Chakwal district borders the districts of Rawalpindi and Attock in the north, district Jhelum in the east, district Khushab in the south and district Mianwali in the west. The total area of district Chakwal is 6,609 square kilometres, which is equivalent to 1,652,443 acres. As enumerated in the 1998 census, the total population is 1,083,725 of which 12.01% only were urban making Chakwal the most rural district in Punjab.
Lying at the beginning of the Potohar plateau and the Salt Range, Chakwal is a barani district and the terrain is mainly hilly, covered with scrub forest in the southwest, and levelled plains interspaced with dry rocky patches in the north and northeast. The tribes, clans and castes that inhabit this area are the Awans, Jatt Bhutta, Mair Minhas Rajputs, Kahuts, Mughal Kassars, Janjua Rajputs, Gujars, Gondals, Syeds, Arains and the Sheikhs. The physical features of the district, its tribes, its society and its economy all combine to make Chakwal one of the main recruiting areas for the Pakistan Army and the Pakistan Air Force. Other main occupations of the people are agriculture and mining. Transport and poultry business is also important.
At present district Chakwal consists of 3 subdivisions – Chakwal, Talagang and Choa Saidan Shah; 1 sub-tehsil- Kallar Kahar, 23 qanungois and 198 patwar circles. The police subdivisions correspond with those of the district administration and there are 11 police stations- Chakwal City, Saddar, Kallar Kahar, Dhumman, Nila, Dhudhial, Talagang City, Saddar, Tamman, Lawa and Choa Saidan Shah. The political establishment of Chakwal comprises two seats in the National Assembly, NA-60 and NA-61, and four in the Provincial Assembly- PP-16, PP-17, PP-18 and PP-19. There is one district council, two municipal committees- Chakwal and Talagang and one town committee- Choa Saidan Shah.
The culture of Chakwal is primarily based on the way of living as taught in Islam.
Chakwal is the main town of Chakwal District, Punjab, Pakistan and is located 90 km south-east of the federal capital, Islamabad. As noted in District Gazeteer Jhellum 1904, the city is named after Chaudhry Chaku Khan, chief of the Mair Minhas Rajput tribe from Jammu, who founded it in 1525 C.E during the era of the Mughal Emperor, Zaheerudun Babur. It remained a small but central town of Taluka Dhan Chaurasi for many centuries. In 1881, during the British era, it was declared the Tehsil Headquarter. It was finally upgraded to district status in 1985 by the President of Pakistan, General Zia ul Haq.
Tehsils of Chakwal
In Chakwal one of the most prominent caste is Bhatti Rajputs who were the biggest landowners within the town boundaries of chakwal. Ch.Muhammad Amir Khan Bhatti is the most prominent political figure of the chakwal city who remained as Chairman Municipal Committee Chakwal and later on Tehsil Nazim. He ruled over the local politics of chakwal over more than three decades. The most prominent personalities of the Bhatti Rajputs of chakwal are Ch Shaukat Mahmood Deputy Director FIA who is well known for his highest integrity and professionalism. Ch.Noor Sultan was another great personality of the Bhatti Rajputs of Chakwal. Raja Ashraf Bhatti is another great personality. No history of chakwal could be complete without the mention of Bhatti Rajputs of Chakwal.
- Chakwal (City)
- Choa Saidan Shah
- Kallar Kahar
Towns and villages
Budhial is a village located about 25 kilometres from Talagang. This a beautiful village, and has many places worth seeing, like the Chashma Ankar which is located south of the village. A book named Tareekh-e-Budhial (History of Budhial) has been written on the history of village Budhial and the different sub-castes living in it. Almost 95% of the people living in Budhial are Awan by cast. Other villages near Budhial are Patwali, Singwala, Misrial and Tamman. Budhial has an elementary school for boys, an elementary school for girls, a madrassah for boys and a madrassah for girls where girls and boys from different nearby villages are getting education.
This village is situated in North of City Chakwal total population of this village is near about 6,000. Most of the people of this village are now residing in UK, Hong Kong And Middle East. this village is popular for ox racing in district. The biggest tribe of this village are the Awans.
Tamman is a medium sized village, located 30 km towards west from Talagang (geographical coordinates are 33° 40′ 38″ North, 72° 51′ 21″ East).It is one of the oldest town with more than 10,000 population. It does not seem wrong, if we say that it is a town of SARDARS. It is famous for its raw and untouched beauty, which lie with in the remains of the Tethys sea bed. It gained importance because of the influential leaders and politicians that have emerged over time from this village. They all belonged to one family, the Sardars of Tamman who practically own the town. Sardars of Tamman have politics in their veins. The Tamman family, Sardars of Tamman, are influential personalities in the district and have been a part of the National Assembly since the creation of Pakistan.
Tamman is one of those developing villages where different sorts of technology is already a part of the inhabitants’ lifestyle. Tamman High School, is considered as one of the most up to date high schools in the area.
Lawa is the largest village in Asia. It is a village of Tehsil: Talagang. Its population is more than 115,000. It is one of the oldest village. It is bordered by District Mianwali. Lawins do have close ties to Distt: Mianwali. All time famous land lord of Distt: Chakwal and Distt: Attock were from Lawa. People are very educated. A Majority of the population are involved in agrobased industries and prefer to join the armed forces. They do have some what Pathan custom also. There are some members of Niazi tribe also living there. Lawa is town which include the other villages like DANDA SHAH BILAWAL, KOT QAZI, Kot qazi is growing and educated village compare to other because it is small and has not much populated Malik Zahoor Anwar in kot qazi who did SSC first time in Talagang. Danda Shah Bilawal is also one of the famous village of Tehsil Talagang because of the Shrine of Hazrat Sakhi Noori Shah Sultan Bilawal (RE) and many other Spirtual peoples live here. Recently Danda Shah Bilawal is announced as Model Village of District Chakwal due to the efforts of (Retd) Brig. Malik Fateh Khan. The District Nazim of Chakwal Ghulam Abbas and its Cabinet don’t like the Development of Danda Shah Bilawal and also the most villages of Tehsil Talagang. The people of Danda Shah Bilawal and also the peoples of the villages of Tehsil Talagang don’t like the Ghulam Abbas, therefore he defeated two times continuously in District Council Elections from Danda Shah Bilawal and also in all over the tehsil Talagang. Actually Ghulam Abbas is a very selfish person. He wants that only the peoples of Tehsil Chakwal and Choa Syden Shah got the benefits. One of the example of his selfishness is that he made so many small dams in his like areas but didn’t give attention towards Danda Shah Bilawal Dam, whose funds have been allocated by Punjab Govt. so many years ago. Dhurnal, is another important and the 2nd biggest village of tehsil Talagang. it is an developing village of Talagang, and is backward because it is away from main locality.
