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Hyderabad Cantonment

On 1st July 1980, the independent training Battalion of Baloch Regiment at Sukkur was re-designated and it started functioning as Sind Regiment Center with raising of five training companies. Sind Regimental Center moved from Sukkur to Petaro which is approximately 35 KM from Hyderabad Cantonment. It shifted to its present location in October 1981 and the center has come up as one of most modern complexes in the Army.

In the midst of military installations and Air Force recruitment center in Hyderabad's cantonment area stands an elegant one-century-old building. The building, which itself speaks of the heritage of this historical city on the left bank of Indus River, hosts the region's ever popular The Bombay Bakery. If you visit Hyderabad and do not buy a cake from the Bombay Bakery, then it is as good as you not visiting the city. The Bombay Bakery's cakes have been undisputed in quality and specialty for about a century now. They are not only popular in Hyderabad but most of the bakery's customers also hail from outside the city.

Hyderabad [or Haidarabad], a city and district in the Sind province of Bombay. The city stands on a hill about 3 m. from the left bank of the Indus, and had a population in 1900 of 69,378. Upon the site of the present fort is supposed to have stood the ancient town of Nerankot, which in the 8th century submitted to Mahommed bin Kasim. In 1768 the present city was founded by Ghulam Shah Kalhora; and it remained the capital of Sind until 1843, when, after the battle of Meeanee, it was surrendered to the British, and the capital transferred to Karachi. The city is built on the most northerly hills of the Ganga range, a site of great natural strength. In the fort, which covers an area of 36 acres, is the arsenal of the province, transferred thither from Karachi in 1861, and the palaces of the emirs of Sind.

Hyderabad is a city, district and division in the Sindh province. The city is an administrative headquarters lying on the most northern hill of the Ganjo Takkar ridge just east of the River Indus.

Being the second largest city of Pakistan, Hyderabad is a communication center, connected by rail with Peshawar and Karachi. Founded in 1768 on the site of the ancient town of Neroon Kot by Ghulam Shah Kalhoro, the saintly ruler of Sindh, it was named after the Prophet Mohammed's son-in-law, Ali, also known as Haider. It remained the capital of Sindh under the Talpur rulers who succeeded the Kalhoras till 1843 when, after the nearby battles of Miani and Dabo, it surrendered to the British, the capital was then transferred to Karachi.

Incorporated as a municipality in 1853, it is an important commercial and industrial center. Its economic activities include textile, sugar, cement, and hosiery mills, manufacturing of glass, soap, ice, paper, and plastics. There are hide tanneries and sawmills. Ornamented silks, silver-work, gold-work and lacquer ware are also some of its exclusive products. Noteworthy antiquities include the tombs of the Kalhora and Talpur ruler, palaces of the former amirs of Sindh. Newly developed settlements and industrial estates surround the congested old city area. A noteworthy characteristic of this city is badgirs (wind-catchers) fixed to housetops to catch sea breezes during the hot summer season. A hospital, municipal gardens, zoo, sports stadium, and several literary societies are in the city.

The University of Sindh with 32 affiliated colleges was founded in 1947 in Karachi and moved to Hyderabad in 1951, where it lies across the Indus. Other education needs are served by numerous government colleges, the Liaquat Medical College and specialized vocational institutions. Remained the capital of the emirate of Sindh until the British general Sir Charles James Napier conquered Sindh in 1843.

From 1947 to 1955 Hyderabad was the capital of Sindh Province, the new capital was shifted to Hyderabad. In 1766 the Kalhora ruler constructed a fort half a square km in area and still stands today. In 1843 the British arrived and defeated the Talpurs, Completing their Conquest of Sindh. It's also a second largest city of Sindh Province. It has over 2 Millions populations.

The city has one of the most interesting bazaar of the country, which is known to be the longest bazaar in Asia. There are two very well arranged ethnological museums in the city, the Sindh Museum and the other Institute of Sindhology Museum. Both museums present an excellent portrait of cultural and tribal life of Sindh. The city is transit point for the tours from Karachi to the Interior of Sindh.

A visit to Kalhora Monuments close to the city gate is worth a visit, Mausoleums are beautifully decorated with glazed tiles and frescos. There are also two forts from 18th & 19th Century to see here. Famous for its cool breeze and balmy nights, and known for its Bombay Bakery Cakes, Its delicate bangles and the Paagal Khana called Giddu Bandar, Hyderabad is Sindh's second largest city, a city its inhabitants claim is the most beautiful in the world, Its spacious houses are known for their Manghan, Roshan-daans or ventilators and it is also known as “Manghan Jo Shehar.”

The heart of Sindh' as many call Hyderabad, was the former capital of Sindh, ruled by the Kalhoras and Talpurs from the Pacca Qila until the British conquest. At one time a hub of economic, educational and cultural activities, a breeding ground of academicians, philanthropists, writers, lawyers, politicians, journalists, actors and actresses, Hyderabad also had its industrialists, trade unionists, political activists, bureaucrats, bankers and diplomats who made a significant contribution to sub continental society. But this gracious city now seems to be slowly dying, although it still produces over a couple of dozen major and minor newspapers in both Sindhi and Urdu. Hyderabad, once the capital of Sindh and now the eighth largest city of Pakistan, is one of the oldest cities of the sub-continent.

To those who are familiar with the political history of Pakistan in general and Sindh in particular, it is not surprising that Hyderabad has always remained in the political limelight.

