Shahbaz Qalandar Lal

Sindh

Sindh (Sindhī: سنڌ, Urdu: سندھ) is one of the four provinces of Pakistan and historically is home to the Sindhis. Different cultural and ethnic groups also reside in Sindh including Urdu-speaking Muslim refugees who migrated to Pakistan from India upon independence as well as the people migrated from other provinces after independence. The Neighbouring regions of Sindh are Balochistan to the west and north, Punjab to the north, the border with India to the east, and the Arabian Sea to the south. The main languages are Sindhi and Siraiki. In Sanskrit, the province was dubbed Sindhu meaning "Ocean". The Assyrians (as early as the seventh century BCE) knew the region as Sinda, the Persians as Abisind, the Greeks as Sinthus, the Romans as Sindus, the Chinese as Sintow, while the Arabs dubbed it Sind.

Origin of the name

The province of Sindh has been designated after the Indus River known in Ancient Sanskrit as Sindhu meaning Ocean, which literally created it and has been also its sole means of sustenance. However, the importance of the river and close phonetical resemblance in nomenclature would make one consider Sindhu as the probable origin of the name of Sindh. Later phonetical changes transformed Sindhu into Hindu in Persian. The Greeks who conquered Sindh in 325 BC under the command of Alexander the Great rendered it as Indos, hence the modern Indus - and "India".

Prehistoric period

The Indus Valley civilization is the farthest visible outpost of archeology in the abyss of prehistoric times. The areas constituting Pakistan have had a historical individuality of their own and Sindh is the most important among such areas. The prehistoric site of Kot Diji in Sindh has furnished information of high significance for the reconstruction of a connected story which pushes back the history of Pakistan by at least another 300 years, from about 2500 BC. Evidence of a new element of pre-Harappan culture has been traced here. When the primitive village communities in Balochistan were still struggling against a difficult highland environment, a highly cultured people were trying to assert themselves at Kot Diji one of the most developed urban civilization of the ancient world that flourished between the year 25th Century BC and 1500 BC in the Indus valley sites of Moenjodaro and Harappa. The people were endowed with a high standard of art and craftsmanship and well-developed system of quasi-pictographic writing which despite ceaseless efforts still remains un-deciphered. The remarkable ruins of the beautifully planned Moenjodaro and Harappa towns, the brick buildings of the common people, roads, public-baths and the covered drainage system envisage the life of a community living happily in an organized manner.

This civilisation is now identified as a pre-Aryan civilisation and most probably the Dravidian civilization which was conquered by the invading Aryans. The Brahui language is a remnant of the civilisation which flourished in this region.

Geography

Sindh is located on the western corner of South Asia, bordering the Iranian plateau in the west. Geographically it is the third largest province of Pakistan, stretching about 579 km from north to south and 442 km (extreme) or 281 km (average) from east to west, with an area of 54,407 square miles or 140,915 km² of Pakistani territory. Sindh is bounded by the Thar Desert to the east, the Kirthar Mountains to the west, and the Arabian Sea in the south. In the centre is a fertile plain around the Indus river. The devastating floods of the river Indus are now controlled by irrigation techniques.

Karachi became capital of Sindh in 1936, in place of the traditional capitals of Hyderabad and Thatta. Other important cities include Sanghar, Sukkur, Dadu, Shahdadkot, Sehwan, Mirpukhas, Larkana, Shikarpur, Nawabshah, Kashmore, Umerkot, Tharparkar, Jacobabad, Ghotki, Ranipur, and Moro.

Climate

A subtropical region, Sindh is hot in the summer and cold in winter. Temperatures frequently rise above 46 °C (115 °F) between May and August, and the minimum average temperature of 2 °C (36 °F) occurs during December and January. The annual rainfall averages about seven inches, falling mainly during July and August. The Southwest Monsoon wind begins to blow in mid-February and continues until the end of September, whereas the cool northerly wind blows during the winter months from October to January.

Sindh lies between the two monsoons - the southwest monsoon from the Indian Ocean and the northeast or retreating monsoon, deflected towards it by Himalayan mountains — and escapes the influence of both. The average rainfall in Sindh is only 15 to 18 cm per year, but the loss during the two seasons is compensated by the Indus, in the form of inundation, caused twice a year by the spring and summer melting of Himalayan snow and by rainfall in the monsoon season. These natural patterns have changed somewhat with the construction of dams and barrages on the Indus.

Climatically, Sindh is divided in three sections - Siro (upper section centred on Jacobabad), Wicholo (middle section centred on Hyderabad), and Lar (lower section centred on Karachi). In Upper Sindh, the thermal equator passes through Sindh. The highest temperature ever recorded was 53 °C (127 °F) in 1919. The air is generally very dry. In winter frost is common.