Choa Saidan Shah
Choa saidan shah is the tehsil of chakwal name given to this town in the name of a famous sufi sakhi saidan sherazi choa saidan shah is a beautiful valley of chakwal this town is surrounded with hills. The Rose Water is famous of this area. The area is mountainous. The major tribes are: Janjujua Rajput, Mirza, Arrian and other helping hands families. There is cell phone facilities in all of this Tehsil. Flora and Fauna are the species. The people are mostly serving the Pak Army. There are brave peoples by nature. The famious villages of Janjua’s are Ghar Makhiala, Saloi, Dendot, Mohra Rajgan, Ratoocha, Khajula and Dalwal etc.
Pira Fatehal is a village of Talagang, the word “PIRA” is from Pothari meaning sitting or chair, while “FATEHAL” is a clan of the Awan Tribe. It is located around 15km from “TALAGANG”. Its population is more than 10000, it is one of the most educated village in the area, it has a fresh water canal which is in some places especially near the village 300ft down from the ground level which make it same like a valley that is in some places 1 km in width. It is the picnic place in the area with the beautiful sites, surrounded by green small hills. It has 2 small dams. it is very famous for its tasty ground nuts. Thanks “Ikhlaqe Ahmad Awan”
Dhaular is a village of Tehsil Talagang, Distt: Chakwal of Punjab Province. According to 1998 census its total population was about 6500. It is one of the oldest, largest and culturally rich village of the area. It is referred to, in the famous saying: The Sword is in Dhaualr (meaning that it is the time to fight but my ammunition is not with me, rather I had left that at home). It is a part of the Pothohar Plateau. It is a fertile area but unfortunately no irrigation system is available in the entire Rawalpindi Division thanks to some unknown reasons.
Roopwal is the one of oldest and historic towns of Chakwal. Roopwal was a “GHALLA MANDI” a 100 years ago and there was also a defence road from Rawalpindi to Tala Gang which is now not able to use. ROOPWAL was also well known for Dog fighting & Kabbaddi 30 years ago. Located North West of Chakwal, Chakwal Talagand Road, insert a Link Road of Balkaser, Distance of 19 km and other Link Road “Dharrabi Village” Distance of 13 km, Distance from Islamabad (Capital) is about 115 km East-West & about 45 km from “Chakkri” interchange via towns “Neela Dulha”. Present Ditrict Nazim Chakwal “Sardar Ghulam Abbas” is from Kot Choudharian which is mostly & locally called as “KOT ROOPWAL”.
Bhagwal is a famous town of the Chakwal. It has very important political town because the famous Journalist and Political Leader “Ayaz Ameer” belongs to this town. Occupation of the people of Bhagwal is mostly agriculture and about 20 percent people are employeed in Pakistan Defence Forces. In this town there is a inter college for boys, also containing a hostal. There are so many private schools and information technology centers are working for the progress of Bhagwal some like “Millat Public School” is very good private school and has a standard educadtion system and on other side of information technology the “Advance Computer Training Centre” is working for the progress of town.
Some prominent people which belong to this town are:
- Maj. Gen “Muhammad Nawaz”
- Journalist “Ayaz Ameer” Ex MPA
- Ex MNA “Ameer Bhagwalia” (late)
Most of the people do agricultural work. The army and police are also a significant employer.
Dullah is a beautiful village of Tehsil chakwal, it is one of the oldest villages, most of people are serving in the Pakistan army, but unfortunately a lot of work is still needed to promote literacy, some people are living without electricity, it is a fertile area but has basic irrigation system. The most important villages of Dullah Union Council is Narang Syedan where the annual anniversary of Hazarat Ghazi Sarkar is held. Many prominent names recall in mind when Dullah is discussed. Kahuts and Sardars are the most powerful tribe of this region, prominent people from this area are:
- Maj. Gen Muzaffar Kahut
- Estb Sectery Afzal Kahut
- DIG Police Muhammad Munir Kahut.
Dheryalla Kahoon is a beautiful village situated at a hill top in the valley of Kahoon. The Kahoon Valley comprises 12 villages each situated in or around 12 sub-valleys. The land scape is so attractive that the Kahoon Valley is also called Daughter of Kashmir. This village is under Tehsil Choa Saiden Shah of the Kahoon Valley and is located midway between the famous Kallar Kahar and Choa Saiden Shah sites. Its adjacent jungles are famous for Phoolai, a fragrant tree, and richness of the deer species called Harial. Unfortunately, the ill conceived erection of cement factories in the Kahoon Valley have begun to take their toll on the heavens like environment of this area.
Bilalabad (Kufri)is the one of oldest towns of Tehsil Talagang, District Chakwal. Nowadays its population is over eight thousand persons. Before partition its dominating population was wealthy Hindus, whose businesses were spread up to Peshawar. The houses built by them are still master pieces of architect. At the present moment its major portion of population belongs to well known AWAN tribe. Beside farming a remarkable strength of this clan is performing distinguish role in Pakistan Defence Services and business. Where few years back Gentelman Cadit Umar Awan S/O Col(Rtd) Nazir awan and nephew of Wing Cdr Anwar Awan & Wing Cdr Ahmed Awan claimed “Sword of Honour” from Royal Military Academy Sandhurst U.K. this year known business tycoon Malik Falak Sher Awan of “The Awan Group of Business Developers” was awarded “Most Traveled Person (inland/overseas)” for fiscal year 2005-2006 by Pakistan International Airline.
