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Sindh (Sindhī: سنڌ, Urdū: 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 people who migrated from India at the time of independence and partition as well as the people migrated from other provinces after independence. Neighbouring regions are Balochistan to the west and north, Punjab in 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 Abisind, the Greeks Sinthus, the Romans Sindus, the Chinese Sintow, while the Arabs dubbed it Sind. It is mentioned to be a part of Abhirrdesh (Abhira Kingdom) in Srimad Bhagavatam. Historically it was also known as Aparanta. Sindh was the first place where Islam spread in South Asia. As a result, it is often referred to as "Bab-al-Islam" (Gate of Islam).
GeographySindh 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, Shahdadkot, Kamber Ali Khan, Sehwan, Mirpukhas, Larkano,Nawabshah, Shikarpur, Khairpur Mir's, Nawabshah, Kashmor, Dadu, Umerkot, Tharparkar, Jacobabad, Ghotki, Ranipur, Gambat, (Jam Shoro) (Tando Muhammed Khan)(Tando Allah Yar)Sobhodero, Hingorja, Nao shahro Feroz, Moro, Qazi Ahmed and Sehtharja.
ClimateA 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 societyThe 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, Ubauro and Larkana. Sindhi is the sole official language of Sindh since the 19th century. The British required all officers posted to Sindh to become fluent in Sindhi upon posting to Sindh. In 1972, the first elected Sindh assembly since the dissolution of the province restored this status but successive governments have failed to implement the law and many officials in the Sindh government cannot speak, read or write the language. Large sections of the population speak Sindhi and Urdu languages with other languages spoken including Siraiki, Kutchi (both dialects of Sindhi), Balochi, Brahui, Punjabi, Pashto, Rajasthani, Persian/Dari, Khowar and Gujarati. The urban areas of Sindh are dominated by Muhajir Urdu as well as by migrant workers from peripheral provinces; and the rural areas consisting of predominantly Sindhi people. Due to this ethnic composition, Sindh has become a highly polarized province. It is estimated that Urdu speaking Muhajirs make up 15% and native Sindhis make up 65% of the total population of Sindh, and Balochis, Pashtuns and Panjabis a significant part of the rest. The chief tribes of Sindh are Jats and Rajputs, while Balochis and Urdu-speaking Muhajirs are more recent immigrants. Both Balochi Sindhi and natives speak Sindhi language as their mother tongue. By language, Sindhi speakers make up 70% and Urdu speakers make up 13%, while 17% of the total population of Sindh speaks Pashto, Panjabi, Balochi, Seraiki, Thari, Persian, Kutchi, Gujarati, and Bengali. The Punjabis and Pashtuns form the third and fourth biggest community in Sindh after the Sindhis and the Muhajirs. Sindh's population is predominantly Muslim, but Sindh is also home to nearly all of Pakistan's Hindus, numbering roughly 1.8 million. However, most Sindhi Hindus migrated to India at the time of the Partition. Smaller groups of Christians, Parsis or Zoroastrians, Ahmadis, 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 Siraiki or Baloch origin are found in interior Sindh. Sindhis of Balochi origin make up about 30% of the total population of Sindh, while immigrant Urdu speaking Muhajirs make up 15% 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, Jews, Afghans and Persians. Most of the urban population of Sindh including Karachi and Hyderabad are descendants of people who migrated to Pakistan in 1947. and are called Muhajirs or Urdu-speaking people.
HistoryIn ancient times, the territory of the modern Sindh province was sometimes known as Sovira (or Souveera) 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 denoting that the bulk of that civilization's cotton was predominantly 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 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 'Sindu' being pronounced and written as 'Hindu'. They introduced the Kharoshti script and links to the west in the region.
Subsequently conquered by Greeks led by Alexander the Great, the region came under loose Greek control for a few decades. After Alexander's death, there was a brief period of Seleucid rule. Sindh was then conquered by the Mauryans led by Chandragupta in 305 BCE.
Later, during the reign of the Buddhist king Ashoka the region would solidly become a Buddhist domain. Following a century of Mauryan rule which ended by 232 BCE, the region came under the Greco-Bactrians based in what is today Afghanistan. These rulers also converted to Buddhism and spread it in the region.
