Map of Punjab with Sialkot District highlighted
|• District Coordination Officer||Nadeem Sarwar|
|• Total||3,016 km2 (1,164 sq mi)|
|• Density||1,400/km2 (3,700/sq mi)|
|Time zone||PST (UTC+5)|
|Number of Tehsils||4|
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. It is the third richest city in Pakistan. In sialkot cantonment was established in 1852.
|Tehsil||No. of Unions|
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 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.
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.
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.
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, 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.
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.
|Tehsil||Area (sq mi)||Towns||Villages||Population (1901)||Population per sq mi||Population variation 1891-1901||Number of literate people|
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.
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
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.
- Allama Iqbal, poet and philosopher
- Sir Muhammad Zafarullah Khan, Pakistan's first Foreign Minister and President of the UN-General Assembly
- Faiz Ahmad Faiz,[note 1] poet and scholar
- Zafar Ali Khan writer, poet, and journalist who played an important role in the Pakistan Movement
- Sir Fazl-i-Hussain was one of the most Influential politicians in the United Punjab
- Ubaidullah Sindhi pre-partition Muslim Scholar and leader
- Gulzari Lal Nanda, Indian politician and twice Prime Minister of India
- Chaudhry Naseer Ahmad Malhi[note 2] a leading member of the Muslim League
- Abdul Hakim Sialkoti famous Muslim intellectual of 16th century
- Air Marshal Zafar Chaudhry was the first Chief of Air Staff
- General Khalid Shameem Wynne the 14th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee
Journalists and poets
- Kuldip Nayar, Indian journalist
- Amjad Islam Amjad, Urdu writer, lyricist and poet
- Rajinder Singh Bedi, writer
- Khalid Hasan, who was born in Srinager but studied and lived in Sialkot.
- Hamid Mir, a Pakistani journalist who was born in Sialkot
- Khawaja Muhammad Safdar, Pakistani politician and former acting President of Pakistan
- Khawaja Muhammad Asif, politician and Federal Minister of Pakistan
- Chaudhry Amir Hussain, former Speaker of Pakistan National Assembly
- Firdous Ashiq Awan, former federal Minister
- Waheed Murad, Pakistani film actor
- Rajender Kumar, Indian film actor
- A. K. Hangal, Indian film actor
- Dev Anand, Indian film actor, born in Tehsil Shakargarh, now in Sialkot.
- Ghulam Ali, ghazal singer
- Shoaib Malik, former captain of Pakistani cricket team
- Zaheer Abbas, Pakistani cricketer
- Abdul Rahman, Pakistani cricketer
- Shahnaz Sheikh, Pakistan national hockey team player
- Mansoor Amjad, Zahid Fazal, Pakistan national cricket team players.
- Sikandar Raza, Zimbabwean cricket player
- Jawaid Iqbal, Hong Kong national cricket player
- Nasir Ali, Pakistan national hockey team player
- Asif Bajwa, Pakistan national hockey team player
- Tariq Sheikh, Pakistan national hockey team player
- Muhammad Waqas, Pakistan national hockey team player
- Mahmood Hussain, Pakistan national hockey team player
- Maqsood Hussain, Pakistan national hockey team player
- Munir Bhatti, Pakistan national hockey team player
- Kamran Ashraf, Pakistan national hockey team player
- Haris Sohail, Pakistani cricketer
- Mukhtar Ahmed, Pakistani cricketer
Notes and references
- Tehsils & Unions in the District of Sialkot - Government of Pakistan
- Map of Sialkot - Government site
- Tehsils & Unions in the District of Sialkot - Government of Pakistan
- Siālkot District - Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 22, p. 328.
- Siālkot District - Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 22, p. 329.
- Urban Resource Centre (1998 Census details)