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Sindh

Province of Islamic Republic of Pakistan

Top 10 Sindh related articles

Sindh

سندھ
سنڌ
From top, left to right: Jinnah Mausoleum/Mazar-e-Quaid, Sindh Madressatul Islam University, Ranikot Fort, Faiz Mahal, Nagan Chowrangi flyover, Ayub Bridge adjacent to Lansdowne Bridge
Seal
Nickname(s): 
Mehran (Gateway), Bab-ul-Islam (Gateway of Islam)
Location of Sindh in Pakistan
Coordinates: 26°21′N 68°51′E / 26.350°N 68.850°E / 26.350; 68.850Coordinates: 26°21′N 68°51′E / 26.350°N 68.850°E / 26.350; 68.850
Country  Pakistan
Established
CapitalKarachi
Largest cityKarachi
Government
 • TypeSelf-governing Province subject to the Federal government
 • BodyGovernment of Sindh
 • GovernorImran Ismail
 • Chief MinisterSyed Murad Ali Shah
 • Chief SecretaryMumtaz Ali Shah
 • LegislatureProvincial Assembly
 • High CourtSindh High Court
Area
 • Total140,914 km2 (54,407 sq mi)
Area rank3rd
Population
 (2017)[1]
 • Total47,886,051
 • Rank2nd
 • Density340/km2 (880/sq mi)
Demonym(s)Sindhi
Society
 • LanguagesSindhi and Urdu
Time zoneUTC+05:00 (PST)
ISO 3166 codePK-SD
Notable sports teamsKarachi Kings
Karachi United
Hyderabad Hawks
Karachi Dolphins
Karachi Zebras
HDI (2018)0.533 [2]
Low
Seats in National Assembly75
Seats in Provincial Assembly168[3]
Divisions7
Districts30
Tehsils138
Union Councils1108[4]
Websitesindh.gov.pk

Sindh (/ˈsɪnd/; Sindhi: سنڌ‎; Urdu: سندھ‎, pronounced [sɪnd̪ʰ]; historically romanised as Sind) is one of the four provinces of Pakistan. Located in the southeast of the country, Sindh is the third largest province of Pakistan by area and second largest province by population after Punjab. Sindh is bordered by Balochistan province to the west and Punjab to the north. Sindh also borders the Indian states of Gujarat and Rajasthan to the east and the Arabian Sea to the south. Sindh's landscape consists mostly of alluvial plains flanking the Indus River, the Thar desert in the eastern portion of the province along the border with India, and the Kirthar Mountains in the western part of Sindh.

Sindh's economy is Pakistan's second largest after Punjab, while its provincial capital Karachi is Pakistan's largest city and its main financial hub. Sindh is home to a large portion of Pakistan's industrial sector and contains two of Pakistan's busiest commercial seaports, Port Bin Qasim and the Karachi Port. The remainder of Sindh has an agriculture based economy and produces fruits, food consumer items and vegetables for the consumption of other parts of the country.[5][6][7]

Sindh is sometimes referred to as Bab-ul Islam, or "Gateway of Islam," as it was the earliest region in South Asia to Islamise, beginning with the arrival of Ummayad general Muhammad ibn Qasim 712 CE.[8][9] It largest ethnicity is the Sindhi people, although there are significant communities of other groups. The province is known for its distinct culture which is strongly influenced by Sufism, an important marker of Sindhi identity for both Hindus and Muslims.[10] Several important Sufi shrines are located throughout the province which attract millions of annual devotees.

Sindh is home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites – the Historical Monuments at Makli and the Archaeological Ruins at Mohenjodaro.[11]

Sindh Intro articles: 20

Name

The Greeks who conquered Sindh in 325 BC under the command of Alexander the Great referred to the Indus River as Indós, hence the modern Indus. The ancient Iranians referred to everything east of the river Indus as hind.[12][13] The word Sindh itself is a Persian word, which itself is a derivative of the Sanskrit term Sindhu, meaning "river" - a reference to Indus River.[14]

Southworth suggests that the name Sindhu is in turn derived from Cintu, a Dravidian word for date palm, a tree commonly found in Sindh.[15][16]

The previous spelling "Sind" (from the Perso-Arabic سند) was discontinued in 1988 by an amendment passed in Sindh Assembly,[17] and is now spelt "Sindh."