Hyderabad was the provincial capital when Karachi was the federal capital of Pakistan, and is a city that has always been ripe with politics and political figures. During the pre- and post-partition years, however, just four families dominated the political arena in Hyderabad until the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) came into being: the Kazi Brothers, the Mir Brothers, the Memon community and Syed Mubarak Ali Shah (Moti Mahal). Later during the post-partition era, Nawab Muzaffar Hussein, who founded an alliance comprising the Mohajirs, Pukhtoons, and Punjabis to decrease the dominance of Sindhi-speaking people, became an important name.

The political significance of Hyderabad is evident in the fact that the convention that led to the birth of the PPP was held there. Its founder Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto is said to have made the announcement in Hala (presently in Matiari district but part of Hyderabad until 2005), although some claim that the decision was taken at the residence of the Mir Brothers in Hyderabad city.

Hyderabad was also the headquarters of the Muslim League when it was the only political force of its kind. Later, a division between Sindhi- and Urdu-speaking people surfaced, and analysts say that it came about after GM Syed, founder of Jeay Sindh, was defeated by Kazi Mohammed Akbar. GM Syed himself was not based in Hyderabad, but his followers were students of Sindh University, which is how Hyderabad became the centre of nationalist politics. It is said that Syed's defeat gave rise to the slogan Sindhu Desh, even though it was Syed who supported the Pakistan Resolution in the Sindh Assembly before the partition.

Until the formation of Pakistan Peoples Party in 1967, the politics of Hyderabad comprised only the Muslim League and its rivalries. After the emergence of the PPP, other religious parties such as Jamat-e-Islami (JI) and Jamiat Ulema Pakistan (JUP) came to dominate Hyderabad politics, particularly where the Urdu-speaking population was in the majority like Phuleli/Paretabad.

However, observers and historians say that it was during the late eighties when the Mohajir Qaumi Movement (now Mutheheda Quami Movement, or MQM) came into being that the political scenario in the city began to change. The MQM gained a major share of the politics. Its popularity was such that other political forces were almost removed from the picture.

For the past three decades, the MQM has dominated the Hyderabad district. It has a majority in both provincial and national assemblies in the newly formed Hyderabad district. Earlier, Hyderabad comprised three districts: Tando Allahyar, Tando Mohammed Khan, and Matiari. In the politics of Hyderabad today, the MQM has four Members of Provincial Assembly (MPAs) and two Members of National Assembly (MNAs). The party also rules the district administration with Kanwar Naveed Jameel as District Nazim and Zafar Ali Rajput as District Naib Nazim of Hyderabad. Both represented Hyderabad earlier in the Provincial Assembly. By contrast, the PPP has two MPAs and one MNA. The MQM has introduced new and young faces in Hyderabad at a national and provincial level. The party has a record of bringing fresh candidates in every election, thus exploring the political capability of these workers and activists. Other political parties, meanwhile, stick to dynasties.

Hyderabad has produced many well-known political figures, such as Miran Mohammed Shah (father-in-law of Qamar-uz-Zaman Shah and maternal grand father of Syed Naveed Qamar, Finance Minister). Shah became the speaker of the Sindh Assembly. Kazi Abid and Kazi Akbar (both belonging to the family of first female speaker of National Assembly Dr Fehmida Mirza) were ministers and ambassadors from Hyderabad.

Those who represented Hyderabad at a federal level during the tenure of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto included Mir Rasool Bux Talpur, who was governor of Sindh and Mir Ali Ahmed Khan Talpur, who remained Defence Minister of Pakistan. Nawab Yameen Khan, meanwhile, was part of Majlis Shura of the Zia-ul-Haq administration. Other who represented Hyderabad at a provincial and national level included Qayoom Kanpuri and Jafar Ali.

 However, not all has been rosy in Hyderabad. The conflict between the Sindhi- and Urdu-speaking people in the late eighties caused so much bloodshed and ran so deep that a new locality – Qasimabad – had to be formed to accommodate the Urdu-speaking population, which moved to other areas of interior Sindh after ethnic riots. The period from 1986 to 1990 is considered the worst in the political history of Hyderabad. Hundreds of people from both communities were killed, and the rest moved to safer places within their communities. The army-led Qila operation was carried out, and divided both communities to such an extent that even after 1992 when the riots ended, it took years for the situation to return to normal. People have still not forgotten what those days were like.

Time, however, heals all wounds. Today, there is no violence over language or ethnic background that was so widespread in Hyderabad before. Major political parties have their strongholds, but living in different areas. This division between the two communities changed the political scene. Many formed small groups of nationalists, and to date, their headquarters are based in Qasimabad Taluka of Hyderabad.

However, it is not just the passage of time that has led to the restoration of peace in the area. The situation was eased after MQM changed its name, a move that was warmly supported by Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz. Recent developments at a national and provincial level of MQM-PPP coordination have also played a part in restoring order. Today, the voting pattern in Hyderabad is dependent mainly on the community and clan system. When one community supports a candidate of a party, even the people of that community living in different areas of the city vote for that candidate or party – a trend that was evident in the local bodies' elections of 2001 and 2005.

After the independence, the minority did not play a large role in the politics of Hyderabad, largely because most of them moved to India. However, many other significant figures of the Pakistani government, in addition to the ones already mentioned, have either been born or brought up in Hyderabad. These include President Asif Ali Zardari, Makhdoom Amin Fahim, Speaker National Assembly Dr Fehmida Mirza, Naveed Qamar, Provinvical Fisheries Minister Zahid Bhurguri, Agricultural Minister Ali Nawaz Shah, Special Education Minister Ali Nawaz Shah Rizvi, Rural Development Minister Zubair Khan, and many others.

Very few Hindu families and Christian groups live in Hyderabad, but their presence is felt through the missionary schools and hospitals that they run. Because they are low in number, they have restricted their activities to social organisations and do not play a role in politics.

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Page last modified: 11-07-2011 15:39:33 ZULU