Archive for History

History Of Major Cities

Advertisements

RAWALAKOT

RAWALAKOT

Rawalakot is a city in Azad Kashmir, and is the capital of Poonch District. It is in a saucer-shaped valley at elevation 1615 metres (5300ft). It is 76 kilometres (47 miles) from Kohala, and is also linked with Rawalpindi and Islamabad via the neighbouring districts of Azad Pattan and Tain Dhalkot,and with Muzaffarabad via Kohala and Sudhangali by asphalt roads. The main tribe of Rawalakot are the Sudhan tribe
Location
Surrounding villages include Topa Soon aka Soon Topa or just Topa, Kaimon, Thithrot, Motialmara, Trar Dewan,Chare, Chuck, Tranni, Dahmni, Pothi Bala/Makwalan, Kharek, Dreak, Banjosa, Hussainkot, Hurnamaira, Bhalgran, Rehara, Tain, and Pachiot. Bagh District lies to the north and Sudhnuti District lies to the south of Rawalakot. The road passing through (Jalooth)Paniola connects Rawalakot to Bagh And Muzaffarabad. While towards the West are Murree, Islamabad and Rawalpindi regions of Pakistan.
Rawalakot has an airport which has not functioned since 2000 due to lack of demand for air travel by the local population and the indifference of the Government of Pakistan. This Airport is situated near Chuck Bazar approximatively 1 kilometre from Chare and approximately 3 KM from Rawalakot Main City[
Construction of Guoien Nalla road between Rawalakot and Azad Pattan has considerably reduced the distance travel time.
The Shaeed Galla /Toli peer is very famous place in Rawalakot District, it is 20km from Rawalakot and beautiful natual scene and forest.
Communications
”        Two privately owned Cable Television systems are available in Rawalakot, which transmits Pakistani and international television programs.
”        A local FM radio station has been established and broadcasts at FM 105.8
”        Cell phone service is available through five private cell phone operators Paktel,Mobilink, Ufone, Warid, Telenor,SCOM. PTCL Wireless also available.
”        The local phone company is operated by Pakistan Army .
”        Construction of Guoien Nalla road between Rawalakot and Azad Pattan has considerably reduced the distance travel time.
Rawalakot-Poonch Trade Route
Before the partition of the subcontinent, the Poonch-Rawalakot trade route was the only road link between Poonch and Sudhnati, now called Rawalakot, the Line of Control (LoC) is 15 kilometres from Hajira and 43 kilometres from Rawalakot.
After the Treaty of Amritsar in 1846, a part of the state of Jammu and Kashmir comprising Bagh, Sudhanoti (Rawalakot), Mendhar and Haveli were declared as the State of Poonch and transferred to Raja Moti Singh as his Jagir (landed estate). The ethnic diversity of this region offers a unique blend of different tribes and clans.
Tehsil Mendhar in the State of Poonch was the most fertile area in this region. Trade and agricultural links between people of Rawalakot and Poonch were common. Apart from agriculture, sheep and goat farming was the major source of income for the people of Poonch region. The Poonch-Rawalakot trade route played an important role in the economy of this area. It was one of the few trade routes in the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir which remained open throughout the year. Traders and businessmen freely traded fruits, vegetables, dry fruits, wool, tobacco, cereals, rice, spices and many other items. Barter trade system was followed by most of the traders and businessmen.
Although major chunk of the people’s income went to the State rulers through taxes, including Abiana and Maalia, duties, fines, and forced labour, there was economic activity and the region was considered rich in resources. Much has been conceived and propagated about ethnic and religious divide between the rulers and the ruled in the former state of Jammu and Kashmir. But an impartial and unbiased study of the Dogra rule would expose that socio-economic conditions of the population played an important role in the emergence of a conflict between the rulers and the masses.
It is on the record that rulers of the state imposed taxes on most of the belongings which one could own in his household e.g. cattle, utensils, hearths, windows, crops, agricultural tools and even wives. There was no other choice for the people to protect their belongings than to defy the authoritarian rule. The most crushed and trodden among the masses turned into the most violent dissidents and liberated their lands and belongings. Bagh, Rawalakot and parts of Haveli were liberated and the area liberated was named as Azad (free) Kashmir. Poonch town, the capital of this tiny state stood isolated and besieged till November, 1948 when Indian forces recaptured this town. As the region was divided, a large number of families got divided on both sides of the Cease Fire Line (later named as LoC) having no contact with each other. This is the most tragic element of the existence of Line of Control. After the emergence of LoC not only the families were divided but their businesses also ruined. Agricultural and grazing lands were bifurcated. Guns replaced the crops and cattle.
Rawalakot Bar Association
The Rawalakot Bar Association invited the Chief Justice of Pakistan, Iftikhar Chaudhry to address the Bar Association on June 30, 2007. The invitation was to show support of the local lawyers and civil society for the restoration of democracy in Pakistan and an end to the Army Dictatorship.

Rawalakot Turkiye College for Girls
The Rawalakot Turkiye College for Girls , a unique school comparable to any other educational facility in a European country -has been established in Rawalakot in place of the Post-Graduate College for Girls, Kharick, which faced severe destruction in the October 2005 earthquake. Through a joint organization of IHLAS Media Holding of Germany and DITIB (Religious Affairs of Turkish Islamic Union Germany), the Turkish people agreed on reconstruction of Rawalakot Post-Graduate Girls College with ERRA. Later on, the Turkish Islamic Union of Netherlands participated through donations of Basic Health Unit facilities to the said school. The design, construction, decoration and landscaping of the school have been carried out by Turcon Private Limited. A geological survey of the land led to the decision of constructing single or maximum two-storey buildings. In a campus-wise set-up, all the buildings have been scattered on a 240,000 square feet area. The educational facilities include 30 classrooms, five laboratories, a gymnasium hall, hostel, lodgment for teachers, principal’s house, BHU, mosque, multi-purpose hall, and an administration block, etc. A total of 14 buildings exceeding a covered area of 60,000 square feet have been built for the school. Basic amenities such as computers, television sets, music system, sofa sets, beds, mattresses and blankets for teachers and students have been arranged for with the help of donors. Thousands of trees and flowers have also been planted for landscaping. The construction has been carried out in the conventional method. Both ends of the buildings have been strengthened through shear walls, providing an earthquake-proof structure to ensure safety of the children. The materials used in construction are the same as in the developed countries. Lightweight insulated shingle roof material has been imported and used for the first time in Pakistan for added comfort. Well-insulated U-PVC type windows have also been used. The college will be inaugurated on April 7 at 12.30 p.m
Rawalakot Air Port
Since the raid by Pakistan Army on the Red Mosque, Pakistan Army has deployed new army contingents in Rawalakot. The Rawalakot CMH and the telephone exchange are under extreme security to avoid the acts of terrorism by so called religious extremists.
Publications and Literary Activities
Local periodical by the name of Dharti(edited by Abid Siddique) is published monthly. Many authors as well as poets have been produced in the valley of Rawalakot. Internationally recognized magazine Mearaj International is well circulated in Rawalakot published from Kashmir, Pakistan & UK Daily news papers from Pakistan are available in English as well as Urdu. Most read newspaper is the Urdu daily Jang and the most listened to Radio Statio is BBC Londonand Vice of Kashmir FM 105 Rawalakot
Hotels and Rest Houses
Small hotels with living accommodations are available in and around the city. Government owned cabins are available in Rawalakot and Banjosa. Advance reservations are recommended as most of these accommodations are used by Government Officials on their tours.
Climate
Average temperature during the summer varies from 60 degrees F to 75 degrees F. During the winter snow falls start during the month of December and last through January. Rainy season starts from April through June. [4]
Culture
Rawalakot has no theatres, however the university does have some sorts of cultural events.
Shopping
Rawalakot has a down town which consists of shops selling everything from groceries to electronic goods.
Non governmental organizations(NGOs)
There are very few active non governmental organizations working in Rawalakot. Press for Peace(PFP) is a very active local NGO. PFP was established by Khawaja Zafar Iqbal, a famous journalist and peace activist from Trar village of Rawalakot. However,PFP headquarters is based in Muzaffarabad, while it has extended its network across Kashmir and abroad.
Education
In addition to The Agriculture University of Azad Kashmir, Rawalakot has a Government College for men and for women, numerous high schools and a number of private schools.
During the earthquake of October 8,2005, many degree colleges were badly damaged, but these have not yet been rebuilt
Population
Rawalakot has an estimated population of 50,000. Over 60% of the population belongs to the Sudhan tribe. The remaining 40% is of the population includes Slahrya Rajput, Mehngral Rajput, Bhattis, Gujars, Jats, Maliks, Rathor Rajputs, Awans,[Mughal,Chughtai, Baig, Mirza,Maldayal] Magray and Ashraf or Sayeds,Quraishi. Khawaja ([[Kashmiri Bandy]]Mir,Butt,Dar.)
Famous Personalities from Rawalakot
”        Sardar Ibrahim Khan ,first president of Azad Kashmir.
”        Major General (Retired) Muhammad Hayyat Khan, former president of Azad Kashmir.
”        Major General (Rtd) Sardar Muhammad Anwar Khan, former president of Azad Kashmir.
”        Justice Sardar Muhammed Nawaz Khan, Current Chief Justice of High Court of Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
”        Sadar Khalid Ibrahim Khan: son of founder president of AJK Sardar Ibrahim Khan, MLA and the chairman, Jammu & Kashmir People’s Party.
”        General (Retd) Muhammad Rahim Khan, former Chief of Pakistan Army in East Pakistan, former Chairman Pakistan International Airlines, former Chairman Pakistan Chrome Mines Ltd and Secretary General of the Ministry of Defense.$
”        Sardar Sayab Khalid ,Ex- Speaker AJK Assambly
”        Sardar Shahnawaz Khan: Writer, politician, most influencel sardar from the region Kandhi.
”        Shaikh Ghulam Ahmad, author, educator and philanthropist.
”        M. Rasheed Khan, former chairman, Pakistan Banking Council. Financial consultant.
”        Khawaja zafar iqbal,renown journalist,peace activist,founder of Press for Peace(PFP),currently residing in UK where he is associated with research about Media and Globalisation.
”        Sardar Ejaz Afzal Khan, Ameer Jamat-Islami Azad Kashmir.
”        Sardar Sagheer Ahmed Khan Advocat Chairman Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF)
”        Sardar Mukhtar Khan- Lawyer- Renowned Freedom Fighter-Politician- Writer. – Azadi Ka Khawab Pasrishan -Publication 2005
                      
External links
”        Rawalakot video 1
”        Rawalakot video 2
”        Rawalakot video 3

MUZAFFARABAD

MUZAFFARABAD

Muzaffarabad is the capital of Azad Kashmir (AJK). It is located in Muzaffarabad District on the banks of the Jhelum and Neelum rivers, is very hilly. The district is bounded by North-West Frontier Province in the west, by the Kupwara and Baramulla districts of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir in the east, and the Neelum District Azad Kashmir in the north. The population of the district, according to the 1998 Census, was 725,000, and according to a 1999 projection, the population had risen to almost 741,000. The district comprises three tehsils, and the city of Muzaffarabad serves as the capital of Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
Location
Muzaffarabad is situated at the confluence of the Jhelum and Neelum rivers. The city is 138 kilometres from Rawalpindi and Islamabad and about 76 kilometres from Abbottabad. Cradled by lofty mountains, Muzaffarabad reflects a blend of various cultures and languages. The main language is a form of Hindko. The Neelum river plays a dominant role in the microclimate of Muzaffarabad.
History
Early history
The original name of Muzaffarabad was Udabhanda
Udabhanda was the capital of the Shahi dynasty . The Shahi also called Shahiya, dynasties ruled portions of the Kabul Valley (in eastern Afghanistan) and the old province of Gandhara (northern Pakistan and Kashmir) from the decline of the Kushan Empire in third century to the early ninth century The kingdom was known as Kabul-shahan or Ratbel-shahan from (565 – 670 CE) when they had their capitals in Kapisa and Kabul, and later Udabhandapura (also known as Hund) for its new capital. The term Shahi is the title of the rulers, likely related to the Kushan form Shaoor Persian form Shah and refers to a series of 60 rulers probably descended from the Kushans or Turks (Turshkas). They are split into two eras the Buddhist Turk-Shahis and the later Hindu-Shahis with the change-over occurring sometime around 870.
Modern history
The name “Muzaffarabad” (meaning Muzaffar’s Town) comes from the name of Sultan Muzaffar Khan, a former ruler of the Bomba Dynasty. After the 1948-49 war, Muzaffarabad was made the capital of the Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
On October 8, 2005, the city was struck by an earthquake measuring a magnitude of 7.6 on the Richter Scale.
2005 Kashmir Earthquake
Muzaffarabad was the epicentre of the 2005 Kashmir earthquake, which occurred on October 8, 2005 and had a magnitude of 7.6. The earthquake destroyed 50% of the buildings in the city (including most of the official buildings) and is estimated to have killed up to 80,000 people in the Pakistani-controlled areas of Kashmir, alone.
The Kashmir earthquake (also known as the Northern Pakistan earthquake or South Asia earthquake) of 2005 was a major seismological disturbance (earthquake) that occurred at 08:50:38 Pakistan Standard Time (03:50:38 UTC, 09:20:38 India Standard Time, 08:50:38 local time at epicenter) on October 8, 2005 with the epicenter in the Pakistani-controlled areas of the disputed territory of Kashmir in South Asia. It registered 7.6 on the moment magnitude scale making it a major earthquake similar in intensity to the 1935 Quetta earthquake, the 2001 Gujarat Earthquake, and the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.
As of 8 November, the Pakistani government’s official death toll was 87,350. Some estimates put the death toll over 100,000.
Sites Of Interest
Muzaffarabad Fort
There are two historical forts on opposite sides of the Neelum River.
”        Red Fort
”        Black Fort
The construction of the Red Fort was finally completed in 1646 by Sultan Muzaffar Khan, the founder of Muzaffarabad city. After the Mughals took over Kashmir, the fort lost its importance. The Mughals were more interested in Kabul, Bukhara, and Badakshan. During the period of Durrani rule, however, the fort again once again assumed its importance.
Maharaja Gulab Singh and Rambir Singh, the Dogra rulers, reconstructed and extended the fort for their political and military operations. Towards the middle of 1947, the Dogra forces left, leaving the fort abandoned.
The architecture of the fort shows that great experts in design and structure participated in its construction. It is surrounded on three sides by theNeelum River formally known as the Kishenganga River. The northern part of the fort had terraces with steps leading to the bank of the river. The eastern side was very well protected from the hazards of flood waters, but some parts on the north side have suffered damage. There used to be an inn at the entrance to the fort, but only traces of that structure remain now.
Other
”        Azad Jammu and Kashmir Assembly
”        Azad Jammu and Kashmir Supreme Court
”        Masque Assembly Secretariat
”        Kh. Khurshid Tomb
”        Chehla Bridge
”        Subri (Langarpura) Lake
Valleys
”        Pirchinassi
”        Neelum Valley
o        Athmuqam
o        Neelum
o        Sharda
o        Kel
”        Jhelum Valley
”        Leepa Valley