In Central Sindh, average monsoon wind speed is 18 km/hour in June. The temperature is lower than Upper Sindh but higher than Lower Sindh. Dry hot days and cool nights are summer characteristics. Maximum temperature reaches 43-44°C (110-112°F). Lower Sindh has a damper and humid maritime climate affected by the south-western winds in summer and north-eastern winds in winter and with lower rainfall than Central Sindh. The maximum temperature reaches about 35-38°C (95-100°F). In the Kirthar range at 1,800 m7 and higher on the Gorakh Hill and other peaks in Dadu District, temperatures near freezing have been recorded and brief snow fall is received in winters.

Demographics and society

Sindh Demographic Indicators
Indicator Statistic
Urban population 40.00%
Rural population 60.00%
Population growth rate 2.80%
Gender ratio (male per 100 female) 112.24
Economically active population 22.75%
The 1998 Census of Pakistan indicated a population 30.4 million, the current population can be estimated to be in the range of 42 to 44 million using a compound growth in the range of 2% to 2.8% since then. With just under half being urban dwellers, mainly found in Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Mirpurkhas, Nawabshah, Umerkot and Larkana. Sindhi is the sole official language of Sindh since the 19th century. Going just by language, Sindhi speakers make up 70% and Urdu speakers make up 20%, while 9% of the total population of Sindh speaks Seraiki, Kutchi (both dialects of Sindhi), Khowar, Pashto, Punjabi, Balochi, Thari, Persian/Dari, Brahui and Gujrati. Both Balochis of Sindh and Sindhis speak Sindhi language as their mother tongue.

Historical populations
Census Population Urban

1951 6,047,748 29.23%
1961 8,367,065 37.85%
1972 14,155,909 40.44%
1981 19,028,666 43.31%
1998 30,439,893 48.75%
2008 ~43,000,000
Sindh's population is predominantly Muslim, but Sindh is also home to nearly all (93%) of Pakistan's Hindus, numbering roughly 3.5 million. Most Sindhi Hindus migrated to India at the time of the independence. Smaller groups of Christians, Parsis or Zoroastrians and a tiny Jewish community (of around 500) can also be found in the province.

The Sindhis as a whole are composed of original descendants of an ancient population known as Sammaat, various sub-groups related to the Seraiki or Baloch origin are found in interior Sindh. Sindhis of Balochi origin make up about 30% of the total population of Sindh, while Urdu-speaking Muhajirs make up 20% of the total population of the province. Also found in the province is a small group claiming descent from early Muslim settlers including Arabs, Turks, Pashtuns and Persian.

History

In ancient times, the territory of the modern Sindh province was sometimes known as Sauvira and also as Sindhudesh, Sindhu being the original name for Indus River and the suffix 'desh' roughly corresponding to country or territory.

The first known village settlements date as far back as 7000 BCE. Permanent settlements at Mehrgarh to the west expanded into Sindh. This culture blossomed over several millennia and gave rise to the Indus Valley Civilization around 3000 BCE.

The Indus Valley Civilization rivalled the contemporary civilizations of Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia in both size and scope numbering nearly half a million inhabitants at its height with well-planned grid cities and sewer systems. It is known that the Indus Valley Civilization traded with ancient Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt via established shipping lanes. In ancient Egypt, the word for cotton was Sindh suggesting that the bulk of that civilization's cotton was imported from the Indus Valley Civilization.

A branch of the Indo-Iranian tribes, called the Indo-Aryans are believed to have founded the Vedic Civilization that existed between Sarasvati River and Ganges River around 1500 BCE and also influenced Indus Valley Civilization. This civilization helped shape subsequent cultures in the South Asia.

Sindh was conquered by the Persian Achaemenid Empire in the 6th century BCE, and became part of the Persian satrapy (province) of Hindush centred in the Punjab to the north. Persian speech had a tendency to replace 'S' with an 'H' resulting in 'Sindhu' being pronounced and written as 'Hindu'. They introduced the Kharoshti script in the region and established links to the west.

In the late 300s BCE, Sindh was conquered by a mixed army led by Macedonian Greeks under Alexander the Great. The region remained under control of Greek satraps only for a few decades. After Alexander's death, there was a brief period of Seleucid rule, before Sindh was traded to the Mauryan Empire led by Chandragupta in 305 BCE. During the rule of the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka, the Buddhist religion spread to Sindh.

Mauryan rule ended in 185 BCE with the overthrow of the last king by the Sunga Dynasty. In the disorders that followed, Greek rule returned when Demetrius I of Bactria led a Greco-Bactrian invasion of India and annexed most of northwestern lands, including Sindh. Demetrius was later defeated and killed by a usurper, but his descendents continued to rule Sindh and other lands as the Indo-Greek Kingdom. Under the reign of Menander I many Indo-Greeks followed his example and converted to Buddhism.

