Sialkot is a city situated in the north-east of the
Punjab province in Pakistan at the foothills of the snow-covered peaks
of Kashmir near the Chenab river. It is the capital of Sialkot District
and, formerly, it has been the winter-capital of the State of Kashmir.
The city is about 125 km (78 mi) north-west of Lahore and only a few
kilometres from Indian-controlled Jammu. The recorded history of Sialkot
covers thousands of years. Sialkot has, since its foundation, changed
hands from Hindu, Buddhist, Persian, Greek, Afghan, Turk, Sikh and
British rule to that of present-day Pakistan.
Sialkot International Airport
There are various sources tracing the origins of
the city of Sialkot but the authenticity of many of these sources
varies. Excavations throughout the area have revealed large amounts of
Greek coins, ancient Zoroastrian temples and several Buddhist stupas.
The antiquities of Sialkot have also been discussed by Sir Alexander
Cunningham in his Archaeological Survey Reports, II, 21, 22, and XIV, 44
According to Hindu mythological scriptures, Siálkot
is believed to have been founded by Raja Sul or (Shalya), emperor of
Madradesa and brother of Madri, second wife of emperor Pandu and mother
to Nakul and Sahadeva. He was the uncle of the Pandavas, whose heroic
deeds are recorded in the epic Mahabharata. During the Mahabharata
period, Siálkot's name was Sakala or Sagala. After the death of Raja Sul,
some 5000 years ago, there is a tradition that the dynasty continued for
some 1500 years. The seasonal stream, known as the Aik Nala, that still
flows through the city, has been mentioned in the Upanishads. In the
late Vedic period (c. 1500 - c. 200 B.C.), Sákala (Siálkot) was the
capital of the Madras (Brihadaranyaka Upanishad). Sákaladvipa (island of
Sákala) was the name of the doáb (land lying between two rivers) between
Chandrabhága (Chenab) and Irávati (Ravi). In those early days, Sákala
was studded with thick forests and inhabited by a pastoral race called
Yahars or Yirs.
According to the Greek historical texts, which
bring mention of the city of Sialkot dating back to before 327 BC when
the city was known as Sagala, it represented the eastern-most outpost
and expansion of the Hellenic Empire created by Alexander the Great
which has been cross-correlated to ancient Greek maps of the era and
several monuments found in the Sialkot District. The Greek historians
state that the city was one of the most productive Silk regions of the
Achaemenid Empire. Punjab had earned a reputation of being one of the
richest satrapy (province), beside Gandhara, of the then Persian Empire.
Sákala or Sagala was the capital, or one of the capitals, of the
Indo-Greek Kingdom which broke-away from the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom
during the Euthydemid Dynasty, and the residence of Menander I (Milinda)
during his reign between 160 and 135 BC. Shun and Dall were two of the
most powerful tribes in Sialkot.
the Indo-Greek king, Menander, ruled in Sialkot
during the 2nd centuryAccording to Punjabi folk-lore, the early history
of Sialkot is closely interwoven with the traditions of Raja (King)
Sáliváhan, his son, Raja Rasálu, and his foe, Raja Húdi. A popular
belief is that the city was re-founded by Raja Sáliváhan or Sálbán when
it became a part of Kashmir under Raja Sama Dutt. Raja Sáliváhan built a
fort (Sialkot Fort) and the city and gave the place its present name. He
was of Sia caste (a Jat clan of Scythian origins), and it is believed
that the word "Sialkot" means the 'Fort of the Sia'. Legend also says
that Raja Sáliváhan had two sons: Puran and Rasalu. Puran got punished
by his father, Raja Sáliváhan, due to the actions of his wicked
stepmother and thrown into a well, still the resort of pilgrims near
Sialkot, called "Puran di Khui", (Puran's Well). A mohalla (town) in the
city is also named "Puran Nagar". The other son of Raja Sáliváhan,
Rasalu, became Raja after the death of Raja Sáliváhan. Attacks from the
neighbouring Raja of Jhelum ruined the city. Raja Rasalu got involved in
wars with Raja Hudi, popularly stated to have been a Gakkhar chieftain.