The Scythians shattered the Greco-Bactrians fledgling empire. 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 Huns and remnants of the Kushans, Scythians, and the Sassanid Persians all exercised some degree of control in 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 first time when Muslim armies had entered Sindh. The Islamic army defeated the Hindu king of Sindh Raja Rasil on the western bank of the river Indus. The armies of Raja accordingly retreated to interior Sindh. Caliph Umar, on getting the information about the miserable conditions of Sindh stopped his armies from crossing the river Indus and, instead, ordered them to consolidate their position in Makran and Baluchistan. Caliph Umar's successor 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 from entering Sindh. During the Rashidun Caliphate only the south western part of Sindh around the western bank of river Indus, and some northern parts near the frontiers of Baluchistan remained under the rule of the Islamic empire. It 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. Ironically, these resemble the current border between the two nations of Pakistan and India. The defeat of the Brahmin ruler Raja Dahir was made easier by the tension between the Buddhist majority and the ruling Brahmins' 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 travelers also sometimes used the name "Sindh" for the entire area from the Arabian Sea to the Hindu Kush. The meaning of the word Sindhu being water (or ocean) appears to refer to the Indus river.
In addition, there is a mythological belief among Muslims that four rivers had sprung from Heaven: Neel (Nile), Furat (Euphrates), Jehoon (Jaxartes) and Sehoon (Sindh or in modern times the Indus).
Arab rule ended with the ascension of the Soomro dynasty, who were local Sindhi Muslims, and who controlled the province directly and as vassals 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 forces under General Charles Napier arrived in Sindh in the 19th century and conquered it in 1843. It is said that he sent back to the Governor General a one-word message, "Peccavi" – Latin for "I have sinned". In actual fact, this pun first appeared 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 'Wadara' to collect taxes for the British (a system already used under 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 strived for greater Muslim autonomy.
In 1947, when the British left, Pakistan was created from the partitioning of British India. All of Sindh was allotted to Pakistan. In 1947, 25 per cent of the population of Sindh was Hindu Sindhi. Most of the Hindu Sindhis were city dwellers and were largely occupied with trade and commerce. They were responsible for the export of products made in Sindh and contributed significantly to the economy of Sindh. When the partition of British India occurred the Sindhi Hindus expected to remain in Sindh. Generally, there were good relation between Hindu Sindhis and Muslims Sindhis. When large waves of Indian Muslims started to arive into Sindh, violence erupted on the streets, possibly due to the local population largely being conservative. The Hindu Sindhis fled Sindh, leaving everything behind. Popati Hirandani who was a Sindhi Hindu tells in her autobiography that the Police were merely onlookers when violence erupted and they did not protect the Hindus' community. Many Hindu Sindhis wanted to return to their native Sindh when the violence settled down, but this was not possible as the border between India and Pakistan was sealed. Property belonging to the Hindus was appropriated by the Mohajirs in the same manner that their properties in India were given to Hindu refugees. Hindu Sindhis are scattered throughout the world and many feel like a stateless people and still regard Sindh as their homeland, Sindhis in India have resisted attempts to have the word Sindh removed from the Indian national anthem, though Sindh lies entirely within Pakistan. It should be noted, that many Sindhi Hindus still reside in the province of Sindh and relations have considerably improved.
In later years, Sindh has been the destination of a continuous stream of illegal immigration from South Asian countries, Burma, and Afghanistan, including Bengali, Pashtun and Punjabi immigrants to Karachi. Many native Sindhis resent this influx. Nonetheless, traditional Sindhi families remain prominent in Pakistani politics, especially the Bhutto and Soomro dynasties.
In recent years native Sindhi dissatisfaction has grown over issues such as illegal immigration, control of the natural resources of gas, petrol and coal, the construction of large dams, perceived discrimination in military/government jobs, provincial autonomy, and admission to educational institutes. Many Sindhis also resent the success of well educated, liberal newcomers, such as entrepreneurial Indian Muslims (racistly referred by natives as mahajirs), and industrialist Punjabis. They may also resent the overwhelming dominance of Pashtuns in security and Karachi's public transportation.
