Sialkot

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Sialkot
سیالکوٹ
City
Clock Tower Sialkot.jpg
Nickname(s): The City of Iqbal
Sialkot is located in Pakistan
Sialkot
Sialkot
Location in Pakistan
Coordinates: 32°29′50″N 74°32′10″E / 32.49722°N 74.53611°E / 32.49722; 74.53611Coordinates: 32°29′50″N 74°32′10″E / 32.49722°N 74.53611°E / 32.49722; 74.53611
Country Pakistan
Government
 • D.C.O N. Usama Latif
Area
 • Total 3,016 km2 (1,164 sq mi)
Elevation 256 m (840 ft)
Population (2014 (city))
 • Total 1,733,252 (city population)
 • Density 332.55/km2 (861.3/sq mi)
Time zone PST (UTC+5)
Postal code 51310
Calling code 052
Number of Union councils 152
Sialkot Government Website

Sialkot (Punjabi, Urdu: سيالكوٹ‎) is a city and capital of Sialkot District located in the north-east of the Punjab province in Pakistan and is 13th in the List of most populated metropolitan areas in Pakistan. It is located at the foot of Kashmir hills near the Chenab River. The city is about 125 km (78 mi) north of Lahore. The recorded history of Sialkot covers thousands of years. Sialkot has, since its foundation, experienced migrations of Hindu, Buddhist, Persian, Greek, Afghan, Turk, Sikh, Mughal and British people to that of present-day Pakistan. Sialkot has been the birthplace of many noted personalities, including philosopher / poet Dr Muhammad Iqbal, poet Faiz Ahmad Faiz, the second Prime Minister of India, Gulzarilal Nanda, writer Rajinder Singh Bedi, Kuldip Nayyar and a number of sports and art personalities.

History of Sialkot[edit]

Main article: History of Sialkot

Ancient Sialkot[edit]

There are various sources tracing the origins of the city of Sialkot but the authenticity of many of these sources varies. Excavations throughout the area have revealed large amounts of Greek coins, ancient Zoroastrian temples and several Buddhist stupas. The antiquities of Sialkot have also been discussed by Sir Alexander Cunningham in his Archaeological Survey Reports, II, 21, 22, and XIV, 44 to 47.

According to the Greek historical texts, which bring mention of the city of Sialkot dating back to before 327 BC when the city was known as Sagala, it represented the eastern-most outpost and expansion of the Hellenic Empire created by Alexander the Great which has been cross-correlated to ancient Greek maps of the era and several monuments found in the Sialkot District. The Greek historians state that the city was one of the most productive Silk regions of the Achaemenid Empire. Sákala or Sagala was the capital, or one of the capitals, of the Indo-Greek Kingdom which broke-away from the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom during the Euthydemid Dynasty

the Indo-Greek king, Menander, ruled in Sialkot during the 2nd century

Popular legends attribute the foundation of Sialkot city to Raja Sala – the uncle of the Pandavas. According to Punjabi folk-lore, the early history of Sialkot is closely interwoven with the traditions of Raja (King) Sáliváhan, his son, Raja Rasálu, and his foe, Raja Húdi. A popular belief is that the city was re-founded by Raja Sáliváhan or Sálbán when it became a part of Kashmir. Raja Sáliváhan built a fort (Sialkot Fort) and the city and gave the place its present name.it is believed that the word "Sialkot" means the 'Fort of the Sia'.

Medieval Sialkot[edit]

Sialkot became a part of the Muslim Sultanate of Delhi when the Afghan noble Sultan Shahab-ud-Din Muhammad Ghauri conquered Punjab in 1185. He was unable to conquer Lahore but left a garrison in Sialkot. Later, Sultan Khusro Malik tried to capture the city but failed to do so. Sialkot then became a part of the Muslim Mughal Empire which was of Central Asian origin. The Mughal commander, Usman Ghani Raza, advanced towards Delhi by way of Sialkot which capitulated to his armies.

