Sialkot

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Sialkot
سیالکوٹ
City
Nickname(s): The City of Iqbal
Sialkot is located in Pakistan
Sialkot
Sialkot
Location in Pakistan
Coordinates: 32°29′50″N 74°32′10″E / 32.49722°N 74.53611°E / 32.49722; 74.53611Coordinates: 32°29′50″N 74°32′10″E / 32.49722°N 74.53611°E / 32.49722; 74.53611
Country  Pakistan
Government
 • D.C.O Nadeem Sarwar
Area
 • Total 3,016 km2 (1,164 sq mi)
Elevation 256 m (840 ft)
Population (1998[1])
 • Total 421,502
 • Density 140/km2 (360/sq mi)
Time zone PST (UTC+5)
Postal code 51310
Calling code 052
Number of Union councils 152
Sialkot Government Website

Sialkot (Punjabi, Urdu: سيالكوٹ‎) is the capital city of Sialkot District, located in the north-east of the Pakistani province of Punjab.

History of Sialkot

Main article: History of Sialkot

Medieval Sialkot

Sialkot became a part of the Muslim Sultanate of Delhi when the Afghan noble Sultan Shahab-ud-Din Muhammad Ghauri conquered Punjab in 1185. He was unable to conquer Lahore but left a garrison in Sialkot. Later Sultan Khusro Malik tried to capture the city but failed to do so. Sialkot then became a part of the Muslim Mughal Empire. The Mughal commander Usman Ghani Raza, advanced towards Delhi by way of Sialkot which capitulated to his armies. In the Babur Nama Zaheer-ud-Din Muhammad Babur records:

At the end of the Mughal dynasty the suburbs and the outlying districts and areas of Sialkot were left to themselves. Sialkot itself was appropriated by powerful families of Pashtuns from Multan, Afghanistan and Swat, the Kakayzai and Sherwani, and another family from Quetta. In 1748 the four districts of Sialkot, Sambrial, Pasrur and Daska were given to the Afghan Pashtun ruler Ahmed Shah Durrani and the area was amalgamated into the Afghan empire. After 1751 Ahmed Shah Durrani left his son Taimur to rule Lahore and the surrounding districts. During that time Raja Ranjit Deo of Jammu expanded his dominion over the peripheral areas but not the city of Sialkot. After the decline of the Mughal Empire, the Sikh invaded and occupied Sialkot[3] for about 40 years, though it was held by a Pashtun clan for some time during the decline of the Durrani regime. Pashtun presence is still considerable to this day and newer Pashtun migrants and workers from Pakistan's tribal areas continue to migrate there.

Modern Sialkot

The predominantly Muslim population supported Muslim League and the Pakistan Movement. After independence in 1947 the Hindu and Sikh minorities migrated to India while Muslim refugees from India settled in the Sialkot district and married into the local population. Sialkot has become one of the major industrial centres of Pakistan, well known for manufacture and export of surgical instruments, sports goods, leather goods and other light industry.

During the Indo-Pakistani war of 1965, when Pakistani troops arrived in Kashmir, the Indian Army counterattacked in the Sialkot Sector. The Pakistan Army successfully defended the city and the people of Sialkot came out in full force to support the troops.[4] In 1966 the Government of Pakistan awarded the Hilal-i-Istaqlal to the citizens of Sialkot, Lahore and Sargodha for their courage and bravery. The armoured battles in the Sialkot sector like the Battle of Chawinda were the most intense since the Second World War.[5]

During the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 the region again witnessed bitter battles, most importantly, the Battle of Basantar. A major Indian counter-offensive came in this area and two Pakistani tank regiments, equipped with US Patton tanks, lost part of the region despite outnumbering the Indian First Armoured Corps, which was equipped with British Centurion tanks. Pakistani gains were made in Chamb sector, now called Iftikharabad after the commander, Major General Iftikhar Janjua, who later was the most senior officer to die fighting on the front line. Both the forces returned to international borders after the Simla Accord, except Chamb sector, which was located on the Line of Actual Control in the disputed territory of Kashmir.

Geography and climate

Sialkot features a humid subtropical climate (Cfa) under the Köppen climate classification. Sialkot is chilly in winter and humid in summer. The temperature during winter may drop to 0 °C. May and June are the hottest months.