Being worsted in battle, Rasalu, as the price for peace, was forced to
give his daughter in marriage to his conqueror, who gave the territory
he had conquered to Rasalu's adopted son. After Rasalu’s death in 400
AD, there are no significant accounts of Sialkot for the next 300 years
in the known history except that, after the invasion of the Húnas (Huns
or Hephthalites) in the last quarter of the 5th century AD, it became
the capital of Toramána and his son Mihirakula until he was defeated by
a native Indian Prince, Yasodharman.
Sealkote Fort, 1862 sketch by A. H. Hope Wedderburn
(1823-1900)Sialkot became a part of the Muslim Sultanate of Delhi when
the Afghan noble Sultan Shahab-ud-Din Muhammad Ghauri conquered Punjab
in 1185. He was unable to conquer Lahore but left a garrison in Sialkot.
Later, Sultan Khusro Malik tried to capture the city but failed to do
so. Sialkot then became a part of the Muslim Mughal Empire which was of
Central Asian origin. The Mughal commander, Usman Ghani Raza, advanced
towards Delhi by way of Sialkot which capitulated to his armies.
In 'Babur Nama', Zaheer-ud-Din Muhammad Babur
“ 29th December: We dismounted at Sialkot. If one
goes into Hindustan, the Jats and Gujars always pour down in countless
hordes from hill and plain for loot in bullock and buffalo. These
ill-omened peoples are sensless oppressors! Previously, their deeds did
not concern us because the territory was an enemy's. But they did the
same sensless deeds after we had captured it. When we reached Sialkot,
they swooped on the poor and needy folk who were coming out of the town
to our camp, and stripped them bare. I had the witless brigands
apprehended, and ordered a few of them to be cut to pieces. ”
During the era of the Mughal Emperor, Jalal-ud-Din
Muhammad Akbar, the present district of Sialkot formed a part of the
Rachna-Bar Sarkar of the Lahore province. Under the reign of the Mughal
Emperor, Shahab-ud-Din Muhammad Shah Jahan, Ali Mardan Khan held the
charge of Sialkot.
At the end of the Mughal dynasty, the suburbs and
the outlying districts and areas of Sialkot were left to themselves.
Sialkot, itself, was appropriated by a powerful family of Pashtuns from
Multan, Afghanistan and Swat, the Kakazai, and another family from
Quetta. In 1748, the four districts of Gujrat, Sialkot, Pasrur and Daska
were given to the Afghan Pashtun ruler, Ahmed Shah Durrani, and the area
was amalgamated into the Afghan empire. After 1751, Ahmed Shah Durrani
left his son, Taimur, to rule Lahore and these districts. During that
time, Raja Ranjit Deo of Jammu expanded his domination over the
peripheral areas, but the city of Sialkot was not included in it.
Afterwards, the city was held strongly by a Pashtun clan till the
occupation of the Sikhs who ruled for a period of about 40 years
followed by the British. The Pashtun presence is still considerable to
this day and continues to attract newer Pashtun migrants and workers
from Pakistan's tribal areas.
During the decline of the Durrani regime, Sialkot
was occupied from the Pashtuns by the Sikhs and, thus, began the rise of
their short-lived empire. Between 1797 to 1810, Maharaja Ranjit Singh
occupied Sialkot. After the death of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the British
officers were appointed in Sialkot. Sialkot was annexed by the British
after the Second Anglo-Sikh War in 1849.
The British laid the foundation of the Sialkot
cantonment in 1849 which was completed in 1852. For establishing the
Sialkot cantonment, the British Commander-in-Chief, Sir Lord Napier,
surveyed and selected the area between the seasonal streams, Bher Nala
and Palkhu Nala, from the point of view of defence. The Area Command
laid its foundation in 1852 under the leadership of Major-General
Angulas. During the Indian Rebellion of 1857 it was the scene of heavy
fighting, and the Sialkot Fort was used by the Europeans for protection.
The native troops plundered the treasury and destroyed all the records.
Murray College, Sialkot was established in 1889.