In 'Babur Nama', Zaheer-ud-Din Muhammad Babur records:

29th December: We dismounted at Sialkot. If one goes into Hindustan, the Jats and Gujars always pour down in countless hordes from hill and plain for loot in bullock and buffalo. These ill-omened peoples are senseless oppressors! Previously, their deeds did not concern us because the territory was an enemy's. But they did the same sensless deeds after we had captured it. When we reached Sialkot, they swooped on the poor and needy folk who were coming out of the town to our camp, and stripped them bare. I had the witless brigands apprehended, and ordered a few of them to be cut to pieces.[1]

During the era of the Mughal Emperor, Jalal-ud-Din Muhammad Akbar, the present district of Sialkot formed a part of the Rachna-Bar Sarkar of the Lahore province. Under the reign of the Mughal Emperor, Shahab-ud-Din Muhammad Shah Jahan, Ali Mardan Khan held the charge of Sialkot.

At the end of the Mughal dynasty, the suburbs and the outlying districts and areas of Sialkot were left to themselves. Sialkot, itself, was appropriated by powerful families of Pashtuns from Multan, Afghanistan and Swat, the Kakayzai and Sherwani, and another family from Quetta. In 1748, the four districts of Gujrat, Sialkot, Pasrur and Daska were given to the Afghan Pashtun ruler, Ahmed Shah Durrani, and the area was amalgamated into the Afghan empire. After 1751, Ahmed Shah Durrani left his son, Taimur, to rule Lahore and these districts. During that time, Raja Ranjit Deo of Jammu expanded his domination over the peripheral areas, but the city of Sialkot was not included in it. Afterwards, the city was held strongly by a Pashtun clan till the occupation of the Sikhs who ruled for a period of about 40 years. The Pashtun presence is still considerable to this day and continues to attract newer Pashtun migrants and workers from Pakistan's tribal areas. After the decline of the Mughal Empire, the Sikh invaded and occupied Sialkot. The Muslims faced severe restrictions during the Sikh rule.[2]

Colonial Sialkot[edit]

During the decline of the Durrani regime, Sialkot was occupied from the Pashtuns by the Sikhs and, thus, began the rise of their short-lived empire. Throughout the Sikh empire the majority of the subjects flourished and the Sikh rule was just and allowed basic freedoms for everyone. The empire lasted from 1797 to 1849,during the rule of Maharaja Ranjit Singh's empire . After the death of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the British officers were appointed in Sialkot. Sialkot was annexed by the British after the Second Anglo-Sikh War in 1849.

The British laid the foundation of the Sialkot cantonment in 1849 which was completed in 1852. For establishing the Sialkot cantonment, the British Commander-in-Chief, Sir Lord Napier, surveyed and selected the area between the seasonal streams, Bher Nala and Palkhu Nala, from the point of view of defence. The Area Command laid its foundation in 1852 under the leadership of Major-General Angulas. During the Indian Rebellion of 1857 it was the scene of heavy fighting, and the Sialkot Fort was used by the Europeans for protection. The native troops plundered the treasury and destroyed all the records.

Murray College, Sialkot was established in 1889. The railway branch from Wazirabad to Sialkot was extended to Jammu in 1890. The Sialkot-Narowal railway line was opened in 1915.

The city played an important role during the Pakistan Movement. The national poet of Pakistan, who spearheaded the movement for an independent country, Dr. Muhammad Iqbal was born in Sialkot in 1877. In May 1944, the historic Sialkot Convention was held here. This convention is widely regarded as the landmark event which catapulted the All India Muslim League into prominence in the British-Indian Punjab. This convention was host to such Muslim League luminaries as Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Liaquat Ali Khan, Chaudhry Sir Muhammad Zafarullah Khan, Chaudhry Naseer Ahmad Malhi, Khawaja Nazim-ud-Din, Sardar Abd-ur-Rab Nishtar, Mumtaz Ahmad Khan Daultana, Nawab Iftikhar Hussain Khan Mamdot and Maulvi Tamiz-ud-Din.

Modern Sialkot[edit]

The predominantly Muslim population supported Muslim League and Pakistan Movement. After the independence of Pakistan in 1947, the minority Hindus and Sikhs migrated to India while the Muslim refugees from India settled in the Sialkot district. Most of the refugees have since settled and inter-married into the local population. Ever since, Sialkot has become one of the major industrial centres of Pakistan and is well known for its manufacture and export of surgical instruments, sports goods, leather goods and other light manufactures.