MIRPUR

MIRPUR

Mirpur is the largest city in Azad Kashmir, and the capital of Mirpur District. Mirpur is located at the extreme south of Azad Kashmir at a elevation of 459 metres (1509ft). It is 161 kilometre’s (100 miles) from Islamabad via the Grand Trunk Road and 295 kilometre’s (183 miles) from Muzaffarabad, the capital of Azad Kashmir.
History
The city of Mirpur was founded in the late 17th century (i.e late 1600’s) by a Gakhar chief Miran Shah Ghazi. The Imperial Gazetteer of India Provincial Series Kashmir and Jammu (1909) provides this information about Mirpur history as “it is said to have been founded by the Gakhars, Miran Khan and Sultan Fateh Khan”
By the end of 18th century, Gakhar power in Pothohar had declined. Mirpur had become part of Chibb ruled state of Khari Khariyali with capital at Mangla Fort. With the rise of Sikh power in Punjab, Maharaja Ranjit Singh established his supremacy and set his eyes on the chibh states of Bhimber and Khari Khariyali. In 1810, a force was sent against Raja Sultan Khan of Bhimber and was met with fierce resistance. However, in 1812 another sikh army under prince Kharak Singh defeated Sultan Khan and the Bhimber state was annexed as Jagir on Kharak Singh. Around the same time, Ranjit Singh acquired Gujrat and invaded Khari Khariyali ruled by Raja Umar Khan. Raja Umar Khan made peace with Ranjit Singh. But before a settlement could be made, he died and Ranjit Singh confiscated the state.
In 1816, Ranjit Singh annexed Jammu state and in 1820 awarded Jammu to his commander Gulab Singh who hailed from Jammu and was under the service of Ranjit Singh for the past eight years. Between 1831-39 Ranjit Singh bestowed on Gulab Singh the royalty of the salt mines in northern Punjab, and the northern Punjab towns including Bhera, Jhelum, Rohtas, Mirpur and Gujrat. Gulab Singh kept on expanding his kingdom and in 1840 Baltistan was made subject to Jammu and Gilgit fell to a Sikh force from Kashmir in 1842. The state of Kashmir was annexed by Ranjit Singh in 1819. However the rebellion in Hazara in the beginning of 1846, compelled the country to be transferred to Raja Gulab Singh of Jammu as well.
As an aftermath of the First Anglo-Sikh War and the Treaty of Lahore, The Treaty of Amritsar was signed between the British Government and Raja Gulab Singh of Jammu on March 16, 1846. This treaty transferred him all the hill states between Ravi and Indus. The transfer included Kashmir Valley, Hazara and the southern hill areas. Thus sealing the fate of Mirpur with the new state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Early Mirpur
Since Mirpur lies at the point where the Jhelum River breaks out of the heavily forested foothills of the Pir Panjal mountains into the plains of the largely treeless Punjab. It was an ideal spot for the construction of the boats used to carry goods down the five rivers of the Punjab to the Indus River and onto the seaports in the Indus delta. Traders have been operating from there across the Indian Ocean for over three thousand years. Most of the crew on the boats trading up and down the Punjab and Indus River system were drawn from Mirpur, as training as a boat-builder was a necessary prerequisite for becoming a boatman.
British rule
With the arrival of British rule however, the thriving river trade was decimated due to the construction of railway lines from Bombay and Karachi into the interior of the Punjab. Moving goods by rail was both cheaper and quicker, and hundreds of Mirpuri boatmen found themselves out of a job.
At the same time long-distance ocean trade was shifting from sail to steam. There was a huge demand for men who were prepared to work in the hot, dirty and dangerous stokeholds of the new coal-fired steamers. European seamen avoided such jobs whenever they possibly could. They preferred to work on deck. But in the 1870s Mirpuri ex-river boatmen were desperately searching for a new source of income. Although unfamiliar with stoking coal-fired boilers, they were prepared to learn and quickly gained a virtual monopoly of jobs as engine-room stokers on new steamships sailing out of Karachi and Bombay, a position they retained until coal-fired ships were finally phased out of service at the end of the second world war.
Post war
After world war two a new set of opportunities opened up. Britain’s economy was just setting off on what proved to be a long post-war boom, and there was an acute short of labour in the foundries of the Midlands, and the textile mills of Yorkshire and Lancashire. Now it was the turn of ex-seamen to become industrial workers in Britain. So when the Mangla lake was filled up in 1966, depriving large numbers of Mirpuri farmers of their land, an alternative was readily available: to move overseas to join those of their kinsfolk who had established themselves in Britain.
As a result, Mirpur is one of the principal sources of migration from Pakistan to Europe, and especially to Britain, so much so that close to half a million migrants from this area now live in the United Kingdom. Although it is widely believed that the principal reason for this outflow was the construction of the Mangla Dam, this is only partially true. Whilst the construction of the dam undoubtedly reinforced the scale of the outflow, since the waters of the lake swamped most of the best land in the District, emigration from this region began long beforehand.
Mirpur City
Mirpur city is situated at 459 meters above sea-level and is linked with the main Peshawar-Lahore Grand Trunk road at Dina Tehsil. It is the headquarters of Mirpur District, which comprises three sub-divisions, Mirpur, Chaksawari & Dadyal[1]. The building of the new city in late sixties paved the way for New Mirpur situated on the banks of Mangla lake. In fact the remains of the old city (old Mirpur) are underneath the waters of the Mangla Lake, during colder months the water level decreases such that you can see the tops of minarets from the first mosques, and also the remnants of a Sikh gurdwara as well as a Hindu mandir possibly dedicated to the “mangla mata” (mangla mother goddess).This is a glimpse of pre-independence times when there were many faiths co-existing in Kashmir as a whole, but however after partition the Hindus, Buddhists and Sikhs fled to India. Mirpur was well planned and the buildings are mostly of modern design, in addition there is significant inward investment from expatriates now living in the United Kingdom, Europe, North America, & the Middle East. The city has a number of hotels, restaurants, shopping malls and other urban facilities.
Industry
As Mirpur adjoins the industrial cities of Pakistan, the Government of Azad Jammu & Kashmir has successfully endeavoured to develop it as an industrial place and promote private investment for establishing, Foam, Polypropylene, Synthetic yarn, Motorbikes, Textile, vegetable ghee, logging and sawmills, soap, cosmetics, marble, ready-made garments, matches, rosin, turpentine and scooter industrial units in the area. However, much of the infrastructure still needs further development in order to compete on a national level. As part of the relief/compensation package in the wake of Mangla Dam Raising Project, a New City is being developed along the southeastern outskirts of Mirpur. Civil works at huge scale are going on around the whole district, by the Pakistani & Chinese contractors for raising the dam. Four towns in the district have been planned besides the new city, to resettle the population affected by the project.
Transport

Buses
Mirpur has the biggest & busiest bus network in Azad Kashmir, running from early hours of the morning to late night. Daily routes include Dina, Jhelum, Kharian & Gujrat. The new flying coachs in Mirpur travel to larger cities of Pakistan including Gujranwala, Sialkot, Rawalpindi & Faisalabad.
Auto rickshaw
Auto Rickshaws are very popular mode of transport for short routes within the city. Many of the new rickshaws in the city use Compressed natural gas (CNG) instead of the petrol engines as CNG is environmentally clean and cheaper compared petrol.
Air
The nearest airport is the Islamabad International Airport which is approx 150 kilometres from the city. The government of AJK have announced a new international airport to be built in the city but are still seeking private investors for the proposed project.
Shopping
Mirpur has a large and diverse shopping area, centred around Chowk Shaheeda & Allama Iqbal Road. There are many stores, plazas, shopping malls & markets in the main bazaar selling everything from hand made pottery to international brands. The under construction Nosha Shopping Centre will be one of the largest shopping centres of the city when completed.
Demographics
According to the 1998 census Mirpur had a population of approximately 370,000 making it by far the largest city in Azad Kashmir. Potwari’s account for approx 80% of the population followed by Punjabis 15%, Pathans & Afghan refugees 5% The majority of the people in the Mirpur district are Muslims, however prior to partition the district had a high number of Hindus & sikhs.
Culture
Mirpur (to the west and south) borders the Punjab province of Pakistan and the ethnicity, language and culture of both Punjab & the Mirpur district are virtually the same. The region has historically been a part of Greater Punjab. Pahari & Pothohari are the main languages spoken in Mirpur, whereas Punjabi is spoken in areas bordering Bhimber and Gujrat districts.
Development
In recent times Mipur city has seen many new developments. Some of the schemes approved and under construction include:
”        Quid-e-Azam Stadium
”        Regency Hotel
”        Mirpur International Airport (proposed)
”        Jinnah Model Town
”        Mirpur Grand Rest House
”        Moori Industrial Zone
”        New multi purpose grounds
”        Mangla Dam upraising
”        New recreation parks
”        New Industrial Area
”        Mohi-Ud-Deen Islamic Medical College
”        Valley Homes Mirpur
Tourism
The government of Azad Kashmir is paying special attention to tourism in AJK & Mirpur, building new theme parks, rest houses, hotels and renovating old forts to attract tourists to the region. Places of interest in Mirpur are:
”        Mangla Fort & Museum
”        Ramkot Fort
”        Baghsar
”        Khari Sharif
”        Jari Kas
”        Monument of Basharat Shaheed
”        Mangla Dam
”        Gulshan e Kashmir
Geography and climate
Lying between 33°15′ and 33°34′ latitude and 73°31′ and 73°55′ longitude, Mirpur city is located at the extreme South of Azad Kashmir. Mirpur comprises partly plain and partly hilly areas. Mirpur’s hot climate and other geographical conditions closely resemble to those of Jhelum and Gujrat, the adjoining districts of Punjab, Pakistan.
Surroundings
”        Chakswari is approx 20km from Mirpur city, it is fast becoming a commercial area of the district.
”        Bhimber is 50km from Mirpur, the area is very rich in archaeological remains.
”        Jandi Chontra is a scenic spot 67Km from Mirpur in Bhimber District, the Shrine of the Sufi Saint Baba Shadi Shaheed is located here.
”        Khari Sharif is located 8km from Mirpur, it is famous for its Sufi shrines.
”        Mangla town is located 16km from Mirpur, it is situated at the mouth of the Mangla Dam for which it is famous.
”        Football Chok (Sector D4)- This is home to a large number of wealthy expatriates, local business men, government officials and ISI. Its an area with vast number of mansions because of this its known as Ameer Gar (Millionaires Row).[citation needed]
”        Bhalot- This is one of largest and most populous villages of Mirpur.
”        Mehmunpur Rajgan- situated 15 KM from Mirpur new city near Pul Manda. A famous villages of old Mirpur, Zaildar Raja Sajawal Khan(activist of freedom moment with people like Raja Akbar Khan and Subah Sadiq Shah) belonged to same village. He was imprisoned in Jammu in 1931 with Raja Akbar and Subah Sadiq when they retaliated against Quran Issue. The first meeting of Muslim Conference hosted by Raja Sajawal Khan and presided by Subah Sadiq Shah in Mirpur was held in Mehmunpur in which Ch. Ghulam Abbas, Sardar Abdul Qayyum Khan and other notables participated.
Notable People of Old Mirpur
”        Ch Dalawar Khan, First Zailadar of Mirpur in the year 12AH
”        Raja Allah Dad Khan, Jagirdar
”        Raja Sajawal Khan of, Zaildar and Assessor
”        Subah Sadiq Shah, Activist of Quran Movement
”        Raja Gul Nawaz Khan, Zaildar
”        General Raja Akbar Khan
”        Ch. Noor Hussain, Politician
”        Raja Bashir Ahmed Khan, Zaildar
”        Late Ch. Khadim Hussain, MLA
”        Late Ch. Patha Malik Hussain, Prosperous Landowner
”        Ch. Fazal Ellahi
”        Late Sheikh Younas Azam, Kashmiri journalist
”        Mian Muhammad Bakhsh, Sufi saint
”        Miran Shah Ghazi, Founder of Mirpur City
”        Raja Rahman Khan, Chairmen
Notable People of New Mirpur
”        Barrister Sultan Mahmood Ch, Ex.Prime Minister of AJK
”        Cllr Raja Ghazanfer Khaliq, Ex.Lord Mayor of Bradford, UK
”        Advocate Muhammad Azeem Dutt, High Court Advocate, President of JKPF & Political Activist
”        Barrister Qurban Ali, Supreme Head Of Peoples National Party
”        Lord Nazir Ahmed, Member of House of Lords
”        Raja Zafar Maroof, Administrator District Council
”        Raja Shabbir Ahmed Khan, Ex Public Prosecutor
”        Ch.Rukhsar Ahmed Gujjar, M.L.A Of Khari Sharif
”        Khalid Mahmood, Member of Parliament B’ham, UK
”        Mohammed Ajeeb, Ex.Lord Mayor Bradford UK
”        Ch Abdul Majid, President Pakistan Peoples Party (AJK)
”        Cllr Liaquat Ali, Mayor of Waltham Forest
”        Ch Aurangzeb, Ex.Lord Mayor Bradford, UK
”        Ch Muhammed Saeed, CEO Azad Group Of Companies Ltd, President of the Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry
”        Ch Mohammed Yusuf, MLA Minister of Mangla Dam
”        Raja Rahman Khan, Ex. Chairmen Union Council
”        Cllr Raja Zarait, Mayor of Slough
”        Cllr Ch FA Matloob, Chairman of Slough Labour Party & Slough’s youngest councillor
”        Late Chaudhry Ali Muhammed Chacha, Senior Advocate Mirpur
”        Mumtaz Khan, Founder of the Mumtaz Group
”        Zarina Khan, BBC Radio presenter
”        Mohammed Iqbal, Lord Mayor Leeds
”        Mohammed Saleem, Founder of Kashmir Crown Bakeries & Nafees Group of Companies
”        Cllr Chaudhry Abdul Rashid, Lord Mayor Birmingham
”        Chaudhry Khurshid Ahmed, Race Relations Commisioner & Pakistan Human Rights Secretary
Ethnic groups in Mirpur
The demographics of Mirpur are made of three main ethnic groups.
”        Gujjars – One of the three major ethnic groups in Mirpur. Most reside in Mirpur, Islam Gar, Dadyal and New Mirpur. Gujjars in Mirpur are in a minority, compared to Jatt and Rajput, this is mainly due to most of them having emigrated when old Mirpur was flooded following the construction of the Mangla Dam. They are very united and active in politics, enterprise and bureaucracy of AJK. Gujjar clans consist of Bajar, Khepar, Chaudhary, Bjarh, Chauhan, Bhumbla, Chandpuri, Chechi, Meelu, Hans, Bagri and Khatana.
”        Jatt – Represent one of three majority ethnic groups of Mirpur. Mostly resident in Chaksawri, Dadyal & Main city of Mirpur and the villages surrounding Mirpur City such as Sangot, Purkhan, Balah-Gala, Thathal, Ban Khurma, Kalyal, Khambal and in many villages around the Khari Sharif area. Jatts play an active role in the politics of AJK. They are the largest group by population in the city of Mirpur. Jatt clans are made up of the Thathals, Ranyals, Nangyals, Nagyals, Kalyals, and Dhamyals.
”        Rajputs – Third of the three major ethnic groups in number, they play an active role in politics and bureaucracy. Rajputs live in Main city & Khari Sharif region. The famous sub clans of rajputs are Gakhars, Chibbs, Punwar Solans & Minhas.
”        Mughals – Are not involved in active politics but they are very active in the education sector.
”        Arain – A minority group, mostly engaged in commercial businesses. They moved to Mirpur from Punjab.
”        Awan – Especially in Sungot, Andrah & Islamgarh
”        Sadat – Though a minority group they are a very active people and occupy important positions in all sectors. They moved to Mirpur from Punjab.
”        Jarral – Large numbers of Jarral’s can be found in the New City.
”        Kashmiri – Main city clans in Mirpur include Butt, Lone and Sheikhs. Most work in the trade sector, especially in gold. They are the descendants of Kashmiri workmen who migrated to the plains of Punjab from the Kashmir Valley in the 16th and 17th centuries.
Friendship cities
”        Birmingham, UK
”        Bradford, UK
”        Maidenhead, UK
”        Leeds, UK
”        London Borough of Waltham Forest
”        Oldham, UK
”        Nottingham, UK
”        Slough, UK
”        Luton, UK