Sindh Name articles: 9

History

Prehistoric period

Extent and major sites of the Indus Valley Civilization in pre-modern Pakistan and India 3000 BC
The Priest-King from Mohenjo-daro, more than 4000 years old, in the National Museum of Pakistan, Larkana
Excavated ruins of Mohenjo-daro, Larkana

Sindh's first known village settlements date as far back as 7000 BC. Permanent settlements at Mehrgarh, currently in Balochistan, to the west expanded into Sindh. This culture blossomed over several millennia and gave rise to the Indus Valley Civilization around 3000 BC.

Indus Valley Civilisation

Sindh was the centre of the Indus Valley Civilisation, which rivaled the contemporary civilizations of Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia in size and scope, numbering nearly half a million inhabitants at its height with well-planned grid cities and sewer systems.

The primitive village communities in Balochistan were still struggling against a difficult highland environment, a highly cultured people was trying to assert itself at Kot Diji. This was one of the most developed urban civilizations of the ancient world. It flourished between the 25th and 15th centuries BC in the Indus valley sites of Mohenjo Daro and Harappa. The people had a high standard of art and craftsmanship and a well-developed system of quasi-pictographic writing which remains un-deciphered. The ruins of the well planned towns, the brick buildings of the common people, roads, public baths and the covered drainage system suggest a highly organized community.[18]

According to some accounts, there is no evidence of large palaces or burial grounds for the elite. The grand and presumably holy site might have been the great bath, which is built upon an artificially created elevation.[19] This civilization collapsed around 1700 BC for reasons uncertain; the cause is hotly debated and may have been a massive earthquake, which dried up the Ghaggar River. Skeletons discovered in the ruins of Moan Jo Daro ("mount of dead") were thought to indicate that the city was suddenly attacked and the population was wiped out,[20] but further examinations showed that the marks on the skeletons were due to erosion and not of violence.[21]

Early history

The ancient city of Roruka, identified with modern Aror/Rohri, was capital of the Sauvira Kingdom, and finds mentioned early Buddhist literature as a major trading center.[22] Sindh finds mention in the Hindu epic Mahabharata as being part of Bharatvarsha. Sindh was conquered by the Persian Achaemenid Empire in the 6th century BC. In the late 4th century BC, Sindh was conquered by a mixed army led by Macedonian Greeks under Alexander the Great. The region remained under control of Greek satraps for only 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 BC. During the rule of the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka, the Buddhist religion spread to Sindh.

Mauryan rule ended in 185 BC with the overthrow of the last king by the Shunga Dynasty. In the disorder that followed, Greek rule returned when Demetrius I of Bactria led a Greco-Bactrian invasion of India and annexed most of the northwestern lands, including Sindh. Demetrius was later defeated and killed by a usurper, but his descendants 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 2nd century BC, Scythian tribes shattered the Greco-Bactrian empire and invaded the Indo-Greek lands. Unable to take the Punjab region, they invaded South Asia through Sindh, where they became known as Indo-Scythians (later Western Satraps). By the 1st century AD, the Kushan Empire annexed Sindh. Kushans under Kanishka were great patrons of Buddhism and sponsored many building projects for local beliefs.[23] Ahirs were also found in large numbers in Sindh.[24] Abiria country of Abhira tribe was in southern Sindh.[25][26]

The Kushan Empire was defeated in the mid-3rd century AD by the Sassanid Empire of Persia, who installed vassals known as the Kushanshahs in these far eastern territories. These rulers were defeated by the Kidarites in the late 4th century.