During the Indo-Pakistani war of 1965, the Second Kashmir War in 1965, when Pakistani troops arrived in Kashmir, the Indian Army counterattacked in the Sialkot Sector. The Pakistan Army was able to successfully defend the city and the people of Sialkot, who came out in full force to support the troops of the Pakistan Army to repel the Indian army.[3] In fact, the armoured battles in the Sialkot sector (especially, the Battle of Chawinda), in 1965, were the most intense since the Second World War.[4] In 1966, the Government of Pakistan awarded the Hilal-i-Istaqlal to the citizens of Sialkot, Lahore and Sargodha for their courage and bravery during the 1965 war between Pakistan and India.

Again, during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, the region witnessed bitter battles, most importantly, the Battle of Basantar in the Sialkot-ShakarGarh area. The major Indian counter-offensive came in this area where two Pakistani tank regiments, equipped with the US Patton tanks, lost part of the region despite outnumbering the Indian First Armoured Corps, which was equipped with British Centurion tanks. Pakistani gains were made in Chamb sector, where the city of Chamb was captured by Pakistan Army, and is now called Iftikharabad, named after the Major General Iftikhar Janjua who later died fighting on the frontline and was the most senior officer to do so, he commanded the Pakistan Army in the Battle of Chamb. Both the forces returned to international borders after the Simla Accord, except Chamb sector, as it was located on the Line of Actual Control in the disputed territory of Kashmir.

Geography and climate[edit]

Lying between 32°30′ North latitude and 74°31′ East longitude at an altitude of 256 m above sea level, Sialkot is bounded on the north by Jammu, north-west by Gujrat, on the west by Gujranwala and on the south by Narowal. The Chenab River flows to the north of Sialkot. There are three small seasonal streams flowing through the city, Aik, Bher and Palkhu.

Sialkot features a humid subtropical climate (Cfa) under the Köppen climate classification. Sialkot is chilly during winters and hot and humid during summers. May and June are the hottest months. The temperature during winter may drop to 0 °C. The land is, generally, plain and fertile. Most of the rain falls during the monsoon season in summer which often results in flooding when combined with meltwater from Himalayan glaciers entering local rivers. Sialkot has one of the most modern weather forecasting and flood warning centres in the country, which is fully equipped to record and transfer data to and from the relevant concerns. This facility is equipped with a radar and is internationally linked.

Climate data for Sialkot, Pakistan
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 26.1
(79)
30.0
(86)
35.0
(95)
42.2
(108)
47.3
(117.1)
48.9
(120)
44.4
(111.9)
41.1
(106)
39.0
(102.2)
37.2
(99)
33.3
(91.9)
27.2
(81)
48.9
(120)
Average high °C (°F) 18.5
(65.3)
21.0
(69.8)
25.7
(78.3)
32.8
(91)
38.0
(100.4)
39.9
(103.8)
34.9
(94.8)
33.6
(92.5)
33.6
(92.5)
31.7
(89.1)
26.1
(79)
20.1
(68.2)
29.7
(85.5)
Daily mean °C (°F) 11.6
(52.9)
13.8
(56.8)
18.6
(65.5)
25.0
(77)
30.0
(86)
32.2
(90)
29.8
(85.6)
29.0
(84.2)
27.9
(82.2)
23.7
(74.7)
17.8
(64)
12.8
(55)
22.6
(72.7)
Average low °C (°F) 5.0
(41)
7.1
(44.8)
11.8
(53.2)
17.3
(63.1)
22.0
(71.6)
25.1
(77.2)
25.1
(77.2)
24.8
(76.6)
22.3
(72.1)
16.0
(60.8)
9.6
(49.3)
5.6
(42.1)
16.0
(60.8)
Record low °C (°F) −1.1
(30)
−1.0
(30.2)
3.0
(37.4)
9.0
(48.2)
13.4
(56.1)
18.0
(64.4)
19.5
(67.1)
18.7
(65.7)
13.3
(55.9)
8.5
(47.3)
3.0
(37.4)
−0.6
(30.9)
−1.1
(30)
Rainfall mm (inches) 41.1
(1.618)
43.8
(1.724)
53.7
(2.114)
30.1
(1.185)
28.0
(1.102)
65.6
(2.583)
288.4
(11.354)
259.1
(10.201)
94.1
(3.705)
14.5
(0.571)
9.1
(0.358)
30.4
(1.197)
957.9
(37.712)
Source: NOAA (1971–1990)[5]