SKARDU

SKARDU

Skardu is the principal town and capital of Baltistan district, one of the districts making up Pakistan’s Northern Areas (also part of the Pakistani-administered part of Kashmir). Skardu borders Kargil district (within Indian-administered Kashmir) to the east, Astore to the south, Kashmir and Azad Kashmir to the south east and Gilgit district in the west. Skardu is located in the 10 km wide by 40km long Skardu Valley, at the confluence of the Indus river (flowing from near Kailash in Tibet and through neighbouring Ladakh before reaching Baltistan) and the Shigar river. Skardu is situated at an altitude of nearly 2,500 m (8,200 feet), the town is surrounded by grey-brown coloured mountains, which hide the 8,000 metre peaks of the nearby Karakoram range.
Tourism, trekking and mountain expedition base
Skardu, along with Gilgit, are the two major tourism, trekking and expedition hubs in the Northern Areas. It is the mountainous terrain of the region, including four of the world’s fourteen Eight-thousander peaks (8,000m and above), which attracts the attention of tourists, trekkers and mountaineers from around the world. The main tourist season is from April to October-outside this time, the area can be cut off for extended periods by the snowy, freezing winter weather.
Accessible from Skardu by road, the nearby Askole and Hushe Valleys are the main gateways to the snow covered 8,000 m peaks including K2, the Gasherbrums, Broad Peak and the Trango Towers, and also to the huge glaciers of Baltoro, Biafo and Trango. This makes Skardu the main tourist and mountaineering base in the area, which has led to the development of a reasonably extensive tourist infrastructure including shops and hotels. However, the popularity of the region results in high prices, especially during the main trekking season.
Treks to the Deosai Plains, the second highest in the world (at 4,100 m or 13,500 feet) after the Chang Tang in Tibet, either start from or end at Skardu. In local Tibetan language, Deosai is called Byarsa, meaning ‘summer place’. With an area of approximately 5,000 square kilometres, the plains extend all the way to Ladakh and provide habitat for snow leopards, ibex, Tibetan brown bears and wild horses.
The town and the local people
The town has developed along the main road passing through it and to either side of this road is situated the New Bazaar (Naya Bazaar), with hundreds of shops offer almost everything (trekking supplies, souvenirs, local goods, etc.). To the west one finds Yadgar Chowk (with local monument) and from there, the quarter behind Naya Bazaar, to the right hand side is the older Purana Bazaar. Travelling west from Naya Bazaar is a polo ground and next to that, Kazmi Bazaar.
Skardu appears remote, dusty town at first glance, but the mixture of people here make it colourful and ethnically diverse. The crowded streets are mainly populated by Balti Tibetans and many of the local neighbourhoods (mohallahs) have names that reflect this too (i.e. Khache-drong, Khar-drong, Olding, Kushu-bagh, Pakora, Thsethang, Sher-thang, Nagholi-spang etc.). Due to this strong presence, Skardu has sometimes been referred to as the little Tibet of Pakistan.
However, many other ethnic groups are present in Skardu including Pashtuns, Punjabis, Hunzakuts and even Uyghur, due to the close proximity of Baltistan to the respective regions. Since the creation of Pakistan people of various ethnicities from various regions of Pakistan have emigrated here.
All the above ethnic groups are devout Muslims. This includes the Balti-Tibetans, who were converted from Tibetan Buddhism in the 16th century (the only sizeable group of Tibetans to have undergone such a conversion). Shia Islam has a strong presence in Skardu.
Weather and climate
The climate of Skardu during the summer is moderated by its mountain setting and the intense heat of lowland Pakistan does not reach here. The mountains also block out the summer monsoon and summer rainfall is thus quite low. However, these mountains result in very severe winter weather. During the April to October tourist season, temperatures vary between a maximum of 27°C and a minimum (in October) 8°C. However, temperatures can drop to below -10°C in the December-to-January midwinter period.
Transport
Skardu is accessible by two methods, road or air. The normal road route into Skardu is via the Karakorum Highway and a linkroad into the Skardu Valley from it. There are also four or five other road links to Kashmir and Ladakh. Alternatively, there are normally one or two flights daily between Skardu Airport and Islamabad. The high cost of air travel means that road travel via the Karakorum Highway and the link road onward to the Skardu Valley is often the preferred option of locals and tourists alike.
The climate can have adverse affects on transport in and out of the Skardu Valley, as Skardu becomes snowbound during the winter months. Often the roads in and out of Skardu (and other Northern Areas locations) can be blocked for weeks at a time depending on conditions (though two to five days is more normal), sometimes leaving air travel as the only feasible alternative. However, air travel in winter is also subject to disruption due to the unreliable Skardu weather and flights can occasionally be delayed by several days.
Skardu Fort (Kharpochhe Fort)
Skardu Fort or Kharpochhe Fort lies on the eastern face of the Khardrong or Mindoq-Khar (“Castle of Queen Mindoq”) hill 15 metres or 40 feet above Skardu town. The fort dates from the 8th Century CE and contains an old mosque probably dating back to the arrival of Islam in the 16th Century CE. The fort provides a panoramic view of Skardu town, the Skardu valley and the Indus River. The fort was built by Rmakpon dynasty rulers of Baltistan and it was a seven storey building. It was burnt down by Sikhs in the 18th Century CE.
Kharpochhe (Skardu) fort was built on a design similar to that of Leh Palace and the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet. The name Kharpochhe means the great fort-Khar in Tibetan means castle or fort and Chhe means great.
Lakes near Skardu
There are three lakes in the vicinity of Skardu. In local Balti-Tibetan language, a lake is a thso or tso.
Katsura Thso Lakes
There are two Kachura Lakes-the less well known Upper Kachura lake and the more famous Lower Kachura Lake, better known as Shangrila Lake. Lower Katsura lake is home to the Shangrila Resort hotel complex (possibly the reason for the lakes alternative name), built in a Chinese style and another popular destination for tourists in Pakistan. The resort has a unique style of restaurant, set up inside the fuselage of an aircraft that crashed nearby.
Satpara Thso Lake
Satpara Thso Lake or Sadpara Lake is Skardu Valley’s main lake, supplying water for Skardu town and reputedly one of the most picturesque lakes in Pakistan. In 2002, the Government of Pakistan decided to build a dam on the Satpara Lake allocating Rs. 600 million ($10 million) to the Satpara Dam project, two years later in 2004 Progress on the project has, however, been slow
Latitude: 35º 20′ 10″ N, Longitude: 75º 32′ 52″ E
References
”        Jettmar, Karl et al. (1985): Zwischen Gandhara und den Seidenstrassen: Felsbilder am Karakorum Highway: Entdeckungen deutsch-pakistanischer Expeditionen 1979-1984. 1985. Mainz am Rhein, Philipp von Zabern.
”        Jettmar. Karl (1980): Bolor & Dardistan. Karl Jettmar. Islamabad, National Institute of Folk Heritage.
”        PIA’s page about Northern Areas