The railway branch from Wazirabad to Sialkot was extended to Jammu in
1890. The Sialkot-Narowal railway line was opened in 1915.
The city played an important role during the
Pakistan Movement. The national poet of Pakistan, who spearheaded the
movement for an independent country, Dr. Muhammad Iqbal was born in
Sialkot in 1877. In May 1944, the historic Sialkot Convention was held
here. This convention is widely regarded as the landmark event which
catapulted the All India Muslim League into prominence in the
British-Indian Punjab. This convention was host to such Muslim League
luminaries as Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Liaquat Ali Khan, Chaudhry Naseer
Ahmad Malhi, Khawaja Nazim-ud-Din, Sardar Abd-ur-Rab Nishtar, Mumtaz
Ahmad Khan Daultana, Nawab Iftikhar Hussain Khan Mamdot and Maulvi
Battle of Chawinda was the biggest tank battle
since the Battle of Kursk in World War IIAfter the independence of
Pakistan from the British Empire in 1947, thousands of Muslims escaped
from anti-Muslim riots in India and settled in Pakistan. Muslims from
Pathankot and Gurdaspur and from other parts of East Punjab came to
Sialkot as refugees and settled here. Most of the refugees have since
settled and inter-married into the local population. Ever since, Sialkot
has gradually become one of the major industrial centres of Pakistan and
is well-known for its manufacture and export of surgical instruments,
musical instruments, sports goods, leather goods, textile products and
other light manufactures.
During the Second Kashmir War in 1965, the Lahore-Sialkot
region (along with the Karachi region) was attacked by the Indian Army
which, despite overwhelming numerical superiority managed only to
capture some outlying areas in the sector. The people of Sialkot came
out in full force to support the troops of the Pakistan Army to repel
the invasion by India. In fact, the armoured battles in the Sialkot
sector (especially, the Battle of Chawinda), in 1965, were the most
intense since the Second World War. In 1966, the Government of Pakistan
awarded the Hilal-i-Istaqlal to the citizens of Sialkot, Lahore and
Sargodha for their courage and bravery during the 1965 war between
Pakistan and India.
Again, during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, the
region witnessed bitter battles, most importantly, the Battle of
Basantar in the Sialkot-ShakarGarh area. The major Indian
counter-offensive came in this area where, two large Pakistani tank
regiments, equipped with the Patton tanks defended the region despite
being outnumbered by the Indian First Armoured Corps, which was equipped
with the British Centurion tanks.
Geography and climate
Lying between 32°30′ North latitude and 74°31′ East
longitude at an altitude of 256 m above sea level, Sialkot is bounded on
the north by Jammu, north-west by Gujrat, on the west by Gujranwala and
on the south by Narowal. The Chenab river flows to the north of Sialkot.
There are three small seasonal streams flowing through the city, Aik,
Bher and Palkhu.
Sialkot features a humid subtropical climate under
the Koppen climate classification. Sialkot is chilly during winters and
hot and humid during summers. May and June are the hottest months. The
temperature during winter may drop to 0°C. The land is, generally, plain
and fertile. Most of the rain falls during the Monsoon season in summer
which often results in flooding. Sialkot has one of the most modern
weather forecasting and flood warning centres in the country, which is
fully equipped to record and transfer data to and from the relevant
concerns. This facility is equpped with a radar and is internationally
The Sialkot District Government is headed by the
District Administrator who is assisted by the Deputy Administrator who
is also Speaker of the District Council. The District Administrator is
elected by the Administrators of the Union Councils and Union
Councillors who, themselves, are elected directly by the votes of the
local public. There are 106 Union Councils in District Sialkot. The
District Administrator is assisted by the District Coordination Officer
(DCO) and the District Police Officer (DPO). All the Departments are
grouped and placed under the Executive District Officers, of various
Departments, including Health, Finance, Revenue, Industry, Agriculture,
Education, Law, Literacy, IT, Community Development, Transport, etc. who
are subordinate to the DCO.In addition to that District Account Office
performs the function of pre-audit of all the Departments of Federal,
provincial and District Government. This Office is headed by the
Assistant Accountant General (AAG) who is representative of the
Accountant General Of the Punjab and works in an independent capacity.
