Sindh

Sindh

(pronounced [sɪnd̪ʱ]; Sindhi: سنڌ; Urdu: سندھ) is one of the four provinces of Pakistan and historically is home to the Sindhi people. It is also locally known as the “Mehran”. The name of Sindh is derived from the Indus River that separates it from Balochistan and the greater Iranian Plateau. This river was known to the ancient Iranians in Avestan as Harauhuti, in Sanskrit as Sarasvati, to Assyrians (as early as the seventh century BC) as Sinda, to the Greeks as Indos, to the Romans as Indus, to the Persians as Ab-e-sind, to the Pashtuns as “Abasind”, to the Arabs as Al-Sind, to the Chinese as Sintow, and to the Javanese as the Santri.

Sindh is bounded to the west by the Indus River and Balochistan, to the north by Punjab, the east by the Indian states of Gujarat and Rajasthan and to the south by the Arabian Sea. The capital of the province is Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city and financial hub. Most of the population in the province is Muslim, with sizeable Christian, Zoroastrian and Hindu minorities. The main language spoken is Sindhi by about 40 million people, while there exists a significant Urdu-speaking minority.

Origin of the Name

The province of Sindh and the people inhabiting the region had been designated after the river known in ancient times as the Sindhu River, now known as the Indus River. In Sanskrit, síndhu means “river, stream”, and refers to the Indus river in particular. The Greeks who conquered Sindh in 325 BC under the command of Alexander the Great rendered it as Indós, hence the modern Indus. The ancient Iranians referred to everything east of the river Indus as hind from the word Sindh and when the British arrived here in the 17th century, they followed that example and applied the name to the entire subcontient calling it India, once again from the word Sindh.

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, located in National Museum of Pakistan, Karachi. Sindh’s 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 rivaled 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.

The Indus Valley civilization is the farthest visible outpost of archaeology in the abyss of prehistoric times. 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 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 in a highly organized manner. According to some accounts, there is no evidence of huge palaces, or burial grounds for the elite in the ruins of these ancient cities. The grand and presumably holy sites might have been the Great bath, which is built upon an artificially created elevation. This civilization is an indigenous civilization which met its downfall around the year 1700 BC. The collapse of the Indus Valley Civilization is still a hotly debated topic, and may have been caused by a massive earthquake, which dried up the Ghaggar River. As per some theories, the discovery of skeletons from the ruins of Mohen Jo Daro (mount of dead) indicate that the city was suddenly attacked causing violent death and the wiping out of the populations.

Sindh finds mention in the Hindu epic Mahabharatha as being part of Bharatvarsha. Sindh was conquered by the Persian Achaemenid Empire in the sixth century BC. In the late 300s BC, 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 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 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 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 100s BC, Scythian tribes shattered the Greco-Bactrian empire and invaded the Indo-Greek lands. Unable to take the Punjab region, they seized Sistan and invaded South Asia by coming through Sindh, where they became known as Indo-Scythians (later Western Satraps). Subsequently, the Tocharian Kushan Empire annexed Sindh by the first century AD. Though the Kushans were Zoroastrian due to their former contacts with Persians, they were tolerant of the local Buddhist tradition and sponsored many building projects for local beliefs. Ahirs were also found in large numbers in Sindh.[9] Abiria country of Abhira tribe was located in South of Sindh. The Kushan Empire were defeated in the mid 200s AD by the Sassanid Empire of Persia, who installed vassals known as the Kushanshahs. These rulers were defeated by the Kidarites in the late 300s. It then came under Gupta Empire after dealing with the Sassanis.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. After overthrowing of Hunas, after a subsequent period of time Sindh came under Emperor Harshavardhan’s rule. Later, Sindh came under the Rai Dynasty around 478 AD. 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 capitol.

Arrival of Islam

Manuscript Written during Abbasid Era.
A manuscript written during the Abbasid Era.

