Rahim Yar Khan District
|Rahim Yar Khan District|
Location in Punjab Province, Pakistan
|Capital||Rahim Yar Khan|
|• District Coordination Officer||Nabeel Javed|
|• District Police Officer||Sohail Zafar|
|• Total||11,880 km2 (4,590 sq mi)|
|Time zone||PST (UTC+5)|
|Number of Tehsils||4|
Rahim Yar Khan District (Urdu: ضلع رحیم یار خان) is a district in the Punjab province of Pakistan, the city of Rahim Yar Khan is the capital. The district lies between 27°40'-29°16' north latitudes and 60°45'-70°01' east longitudes. The Indus river flows on the northern outskirts of the districts of Dera Ghazi Khan and Muzaffargarh. There is no other river, Nallah or lake in this district.
The Rahim Yar Khan District is bounded on the north by Muzaffargarh District, on the east by Bahawalpur District, on the south by Jaisalmer (India) and Ghotki District of Sindh province, and on the west by Rajanpur District.
This district is divided into three main physical features: (a) Riverside area, b) canal-irrigated area, and (c) desert area which is called Cholistan. The Riverside area of the district lies close on the southern side of the Indus river mainly falling in the river bed. The canal-irrigated area lies on the south and is separated by main Minchan Bund. The approximate height of the irrigated area is 150 to 200 meters (490 to 655 ft) above sea level. The third part of the area, called Cholistan, lies in the south of the irrigated tract up to the Indo-Pak border. The surface of the desert consists of a succession of sand dunes rising at places to a height of 150 meters (492 ft) and covered with the vegetation peculiar to sandy tracts.
The climate of the district is hot and dry in the summer and cold and dry in the winter. The summer season is comparatively longer. It starts in April and continues until October. The winter season goes from November to March. However, the month of March and November are pleasant. Dust storms are frequent during the summer season. The average rain fall is about 100 millimetres (3.9 in).
The district has an area of 11,880 square kilometres (4,590 sq mi) and comprises four tehsils, which contain a total of 122 union councils. There are four municipal committees and five town committees in the district.
|Tehsil||No. of Unions|
Agriculture and Economy
The main industries of the district are textile, cotton ginning and pressing, sugar, cotton seed oil, edible oil, soap, beverage making, agricultural implement manufacturing, and fertilizer manufacturing.Cottage industry includes ginning, pottery/clay products, electric desert cooler, agricultural machinery, handicrafts, food industry, and embroidery.
- Riasti (local dialect spoken by 51% population which is a mix of Rajasthani, Punjabi and Saraiki
- Majhi & Malwi (standard Punjabi dialect spoken by 45% specially in majority in Sadiqabad and Khanpur Tehsils and sizeable population in cities)
- Bagri/Choolistani (0.9% population speaks a Punjabi Rajasthani mix specially in desert area)
- Haryanvi (1.1% population speaks a mixture of Punjabi and Urdu. sizeable population in cities)
Other languages include Urdu, the national language, and English language, the official language.
According to the 1998 census of Pakistan, the total population of Rahim Yar Khan district was 3,141,053 of which 19.16% were urban an intercensal percentage increase of 70.6 since March, 1981 when it was 1,841,451. The average annual growth rate was 3.2 percent during this period. The total area of the district is 11,880 square kilometres which gives population density of 264 persons per square kilometre as against 155 persons observed in 1981 indicating a fast growth rate of the district.
The urban population was 616,582 or 19.6 percent of the total population of the district which grew at an average rate of 4.3 percent during 1981-98 and had decreased from 4.7 percent observed during 1972-81. There are three Municipal Committees and five Town Committees in the district. Major tribes are Arain the decadents of Umayyad Arab soldiers who arrived with Muhammad Bin Qasim. Rajpoot, Jatt, Sheikh, Balouch, Syed, Gujjar, Niazi, Daudpota Abbassi, Koreja, Naich, Chachar, Dahar, Mahar, Khokhar. Most influential tribe is Arain. Arains found both as Saraiki and Punjabi also. The Saraiki Arains are the ancient habitants of Rahim Yar Khan district whereas Punjabi Arains came here and settle in the district in 1930s and also after partition.
