Wah Cantonment

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Wah Cantt
واہ کینٹ
Wah Cantt is located in Pakistan
Wah Cantt
Wah Cantt
Wah Cantt
Coordinates: 33°46′17″N 72°45′06″E / 33.7714°N 72.7518°E / 33.7714; 72.7518Coordinates: 33°46′17″N 72°45′06″E / 33.7714°N 72.7518°E / 33.7714; 72.7518
Country Pakistan
Region Punjab
Division Rawalpindi
Established 1951[1]
Area
 • City 90.65 km2 (35.00 sq mi)
Elevation 471 m (1,545 ft)
Population (2012)[2]
 • Density 3,861/km2 (10,000/sq mi)
 • Urban 350,000
Time zone PST (UTC+5)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC+5)
General Post Office(GPO) 47040[3]
Area code(s) 0514
Website www.wahcantt.com/

Wah Cantonment (Punjabi, Urdu: واہ کینٹ) (often abbreviated to Wah Cantt.) is a military city located in the Punjab province of Pakistan, 30 km (19 mi) to the north west of Rawalpindi/Islamabad.

History[edit]

Wah Cantt is adjacent to Taxila, a small town enriched with one of the most important archaeological sites of the world.

The name 'Wah' has its roots in the Mughal era with the Mughal emperor Jehangir reported to have coined the name when his army was stationed at Wah, originally called 'Jalal Sar' nearby here, en route from a visit to Kashmir. Emperor Jehangir was impressed by the scenery of that place, so he said "Wah" ('wow') and so that village was named 'Wah' after that exclamation[4] The Mughal advent had a strong influence on the architecture of the village and whole area which is still visible to date with prominent Mughal sites like the Wah Gardens.

After gaining Independence, Pakistan had no facilities capable of producing armaments and ammunition so urgent plans were made for an ordnance factory near Wah village, Punjab. Thus, the Wah Cantonment (or Cantt) came into being in 1951, when Prime Minister Khawaja Nazim-u-Din unveiled the foundation stone of Pakistan Ordnance Factories Wah Cantt. Chaudhry Sardar Khan was the founder and first Deputy Director General of Pakistan Ordnance Factories (POF), Wah Cantt[citation needed]. POF is not one ammunition factory but it is in fact a complex of 14 factories manufacturing arms and ammunition ranging from bullets, shells, assault rifles, missiles and bombs. Heavy Industries in neighbouring Taxila produces tanks and other heavy arms. The nearby town of Kamra is the site of Pakistan Aeronautical Complex where aircraft are manufactured, assembled, repaired and overhauled for the Air Force.

Geography[edit]

Wah Cantt is located 50 km (appx. 30 miles) north west of Islamabad. It is a valley which is surrounded by hills in all directions. Wah Cantt is located in an area suitable for growing every sort of crops, especially fruits. This area was not much developed before the construction of the POF, but now it is one of the most advanced and developed places in Pakistan.

Culture[edit]

Wah Cantt is a multicultural City. People with various ethnic backgrounds live and work here.People from different religious background live here. Culture from Karachi to Khyber can be observed in the city. People are skillful and educated and most of them are factory employees. The city is rather quiet in the morning, but all charm of the city is restored in the evening. The hustle bustle of people for evening walks, children and elders playing games in playing grounds and elderly sitting on grass gardens add to the beauty of city. The city is said to have one of the best civic amenities in the entire country with a solid health care and education system.

Wah Cantt is divided into 27 sectors and some private housing colonies.New sectors are building near New City. The commonly known colonies are Chachi Mohallah, Officer's colony, Basti, Lala Rukh Colony, Shahwali Colony, Lala Zar, Gulistan colony, Shadaman Town, gulshan colony, benazir colony, and AC Wah. Popular markets include Aslam market, Basti market, Anwaar chowk, Laiq Ali chowk Munirabad, Asifaabad, Ahmed Nagar and Nawab Abad . This city is distinguished because of a very high standard of education. Literacy rate is approximately 98%.The Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz said "Wah Cantt possessed ideal education and health facilities and I am impressed with the 98 per cent literary rate in this city". it was also titles as the "THE ISLAND OF EXCELLENCE" 120 educational institutes serve over 50,000 students.

Wah also has 'Senior Citizen Foundation of Pakistan – Wah Chapter[5]' office. The organisation is devoted to the welfare of the senior citizens of Wah. The President Ghulam Muhammad and Secretary General Mushtaq Ahmed and executive committee of the organisation are providing dedicated services to the senior citizens of Wah. The organisation has an active Facebook presence. Some of their prominent contribution to the Senior Citizens in Wah are:-

Establishment of Senior Citizen office at Lalarukh. Library where most daily newspapers and journals are kept for senior citizens. The library also holds an invaluable collection of books. TV room for watching interesting programs. Medical Services like Physiotherapy, Blood Sugar tests and discounted medicines and holding of free medical camps. Free travel passes to use on local transport. Matrimonial services. Organization of regular recreation and educational trips for members.

Besides the organisation also holds quarterly and annual meetings where the chairman POF Board and other officials participate and encourage the activities of ageing citizens.

Sports[edit]

People of this city are highly interested in sports especially in cricket. There are a number of grounds, about 300 small and big ones where different games are in proceeding all the time. Even in Ramzan sometimes people old up to 50 are found engaged in playing while above 70's watching them and rising appraisals.

F.G Science Degree College's basketball team is champion of All Pakistan basketball championship last 9 times consecutively

Wah has a hockey field laid with Astro Turf, one of the earliest examples of it in this once hockey-mad nation. The Hockey Stadium at Welfare Club (near Anwar Chowk) is a sad reminder of the glory days of Pakistani hockey when the country was an undisputed champion and a recognised super power in this game. Moreover, the CB Ground (near Barrier 3) is also be used for cricket.

