Sialkot District

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ضِلع سيالكوٹ
District
Sialkot District
Map of Punjab with Sialkot District highlighted
Map of Punjab with Sialkot District highlighted
Country Pakistan
Province Punjab
Headquarters Sialkot
Government
 • District Coordination Officer Zahid Saleem Gondal
 • District Police Officer Afzaal Ahmed Kausar
Area
 • Total 3,016 km2 (1,164 sq mi)
Population (2011)
 • Total 4,200,000
 • Density 903/km2 (2,340/sq mi)
Time zone PST (UTC+5)
Number of Tehsils 4
Website www.sialkot.gov.pk

Sialkot District (Urdu: ضِلع سيالكوٹ‎), is one of the districts of the Punjab province of Pakistan. It is located in the north-east of the province. The city of Sialkot is the capital of the district. Sialkot is the 3rd richest city of Pakistan.[citation needed] In sialkot cantonment was established in 1852.

Administration[edit]

The district is administratively divided into the following four tehsils (subdivisions), which contain a total of 122 Union Councils:[1][2][3]

Tehsil No. of Unions
Daska 42
Pasrur 28
Sambrial
Sialkot 52
Total 122

Language[edit]

Further information: Punjabi dialects

As per the 1998 census of Pakistan, Punjabi language is spoken by 95%. Punjabi dialects spoken in the district 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 sizable educated people.

History[edit]

Sialkot District was 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 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 Sialkot 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 Punjab region.

The legendary history of the District is connected with Raja Salivahan, the reputed founder of the town of Sialkot, and his famous son Rasalu. Pasrur is also an ancient place. At an early date the District fell to the Rajas of Jammu, and under the Mughals formed the Rechna Doab sarkar of the Subah of Lahore. Under Shah Jahan the sarkar was entrusted to Ali Mardan Khan, the famous engineer, who dug a canal through it to bring water from the Chenab river to the imperial gardens in Lahore. On the decline of the Mughal empire Ranjit Singh Deo, a Rajput hill chief, extended his sway over the lowlands, owning a nominal allegiance to Delhi. In 1748 he transferred his allegiance to Ahmad Shah Durrani, who added Zafarwal and two other parganas to his fief. Before his death in 1773 Ranjit Deo had secured possession of the whole District, except the Sialkot town and its dependencies, which were held by a Pashtun family.[4]

After the decline of the Mughal Empire, the Sikh invaded and occupied Sialkot District. The Muslims were co-operative with them due to shared ethnicity. During the period of British rule, Sialkot district increased in population and importance.

During the Indian Rebellion of 1857 the station was denuded of British troops; and the Native regiments which were left behind rose, and, after sacking the jail, treasury, and courthouse, and massacring several of the European inhabitants, marched off towards Delhi, only to be destroyed by Nicholson at Trimmu Ghat. The rest of the Europeans took refuge in the fort, and on the morning after the departure of the rebels order was restored. The only events of interest in the subsequent history of the District are the plague riots which occurred at the villages of Shahzada and Sankhatra in 1901.[4]

Numerous mounds are scattered about the District, which mark the sites of ancient villages and towns. None of them, except that on which the Sialkot fort stood, has been excavated, but silver and copper utensils and coins have been dug up from time to time by villagers. Most of the coins are those of Indo-Bactrian kings. The excavations in Sialkot revealed the existence of some old baths, with hot-water pipes of solid masonry. The fort itself, of which very little now remains, is not more than 1,ooo years old, and is said to have been rebuilt by Shahab-ud-din Ghori at the end of the twelfth century.[4]

In 1859, Gurdaspur, Amritsar and Sialkot were placed in the new division of Sialkot. But in 1884, Gurdaspur along with Amritsar again became a part of the Lahore Division.

According to the 1901 census the district had a population of 1,083,909 and contained 7 towns and 2,348 villages. The population at previous three enumerations were: 1,004,695 (1868), 1,012,148 (1881) and 1,119,847 (1891). The population decreased between 1891-1901 by 3.2,[4] the decrease being greatest in the Raya tahsil and least in Daska. The Chenab Colony was responsible for this fall in population, no less than 103,000 persons having left to take land in the newly irrigated tracts.[5]

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, musical instruments, sports goods, leather goods, textile products and other light manufactures.