GILGIT

GILGIT

Gilgit is the capital city of the Northern Areas, Pakistan and a tehsil (headquarters) of Gilgit District. Its ancient name was Sargin which later on came to be known as Gilit and it is still called Gilit or Sargin-Gilit by local people, it was the Sikh and Dogra conquerors who gave it the name of Gilgit, in the Burushaski language, it is named Geelt. Ghallata is considered its name in ancient Sanskrit literature. Gilgit city is one of the two major hubs on the Northern Areas for all mountaineering expeditions of Karakoram to the peaks of the Himalayas, the other hub being Skardu.
Gilgit has an area of 14,680 square miles (38,021 km²). The region is significantly mountainous, lying on the foothills of the Karakoram mountains, and has an average altitude of 1,500 metres (4,900 ft). It is drained by the Indus River, which rises in the neighbouring regions of Ladakh and Baltistan.
History
Gilgit was an important city on the Silk Road through which Buddhism was spread from India to the rest of Asia. A large number of Buddhist Sanskrit texts, included the long version of the Heart Sutra have been unearthed in Gilgit. The Dards and Cizinas also appear in many of the old Pauranic lists of peoples, with the former finding mention in Ptolemy’s accounts of the region. Two famous travellers, Faxian, and Xuanzang are known to have traversed Gilgit as per their accounts.
Gilgit was ruled for centuries by the local Trakhàn Dynasty. However, its independence came to an end about 1810 with the death of Raja Abas, the last Trakhàn Raja
The rulers of Hunza and Nager also claim origin with the Trakhàn dynasty. They claim descent from a heroic Kayani Prince of Persia by the name of Azur Jamshid (also known as Shamsher) who secretly married the daughter of the king Shri Badat who conspired with him to overthrow her Cannibal father. Sri Badat’s faith is theorised as Hinduby some and Buddhist by others. However, considering the regions Buddhist heritage, with the most recent influence being Islam, the most likely proceeding influence of the region is likely to have been Buddhism. Though the titular Sri and the name Badat denotes a Hindu origin of the this ruler. Cannibalism is also not practiced in Buddhism at all.
Prince Azur Jamshid succeeded in overthrowing the tyrant cannibal King Badat who was known as Adam Khor (the cannibal), often demanding a child a day from his subjects, his demise is still celebrated to this very day by locals in traditional annual celebrations. In the beginning of the new year, where a Juniper procession walks along the river, in memory of chasing the cannibal king Sri Badat away.
Azur Jamshid abdicated after 16 years of rule in favour of his wife Nur Bakht Khatùn until their son and heir Garg, grew of age and assumed the title of Raja and ruled, for 55 years. The dynasty flourished under the name of the Kayani dynasty until 1421 when Raja Torra Khan assumed rulership. He ruled as a memorable king until 1475. He distinguished his family line from his step brother Shah Rais Khan (who fled to the king of Badakshan and with who’s help he gained Chitral from Raja Torra Khan), as the now known dynastic name of Trakhàn. The descendants of Shah Rais Khan being respectfully known as the Ra’issiya Dynasty
The area had been a flourishing tract but prosperity was destroyed by warfare over the next fifty years, and by the great flood of 1841 in which the river Indus was blocked by a landslip below the Hatu Pir and the valley was turned into a lake[1]. After the death of Abas, Sulaiman Shah, raja of Yasin, conquered Gilgit. Then, Azad Khan, raja of Punial, killed Sulaiman Shah, taking Gilgit; then Tair Shah, raja of Buroshall (Nagar), took Gilgit and killed Azad Khan. Tair Shah’s son Shah Sakandar inherited, only to be killed by Gaur Rahman, raja of Yasin of the Khushwakhte Dynasty, when he took Gilgit. Then in 1842, Shah Sakandar’s brother, Karim Khan, expelled Gaur Rahman with the support of a Sikh army from Kashmir. The Sikh general, Nathu Shah, left garrison troops and Karim Khan ruled until Gilgit was ceded to Gulab Singh of Jammu and Kashmir in 1846 by the Treaty of Amritsar,[3] and Dogra troops replaced the Sikh in Gilgit.
Nathu Shah and Karim Khan both transferred their allegiance to Gulab Singh and continued local administration. When Hunza attacked in 1848 both of them were killed. Gilgit fell to the Hunza and their Yasin and Punial allies, but was soon reconquered by Gulab Singh’s Dogra troops. With the support of Gaur Rahman, Gilgit’s inhabitants drove their new rulers out in an uprising in 1852. Gaur Rahman then ruled Gilgit until his death in 1860, just before new Dogra forces from Ranbir Singh, son of Gulab Singh, captured the fort and town The rule of Jammu was restored. Gilgit came under British rule in 1889, when it was unified with neighbouring Nagar and Hunza in the Gilgit Agency. When British rule came to an end in 1947, the region was handed over to Kashmir and it has been subsequently claimed by and controlled by Pakistan, however India claims Gilgit as part of the Kashmir dispute Pakistan also claims Jammu and Kashmir as disputed territory.
Villages of Gilgit Tehsil
”        Parri Bangla is a small village on the Karakoram Highway about 20 km from Gilgit. The ancient name of the village was Pari or Fairi.[citation needed] Parri Bangla has a population of about 1,200. Only about 2% of the people are literate and most of the peoples are labourers.
”        Chhamoghar is a large village to the east of Parri Bangla, about 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) from Giligt, with a population of about 15,000.
”        Jalal Abad(Masingote)
”        Bilchar
”        Bagrot
”        Oshi-khand-das
”        Danyor
”        Minawar
”        Sakwar
”        Sakaar koi
”        Haramosh
”        Damoot
”        Chakar Kot
”        Manoot
”        Shahtoot
”        Daroot
”        Sasi
”        Nomal
”        Basseen
”        Sharoot
”        Kargah
”        Pahoot
”        Hainzal
Rivers of Gilgit
”        Indus
”        River Gilgit
”        River Astor
”        Hunza river
”        Yaheen river
Geography
Only a part of the basin of the Gilgit River is included within the political boundaries of Gilgit District. There is an intervening width of mountainous country, represented chiefly by glaciers and ice fields, and intersected by narrow sterile valleys, measuring some 100 metres (330 ft) to 150 metres (490 ft) in width, to the north and north-east, which separates the province of Gilgit from the Chinese frontier beyond the Muztagh and Karakoram. Towering above Gilgit is Mount Rakaposhi at 7,788 metres (25,551 ft).
Tourism and transport
Gilgit city is one of the two major hubs for all mountaineering expeditions in the Northern Areas of Pakistan. Almost all tourists headed for treks in Karakoram or Himalaya ranges arrive at Gilgit first. Many tourists choose to travel to Gilgit by air since the road travel between Islamabad and Gilgit, by the Karakoram Highway, takes nearly 24 hours, whereas the air travel takes a mere 45-50 minutes.
Important Places to Visit
”        Naltar
”        Hunza
”        Ferry Meadows (Raikot)
”        Shigar (Skardu)
”        Kutoval (Haramosh)
”        Bagrote
”        Dev sai Plane (Astore)
”        Rama (Astore)
”        Gaasho Pahoot(Juglot Sai)
”        Phunder
”        Yaseen Valley
Road transport
Gilgit lies about 10 km off the Karakoram Highway. The KKH connects it to Chilas, Dasu, Besham, Mansehra, Abbottabad and Islamabad in the south. In the North it is connected to Karimabad (Hunza) and Sust in the Northern Areas and to the Chinese cities of Tashkurgan, Upal and Kashgar in Xinjiang.
There are various transports companies i.e. Silk Route Transport Pvt, Mashabrum Transport Pvt and Northern Areas Transport Corporation (NATCO) but Northern Areas Transport Corporation has vast coverage faciality. It offers passenger road service between Islamabad, Gilgit, Sust and Tashkurgan, and road service between Kashgar and Gilgit (via Tashkurgan and Sust) started in the summer of 2006. However, the border crossing between China and Pakistan at Khunjerab Pass (the highest border of the world) is open only between May 1 and October 15 of every year. During winter, the roads are blocked by snow. Even during the monsoon season in summer, the roads are often blocked due to landslides. The best time to travel on Karakoram Highway is spring or early summer.
Air transport
Pakistan International Airlines flies brand new ATR 42-500 flights twice daily between Gilgit Airport and Islamabad International Airport and the journey offers one of the most scenic aerial views (especially from the cockpit) of the world as it passes close to Nanga Parbat and the mountain peaks are higher than the aircraft’s cruising altitude. There are two routes that the aircraft takes one is the direct route from the capital Islamabad that takes it over the Margalla Hills then over the town of Haripur directly over the Kaghan Valley from where it heads towards Nanga Parbat and finally abeam the mountain the descent starts into the Indus valley. The other route that it flies is all along the Indus valley which is also scenic but a little longer. These flights, however, are subject to the clearance of weather and in winters, flights are often delayed by several days. After a Fokker aircraft crashed near Multan, the Government of Pakistan banned all Fokker flights in domestic operations.
Hospitals
There are two major hospitals in Gilgit proper. The first is the DHQ or District Head Quarters which is the general hospital for the city. The Aga Khan Health Services Hospital is the other major health system including Emergency, Medicine, Paediatrics and Gynaecology Ops. It was started by the Aga Khan in 1981 under an umbrella organization called Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN). It is generally considered the best hospital system in the entire Northern Areas. CMH combine millitry hospital Jutial Gilgit.
= =Schools==
*F.G.High School No.1 Gilgit city
”        F.G.High School No.2 Gilgit city
”        F.G.High School Kashroot Gilgit city
”        F.G.High School Ampharee Gilgit city
”        Public School and college Jutial Gilgit city
”        Army Public School Gilgit city
”        Al-Mustafa Public School Gilgit City Campus
”        Al-Asar Public School System
”        Diamond Jublee Girls School System
”        Agha Khan Higher Secondary School
Al azhar college of commerce
University
”        Karakoram International University Gilgit
Colleges
”        F.G Degree college Jutial Gilgit city
”        F.G Degree college for women Gilgit city
”        Army Public School and College Gilgit city
”        Public School and Colleges Jutial Gilgit city
”        Aga Khan Higher Secondary School Konodass Gilgit city
”        AL-Musataf PUblic School and COllege GIlgit CIty
”        Gilgit COllege of COmmerce Jutial GIlgit
”        Karakurum COllege of COmmerce GIlgit CIty
Al azhar college of commerce
Notable people Alive
”        Agha Rahat Hussain Al Hussaini
”        SHAIKH HAIDAR NAGRI
”        Syed Qaim Raza(Central President Shia tulba action committee Gilgit Balitstan )
”        SYed Razi ud DIn Rizvi Ex Advisor FOod and Agriculture NA’s
”        Sheikh Mirza Ali Nagari President Anjuman_e_imamia Gilgit
”        Syed Jaffar SHah Advocate Presidents pppp NOrthern Areas CHapter
Notable people Late
”        Shaheed Aga SYed Zia Ud Din Rizvi
”        Col. Mirza Hassan Khan
”        Lalik Jan
”        Captain Zameer ABbaS SHaheed
”        Shaheed SYed SHam ud DIn RIzvi
”        Shaheed Salim Raza
!shaheed RAMZAN DANISH

 