The city is managed by the Tehsil Municipal Administration which is
headed by a Tehsil Administrator. The Sialkot Cantonment is managed by
Sialkot Cantonment Board.
Sialkot (district) has a diverse population of
3,500,000.Punjabi is the main language of people.The population mainly
consists of Punjabis, Kashmiris and Pashtuns. The population of the
Sialkot city (proper) is about 502,721. Population Density is 1160/km2.
Population Growth Rate is very low as compared to other urban areas of
Pakistan. In 1947, Sialkot was the 6th largest city in Pakistan
(150,000) and in 2009, it is the 13th largest. Major clans areSulehria,
Bajwa, Cheema, Dhillon, Kang, Jatt, Arain, Rajput, Chughtai, Awan,
Kakazai, Butt, Mir, Sharif, Sheikh, Gujar, Pathan (Pashtun origin),
Mughal and Qureshi. Literacy rate is among the highest in Pakistan. In
urban areas, it is 73% and in rural areas, it is 54%. Employment in
agriculture is only 19.5% and 32% in elementary occupations. 95% of the
population have electricity and 96% have the water facility. Sialkot has
also attracted many labourers and other entrepreneurs many of whom hail
from Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), notably from
Bajaur and Mohmand agencies who have set up vibrant business throughout
Economy and Industry
Surgical Instruments made in SialkotSialkot is the
third largest economic hub in Punjab after Lahore and Faisalabad. It is
commercially linked with the Lahore Stock Exchange through its Sialkot
branch, known as the Sialkot Trading Floor (STF). The State Bank of
Pakistan and the Export Promotion Bureau of Pakistan have branch offices
in Sialkot. After Karachi, Sialkot is Pakistan's second largest source
of foreign exchange earnings through its exports and remittances from
the overseas manpower. For the past several decades, the manufacturers
and exporters of the city have been awarded the annual National Exports
Award by the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
Sialkot has an Industrial Estate and an Export Processing Zone. Another
Export Processing Zone is planned along the Sialkot Lahore Motorway. The
per capita income of Sialkot is ranked among the highest in Pakistan.
The history of industrialisation of Sialkot is very
old. The Damascene craftsmen of Sialkot (koftgars or koftars) were
famous during the Mughal era for their fine swords and daggers.
Papermaking in Sialkot dates back to the time of the Mughal Emperor
Akbar which was famous all over the world. Brick making was another
historic skill of the people of the Sialkot and those bricks were known
as the "Sialkoti Bricks" throughout South Asia. Most of the states in
the South Asian region relied on the slender but strong Sialkoti
brickslanateer for the erection of forts, castles, monuments, public
buildings, infrastructure construction, etc.
Nowadays, Sialkot is famous all over the world
because of its Sports Equipment and Surgical Instruments manufacturing
industry. According to a legend, the sport goods industry got its start
in Sialkot when a British man broke his tennis racquet and, since an
immediate replacement was not possible, he asked a local craftsman to
repair it. The man did a perfect job and the sports goods manufacturing
industry took root in Sialkot. The recorded history of the industry goes
back to 1895 when the city started becoming famous for its tennis
racquets. By 1903, cricket bats were being crafted from imported English
willow and exported to different parts of South Asia and beyond. In
1922, a local manufacturer was awarded the British Empire Export Award
for supplying footballs to the British Army. Over the years the industry
grew to include a variety of wood and leather-based sports equipment,
and diversified into related industries such as cricket balls,
volleyballs, field hockey sticks, polo sticks, recreational fishing
equipment, sports apparel and horse riding equipment and even the
Scottish bagpipes. The most successful sports manufacturing firms now
have international collaborations with the well-known sports brands like
Adidas (Germany), Puma (Germany),Nexo Sports (Canada), Nike (USA), Dita
(UK), Mikasa Sports (Japan) and Slazenger (UK). CA Sports is an example
of local company with world class reputation. In the recent past,
however, lack of modernisation and allegations of child labour usage
have resulted in a loss of market share to the new entrants in the
business like Thailand, Korea and China. The Sialkot Chamber of Commerce
and Industry has now almost controlled the incidents of child labour
usage within the industry with the collaboration of the United Nations (ILO).