It then came under the Gupta Empire after dealing with the Kidarites. By the late 5th century, attacks by Hephthalite tribes known as the Indo-Hephthalites or Hunas (Huns) broke through the Gupta Empire's northwestern borders and overran much of northwestern India. Concurrently, Ror dynasty ruled parts of the region for several centuries.

Afterwards, Sindh came under the rule of Emperor Harshavardhan, then the Rai Dynasty around 478. The Rais were overthrown by Chachar of Alor around 632. The Brahman dynasty ruled a vast territory that stretched from Multan in the north to the Rann of Kutch, Alor was their capital.

Arrival of Islam

Arab Muslim rule in Pakistan region
Sindh captured by the Umayyads:
  Expansion under Muhammad, 622–632
  Expansion during the Rashidun Caliphate, 632–661
  Expansion during the Umayyad Caliphate, 661–750

The connection between the Sindh and Islam was established by the initial Muslim missions during the Rashidun Caliphate. Al-Hakim ibn Jabalah al-Abdi, who attacked Makran in the year AD 649, was an early partisan of Ali ibn Abu Talib.[27] During the caliphate of Ali, many Jats of Sindh had come under the influence of Shi'ism[28] and some even participated in the Battle of Camel and died fighting for Ali.[27] Under the Umayyads (661 – 750 AD), many Shias sought asylum in the region of Sindh, to live in relative peace in the remote area. Ziyad Hindi is one of those refugees.[29]

Muhammad Ali Jinnah claimed that the Pakistan movement started when the first Muslim put his foot on the soil of Sindh, the Gateway of Islam in India.[30]

In 712, Muhammad bin Qasim conquered the Sindh and Indus Valley, bringing South Asian societies into contact with Islam. Raja Dahir Sen was an Hindu king that ruled over a Buddhist majority and that Chach of Alor and his kin were regarded as usurpers of the earlier Buddhist Rai Dynasty,[31][32] a view questioned by those who note the diffuse and blurred nature of Hindu and Buddhist practices in the region,[33] especially that of the royalty to be patrons of both and those who believe that Chach may have been a Buddhist.[34][35] The forces of Muhammad bin Qasim defeated Raja Dahir in alliance with the Hindu Jats and other regional governors.

In 711 AD, Muhammad bin Qasim led an Umayyad force of 20,000 cavalry and 5 catapults. Muhammad bin Qasim defeated the Raja Dahir and captured the cities of Alor, Multan and Debal. Sindh became the easternmost State of the Umayyad Caliphate and was referred to as "Sind" on Arab maps, with lands further east known as "Hind". Muhammad bin Qasim built the city of Mansura as his capital; the city then produced famous historical figures such as Abu Mashar Sindhi, Abu Ata al-Sindhi,[36] Abu Raja Sindhi. At the port city of Debal, most of the Bawarij embraced Islam and became known as Sindhi Sailors, who were renowned for their navigation, geography and languages. After Bin Qasim left, the Arab Caliphate ruled Sindh through the Governors.

By the year 750, Debal (modern Karachi) was second only to Basra; Sindhi sailors from the port city of Debal voyaged to Basra, Bushehr, Musqat, Aden, Kilwa, Zanzibar, Sofala, Malabar, Sri Lanka and Java (where Sindhi merchants were known as the Santri). During the Decline of the Abbasid Caliphate in 860s, the Habbari dynasty became semi-independent and was eliminated and Mansura was invaded by Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi. Sindh then again became an easternmost client State of the Later Abbasid Caliphs ruled by the Soomro Dynasty until the Siege of Baghdad (1258). Mansura was the first capital of the Soomra Dynasty and the last of the Habbari dynasty. Muslim geographers, historians and travelers such as al-Masudi, Ibn Hawqal, Istakhri, Ahmed ibn Sahl al-Balkhi, al-Tabari, Baladhuri, Nizami,[37] al-Biruni, Saadi Shirazi, Ibn Battutah and Katip Çelebi[38] wrote about or visited the region, sometimes using the name "Sindh" for the entire area from the Arabian Sea to the Hindu Kush.