Thanil Kamal is one of the medium sized village in Tehsil Chakwal and renowned in the area for the incredible educational and social achievements made by the residents. It is also famous for the weekly farm animal market which has continuously operated for over 100 years. This village was never under feudal influence and ownership of the feudal landowners in contrast to the other villages all around. The first lawyer from this village, Ch Ashraf Maken, graduated as lawyer from Punjab university in 1921, a miraculous achievement considering the backwardness of the area. The renowned personalities from this village are :- Ch Muhammad Ashraf Maken Advocate. Major General Tajjamal Hussain Malik. Dr Abdul Aziz PhD Colonel Abdullah Khan. Commander Irfan Iqbal Shaheed (Navy) Colonel Muhammad Riaz Colonel Zafar Malik Colonel Muhammad Arif Colonel Mansur Ashraf Ch Mushtaq.
Food and health
The food which the people of Chakwal consume is basically simple too. In the rural areas vegetables, lentils or meat, cooked very simple in butter or ghee is eaten with roti (bread) baked from wheat flour or sometimes with rice. There is a considerable use of milk and its products. In the urban areas the staple food is the same, but continental food has also made a place for itself. Fried and roasted meat, sandwiches, patties, pizza and burgers are well liked. The people of Chakwal, owing to their simple eating habits, hard work and rough terrain, are strong and healthy. However, in the urban white collared classes, diseases, which occur because of sedentary life styles, are prevalent.
The most well known and favourite food product coming from Chakwal is a sweet called Riyori (pronounced ree-o-ree). It is about the size of an M&M. it is basically a mixture of desi ghee (clarified butter) and gurr (jaggery) covered with sesame seeds.
Farming and farming related activities are the main occupation of the people of Chakwal. A small percentage is employed in the trading sector, a smaller as industrial and mining labour and a very small fraction is employed in technical fields like health, education, banking, engineering etc.
New motivation from the success of Information Technology has brought a lot of excellent IT professionals in IT and Telcom industry and the number is growing very fast. Chakwal has recently bestowed with Kanaish fone and trade (PVT) limited, Chakwal’s first Pay Phone Company authorised by Pakistan telecommunication authority.
The dress that men, women and children of Chakwal district wear is very simple. Men generally wear shalwar qameez or dhoti kurta, a turban on special occasion, with chappals, khusas, sandals or moccasins. In the winter months they add a coat, sweater or a dhussa with it. The more educated class and the city dwellers also wear shirts with trousers, adding a coat and neck tie in the winters. Young boys can be seen wearing jeans and shirts occasionally.
Women almost invariably wear shalwar qameez with dupatta, and a woolen shawl or sweater in the winter. Saris or western dresses are never worn. Footwear consists of chappals or sandals. On occasions of festivity the Qameez and Dupatta are heavily embroidered. Ornaments of gold and silver are also worn depending on the occasion and the financial position.
Young boys wear qameez or a shirt and shalwar while young girls wear shalwar qameez or frocks with dupatta or hijab.
In matters of footwear too, the ‘khussas’ made in chakwal are well known and in great demand all over Pakistan. Khussas are a type of flat heeled shoe made of pure leather. the closest I can come to describing them are moccasins, except that there is no or little covering around the arch of the foot.
Historical sites in Chakwal District
Quite a number of historical sites lie in the undulations of Chakwal, the more important of which are:
Katas Raj, a medieval town sacred to the Hindus, lies about 5 kilometers west of Choa Saidan Shah on the Choa-Kallar Kahar road. Its importance is derived from the fact that it contains over a 100 temples built over a period of more than a 1000 years by its Hindu Rajas. Some of these temples are dilapidated but a large number of them have been well maintained. Hindu pilgrims from all over Pakistan and India frequently visit this town to worship. Katas Raj at its peak time was the well renowned University, a famous mathematician Alberuni measured the circumference of the earth while he was studying the Sanskrit in this University.
Lying 30 miles southwest of Chakwal on the Chakwal-Sargodha road, Kallar Kahar has always been renowned throughout the country for its peacocks and its fresh water lake and for the Takht-e-Babri, a flat stage built of stone by emperor Babar to address his army while coming down from Kabul in the quest of the crown of Delhi. During his stay at Kallar Kahar he also planted a garden, which still exists, called the Bagh-e-Safa.
With the construction of the motorway that passes by the edge of the lake, the number of tourists visiting Kallar Kahar has increased manifold, and the town surrounded by verdant hills, promises to become a tourist attraction if properly developed. A museum of fossils of the area has also been built by the Archeology Department in the District Council Rest House. Near Kallar Kahar is the beautiful village Sardhi, it is an historical Village in Distric Chakwal in this Village the famous palace of Daak Bangla. Now at this time Sardhi is a picnic point palace. In sardhi the beautiful cricket ground. In distric chakawal this ground only one of the beautiful cricket ground same like Melbourne cricket ground. In Sardhi very beautiful scenery, hills, gardens, chashmas and some other beautiful palace.
Chakwal is located in the Dhanni region of the Pothohar Plateau in northern Punjab, Pakistan. The Pothohar Plateau (also spelled Potwar or Potohar) was the home of the ancient Soan valley civilization, which is evidenced by the discovery of fossils, tools, coins, and remains of ancient archaeological sites.
Area of Chakwal City is about 30 square kilometers.
Existence of the Soan culture finds its home on the Pothohar plateau. The Indus Valley civilization is known to have flourished in this region between the 23rd and 18th centuries BC. Some of the earliest Stone Age artefacts in the world have been found on the plateau, dating from 500,000 to 100,000 years. The crude stone recovered from the terraces of the Soan carry the account of human grind and endeavours in this part of the world from the inter-glacial period. The Stone Age people produced their equipment in a sufficiently homogeneous way to justify their grouping. Around 3000 BC, small village communities developed in the Pothohar area, which led to the early roots of civilization.
The people of Pothohar speak Pothohari. However, the people of Chakwal or the Dhanni area in particular don’t speak Pothohari and hence are ethnologically not regarded as Potoharis. In fact, they speak a distinctive Chakwali or Dhani dialect of Punjabi, which is closer to dialects spoken in Shahpur-Salt Range area and also has a slight tinge of Sarieki.