Climate data for Sialkot, Pakistan
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 26.1
(79)
30.0
(86)
35.0
(95)
42.2
(108)
47.3
(117.1)
48.9
(120)
44.4
(111.9)
41.1
(106)
39.0
(102.2)
37.2
(99)
33.3
(91.9)
27.2
(81)
48.9
(120)
Average high °C (°F) 18.5
(65.3)
21.0
(69.8)
25.7
(78.3)
32.8
(91)
38.0
(100.4)
39.9
(103.8)
34.9
(94.8)
33.6
(92.5)
33.6
(92.5)
31.7
(89.1)
26.1
(79)
20.1
(68.2)
29.7
(85.5)
Daily mean °C (°F) 11.6
(52.9)
13.8
(56.8)
18.6
(65.5)
25.0
(77)
30.0
(86)
32.2
(90)
29.8
(85.6)
29.0
(84.2)
27.9
(82.2)
23.7
(74.7)
17.8
(64)
12.8
(55)
22.6
(72.7)
Average low °C (°F) 5.0
(41)
7.1
(44.8)
11.8
(53.2)
17.3
(63.1)
22.0
(71.6)
25.1
(77.2)
25.1
(77.2)
24.8
(76.6)
22.3
(72.1)
16.0
(60.8)
9.6
(49.3)
5.6
(42.1)
16.0
(60.8)
Record low °C (°F) −1.1
(30)
−1.0
(30.2)
3.0
(37.4)
9.0
(48.2)
13.4
(56.1)
18.0
(64.4)
19.5
(67.1)
18.7
(65.7)
13.3
(55.9)
8.5
(47.3)
3.0
(37.4)
−0.6
(30.9)
−1.1
(30)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 41.1
(1.618)
Average rainfall mm (inches) 43.8
(1.724)
53.7
(2.114)
30.1
(1.185)
28.0
(1.102)
65.6
(2.583)
288.4
(11.354)
259.1
(10.201)
94.1
(3.705)
14.5
(0.571)
9.1
(0.358)
30.4
(1.197)
Source: NOAA (1971–1990)[6]

Economy and industry

Sialkot is the world's largest producer of hand-sewed footballs, with local factories manufacturing 40~60 million footballs a year, amounting to roughly 70% of world production. There is a well-applied child labour ban, the Atlanta Agreement, in the industry since a 1997 outcry.[7]

During the colonial era British India's first bagpipe works opened in the city, today there are 20 pipe bands in the city.[8]

The 2014 FIFA World Cup's soccer balls were made by a Sialkot company[9]

Notable residents

Sialkot is the birthplace of the prominent scholar, philosopher and poet, Sir Muhammad Iqbal, as well as the scholar and poet, Faiz Ahmed Faiz. Chaudhry Sir Muhammad Zafarullah Khan was one of the leading Founding Fathers of modern Pakistan, politician, statesman, diplomat, international jurist, known for drafting the Pakistan Resolution, first foreign minister of Pakistan, for his representation of Pakistan at the United Nations,serving as a judge at the International Court of Justice in The Hague and the first Muslim UN General Assembly President and only Pakistani to ever do so.[citation needed] Shiv Kumar Batalvi was born in a Saraswat Brahmin family on 23 July 1936 (though a few documents related to him state 7 October 1937 as his date of birth), in village Bara Pind Lohtian, Shakargarh Tehsil, Sialkot District (now in Punjab province, Pakistan).[citation needed]

From the Armed Forces there are two distinguished people who rose above the rank of 4 stars in modern history. Generalissimo Mohammad Iqbal Shedai was a 6-star officer above field marshal, and this rank was conferred to him by Benito Mussolini, dictator of Italy, over the Battaglione Azad Hindoustan Army. General Khalid Shameem Wynne ex CJCS Pakistan Army though not born in Sialkot but has his linkages from this land. He was son of Lieutenant Colonel Arshad Shameem born in Sialkot. He belongs from Bijli Mohala Sialkot.[citation needed] Amjad Islam Amjad the famous writer, lyricist and poet was born at Sialkot. Professor Rajinder Singh Bedi, a well-known writer, was also born at Sialkot. Narendra Kohli, a prominent writer, belongs to Sialkot as well. Zulfikar Ghose, a well-known writer, was born at Sialkot. The Indian journalist, Kuldip Nayyar, was also born at Sialkot. Prominent journalists, Khalid Hasan, Hamid Mir. Jawed Iqbal, Muhammad Farooq and Mumtaz Hamid Rao are other famous personalities from Sialkot. The Indian politician and twice Prime Minister of India, Gulzari Lal Nanda, was from Sialkot. The orator of Pakistan Syed Faiz-ul Hassan Shah was from Sialkot. Maulana Ubaidullah Sindhi was born at Sialkot. Khawaja Muhammad Safdar a former acting president of Pakistan and chairman of the Majlis-e-Shoora hails from Sialkot. Khawaja Muhammad Asif and Chaudhry Amir Hussain former Speakers of the National Assembly, former interior minister Pirzada Syed Saeed Ahmed Shah Advocate, Hashmi & Company Tax Advisor Sialkot *Zahoor Ahmed Hashmi Founder of Hashmi & Company Tax Consultants Sialkot Rehman Malik, former federal minister Firdous Ashiq Awan.[citation needed]

