Tomb of Mulana Zafar Ali Khan
|Time zone||PST (UTC+5)|
|• Summer (DST)||PDT (UTC+6)|
Wazirabad (Urdu: وزِيرآباد), is an industrial city located in Gujranwala District, Punjab, Pakistan. Wazirabad is situated on the banks of the Chenab River nearly 100 kilometres north of Lahore on the Grand Trunk Road. It is 45 kilometres from Sialkot, 30 kilometres from the district capital - Gujranwala and about 12 kilometres from Gujrat. The city of Wazirabad is the headquarters of Wazirabad Tehsil, an administrative subdivision of the district, the city is itself subdivided into 5 Union Councils. Wazirabad City is located near the south banks of the Chenab River near a village Chanawan where the picturesque Nala Palkhu, a snow stream from the Himalayas joins to this big river.
Wazirabad, literally the city of the Wazir, was first settled in 1542 CE. In 1636 CE Wazir Hakim Illmmudiddin, an amir of Shah Jahan constructed the first ever residential building of Wazirabad namely Musaman Burj on the bank of Palkhu Nala. During the reign of Emperor Aurangzeb another building namely Shesh Mahal at the east of Musaman Burj was built during 1705 CE. After the decline of the Mughal Empire, the Sikhs, who were natives of Punjab formed a secular empire and took charge of Wazirabad.
The town was first take over by Charat Singh around 1760 together with other towns in the District. Maharja Ranjit Singh occupied the town in 1809 and Avitabile was appointed as the Nazim of the city. He built an entirely new town, with a straight broad bazar running through it, and side streets at right angles.
The municipality was created in 1867, the population according to the 1901 census was 18,069. The income during the ten years ending 1902-3 averaged Rs. 20,800, and the expenditure Rs. 21,400. In 1903-4 the income was Rs. 20,800, chiefly from octroi; and the expenditure was Rs. 19,200. The town had a considerable trade in timber, which comes down the Chenab from Jammu territory, and in cloth, grain, and sugar. The smiths of Wazirabad had a reputation for the manufacture of small articles of cutlery, and the village of Nizamabad within a mile of the town is famed for its weapons. Wazirabad was an important junction on the North-Western Railway, as the Sialkot-Jammu and Lyallpur lines both branch off of here.
The Chenab river is spanned opposite Wazirabad by the Alexandra railway bridge, one of the finest engineering works of the kind in India, which was opened by Edward VII the King-Emperor when he was Prince of Wales in 1876. An important fair is held at: Dhaunkal, a short distance off. The town possessed two Anglo-vernacular high schools, one maintained by the Church of Scotland Mission, and a Government dispensary.
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 Wazirabad.
Wazirabad city was divided into 4 Katras namely Ram Katra, Katra Mai, Katra Thatharian, Katra Dewanan beside a Chohatrah. Exactly in the front of the Musaman Burj Main Bazar of the City is located which is absolute wide and is about 2 kilometer long as the same ends in the south of the city at Lahori Darwaza. Beside the Main Bazar there are two more roads which are parallel to Main Bazar namely Circular Road and College Road with an outer road travelling beside the railway lines inside the city which starts from Lahori Darwaza and ends at the first ever underpass of Gujrawala Division to contact with the main G. T. Road. The holy tomb of great Sufi saint Hazrat Shaykh-ul-Quran Mohammad Abdul Ghafoor Hazarvi is located in village Bahttikei. He was founder of Darul Uloom Jamia Nizamia Ghousia which is the famous religious Madrasa of the Gujranwala Division.
Wazirabad being the Teshil/Town HQs of Wazirabad Tehsil/Town maintains the administrative machinery of the sub division which includes followings:
Tehsil/Town Municipal Administration Tehsil Civil Courts Sub Divisional Police Office Tehsil HQs Hospital
Wazirabad is one of the important industrial cities of the country. Cutlery Industry of the city has international fame while Medical Instruments are being produced in the industries of the city as well. The city is an important business centre, its grain market is a hub of grains like rice and wheat while its bustling bazaars and markets are vibrant centre of businesses.