The area of Dhanni (Chakwal Tehsil) for a long time in history was an uninhabited part of the Jammu state of the Dogra, Rajputs. Although the powerful tribes like Ghakkars and Janjuas ruled the adjoining territories in Potohar, Kahoon valley and the ancient Thirchak Mahal, Dhanni remained a hunting ground for the Rajas of Jammu.
As the tradition goes, in the year 1190 C.E, Raja Bhagir Dev, a Jamwal prince, while on a hunting expedition fell in love with a Muslim woman belonging to a tribe of wandering Gujjar grazers. In order to marry her, he converted to Islam and consequently was asked by his father to stay away from Jammu and settle in this tract along with his men. Raja Bhagir Dev was named Muhammed Mair after conversion to Islam and his descendants as Mair-Minhas Rajputs. The Mairs preferred pastoral rather than agricultural pursuits for the next few centuries; but remained confined to this area.
When around 1525 C.E, the Mughal King Babur stopped by in this area on his way to Kashmir, his army was ambushed by the hostile tribes from the adjoining areas. However, the herds owned by the Mairs came in their way and Babur’s Army was awaken, hence the hostile Rajputs had to flee. The next morning, the Mughal King summoned the chief of the tribe, Raja Sidhar and offered him two thirds of the land of Dhanni, if he provided labour to help the Kassar tribesmen to drain the water from the great lake which then covered all the eastern part of the tehsil, up to the ridge followed by the Bhon-Dhudial road.
Raja Sidhar, chief of the Mair-Minhas Rajputs and Gharka Kassar, chief of the Kassars, a Mughal sub-tribe took up the job along with their respective tribesmen. They drained the lake water by cutting through Ghori- Gala, by which the Bunha torrent now flows. Subsequently, they proceeded to take up the country. The Emperor also awarded them the title of Chaudhry, and administration of the newly formed Taluka, which ever since has been called ‘Dhan Chaurasi’ or ‘Maluki Dhan’.
Chaudhry Sidhar, settled villages named after his sons Chaku, Murid and Karhan and as Chaku Khan became the chief, he decided to settle in Chakwal, the village named after him and make it the center of administration of the Taluka. Whereas, Kassar chiefs founded the villages of Bal-Kassar and Dhudial.
The following few lines about the origins of Chakwal are noted in the District Gazetter Jhelum 1904, “Chakwal has from time immemorial been the seat of administration in the Dhanni Country. It is said to have been founded by a Mair-Minhas Rajput from Jammu, whose descendants are at the present day proprietors of the land in the neighbourhood. It is still the Headquarters of tribe”
This story is also confirmed by the Hindu family of Gadihok, who happened to be “Qanoongoes” of the area throughout the Mughal era and carry many pertinent certificates by the Mughal Emperors. The Gadihoks claim that Dhanni was named “Malooki Dhan” after their forefather, Malook Chand who happened to be with Babur during settlement of the area and prepared all the paper work; but they agree that the area was given to Mairs, Kassars and Kahuts; while the Gadihoks received only a certain portion of the revenue as an ‘inam’.
However, the Janjua’s calim that the area was called “Malooki Dhan” after their ancestor, Raja Mal Khan. The Kassars have a similar claim and they say that the area was actually “Baluki Dhan” named after their ancestor Bal Kassar and it was only due to a lithographic error that was noted as Maluki instead of Baluki in Ain-e-Akbari. In contrast to all the afore mentioned claims, “Ain-e-Akbari” indicates Gakkhars as the rulers of the land.
The following account about the ownership of Dhanni seems most plausible.
It is generally accepted by all that Mair Minhas Rajput, Mughal Kassar and Kahut Quriesh were the three landowning tribes that were originally settled in this tehsil by the Mughal Emperor Zaheerudin Babur and were the only three land owning tribes in Dhanni till the time of its annexation by the British. The main concentration of the Mair-Minhas Rajputs being in the center (Haveli-Chakwal), North-East (Badshahan), West (Rupwal) and South West (Thirchak-Mahal). The Kassars in the northern part of the tehsil, the area called ‘Babial’ and ‘Chaupeda’ and the Kahouts in ‘Kahutani’ in the South East.
These tribes and especially the Mair-Minhas Chaudhrials of Chakwal rose to further prominence during the short rule of Sher Shah Suri who handed them the control over the adjoining territories, as far as Swan River in Potohar and Pind Dadan Khan plains in the South.
However, after the Mughal King Humayun returned to India with the help of the Persians, he handed over the entire Potohar including Dhanni to the Gakhars, who had helped him escape from India during Sher Shah’s revolt and reign. The Gakhars moved the Capital of the Taluka from Chakwal to a neighbouring town called ‘Bhon’ and stationed their ‘Kardars’ there. Consequently, the village of Bhon grew bigger than Chakwal in the Mughal era.
The Mair-Minhas and Mughal Kassar tribes again rose to power after King Aurangzeb’s death. They had supported his son Moazzam Shah in his quest for power and in return he re-appointed the Mair-Minhas chief Gadabeg Khan as the Taluqdar and Chaudhry of the entire ‘Dhan Chaurasi’, whereas rule of the Kassar Chaudhrys was confirmed in Babial and Chaupeda ‘illaqa’.
Their rule over Dhanni continued during the Sikh era as one of Mair chiefs, Chaudhry Ghulam Mehdi had invited Sardar Mahan Singh to this side of river Jhellum. Also, their Dogra cousins Raja Gulab Singh and Dhian Singh were very powerful in the Lahore Durbar, so the influence of Chakwal Chaudhrials during the [Sikh era] was considerable and hence Chakwal once again became the centre of activity in the area. It was during that era that Dhanni breed of horses became very popular and even Maharaja Ranjeet Singh’s personal horses were kept in the stables of the ‘Chakwal Chaudhials’.
In the Second Anglo-Sikh War at Chaillianwala in 1849, they supported the Sikhs and hence their Jagirs were confiscated by the British and even the lands in their headquarters, Chakwal were distributed among their tenants. Consequently, Chakwal started growing as a city and was declared a tehsil Headquarters in 1881.