QUETTA

QUETTA

Quetta  also spelled Kwatah city is a variation of kwatkot, a Pashto word meaning “fort”. is the largest city and provincial capital and district of Balochistan Province, Pakistan.
The city is the provisional and district headquarters and is an important marketing and communications centre between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Situated at an elevation of 1676-1900 meters above sea level in north-western Pakistan, Quetta is also known as the fruit basket of Pakistan.
History
Early history
Quetta, derived from Kwatta, meaning fort in Pushtu, no doubt is a natural fort, surrounded as it is by imposing hills on all sides. The encircling hills have the resounding names of Chiltan, Takatu, Murdar and Zarghun.
  Quetta was first mentioned in the 11th century when it was captured by Mahmud of Ghazni on one of his invasions of the Subcontinent. In 1543 the Moghul emperor Humayun rested here on his retreat to Persia, leaving his one-year-old son Akbar until he returned two years later. The Moghuls ruled Quetta until 1556, when it was taken by the Persians, only to be retaken by Akbar in 1595.
The powerful Khans of Kalat held the fort from 1730. In 1828 the first westerner to visit Quetta described it as a mud-walled fort surrounded by 300 mud houses. Although occupied briefly by the British during the First Afghan War in 1839, it was not until 1876 that Quetta came under permanent British control and Robert Sandeman was made political agent in Balochistan. Since Partition the Population of Quetta has increased dramatically. Because of its military base and trading activities, and the introduction of commercial fruit farming, Quetta District can now support half a million people. Quetta, before the great earth-quake of 31 May, 1935, was a bright and bustling city, having multi storied buildings, it was almost completely destroyed in this great earthquake and was razed to the ground in the small hours of the morning of that fateful day, when about 40,000 souls perished within the twinkling of an eye. After the great calamity that overtook Quetta, houses are generally single storeyed and quake proof. These houses are built with bricks and reinforced concrete. The structure is generally of lighter material. Incidentally, the bricks of Quetta have a yellowish tinge unlike the red variety of Sindh and the Punjab.
Climate
Quetta has a dry and healthy climate with no factory chimneys to pollute its fresh and invigorating mountain air. Winter sets in by November and lasts till end February. Snowfall is light, though it is not unusual to have one as late as March. Quetta winters are severe and minimum temperatures of minus 12 degrees Celsius (10 degrees Fahrenheit) are not uncommon. Providentially the College is closed during the peak winter period.
  Quetta can boast of the best spring and autumn in Pakistan. Although summers are warm, the maximum temperature rarely exceeds 32 degrees Celsius (90 degrees Fahrenheit). The evenings are extremely pleasant, characterised by a cool breeze that springs to life an hour or two after sunset. Fans are required during the months of May through August or sometimes September.
It is unknown when Quetta was first inhabited, but most likely it was settled during the 6th century. The region remained part of the Sassanid Persian Empire and was later annexed by the Rashidun Caliphate during the 7th century Islamic conquest. It remained part of the Umayyad and Abassid Empires. However the first detailed mention of Quetta was in the 11th century when it was captured by Mahmud of Ghazni on one of his invasions of the subcontinent. In 1543 the Mughal emperor Humayun rested here on his retreat to Persia, leaving his one-year-old son Akbar until he returned two years later. The Mughals ruled Quetta until 1556, when the Persians took it, only to be retaken by Akbar in 1595.
The British era
In 1828 the first westerner to visit Quetta described it as a mud-walled fort surrounded by 300 mud houses. Although occupied briefly by the British during the First Afghan War in 1839, it was not until 1876 that Quetta came under permanent British control and Robert Sandeman was made political agent in Baluchistan. Since Partition the population of Quetta has increased dramatically. Because of its military base and trading activities, and the introduction of commercial fruit farming, Quetta District can now support about half a million people.
Early Settlers
Very little is known about the human settlement in the district. However, it is certain that the Afghans and Brahuis are recent immigrants. The Pashtuns appear to have entered the district from the north east, emigrating from their home round the Takht-i-Sulaman. Kansi’s (A branch of Afghan) are said to have migrated from their home around the Takht-i-Sulaman about eight centuries ago. They made their first settlement at Samali, a village near Quetta city. The Brahuis are an offshoot from the Kalat territory and their presence in the district dates back to the eighteenth century. In the 1880’s and 1890’s Hazaras from Afghanistan also immigrated from Hazarajat to Quetta. Until 1947 Quetta was a small town. People used to call it small London. But rapid population growth in terms of rural – urban migration, and an influx of Indian refugees increased the population of Quetta. Additionally, the influx of Afghan refugees during the 1980s helped the slums to grow. New settlement in the form of housing schemes emerged at Satellite Town, Jinnah Town, Samungli Town, Model Town and Shahbaz Town. In Kachi Abadies, slums also begun to develop. The process of settlement continues. Now Quetta has turned into an over-populated city.
1935 Earthquake
Quetta, before the devastating earthquake of 7.1 magnitude on 31 May 1935, was a bright and bustling city with multi-storey buildings. Those couple minutes of the earthquake seemed like hours to the people of Quetta. It was almost completely destroyed in this earthquake and was virtually razed to the ground in the small hours of the morning of that fateful day, when about 40,000 people perished. Today, houses are generally single storey and quake proof, built with bricks and reinforced concrete. The structure is generally of lighter material. Incidentally, the bricks of Quetta have a yellowish tinge unlike the red variety of Sindh and the Punjab.
Geography and climate
Quetta city consists of a valley and is a natural fort, surrounded as it is by imposing hills on all sides. The encircling hills have the resounding names of Chiltan, Takatoo, Murdar and Zarghun. surrounded by three different mountain ranges. It is north west of Karachi and south west of Islamabad.
Quetta has minimum winter temperatures ranging well below freezing point and as low as -18°C, while maximum winter temperatures seldom crosses 25°C. Snowfall is a common feature in months of December – February. Summer maximum and minimum temperature hover around 42°C and 12°C (53°F) respectively. Unlike to the rest of the country, Quetta does not have a fertile rainy season during monsoon time. In general Quetta has a dry climate. It receives rainfall during the winter season from December – March. Bibi Nani is nearby.
Demography
According to the 1998 census Quetta was the ninth biggest city of Pakistan with a population of 565,137 (however according to non-governmental census the population of Quetta along with Afghan immigrants is over 1,500,000). The city in general is dominated by a Pashtun majority, a Balochi and Hazara minority with an eclectic smattering of smaller groups. However the city is also a home to millions of Afghan immigrants. The Pushto, Balochi, Persian (Hazaragi dialect), Brahui, Sindhi, Punjabi and Urdu languages are spoken in large parts of Quetta, giving the city a very multicultural feel.
Quetta was the outskirts of Kandahar until it was captured by the British in Second Afghan war. Most of the Balochis settled in Quetta after 1970 when a new province by the name of Balochistan was created after One Unit system was abolished in Pakistan. Quetta was made the capital city of Balochistan.
Culture
Beside millions of Afghan immigrants, the local inhabitants are mainly Pashtuns. Others include Baloch, Brahuis, Hazaras and large number of populations of Punjabis,Hindko, Mohajirs and Sindhis. During the summer season main bazaars are full of people from all over Pakistan. The merchants are mainly Pushtun people. The Hazaras mainly live in Mariabad, Syedabad, Alamdar Road, Brouri/Brewery Road & surrounding areas. Most Hazaras/Changazis immigrated from Afghanistan during the 1880’s and 1890’s due to persecution by King Abdur Rahman Khan and instability. It is one of the hot spots of Hazara migrants especially for Hazaras of Bamiyan province & its surrounding areas. Quetta tribesmen are known for their friendliness and hospitality. Making visitors comfortable is an integral part of their local traditions. The tribes include Kakar, Tareen, Bazai, Ghilzai, Mandokhel, Sherani, Looni, Kansi and Achakzai. The main bazaar on Jinnah Road is full of Pashtun traders, many of them wearing turbans. Hazara traders sitting in their shops with their distinct facial features, Baloch hawkers with red embroidered caps, and full-skirted nomad women carrying bundles of imported cloth for sale. During the summer season main bazaars are full of people from all over Pakistan. Quetta is a multi-Cultural city.
Sports
Football is popular in Quetta, which has produced more renowned players then any other part of Pakistan. Mali Bagh is the best-known football ground. Teams in Quetta include Afghan football, Hazara green football and Baluch football clubs and Quetta Bazigars. Hiddy Jahan Khan is a squash player who was ranked among the top-6 players in the world from 1970 through to 1986. In recent years, Hiddy has been a very successful squash player in veteran’s events. He has won British Open titles at Over-35, Over-40, Over-45 and Over-50 level. Hiddy’s younger brothers Zarak Jahan Khan and Zubair Jahan Khan also became successful professional squash players on the international circuit. In boxing, Olympian sportsmen are Syed Ibrar Ali Shah, Asghar Ali Changezi, and Haider Ali Changezi.
Notable People
”        Ayoob Khoso Famous actor
”        Aimal Kasi Executed on Nov 14, 2002 in Viginia, USA, for the alleged murder of two CIA agents
”        Hameed Sheikh TV artist
”        Hiddy Jahan Legendary squash Player
”        Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry deposed Chief Justice of Pakistan
”        Jamal Shah Famous actor, director, painter and social worker
”        James Cassels (British Army officer) Chief of the General Staff, the professional head of the British Army and served as a Brigadier on the General Staff of 21st Army Group during World War II.
”        Justice Javaid Iqbal Ali (Jr.) Former justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
”        Kader Khan Popular Indian film actor, comedian, script and dialogue writer. Acted in over 300 films
”        General Mohammad Musa Khan Hazara Former Chief of Army Staff Pakistan
”        Qamar Zaman British Open Squash winner
”        Suresh Oberoi Famous Indian actor who is also father of Bollywood actor Vivek Oberoi
”        General Abdul Wahid Kakar Former Chief of Army Staff of the Pakistan Army
”        Zeba Bakhtiar Famous TV and Film artist
Educational institutions
Quetta has many higher education institutions. The prestigious military Command and Staff College, which was founded by the British, recently celebrated its hundredth anniversary. University of Balochistan was established in 1974. The Balochistan University of Information Technology and Management Sciences is also located in Quetta.
”        St Francis Grammar School, Quetta.
”        St Joseph Convent School Quetta
”        Balochistan Institute of Technology
”        DAR-E-ARQAM School Of Islam & Modern Sciences
”        Balochistan University of Information Technology and Management Sciences
”        Command and Staff College
”        Sardar Bahadur Khan Women University
”        University of Balochistan]
”        Iqra University
”        St. Mary’s YMCA High School Quetta Cantt.
”        Beaconhouse School System,Quetta Branch.
”        F.G Degree College Quetta Cantt.
”        Model Public School & college
”        Tameer-i-Nau public college]
”        Government College of Technology Balochistan
”        Army public school and college
”        Bolan Medical College Quetta
”        General Mohammad Musa Khan Hazara Inter College Quetta
Transport
Quetta is on the western edge of Pakistan and is well connected with the country by a wide network of roads, railways and airways.
Air Transport
At an altitude of 1605 meters above sea level, Quetta Airport is the fourth highest airport of Pakistan. Pakistan International Airlines, Shaheen Air International and Airblue all have regular flights between Quetta and other major cities of Pakistan including Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad and Peshawar. Pakistan International Airlines has a direct flight between Dubai and Quetta.
Road and Railways
Quetta railway station is one of the highest railway station of Pakistan, at the height of 1676 meter above sea level. The railway track was lined in 1890s during the British era to link Quetta with rest of the country. The extensive network of Pakistan Railways connects Quetta to Karachi in south, by a 863 km (536 miles) track, Lahore in northeast (1,170 km or 727 miles) and Peshawar further northeast (1587 km or 986 miles). A metalled road is also present along the railroad that connects Quetta to Karachi via Sibi, Jacobabad and Rohri. A track from the Irani city of Zahedan links to Quetta via Taftan, but the train service were temporarily disabled in 2006 due to unrest in Balochistan.
Recently the new project has been proposed for constructing a railway track that will link Gawadar to China, this will also link Gawadar with Quetta via Kalat. Even though the linear distance from Quetta to Lahore is merely 700 km, there is no direct railroad track on this route because of the Sulaiman Range that lies in the east of Quetta. So all northeast-bound trains for Punjab or the North-West Frontier Province must go 350+ km south down to Rohri, Sindh (near Sukkur) first, before continuing north to Punjab and/or NWFP.
Telecommunication
PTCL (Pakistan Telecommunication Corporation Limited) provides the main network of landline telephone. Many Internet Service Providers and all major mobile phone companies operating in Pakistan provide service in Quetta.
Tourist Attractions
Quetta is a major tourist attraction for tourists from abroad. It is advertised as a thrilling location, full of adventure and enjoyment. Some prominent bazaars of Quetta are located on the roads Shahrah-e-Iqbal (the Kandahari Bazaar) and Shahrah-e-Liaquat (the Liaquat and Suraj Gang Bazaar, Alamdar road (little Tokyo). Here, tourists can find colourful handicrafts, particularly Balochi mirror work and Pashtun embroidery which is admired all over the world. The Pashtun workers are prominently expert in making fine Afghan carpets, with their pleasing and intricate designs, fur coats, jackets, waist-coats, sandals and other creations of traditional Pashtun skills. local handicrafts, specially green marble products, mirror work and embroidered jackets, shirts, and hand bags, pillow covers, bed sheets, dry fruits, etc. Balochi carpets are made by the nomadic tribes of this area. They are generally not nearly as fine or expensive as the Persian city products, or even the Turkoman tribal rugs from further North, but they are generally better than Afghan carpets and more authentic than the bad copies of Turkoman and Persian designs that the cites of Pakistan produce. They definitely have a charm of their own. They range from relatively crude rugs that can, with some bargaining, be had at very reasonable prices to quite fine and valuable pieces. Many are small enough to be fairly portable. For those interested in local cuisine, there are many sumptuous dishes to feast upon. The “Sajji” (leg of lamb), Hazaragi Aash, Mantho is said to be very good by locals. The Pathan tribesmen of the valley also enjoy “Landhi” (whole lamb), and Khadi Kebab. “Landhi” is a whole lamb which is dried in shade and kept for the winters. “Kebab” shops are very popular, the best being Lal Kabab, Tabaq, Cafe Farah and Cafe Baldia. They serve Pakistani and Continental food, while Cafe China specializes in Chinese cuisine. Some of the finest mutton in the country is raised around Quetta. It has a delicious smell which can be sampled in the “Pulao” that most of the eating houses offer. Small and clean hotels in Alamdar road provide real comfort for tourists in peaceful environments.
Pishin Valley
About 50 km, from Quetta is the valley of Pishin, which is surrounded by thousands of acres of vineyards and orchards, made by boring holes into rocks to bring to the surface the deep water. The rich harvest of apples, grapes, plums, peaches and apricots is loaded at Yaru railway station, seven miles from Pishin.The most papular areas of Pishin is Bostan,Kanozai,Yaru and Barshor.
Hanna Lake
Hanna Lake nestles in the hills ten kilometres (six miles) east of Quetta, a startling turquoise pool within bare brown surroundings. There is a lakeside restaurant with picnic tables shaded by pine trees. At one end, the irrigation dam rises out of the depths like battlements of a fort. It is very attractive for holidaymakers, and is crowded with hikers and campers in holidays. You can hire a boat and paddle on the lake and round the island in the middle.
Towns
Quetta Consists of Several Small Housing Areas.
1.        . Gulistan Town (On Main Major M.Ali Road near Alamdar Road)
2.        . Quetta Cantt (Primarily for Ex and Serving Armed forces Personnel)
3.        . Satellite town (Known as Heart of Quetta)
4.        . Jinnah Town (One of the most Developed Housing Schemes of Quetta)
5.        . Samugli Housing Scheme (On Main Samugli Road near Jinnah Town)
Askari Park
It is the Biggest Park of Quetta with Children Playground/Toys and Entertainment Point, Present on Airport Road Near Custom House Quetta. Its being Administrated by Army. Built in mid 90s, Askari Park is equipped with modern rides with “Dragon” being the main attraction.
Hazarganji Chiltan National Park
In the Hazarganji Chiltan National Park, 20 km south-west of Quetta, Markhors have been given protection. The park is spread over 32500 acres, altitude ranging from 2021 to 3264 meters. Hazarganji literally means “Of a thousand treasures”. In the folds of these mountains, legend has it, there are over a thousand treasures buried, reminders of the passage of great armies down the corridors of history. The Bactrains, Scythians, Muslims, Mongols and then the great migrating hordes of Baluch, all passed this way.

