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Map of Punjab with Khushab District highlighted
|Established||July 01, 1982 |
|• District Coordination Officer||Amir Ijaz Akbar|
|Time zone||PST (UTC+5)|
|Number of Tehsils||3|
Khushab District (Urdu: ضِلع خُوشاب) is a rural tribal district located in Punjab, Pakistan, with its administrative capital in Jauharabad. It is named after the historical city of Khushab. According to the 1998 census, the population was 905,711 with 24.76% living in urban areas. The district consists of three tehsils, Khushab, Noorpur Thal and Quaidabad and a Sub-Tehsil Naushehra. Khushab is home to the Heavy Water and Natural Uranium Research Reactor, part of the Pakistan's Special Weapons Program. Khushab is a combination of two Persian words: khush (Persian: خوش) meaning sweet or tasty and aab (Persian: آب) meaning water. A common belief is that the Persians, from the west, first used the word khush-aab in admiration of the sweet and tasty water found in the historical city situated on the bank of Jhelum River. With time the city started to be known as Khushab.
- Shapuri (Main dialect of the district)
- Majhi or standard (in cities)
- Pothohari (Northern Hilly Side)
- Thalochi (southern areas near bhakar)
- Jandali (western areas near Mianwali).
Khushab District was an agricultural region with forests during the Indus Valley Civilization. The Vedic period is characterized by Indo-Aryan culture that invaded from Central Asia and settled in Punjab region. The Kambojas, Daradas, Kaikayas, Madras, Pauravas, Yaudheyas, Malavas, Saindhavas and Kurus invaded, settled and ruled ancient Punjab region. After overrunning the Achaemenid Empire in 331 BCE, Alexander marched into present-day Punjab region with an army of 50,000. The Khushab was ruled by Maurya Empire, Indo-Greek kingdom, Kushan Empire, Gupta Empire, White Huns, Kushano-Hephthalites and Shahi kingdoms.
In 997 CE, Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi, took over the Ghaznavid dynasty empire established by his father, Sultan Sebuktegin. In 1005 he conquered the Shahis in Kabul in 1005, and followed it by the conquests of Punjab region. The Delhi Sultanate and later Mughal Empire ruled the region. The Punjab region became predominantly Muslim due to missionary Sufi saints whose dargahs dot the landscape of the Punjab region. After the decline of the Mughal Empire, the Sikh invaded and occupied Khushab District. The Muslims faced severe restrictions during the Sikh rule. During the period of British rule, Khushab district increased in population and importance.
The predominantly Muslim population supported the Muslim League and Pakistan Movement. After the independence of Pakistan in 1947, the minority Hindus and Sikhs migrated to India while Muslim refugees from India settled in Khushab District.
- Ahmed Nadeem Qasmi, Urdu poet, fiction writer and journalist
- Wasif Ali Wasif, teacher, writer, poet, and Sufi
- Idris Azad, Philosopher, poet, fiction writer and journalist
- Khushwant Singh, Novelist, lawyer, politician and journalist
On March 21, 2000, an article in the Christian Science Monitor claimed that satellite photos had revealed a nuclear reactor and missile base near the city of Khushab. The apparent presence of a military nuclear capability raised concerns worldwide. On June 14, 2000 the Dawn newspaper alleged that the nuclear reactor and reprocessing plant at Khushab were producing 8 to 10 kilograms of weapons-grade plutonium per year for military use.
Khushab consists of agricultural lowland plains, lakes, and hills. Parts of the Thal desert touch the district, which has a breadth of over 70 miles (110 km) and is situated between the Indus river and the Jhelum river. The district is has reserves of salt and coal. A large number of its citizens are farmers. In the 1980s the district was designated as a tax-relief zone for new industries. This led to the establishment of many industries including cement, sugar, and textiles.
There are three lakes (Ochali, Khabbaki and Sodhi Jay Wali) in the district. Kanhatti Garden is the largest forest in Khushab district, near Khabbaki village in the Soon valley. Katha Saghral is a partially hilly area, noted for coal and salt mining. Khabikki Lake is a salt-water lake in the southern Salt Range. The lake is one kilometre wide and two kilometres long. Khabikki is also the name of a neighbouring village. Sakaser is the highest mountain in the Salt Range. Its summit is 1522 metres / 4946 feet high. It is situated in Khushab District but it can be seen from the adjoining districts of Mianwali and Chakwal. Ochali or Uchhali Lake is a salt-water lake just below mount Sakaser.
Got status of district in 1982.The district is divided into three tehsils, Khushab, Noorpur Thal, and Quaidabad and a Sub-Tehsil Naushehra, where the latter was created in March 2007. Previous to the creation of the Quaidabad tehsil, it contained a total of fifty-one Union Councils.
Noorpur Thal tehsil
Noorpur Thal is subdivided into 10 Union Councils.
Quaidabad is subdivided into 9 Union Councils.
- Bandial Janubi
- Chak No.14/Mb
- Gunjial Janubi
- Okhali Mohlah
- Utra Janubi
- "District Courts Khushab"., Retrieved 24 December 2013.
- Urban Resource Centre (1998 Census)
- "Tehsil Codes" (PDF).
- Special Weapons Program of Pakistan (Federation of American Scientists)
- South Asia arms race - is it paranoia? (BBC News).
- Top-Secret Kodak Moment In Space Shakes Global Security, Christian Science Monitor (March 21, 2000).
- "Tehsil status -DAWN - National; March 24, 2007". archives.dawn.com. Retrieved 27 January 2012.
- Tehsils & Unions in the District of Khushab - Government of Pakistan