In addition to being the district capital, Chakwal city is also the administrative centre of Chakwal tehsil (a subdivision of the district). The city of Chakwal itself is divided into five Union Councils:
” Chakwal City-I
” Chakwal City-II
” Chakwal City-III
” Chakwal City-IV
” Chakwal City-V
” The first native Indian to get the Victoria Cross was Subaidar Khudadad Khan from Chakwal
” The first Indian to get commissioned and become a General in the British Indian Army was General Muhammed Akbar Khan (PA-1)from Chakwal
” The first designated C-in-C of the Pakistan army was General Iftikhar Khan (PA-2), but died in an unfortunate aircrash also belonged to Chakwal.
” The first Muslim to be an officer in the Indian Corps of Engineers and the first Engineer-in-Chief of the Pakistan Army, General Muhammad Anwar Khan (PA-48) was also from Chakwal.
” The first Indian Commander in the Cavalry, Brigadier Gen. Muhammed Zafar Khan (PA-12) was from Chakwal.
It is also a worth mentioning fact that the later four were all sons of Khan Bahadur Raja Fazaldad Khan and belonged to famous Mair-Minhas Rajput tribe of Chakwal. After the creation of Pakistan, Chakwal has produced more Army soldiers and generals than any other area in Pakistan.
Colleges and Universities
Government College, Chakwal is a graduate level college for men. It was the first College to be established in a Tehsil Headquarters after the creation of Pakistan in 1949. Raja Muhammed Sarfraz Khan (M.L.A 1929-58, Chairman District Council Jhelum) played an important role in the development of the area during the British era and in the early years after Independence by patronising schools and playing an instrumental role in establishing the Government College Chakwal in 1949. Consequently, a considerable number of youth were able to find their way to the top as Army Officers and Civil Servants.
After Independence in 1947 a Government College for Women was also established.
There is no university in District Chakwal.
Higher / Technical Education
At the government level, University Of Engineering, Taxila established a temporary campus in the city and work is underway for the construction of a Campus building.
A new Government College for Women is also being established in Balkassar.
In the private sector, a polytechnical college called Swedish Institute of Technology has been established by a nation-wide educational chain. Two commerce colleges affiliated with University of The Punjab have also been started in private sector called CSC College of Commerce and Myer’s College of Commerce.
An Allama Iqbal Open University study centre by the name Raja Sarfraz Khan Institute in the city.
A campus affiliated with virtual university called Global Institute has also been established in Chakwal.
Now ALLAMA IQBAL Open University has opened its regional office in Chakwal in Basti Allahwali mohallah Sargojra near old railwayline which is helping the students of Chakwal a lot. Now they did not have to travel for Islamabad
In 2005 a technical college has been made by a Mr Zarrar Butt named as Swedish Group of Technical Institutes .Now the no of students in this institute is abt to 2000 . It is the great opportunity provided by the Swedish Group’s . Before 2005 there is no technical coollege in the city chakwal . The students went to Lahore and Rawalpindi to get technical education.
The Arya Samaj founded the first ever school in Chakwal at the start of the 20th Century. It was followed by a Khalsa School. Islamia school was the first school established by a society of Muslims. The land was donated by the Chaudhrial of Chakwal. Khan Bahdur, Raja Aurangzeb Khan. Later, his son Raja Muhammed Sarfraz kept patronizing the school which has a now a long list of noted alumni. The Government School for boys was established in 1930′s. In the 1960s Yousaf Saigol, a business tycoon and owner of the famous Saigol Group built the first modern school in his native village Saigolabad.
Jinnah Public High School was founded in early 70s. Many old students of Jinnah Public School are in Pakistan Armed Forces, telecom and IT companies. Late Principle Mrs. Akram Sultana dedicated her whole life and effort to make this school an example for all private institutes.
After Chakwal was declared a district in 1986, a modern District Public School was established in the late 80′s by the government. (DPS) District Public Higher Secondary School is one one of the most known school of District Chakwal. It was founded in 80′s by district Govt. Its a semi govt schaool. After its foundation this school had produced good results. It produced a ver good lot of talented people who r serving da country in all the fields. This school is a higher secondary school for both boys and girls. One of the leading college giving quality education since 1989 is PAF Inter College Kallar Kahar. It has produced several doctors, engineers, IT professionals and to more good citizens. Lately, quite a few good private schools have been established in the private sector. Fauji Foundation, Khursheed International, The Educators, Bahria Foundation and Noble House School are providing decent education in purpose built campuses.
A Cadet College was established in Kallar Kahar by General Nazar Hussain in 1997. The College has produced excellent results and is already in the league of top Cadet Colleges in Pakistan.
In 1999, Myers College was founded by Raja Yassir H.Sarfraz, a grandson of famous philanthropist/politician, Raja Muhammed Sarfraz Khan as the first school offering Cambridge International Examinations. The school is patterned after English public schools and has a beautiful Campus with colonial style architecture. It has produced wonderful results at the Cambridge examinations and after completion of its 100 acre campus it aspires to join the league of nationally acclaimed public schools.
A Grammar School called Chakwal Grammar was founded by the well-known Chakwal Group of Industries. It has a beautiful purpose built Campus. Recently, the famous school-business chain, City School has also established a small Campus in Chakwal and intends to offer O’Levels education.
However, most rural children in this 70 per cent agrarian district are not able to attend the expensive private schools and can only afford to attend the government schools where available. The estimated literacy rate in rural areas of Chakwal is 60 per cent for boys and 27 per cent for girls. There is a serious shortage of middle and high schools for rural children.
Newspapers and Magazines
Considering Chakwal’s small population, the number of local newspapers being published from here is relatively large. Dhan Kahoon is the oldest and most popular local newspaper. However, Chakwal Point, Chakwal Nama, Press Forum, Aasar, Dhudial Nama, Bab-A-Chakwal and Total are also published in significant quantities.
An English newspaper called, ” The Revolution ” is also published from Chakwal.
Monthly “Aabadiyat” is the first and so far the only and Urdu magazine being published from here and covers all spheres of life.
Chakwal has very few public and private libraries, the largest of these is the Allama Iqbal Library located at the committee park. However, most of the volumes over there are in Urdu. The Government College for boys also has a library of reasonable size and is open for Public. In the private sector, Myer’s Library located at Myers College, Kot Sarfraz Khan has a huge volume of both English and Urdu books.
There are no public or private libraries for children in rural areas of Chakwal.