Most of the companies have adopted the ISO standards.
As with the industrial clusters elsewhere in the
world, the birth of Sialkot’s surgical industry can partly be explained
by what U.S. economist Paul Krugman calls an "historic accident." In
1905, some broken surgical equipment at the American Mission Hospital in
Sialkot afforded a chance for Sialkot craftsmen to adopt their skills.
Encouraged by the hospital staff, they gradually started manufacturing
replicas of originals. Orders were received from other mission hospitals
in British India. By 1920, Sialkot was exporting to all parts of the
British empire including Afghanistan and Egypt and was later selected
for supplying surgical instruments for the Allied forces in World War
II. The Metal Industries Development Centre (MIDC) was established in
1942 to act as a supply and inspection agency for the Allied forces.
Although the surgical instruments manufacturing factories were mostly
owned by Hindus, the craftsmen were mostly Muslim and the industry was
not affected by the partition of British India. At present, the surgical
instruments manufacturing industry in Sialkot is one of the world's
largest surgical instruments manufacturing industrial clusters second
only to Tuttlingen, Germany. However, the quality of workmanship and raw
materials are the issues that have been hindering the progress of this
niche industry which is also likely to face increasing pressures from
the rapid advances in the field of surgery. During last three decades,
manufacture and export of veterinary instruments has also emerged very
prominently here. During the colonial era British India's first bagpipe
works opened in the city, today there are 20 pipe bands in the city and
the businesses of bagpipe makers is flourishing. Other important
industries in Sialkot include Leather Tanneries, Leather Garments,
Musical Instruments, Sportswear including Martial arts wear , Gloves,
Badges, Seat and Walking Sticks, Cutlery, Hunting Knives, Air Guns and
Shotguns. These are all export-oriented businesses and earn billions of
dollars every year in foreign exchange. There are several other allied
industries which are working day and night as vendors for the automobile
industry of Pakistan. Sialkot has also a rich tradition of producing
wooden and steel furniture, rubber products, cooking utensils, bicycles,
their tyres and tubes and shoes.
Faiz Ahmed FaizSialkot is also the birthplace of
the Muslim philosopher, scholar and poet, Dr. Muhammad Iqbal, as well as
the Urdu poet, Faiz Ahmed Faiz. Maulana Zafar Ali Khan, another poet and
writer, was born at Kot Mehrath, Sialkot. Sir Muhammad Zafrullah Khan
also born in Sialkot. He was President of the International Court of
Justice in Den Haag, Pakistan's first foreign minister and the president
of the UN-Assembly.
Amjad Islam Amjad the Urdu poet and lyricist was
born at Sialkot. Professor Rajinder Singh Bedi, a Urdu writer, was also
born at Sialkot. Narendra Kohli, a Hindi language author belongs to
Sialkot as well. Zulfikar Ghose, English writer, was born at Sialkot.
The Indian journalist, Kuldip Nayyar, was also born at Sialkot. In
journalism, Khalid Hasan, Professor Waris Mir and his son, Hamid Mir,
Jawed Iqbal, Muhammad Farooq and Mumtaz Hamid Rao are from Sialkot. The
Indian politician and twice Prime Minister of India, Gulzari Lal Nanda,
also belonged from Sialkot. The orator of Pakistan Syed Faiz-ul Hassan
Shah belonged from Sialkot. Maulana Ubaidullah Sindhi was born at
Sialkot. Khawaja Muhammad Safdar a former acting President of Pakistan
and Chairman of the Majlis-e-Shoora also hails from Sialkot. His son,
Khawaja Muhammad Asif, is a politician of Pakistan who presently
represents Sialkot in the Pakistan National Assembly. He was a minister
for Petroleum and Natural Resources in the last democratically-elected
parliament. Former Speaker of the National Assembly, and Acting
President, Chaudhry Amir Hussain and the Interior minister Rehman Malik
also hail from Sialkot.
The Lollywood actor Waheed Murad, Bollywood actor
Rajendra Kumar and the actor A. K. Hangal were also born at Sialkot.