In the late 100s BCE, Scythian tribes shattered the Greco-Bactrian empire and invaded the Indo-Greek lands. Unable to take the Punjab region, they seized Sistan and invaded India by coming through Sindh, where they became known as Indo-Scythians (later Western Satraps). Subsequently, the Tocharian Kushan Empire annexed Sindh by the 1st century CE. Though the Kushans were Zoroastrian, they were tolerant of the local Buddhist tradition and sponsored many building projects for local beliefs.

The Kushan Empire were defeated in the mid 200s CE by the Sassanid Empire of Persia, who installed vassals known as the Kushans. These rulers were defeated by the Kidarites in the late 300s, though Sindh became part of the Gupta Empire. By the late 400s, attacks by Hephthalite tribes known as the Indo-Hephthalites or Hunas (Huns) broke through the Gupta Empire's North-Western borders and overran much of Northern and Western India. During these upheavals, Sindh became independent under the Rai Dynasty around 478 AD. The Rais were overthrown by Chach of Alor around 632 CE. The Chacha Dynasty ruled Sindh until the coming of the Muslim Arabs in 711 CE.

During the reign of Rashidun Caliph Umar, an expedition was sent to conquer Makran. This was the first time that Muslim armies had entered Sindh. The Islamic army defeated the Hindu king of Sindh, Raja Rasil, on the western bank of the Indus. The armies of the Raja accordingly retreated to interior Sindh. Caliph Umar, on getting the information about the miserable conditions of Sindh, stopped his armies from crossing the Indus and, instead, ordered them to consolidate their position in Makran and Baluchistan. Umar's successor Caliph Uthman also sent his agent to investigate the matters of Sindh. Upon getting the same information of unfavourable geographical conditions and the miserable lives of the people, he forbade his armies to enter Sindh. During the Rashidun Caliphate only the southwestern part of Sindh around the western bank of the Indus, and some northern parts near the frontiers of Baluchistan remained under the rule of the Islamic empire. Sindh was finally conquered by Syrian Arabs, led by Muhammad bin Qasim. Sindh became the easternmost province of the Umayyad Caliphate referred to as Al-Sindh on Arab maps with lands further east known as Hind. These maps resemble the current border between the nations of Pakistan and India. The defeat of the Hindu ruler Raja Dahir was made easier by the tension between the Buddhist majority and the ruling Hindus' fragile base of control.

The Arabs redefined the region and adopted the term Budd to refer to the numerous Buddhist idols they encountered, a word that remains in use today. The city of Mansura was established as a regional Misr or capital. Arab rule lasted for nearly three centuries, and a fusion of cultures produced much of what is today modern Sindhi society. Arab geographers, historians and travellers also sometimes used the name "Sindh" for the entire area from the Arabian Sea to the Hindu Kush.

Arab rule ended with the ascension of the Soomro dynasty, who were local Sindhi Muslims, and who controlled the province directly and as vassals of the Arabs from 1058 to 1249. Turkic invaders conquered the area by 977 CE and the region loosely became part of the Ghaznavid Empire and then the Delhi Sultanate which lasted until 1524.

The Mughals seized the region and their rule lasted for another two centuries, while another local Sindhi Muslim group, the Samma, challenged Mughal rule from their base at Thatta. The Muslim Sufi played a pivotal role in converting the millions of native people to Islam.

Though part of larger empires, Sindh continued to enjoy a certain autonomy as a loyal Muslim domain and came under the rule of the Arghun Dynasty and the Tarkhan Dynasty from 1519 to 1625.

Sindh became a vassal-state of the Afghan Durrani Empire by 1747. It was then ruled by Kalhora rulers and later the Balochi Talpurs from 1783.

British and Bengal Presidency forces under General Charles Napier arrived in Sindh in the 19th century and conquered it in 1843. It is said that he reported the conquest by sending back to the Governor General a one-word message, "Peccavi" Latin for "I have sinned" (a pun on "I have Sindh"), these words later appearing as a cartoon in Punch magazine. The first Aga Khan helped the British in the conquest of Sindh and was granted a pension as a result..

After 1853, Sindh was divided into provinces, each being assigned a Zamindar or Wadera to collect taxes for the British (a system adopted from the Mughals). In a highly controversial move, Sindh was later made part of British India's Bombay Presidency much to the surprise of the local population, who found the decision illogical. Shortly afterwards, the decision was reversed and Sindh became a separate province in 1935. The British ruled the area for a century and Sindh was home to many prominent Muslim leaders including Muhammad Ali Jinnah who strove for greater Muslim autonomy.

In 1947, when the British left, Pakistan gained independence. In 1947, 25 per cent of the population of Sindh was Hindu. Most of the Hindu Sindhis were city dwellers and were largely traders and involved in commerce. They were responsible for the export of products made in Sindh and contributed significantly to the economy of Sindh. After independence the Hindus migrated to India.