Government[edit]

The Sialkot District Government is headed by the District Administrator who is assisted by the Deputy Administrator who is also Speaker of the District Council. The District Administrator is elected by the Administrators of the Union Councils and Union Councillors who, themselves, are elected directly by the votes of the local public. There are 152 Union Councils in District Sialkot. The District Administrator is assisted by the District Coordination Officer (DCO) and the District Police Officer (DPO). All the Departments are grouped and placed under the Executive District Officers, of various Departments, including Health, Finance, Revenue, Industry, Agriculture, Education, Law, Literacy, IT, Community Development, Transport, etc. who are subordinate to the DCO. In addition to that District Account Office performs the function of pre-audit of all the Departments of Federal, provincial and District Government. This Office is headed by the Assistant Accountant General (AAG) who is representative of the Accountant General of the Punjab and works in an independent capacity. The city is managed by the Tehsil Municipal Administration which is headed by a Tehsil Administrator. The Sialkot Cantonment is managed by Sialkot Cantonment Board.

Language and demography[edit]

Further information: Punjabi dialects

As per the 1998 census of Pakistan, Punjabi language is spoken by 95%. Punjabi dialects spoken in the city are

  • Majhi or Standard (Majority)
  • Dogri/Darhab (Jammu and Narowal district's people)

Other Languages include:

  • Urdu being national language is spoken and understood.
  • English is also understood and spoken by the sizeable educated people.
  • Pashto Sialkot has also attracted many labourers and other entrepreneurs many of whom hail from Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), notably from Bajaur and Mohmand agencies who have set up vibrant businesses throughout the area.

Population of the Sialkot city (proper) is about 510,863. Its population density is 1160/km2 and population growth rate is very low as compared to other urban areas of Pakistan. In 1947, Sialkot was the 6th largest city[citation needed] in Pakistan (150,000) and in 2009, it is the 13th largest city.

Economy and industry[edit]

The Per Capita Income of Sialkot in 2012 is $2800, which was $2400 in 2010 and $2100 in 2008. Sialkot is the fourth largest economic hub in Punjab after Lahore, Faisalabad and Gujranwala. It is commercially linked with the Lahore Stock Exchange through its Sialkot branch, known as the Sialkot Trading Floor (STF). The State Bank of Pakistan and the Export Promotion Bureau of Pakistan have branch offices in Sialkot. After Karachi, Sialkot is Pakistan's second largest source of foreign exchange earnings through its exports and remittances from the overseas manpower. For the past several decades, the manufacturers and exporters of the city have been awarded the annual National Exports Award by the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry. Sialkot has an Industrial Estate and an Export Processing Zone. Another Export Processing Zone is planned along the Sialkot Lahore Motorway. The per capita income of Sialkot is ranked among the highest in Pakistan.

The history of industrialisation of Sialkot is very old. The Damascene craftsmen of Sialkot (koftgars or koftars) were famous during the Mughal era for their fine swords and daggers[citation needed]. Papermaking in Sialkot dates back to the time of the Mughal Emperor Akbar which was famous all over the world. Brick making was another historic skill of the people of the Sialkot and those bricks were known as the "Sialkoti Bricks" throughout South Asia. Most of the states in the South Asian region relied on the slender but strong Sialkoti brickslanateer for the erection of forts, castles, monuments, public buildings, infrastructure construction, etc.[citation needed].