GWADAR

GWADAR

Gwadar is located on the southwestern coast of Pakistan, close to the Strait of Hormuz on the Persian Gulf. More than 13 million bbl/d of oil pass through the Strait. It is strategically located between three increasingly important regions: the oil-rich Middle East, heavily populated South Asia and the economically emerging and resource-laden region of Central Asia. The Gwadar Port is expected to generate billions of dollars in revenues and create at least two million jobs. In 2007, the government of Pakistan handed over port operations to PSA Singapore for 25 years, and gave it the status of a Tax Free Port for the following 40 years. There is also money invested into the port by the People’s Republic of China. The strategic PRC plan to be engaged in many places along oil and gas roads is evident.
       History
The Makran region surrounding Gwadar was occupied by an ancient Bronze age people which settled in the few oases. It later became the Gedrosia region of the Achaemenid Persian empire. It is believed to have been conquered by the founder of the Persian empire, Cyrus the Great. The capital of the satrapy of Gedrosia was Pura, which is thought to have been located near the modern Bampûr, in Iranian Balochistan. During the homeward march of Alexander the Great, his admiral, Nearchus, led a fleet along the modern-day Makran coast and recorded that the area was dry, mountainous, and inhabited by the Ichthyophagoi (or “fish eaters”), an Greek rendering of the ancient Persian phrase “Mahi khoran” (which has itself become the modern word “Makran”). [4] After the collapse of Alexander’s empire the area was ruled by Seleucus Nicator, one of Alexander’s generals. The region then came under “local rule” around about 303 BC.
The region remained on the sidelines of history for a millennium, until the Arab-Muslim army of Muhammad bin Qasim captured the town of Gwadar in 711 CE and over the intervening (and nearly equivalent) amount of time the area was contested by various powers, including the Mughals (from the east) and the Safavids (from the west). The Portuguese captured, sacked and burnt Gwadar in 1581, and this was then followed by almost two centuries of local rule by the various Balochi tribes. The city was visited by Ottoman Admiral Sidi Ali Reis in 1550s and mentioned in his book Mirat ul Memalik (The Mirror of Countries), 1557 CE. According to Sidi Ali Reis, the inhabitants of Gwadar were Baloch and their chief was Malik Jelaleddin, son of Malik Dinar. In 1783, the Khan of Kalat granted suzerainty over Gwadar to Taimur Sultan, the defeated ruler of Muscat. [7] When the Sultan subsequently retook Muscat, he was to continue his rule in Gwadar by appointing a Wali (or “governor”). This Wali was then ordered to subjugate the nearby coastal town of Chah Bahar (in modern-day Iran), which … The Gwadari fort was built during Omani rule, whilst telegraph lines were later extended into the town courtesy of HRM of the British.
In 1958, the Gwadar enclave was transferred to Pakistan. It was then made part of the Balochistan province In 2002, the Gwadar Port project (of building a large, deep-sea port) was begun in the town. The government of Pakistan intends to develop the entire area in order to reduce its reliance in shipping on the port of Karachi. In addition to expanding port facilities, the Project aims to build industrial complexes in the area and to connect the town via a modern highway to the rest of Pakistan. By the end of 2004 the first phase had been completed.
       Administration
As well as being district headquarters, the town of Gwadar is the chief city of Gwadar Tehsil, the tehsil is administratively subdivided into five Union Councils, three of which form Gwadar city, these are:[8]
”        Central Gwadar
”        Gwadar Southern
”        Gwadar Northern
       Culture
Gwadar’s location and history have given it a unique blend of cultures. The Arabic influence upon Gwadar is strong as a consequence of the Omani era and the close proximity of other Arab-majority regions. The legacy of the Omani slave trade is observed in the population by the presence of residents which can trace their descent from the African slaves who were trafficked through the town (en route to destinations in the Muslim Far East. The area also has a remarkable religious diversity, being home to not only Sunni muslims, but also to groups of Christians, Hindus, Parsis, and various minorities such as the Qadianis.
       Transport
Gwadar is located on the Gulf of Oman close to the entrance of the Persian Gulf, about 460 kilometres west of Karachi. In 1993, Pakistan started feasibility studies for the development of a major deepwater seaport at Gwadar. The port project commenced on 22 March 2002 with the first phase completed in December 2005.
The construction of the port has spurred other major infrastructure projects in the area. This includes the 700 km Makran Coastal Highway which is now complete. The road links Karachi with several ports along the coast including Ormara, Pasni, Gwadar and will be extended to the Iranian border in the future. The highway has reduced travel time to Karachi from 48 hours to only 7 hours. Other road projects include the Gwadar-Quetta-Chaman road which is due for completion in 2006 and a roadlink to the town of Khuzdar in eastern Balochistan. There are also plans for a terminal for passenger ships.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Pakistan has earmarked 3000 acres (12 km²) of land for Gwadar International Airport which will be built 26 km away to the northeast of the existing airport towards Pasni and is likely to cost between $200-250 million. The new airport will be given international status and operate under the open sky policy. In the meantime there are plans to improve facilities at the existing airport.
       Railways
Railway Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad has said, “The government is focusing on laying the Havelian-Kashghar (China) and Quetta-Kandahar (Afghanistan) railway tracks”. In 2006, Ministry of Railways announced that Gwadar will be connected to Pakistan Railways network at an expected cost of $ 1.25 billion (Rs. 75-billion).
Geopolitical importance
The Gwadar deep-sea port emerges as a place of great strategic value, enhancing Pakistan’s importance in the whole region, extending from the Persian Gulf through the Indian Ocean to Southeast Asia and the Far East.
Gwadar is located on the southwestern coast of Pakistan, close to the important Straits of Hormuz, through which more than 13 million bbd of oil passes. It is strategically located between three increasingly important regions of the world: the oil-rich Middle East, heavily populated South Asia and the economically emerging and resource-rich Central Asia.
The construction of the Gwadar deep-sea port is just one component of a larger development plan which includes building a network of roads connecting Gwadar with the rest of Pakistan, such as the 650 km Coastal Highway to Karachi and the Gwadar-Turbat road (188 km). This network of roads connects with China through the Indus Highway. Pakistan, China, Kazakhistan, Kyrgizstan and Uzbekistan are developing extensive road and rail links from Central Asia and the Chinese province of Xinjiang to the Arabian Sea coast.
The Pakistani Government has initiated several projects, with majority financial and technical assistance from China, to develop Gwadar’s strategic location as a goods transit and trade point. The primary project is the construction of a deep-sea port at Gwadar to enable high-volume cargo movement to and from the landlocked Central Asian states. The new port will also encompass conversion facilities to allow for the movement of natural gas as a part of plans for a termination point for the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan natural gas pipeline. The secondary project is a coastal highway connecting Gwadar to Karachi, whose $200 million cost will be completely financed by the Chinese. Gwadar will serve as a port of entry for oil and gas to be transported by land to the western regions of China.
The significance of Gwadar is great to both Pakistan and China. Pakistan will be able to have a strategic depth southwest from its naval base in Karachi that has long been vulnerable to blockade by the Indian Navy. China is going to be the beneficiary of Gwadar’s most accessible international trade routes to the Central Asian republics and Xinjiang. By extending its East-West Railway from the Chinese border city of Kashi to Peshawar in Pakistan’s northwest, Beijing can receive cargo to and from Gwadar along the shortest route, from Karachi to Peshawar. The rail network could also be used to supply oil from the Persian Gulf to Xinjiang. Pakistan’s internal rail network can also provide China with rail access to Iran. Rail access will however be hampered somewhat by differences in gauge: China and Iran – 1435 mm; Pakistan – 1676 mm; Central Asia – 1524 mm.
       Economic forecasts
The government declared Gwadar port a “Special Economic Zone” in the budget, 2003-2004. All banks will open their branches, five star hotels will be built, offshore banking will be started, factories, warehouses and storage will be set up, the tourism industry will be promoted in the area, an export processing zone will be set up, making Pakistan a very attractive place for direct foreign investment, and Gwadar port a regional hub of trade and investment activities.[9]
       Development Projects
       Oman
Oman has offered $100 million aid for the development of social and infrastructure facilities in Balochistan. Out of $100 million, Oman has provided $7 million for extending of runway at Gwadar Airport, construction of jetties, upgradation of Gwadar Hospital, provision of 100 engines to fishermen and construction of power house. Oman is also financing construction of Gwadar-Hoshab Road, water supply scheme in Gwadar area and construction of irrigation dams.
Pakistan and Oman have signed a number of agreements including Avoidance of Double Taxation, Promotion and Protection of Investment, Cultural, Technical and Educational Cooperation, Agreement on cooperation between Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry and FPCCI, Maritime Boundary Agreement and Agreement to establish Pak-Oman Joint Investment Company.
The proximity of Oman is an asset to Pakistan. Around 70,000 Pakistani citizens are participating in the development of Oman. Omani assistance for construction of Gwadar Port would go a long way in promoting economic relations between Pakistan and central Asian states.
       Pakistan
Pakistan through networking of roads is linking Gwadar with Karachi and the north to enable the Central Asian States to use Gwadar as a port for their trade. Water supply is being improved, seven jetties are being constructed and local fishermen are being given motor engine run boats. The local hospital is also being upgraded.
A number of electric power generation projects are also being carried out in Gwadar and in its surroundings. The Quetta Electric Supply Company (QESCO), a subsidiary of the Wapda, has geared up the work for building the power transmission line. It is expected to be completed soon.
       Airport
Gwadar has a small airport which is basically meant for small commercial aircraft. The need is growing for the expansion of this airport and enlargement of its runway to facilitate the landing of wide body aero-planes. CAA has been directed to upgrade the Gwadar Airport for the landing of jet aircraft by the end of 2004. Gwadar port will be open air and after its inauguration the jet planes shall be landing at the Gwadar airport. A sum of 2.3 million dollars is being utilized from Omani grant. The Pakistan government and the Civil Aviation Authority are also contributing additional Rs563.35 million for this purpose.
       Dry Port
A dry port in the Sino-Pakistani border town of Sust, 200 km north of Gilgit, was constructed in 2004 at a cost of Rs 90 million. Soon, President Musharraf announced that the state of the art facility would be linked to Gwadar via the Karakoram Highway. According to the president, this provides parts of China with the shortest access to Pakistani deep sea ports, and the Middle East.[10]
       Rice zone
Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP)-apex body of the rice exporters in the country- has decided to establish a rice zone in Gwadar to fetch the opportunities in the area after the construction of new port. The establishment of warehouses will provide extraordinary facilities to rice exporters especially for those who export rice to Iran as the Iranian border is only at a distance of three hours from Gwadar.
rs and other plants have been installed in addition to a 50 MW power-house. 33 km railway line from Taftan to Saindak has also been laid. The Chinese company MRDL has so far invested $25 million (Rs 1.5 billion) on the project.
       Trans-Afghan Gas Pipeline
The 1400 km Trans-Afghan Gas Pipeline (TAP) from Turkemenistan to Gwadar(Pakistan), a long-dormant project that would pump Turkmen natural gas to markets in South Asia, may finally be poised to begin at a cost of $3 billion.[11] The Government has announced that a massive defense facility will be constructed in the city in order to guarantee the security of the area. The Government has also announced that a new shipbuilding centre will be built at Gwadar, with an as-yet unspecified international partner.
       Port Operations
Port of Singapore was scheduled to take over management of Gwadar Port by the end of January 2007. Port of Singapore was the highest bidder for the Gwadar port after DP World backed out of the bidding process. Originally, the chairman of Dubai Ports World, Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, who met Pakistani president General Pervez Musharraf on May 5th 2006, expressed a strong hope for management of facilities at the strategic Gwadar deep sea port and development of infrastructure in the southern port city and elsewhere in Pakistan. But a decision was taken not to bid, after India’s National Security Council voiced concerns about DP World’s ventures in India, alongside its plans in Pakistan, and Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem assured the Indians their pull-out was well considered and India need not have any security concerns. The port will now be in competition with that of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