Since Pakistan's Independence in 1947, Sindh has been the destination of a continuous stream of migration from South Asian countries like Bangladesh, Burma, and Afghanistan as well as Pashtun and Punjabi immigrants from the North West Frontier Province and the Punjab Province of Pakistan to Karachi. This is due to the fact that Karachi is the economic magnet of Pakistan attracting people from all over Pakistan. Many native Sindhis resent this influx. Nonetheless, traditional Sindhi families remain prominent in Pakistani politics, especially the Bhutto, Zardari and Soomro dynasties. Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the Founder of Pakistan, was from Karachi, Sindh.

Pakistan Resolution in the Sindh Assembly

The Sindh assembly was the first British Indian legislature to pass the resolution in favour of Pakistan. G. M. Syed, an influential Sindhi activist, revolutionary and Sufi and one of the important leaders to the forefront of the provincial autonomy movement joined the Muslim League in 1938 and presented the Pakistan resolution in the Sindh Assembly. G. M. Syed can rightly be considered as the founder of Sindhi nationalism.

Government

The Provincial Assembly of Sindh is unicameral and consists of 168 seats of which 5% are reserved for non-Muslims and 17% for women.The provincial capital of Sindh is Karachi.

Districts

There are 23 districts in Sindh, Pakistan.

Major cities

  • Khairpur
  • Larkana
  • Mirpur Mathelo
  • Mirpurkhas
  • Mithi
  • Nasarpur
  • Nawabshah
  • Raharki
  • Ranipur
  • Ratodero
  • Sadiq Abad
  • Sanghar
  • Sekhat
  • Shikarpur
  • Sobhodero
  • Rohri
  • Sukkur
  • Tando Jam
  • Tando Muhammad Khan
  • Thatta
  • Ubaro
  • Umarkot
  • Economy

    Endowed with coastal access, Sindh is the backbone of Pakistan's economy. It generates almost 30% of the total national tax revenue (26.8% in the last two years). The federal government, however, spends just 23% of the financial divisible pool there. The Sindh government considers the formula of financial resource distribution (the NFC award) to be unjust and solely population-denominated. But the fact remains that most business is done through Karachi - a major sea port and major revenue collection and banking centre. Because Karachi is a business hub, actual Sindh tax revenue is much higher than its official tax revenue.

    Sindh is a major centre of economic activity in Pakistan and has a highly diversified economy ranging from heavy industry and finance centred in and around Karachi to a substantial agricultural base along the Indus. Pakistan's rapidly growing information technology sector (IT) is also centred in Karachi and manufacturing includes machine products, cement, plastics, and various other goods.

    Agriculture is very important in Sindh with cotton, rice, wheat, sugar cane, bananas, and mangoes as the most important crops. Sindh is the richest province in natural resources of gas, petrol, and coal.

    Flora and fauna

    The province is mostly arid with scant vegetation except for the irrigated Indus Valley. The dwarf palm, Acacia Rupestris (kher), and Tecomella undulata (lohirro) trees are typical of the western hill region. In the Indus valley, the Acacia nilotica (babul) (babbur) is the most dominant and occurs in thick forests along the Indus banks. The Azadirachta indica (neem) (nim), Zizyphys vulgaris (bir) (ber), Tamarix orientalis (jujuba lai) and Capparis aphylla (kirir) are among the more common trees.

    Mango, date palms, and the more recently introduced banana, guava, orange, and chiku are the typical fruit-bearing trees. The coastal strip and the creeks abound in semi-aquatic and aquatic plants, and the inshore Indus deltaic islands have forests of Avicennia tomentosa (timmer) and Ceriops candolleana (chaunir) trees. Water lilies grow in abundance in the numerous lake and ponds, particularly in the lower Sindh region.

    Among the wild animals, the Sindh ibex (sareh), wild sheep (urial or gadh) and black bear are found in the western rocky range, where the leopard is now rare. The pirrang (large tiger cat or fishing cat) of the eastern desert region is also disappearing. Deer occur in the lower rocky plains and in the eastern region, as do the striped hyena (charakh), jackal, fox, porcupine, common gray mongoose, and hedgehog. The Sindhi phekari, ped lynx or Caracal cat, is found in some areas.

    Phartho (hog deer) and wild bear occur particularly in the central inundation belt. There are a variety of bats, lizards, and reptiles, including the cobra, lundi (viper), and the mysterious Sindh krait of the Thar region, which is supposed to suck the victim's breath in his sleep. Crocodiles are rare and inhabit only the backwaters of the Indus and the eastern Nara channel. Besides a large variety of marine fish, the plumbeous dolphin, the beaked dolphin, rorqual or blue whale, and a variety of skates frequent the seas along the Sind coast. The pallo (sable fish), though a marine fish, ascends the Indus annually from February to April to spawn.

