Sahiwal is a growing city in southeastern Punjab province of Pakistan and the administrative centre of Sahiwal District. This city was a small village on the Karachi-Lahore railway line in 1865 when it was renamed Montgomery after Sir Robert Montgomery, then Lieutenant-Governor of Punjab. It took its current name in 1966. Sahiwal lies approximately 180 km from the major city of Lahore. And it is the biggest city between Lahore and Multan. The population is 207,388 (1998 Pakistan Census). Sahiwal District is included in the former Multan Division and lies between 30-39 north latitude and 73-06 longitude. The people of Sahiwal are known as Sahiwalians.
The climate of Sahiwal district is extreme, reaching 52°C in summer, and down to -5°C in winter. The soil of the district is very fertile. The average rainfall is about 2000 mm.
Sahiwal is famous for cotton ginning and pressing, tanning, textile spinning, textile weaving, leather products, garments, pharmaceuticals, flour mills, food industry, oil mills, tobacco, vegetable ghee/cooking oil, biscuit plants, chip board, confectionery, and woollen textile spinning/weaving. The Sahiwal breed of cattle, recognised as the most productive of all Zebu dairy breeds, originated here, though they are now found widely throughout the tropics. The main crops of the Sahiwal district are wheat, cotton, sugarcane, maize and rice. Main fruits are citrus, mangoes and guava. Sahiwal is a green and fertile town with 11,522 acres under naturally grown forests.
Sahiwal houses several educational institutes of quality. Divisional Public School (DPS) and St. Mary’s Convent School are the leading high schools of the city. Other notable schools are Government High School, Government High School Urban Area and Comprehensive High School. Government Pilot Higher Secondary School and Junior Model High School are for girls only. Government College for Women, Sahiwal, also contains the Baha-u-Deen Zikria University (BZU) sub-campus. One of the oldest Institute in Commerce stream is Government College of Commerce, Sahiwal (www.gccsahiwal.edu.pk)
A lot is being planned for education sector in Sahiwal. BZU Multan is planning its separate sub-campus in Sahiwal. Land has been acquired for this purpose. It is hoped that the university will be complete in two years and will be called ‘University of Sahiwal’.
Virtual University has opened its private campus in Sahiwal, and offers distant learning programmes. It is situated near the government college sahiwal.
The sub-campus of COMSATS (an information technology and computer science college based in Lahore) has started classes in MBA and Computer Science.
The private sector is playing a major role in primary education: renowned schools in this regard are The Educators, The Beaconhouse School System, Bloom Field, The City School and Pre-Forces Cadet School. A new building of The City School is under construction in front of Comprehensive School Sahiwal. After completion it will be the largest private school campus in Sahiwal. Another new school established in 2007 is Dare-Aqram Model School
The Educators College has separate campuses for boys and girls. The Other most Famous Schools and College in Sahiwal is Taqiq Bin Ziad Inter College and School Sahiwal.Its is one of the biggest college of sahiwal.(M.Umair Akbar Ziadian)
Sahiwal is twinned with the town of Rochdale, in Greater Manchester, England.
Politicians and people
One of the old Political families of Sahiwal are the Rajput Chaudhary’s. They have been part of Local, Provincial and National level Politics of Sahiwal, Punjab and Pakistan for last 55 years. After partition in 1947, the late Ch.Abdul Shakoor moved from India to Pakistan to settle in one of the District’s of Punjab ‘Sahiwal’. In 1960’s, he became the first Deupty- Mayor of Sahiwal and later the Mayor. His friendship with late Zulifqar Ali Bhutto (twice ex-prime minister) made him join Pakistan People’s Party in 1968. He contested twice on PPP MPA ticket in 1972 and 1977 later he died in 1983. His son, Chaudhry Nouraiz Shakoor Khan contested all Member National Assembly elections from 1985-2008 on PPP ticket, except 1985 and 2008. In the history of Sahiwal, the only politician who has been elected thrice, in 1988, 1993 and 2002 as Member National Assembly, Pakistan. Nouraiz, in 2002 formed Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarians Patriots (PPPPP) and became the Senior Vice President of the party. Recently, PPPPP merged with the ruling Pakistan Muslin League (PML). He is now a senior member of the ruling PML. He contested the 2008 elections on PML ticket and lost. Chaudharys have been contesting from National and Provincial platforms from 1970-2008.