SWAT

SWAT

Swat is a valley and a district in the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) of Pakistan. The capital is Saidu Sharif. With high mountains, green meadows, and clear lakes, it is a place of great natural beauty, and until recently a popular destination for tourists. It was a princely state (see State of Swat) in the NWFP until it was dissolved in 1969. Swat is considered the Switzerland of Pakistan
History
The Swat River is mentioned in the Rig Veda 8.19.37 as the Suvastu river. Swat has been inhabited for over two thousand years and was known in ancient times as the Udyana. The first inhabitants were settled in well-planned towns. The independent monarchs of this region came under Achaemenid influence, before reverting back to local control in the 4th century BC. In 327 BC, Alexander the Great fought his way to Udegram and Barikot. In Greek accounts these towns have been identified as Ora and Bazira. By 305 BC, the region became a part of the Mauryan Empire. Around the 2nd century BC, the area was occupied by Buddhists, the Indo-Greeks, and the Kushans who were attracted by the peace and serenity of the land. Swat is thought to be the probable birthplace of Vajrayana Buddhism. There are many archaeological sites in the district, and Buddhist relics are common, testimony to their skills as sculptors and architects.
Buddhist heritage of Swat
The Swat museum has the footprints of the Buddha, which were found in the Swat valley and can now be seen in the Swat museum. When the Buddha died, His relics (or ashes) were distributed to seven kings, who built stupas over them for veneration..
The Harmarajika stupa (Taxila) and Butkarha (Swat) stupa at Jamal Garha were among the earliest stupas of Gandhara. These had been erected on the orders of King Ashoka and contained the real relics of the Buddha.
The Gandhara school is probably credited with the first representation of the Buddha in human form, the portrayal of Buddha in his human shape, rather than shown as a symbol.
As Buddhist art developed and spread outside India, the styles developed here were imitated. For example, in China the Gandhara style was imitated in images made of bronze, with a gradual change in the features of these images. Swat, the land of romance and beauty, is celebrated throughout the world as the holy land of Buddhist learning and piety. Swat acquired fame as a place of Buddhist pilgrimage. Buddhist tradition holds that the Buddha himself came to Swat during his last reincarnation as the Gautama Buddha and preached to the people here.
It is said that the Swat was filled with fourteen hundred imposing and beautiful stupas and monasteries, which housed as many as 6,000 gold images of the Buddhist pantheon for worship and education. There are now more than 400 Buddhist sites covering an area of 160 km in Swat valley only. Among the important Buddhist excavation in Swat an important one is Butkarha-I, containing the original relics of the Buddha. Source: Indo Pak Hist till 1951
Advent of Islam
In the beginning of the 11th century, Mahmud of Ghazni advanced through Dir and invaded Swat, defeating Gira, the local ruler, near Udegram. Later, when the King of Kabul Mirza Ulagh Beg attempted to assassinate the dominant chiefs of the Yousafzais they took refuge under the umbrella of the Swati Kings of Swat and Bajour. The whole area was being dominated by the Swati/Jahangiri Sultans of Swat for centuries. According to H. G. Raverty, the Jahangiri Kings of Swat had ruled from Jalalabad to Jhelum. After more than two decades of guerilla war, they were dispossessed by the Yousafzais. The majority of the aboriginal inhabitants of Swat migrated to the Hazara region to the east, where Swatis predominate with their surname Swati, reflecting their link to the region.
Demographics
The main language of the area is Pashto. The people of Swat are mainly Pashtuns, Kohistanis and Gujars. Some have very distinctive features and claim to be descendants of the army of Alexander the Great.
The people of the Kalam region in northern Swat are known as Kohistanis and speak the Torwali and Kalami languages. There are also some Khowar speakers in the Kalam region. This is because before Kalam came under the rule of Swat it was a region tributary to both Yasin and Chitral and after Yasin itself was assimilated into Chitral the Kalamis paid a tribute of mountain ponies to the Mehtar of Chitral every year.
Tourist attractions
There is a ski resort in Swat at Malam Jabba as well. Malam Jabba is about 40 km north east of Saidu Sharif. It is a popular ski resort in Pakistan. The ski slope is also the longest in Pakistan at about 800 metres.
Administration
The region has gone through considerable changes over the last few years. Since the dissolution of the princely state.
”        Matta
”        Swat
The district is represented in the provincial assembly by seven elected MPAs who represent the following constituencies:
”        PF-80 (Swat-1)
”        PF-81 (Swat-2)
”        PF-82 (Swat-3)
”        PF-83 (Swat-4)
”        PF-84 (Swat-5)
”        PF-85 (Swat-6)
”        PF-86 (Swat-7)
Local politics
In August 2001, a new local government system was introduced by the military-led government of Pervez Musharraf. The new system consists of a District Nazim (or mayor) and a deputy Naib Nazim, and the district in turn was subdivided into two tehsils. The first is Swat Tehsil with 52 union councils and the other is Matta Tehsil with 13 union councils. Each tehsil has its own Nazim and Naib Nazim.
The District Nazim is Jamal Nasir Khan of the Pakistan Muslim League and his Naib Nazim is Malik Sadiq Ahmed. Swat Tehsil’s Nazim is Fazal Rehman Nono from the Pakistan Peoples Party , while its Naib Nazim is Shah Dawran from the Awami National Party. In Matta Tehsil, the Nazim is Abdul Jabbar Khan and Zakir Khan both of the Awami National Party.
Abdul Jabbar Khan was wounded during an attack on ANP leaders by gunmen on 21 September 2007. The attacker killed two people and wounded three members of the ANP including ex-federal minister and central leader of Awami National Party, Mohammad Afzal Khan LalaOn 24 January 2008, the Naib Nazim of Matta Tehsil, Zakir Khan was killed in an attack by gunmen along with his brother, Shakir Khan and Friends. Zakir Khan was nephew of Tehsil Matta’s Nazim, Abdul Jabbar Khan and grandson of Senior member of Awami National Party and ex-federal minister, Mohammad Afzal Khan Lala.
Militants
In recent years, militant Islamists in the Tehreek-e-Nafaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi (TNSM) organization, led by radical cleric Maulana Fazlullah have rebelled against the Pakistani government in Swat. In 59 villages, the militants set up a “parallel government” with Islamic courts imposing sharia law. After a four-month truce ended in late September, 2007, fighting resumed The paramilitary Frontier Constabulary was deployed to the area, but initially were reported to be ineffective. Militants were reported on November 16, 2007 to have captured Alpuri district headquarters in neighbouring Shangla. The local police fled without resisting the advancing militant force which, in addition to local militants, also included Uzbek, Tajik and Chechen volunteers.
In late November 2007, Pakistani regular forces threw out Tehreek-e-Nafaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi militants from its stronghold in the village of Imam Dheri, eight kilometres from the valley’s main town of Mingora in the Kabal District of north-western Swat. About 250 militants died in two weeks of fighting, during which the square-mile base was bombarded by artillery, according to Pakistani authorities. People in a number of towns destroyed the fortified bunkers the rebels had left behind as the militants retreated into the mountains. As of December 2007, the militants are largely defeated and on the run, with the valley “largely cleared”Pakistani Officials state it will take four months to re-establish functioning institutions in the area, in the wake of Islamist ruin.
Death of Malak Bakht Baidar
Following those events, another unexpected tragedy occurred on January 13, 2007, which lead to the death of the popular politician and well-known businessman, Malak Bakht Baidar, who was the Vice-President of Awami National Party, District Swat. According to the details, his death was cleverly planned. Therefore he was first kidnapped from his village home and then killed unmercifully by around 80 masked and armed millitants. Bakht Baidar belonged to a noble and wealthy family and was one of the younger sons of Ferdost Malak, resided in Mamdherai. The late Bakht Baidar was known for his nobility and progressive political work in district Swat. He had been resisting Maulvi Fazlullah’s agenda from the outset. He was also known to have attended meetings with security forces during their operation in the valley. Bakht Baidar was laid to rest in his ancestral graveyard in Mamdherai, Swat.
Provincial & national politics
The region elects two male members of the National Assembly of Pakistan (MNAs), one female MNA, seven male members of the Provincial Assembly of the North-West Frontier Province (MPAs) and two female MPAs. In the 2002 National and Provincial elections, the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal, an alliance of religious political parties, won all the seats amidst a wave of anti-Americanism that spread after the United States invasion of Afghanistan.
Hotels and resorts
”        Rockcity Resort Fizaghat Swat

PESHAWAR

PESHAWAR

Peshawar is the capital of the North-West Frontier Provinceand the administrative centre for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. “Peshawar” literally means High Fort in Persian and is known as Pekhawar in Pashto. The area of the city has been ruled by numerous empires including the Afghan, Persian, Greek, Maurya, Scythian, Arab, Turk, Mongol, Mughal, Sikh and the British.
In ancient times a major settlement called Pushpapura was established in the general area of Peshawar by the Central Asian Kushans. It was during the Mughal period that the current city was established by Akbar in the 16th century and received its name Peshawar. During much of its history, the city was one of the main trading centres on the ancient Silk Road and was a major crossroads for various cultures between South and Central Asia and the Middle East. Located on the edge of the Khyber Pass near the Afghan border, Peshawar is the commercial, economic, political and cultural capital of the Pashtuns in Pakistan.
History
Peshawar is located in an area that was dominated by various tribes of Indo-Iranian origin. The region was affiliated with the ancient kingdom of Gandhara and had links to the Harappan civilization of the Indus River Valley and to Bactria and other ancient kingdoms based in Afghanistan. According to the historian Tertius Chandler, Peshawar had a population of 120,000 in the year 100 BCE, making it the seventh most populous city in the world.
Vedic mythology refers to an ancient settlement called Pushkalavati in the area, after Pushkal, the son of King Bharata in the epic Ramayana., but this settlement’s existence remains speculative and unverifiable. In recorded history, the earliest major city established in the general area of Peshawar was called Purushapura (Sanskrit for City of Men) was founded by the Kushans, a Central Asian tribe of Tocharian origin, over 2,000 years ago. Prior to this period the region was affiliated with Gandhara, an ancient Indo-Iranian kingdom and was annexed first by the Persian Achaemenid empire and then by the Hellenic empire of Alexander the Great. The city passed into the rule of Alexander’s successor, Seleucus I Nicator who ceded it to Chandragupta Maurya, the founder of the Maurya empire in 305 BCE. Buddhism was introduced into the region at this time and may have claimed the majority of Peshawar’s inhabitants before the coming of Islam.
The area that Peshawar occupies was then seized by the Greco-Bactrian king, Eucratides (c. 170 – c. 159 BCE), and was controlled by a series of Greco-Bactrian and later Indo-Greek kings who ruled an empire that spanned from ancient Pakistan to North India. Later, the city came under the rule of several Parthian and Indo-Parthian kings, another group of Iranic invaders from Central Asia, the most famous of whom, Gondophares, ruled the city and its environs starting in circa 46 CE, and was briefly followed by two or three of his descendants before they were displaced by the first of the “Great Kushans”, Kujula Kadphises, around the middle of the 1st century.
Peshawar formed the eastern capital of the empire of Gandhara under the Kushan king Kanishka I who reigned from at least 127 CE and, perhaps, for a few years prior to this. Peshawar also became a great centre of Buddhist learning. Kanishka built what may have been the tallest building in the world at the time, a giant stupa, to house the Buddha’s relics, just outside the Ganj Gate of the old city of Peshawar.
Kanishka’s stupa was said to be an imposing structure as one travelled down from the mountains of Afghanistan onto the Gandharan plains. The earliest account of the famous building is by the Chinese Buddhist pilgrim monk, Faxian, who visited it in 400 and described it as being over 40 chang in height (probably about 120 m. or 394 ft) and adorned “with all precious substances”. “Of all the stûpas and temples seen by the travellers, none can compare with this for beauty of form and strength.” It was destroyed by lightning and repaired several times. It was still in existence at the time of Xuanzang’s visit in 634. From the ruined base of this giant stupa there existed a jewelled casket containing relics of the Buddha, and an inscription identifying Kanishka as the donor, and was excavated from a chamber under the very centre of the stupa’s base, by a team under Dr. D.B. Spooner in 1909. The stupa was roughly cruciform in shape with a diameter of 286 ft (87 m.) and heavily decorated around the sides with stucco scenes.
Sometime in the 1st millennium BCE, the group that now dominates Peshawar began to arrive from the Suleiman Mountains of southern Afghanistan to the southwest, the Pashtuns. Whether or not the Pashtuns existed in the region even earlier is debatable, as evidence is difficult to attain. Some writers such as Sir Olaf Caroe write that a group that may have been the Pakhtuns existed in the area and were called the Pactycians by Herodotus and the Greeks, which would place the Pakhtuns in the area of Peshawar much earlier along with other Aryan tribes. Ancient Hindu scriptures such as the Rig-Veda, speak of an Aryan tribe called the Pakht, living in the region. Regardless, over the centuries the Pakhtuns would come to dominate the region and Peshawar has emerged as an important center of Pakhtun culture along with Kandahar and Kabul as well as Quetta in more recent times. Muslim Arab and Turkic arrived and annexed the region before the beginning of the 2nd millennium. The Pakhtuns began to convert to Islam following early annexation by Arab empire from Khurasan (in what is today western Afghanistan and northeastern Iran).
Peshawar was taken by Turkic Muslims in 988 and was incorporated into the larger Pakhtun domains by the 16th century. The founder of the Mughul dynasty that would conquer South Asia, Babur who hailed from what is today Uzbekistan, came to Peshawar and found a city called Begram and rebuilt the fort there, in 1530. His grandson, Akbar, formally named the city Peshawar which means “The Place at the Frontier” in Persian and expanded the bazaars and fortifications. The Muslim technocrats, bureaucrats, soldiers, traders, scientists, architects, teachers, theologians and Sufis flocked from the rest of the Muslim world to Islamic Sultanate in South Asia and many settled in the Pashawar region.
The city has been known both as the “City of Flowers” and the “City of Grain”. In the days of the Kushan King, it was called the “Lotus Land”.
The Pakhtun conqueror Sher Shah Suri, turned Peshawar’s renaissance into a boom when he ran his Delhi-to-Kabul Shahi Road through the Khyber Pass and Peshawar. Thus the Mughals turned Peshawar into a “City of Flowers” by planting trees and laying out gardens similar to those found to the west in Persia. Khushal Khan Khattak, the Pakhtun/Afghan warrior poet, was born near Peshawar and his life was intimately tied to the city. He was also an implacable foe of the Mughal rulers, especially Aurangzeb. Khattak was an early Pakhtun nationalist, who agitated for an independent Afghanistan including Peshawar. After the decline of the Mughal Empire, the city came under Persian control during the reign of Nadir Shah by the 18th century.
Peshawar would also join, following a loya jirga as a Pakhtun region, the Afghan/Pakhtun empire of Ahmad Shah Durrani by 1747. Pakhtuns from Peshawar took part in incursions of South Asia during the rule of Ahmad Shah Durrani and his successors. The Sikhs, who were oppressed under the Mughal rule then invaded and conquered Peshawar in 1834 after wresting it from Afghanistan. In the wars between to two nations, Peshawar’s own Shalimar Gardens were destroyed, not to mention the dwindling of the city’s population by almost half.
With the rapid collapse of the Sikh Empire caused by internal fighting after the Kings death and its defeat in the second Anglo-Sikh War, the British eventually occupied the city. They continued to rule from 1849 to 1947, when the city became part of the new nation of Pakistan.
Being among the most ancient cities of the region between Central, South, and West Asia, Peshawar has for centuries been a centre of trade between Afghanistan, South Asia, and Central Asia as well as the Middle East. Its famed markets such as the Qissa Khawani Bazaar (market of story tellers) are emblematic of this mixture of cultures.
Peshawar emerged as a centre of both Hindko and Pakhtun intellectuals. Its dominant culture for much of British rule was that of the hindko speakers, also referred to as “Khaarian” (‘city dwellers’ in Pashto).
Its unique culture, distinct from the surrounding Pashtun areas, led to the city being romanticized by Pashto singers, with songs like larsha Pekhwar tha (let us go to Peshawar) and more recently Pekhawar kho pekhawar dhay kana.
This culture has gradually disappeared with the massive influx of Afghan refugees and the increasing migration of Pashtuns into the city, its demographics have now changed and Pashto is now the dominant language of the city.
After the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 Peshawar served as a political centre for anti-Soviet Mujahideen, and was surrounded by huge camps of Afghan refugees. Many of the refugees remained there through the civil war which broke out after the Soviets were defeated in 1989, antecedent to the rule of the Taliban, and the invasion by American and allied forces in late 2001. Peshawar would replace Kabul and Qandahar as the centre of Pakhtun cultural development during this tumultuous period. Additionally, Peshawar managed to assimilate many of the Pakhtun Afghan refugees with relative ease, while many other Afghan refugees remained in camps awaiting a possible return to Afghanistan.
Until the mid-fifties Peshawar was enclosed within a city wall and sixteen gates. Of the old city gates the most famous was the Kabuli Gate but only the name remains now. Peshawar has not grown as much in size or capacity as the population has. As a result it has become a polluted and overcrowded city.[12] However, despite turmoil in Pakistan and intense turmoil in Afghanistan, Peshawar has remained a relatively quiet and peaceful city, compared to the violence in Karachi or Balochistan, and the civil war in Afghanistan.
Peshawar continues to be a city that links Pakistan to Afghanistan as well as Central Asia and has emerged as an important regional city in Pakistan and remains a focal point for Pakhtun culture. The Bakhshali Manuscript used in the Bakhshali approximation was found here, and the book Peshawar Nights uses the city as its setting.
Geography and climate
Peshawar is situated near the eastern end of the Khyber Pass and sits mainly on the Iranian plateau along with the rest of the NWFP. Peshawar is literally a frontier city of South-Central Asia and was historically part of the Silk Road.
The Peshawar valley is covered with consolidated deposits of silt, sands and gravel of recent geological times. The flood Plains/Zones are the areas between Kabul River and Budni Nala. The meander flood plain extends from Warsak in the Northwest towards Southeast in the upper Northern half of the district. The Kabul river enters the district in the Northwest. On entering the Peshawar Plain, the Kabul River is divided into several channels. Its two main channels are the Adizai River Eastward flows along the boundary with Charsadda District. Another channel branching from the right bank of the Naguman River is the Shah Alam, which again merges with Naguman River further in the East. In general the sub-soil strata is composed of gravels, boulders, and sands overlain by silts and clays. Sand, gravel and boulders are important aquifer extends to a depth of about 200 feet. As further confined water bearing aquifer occurs at depths greater than 400 feet.
Winter in Peshawar starts from mid November to the end of March. Summer months are May to September. The mean maximum temperature in summer is over 40 °C and the mean minimum temperature is 25 °C. The mean minimum temperature during winter is 4°C and maximum is 18.35 °C.
Rainfall is received both in winter and in the summer. The winter rainfall due to western disturbances shows a higher record during the months of February and April. The highest winter rainfall has been recorded in March, while the highest summer rainfall in the month of August. The average winter rainfall is higher than that of the summer. Based on a 30-year record, the average 30-year annual precipitation has been recorded as 400 millimetres. Wind speeds vary during the year from 5 knots in December to 24 knots in June. The relative humidity varies from 46% in June to 76% in August.
Peshawar’s environment has suffered tremendously due to an ever increasing population, Afghan influx, unplanned growth and a poor regulatory framework. Air and noise pollution is a significant issue in several parts of the city, and water quality, once considered to be exceptionally good, is also fast deteriorating.
In addition the city has lost 2700 acres of agriculture land during the two decades (1965-85). This in the addition to 400 of acres of vacant land that has been also eaten up by expending urban functions. In the same period, the land under parks and green space has shrunk from 163 to 75 acres.
Demographics
Peshawar is a rapidly growing city with a population of 2,982,816 in 1998. The current population growth rate is 3.29% per year, which is higher than the average of many other Pakistani cities.
Peshawar’s inhabitants consist mainly of two groups, namely; the majority Pashtuns and Peshawaris (Hindkowans who are also referred to as “Khaarian” or ‘city dwellers’). In addition, thousands of Tajiks, Hazaras, Uzbeks, Persians, Panjabis, Chitralis and Gypsies can be found in the city.
”        Urban Population: 48.68% (983,000 persons)
”        Rural Population: 51.32% (1,036,000 persons)
”        Male/Female ratio: 1.1:1
”        Average annual growth rate 3.56%
In 2002, on the growth rate of 3.56% population doubled in 20 years from 1.1 million in 1981 to 2.242 million in 2002. Peshawar District covers a large area extending over 50 km from north to south and over 30 km from east to west. It is situated at an altitude of 347 m (1138 ft) above sea level. The Peshawar valley is nearly circular, extending from the Indus to the Khyber Hills. It is bounded on the North and North East by hills, which separate it from the Valley of Swat. In the Northwest are the rugged mountains of Khyber and to the South is the continuation of spur which branches off from Safed Koh (the famous white mountain on the Afghan border) and runs to Indus. The lower portion of this branch separates the district of Peshawar and Kohat.
Over 99% of the Peshawar population is Muslim. Despite the overwhelmingly Islamic nature of modern Peshawar, the city was previously home to other smaller communities such as Afghan Jews, Zorastrian, Bahá’ís, Hindus and Sikhs. The Partition of British India and the creation of Israel resulted in the virtual elimination of some of these groups, particularly Sikhs and Hindus from Peshawar, but there are still small Christian, Zorastrian, Bahá’í and Sikh communities that remain in the city.
Culture
Peshawar is the centre of Pashtun culture and arts as well as a major centre of Hindko culture. With the Russian invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 and the influx of millions Afghan Refugees into Pakistan, Peshawar became the home for Afghan musicians and artists as well. The city has become the centre for Pashto music and cinema as well Dari music from neighbouring Afghanistan. However, the election of the MMA Islamic coalition in 2002 has resulted in restrictions on public musical performances, as well as a ban on playing recorded music on public transports. Despite these restrictions, Peshawar has become host to a thriving underground scene.
There is also a thriving book publishing activity in Persian language in Peshawar, concentrated in Qissa Khawani Bazaar.
Government