    Education

    The Narayan Jagannath High School at Karachi was the first government school established in Sindh. It was opened in October 1855. The province has a high literacy rate compared to other parts of Pakistan, mainly due to the importance of Karachi. The major academic institutions of Sindh include the Aga Khan University, Bahria University, University of Karachi, Sindh University, NED University of Engineering and Technology, Institute of Business Administration (Karachi), Dow University of Health Sciences, National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences, Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences (Jamshoro), Mehran University of Engineering and Technology, Quaid e Awam University of Engineering and Technology Nawabshah, Isra University Hyderabad, Hamdard University Karachi, Baqai Medical University Karachi, Shah Abdul Latif University Khairpur (SALU), Chandka Medical College, Peoples' Medical College Nawabshah, Sindh Madarastul Islam Karachi, D. J. Sindh Government Science College, and the Indus Valley Institute of Art and Architecture, Shaheed Z. A. Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology Karachi, Sindh Agricultural University Tandojam, Iqra University and the Sir Syed University of Engineering & Technology, Institute of Business Administration (IBA) Sukkur

    This is a chart of the education market of Sindh estimated by the government in 1998.

    Qualification Urban Rural Total Enrollment Ratio (%)
    14,839,862 15,600,031 30,439,893
    Below Primary 1,984,089 3,332,166 5,316,255 100.00
    Primary 3,503,691 5,687,771 9,191,462 82.53
    Middle 3,073,335 2,369,644 5,442,979 52.33
    Matriculation 2,847,769 2,227,684 5,075,453 34.45
    Intermediate 1,473,598 1,018,682 2,492,280 17.78
    BA, BSc… degrees 106,847 53,040 159,887 9.59
    MA, MSc… degrees 1,320,747 552,241 1,872,988 9.07
    Diploma, Certificate… 440,743 280,800 721,543 2.91
    Other qualifications 89,043 78,003 167,046 0.54

    There are six Cadet Colleges also. Admission to state run educational institutions in Pakistan is based on the provincial level. The other three provinces have a merit-based intraprovincial admission policy. Sindh is an exception to this general rule, where admissions are allowed on district domiciles of the candidates and their parents. This arrangement discriminates against meritorious students of Sindhi ethnic background, denying them admission to educational institutes and courses of their choice. Currently there is a lot of resentment of this admission policy. Sindhis are demanding intraprovincial merit-based admissions to state run educational institutes, similar to the one existing in other provinces. This will provide equal opportunities to all students of Sindh. Furthermore, the armed forces have also entered the education sector. They are funded by government and operate like private costly education providers.

    Arts and crafts

    The skill of the Sindhi craftsman continues to exhibit the 5000-year-old artistic tradition. The long span of time, punctuated by fresh and incessant waves of invaders and settlers, provided various exotic modes of arts which, with the passage of time, got naturalized on the soil. The perfected surface decorations of objects of everyday use - clay, metal, wood, stone or fabrics, with the floral and geometrical designs - can be traced back to the Muslim influence.

    Though chiefly an agricultural and pastoral province, Sindh has a reputation for 'Ajrak', pottery, leatherwork, carpets, textiles, and silk cloth which, in design and finish, are matchless. The chief articles produced are blankets, coarse cotton cloth (soosi) camel fittings, metalwork, lacquered work, enamel, gold and silver embroidery. Hala is famous for pottery and tiles; Boobak for carpets; Nasirpur, Gambat and Thatta for cotton lungees and Khes. The earthenware of Johi, metal vessels of Shikarpur, relli, embroidery, and leather articles of Tharparkar, and lacquered work of Kandhkot are some of the other popular crafts.

    The pre-historic finds from different archaeological sites such as Mohenjo-daro, engravings in various graveyards, and the architectural designs of Makli and other tombs provide ample evidence of the people in their literary and musical traditions.

    Modern painting and calligraphy have also developed in recent times and some young trained men have taken up commercial art collections.

    Cultural heritage

    Sindh has a rich heritage of traditional handicraft that has evolved over the centuries. Perhaps the most professed exposition of Sindhi culture is in the handicrafts of Hala, a town some 30 kilometres from Hyderabad. Hala’s artisans are manufacturing high quality and impressively priced wooden handicrafts, textiles, paintings, handmade paper products, blue pottery, etc. Lacquered wood works known as Jandi, painting on wood, tiles, and pottery known as Kashi, hand woven textiles including Khadi, Susi, and Ajrak are synonymous with Sindhi culture preserved in Hala’s handicraft.

    The artisans of Hala rarely get the justified price of their labour. The middlemen have been exploiting the artisans for decades selling the handicrafts at exorbitant profit margins at tourist hot spots of Karachi Lahore and Islamabad and even abroad. There is a dire need of patronizing the handicraft cluster of Hala, provide the artisans a platform to sell their products in cities and export markets so as to enable them earn handsome amount of their produced goods.