Soomra dynasty period

When Sindh was under the Arab Umayyad Caliphate, the Arab Habbari dynasty was in control. The Umayyads appointed Aziz al Habbari as the governor of Sindh. Habbaris ruled Sindh until Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi defeated the Habbaris in 1024. Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi viewed the Abbasid Caliphate to be the caliphs thus he removed the remaining influence of the Umayyad Caliphate in the region and Sindh fell to Abbasid control following the defeat of the Habbaris. The Abbasid Caliphate then appointed Al Khafif from Samarra; 'Soomro' means 'of Samarra' in Sindhi. The new governor of Sindh was to create a better, stronger and stable government. Once he became the governor, he allotted several key positions to his family and friends; thus Al-Khafif or Sardar Khafif Soomro formed the Soomro Dynasty in Sindh;[39] and became its first ruler. Until the Siege of Baghdad (1258) the Soomro dynasty was the Abbasid Caliphate's functionary in Sindh, but after that it became independent.

When the Soomro dynasty lost ties with the Abbasid Caliphate after the Siege of Baghdad (1258,) the Soomra ruler Dodo-I established their rule from the shores of the Arabian Sea to the Punjab in the north and in the east to Rajasthan and in the west to Pakistani Balochistan. The Soomros were one of the first indigenous Muslim dynasties in Sindh of Parmar Rajput origin.[40] They were the first Muslims to translate the Quran into the Sindhi language. The Soomros created a chivalrous culture in Sindh, which eventually facilitated their rule centred at Mansura. It was later abandoned due to changes in the course of the Puran River; they ruled for the next 95 years until 1351. During this period, Kutch was ruled by the Samma Dynasty, who enjoyed good relations with the Soomras in Sindh. Since the Soomro Dynasty lost its support from the Abbasid Caliphate, the Sultans of Delhi wanted a piece of Sindh. The Soomros successfully defended their kingdom for about 36 years, but their dynasties soon fell to the might of the Sultanate of Delhi's massive armies such as the Tughluks and the Khaljis.

Samma Dynasty period

Makli Hill is one of the largest necropolises in the world.

In 1339 Jam Unar founded a Sindhi Muslim Rajput Samma Dynasty and challenged the Sultans of Delhi. He used the title of the Sultan of Sindh. The Samma tribe reached its peak during the reign of Jam Nizamuddin II (also known by the nickname Jám Nindó). During his reign from 1461 to 1509, Nindó greatly expanded the new capital of Thatta and its Makli hills, which replaced Debal. He patronized Sindhi art, architecture and culture. The Samma had left behind a popular legacy especially in architecture, music and art. Important court figures included the poet Kazi Kadal, Sardar Darya Khan, Moltus Khan, Makhdoom Bilawal and the theologian Kazi Kaadan. However, Thatta was a port city; unlike garrison towns, it could not mobilize large armies against the Arghun and Tarkhan Mongol invaders, who killed many regional Sindhi Mirs and Amirs loyal to the Samma. Some parts of Sindh still remained under the Sultans of Delhi and the ruthless Arghuns and the Tarkhans sacked Thatta during the rule of Jam Ferozudin.

Migration of Baloch

According to Dr. Akhtar Baloch, Professor at University of Karachi, and Nadeem Wagan, General Manager at HANDS, the Balochi migrated from Balochistan during the Little Ice Age and settled in Sindh and Punjab. The Little Ice Age is conventionally defined as a period extending from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries,[41][42][43] or alternatively, from about 1300[44] to about 1850.[45][46][47] According to Professor Baloch, the climate of Balochistan was very cold during this epoch and the region was uninhabitable during the winters so the Baloch people emigrated in waves to Sindh[48] and Punjab.