The Pakistani (Lollywood) actor Waheed Murad and Farhan Aly, Indian (Bollywood) actors Rajendra Kumar and A. K. Hangal were born at Sialkot while Dev Anand was born in Tehsil Shakargarh now in Sialkot District. Ghulam Ali, the Ghazal singer and Ustad Allah Rakha, the famous Sarangi Nawaz, are from Sialkot. Sialkot is the home city of many players of the Pakistan National Cricket Team. Ijaz Butt (Former chairman, Pakistan Cricket Board), Zaheer Abbas, Ijaz Ahmed, Shoaib Malik, Mansoor Amjad, Zahid Fazal, Abdur Rehman Raza Hasan, Sikandar Raza (Zimbabwean cricket player) and Jawaid Iqbal (Hong Kong national cricket player) were all born at Sialkot. The captains and players of the Pakistani National Hockey team including Shahnaz Sheikh, Manzoor Hussain Jr., Nasir Ali, Asif Bajwa (secretary of Pakistan Hockey Federation), Tariq Sheikh, Zahid Sheikh, Muhammad Waqas Sharif, Mahmood Hussain, Maqsood Hussain, Munir Bhatti and Kamran Ashraf hail from this city.

Important sites

Seerat Study Center is situated at the southern edge of the Khayaban-I-Iqbal (Company Bagh) on Ghazi Road. It is a world-renonwed center for conducting research on the life of the Prophet Muhammad. Located in the cantonment area is the famous Holy Trinity Cathedral Church also known as the Sialkot Cathedral which was built in 1852. On Zafarwal Road is located a famous Sikh Gurdwara Beri Sahib. Every year, many Sikh pilgrims come to visit here. In Saddar Bazar is located the famous Clock Tower which is more than a century old. The Connelley Park (named after a British Deputy Commissioner of Sialkot), was converted to Jinnah Stadium in 1979. The Jinnah Stadium has one of the fastest cricket pitches in Pakistan. Close to Jinnah Stadium is located the famous Murray College which was established in 1889. Its alumni include Dr Muhammad Iqbal and Faiz Ahmad Faiz.

A View of Marala Headworks

Marala Headworks is located on the Chenab river about 20 km from Sialkot. Two major water canals originate at the Marala Headworks – the Marala-Ravi Link Canal and the Upper Chenab Canal. Planning of the Mangla-Marala Link Canal is in the pipeline. The area around the Marala Headworks lake is also a picnic spot.

The Bajwat Wildlife Sanctuary includes a complex of natural riverine habitats along the Chenab river and two of its tributaries, extending up to the border with India with a total area of 5400 hectares providing protection to waterfowl, as well as a variety of mammals including Hog Deer and Nilgai.

Transport

Sialkot International Airport is the first-ever private-sector airport of Pakistan managed by the Sialkot International Airport Limited (SIAL) consortium. It is near Sambrial and is noted for having the longest runway in Pakistan. Direct flights are available from Sialkot International Airport to Karachi, Islamabad, Sharjah, London, Dubai U.A.E, Muscat, Kuwait, Dammam, Jeddah, Riyadh. Emirates airline also commence their service from 5 November 2013. Pakistan International Airlines has plans to start non-stop flights from Sialkot to Manchester and Barcelona. Hajj flights started in 2009. Emirates was expected to start flights in mid-2011 to Dubai. Airblue will operate on domestic routes to Islamabad, Multan and Karachi in mid-2011.

A small Sialkot Cantonment Airport, located in the Sialkot Cantonment, is used by the aviation wing of the Pakistan Army. This airport has been used as a public airport by Pakistan International Airlines for operating a helicopter service from Sialkot to Islamabad in 1995–1996.

Sialkot Dry Port carries the honour of being the first-ever private-sector dry port in Asia. It was established in 1986 near Sambrial, about 20 km from Sialkot city under the control of the Sialkot Dry Port Trust.