Wazirabad is itself located on GT Road (N5) and Pakistan's main railway line. A highway connects it to Sialkot and this highway serves as a major artery connecting Sialkot and Narowal with Gujrat, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Jehlum, Rawalpindi/Islamabad and Peshawer. Another highway goes to Pindi Bhattian via Rasul Nagar which is being upgraded to Expressway E-3 which will make it easy for Faisalabad, Jhang, Hafizabad and Chiniot to commute with Wazirabad, Sialkot, Gujrat, Azad Jammu and Kasmir, Rawalpindi/Islamabad and Peshawer. Another road goes to Daska via Head Bamban wala. Wazirabad Railway Station is second biggest railways junction in Pakistan. Two railway lines take off from here, one goes to Sialkot and Jammu and the other one to Faisalabad via Hafizabad. A General Bus Stand and private tpt terminals are also located in the city.
Wazirabad is home to many educational institutions in the public and private sectors. Prominent institutes are:
- Government Maulana Zafar Ali Khan College
- Government Post Graduate College for Girls
- Government Commerce Instt.
- Government Vocational Training Instt. for Girls
- Government Technical Training Instt.
- Govt schools include Govt Public high School
- Govt. MC. Girls High School
- Govt High School Nizamabad.
Private schools include The Educators Shaheen Junior Model School Musamman Burj, Mumtaz Grammar School, and Sir Syed Pilot School. Latif model high school and Perveen Girls Higher Secondary School (1976)is the first English medium high school for boys and girls.
Muslim Hands International is the only International NGO working in Wazirabad. It has educational and community development projects in Wazirabad where the needy and orphans are provided services free of cost. Moulana Zafar Ali Khan Govt Degree College Wazirabad, one of the major institutes of the Govt Sector of this area whose current principal is religious scholar Prof. Dr. Mohammad Asif Hazarvi.
Many other new schools and colleges have been opened, especially in the private sector. These schools include Arham Educational Heights School, S.Z Elahi model school and Allied schools. The newly opened Punjab college has campuses both for females and males. Other newly opened institutes include Government MC Women College Jamea tul Madina University Near Hawa Memorial Hospital & Faizan e Madina Maddrissa 3 Branches (Dawat e Islami Wazirabad), and Dilawar Institute Of Technology.
The city has following attractions in terms of recreational spots:
- Kot Khizri Municipal Stadium
- Municipal Family Park
Moreover, there are cinemas in the city and picnic spots along side River Chenab
There is a big civil hospital by the name of Tehsil Headquarters Hospital in the city while there are many privately run hospitals. There is a Civil Veterinary Hospital in the city. The project of Wazirabad Cardiology Institutes was near to completion when it came to halt as the present government of the Punjab does not want to give priority to the project initiated by the previous one.
- Zafar Ali Khan (journalist in Pakistan Movement)
- Mohammad Abdul Ghafoor Hazarvi (Former President of Jamiat Ulema-e-Pakistan and Majlis-e-Tahaffuz-e-Khatme Nabuwwat)
- Khwaja Muhammad Latif Ansari (famous scholar)
- Hamid Nasir Chattha (former speaker of National Assembly of Pakistan)
- Iftikhar Ahmad Cheema (Member of National Assembly of Pakistan)
- S. A. Rahman (5th Chief Justice of Pakistan)
- Jawwad S. Khawaja (Senior Justice, Supreme Court of Pakistan)
- Atif Aslam (singer)
- Ata ul Haq Qasmi (columnist)
- Krishan Chander (writer)
- Dr. Shaista Nuzhat (Poetess, writer, Columnist & Bureaucrat)
- Razia Butt (writer)
- Munnu Bhai (writer)
- Bailey, Thomas Grahame (1904). Panjabi Grammar: A Brief Grammar of Panjabi As Spoken in the Wazirabad District (in English and Panjabi). Lahore, Pakistan: Punjab Government Press / World Digital Library. Retrieved 2013-05-23.