Gazdarabad

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Gazdarabad (Urdu: گزدر آباد ‎) is one of the neighbourhoods of Saddar Town in Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan.[1]

Gazdarabad has pre-dominant population of Muslim Marwaris who are the most ancient residents of Karachi, hailed from Jaisalmer in Rajasthan from 19th century. They are distinct because of their individual language and culture. They have performed significant role in development and progress of Karachi. There are also other communities in this locality like Muhajirs and Memons however in minor number. Over 99% of the population consists of Marwari Salawat and Gazdar. A famous politician of Pakistan Muhammad Hashim Gazdar hailed from this community. The area adjescent to Gazdarabad is Saddar Town whose population is estimated to be nearly one million.

History[edit]

Gazdarabad was formerly called Ranchore Line until around the 1950s. The name of the area was associated with a Hindu named Ranchor. The area was first built in the early days of the British Raj. With time, it became one of the most densely populated areas in the city. Before the independence of Pakistan, the area was home to a majority of Hindus.

After the independence of Pakistan, the Karachi population increased dramatically when hundreds of thousands of Muslim Muhajirs from India fleeing from anti-Muslim pograms and from other parts of South Asia came to settle in Karachi. The minority Hindus and Sikhs migrated to India while many Muslims refugees from India settled down in the Karachi.[2]

The name was changed in the honour of Muhammad Hashim Gazdar, who belonged to the Muslim Marwaris community and resided in the locality. Mr. Gazdar had been Mayor of Karachi and one time deputy speaker of the Constitutional Assembly. Gazdarabad is home of Muslim Marwari Community who migrated from Jaisalmer in Rajasthan at and around the beginning of British Raj.[3] These people perfected the art of yellow stone masonry. Their artistic skills can be seen in all the British era buildings in Karachi.

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