Pakistan Resolution in the Sindh AssemblyThe Sindh assembly was the first 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.
GovernmentThe Provincial Assembly of Sindh is unicameral and consists of 168 seats of which 5% are reserved for non-Muslims and 17% for women.
DistrictsThere are 23 districts in Sindh, Pakistan.
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.
VegetationThe 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.
Flora and faunaAmong 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.
EducationThe 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. 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 craftsThe 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.
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 Indian sub continent 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 LanguageSindhī (Arabic script: سنڌي, Devanagari script: सिन्धी) is spoken by about 15 million people in the province of Sind. The largest Sindhi-speaking city is Hyderabad, Pakistan. It is an Indo-European language, related to Urdu and other Indo-European language 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.
- Shrine of Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai @ Bhit Shah.
- Shrine of Shahbaz Qalander @ Sehwan.
- Ruins of Mohenjo-daro & Museum near Larkana.
- Ranikot Fort near Sann.
- Aror (ruins of historical city) near Sukkur.
- Mazar-e-Quaid Karachi.
- Kahu-Jo-Darro near Mirpurkhas.
- Sadhu Bela Temple near Sukkur.
- Minar-e-Mir Masum Shah @ Sukkur.
- Mohatta Palace Museum @ Karachi.
Places of historical interest
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 DejiKot 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 Asian subcontinent.
Moen-jo-DaroAbout 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 placesAmong other historical sites are Amri, Umerkot (the birthplace of 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.
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 before 1947.
- Muhammad Ali Jinnah
- Fatima Jinnah
- Pir Pagaro
- Aga Khan III
- Seth Edulji Dinshaw
- Sir Shah Nawaz Bhutto
- Allama I. I. Kazi
- Elsa Kazi
- Khan Bahadur Ghulam Nabi Kazi
- Khan Bahadur Muhmmad Ayub Khuhro
- Sir Abdullah Haroon
- Shamsul Ulema Dr U M Daudpota
- Pir Illahi Bakhsh
- Sir Ghulam Hussain Hidayatullah
- Allah Bux Soomro
- Abdul Sattar Pirzada
- Khan Sahib Ali Bux Channa
- Nana Ghulam Ally
- Jamshed Nusserwanjee
- Nadirshaw Edulji Dinshaw
- Khan Bahadur Allah Bux Gabole
- Habib Ibrahim Rahimtoola
- Sayed Miran Muhammad Shah
- Lal Krishna Advani
- Sardar Mohammad Usman Soomro
- Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto
- Yusuf Haroon
- Mohammad Khan Soomro
- Muhammad Khan Junejo
- Benazir Bhutto
- Shaikh Ayaz
- Mustafa Kamal
- N M Uquaili
- Abdul Hafeez Pirzada
- A G N Kazi
- Muzaffar Hussain
- A K Brohi
- Sardar Mohammad Ali Soomro
- Justice Tufail Ali Abdul Rehman
- Justice Abdul Kadir Sheikh
- Justice Sajjad Ali Shah
- Justice Mamoon Kazi
- Asif Ali Zardari
- Aftab Shaaban Mirani
- Ahmed Hussain A Kazi
- Justice Fakhruddin G Ebrahim
- Justice Abdul Hafeez Memon
- Dr. Abdul Wahid Soomro
- Air Marshal M Azim Daudpota
- Justice Z.A. Channa
- Saifudin A. Channa
- Muhammad Mian Soomro
- Mohammad Ayaz Soomro
- Dr Mutawakkil Kazi
- Sanaullah Soomro
- Shamshad Akhtar
- Dr. Nabi Bux Laghari Baloch
- G.M. Syed
- Pir Husamuddin Shah Rashidi
- Dr. Daudpota
- Dr. Fahmida Hussain
- Pir Ali Muhammad Shah Rashidi
- Professor Amina Khamisani-Channa
- Akbar Laghari
- Muhammad Ibrahim Joyo
- Kalyan Advani
- Imdad Soomro
- Prof. Hotchand Moolchand Gurbaxani
- Mirza Kalich Baig
- Janbahadur Alhaj Muhammed Siddique Memon Nazir Ahmed Siddiqi
Famous PHDs in Computing Engineering
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