The population of the district is predominantly Muslims i.e. 96.7 percent. The next higher percentage is of Hindu (Jati) with 1.8 percent, followed by Scheduled Castes 0.6 percent. While other minorities like Christians, Ahmadi etc. are very small in number. The proportion of population of Muslims is higher in urban than rural areas.
The district area 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 the Punjab region. The Kambojas, Daradas, Kaikayas, Madras, Pauravas, Yaudheyas, Malavas 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 Rahim Yar Khan was ruled by Maurya Empire, Indo-Greek kingdom, Kushan Empire, Gupta Empire, White Huns, Kushano-Hephthalites and Shahi kingdoms.
The Rahim Yar Khan area came under Greek control during Alexander the Great's invasion of India; after Alexander's victory at Multan, he appointed General Philipos to rule Multan and Uch and advanced himself towards Alor. This part of the country is also said to have been a part of the Buddhist Empire of Ashoka. Authenticated history of the district begins by about 493 CE, when the Raja dynasty of Rai dynasty came to the throne. In the Rai dynasty dominions were vast, extending from Kashmir and Kanauj to Kandhar and Seistan and on the west to Mekran and a part of Debal, while on the south to Surat.
During the reign of Raja Dahir, some Arab ships carrying merchandise were attacked and plundered by his subjects. Arabs demanded compensation and on refusal by Raja Dahir, Muhammad Bin Qasim invaded this area in April 712 and conquered the whole territory up to Multan. Dahir was killed in the battle at Pawar. The territory remained under the various governors appointed by the Umayyad and Abbasid from 712-870. In 871 the powers of Caliphs declined and the province of Sindh slipped from their control. Sindh went under the Balkh dynasty when two principalities, Mansura and Multan (Bahawalpur Division) were also captured by Balkhis. The Punjab region became predominantly Muslim due to missionary Sufi saints whose dargahs dot the landscape of Punjab region. In the 1578 the territory was invaded and conquered by the Ghjori Sultans of Delhi, who were succeeded by the Mughals. The exodus of the Abbasides nobles of Egypt to India had already started in the reign of Muhammad Taughlak Bin Ghiasuddin. Amir Muhammad Mubarik Khan 1, Abbasi who came to power in 1702, was an able commander and leader. Throughout his reign he had to fight many battles against the Kalhoras. He abdicated in 1723 in favour of his son, Sadiq Mohammad Khan 1, who was killed in battle with Khuda Yar Kalhora. Amir Mohammad Bahawalpur Khan 1 (1746–1949) ascended the throne in 1746. During his short rule, he built the towns of Bahawalpur, Qaimpur, Hasilpur, Tranda Ali Murad Khan, Shabazpur and Mohammadpur Lamman. During his reign three canals, namely Khan Wah, Qutab Wah and Wahi Qaider Dina, were dug. As a result the agriculture of the state improved considerably, and the people became prosperous. In 1776, the Sikhs confederates Jhanda Singh, Ganda Singh and Hari Singh invaded the Amir's trans-sutlej territories but were repulsed. Amir Mohammad Mubarik Khan II Abbasi was an able administrator and a powerful ruler. He took keen interest in building his army. Many of the forts on the border of the state were built during his reign. He kept the Sikhs in check. Many canals on which the prosperity of the district depended were constructed during his time.
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 influence.
After the decline of the Mughal Empire, the Sikh invaded different districts of Punjab but Rahim Yar Khan District was not under Sikh rule because the district lies at that time with in the territory of Bahawalpur (princely state). During the period of British rule, Rahim Yar Khan district increased in population and importance.