During these tenures Ch. Nouraiz Shakoor as Federal Cabinet Minister, Pakistan he rendered dedicated services as Parliamentary Secretary for Communications in 1993-95, as the Federal Minister of State for Communications and Youth Affairs in 1995-97. He then held the office of the Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources from 2002-04. From 2005-2007, he held the portfolio of Minister of Science and Technology. He is an Advocate and an Agriculturist by profession. He is one of the senior most politicians of Pakistan who has a strong visionary political background. In his life long services as a triumphant political leader Ch. Nouraiz Shakoor held the membership of Standing Committee on Finance Economics Affairs in 1988-90 and 1993-96, Standing Committee on Production 1988-90, Standing Committee on Planning and Development 1993-96 and Parliamentary Kashmir Committee 1993-96. Being on these titles Ch. Nouraiz Shakoor attended many national and international Conferences, Workshops and Seminars as the part and leader of the delegations. He has represented Pakistan on many official tours around the World and has visited regions within U.S.A, Europe and Asia. Married, he is the father of two sons (Late Muhammad Jaffer Shakoor and Muhammad Ali Shakoor). An avid fan of sports, he is President of the Cycling Association Pakistan, President Sahiwal Club and Member Tennis Association, Punjab.
In 2002, his cousin Rana Aftab Ahmed got elected on a PPP ticket as Member Provincial Assembly, Punjab. He also contested in 1997 as MPA on the same PPP ticket but lost. After winning the elections in 2002, he also joined PPPP-Patriots co-founded by Nouraiz. From 2003-2007, he served in the Provincial Cabinet of Punjab as Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture Marketing and Production. Nouraizs’ other cousin, Chaudhary Iftikhar Ahmed holds their family Nazim seat in his village. This Nazim seat has been won by Chaudhary’s for last 50 years.
Pir Imran Shah belongs to Pakistan Muslim League(N). He was elected for the first time as an MNA in 2008 general elections.
Malik Nadeem Kamran belongs to Pakistan Muslim League(N). He got elected for the second time as an MPA in 2008 general elections. He defeated PPPPP’s Zaki Chaudry with a margin of 15,000 votes and Rana Aftab of PML came third.
Rai family moved from Talwandi Punjab Indian to Chichwatni after the separation of India and Pakistan. They have been in the Natioanl Parliament of Pakistan and Provincial Assembly of Punjab. Rai Hassan Nawaz is currently DISTRICT NAZIM of Sahiwal and a key player in Politics of Sahiwal. His cousin Rai Aziz Ullah had been MNA from Chichawatni in 2002 general elections but was defeated by Ch. Zahid Iqbal of PPPP in 2008 general elections.
Chaudhary Family of tehsil Chichawatni is one influential families of Sahiwal. By caste they are Arian and involved in politics. The fore father of the family Ch. Ali Bakhsh migrated from Jalandher in 1914. Basically they are Landlord but Business is one of the trade mark of this family and they have made their name in Textile industry, Flour mills, Gas Stations and Real Estates. They have also become the major player in Politics. A decade ago they were being considered the important ally of Rai Family but due to some differences with them, Chaudhry family separated their ways and joined PPPP now they are one of the biggest opponents of Rai family. Ch. Zahid Iqbal became MNA on the platform of PPPP in General Elections, 2008 by defeating Rai Aziz ullah. Earlier, his first cousin Ch. Tariq Aziz became NAZIM by defeating Rai Group in Local bodies Elections, 2004.
There are various radio and cable networks broadcasting in the city, such as Sun Rise FM 96 Sahiwal radio and cable networks like Voltas Cable Network, GEO Cable Network and Galaxy Cable network. The main companies providing dial-up internet facility such are BrainNet and CyberNet. Moreover World Call Wireless has also started its operation in Sahiwal. World Call provides wireless telephones at low call rates and wireless internet facility which is much faster than the dial-up service providers in the city.
On every main crossing of Sahiwal there is a closed circuit TV camera monitoring 24 days a week for security purposes.
Recently, Wateen Telecom has also opened its office in Sahiwal. Wateen offers landline telephone, cellular phone, HQ television, high-speed internet and WiMax, which is even faster than DSL and broadband. This would mean more choice for the residents of Sahiwal, when it comes to entertainment options.
Information Super Highway
Sahiwal is also on Information Super Highway after getting High Speed DSL Internet Facility by Multi net.Multi Net Offer 256kb,512kb,1mb & 2mb shared speed & there is also wateen telecom started there sevice with high speed DSL via WIFI . A lot more development in being done in the field of IT and telecoms. Sahiwal is also connect with backbone fiber that connect all major cities of Pakistan. All Govt. Schools in Sahiwal have latest PIV Based Computer Lab from IT and Computer Labs Project Government of Punjab. Roughly one million rupees is spent on each lab. These furnished labs contain 16 latest PIV (Core 2 Duo) computers, air conditioner, printer and Internet facility. Each lab has dedicated IT staff including IT Teacher working on 17 Scale and Lab In charge). Government hoped that this project will improve the IT education standard in Sahiwal. In Sahiwal Asia’s biggest television boaster is located in the city.
The District Hospital commonly referred to as the Civil Hospital is the largest hospital of Sahiwal. It has a nursing school and also offers different laboratory courses. Many well known doctors of the city have served their House Jobs here. However adequate medical facilities, especially emergency specialist equipment, are often not available and patients are referred to Lahore (the capital city of the Punjab), which is inconvenient and risky.