Sialkot is the world's largest producer of hand-sewed footballs, with local factories manufacturing 40~60 million footballs a year, amounting to roughly 70% of world production. There is a well-applied child labour ban, the Atlanta Agreement, in the industry since a 1997 outcry.[6]

During the colonial era British India's first bagpipe works opened in the city, today there are 20 pipe bands in the city.[7] Sialkot is Also providing Dental Instruments, Surgical Instruments, Beauty Instruments and other all sorts of Hospital Equipments. Other important industries in Sialkot include Leather Tanneries, Leather Garments, Musical Instruments, Surgical and Dental Instruments, Sportswear including Martial arts wear, Gloves, Badges, Seat and Walking Sticks, Cutlery, Hunting Knives, Air guns and Shotguns. These are all export-oriented businesses and earn billions of dollars every year in foreign exchange. There are several other allied industries which are working day and night as vendors for the automobile industry of Pakistan. Sialkot has also a rich tradition of producing wooden and steel furniture, rubber products, cooking utensils, bicycles, their tyres and tubes and shoes[citation needed].

The note able thing in this city for the year of 2014 is that FIFA world cup soccer ball is made by a Sialkot company named Forward sports http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-150235-Brazilian-ambassador-unveils-Pak-made-FIFA-soccer-ball

Notable residents[edit]

Sialkot is the birthplace of the prominent scholar, philosopher and poet, Dr. Muhammad Iqbal, as well as the scholar and poet, Faiz Ahmed Faiz. Chaudhry Sir Muhammad Zafarullah Khan was one of the leading Founding Fathers of modern Pakistan, politician, statesman, diplomat, international jurist, known for drafting the Pakistan Resolution, first foreign minister of Pakistan, for his representation of Pakistan at the United Nations,serving as a judge at the International Court of Justice in The Hague and the first Muslim UN General Assembly President and only Pakistani to ever do so. Shiv Kumar Batalvi was born in a Saraswat Brahmin family on 23 July 1936 (though a few documents related to him state 7 October 1937 as his date of birth), in village Bara Pind Lohtian, Shakargarh Tehsil, Sialkot District (now in Punjab province, Pakistan).

From the Armed Forces there are two distinguished people who rose above the rank of 4 stars in modern history. Generalissimo Mohammad Iqbal Shedai was a 6-star officer above field marshal, and this rank was conferred to him by Benito Mussolini, dictator of Italy, over the Battaglione Azad Hindoustan Army. General Khalid Shameem Wynne ex CJCS Pakistan Army though not born in Sialkot but has his linkages from this land. He was son of Lieutenant Colonel Arshad Shameem born in Sialkot. He belongs from Bijli Mohala Sialkot. Amjad Islam Amjad the famous writer, lyricist and poet was born at Sialkot. Professor Rajinder Singh Bedi, a well-known writer, was also born at Sialkot. Narendra Kohli, a prominent writer, belongs to Sialkot as well. Zulfikar Ghose, a well-known writer, was born at Sialkot. The Indian journalist, Kuldip Nayyar, was also born at Sialkot. Prominent journalists, Khalid Hasan, Hamid Mir. Jawed Iqbal, Muhammad Farooq and Mumtaz Hamid Rao are other famous personalities from Sialkot. The Indian politician and twice Prime Minister of India, Gulzari Lal Nanda, was from Sialkot. The orator of Pakistan Syed Faiz-ul Hassan Shah was from Sialkot. Maulana Ubaidullah Sindhi was born at Sialkot. Khawaja Muhammad Safdar a former acting president of Pakistan and chairman of the Majlis-e-Shoora hails from Sialkot. Khawaja Muhammad Asif and Chaudhry Amir Hussain former Speakers of the National Assembly, former interior minister Rehman Malik, former federal minister Firdous Ashiq Awan.