Ghulam Ali, the Ghazal singer and Ustad Allah Rakha, the Sarangi Nawaz
are also from Sialkot. Sialkot is the home of Pakistan National Cricket
players, Ijaz Butt, (Chairman Pakistan Cricket Board), Zaheer Abbas,
Ijaz Ahmed, Shoaib Malik, Mansoor Amjad, Zahid Fazal, Abdur Rehman,
Abbas Khan (Finnish National Cricket player) and Jawaid Iqbal (Hong Kong
National Cricket player) were also born at Sialkot. The captains and
players of the Pakistani National Hockey team including Shahnaz Sheikh,
Manzoor Hussain Jr., Nasir Ali, Asif Bajwa, (Secretary of Pakistan
Hockey Federation), Tariq Sheikh, Zahid Sheikh, Muhammad Waqas Sharif,
Mahmood Hussain, Maqsood Hussain, Munir Bhatti and Kamran Ashraf also
hail from this city. Ex national snooker champion Abu Saim,and Chacha
Cricket also belongs to Sialkot.
Sialkot boasts as a great center of Punjabi
culture.The old city has a fascinating labyrinth of narrow streets and
crowded bazaars. In the old part of the city is located the shrine of
Hazrat Imam Ali-ul-Haq also known as Imam Sahib. The mausoleum complex
is a maze of narrow corridors leading to several shrines of saints. The
tomb of Imam Ali-ul-Haq is to the right, through a mirrored gateway
tiled with Koranic inscriptions and geometric designs. On a low hill in
the centre of the old city are the few remains of the Sialkot Fort. It
is one of the oldest forts in Pakistan established around the 2nd
century AD. The shrine of the saint Muradia Shah is also on the
Fort.Puran Puran's Well is a famous historical site,which is related
with Punjabi folklore 'Bhagat Puran'. It is located just outside the
city of Sialkot. According to Mutiny in Sialkot there were remains of
Puran's tomb extant in 1857, but now there is no tomb except for a small
building, a small place for worship and a running well.
Sialkot FortAlso of interest is the birth place of
Dr. Muhammad Iqbal (1877–1938) which has been turned into a small museum
containing some of his personal belongings and a library and named as
Iqbal Manzil (Iqbal House). The most famous square of the city is Allama
Iqbal Chowk. Here, the famous Shaheen (Falcon) monument has been erected
to pay tributes to Dr. Muhammad Iqbal (falcon is a metaphor for the
Muslim youth in Iqbal's poetry). Near the Allama Iqbal Chowk is located
the biggest grand mosque of the city, Jamia Masjid Donga Bagh. One of
its three minarets is the tallest landmark in Sialkot. Other places of
interest include the tombs of the great Muslim scholars, Mullah Abdul
Hakim Sialkoti near Abdul Hakim Park, Hakim Khadim Ali on Khadim Ali
Road and Hafiz Muhammad Alam, near Do Darwaza (the name of one of the
gates of the once walled city).
Seerat Study Center is situated at the southern
edge of the Khayaban-I-Iqbal (Company Bagh) on Ghazi Road. It is a
world-renonwed center for conducing research on the life of the Prophet
Muhammad. Located in the cantonment area is the famous Holy Trinity
Cathedral Church also known as the Sialkot Cathedral which was built in
1852. On Zafarwal Road is located a famous Sikh Gurdwara Beri Sahib.
Every year, many Sikh pilgrims come to visit here. In Saddar Bazar is
located the famous Clock Tower which is more than a century old. The
Connelley Park (named after a British Deputy Commissioner of Sialkot),
was converted to Jinnah Stadium in 1979. The Jinnah Stadium has one of
the fastest cricket pitches in Pakistan. Close to Jinnah Stadium is
located the famous Murray College which was established in 1889. Its
alumni include Dr Muhammad Iqbal and Faiz Ahmad Faiz.
Sialkot has three main parks, Khayaban-e-Iqbal
Park, Gulshan-i-Iqbal Park on Parsur Road and Garrison Park on Kashmir
Road. More than a century old Company Garden (Khayaban-i-Iqbal Park) is
located on Ghazanvi Road in the Sialkot cantonment. Some of the other
famous and historic places are the Talab Maula Bakhush and Ram Talai.
