduction polarity inferred from geochemical and isotopic data indicate that the Chalt Volcanics and Kamila Amphibolites represent a forearc and backarc basin sequence, respectively. These inferences are most simply resolved with a tectonic model whereby the intra-oceanic Kohistan arc evolved over a south-dipping subduction zone, implying that Kohistan and India moved northwards on the same plate, although separated, during much of Cretaceous time. Collision of Kohistan with the Karakorum caused a new, north-dipping subduction zone to form on the south side of Kohistan, leading to collision with India in early Tertiary time.