In 711 AD, madad ullah nizamani 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 province of the Umayyad Caliphate and was referred to as “Al-Sindh” 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 Sindhi, Abu Raja Sindhi and Sind ibn Ali. At the port city of Debal most of the Bawarij embraced Islam and became known as Sindhi Sailors; they became famous due to their skills in: navigation, geography and languages. After Bin Qasim left the Ummayads ruled Sindh through the Habbari dynasty.

By the year 750 AD, Debal 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 power struggle between the Ummayyads and the Abbasids. The Habbari Dynasty became semi independent and was eliminated and Mansura was invaded by Mahmud Ghaznavi. Sindh then became an eastern most province of the Abbasid Caliphate ruled by the Soomro Dynasty until the Siege of Baghdad (1258).It should be noted that 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, al-Biruni, Saadi Shirazi, Ibn Battutah and Katip Çelebi wrote about or visited the region, sometimes using the name “Sindh” for the entire area from the Arabian Sea to the Hindu Kush.

Soomro Period

When Sindh was under the Ummayad caliphate, the Habbari dynasty was in control. The Ummayads appointed Aziz al Habbari as the governor of sindh. Habbaris ruled sindh until Mahmud Ghaznavi defeated the Habbari’s in 1024. Mahmud Ghaznavi viewed the Abbasids to be the Caliphs thus he removed the remaining influence of the Ummayad Caliphate in the region and Sindh fell to Abbasid control following the defeat of the Habbari’s. The Abbasid caliphate then made Al Khafif from Samarra, the term ‘Soomera’ means ‘of Samarra’ in sindhi. The new governor of Sindh was to a created 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 Soomra Dynasty in Sindh and became its first king. Until the Siege of Baghdad (1258) the soomra dynasty was the Abbasid Caliphate’s functionary in sindh but after that it became independent. Since then some soomra’s intermarried with local women and adopted some local customs as well. They were the first Muslims to translate the Qur’an into the Sindhi language.

When The Soomra Dynasty lost ties with the Abbasid Caliphate after the Siege of Baghdad (1258) and the Soomro kings Soomar, Bhoongar and Dodo-1, established their rule from the shores of the Arabian Sea to Multan, Bahawalpur, Sadiqabad and Uch in the north and in the east to Rajistan and in the west to Balochistan. The Soomros were one of the first Muslims in Sindh. They created a chivalrous culture in Sindh which eventually facilitated their rule centered at Mansura. Puran was later abandoned due to changes in the course of the Puran River; they ruled for the next 95 years until 1351 AD. 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 Soomro’s Successfully defended their Kingdom for about 100 years but their Dynasties Soon fell to the Might of the massive armies Sultans of Delhi such as the Tughluks and the Khiljis

Samma Period

The Samma period is known for pioneering of Sindhi folklore and literature. In 1339 Jam Unar founded a Sindhi Muslim 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 also 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 famous poet Kazi Kadal, Sardar Darya Khan, Moltus Khan, Makhdoom Bilwal and the theologian Kazi Kazan. 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.

Mughal Period

The famous Pacco Qillo became one of the largest military garrisons in the region during the Mughal Era. In the year 1524, the few remaining Sindhi Amirs welcomed the Mughal Empire and Babur dispatched his forces to defeat the Arghuns and the Tarkhans, who had violated the liberties of the inhabitants of the province. In the coming centuries Sindh became a region fiercely loyal to the Mughals. A network of forts manned by cavalry and musketeers further extended Mughal power in Sindh. In 1540 a deadly 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. She gave birth to the infant Akbar at Umarkot in the year 1542. In 1556 the Ottoman Admiral Seydi Ali Reis visited Humayun; various regions of the South Asia including Sindh (Makran coast and the Mehran delta) are mentioned in his book Mirat ul Memalik. The Portuguese navigator Fernão Mendes Pinto claims that Sindhi sailors joined the Ottoman Admiral Kurtoğlu Hızır Reis on his expedetion to Aceh in 1565.