Peshawar’s local government is comprised of 25 Union Councils.
City Development & Municipal Department (CD&MD)
City Development & Municipal Department (CD&MD) previously known as Peshawar Development Authority (PDA) is the department in charge of construction in Peshawar. This includes roads, parks, and plant life. The director of Raigilalma, Hafiz Hidayatullah Khan, was awarded the certificate of “best construction engineer” in 1997 by the Japanese delegation for the consturction of the Dalazak road and flyover. The department (CD&MD) was renewed because of the immense corruption which had taken place before.Its first Director General was Malik Saad.The then governor Lt. Gen Iftikhar Hussain Shah specifically requested Malik Saad to help tackle the corruption and bring the department back up to its former success again.This decision proved successful, because not only was the corruption tackled, but also the city`s development was in full gear and the city`s only fully functional flyover,also named after Malik Saad, was built along with many other projects and developments in the city.
Educational institutions
With the level of higher education on the rise, there has been a surge of educational institutions numbers in Peshawar.
”        University of Peshawar
”        Khyber Medical College
”        Agriculture University of Peshawar
”        University of engineering and technology (U.E.T.)
”        IM Sciences
”        National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences (FAST-NU), Islamabad (Peshawar Campus)
”        Islamia College Peshawar (1913)
”        Gandhara University
”        Jinnah College for Women
”        Edwardes College Peshawar (1900)
”        Government College Peshawar
”        Superior Science College Wazirbagh Peshawar.
”        Fazaia Degree College (PAF Degree College)
”        University Public School (1964)
”        University Model School
”        Peshawar Model School
”        Collegiate School Islamia College
”        Peshawar Grammar School
”        The Convent High School
”        Army Public School
Tourist information
Peshawar, as a traditional city with a rich history, offers everything from goldsmiths and silversmiths, traditional carpets (one of the big exports of Pakistan today), pottery, and clothing to artwork in wood, brass or semi-precious stones. The old walled city, was known for its 16 gates – Bijouri, Kabuli, Aasamai, Kutcheri, Rampura, Hasht Nagri, Toot, Kohati, Sirki, Thandi Khoi, Barzaqan, Ganj, Ramdas, Dabgari and Lahore Gate. The names given to these gates are significant. It was Sikh General Avitabile, who built a mud wall surrounding the city. Under the British nearly the whole of the enclosure wall had been built of pucca brick.
There are many bazaars with different goods and souvenirs for travellers. The main ones include the historic Qissa Khawani Bazaar, the Copper market, Chowk Yadgar and Andarsheher Bazaar. In addition because of its access to the Khyber pass, the Khyber train safari starts from here.
”        General
o        Governor’s House
o        Mattani
o        Dean Center
o        Peshawar Garrison Club
o        Aviator’s Station – The site where freedom fighters of the 1857 independence movement were blown from guns.
o        Danish Abad and Board Bazaar
o        Hayatabad
o        Kotla Mohsin Khan – The residence of Mazullah Khan, seventeenth century Pashtu poet.
o        Durrani Graveyard
o        Para Training School
o        Sethi Mohallah
”        Forts
o        Bala Hisar Fort
o        Burj Hari Singh – Sikh fort founded by Sikh General Sardar Hari Singh Nalwa (no longer exists)
”        Colonial Monuments
o        Bara Bridge built by Mughal rulers in 1629.
o        Chowk Yadgar – Formerly Hastings memorial
o        Cunningham clock tower built in 1900. Called Ghanta Ghar
o        Avitabile’s Pavilion
o        Edwardes School – The residence of Yar Mohammad Khan, the last Durrani Governor of Peshawar
”        Buddhist
o        Gor Khuttree – An ancient site of Buddha’s alms or begging bowl. Headquarter of Syed Ahmad Shaheed, Governor Avitabile
o        Pakhtu Academy – The site of an ancient Buddhist University
o        Shah Ji Ki Dheri – The site of Kanishka’s famous Buddhist monastery.
”        Hindu
o        Panch Tirath – An ancient Hindu site now converted into a park
”        Sikh
o        Sikh Gurudwara at Jogan Shah
”        Mausoleums
o        Tomb of Sheikh Imamuddin (d.1650) at Palosi Piran.
o        Tomb of Rahman Baba (d.1706)
o        Tomb of Akhund Darweza (d.1638)
o        Tomb of Sheikh Sultan Baba
o        Mausoleum of Nawab Sayed Khan
o        Ziarat of Ashab Baba
o        Burj-e-Roshnai
”        Parks
o        Wazir Bagh – Laid in 1802, by Fatteh Khan, Prime Minister of Shah Mahmud Khan.
o        Ali Mardan Khan Gardens – Formerly Company Bagh now Khalid bin Waleed Park.
o        Shahi Bagh – A small portion of which constitutes the current site of Arbab Niaz Stadium.
o        Garrison Park – Located at Prime Location of Shami Road under Army Control.
o        Tatara Park – Located in Hayatabad for children and families.
”        Mosques
o        Mohabbat Khan Mosque
o        Ganj Ali Khan Mosque
o        Qasim Ali Khan Mosque
o        Sonehri Masjid
o        Zarghooni MOsque
o        Bilal Masjid Shami Road
”        Museums
o        Peshawar Museum (Victoria Memorial Hall)[20]
”        Shopping
o        Qissa Khawani Bazaar
o        Karkhano Market
o        Deans Trade Centre
o        Jans Arcade
o        Imperial Stores
o        City Towers
o        Jawad Towers
o        Town Towers
o        Saddar Bazar
o        Mall Towers
o        University road
o        Town Towers
”        Hotels
o        Green Hotel
o        Khan Klub
o        Pearl Continental
o        Grand Hotel
o        Marhaba Hotel
o        Hidayat Hotel
o        North West Heritage Hotel
”        Coffee Bars, Cafe’s And Resturants
o        Masooms Cafe
o        [[Cafe De’Viento]
o        Cafe De’Milan
o        SS Club
o        Cheif Pizza and Burger
o        KFC
o        Pizza Hutt
o        Four seasons
Notable people
”        Fasi Zaka – Writer,Poet,Journalist,Academic,Rhodes Scholar, Radio Host and TV Personality.
”        Jahangir Khan – Squash player and several times world champion
”        Jansher Khan – Squash player and several times world champion
”        Dr. Naseem Ashraf – Chairman Pakistan Cricket Board
”        Sajid & Zeeshan – Famous Pakistani English Band and video director.
”        Ghulam Ishaq Khan – Former President of Pakistan
”        Syed Ahmed Shah Patras Bokhari – Urdu scholar
”        Rahimullah Yousufzai- Journalist
”        Raheem Shah – Pakistani singer
”        Raj Kapoor – Indian film actor
”        Dilip Kumar (aka Yusuf Khan) – Indian film actor
”        Vinod Khanna – Indian film actor/producer
”        Jayant – Indian film actor/ Father of Amjad Khan
”        Rangeela – Pakistani film Actor
”        Umer Gul – Cricket player
”        Yasir Hamid – Cricket player
”        Ismail Gulgee – Pakistani artist
”        Badshah Munir Bukhari – Linguist
”        Sharbat Gula – Refugee in a camp near Peshawar from 1985 to 2002 and who was made famous by photographer Steve McCurry
”        Rahman Baba – Pushto poet
”        Khushal Khan Khattak – Pushto poet
”        Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan – Pakistani politician/political leader
”        Khan Abdul Ghani Khan – Pakistani poet & philosopher
”        Abdur Rab Nishtar – Muslim religious leader
Transport
The Peshawar International Airport serves the city and the province of the North-West Frontier as the main international airport in the region. It is served by all airlines of Pakistan as well as many major airlines including Emirates and Qatar Airways who have regular flights to the Gulf and forward connections to Europe. The city is linked to the main motorway as well as the Karakorum Highway from which it is connected to all of the major cities of Pakistan including Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Faisalabad and Multan. The roads are also linked to Afghanistan and China. Afghanistan is linked through the Khyber Pass, which the main gateway for most cargo and passenger travel. There is also a central railway station run by Pakistan Railways, the largest operator of rail companies in Pakistan, with connections to all parts of Pakistan as well as Afghanistan. In the city, there are all sorts of methods to travel around the city, from coaches, buses, rickshaws (Auto rickshaws), yellow and black taxis as well as traditional methods such as horse and carts.

« Previous entries