The first treaty between Bahawalpur and the British government was affected in 1883, which remained in force till 14 August 1947, when the state acceded to Pakistan. On the death of Amir Bahawal Khan III, Sadiq Mohammad Khan III, (1852–1853) was crowned as Amir. On assuming rule, he confined Prince Haji Khan and his brothers and treated them harshly. A large number of the Bahawalpur army was demobilized. All the grants, rights and claims of Daudpotas and other usual expenses were diminished and abolished. These events made the Amir unpopular. On the 29th of Rabi-ul-Sani, 1269 A.H., Fateh Garh Fort was attacked at night. Prince Haji Khan, who was kept as a prisoner, was freed and brought to Khanpur. Haji Khan entered Ahmedpur East without any resistance and Sadiq Muhammad Khan III was imprisoned. Prince Rahim Yar Khan succeeded his father, the late Amir Fateh Khan Abbasi, as Muhammmad Bahawal Khan IV (1858–1866). He was poisoned and died on 25 March 1866. On the death of Bahawal Khan IV, Sir Sadiq Muhammad Khan IV was crowned when he was four and half years old. He was installed in 1879, when he attained maturity. In the interim period from 1866 to 1879, British officers supervised the state. Amir Muhammad Bahawal Khan V, the next successor, was about 16 years old; he ruled the state till 1955 when it was integrated in the Punjab province of Pakistan.
Rahim Yar Khan was created as a separate administration district in 1932 (during the days of the British Raj). The district derives its name from its headquarters, the city of Rahim Yar Khan. The previous name of this district was "Naushehra" with a castle built in 1750 by Fazal Elahi Halani on the ruins of the ancient Pul-Wadda during Sumra rule in Sindh. In 1883, Nawab Sadiq Khan IV of Bahawalpur renamed it after his son, Rahim Yar Khan.
Rahim Yar Khan District was declared as a separate administration district in the year 1881, the Railway Authorities desired to change the name of railway station in the name of a town called Nowshera situated in Peshawar district. Consequently in 1881 to avoid any confusion because of similar nomenclature, Nawab Sadiq Khan IV of Bahawalpur changed the name of the sub-division Naushehra after the name of his first son crown prince Rahim Yar Khan.
Flora and fauna
The flora of the district characterizes two major ecological divisions, northern and southern. The botanical life found in the northern half is like that of the rest of the irrigated tracts at central Punjab. The human interference, in the form of an irrigation network, has greatly damaged the natural environment. Increases in cultivation, waterlogged areas, and salinity have badly hurt plant life. Because of the increase of salinity at the surface, only salt-resistant plants can survive in most of the area. The southern half of the district, characterized by sand dunes, is mostly barren. The exception is in the rainy season, when multitudes of ephemeral plants come up and transform the bare land into a lush green carpet. These ephemeral plants complete their life cycles before the summer heat arrives, leaving the land bare and dry.
The arid land, generally referred to as the Cholistan desert, has a lot of wildlife. Wild cats, the Chinkara deer, a variety of pigs, jackals, foxes, badgers, porcupines, squirrels, gerbils, wild rats, mongooses, poisonous snakes, hog deer, blue bulls, ravine deer, sand grouse, wild lizards, wild egrets are among many other creatures are found in the district.
The literacy ratio in the district has increased from 20.0 percent in 1981 to 33.1 percent in 1998. The literacy ratio for males is 43.4 percent as against 21.8 percent for females. The ratio is much higher in urban when compared with rural areas both for male and female.
In 1998, 33.1 percent of the population was reported as being able to read at least one language. This was up from 20 percent in 1981. In urban areas, 65.0 percent of males and 48.4 percent of women were able to read. In rural areas, 37.9 percent of males, and 14.9 percent of females were able to read. There is a Kh. Freed College, a university campus of Islamia University of BWP, a medical college and a women's college.
- Rahim Yar Khan
- Shaikh Zayed International Airport
- Shaikh Zayed Medical College
- Mian Wali Qureshian
- Tehsils & Unions in the District of Rahim Yar Khan - Government of Pakistan
- 1998 Census of Pakistan - Urban Resource Centre