    The Small and Medium Enterprises Authority (SMEDA) is planning to set up an organization of artisans to empower the community. SMEDA is also publishing a directory of the artisans so that exporters can directly contact them. Hala is the home of a remarkable variety of traditional crafts and traditional handicrafts that carry with them centuries of skill that has woven magic into the motifs and designs used.

    The diverse Sindhi cultures, lifestyles, traditions as well as geographical conditions have influenced Sindhi art, and for over a century handicrafts have been a source of pride and a livelihood for the people of Hala. Kashi woodwork and other products made by the artisan community of Hala have established a position in the domestic and international markets. Jandi woodwork of Hala gives a glimpse of the richness of Pakistani culture and tradition has been followed through generations.

    Sindh is known the world over for its various handicrafts and arts. The work of Sindhi artisans was sold in ancient markets of Armenia, Baghdad, Basra, Istanbul, Cairo and Samarkand. Referring to the lacquer work on wood locally known as Jandi, T. Posten an English traveller who visited Sindh in early 19th century said, the articles of Hala could be compared with exquisite specimens of China.

    Jandi is famous all over the world due to its delicacy, durability and the natural beauty of the wood. Jandi is rendered on lamps, candle stands, flower vases, jewelry boxes, cigarette boxes, ash trays, pots, swings, cots, dressing tables, chairs & tables, bedroom sets, sofa sets, and telephone stands. The Jandi work also has its drawbacks. The persons associated with the business said that lacquer furniture and items have a long life but acid, alcohol, and oil will damage the colour. Moreover, direct sunshine and water can destroy the life of the products. Hala has also preserved the extraordinary traditional ceramic techniques.

    The village potters known as kumhaar across the South Asia are still producing exquisite earthenware in Hala. In Pakistan the finest examples of Kashi work are in the Sindh province. Kashi work consisted of two kinds: (a) Enamel-faced tiles and bricks of strongly fired red earthenware, or terracotta; (b) Enamel faced tiles and tesserae of lightly fired lime-mortar, or sandstone. Some authorities describe tile-mosaic work as the true Kashi.

    Hala’s apparel tradition is one of the world’s oldest with handlooms and power looms dating back to the Indus valley civilization. The hand-spun and hand-woven cloth called "Khadi" was being exported to various countries since time immemorial.

    Since Khadi deals in natural fibres viz. cotton, silk and wool only, spun and woven in natural environment, it can boast of being 100 percent natural, unlike handloom and mills which receive cotton yarn, blended with some regenerated cellulose fibres. Khadi cloth has found its place in haute couture and on the ramps of most eminent fashion devas.

    Over a period of time cotton was mixed with silk to create Mashru, a double layered material with a thick cotton base and a silken warp woven in satin weave, a purely Indian innovation. It was woven specially for the ladies. In the Susi weave the cotton weft lay against the skin; hence it was permissible to wear it. In the Ain-i-Akbari, it is mentioned that Susi, a reputed silken fabric from Shush, a town in Persia, was originally brought to the Deccan via Alexandria during the 11th century. Susi lost its silken character somewhere along the line and reappeared as a cotton fabric in Lahore in the 1620’s. Susi later became synonymous with Sindh, the primary production centres being Hala and Hyderabad.

    Technological improvements were gradually introduced such as the spinning wheel [charkha] and treadle [pai-chah] in the weavers’ loom, to increase refinement in designing, dyeing and printing by block. Painting process amounted for a much higher volume of output. The refined, lightweight, colourful, washable fabrics from Hala became a luxury for people used to only woollens and linens of the age.

    Ajrak has been in Sindh since the birth of its civilization. Blue colour is dominantly used in Ajrak. Also, Sindh was traditionally a large producer of indigo and cotton cloth and both used to be exported to the Middle East. Ajrak is a mark of respect when it is given to an honoured quest, friend or woman. In Sindh, it is most commonly given as a gift at Eid, at weddings, or on other special occasions - like homecoming.

    Along with Ajrak the Rilli or patchwork sheet, is another Sindhi icon and part of the heritage and culture. Every Sindhi home will have set of Rillis - one for each member of the family and few spare for guests. Rilli is made with different small pieces of different geometrical shapes of cloths sewn together to create intricate designs.

    Rilhi is also given as a gift to friends and visitors. It is used as a bedspread as well as a blanket. A beautifully sewn Rilli can also become part of a bride or grooms gifts. Rural women in Sindh are skilful in producing Sindhi caps.

    Sindhi caps are manufactured commercially on a small scale at New Saeedabad and Hala New. These are in demand with visitors from Karachi and other places and these manufacturing units have very limited production due to lack of marketing facilities.

    The Sindhi Language

    Sindhī (Arabic script: سنڌي, Devanagari script: सिन्धी) is spoken by about 15 million people in the province of Sindh. The largest Sindhi-speaking city is Hyderabad, Pakistan. It is an Indo-European language, related to Urdu and other Indo-European languages prevalent in the region with substantial Arabic, Turkish and Persian loan words. In Pakistan it is written in a modified Arabic script.

