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Nowshera Cantonment

Nowshera cantt and city are situated at opposite sides of the bank of Kabul River. Nowshera, called by the locals "Now-khaar", is a town and a cantonment in the Peshawar District of the North-West Frontier Province, then in British India, today in Pakistan. Nowshera means "New City". Lying on a sandy plain surrounded by hills, on the right bank of the Kabul River 43 km (27 m) east of Peshawar, Nowshera is a commercial and industrial centre that is connected by rail and road with Dargai (Malakand Pass), Mardan, Peshawar, and Rawalpindi.

A string of five rocket attacks in a high security zone of the Nowshera Cantonment rocked the area on 09 July 2008. One of the rockets landed on the ground of the Armoured Cover Centre at 4am, while another hit the house of a senior Irrigation Department official, though the residents of the house remained unharmed. According to police officials, the rocket attacks were carried out from the mountainous area of Badrashi Ziarat. The Nowshera police were receiving threats from the local Taliban. By 2009 there was evidence of the presence of extremists in Nowshera. Every once in a while there are rocket attacks on or near sensitive installations. It was not uncommon to hear of shops being blown up in the district and warnings issued to barbers and CD ship-owners.

Nowshera (also locally known as "Naw" "khaar") is one of the most historical and important district, situated in Northwest Frontier Province (NWFP) of Pakistan. It is bordered to the west by Peshawar, to the Northwest by Charsadda and Mardan, to the east by Swabi and to the Southeast by Attock districts. Hence Nowshera possesses a central position in NWFP and its inhabitants are regarded as the most peaceful.

Nowshera is prominant with regards to the military training facilities and railway loco motto manufacturing factory. There are many opportunities to improve industries here. This golden district played main role for political asylum for Afghanistan refugees. A number of Makeshift camps were built at various locations within the jurisdiction of district Nowshera for stay of Afghan refugees.

Nowshera district has been divided into five provincial assembly constituencies, which are; PF-12, PF-13, PF-14, PF-15 AND PF-16. There are two National assembly constituuencies, which are; NA-5 and NA-6. The population will be exceeding 1,300,000 till 2008-09. Total area of Nowsehra is 1,748.00 square kilometers. There are residing 608 persons in a square kilometer. Total agricultural area is 52,540.00 hectors. The main source of income of the population is agriculture. Earlier, Nowsehra was old Tehsil (sub district) of Peshawar. It was converted into a district since 1988 during the regime o Pakistan Peoples Party. This is third District of Peshawer division, which was separated from Peshawer. This district is also called joining gate for linking between Central Asia and India. It possess significance because of being situated at the riverbank of Sindh (Indus). This is fact that old Peshawar was famous due to vast industrial basis of Nowshehra Tehsil (sub district), like; paper and board, chemical, tobacco, ceramic, cement, glass sheet, pharmaceutical, cooking oil, jute bags, textile, wooden furniture and other manufacturing units.

There are big industries over here. Out of which Nizampur Cement Company (AWT), Fauji Corn Complex at Jehangira, Nowshera Sheet Glass Industries at Adamzai, Pakistan Tobacco Company at Akora Khattak, Associated Industries Ltd. at Amangarh, Ferozsons pharmaceutical at Amangarh, Locomotive factory at Risalpur, Special Export Processing Zone at Risalpur are most prominent. Similarly, a number of various industrial units situated at Pabbi, Risalpur, Amangarh, Akora Khattak, Jehangira and Chirat areas are also making progress from industrial point of view.

Besides, strong Industrial foundation, historical scenes are available for interest of tourists. River Kabul is flowing with Nowshera City and combines with River Sindh at Kund, which is worth seeing. A number of lush green parks and beautiful places, like; Cherat, Manki Sharif, Saidukhel, Company Baagh, Kund park, Manglot wildlife park at Nizampur and Azakhel park provide excellent scenic views and always become sources of rejuvenation to the visitors. Likewise, Bahadur Baba ziarat, Kaka Sahib ziarat, Khushal Khan Khattak memorial library and Maqbara (tomb) all deserve to pay a visit.