Mughal era

In the year 1524, the few remaining Sindhi Amirs welcomed the Mughal Empire and Babur dispatched his forces to rally the Arghuns and the Tarkhans, branches of a Turkic dynasty. In the coming centuries, Sindh became a region loyal to the Mughals, a network of forts manned by cavalry and musketeers further extended Mughal power in Sindh.[49][50] In 1540 a mutiny by Sher Shah Suri forced the Mughal Emperor Humayun to withdraw to Sindh, where he joined the Sindhi Emir Hussein Umrani. In 1541 Humayun married Hamida Banu Begum, who gave birth to the infant Akbar at Umarkot in the year 1542.[49][51]

During the reign of Akbar the Great, Sindh produced scholars and others such as Mir Ahmed Nasrallah Thattvi, Tahir Muhammad Thattvi and Mir Ali Sir Thattvi and the Mughal chronicler Abu'l-Fazl ibn Mubarak and his brother the poet Faizi was a descendant of a Sindhi Shaikh family from Rel, Siwistan in Sindh. Abu'l-Fazl ibn Mubarak was the author of Akbarnama (an official biographical account of Akbar) and the Ain-i-Akbari (a detailed document recording the administration of the Mughal Empire).

Shah Jahan carved a subah (imperial province), covering Sindh, called Thatta after its capital, out of Multan, further bordering on the Ajmer and Gujarat subahs as well as the rival Persian Safavid empire.

During the Mughal period, Sindhi literature began to flourish and historical figures such as Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai, Sulatn-al-Aoliya Muhammad Zaman and Sachal Sarmast became prominent throughout the land. In 1603 Shah Jahan visited the State of Sindh; at Thatta, he was generously welcomed by the locals after the death of his father Jahangir. Shah Jahan ordered the construction of the Shahjahan Mosque, which was completed during the early years of his rule under the supervision of Mirza Ghazi Beg. During his reign, in 1659 in the Mughal Empire, Muhammad Salih Tahtawi of Thatta created a seamless celestial globe with Arabic and Persian inscriptions using a wax casting method.[52][53]

Sindh was home to several wealthy merchant-rulers such as Mir Bejar of Sindh, whose great wealth had attracted the close ties with the Sultan bin Ahmad of Oman.[54]

In the year 1701, the Kalhora Nawabs were authorized in a firman by the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb to administer subah Sindh.

From 1752 to 1762, Marathas collected Chauth or tributes from Sindh.[55] Maratha power was decimated in the entire region after the Third Battle of Panipat in 1761. In 1762, Mian Ghulam Shah Kalhoro brought stability in Sindh, he reorganized and independently defeated the Marathas and their prominent vassal the Rao of Kuch in the Thar Desert and returned victoriously.

After the Sikhs annexed Multan, the Kalhora Dynasty supported counterattacks against the Sikhs and defined their borders.[56]

In 1783 a firman which designated Mir Fateh Ali Khan Talpur as the new Nawab of Sindh, and mediated peace particularly after the Battle of Halani and the defeat of the ruling Kalhora by the Talpur Baloch tribes.[57]

Talpurs

The Talpur dynasty was established by members of the Talpur tribe. The Talpur tribes migrated from Dera Ghazi Khan in Punjab to Sindh on the invitation of Kalhora to help them organize unruly Baloch tribes living in Sindh. Talpurs, who learned the Sindhi language, settled in northern Sindh. Very soon they united all the Baloch tribes of Sindh and formed a confederacy against the Kalhora Dynasty.

Four branches of the dynasty were established following the defeat of the Kalhora dynasty at the Battle of Halani in 1743:[58] one ruled lower Sindh from the city of Hyderabad, another ruled over upper Sindh from the city of Khairpur, a third ruled around the eastern city of Mirpur Khas, and a fourth was based in Tando Muhammad Khan. The Talpurs were ethnically Baloch,[59] and Shia by faith.[60] They ruled from 1783, until 1843, when they were in turn defeated by the forces of the East India Company at the Battle of Miani and Dubbo.[61] The northern Khairpur branch of the Talpur dynasty, however, continued to maintain a degree of sovereignty during the period colonial rule as the princely state of Khairpur,[59] whose ruler elected to join the new Dominion of Pakistan in October 1947 as an autonomous region, before being fully amalgamated in the West Pakistan in 1955.