During the reign of Akbar, Sindh produced various scholars such as 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). It was also during the Mughal period when Sindhi literature began to flourish and historical figures such as Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai and Sachal Sarmast became prominent throughout the land. In the year 1603 Shah Jahan visited the province 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. Also during his reign, in the year 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. Sindh was also home to very famous wealthy merchant-rulers such as Mir Bejar of Sindh, whose great wealth had attracted the alliance of Sultan bin Ahmad of Oman. After the death of Aurangzeb, the Mughal Empire and its institutions began to decline. Various warring Nawabs took control of vast territories; they ruled independently of the Mughal Emperor.

In the year 1701 the Nawab Kalhora were authorized in a firman by the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb to administer the province of Sindh. In 1739, Main Noor Mohammad Kalhoro challenged the invader Nadir Shah but failed according to legend. To avenge the massacre of his allies, the capture of Main Noor Mohammad Kalhoro and the abduction of his sons.Main Noor Mohammad Kalhoro sent a small force to assassinate Nadir Shah and turn events in favor of the Mughal Emperor during the Battle of Karnal in 1739, but remained unsuccessful. In 1762, Mian Ghulam Shah Kalhoro brought stability in Sindh, he reorganized the province 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, however due to the lack of internal stability the Kalhoras could not continue further conquests. In the year 1783 Mughal Emperor Akbar Shah II issued a Firman, which designated Mir Fateh Ali Khan Talpur as the new Nawab of Sindh, and mediated peace particularly after the ferocious Battle of Halani and the defeat of the ruling Kalhora by the Talpur tribes.

British Period

In the year 1802 as Mir Ghulam Ali Khan Talpur succeeded as the Nawab internal tension broke out in the province and in the year 1803, prompting the Mahratta declare war of aggression against Sindh and Berar Subah, in which Arthur Wellesley took a leading role. Causing much early suspicion between the Emirs of Sindh and the British Empire. The British 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…the city has 3000 looms…the textiles of Sind were the flower of the whole produce of the East, the international commerce of Sind 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…”

British and Bengal Presidency forces under General Charles James Napier arrived in Sindh in the nineteenth century and conquered Sindh in 1843. The Sindhi coalition led by Talpurs and other Sindhi tribes under Mir Nasir Khan Talpur were defeated in the Battle of Miani, during which 50,000 Sindhis were killed. Shortly afterward, Hoshu Sheedi commanded another army at the Battle of Dubbo, where 5,000 Sindhis were killed. The first Agha Khan helped the British in their conquest of Sindh, and as result he was granted a lifetime pension. A British Journal by Thomas Postans, mentions the captive Sindhi Amirs: “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 British divided Sindh into districts. In each district they recognized a wadera or aristocrat. Sindh was made a part of the Bombay Presidency. 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 highly offensive. A powerful unrest followed, after which Twelve Martial Laws were imposed by the British authorities. Finally the decision was reversed by the British administration and Sindh became a separate province in 1935. Sibghatullah Shah Rashidi pioneered the famous Sindhi Muslim, Hur Freedom Movement against colonialists for the freedom of Sindh. Sibghatullah Shah Rashidi was hanged on 20 March 1943 in Hyderabad, Sindh. His burial place is not known. During the British period, railways, printing presses and bridges were introduced in the province. Writers like Mirza Kalich Beg compiled and traced the literary history of Sindh.

Pakistan Resolution in the Sindh Assembly

Muhammad Ali Jinnah, spoke five languages including Sindhi, Kutchi, Urdu, Gujarati, and English.