    Places of interest

    Sindh has numerous tourist sites with the most prominent being the ruins of Mohenjo-daro near the city of Larkana. Islamic architecture is quite prominent in the province with the Jama Masjid in Thatta built by the Mughal emperor Shahjahan and numerous mausoleums dot the province including the very old Shahbaz Qalander mausoleum dedicated to the Iranian-born Sufi and the beautiful mausoleum of Muhammad Ali Jinnah known as the Mazar-e-Quaid in Karachi.

    Places of historical interest

    Gorakh Hill

    The Gorakh Hill is Highest Hill Point In Sindh among the Kerthar Mountain Range. Gorkah Hill Is located in North-west of District Dadu along with Balochistan Border. Gorakh Hill is under Develop Project. You reach Gorkah Hill Top from Dadu City with 4x4 Vehicles, which are available from Dadu and Johi. Gorakh Hill Top is 93Km From Dadu City, at the milestone of 17Km you reach the small city of Johi which is the Taluka of District Dadu, and Starting Point Of kacho Area and the milestone of 41Km you reach the last small town Before Gorakh Hill Wahi pandi which is the settled in the lap of Kerthar Mountain Range. After Wahi Pandi the Road is Towered Slowly at the milestone of 53Km you are Enter in Yaroo Pass (Yaroo Sain Jo Luck) after Crossing Yaroo Pass 2500ft Above See Laval and the journey continue in Mountains and at the milestone of 76Km you reach the Base camp of another Highest Pass of Kerthar Mountain Range it is Khanwal Pass the base camp is on elevation of 3000ft and the Top of Khanwal pass on the Elevation of 5000ft Above See Level. The Distance Between Khanwal Pass Base Camp To Khanwal Pass Top Is 4Km. The 4Km Journey is too zigzag. After reach the Top of Khanwal Pass Drive continue to Gorakh Hill Top which is the 13Km. At the Top Of Gorakh Hill you can stay in Rest House or Camping at top Because the Gorakh Hill Is Under Development Sindh Govt. have some project Like Hotel, Restaurants, and a chair lift at Top.

    Ranikot

    It is the largest fort of its kind in the region and in the world, It is situated in the of the Kirthar Range about 30 km southwest of Sann, Jamshoro district of Sindh, approximately 90 km north of Hyderabad, in Pakistan. It has an approximate diameter of 9 km. Its walls are on the average 6 meters high and are made of gypsum and lime cut sandstone and its total circumference is about 29 km of which 8 km walls are man-made. While originally constructed for bow and arrow warfare it was later expanded to withstand firearms.

    Bhambore

    About 64 km east of Karachi, on the National Highway, is an interesting archaeological site, Bhambore, originally the seaport of Debal where the young Arab warrior Mohammad Bin Qasim landed his armies in 711 AD. Three different periods in Sindh history coincide here: the Scytho-Parthians, the Hindu-Buddhist and the early Islamic. There is a museum and a rest house at the site.

    Chaukundi Tombs

    The Chaukundi Tombs are attributed to Jokhio and Baloch tribes and were build between 15th and 18th centuries. It is situated 20km east of Karachi.

    Thatta

    Once a famous center of learning, arts and commerce and provisional capital for about four centuries in the past, Thatta is situated 98 km east of Karachi. Today, it is notable for the Jamia Masjid built by the Moghal Emperor Shah Jehan, and the Makli Tombs (15th - 17th centuries), a vast necropolis spread over 15.5 km², depicting exquisite specimens of architecture, stone carvings and glazed tile decorations.

    Keenjhar Lake

    Some 24 km north of Thatta, is the large man-made Keenjhar Lake, which is 30 km long and 10 km wide. The lake has facilities for angling and boating. PTDC motels offer food and accommodation.

    Makli Hill or Makli Tombs

    One of the largest necropolises in the world, with a diameter of approximately 8 kilometers, the Makli Tombs are supposed to be the burial place of some 125,000 Sufi saints. It is located on the outskirts of Thatta, the capital of lower Sind until the seventeenth century, in what is the southeastern province of present-day Pakistan.

    Kirthar National Park

    Located about 48 km from Karachi in the midst of the barren rocks of the Kirthar Range in Dadu district, near Thano Boola Khan is Kirthar National Park. Designed and planned with the help of the research and planning group of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, the park is approved and recognized by international wildlife bodies. It is the last bastion of a wide variety of the region's wildlife that includes Sindh ibex, urial, deer, leopard, gray partridges and Houbara bustard. The Sindh Wildlife Management Board plans tours and provides transport from Karachi.