The Pakistani (Lollywood) actor Waheed Murad, Indian (Bollywood) actors Rajendra Kumar and A. K. Hangal were born at Sialkot while Dev Anand was born in Tehsil Shakargarh now in Sialkot District. Ghulam Ali, the Ghazal singer and Ustad Allah Rakha, the famous Sarangi Nawaz, are from Sialkot. Sialkot is the home city of many players of the Pakistan National Cricket Team. Ijaz Butt (Former chairman, Pakistan Cricket Board), Zaheer Abbas, Ijaz Ahmed, Shoaib Malik, Mansoor Amjad, Zahid Fazal, Abdur Rehman Raza Hasan, Sikandar Raza (Zimbabwean cricket player) and Jawaid Iqbal (Hong Kong national cricket player) were all born at Sialkot. The captains and players of the Pakistani National Hockey team including Shahnaz Sheikh, Manzoor Hussain Jr., Nasir Ali, Asif Bajwa (secretary of Pakistan Hockey Federation), Tariq Sheikh, Zahid Sheikh, Muhammad Waqas Sharif, Mahmood Hussain, Maqsood Hussain, Munir Bhatti and Kamran Ashraf hail from this city.

Important sites[edit]

Sialkot is a great center of the Punjabi culture. The old city has a fascinating labyrinth of narrow streets and crowded bazaars. In the old part of the city is located the shrine of Hazrat Imam Ali-ul-Haq also known as Imam Sahib. The mausoleum complex is a maze of narrow corridors leading to several shrines of saints. The tomb of Imam Ali-ul-Haq is to the right, through a mirrored gateway tiled with Koranic inscriptions and geometric designs. On a low hill, in the centre of the old city, are the few remains of the Sialkot Fort which is popularly believed to mark the site of the original stronghold of Raja Salivahan; but the fort itself is not more than 1000 years old and is said to have been rebuilt by Shahab-ud-Din Ghauri at the end of the twelfth century A.D. The fort is now dismantled, and the few buildings it contains are used for public purposes. The shrine of the Muslim saint, Pir Muradia Shah, is also situated on the Sialkot Fort. Puran's Well is a famous historical site, which is related with the Punjabi folklore 'Bhagat Puran'. It is located just outside the city of Sialkot. According to Mutiny in Sialkot there were remains of Puran's tomb extant in 1857 but now there is no tomb except for a small building, a small place for worship and a running well.

Also of interest is the birthplace of Dr. Muhammad Iqbal (1877–1938) which has been turned into a small museum containing some of his belongings and a library and named as Iqbal Manzil (Iqbal House). The most famous square of the city is the Iqbal Chowk. Here, the famous Shaheen (Falcon) monument has been erected to pay tributes to Dr. Muhammad Iqbal (falcon is a metaphor for the Muslim youth in Iqbal's poetry). Near the Iqbal Chowk is located the biggest grand mosque of the city, Jamia Masjid Donga Bagh. One of its three minarets is the tallest landmark in Sialkot. Other places of interest include the tombs of the great Muslim scholars, Mullah Abdul Hakim Sialkoti near Abdul Hakim Park, Hakim Khadim Ali on Khadim Ali Road and Hafiz Muhammad Alam, near Do Darwaza (the name of one of the gates of the once walled city). Allo Mahar a village that contains the shrines of many Islamic saints.

Seerat Study Center is situated at the southern edge of the Khayaban-I-Iqbal (Company Bagh) on Ghazi Road. It is a world-renonwed center for conducting research on the life of the Prophet Muhammad. Located in the cantonment area is the famous Holy Trinity Cathedral Church also known as the Sialkot Cathedral which was built in 1852. On Zafarwal Road is located a famous Sikh Gurdwara Beri Sahib. Every year, many Sikh pilgrims come to visit here. In Saddar Bazar is located the famous Clock Tower which is more than a century old. The Connelley Park (named after a British Deputy Commissioner of Sialkot), was converted to Jinnah Stadium in 1979. The Jinnah Stadium has one of the fastest cricket pitches in Pakistan. Close to Jinnah Stadium is located the famous Murray College which was established in 1889. Its alumni include Dr Muhammad Iqbal and Faiz Ahmad Faiz.

Sialkot has three main parks, Khayaban-e-Iqbal Park, Gulshan-i-Iqbal Park on Parsur Road and Garrison Park on Kashmir Road. More than a century old Company Garden (Khayaban-i-Iqbal Park) is located on Ghazanvi Road in the Sialkot cantonment. Some other famous and historic places are the Talab Maula Bakhush and Ram Talai. Talab Maula Bakhush is the place where, in May 1944, the historic Sialkot Convention of the All India Muslim League was held. It was also attended by Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Liaquat Ali Khan. Both sites have been converted to mini stadiums for traditional wrestling (Kabadi) and volleyball matches and also for political rallies.

