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The shrine of Bulleh Shah in central Kasur
|• Total||3,995 km2 (1,542 sq mi)|
|Elevation||218 m (715 ft)|
|• Density||595/km2 (1,540/sq mi)|
|Time zone||PST (UTC+5)|
Kasur or Qasur (Urdu: قصُور), (Punjabi: قصور), is the headquarters of Kasur District, Pakistan. Bordered to the north by Lahore, by India to the south and east, the city is adjacent to the border of Ganda Singh Wala, a border with its own flag-lowering ceremony similar to that of Wagah but far more intimate and less jingoistic. Kasur is also the burial place of the legendary Sufi-poet Bulleh Shah. The most famous and well-kown town of district Kasur is Rafiq Villas.
The first record of a human settlement near present-day Kasur is from approximately 2,000 years ago, although the name of the original settlement remains unknown. The settlement was abandoned and eventually was re-established by seven Pashtun tribes during the Mughal era, who are known to have built several forts, or "qasar" in Persian, in the area. The plural of the Persian word "Qasar" is "Qasur," which closely approximates the modern spelling of the town. Hindu mythology instead opines that the ancient city was founded 7,100 years ago, a claim unsupported by any archeological evidence, by Kusha, son of the Hindu god Rama. Whereas the name of the city begins with the letter "ق," or "Q", it is spelled with a "K" in only in English. The "ق"/"Q" sound is unknown in Sanskrit, and the Hindu legend would suggest the towns name would start with a "K," or "ك," in the local language as well, which it does not. The origin of this myth is unknown, and may instead be a revisionist theory developed during or after Mughal times in order to legitimize Hindu mythology by linking the word "Kasur" with that of "Kusha," due to similar orthography in English and Hindi.
The original settlement was destroyed in 553 A.D. after being ravaged by Khaweshgan. In 997 CE, The savager Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi, took over the Ghaznavid dynasty empire established by his father, Sultan Sebuktegin, In 1005 he savaged the Shahis in Kabul in 1005, and followed it by the destroying northern Punjab region around modern-day Kasure. The Delhi Sultanate and later Mughal Empire and Afghan empires later ruled the Kasur region. Under their rule, the city of Kasur was established by seven tribes of Pashtuns who had migrated to the region, and built several small forts in the area. During this time, the Punjab region became predominantly Muslim due to missionary Sufi saints. Under Mughal rule, the city flourished and was notable for commerce and trade, and became home of the legendary Sufi saint and celebrated poet, Bulleh Shah, who is buried in a large shrine in the city.
After the decline of the Mughal Empire, the Sikh invaded and occupied Kasur after General Gurmukh Singh Lamba took the fort of Morada from the grand son of Ahmed Shah Abdali. After the defeat of the Sikhs after the second Anglo-Sikh War, the British established suzerainty under the British Raj, and instituted large public works in the area, such as the irrigation canals that are now a feature of the region. The predominantly Muslim population supported Muslim League and Pakistan Movement. After the independence of Pakistan in 1947, the minority Hindus and Sikhs were forced to migrate to India while the Muslim Muhajir people, who were similarly forced from their homes in India settled in Kasur.
- For more information, see Punjabi dialects.
As per the 1998 census of Pakistan, Punjabi language is spoken by 95%. Punjabi dialects spoken in the city are:
- Majhi - Dialect of native inhabitants.
- Malwi - Spoken by migrants from Indian Punjab that settled in the region after the partition of British India.
- Bulleh Shah, Punjabi poet
- Noor Jehan, singer and actress
- Basit Jehangir Sheikh, former MPA, Kasur District
- Sahibzada Ahmad Raza Khan Kasuri, former MNA
- Irshad Ahmed Haqqani, Journalist, writer
- Sardar Asif Ahmad Ali, former Foreign Minister (PPPP) and Now divert to Tehreek Insaf
- Khurshid Mahmood Kasuri, former Foreign Minister and now Leading Member of PTI
- Sardar Tufial Khan Mayo, former Member National Assembly And Punjab Assembly
- Bakhtiar Mahmood Kasuri, politician and founding member of PTI
- Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, A Hindustani classical vocalist, from the Patiala gharana (Born in Kasur, later migrated to India after partition)