    Hyderabad

    Situated at about 164 km northeast of Karachi, Hyderabad was the capital of Sindh during the reign of the Talpur Mirs in the 18th and 19th centuries. Today, it is known for Mehran University of Engineering & Technology(MUET) and Sindh University, Jamshoro; the provincial museum; the Institute of Sindhology and the Sindhi Adabi Board and also for colourful handicrafts such as glass bangles, glazed tiles, lacquered wood furniture, handloom cloth called 'soosi', block-printed 'Ajrak', leather shoes, etc. Historic monuments include old Mud Fort, Sheikh Makai Fort, Kalhoro Monuments, Talpur Monuments and Miani Forest.

    Mir Shahdad jo Qubo

    Tomb of Mir Shahdad Talpur (who is regarded as one of the finest military commanders of Sindh) one of the historical heritages of Sindh is at Shahpur Chakar Distt: Sanghar. This is a graveyard of the family members of Mir Shahdad Talpur. Shahdadpur a big city of Province Sindh is named behind Mir Shahdad Talpur, whereas Shahpur Chakar is named behind his son Mir Chakar Talpur.yes

    Hala

    Hala is famous for its glazed pottery and enameled wood work. Situated on the National Highway about 56 km from Hyderabad, it is frequently visited by hundreds of devotees of Hazrat Makhdoom Noah (10th century Hijra), a contemporary of Mughal Emperor Akbar and a religious divine, who converted a large number of people of Islam and also translated the Quran into Persian which is one of its earliest Persian translations in South Asia.

    Bhitshah

    Situated at about 56 km from Hyderabad on the National Highway, Bhitshah is the resting place of Sindh's renowned saint and mystic poet Hazrat Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai (1689 - 1752). He is remembered for the compendium of his poetry called 'Risalo', a treasure house of wisdom as well as romantic folklore and fine pottery. He also founded a musical tradition of his own which is still popular. Devotees sing with fervor and frenzy his love-intoxicated Kafis to the strains of ek-tara (single string instrument) mainly on the occasion of his "Urs" held every year between 13th and 15th of Safar, the second Islamic lunar month.

    Sehwan

    Situated on the right bank of River Indus at a distance of 135 km from Hyderabad, Sehwan is an old town of pre-Islamic period. Here are the remains of Kafir-Qila, a fort reported to have been constructed by Alexander the Great. Sehwan is famous for the resting place of the great mystic poet, saint and scholar Shaikh Usman Marvandvi (1117 - 1274), popularly known as Shahbaz Qalandar whose mausoleum is visited by thousands of the devotees throughout the year. During the Urs celebrations (18th Shahban - the eighth Islamic lunar month), devotees dance rhythmically and with total abandon to the beat of drums (Naqqara Dhamal), finally ending in a spiritual trance.

    Manchar Lake

    About 16 km from Sehwan, Manchar, the largest fresh water lake in Asia, is as old as the Indus River. Spread over 254 km², it is a perfect spot for relaxing and the best location for duck-shooting during winter.

    Daraza Sharif

    Daraza Sharif, a small village, some 52 km from Khairpur, is known for the tomb of Sachal Sarmast who was a great master of Islamic learning, lived a pious life and composed poetry in Sindhi, Seraiki, Persian and Urdu. Sachal Sarmast's Urs is celebrated on 14th of Ramzan (9th month of Islamic lunar calendar).

    Kot Deji

    Kot Deji is regarded as one of the world's most important archaeological sites, dating back to 3000 BC, older than Moen-jo-daro and Harappa. Excavations made in 1955 unearthed an astoundingly well-organized city with a citadel that testifies to its being the finest fortified town in South Asia.

    Moen-jo-Daro

    About 563 km from Karachi off the Indus Highway lie the world-famous ruins of Moen-jo-Daro (the Mound of the Dead), now being preserved with UNESCO's help. The museum at Moen-jo-Daro is unique and a visit takes you back centuries back when the location was a civilized city and a busy river Port. Air and train services from Karachi and an air-conditioned rest house have been built there.

    Other places

    Among other historical sites are Amri, Umerkot (the birthplace of Mughal Emperor Akbar) and the legendary Arab city of Mansura near Shahdadpur in Sanghar District. Other interesting places include Matiari, town of old beautiful mosques and one of the centers of 'Ajrak'. On its outskirts lie the ruins of a Buddhist stupa. Nasarpur is famous for 'Khes', exquisite embroidery, decorative pottery, and wood work. It is also a holy place for the Hindu community.

    Famous people

    Note: Regarding those personalities who were born before 1947 and lived until after independence, the criteria used for judging which list to put them under is when did this person first make a name for themselves, e.g., Mohammad Ali Jinnah.

    Historical personalities

    Pre-Independence (pre-1947)

    Post-Independence (post-1947)

    Entertainment

    Sports

    Sindhi literature

    Akbar Laghari

    Famous poets

    See also

    References

    External links

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