Jinnah of Pakistan

The Sindh assembly was the first British Indian legislature to pass the resolution in favour of Pakistan. Influential Sindhi activists under supervision of G.M. Syed and other important leaders at the forefront of the provincial autonomy movement, joined the Muslim League in 1938 and presented the Pakistan resolution in the Sindh Assembly. In 1890 Sindh acquired representation for the first time in the Bombay Legislative Assembly. Four members represented Sindh. Those leaders and many others from Sindh played an important role in ensuring the separation of Sindh from the Bombay Presidency, which finally took place on 1 April 1936. The newly created province, Sindh, secured a Legislative Assembly of its own, elected on the basis of communal and minorities’ representation. Sir Lancelot Graham was appointed as the first Governor of Sindh by the British Government on 1 April 1936. He was also the Head of the Council, which comprised 25 Members, including two advisors from the Bombay Council to administer the affairs of Sindh until 1937. The British ruled the area for a century. According to Richard Burton, Sindh was one of the most restive provinces during the British Raj and was home to many prominent Muslim leaders such as Ubaidullah Sindhi and Muhammad Ali Jinnah who strove for greater Muslim autonomy.

Creation of Pakistan

On 14 August 1947, Pakistan gained independence from British colonial rule. The province of Sindh attained self-rule for the first time since the defeat of Sindhi Talpur Amirs in the Battle of Miani on 17 February 1843. The first major challenge faced by the Government of Pakistan was the settlement of over 2 million Muhajirs from India who began migrating into Pakistan. Unlike many other parts of the Indian Sub continent which were in the grip of severe rioting due to partition of India, Sindh did not witness massive rioting, and migration of Hindus from Sindh was fractional as a large number stayed back. Ever since the independence of Pakistan, Sindh has produced some of the country’s most influential personalities. More emphasis however needs to be placed on its rural areas and the status of education in the province.

Geography and climate

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 140,915 square kilometres (54,408 sq mi) 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.

Gorakh Hill Top in Sindh
Gorakh Hill Top- Sindh

Sindh lies in a tropical to subtropical region; it is hot in the summer and mild to warm 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 in the northern and higher elevated regions. 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 the Himalayan mountains—and escapes the influence of both. The region’s scarcity of rainfall is compensated by the inundation of the Indus twice a year, caused by the spring and summer melting of Himalayan snow and by rainfall in the monsoon season. These natural patterns have recently changed somewhat with the construction of dams and barrages on the Indus River.

Beautiful Beach of Manora
Manora Beach- Karachi

Sindh is divided into three climatic regions: Siro (the upper region, centred on Jacobabad), Wicholo (the middle region, centred on Hyderabad), and Lar (the lower region, centred on Karachi). The thermal equator passes through upper Sindh, where the air is generally very dry. Central Sindh’s temperatures are generally lower than those of upper Sindh but higher than those of lower Sindh. Dry hot days and cool nights are typical during the summer. Central Sindh’s maximum temperature typically reaches 43–44 °C (109–111 °F). Lower Sindh has a damper and humid maritime climate affected by the southwestern winds in summer and northeastern winds in winter, with lower rainfall than Central Sindh. Lower Sindh’s maximum temperature reaches about 35–38 °C (95–100 °F). In the Kirthar range at 1,800 m (5,900 ft) and higher at Gorakh Hill and other peaks in Dadu District, temperatures near freezing have been recorded and brief snowfall is received in the winters.

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.

Dolphin in Indus River
Indus River Dolphin

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 delta 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), Blackbuck, wild sheep (urial or gadh) and black bear are found in the western rocky range, whereas the Leopard is now rare and the Asiatic Cheetah already extinct. 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, eastern Nara channel and Karachi backwater. 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 Sindh coast. The pallo (sable fish), a marine fish, ascends the Indus annually from February to April to spawn. The Indus river dolphin is among the most endangered species in Pakistan and is found in the part of the Indus river in northern Sindh. Hog deer and wild bear occur particularly in the central inundation belt. There are also varieties of bats, lizards, and reptiles, including the cobra, lundi (viper). Some unusual sightings of Asian Cheetah occurred in 2003 near the Balochistan Border in Kirthar mountains. 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. Crocodiles are rare and inhabit only the backwaters of the Indus, the eastern Nara channel and some population of Marsh crocodiles can be very easily seen in the waters of Haleji Lake near Karachi. 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. The rare Houbara Bustardalso find Sindh’s warm climate suitable to rest and mate. Unfortunately, it is being hunted by locals and foreigners alike.