Chakwal offers a unique landscape to its visitors. Although its natural beauty may not be breathtaking at first glance; its simplicity makes it graceful and sometimes stunning . The Canyons in Thirchak-Mahal tract are bound to impress its visitors. In the winters, the beautiful yellow beds of “Surson” , clear blue sky and sunshine provide ideal spots for picnics. There are many man-made and natural lakes around the city in Kallar Kahar, Dhok Talian, Kot Raja, Khai, Khokar Zer and Dharabi providing ideal places for family hangouts.
The beautiful Jhangar valley, Bisharat is situated on road coming from Choa Saidan Shah facing West to East about 8 km in length in between villages Kotli and Ara lying at height 3000 feet above the sea level. The weather during the summer is very pleasant. It is an un-explored summer resort. The hills are full of green bushes and olive trees.
The most interesting place of this valley is the Picnic Point of Chehl Abdal” hill top which is at the height of 3500 feet above the sea level. On the top of this hill is a shrine called Chehl-Abdal. Many people from local villages and from all parts of the country often visit the shrine and offer scarifices. Don’t forget to take long drinking water, food, snacks etc. as their are no shops in the area
From the Chehl Abdal hill top one can see the great Punjab plains. To the north is the beautiful scenery of Margla hills whereas one can see the Jhelum River flowing in the South.On the East & West side one can see the beautiful greenery of adjoining hills with rain forests consisting of thick jungle trees and bushes.
This valley can be named as “military valley” as 90% of old and young men have served or presently serving the Army. The men are very brave and have fought very bravely in World War I and II and other wars after the independence and have won many military medals.
Alexander the Great passed through this area (old Nandana Fort) near Ara on his way to fight war with Raja Poru on the banks of Jhelum River in 326 BC. Also one of the Muslim scientist Abu Rayhan Biruni passed through this valley.
Another well-known tourist place in the area is Kalar Kahar for which Zahir uddin Baber said “Kaller Kahar is a child of Kashmir. Imagine Kalar Kahar is just 2500 feet above the Sea level and Chehl Abdal is 3500 feet above the Sea level.
Larri pathan is another beautiful place in Chakwal. One faction of the Kakka Zai Pathans migrated from Afghanistan and settled in a village called Lari Pathan.
The famous temple-fort of Katas Raj is also nearby and so are Salt Mines in Khewra.
Chakwal has a well connected road network including road to Jhelum and Lahore via Sohawa road, road to Pind Daden Khan via Choa Siaden Shah road, road to Sargodha via Bhon and Khushab, road to Rawalpindi via Mandra and to Mianwali via Talagang Road. It is connected to GT road between Peshawar and Lahore via Sohawa and Mandra, Indus Highway via Mianwali, and M2 Motorway via Kallar Kahar and Balkassar exits. The travelling distances and time has reduced considerably to Lahore, Rawalpindi, Sargodha and Faislabad since the commissioning of M2 Motorway
Villages & Towns
” Buchal Kalan
” Dhoke Agri
There are several community organizations working in District Chakwal including the following:
” National Rural Support Program (NRSP)is working in different sectors since 1996 in District Chakwal.
” National Commission for Human Development (NCHD)is semi Government organization working in District Chakwal in sectors of education and volunteerism.
” Potohar Organization for Development Advocacy (PODA) provides rural communities/farmers access to rights-based education, facilitates linkages with government and provides training in sustainable agriculture, livelihoods and advocacy skills.
” PLAN International
” Almadina Welfare Trust (a known welfare organisation)
” IRADAH – The founder of IRADAH, a known NGO in Pakistan Mr. Izhar Hussian also belongs to Chakwal. He convinced and involved a group of dedicated persons to establish a voluntary organization for the rehabilitation of the disabled and named it, ‘Initiative for Raising Awareness Development’ and ‘Assimilation of the Handicapped’ abbreviated as IRADAH. He was elected founding president of IRADAH.
Although the areas around the Chakwal city and generally free of pollution as there isn’t much industry in the area, Chakwal city is one of the polluted cities in Pakistan. There is no government sponsored garbage disposal system and citizens in urban and rural areas do not have proper means to dispose off garbage particularly plastic bags. Most of the streets in the city and small towns are littered with trash that results in infectious diseases in summer and rainy seasons.
Chakwal is a semi-arid area with serious shortage of water for agriculture. Over 70 per cent of the population engages in agriculture, mostly subsistence agriculture that is dependent on rain. Most villages have no irrigation system support.
There is only one government hospital in Chakwal city. Unlike other areas in Pakistan, Chakwal does not have Women’s Hospitals that can provide gynecological diagnoses or services. Women who can afford it visit private hospitals in other cities of Pakistan.
The current Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh hails from a small village Gah in Chakwal.
The owners of Oberoi Hotels International, the multi-millionaire Oberoi family are from Bhaon.
Famous Pakistani industrialists, the Saigols belong to a village called Saigolabad in Chakwal. The Khawjagan of Chakwal, who own Chakwal Group of Industries belong to the old Chakwal city.
The Chaudhrials of Kot Sarfraz and Kot Choudrain, Chiefs of the Mair-Minhas tribe played an important role in forming Chakwal’s history. In recent times also, the family has produced many well known personalities in all fields including army, politics, civil services and sports. A long list includes many firsts in British-Indian and Pakistan Army, including its first General Muhammed Akbar Khan and other Generals mentioned earlier. The family also has had at least one person as a member of the Punjab assembly since 1929. The first Chakwali to become a colonization officer in the British era, Raja Aurangzeb Khan, first Chakwali to become a commissioner and chief secretary in Pakistan, Raja AllahDad Khan, Chakwal’s first MLA, Raja Muhammed Sarfraz Khan, first M.N.A and Senator, Sirdar Khizar Hayat Khan, first Chakwali Olympian to represent Pakistan, Col. Zafar Zafri, and the first District Nazim, Sirdar Ghulam Abbas Khan all belong to the same family of the ‘Mair-Chaudhrials’. Raja Riaz Ahemad Khan who is the Palimentry Leader of Pakistan Peoples Party, Punjab and a Senior Minister, although elected from Faisalabad also belongs to the Chaudrial family of Chakwal and so do Begum Iffat Liaqat(M.P.A Chakwal) and Nawabzada Sher Ali(M.P.A. Attock).