Talab Maula Bakhush is the place where, in May 1944, the historic
Sialkot Convention of the All India Muslim League was held. It was also
attended by Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Liaquat Ali Khan. Both sites have
been converted to mini stadiums for traditional wrestling (Kabadi) and
volleyball matches and also for political rallies.
A View of Marala HeadworksThere are several famous
squares in the city as Beri Wala Chowk, Rang Pura Chowk, Dara-Araian,
Imam Sahib Chowk, Shahab Pura Chowk, Sublime Chowk, Hansa Chowk and
Anwar Khawaja Chowk. Famous markets (bazaars) are Bazar Kalan, Trunk
Bazar, Tehsil Bazar, Lahai Bazar and Saddar Bazar. The Sialkot Railway
Station, is situated on the Railway Road near the Iqbal Chowk. On the
Paris Road is located the American Christian Mission Hospital which was
established in 1880. Also located there is the Sialkot Chamber of
Commerce & Industry and the branches of many multi-national banks.
Marala Headworks is located on the Chenab river
about 20 km from Sialkot. Two major water canals originate at the Marala
Headworks - the Marala-Ravi Link Canal and the Upper Chenab Canal.
Planning of the Mangla-Marala Link Canal is in the pipeline. The area
around the Marala Headworks lake is also a picnic spot. The Bajwat
Wildlife Sanctuary includes a complex of natural riverine habitats along
the Chenab river and two of its tributaries, extending up to the border
with India with a total area of 5400 hectares providing protection to
waterfowl, as well as a variety of mammals including Hog Deer and Nilgai.
Daewoo Coach StationSialkot International Airport
is the first-ever private-sector airport of Pakistan managed by the SIAL
consortium. It is located near Sambrial and is noted for having the
longest runway in Pakistan. Direct flights are available from Sialkot
International Airport to Karachi, Islamabad, Abu Dhabi Sharjah & London,
Muscat Kuwait, Dubai & Jeddah. Pakistan International Airlines has plans
to start non-stop flights from Sialkot to Manchester, London &
Barcellona & Hajj flights have started from the Sialkot International
Airport last year in 2009. Emirates is also expected to start flights in
mid 2010 to Dubai. Airblue will operate on domestic routes to Islamabad,
Multan and Karachi in mid 2010.
A small Sialkot Cantonment Airport, located in the
Sialkot Cantonment, is in use of the aviation wing of the Pakistan Army.
This airport has also been used as a public airport by PIA for operating
a Helicopter service from Sialkot to Islamabad in 1995-1996.
Sialkot Dry Port carries the honor of being the
first-ever private-sector dry port in Asia. It was established in 1986
near Sambrial, about 20 km from the Sialkot city under the control of
the Sialkot Dry Port Trust.
Sialkot is served by Pakistan Railways through the
Sialkot Junction. Sialkot used to be a junction in the British era with
trains leaving for Jammu and Gurdaspur. Plans are under consideration to
open the border for an international train between Sialkot and Jammu.
Express trains to and from Narowal, Lahore, Rawalpindi, Faisalabad,
Multan, Bahawalpur and Karachi are available daily. The Railway station
is situated in the center of the city. Other suburban train stations are
Ugoki and Sambrial.
Sialkot is about two hours from Lahore and four
hours from Islamabad.Sialkot is linked with the National Highway N-5
through Gujranwala and Wazirabad. A dual carriage-way is available
between Sialkot and Wazirabad. A new bridge on the Chenab river, called
the Shahbazpur bridge, is under construction these days which is located
to the north-east of Gujrat. Once completed, it will connect Sialkot to
N-5 at Gujrat. The Sialkot Lahore Motorway (M-11) is also under
construction. All the bus and commuter coach stations are located on the
Jail Road. A bus service operated by Daewoo Express is available from
Sialkot to Rawalpindi, Lahore, Gujranwala and Multan.
Recently, public transport has been launched in
Sialkot on one route which circle around the city. SCCI Sialkot Chamber
of Commerce & Industry has signed an MOU with American bus company FOTON
to provide airconditioned lcoal transport to the citizens with CNG fuel.