A View of Marala Headworks

There are several famous squares in the city as Beri Wala Chowk, Nawab Din Chowk, Dara-Araian, Imam Sahib Chowk, Shahab Pura Chowk, Sublime Chowk, Hansa Chowk and Anwar Khawaja Chowk. Famous markets (bazaars) are Bazar Kalan, Trunk Bazar, Tehsil Bazar, Lahai Bazar and Saddar Bazar. The Sialkot Railway Station, is situated on the Railway Road near the Iqbal Chowk. On the Paris Road is located the American Christian Mission Hospital which was established in 1880. Also located there is the Sialkot Chamber of Commerce & Industry and the branches of many multi-national banks.

Marala Headworks is located on the Chenab river about 20 km from Sialkot. Two major water canals originate at the Marala Headworks – the Marala-Ravi Link Canal and the Upper Chenab Canal. Planning of the Mangla-Marala Link Canal is in the pipeline. The area around the Marala Headworks lake is also a picnic spot. The Bajwat Wildlife Sanctuary includes a complex of natural riverine habitats along the Chenab river and two of its tributaries, extending up to the border with India with a total area of 5400 hectares providing protection to waterfowl, as well as a variety of mammals including Hog Deer and Nilgai.

Transport[edit]

Sialkot International Airport is the first-ever private-sector airport of Pakistan managed by the Sialkot International Airport Limited (SIAL) consortium. It is near Sambrial and is noted for having the longest runway in Pakistan. Direct flights are available from Sialkot International Airport to Karachi, Islamabad, Sharjah, London, Dubai U.A.E, Muscat, Kuwait, Dammam, Jeddah, Riyadh. Emirates airline also commence their service from 5 November 2013. Pakistan International Airlines has plans to start non-stop flights from Sialkot to Manchester and Barcellona. Hajj flights started in 2009. Emirates was expected to start flights in mid-2011 to Dubai. Airblue will operate on domestic routes to Islamabad, Multan and Karachi in mid-2011.

A small Sialkot Cantonment Airport, located in the Sialkot Cantonment, is used by the aviation wing of the Pakistan Army. This airport has been used as a public airport by Pakistan International Airlines for operating a helicopter service from Sialkot to Islamabad in 1995–1996.

Sialkot Dry Port carries the honour of being the first-ever private-sector dry port in Asia. It was established in 1986 near Sambrial, about 20 km from Sialkot city under the control of the Sialkot Dry Port Trust.

Sialkot is served by Pakistan Railways through the Sialkot Junction. Sialkot used to be a junction in the British era with trains leaving for Jammu and Gurdaspur. Plans are under consideration to reopen open the Jammu-Sialkot Line for an international train between Sialkot and Jammu. Express trains to and from Narowal, Lahore, Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, Multan, Bahawalpur and Karachi are available daily. The station is in the center of the city. Other suburban train stations are Ugoki and Sambrial.

Sialkot is about two hours from Lahore and four hours from Islamabad. It is linked with the National Highway N-5 through Gujranwala and Wazirabad. A dual carriage-way is available between Sialkot and Wazirabad. A new bridge on the Chenab river, the Shahbazpur bridge, is under construction in the north-east of Gujrat. Once completed, it will connect Sialkot to N-5 at Gujrat. The Sialkot Lahore Motorway (M-11) is also under construction. All the bus and commuter coach stations are on the Jail Road. A bus service operated by Daewoo Express is available from Sialkot to Larkana, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Gujranwala and Multan.

Recently,[when?] public transport was launched in Sialkot on one route which circles the city. The Sialkot Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SCCI) has signed an MOU with American bus company to provide air-conditioned local transport to Sialkot with CNG fuel. However, the main mode of transport in the city is the auto-rickshaw. Although no proper taxi service exists in the city, there are many rent-a-car outlets which provides vehicles with drivers.