Chakwal’s Qazi family is also prominent in politics as well as education. Qazi Ghulam Ahmad Advocate was the first Muslim Lawyer from Chakwal. He was the leading figure in Muslim League during independence struggle. His speeches during the independence struggle mobilized the masses in the area. He also took part in Tehriek e Khatm e Nabuwat with Pir Sahb Golra sharif. He was very active in local politics and served as the Chairman of Town Committee. Another prominent personality was Justice Qazi Muhammad Gul, a former judge of Supreme Court of Pakistan. He also served as Federal Law Secretary and Chief Election Commissionar of Azad Kashmir. Qazi Ghulam Mehdi, Qazi Manzoor ul Haq, Qazi Maqsood Ahmad and many others have contributed a lot in the field of education. Especially Qazi Maqsood Ahmad’s devotion in this regard is remarkable. A well known lawyer Qazi Muhammad Amin advocate was recently appointed as Additional Advocate General Punjab.
The Tamman family, Sardars of Awans belong to Talagang tehsil and are influential personalities in the district and have been a part of the National Assembly since the creation of Pakistan. Sardar Muhammed Hayat Tamman was an advsior during the Bhutto era.
The Sardars of Dullah, chiefs of the Kassar tribe have enjoyed some influence in local politics over the years. Sardar Muhammad Ashraf Khan was a provincial minster and MPA during the Ayub and Bhutto eras. Sirdar Khurram Nawab is presently an M.P.A. in Punjab.
Ayaz Amir, an internationally renowned journalist is also from Chakwal. He is a progressive thinker and an environmentalist. He writes for Pakistan’s most credible Newspaper Dawn and his articles reflect his bold thoughts. He regularly appears on CNN and the BBC, and is a Member of National Assembly from Chakwal at present. His father Ch. Ameer Khan was also a well known politician.
Pakistan’s president from 1969-1971, and architect of Pakistan Civil War, Agha Muhammad Yahya Khan was born in Chakwal in 1917.
” Raja Muhammed Sarfraz Khan (M.L.A 1929-1958)
” Sirdar Khizar Hyat Khan (M.N.A 1960-1969, SENATOR 1985-1988)
” Mirza Mazhar Hussain member Paliament(M.L.A.)- Ayub khan, (New Jhelum transport)
” Miza Fazal Haq son of Mirza Mazhar, twice MPA- 1971/1976 …Mulhal Mughlan
” Sardar Muhammad Hayat Khan Tamman (Ex-Adviser to Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Federal Minister, Railways, belongs to Talagang tehsil, District Chakwal)
” Major General Amir Gulistan Janjua (Governor NWFP)
” General Abdul Majid Malik (Federal Minister)
” Ms. Fauzia Wahab, Ex-Member of National Assembly, currently Central Coordinator, Human Rights Cell, Pakistan People’s Party
” Sardar Muhamed Ashraf Khan (Provincial Minister 1960-69, 1977)
” Major Tahir Iqbal (Federal Minister)
” Sardar Ghulam Abbas (Provincial Minister 1994-96, District Nazim 2000-present)
” Raja Riaz Ahemad Khan(Senior Provincial Minister (2008-Present)
” Chaudhry Douraize Khan Jaund (Chairman of Municipal Town, Chakwal)
” Qazi Ghlam Ahmad Advocate (Worked as Chairman of Municipal Town Chakwal.)
” Chaudhry Ghulam Abbass Jaund (Chairman of Municipal Comitte Chakwal)
” Amir Khan Bhatti (three times Chairman of Municipal Committee Chakwal, Former Tehsil Nazim)
” Khawaja Haji Muhammad Yousuf ( Former Chairman Municipal Committee)
” Qazi Muhammad Yaqoob ( Former Chairman Municipal Committee)
” Khawaja Muhammad Saeed ( Former Chairman Municipal Committee)
” Khawaja Muhammad Bashir ( Former Chairman Municipal Committee)
” Muhammad Khan Kaal (First Chairmn of District Council Chakwal)
” Maj Rtd Saleem Asghar (Former Chairmn of District Council Chakwal)
” Sardar Aftab Akbat Khan (Present Tehsil Nazim)
” Sardar Maqsood Tamman (Former Chairmn of District Council Chakwal)
Religious and Sufi Personalities
” Syed Shah Latif Kazmi almaroof BARRI IMAM belonged to village karsal of Chakwal Tehsil. Shrine located in Islamabad.
” Syed Ahmed Shah (SHAH BILAWAL) Hamdani, Great Grandfather of Hamdani Sadaat of Punjab and Sind & descendent of Syed Ali Kabeer (Shah-e-Hamdan / SALAR-E-AJAM), the First Sufi Muslim saint in Kashmir. (Danda Shah Bilawal)
” Syed Shahab-ud-din (SHAH SHAHABAL) Hamdani, Danda Shah Bilawal, Chakwal.
” Syed Shah Ishaq Hamdani, Sufi Saint , Dhudial, Chakwal.