Kirthar National Park
Kirthar National Park- Sindh

Although Sindh has a semi arid climate, through its coastal and riverine forests, its huge fresh water lakes and mountains and deserts, Sindh supports a large amount of varied wildlife. Due to the semi arid climate of Sindh the left out forests support an average population of jackals and snakes. The national parks established by the Government of Pakistan in collaboration with many organizations such as World Wide Fund for Nature and Sindh Wildlife Department support a huge variety of animals and birds. The Kirthar National Park in the Kirthar range spreads over more than 3000 km² of desert, stunted tree forests and a lake. The KNP supports Sindh Ibex, wild sheep (urial) and black bear along with the rare leopard. There are also occasional sightings of The Sindhi phekari, ped lynx or Caracal cat. There is a project to introduce tigers and Asian elephants too in KNP near the huge Hub Dam Lake. Between July and November when the monsoon winds blow onshore from the ocean, giant Olive Ridley turtles lay their eggs along the seaward side. The turtles are protected species. After the mothers lay and leave them buried under the sands the SWD and WWF officials take the eggs and protect them until they are hatched to protect them from predators.

Demographics and society

Sindh Demographic Indicators

Indicator

Statistic

Urban population

49.50%

Rural population

50.50%

Population growth rate

2.80%

Gender ratio (male per 100 female)

112.24

Economically active population

22.75%

Sindh has the 2nd highest Human Development Index out of all of Pakistan’s provinces at 0.628.[25] The 1998 Census of Pakistan indicated a population of 30.4 million. Just under half of the population are urban dwellers, mainly found in Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Mirpurkhas, Nawabshah District, Umerkot and Larkana. Sindhi is the sole official language of Sindh since the 19th century. According to the 1998 Population Census of Pakistan[citation needed], Sindhi-speaking households make up 63.7% of Sindh’s population; Urdu-speaking households make up 18.1%; Punjabi 7.0%; Pashto 4.2%; Balochi 2.0%; Saraiki 1.0% and other languages 5.0%. Other languages include Gujarati, Memoni, Kutchi (last one being the dialect of Sindhi), Khowar, Thari, Persian/Dari, Luri and Brahui.

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

35,439,893

48.75%

2010

60,000,000

57.5%

The Sindhis as a whole are composed of original descendants of an ancient population known as Sammaat, various sub-groups related to the Baloch origin are found in interior Sindh and to a lesser extent Sindhis of Pashtun origins. Sindhis of Balochi origins make up about 60% of the total Sindhi population (they however speak Sindhi as their native tongue), while Urdu-speaking Muhajirs make over 20% of the total population of the province. Also found in the province are groups of Sindhi tribes claiming descent from early Muslim settlers including Arabs, and Persian.

Religion

Sindh’s population is mainly Muslim (91.32%), and Sindh is also home to nearly all (93%) of Pakistan’s Hindus, who form 6.5% of the province’s population. A large number of Hindus migrated to India during the Partition of India in response to the influx of Muhajirs from India.

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. The government is presided over by the Chief Minister of Sindh. Most of the Sindhi tribes in the province are involved in Pakistan’s politics. Sindh is a stronghold of the centre-left Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), which is the largest political party in the province.

Districts

Districts of Sindh, Pakistan

There are 23 districts in Sindh, Pakistan.[27]

  1. Karachi
  2. Jamshoro
  3. Thatta
  4. Badin
  5. Tharparkar
  6. Umerkot
  7. Mirpur Khas
  8. Tando Allahyar
  9. Naushahro Feroze
  10. Tando Muhammad Khan
  11. Hyderabad
  12. Sanghar
  13. Khairpur
  14. Benazirabad
  15. Dadu
  16. Qambar Shahdadkot
  17. Larkana
  18. Matiari
  19. Ghotki
  20. Shikarpur
  21. Jacobabad
  22. Sukkur
  23. Kashmore

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