Educational institutions[edit]

Sialkot has a fairly well-developed educational infrastructure that comprises a sub campus of university of management and technology, a sub campus of university of gujrat, a sub-campus of the Fatima Jinnah Women University, a sub-campus of the Virtual University of Pakistan, 8 Degree Colleges for Women, 5 Degree Colleges for Men, 2 Cadet Colleges, 6 Commerce Colleges, one Law College, one Medical College, one Homeopathic Medical College, one Nursing School, one Para-Medical School, one Poly-Technic Institute, with numerous Inter Colleges, Higher Secondary Schools and over 250 High Schools.

The Convent of Jesus and Mary, Sialkot was established in 1856. It was the first Catholic mission school in Punjab and the second of its kind in British India. Other eminent private-sector schools include the American School, the City School and the Beaconhouse School and Zaka Public School and College GulBahar :http://zps.edu.pk

The Murray College, Sialkot was established in 1889 as the Scotch Mission College by the Scottish missionaries belonging to the Church of Scotland Mission. It is one of the oldest educational institutions in Pakistan offering education up to the post-graduate level.

The Sialkot Medical College was established in 2002 with a sanction of Rs. 750 million. 30 seats were allocated for the year 2003 at the Services Institute of Medical Sciences, Lahore to be shifted to the Sialkot Medical College in 2004. However, because of local politics, the project was shelved. In April 2007, the President of Pakistan again announced an immediate construction of the Medical College building in Sialkot. Temporary project office has been established at the Allama Iqbal Memorial Hospital, Sialkot which will also be the attached teaching hospital. Islam Medical Collage is a private sector medical collage, having a modern campus on Pasrur Road.

The Fatima Jinnah Women University Sialkot Campus is a sub-campus of the Fatima Jinnah Women University and is being established in Sialkot starting from 2008. The sub-campus of the FJWU in Sialkot will be established on a 200-acre (0.81 km2) land with a cost of Rs 300 million.

The University of Management & technology sialkot campus is a sub campus of University of Management and Technology (UMT) & was formally opened in Sialkot on May 02, 2012.

The University of Gujrat Sialkot Campus is a sub-campus of the University of Gujrat, Gujrat and is being established in Sialkot starting from 2013.

Sports[edit]

The Sialkot Cricket Team are known as the Sialkot Stallions. They are National Champions and have won The Quaid-i-Azam Trophy during the 2008–2009 season and were also national champions in 2005–2006 when thy won The Quaid-i-Azam Trophy Golden League. Sialkot were runners-up in 2006–2007 and also won The ABN-AMRO Twenty-20 Cup in 2005–2006 and 2006–2007 and RBS Twenty-20 Cup 2007–2008 and then 2008–2009 to complete a title hat-trick. The team's home ground is Jinnah Stadium.

Sialkot annually hosts the Allama Iqbal Open Golf Championship at the Sialkot Golf Club. The Sialkot Hockey Stadium is located at Pasrur Road adjacent to the Gulshan-i-Iqbal Park Sialkot. The Sialkot Sports Complex is under construction at Daska Road with Tartan track facility for track running events. Sialkot Junior Hockey Team play in National Junior Hockey League. The Crescent Hockey Club has played in the Surjit Silver Jubilee hockey tournament at Jalandhar in 2008.

Sister Cities[edit]

Photos[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Babur Nama Page 250 published by Penguin
  2. ^ Zutshi, Chitralekha (2003), Language of belonging: Islam, regional identity, and the making of Kashmir, Oxford University Press/Permanent Black. Pp. 359, ISBN 978-0-19-521939-5 
  3. ^ K Conboy, "Elite Forces of India and Pakistan" ISBN 1-85532-209-9, page 9
  4. ^ The India-Pakistan Air War of 1965, Synopsis. Retrieved 26 May 2008 at the Internet Archive
  5. ^ "Sialkot Climate Normals 1971–1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 16 January 2013. 
  6. ^ Hasnain Kazim (16 March 2010). "The Football Stitchers of Sialkot". Spiegel International. Retrieved 7 November 2011. 
  7. ^ "Punjab pays tartan homage to Caledonia | World news | The Observer". Guardian. 25 April 2004. Retrieved 22 November 2013. 

External links[edit]