The district was subdivided into five tehsils namely: Sialkot, Pasrur, Zafarwal, Raya and Daska, the headquarters of each being at the place from which it is named. The chief towns of the district were Sialkot, Daska, Jamki, Pasrur, Kila Sobha Singh, Zafarwal and Narowal.[5]

Tehsil Area (sq mi) Towns Villages Population (1901) Population per sq mi Population variation 1891-1901 Number of literate people
Sialkot 428 1 637 312,668 730.5 +3.2 12,101
Pasrur 394 2 443 193,746 491.7 -5.0 5,601
Sambrial 485 1 456 192,440 396.8 +10.4 5,586
Daska 360 2 332 206,148 572.6 -0.6 4,103
Total 1,991 7 2,348 1,083,909 544.4 -3.2 31,341

In 1930, the tehsils of Raya, Daska and Pasrur were split up and parts of these were amalgamated into Gujranwala District. In 1991, the tehsils of Narowal and Shakar Garh (which was tehsil Shankar Garh of Gurdaspur district before the independence of Pakistan in 1947) were split up and formed into the new Narowal District.

Geography[edit]

Sialkot District lies southeast of Gujrat District, southwest of Jammu district, while Narowal District is to the southeast and Gujranwala District is situated to the west. Sialkot district is spread over an area of 3,016 square kilometers.

Climate and soil[edit]

Sialkot is hot and humid during the summer and cold during the winter. June and July are the hottest months. The maximum temperature during winter may drop to -2 °C. The land is generally plain and fertile. The average annual rain fall is about 1000 mm. Over 25.82% of the population of the district is urban.[6]

Infrastructure[edit]

The main crops grown in the district are wheat and rice, the main fruits are guava and citruses - vegetables cultivated include potatoes, turnips, garlic, cauliflower, peas, and onions. The district has 15,078 acres (61.02 km2) of forest, 12,295 km of metalled roads, 12 grid stations, 45 telephone exchanges and 3229 industrial units.

Tribes and Clans[edit]

According to the Gazateer in 1901 the Jatts(Bajwa, Cheema, Sahi, Kahlon, Malhi etc.) are the largest and most dominant group in Sialkot District and compose 28% of the Population. Other agricultural groups include socially dominant Rajputs and small time Arain farmers which are in approximately equal numbers, followed by Awans, Gujjars respectively. There is also a very large population of Kashmiris, Shaikhs and other trading castes, along with Mochis (leather workers), Mirasis, Nais(barbers) and numerous others.[7]

Agriculture[edit]

The major crops and fruit of district Sialkot are wheat, rice, citrus and guava. Their average annual production over the period 1998-2001 was 453, 242, 6 and 11 thousand Metric Tons, respectively. A variety of vegetables are also grown in the district.

There are 14 flour mills, 57 rice husking units, one sugar mill, one vegetable ghee unit and one fruit juice unit already working in the district. However, there exist good prospects for rice bran oil, rice husk briquettes, maize products, dal mills, etc.

There are number of major factories which are contributing to make the economy stronger.

Livestock[edit]

As per Punjab Development Statistics for the year 2000, the population of cattle, buffaloes, sheep and goats was 195, 471, 42 and 137 thousand heads respectively. For poultry, there were 954 broiler, 134 layer and 9 breeding poultry farms, having a rearing capacity of 11150, 747 and 63 thousand birds respectively. The annual availability of hides and skins is estimated at 536 thousand pieces. In the district of Sialkot there are 92 tanneries, 244 leather garments/products manufacturing units, and more than 900 leather sports goods manufacturing units. There exists a scope for dairy farms, animal/poultry feed, and cattle/sheep/goat fattening farms.

Industry[edit]

District Sialkot is traditionally a centre of sports goods, surgical instruments, leather goods/garments, cutlery, musical instruments industries. There are also various types of plastic- and metal-based industries. In view of the existing industries, there exists a good scope for material testing laboratory, forging, electroplating unit, hospital furniture, disposable syringes, hospital gloves, steel furniture, cast iron pipe, steel pipes/tubes, galvanized iron pipe, industrial gloves, and special thread for sports goods industries.

Notable people[edit]

Muhammad Waqas Sharif, Mahmood Hussain, maqsood Hussain, Munir Bhatti and Kamran Ashraf, Pakistan National Hockey team players.

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

Coordinates: 32°31′12″N 74°33′00″E / 32.52000°N 74.55000°E / 32.52000; 74.55000