Sialkot is served by Pakistan Railways through the Sialkot Junction. Sialkot used to be a junction in the British era with trains leaving for Jammu and Gurdaspur. Plans are under consideration to reopen open the Jammu-Sialkot Line for an international train between Sialkot and Jammu. Express trains to and from Narowal, Lahore, Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, Multan, Bahawalpur and Karachi are available daily. The station is in the center of the city. Other suburban train stations are Ugoki and Sambrial.


Educational institutions

Sialkot has a fairly well-developed educational infrastructure that comprises a sub campus of University of Management and Technology, Lahore, a sub campus of University of Gujrat, Gujrat, a sub-campus of the Fatima Jinnah Women University, a sub-campus of the Virtual University of Pakistan, 8 Degree Colleges for Women, 5 Degree Colleges for Men, 2 Cadet Colleges, 6 Commerce Colleges, one Law College, one Medical College, one Homeopathic Medical College, one Nursing School, one Para-Medical School, one Poly-Technic Institute, with numerous Inter Colleges, Higher Secondary Schools and over 250 High Schools.

The Convent of Jesus and Mary, Sialkot was established in 1856. It was the first Catholic mission school in Punjab and the second of its kind in British India. Other eminent private-sector schools include the American School, the City School, the Beaconhouse School and Zaka Public School and College GulBahar.

The Murray College, Sialkot was established in 1889 as the Scotch Mission College by the Scottish missionaries belonging to the Church of Scotland Mission. It is one of the oldest educational institutions in Pakistan offering education up to the post-graduate level.

The Sialkot Medical College was established in 2002 with a sanction of Rs. 750 million. 30 seats were allocated for the year 2003 at the Services Institute of Medical Sciences, Lahore to be shifted to the Sialkot Medical College in 2004. However, because of local politics, the project was shelved. In April 2007, the President of Pakistan again announced an immediate construction of the Medical College building in Sialkot. Temporary project office has been established at the Allama Iqbal Memorial Hospital, Sialkot which will also be the attached teaching hospital. [Islam Medical College] is a private sector medical college, having a modern campus on Pasrur Road.

The sub-campus of the FJWU in Sialkot will be established on a 200-acre (0.81 km2) land with a cost of Rs 300 million.

The University of Management & Technology Sialkot Campus is a sub campus of University of Management and Technology, Lahore & was formally opened in Sialkot on May 2, 2012.

The University of Gujrat Sialkot Campus is a sub-campus of the University of Gujrat, Gujrat.

Sports

The Sialkot Cricket Team are known as the Sialkot Stallions. They are National Champions and have won The Quaid-i-Azam Trophy during the 2008–2009 season and were also national champions in 2005–2006 when thy won The Quaid-i-Azam Trophy Golden League. Sialkot were runners-up in 2006–2007 and also won The ABN-AMRO Twenty-20 Cup in 2005–2006 and 2006–2007 and RBS Twenty-20 Cup 2007–2008 and then 2008–2009 to complete a title hat-trick. The team's home ground is Jinnah Stadium.

Sialkot annually hosts the Allama Iqbal Open Golf Championship at the Sialkot Golf Club. The Sialkot Hockey Stadium is located at Pasrur Road adjacent to the Gulshan-i-Iqbal Park Sialkot. The Sialkot Sports Complex is under construction at Daska Road with Tartan track facility for track running events. Sialkot Junior Hockey Team play in National Junior Hockey League. The Crescent Hockey Club has played in the Surjit Silver Jubilee hockey tournament at Jalandhar in 2008.

Sister Cities

Photos

See also

References

  1. ^ http://www.pbs.gov.pk/sites/default/files//tables/POPULATION%20SIZE%20AND%20GROWTH%20OF%20MAJOR%20CITIES.pdf
  2. ^ Babur Nama Page 250 published by Penguin
  3. ^ Zutshi, Chitralekha (2003), Language of belonging: Islam, regional identity, and the making of Kashmir, Oxford University Press/Permanent Black. Pp. 359, ISBN 978-0-19-521939-5 
  4. ^ K Conboy, "Elite Forces of India and Pakistan" ISBN 1-85532-209-9, page 9
  5. ^ The India-Pakistan Air War of 1965, Synopsis. Retrieved 26 May 2008 at the Internet Archive
  6. ^ "Sialkot Climate Normals 1971–1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 16 January 2013. 
  7. ^ Hasnain Kazim (16 March 2010). "The Football Stitchers of Sialkot". Spiegel International. Retrieved 7 November 2011. 
  8. ^ "Punjab pays tartan homage to Caledonia | World news | The Observer". Guardian. 25 April 2004. Retrieved 22 November 2013. 
  9. ^ http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-150235-Brazilian-ambassador-unveils-Pak-made-FIFA-soccer-ball

External links