Map of Punjab with Vehari District highlighted
|• Total||4,373 km2 (1,688 sq mi)|
|Time zone||PST (UTC+5)|
and a subtehsil:
The district was created on 1 July 1976 out of the three tehsils of Multan District (Vehari Burewala and Mailsi). The name Vehari means low-lying settlement by a flood water channel. The district lies along the right bank of the river Sutlej, which forms its southern boundary.
As per national census of 1998 Punjabi is the main language of Vehari spoken by 94% population (83% Majhi dialect, 11% in siraiki dialect). Urdu, the national language, is spoken widely while English spoken by educated elite. Other language spoken by few afghan refugees is Pashto.
The total area of the district is 4,364 square kilometres (1,685 sq mi). It is about 93 kilometres (58 mi) in length and approximately 47 kilometres (29 mi) in breadth and it is sloping gently from northeast to southwest.
The district consists of plain area with fertile land. It is a part of Indus plain. It has the best cultivated land which is suitable for cotton, wheat and other agricultural crops. Vehari district lies Nili Bar which is between Ravi and Bias and Sutlej rivers. Its land is irrigated with the fertile water of Chenab and Ravi rivers. Vehari District has a big canal system with two canals namely Pakpatan and Mailsi canal. The total number of canals including their minors in the district are 19 with a total length of about 1,380.
The Beas River is known locally as the Viyah. The old bed of the river is known as Sukh Bias. During heavy floods nominal water flow into the nullah. The stream enters Vehari district near Sheikh Fazal and joins Satluj River via Pakhi More and Pul. The path of the nullah has changed over the years; it currently joins Satluj River via Burewala.
Vehari 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 Vehari 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.
After the decline of the Mughal Empire, the Sikh invaded and occupied Vehari District. The Muslims faced severe restrictions during the Sikh rule. During the period of British rule, Vehari district increased in population and importance.
Vehari District is the result of construction of the Pakpattan canal from Sulemanki Head Works on the Sutlej and the institution of Nili Bar colony project in 1925, so called because of the hints of blue in the water of the Sutlej. The ancient history of the district is obscure. The populated areas in ancient times was restricted to the banks of the river Sutlej where seasonal inundation permitted some cultivation. The rest of the area was a vast sandy scrap-land at best affording pastures itinerant herdsmen. The riparian tract formed the state of Fatehpur during the time of Akbar the Great. This was ruled by Fateh Khan of Joya family who founded and gave his name to the town of Fatehpur. Fatehpur is still in existence about 15 kilometres to the south of Mailsi and is the oldest town of Mailsi subdivision. It has some remains of archaeological value.
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 Vehari District.
In May 2002, Vehari District was the scene of a shootout between members of the Sunni militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) and local Shia villagers. LeJ members had come to a local village to stage an attack on a prominent local Shia, but were met with local armed resistance. In the ensuing shootout, all four LeJ members were killed, including their leader, Riaz Basra.
In sports, Vehari has produced many talents. It is famous in the field of hockey. Famous players in the history of the game include:
- Waseem Ahmad, former captain of Pakistan national field hockey team
- Waqar Younis, former captain of Pakistan national cricket team
- Mohammad Irfan Tallest cricketer plays for Pakistan national cricket team
- Mohammad Zahid Former fast bowler of Pakistan national cricket team
- Sajjad Anwar former hockey player of Pakistan national field hockey team
Education institutes in Vehari District include:
- COMSATS University of Science and Technology, Vehari campus
- Punjab Institute of Technology Faisal Town Vehari
- University of Education (UE), Vehari campus (established 2002)
- Bilal Higher Secondary School
- Divisional Public School
- Grammar Girls Secondary School
- The City School
- The Best Group of Colleges
- The Educators
- Punjab College
- Jinnah Institute of Technology, Vehari
- THE INTELLECTS School
- Misali Science Girls Model High School Luddan Vehari
- Vehari Public School Vehari (Established 1994)
- Rehman Public School Vehari (Chak No.65/WB)
- Pasban Public School Vehari (Chak No.22/WB)
The climate of the district is hot and dry. The summer season starts in April and continues until October. May, June, and July are the hottest months. The mean maximum and minimum temperatures for these months are about 47 and 28 degrees Celsius. Dry, hot, and dusty winds are common during summer. The winter season lasts from November to March. December, January and February are the coldest months. The mean maximum and minimum temperatures for this period are about 22 and 4 °C. Fog is very common during winter.
- Tehsils & Unions in the District of Vehari - Government of Pakistan
- Police kill Pakistan's most wanted man BBC News, 14 May 2002
- Howard D. French For Militant, No Glorified End, but Death in the Dust New York Times, May 19, 2002