Qambar Shahdadkot District, located in Sindh, Pakistan, holds a significant historical and administrative background. This district, originally named after Shahdad Khan Khuhawar, was established on December 13, 2004, with its headquarters in Qambar.
- Formation and Name Controversy
- Historical Context
- Administrative Divisions
- Educational Landscape
- Geographical Features
- Biodiversity and Demographics
- Industrial and Economic Landscape
- History of Qambar-Shahdadkot
- Arts and Crafts
- Cuisine of Qambar-Shahdadkot
- Natural Beauty of Qambar-Shahdadkot
- Famous Landmarks
- Festivals and Celebrations
Formation and Name Controversy
Initially, Qambar and Shahdadkot were part of Larkana district. These areas were combined to form a new district, named Qambar Shahdadkot District, to facilitate administrative efficiency. The name underwent some controversy as the locals of Shahdadkot sought recognition, leading to the inclusion of “Shahdadkot” in the district’s name. Presently, there’s a renewed demand for a separate district encompassing Shahdadkot, Qubo Saeed Khan, and Sijawal Junejo due to the inconvenience residents face while dealing with government offices located in Qambar.
The district’s creation in 2004 has been attributed to political motivations, aimed at reducing the influence of the Pakistan People’s Party in the region, which had a strong presence due to Shahdadkot’s association with Benazir Bhutto’s electoral constituency. This shift in administrative boundaries also benefitted local landlords. The inaugural elected nazim of the newly formed district was Nawab Shabbir Khan Chandio.
Covering a total area of 1,453,383 acres, Qambar Shahdadkot District is divided into seven tehsils: Qambar, Miro Khan, Shahdadkot, Warah, Sija Wal Junejo, Nasirabad, and Qubo Saeed Khan. Among these, Taluka Qambar boasts the largest area of 522,462 acres. The district encompasses 52 union councils, two municipal committees, and seven town committees. The district government is organized into various departments, including health, education, works and services, finance and planning, community development, revenue, and agriculture.
As of a survey conducted in 2010-2011 by the Sindh Education Management Information System, Qambar Shahdadkot District hosts 377 boys’ schools, 306 girls’ schools, and 997 co-educational institutions. These schools cater to a student population of 195,774, with 4,239 teachers. However, the district faces challenges like closed schools and disparities between rural and urban areas.
Qambar Shahdadkot District shares its borders with three Balochistan districts—Khuzdar, Jaffarabad, and Jhal Magsi—on the west, while Dadu District is situated to the south. District Larkana lies to the east, and district Jacobabad to the north. The district’s landscape encompasses vast plains, agricultural lands, the formidable Kirthar mountain range, and several wetlands, including Hamal, Drigh, and Langh lakes.
Biodiversity and Demographics
The Khirthar range hosts a national park, showcasing diverse wildlife species such as the Sindh wild goat, Indian fox, Egyptian vulture, Chinkara gazelle, and many others. The district’s population, as of the 2017 census, is 1,338,035. The majority religion is Islam, practiced by 99.21% of the population, while Hinduism constitutes 0.74%. Sindhi is the primary language spoken by 90.00% of residents, followed by Brahui at 8.00%.
Industrial and Economic Landscape
The district has a history of textile manufacturing, exemplified by the Shahdadkot Textile Mills, established in 1974. Political and financial challenges led to the decline of the mill’s fortunes over time. Presently, smaller industries such as electronics, agricultural tools, construction materials, and food processing contribute to the district’s economy. Notably, the embroidery cap cottage industry in Shahdadkot Taluka thrives both within and beyond the district’s boundaries.
History of Qambar-Shahdadkot
Qambar-Shahdadkot is named after two historical figures, Qambar Ali and Shahdad Khan. The area was ruled by various dynasties and empires, including the Arab Umayyad Caliphate and the Mughal Empire. During the British Raj, the tehsil was part of the Bombay Presidency. Qambar-Shahdadkot played a significant role in the 1857 Indian Rebellion, as it was an important center of the freedom movement. The tehsil is also known for its Sufi shrines, which attract pilgrims from all over Pakistan.
Arts and Crafts
Qambar-Shahdadkot has a rich tradition of arts and crafts. The people are skilled in embroidery, pottery, woodcarving, and mirror work. The Ajrak, a block-printed cloth, is a famous traditional craft of the tehsil. The embroidery work on clothes and bags is also popular. These arts and crafts are not only a means of livelihood for the people but also reflect the culture and heritage of Qambar-Shahdadkot.
Cuisine of Qambar-Shahdadkot
Qambar-Shahdadkot has a diverse cuisine that reflects the influence of various cultures. The traditional dishes of the tehsil include Biryani, Saag, Bhaji, and Lassi. The food is spicy and flavorful, and the use of local ingredients adds to its distinct taste. The hospitality of the people is also reflected in the way they serve their guests with various dishes.
Natural Beauty of Qambar-Shahdadkot
Qambar-Shahdadkot is blessed with natural beauty. The tehsil is surrounded by the Kirthar Mountains and is located near the Indus River. The area has fertile lands and is known for its agriculture. The people of Qambar-Shahdadkot also celebrate the spring season with the festival of Basant, where they fly kites and enjoy the blooming flowers.
Qambar-Shahdadkot is home to various historical landmarks. The Shrine of Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai, the famous Sufi poet, is located in the tehsil. The ancient city of Mohenjo-Daro, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is also nearby. The ruins of the city provide a glimpse into the Indus Valley Civilization, one of the oldest civilizations in the world.
Festivals and Celebrations
Festivals and celebrations are an integral part of Qambar-Shahdadkot’s culture. The Urs of Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai, the Basant Festival, and the Eid Festivals are some of the major celebrations. During these festivals, the people of Qambar-Shahdadkot showcase their cultural heritage through music, dance, and other traditional activities.
Exploring Qambar-Shahdadkot’s culture and charm provides an opportunity to learn about the unique customs and practices of the people living there. The dist’s rich history, cultural diversity, arts and crafts, cuisine, natural beauty, landmarks, festivals, and celebrations all contribute to its unique identity. It is important to encourage others to explore and learn more about Qambar-Shahdadkot and its culture.