” Baba Abdul Shakoor ( Famous 17th century saint from Odherwal, Chakwal)
” Sahibzada Peer Abdul Raheem Nakshbandi Senior Vice President MMA Pakistan)
” Mr. Ameer Muhammad Akram Awan (Shaikh of Naqshbandia Owaisiah Sufi Order)
” Qazi Zahoor Ul Hassin S/O Qazi Mazhar Hussain ( Late) Amir Tehrik-e-Khuddam Ahle Sunnat waljamaat Pakistan
” Pir Muhammad Zubair Shah (Late), leader of Brailvy School of thought
” Syed Zawar Hussain Shah Hamdani (scholar, Talagang for the Shia community and founder of 1st Madrassa in Talagang)
” Mr. Naem Sidiqi, Poet, writer, religious scholar and central leader of Jamaat-e- Islami Pakistan
” Mai Amna Bi, Sufi Saint
” Haji Kalojo, Pir Suhawa wale
” Saiden Shah, Sufi Saint
” Baqar Shah, Sufi Saint (chak baqar shah union council dumman)
” Baba jahan shah (chak baqar shah union council dumman)
” Raja Allahdad Khan (Chief Secretary, NWFP 1955/59, Also first Muslim commissioner of Lahore)
” Justice Qazi Muhammad Gul (Justice, Supreme Court of Pakistan 14.4.1973 to 31.12.1976 and ex-Law Secretary of Pakistan. Also served as Chief Election Commissioner for Azad Jammu and Kashmir)
” Raja Ahmad Khan (Chief Secretary, Baluchistan 1974/80)
” Justice (R) Rustam Ali Malik, Chairman Punjab Service Tribunal (Ex-Judge, Lahore High Court)
” Malik Afzal Kahut (Secretary Establishment)
” Chaudhry Ata Hussain (Inspector General Police, Punjab)
” Mr. Zia Mehmood Mirza (Justice, Supreme Court of Pakistan)
” Raja Shahid Hussian, (Federal Secretary, Food)
” Malik Muhammad Munir Kahut (D.I.G Police, Punjab)
” Malik Mushtaq, Kot Qazi (Federal Secretary, OMG services)
” Chaudhry Fida Hussain (Additional Secretary and Financial Advisor Pakistan Navy)
” Raja Pervez Akhtar, (Director General, FPSC)
” Mirza Anwar Baig (late) SSP Police
” Chaudhry Mubarik Ali (late), Village: Chak-Chakora, SSP British Police, Burma (Pre-Partition)
” Syed Didar Hussain Shah Hamdani, (Debator & Sportsman, Govt. Collage Chakwal 1956 – 1960), Asst. Collector Pakistan Customs.
” Raja Muhammad Irshad (Deputy Attorny General of Pakistan)
” Raja Ishaq Mallal (Registrar Modarba, SECP)
” Prof. Muhammad Ijaz Janjua(Principal Govt Degree college Buchal Kalan)
” Prof. M. H. Hamdani (Ex-Principal F.G Sir Syed College, Rawalpindi)
” Chaudhry Khizar Hussain (Member Board of Revenue and Commissioner Income Tax)
” Dr Mohammad Iqbal Kahut (Ex EDO Health, Ex MS DHQ Hospital Chakwal, now in WHO)
” Mr. Saaki Muhammad Kahut (Judge-Session Court)
” Mr. Mumtaz Ahmed Mughal LLM (Civil Judge)
” Engineer Zafar Ali Chaudhry (Village: Chak-Chakora), Ex General Manager MCP-WAPDA
” Mr. Gurbux Singh, Olympian (Gold medal 1964), Captain Indian Hockey team.
” Mr. Saleem Shirwani, Olympian, Hockey Captain.
” Colonel Zafar Ali Zafri, Olympian, Hockey Player.
” Mr. Mudassar Ali Khan, Olympian, Hockey Player.
” Mr. Abdullah Nazir, Olympian, Athletics 800m.
” Mr. Muhammad Iqbal Kahut (vill:Mureed) Olympian, Jevlin throw.
” Mr. S.P Oberoi (Founder of Indian Hotel Chain, Obroei)
” Mr. Mohammad Saeed Saigol (Founder of Saigol Group)
” Khawaja Mohammad Yousaf Pheenu (Founder Chakwal Group)
” Dr. Shaukat M. Malik (State University of New York, USA)
” Prof Dr. Shaukat Ali Chaudhry, Ph.d (Village: Chak-Chakora), Ex-Dean, Univ. of Agriculture, Faisalabad
Members of Pakistan Armed Forces
” General Muhammed Akbar Khan, PA1, First Muslim Officer in the British Indian Army, and Pakistan’s First Army General
” General Muhammed Iftikhar Khan PA2, (Designated to become the first C-in-C of the Pakistan Army, died in an aircash in 1949)
” General Muhammed Anwar Khan PA48, (First Engineer In Chief (E-in-C) of the Pakistan Army)
” Brigadier Gen. Mr. Muhammed Zafar (First Indian Commander of Cavalry)
” Commander Sarwar Khan(late) Pakistan Navy Honoured with Tamgha e Bisalat ,Director of Hydiography Department of Pakistan Navy
” Air Marshal Nur Khan Tamman
” Lt General Abdul Majid Malik (former Federal Minister)
” General Abdul Qayyum
” General Muhammad Farooq Malik (DG Artillery)
” General P.D. Khan
” General Abdul Razzaq Khan
” Lt. General Faiz Jilani (retired)
” Major General Muhammad Muzaffar Kahut (Chief Pathologist AFIP)
” General R D Bhati
” General Tajjamul malik
” General Ashraf Janjua
” General Safdar, former Governor Punjab
” General Riaz Chohan (Dr.)
” General Nazeer Hussain
” General Asad Malik (Dr.)
” Air Marshal Noor Khan (Second PAF Chief)
” General Sheraz Lodhi
” General Shahida Malik (Dr.)
” Genereal Imtiaz Shaheen
” General Afzal Muzzafar
” General Mehboob ul Muzaffar
” General Yaqoob Chaudhry
” Colonel Abbas Khan ( British Army )
” Maj. Gen. Syed Mujtaba Hasan Shah Hamdani (Rahna Sadat)
” Maj. Gen. Muhammad Saleem (HI)
” Maj. Gen. Malik Javed Iqbal Awan (Buchal Kalan)
” Air Vice Marshal Altaf Hussain Shah
” Brigadier Aftab Ahmed(sh) (Dhok Taalian)
” Brigadier Iftikhar Sarfraz (Military College of Signals- Telecommuincation Engineer UK)
” Brigadier Iftikhar Haider Khan (Chakora)
” Brigadier Mohammad Bashir Chaudhry (late), Village: Chak-Chakora, Deputy GOC Dhaka, 1971
” Brigadier Akhtar Nawaz janjua(Bhaseen -wonhar)
” Brigadier Muhammad Salim Khan SI(M) (Patwali)
” Air Commodre Khalid Sarfraz (Pakistan Airforce- Aeronutical Engineer)
” Subaydar Khudadad Khan, [Victoria Cross]
” Subaydar Muhammad Shah Kahut, [Victoria Cross]
” Subaydar Muhammad Kafiat Bharpur, [Victoria Cross]