However main mode of transport within the city at present is the auto
rikshaw. Although no proper taxi service exists in the city, there are
many rent-a-car service outlets.
Murray College Sialkot Main HallSialkot has a
fairly well-developed educational infrastructure that comprises a
University of Engineering Sciences and Technology (planned in
cooperation with Sweden) a sub-campus of the Fatima Jinnah Women
University, a sub-campus of the Virtual University of Pakistan, 8 Degree
Colleges for Women, 5 Degree Colleges for Men, 2 Cadet Colleges, 6
Commerece Colleges, one Law College, one Medical College, one
Homeopathic Medical College, one Nursing School, one Para-Medical
School, one Poly-Technic Institute, with numerous Inter Colleges, Higher
Secondary Schools and over 250 High Schools.
The Convent of Jesus and Mary, Sialkot was
established in 1856. It was the first Catholic mission school in Punjab
and the second of its kind in British India. Other eminent
private-sector schools include the American School, the City School and
the Beaconhouse School.
The Murray College, Sialkot was established in 1889
as the Scotch Mission College by the Scottish missionaries belonging to
the Church of Scotland Mission. It is one of he oldest educational
institutions in Pakistan offering education up to the post-graduate
level. The Jinnah Islamia College, Sialkot is the second oldest college
The Sialkot Medical College was established in 2002
with a sanction of Rs.750 million. 30 seats were allocated for the year
2003 at the Services Institute of Medical Sciences, Lahore to be shifted
to the Sialkot Medical College in 2004. However, because of local
politics, the project was shelved. In April 2007, the President of
Pakistan again announced an immediate construction of the Medical
College building in Sialkot. Temporary project office has been
established at the Allama Iqbal Memorial Hospital, Sialkot which will
also be the attached teaching hospital. Islam Medical Collage is a
private sector medical collage, having a modern campus on Pasrur Road.
The Fatima Jinnah Women University Sialkot Campus
is a sub-campus of the Fatima Jinnah Women University and is being
established in Sialkot starting from 2008. The sub-campus of the FJWU in
Sialkot will be established on a 200-acre (0.81 km2) land with a cost of
Rs 300 million.
The University of Engineering Sciences and
Technology (UEST), Sialkot is being established in collaboration with
the Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden on the (under-construction)
Sialkot Lahore Motorway. It will also have an attached Technology Park.
The Government of Pakistan, through the Higher Education Commission (HEC),
is financing and building the campus while the Royal Institute of
Technology (KTH) Sweden will be responsible for the provision of
technical support which includes course contents specification,
university management, human resource development and education quality
Jinnah Stadium (Sialkot)The Sialkot Cricket Team is
called the Sialkot Stallions. It is National Champion and have won
Quaid-i-Azam Trophy 2008-2009. It was a national champion in 2005-2006
and won Quaid-i-Azam Trophy Golden League. It was runners-up in
2006-2007. Sialkot Stallions also won the ABN-AMRO Twenty-20 Cup in
2005-2006 and 2006–2007 and RBS Twenty-20 Cup 2007-2008 and 2008-2009
making het trick by three in row. Sialkot Stallions will not represent
Pakistan in Twenty20 Champions League in December 2008 despite being
world number one in the rankings. Its home ground is Jinnah Stadium.
According to the latest 20 International Ranking, Sialkot Stallions are
at the top position. Sialkot is also the champion of One-day and
Three-day competitions of the National Under-19 Championship in
2007-2008 and 2008-2009.
Sialkot also annually hosts the Allama Iqbal Open
Golf Championship at the Sialkot Golf Club. An International Sialkot
Hockey Stadium is located at Pasrur Road adjacent to the Gulshan-i-Iqbal
Park Sialkot. An International level Sialkot Sports Complex is under
construction at Daska Road with Tartan track facility for athletic
events. Sialkot Junior Hockey Team play in National Junior Hockey
League. Crescent Hockey Club & Independent Hockey Club are one of the
top Field Hockey clubs of Pakistan, with 10 of their team members going
on to become olympic players. Crescent Hockey Club has played in the
Surjit Silver Jubilee hockey tournament at Jalandhar in 2008.