Welfare Clubnow known as POF Sports Complex also has an indoor sports arena as well as a swimming pool. Another swimming facility is located at Ordnance Club near Aslam Market.

Wah also has a Golf Course named "POF Golf Course". Currently the number one ranked Player on this course is Mr Rehan Akhtar from Rawalpindi. (BY Waqas Javed) The saviour of Pakistan hockey who brought home a gold in 68 Olympics, Zakir Hussain,belonged to Wah Cantt...."Zakir Hussain (born 1934,Lahore) is a Pakistani field hockey player. He was born in Lahore. He won a gold medal at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, and a silver medal at the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne"

Defense[edit]

The Pakistan Ordnance Factories (POF), is responsible for conventional weapons production and is located in Wah Cantonment. POF is a government organisation operating under the defence Production Division in Pakistan's Ministry of defence. POF is a complex of arms and ammunition manufacturing factories employing more than 40,000 personnel. POF has provided weapons and ammunition to the Pakistan Army and all their foreign clients. However, since POF can not produce the complete inventory of the Pakistani Army's armament needs, a high content of the Armed Force requirements are imported. POF produces approximately 70 major products for supply to Army, Navy and Air Force. The main products include automatic rifle; light medium and heavy machine guns, complete range of mortar and artillery ammunition, aircraft ammunition and anti-aircraft ammunition, tank ammunition and anti-tank ammunition, bombs, grenades, land mines, pyrotechnics and signal stores etc. It also has a clothing factory which supplies uniforms to the armed personnel.

Education[edit]

Wah has a remarkably high literacy rate.[6] This small city has two chartered universities, one medical college, one engineering college and a large number of schools. Wah Cantt has the highest literacy rate in Pakistan. Students from Wah Cantt can be found studying at all the institutes of Pakistan and most major universities of the world. Wah Cantt also has the largest number of bi-cycles than any city in Pakistan. This links the city with its past as, historically, the neighbouring town of Taxila had been a seat of learning for thousands of years.

Apart from a large number of private and government schools/colleges, foundations of professional universities have been laid down in past 5 years.F.G Degree College For Men, Apex Institute of Skills Wah Cantt[7] Sir Syed College Wah Cantt[8] Wah Medical College,[9] University of Wah – which includes Wah Engineering College & Mishal College for Women,[10] COMSATS Institute of Information and Technology,[11] POF WCC are among the big institutes in Wah Cantt. In the private sector, Wah Swedish Institute of Technology, Rawalpindi College of Commerce and Rawalpindi Institute of Technology are popular technical education institutes. Zarghoona College for Women[12] and F.G Post Graduate College For Women[13] are some prominent women colleges. In government sector there is Technical Training Institute (TTI), a center of technical training. People qualified from this college serve not only in the POFs but also work in the Middle East and send valuable foreign exchange.

Some important Institutes:

  • Aptech Computer Education, Wah Cantt
  • Apex Institute of Skills
  • Beacon house school systems
  • Fatima Jinnah degree college for women
  • Islamabad College of Management and Commerce(ICMC), Wah Cantt
  • F.G Degree College For Men
  • C.B. School No. 1 Officer's Colony Wah Cantt
  • C.B. School No. 2 Nawababad Wah Cantt
  • C.B. School No. 2 Officer's Colony Wah Cantt
  • Roots International Schools, Wah Campus
  • Froebels, Wah Campus
  • Lahore Grammer School, Wah Campus
  • Margalla Grammar School, Wah Campus
  • COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Wah Campus
  • Kenshu Institute of Virtual University
  • Lalarukh Model School
  • MASHAL Post Graduate College
  • Nasheman School for Special Education.
  • Wah Medical College
  • P.O.F. Model High School
  • F.G. Post Graduate Girls College
  • F.G. Post Graduate Boys College
  • F.G. Public High School
  • F.G. Model High School
  • F.G. Girls High School No. 1
  • F.G. Girls High School No. 2
  • F.G. Girls High School No. 3
  • F.G. Girls High School No. 4
  • F.G. Girls High School No. 5
  • F.G. Boys High School No. 6
  • F.G. Boys High School No. 7
  • F.G. Boys High School No. 8
  • F.G. Boys High School No. 9
  • F.G. Boys High School No. 10
  • F.G. Boys High School No. 11
  • F.G. Girls High School No. 12
  • F.G. Primary School No. 13
  • F.G. Science Degree College
  • Organon Schooling Concepts
  • POF Institute of Technology (POFIT)
  • Sir Syed College
  • Swedish Institute of Engineering & Technology
  • Wah Engineering College
  • University of Wah
  • Zarghoona College for Women

Squash[edit]

The 1st POF WISPA Squash Tournament was hosted at Jahangir Khan Squash Complex Wah Cantt from 28 August to 2 September 2005. The tournament carried a prize purse of US$7,000/- and players from Pakistan, England, Korea, Denmark and Malaysia took part in it. Top seeded Carla Khan of Pakistan won the championship beating No 2 seeded Sharon Wee of Malaysia in the final. President World Squash Federation, Mr Jahangir Khan graced the concluding ceremony as the chief guest.[14]

Transport[edit]

Wah Cantt offers a unique type of transport to its residents. The transport network is called The POF Welfare Transport and it runs buses and coaches (about 200 in number) on 7 different routes all over the city. And for the first time in Pakistan, this welfare transport service recruited women bus conductors for its ladies customers.

References[edit]