Colonial period

Sindh became part of the Bombay Presidency in 1909.

In 1802, when Mir Ghulam Ali Khan Talpur succeeded as the Talpur Nawab, internal tensions broke out in the state. As a result, the following year the Maratha Empire declared war on Sindh and Berar Subah, during which Arthur Wellesley took a leading role causing much early suspicion between the Emirs of Sindh and the East India Company administration.[62] The East India Company made its first contacts in the Sindhi port city of Thatta, which according to a report was:

"a city as large as London containing 50,000 houses which were made of stone and mortar with large verandahs some three or four stories high ... the city has 3,000 looms ... the textiles of Sindh were the flower of the whole produce of the East, the international commerce of Sindh gave it a place among that of Nations, Thatta has 400 schools and 4,000 Dhows at its docks, the city is guarded by well armed Sepoys".

Bengal Presidency forces under General Charles James Napier arrived in Sindh in the mid-19th century and captured Sindh in February 1843.[63] The Baloch coalition led by Talpur under Mir Nasir Khan Talpur was defeated at the Battle of Miani during which 5,000 Talpur Baloch were killed in action. Shortly afterwards, Hoshu Sheedi commanded another army at the Battle of Dubbo, where 5,000 Baloch were also killed in action.

The first Agha Khan, who was escaping persecution in Persia and looking for an ally, helped the East India Company in their capture of Sindh. As a result, he was granted a lifetime pension.

A British journal[64] by Thomas Postans mentions the Sindhi Amirs as prisoners of war: "The Amirs as being the prisoners of 'Her Majesty'... they are maintained in strict seclusion; they are described as Broken-Hearted and Miserable men, maintaining much of the dignity of fallen greatness, and without any querulous or angry complaining at this unlivable source of sorrow, refusing to be comforted". Within weeks, Charles Napier and his forces occupied Sindh.

After 1853, the Company administraton divided Sindh into districts and later made it part of the Bombay Presidency.

In the year 1868, the Bombay Presidency assigned Narayan Jagannath Vaidya to replace the Abjad used in Sindhi, with the Khudabadi script. The script was decreed a standard script by the Bombay Presidency thus inciting anarchy in the Muslim majority region. A powerful unrest followed, after which twelve separate periods of martial law were imposed by the colonial government.[65]

During the period of Company rule,the city saw the rise of nationalist leaders such as Sibghatullah Shah Rashidi, who pioneered the Sindhi Muslim Hur Movement. He was hanged on 20 March 1943 in Hyderabad, Sindh. His burial place is unknown.

During the colonial period, railways, printing presses and bridges were introduced in the province. Writers like Mirza Kalich Beg compiled and traced the literary history of Sindh.

Although Sindh had a culture of religious syncretism, communal harmony and tolerance due to Sindh's strong Sufi culture in which both Sindhi Muslims and Sindhi Hindus partook,[66] the mostly Muslim peasantry was oppressed by the Hindu moneylending class and also by the landed Muslim elite.[67] Sindhi Muslims eventually demanded the separation of Sindh from the Bombay Presidency, a move opposed by Sindhi Hindus.[68][69][70]

By 1936 Sindh was separated from the Bombay Presidency. Elections in 1937 resulted in local Sindhi Muslim parties winning the bulk of seats. By the mid-1940s the Muslim League gained a foothold in the province and after winning over the support of local Sufi pirs,[71] it didn't take long for the overwhelming majority of Sindhi Muslims to campaign for the creation of Pakistan.[72][73]

Sindh History articles: 238