This district is rewarded by progress due to constant investment. A number of well-known figures of national and international repute belong to this place. A great poet, brave warlord and chieftain of major Khattak tribe Khushal khan khattak, was born here. Another well regarded spiritual leader Pir of Manki Sharif, Maulana Abdul Haq; the founder of Daral Uloom Haqqania, Maulana Samiul Haq, Maulana Anwaarul Haq, Qazi Hussain Ahmad, Maulana Mujahid, Maulana Sher Ali Shah, Ex-Finance Minister & Senator Sartaj Aziz, Ex-Interior Minister Major General (rtd.) Naseer Ullah Baber recounts to Nowshera. Some renowned poets and writers, like; Samandar Khan Samandar, Abdullah Ustad and Ajmal Khattak etc. also belong to the same place. Similarly, a number of other political stalwarts, like; Pervez Khattak, Jan Muhammad Khattak, Nasrullah Khattak, Mian Muzaffer Shah, Liaqat Shabab, Mian Iftikhar Hussain, Ishaaq Khattak, Hamidul Haq and a number of other public representatives of national repute concern to this district.

The local government headed by the Nazim-e-Ala is supervising Nowshera district. The local government setup is comprised of 47 union councils, 12 town councils, 1 tehsil council and a district assembly. In addition, district coordination officer (DCO) is bridging local government and Govt. functionaries including; administering planning & finance activities of various developmental projects for the benefit of the masses, like; allocation of funds for various civic amenities, education, healthcare, W&S, agriculture etc. There are one district police headquarters, headed by the district police officer and 8 police stations functioning in the district jurisdiction. These police stations are situated in Nizampur, Khairabad, Akora, Nowshera cantt., Nowshera city, Risalpur, Azakhel and Pabbi.

In order to provide healthcare facilities, several hospitals are functioning in Nowshera. DHQ, CMH Nowshera, CMH Risalpur, Cantonment board hospital, LRBT Akora and Pabbi satellite complex are most prominent. Besides, various basic health units and rural health centers are also functioning at various towns of Nowshera district. In addition, there are a number of other medical centers providing healthcare services to the masses in private capacity.

Nowshera district is also enjoying prominence over other districts and maintained good reputation throughout NWFP on account of best educational institutions. Govt Post graduate college for boys, Govt Post Graduate College for girls, PAF Academy college, Nisar Shaheed college, F.G. Public High Schools, The City School, ILM, Suleman Nadvi School Pabbi, Sena Public School Pabbi, Presentation Convent High School and Beacon house school system are some of the examples.

For the Guides the great tragedy of 1857 opened with the mutiny of the 55th Native Infantry. When this regiment first showed signs of insubordination it was quartered at the cantonment of Nowshera, then slenderly garrisoned by British troops, but with many European women and children. For safety's sake it was therefore thought better to isolate the regiment by sending it over to Mardan. Two of the regiments having mutinied at Nowshera and Hotee Murdan respectively, the sepoys at Peshawur were disarmed on the 22nd May ; all except the 21st Native Infantry, which, from the perfect confidence placed in it, was exempted from the humiliation.

By 1859 the new station of Nowshera was admitted to have never yet been fully tried by European troops, and was known to be at all events much healthier than Peshawur. As yet, too, the long desired bridge over the Indus at Attock (which was a sine qua non in the proposed withdrawal of the Europeans) had not been constructed, or begun. It was recommended that Nowshera be a station for Europeans, and that as soon as the Grand Trunk road through the Punjab be completed, the construction of the Attock bridge be commenced without delay, so that before its completion a definite judgment may be formed as to the possibility of cantoning European troops at all in the valley of Peshawur. The result of the arrangement proposed would be to place about 2,000 European soldiers in the whole valley, instead of about 2,500. But the great change is in transposing the men, by locating at Peshawur only 300 instead of 2,000, and 1,650 at Nowshera instead of a third of that number. Little expense for barracks was involved in the transposition, for already there are barracks at Nowshera for a regiment of 1,000 men, quite capable of holding 1,200, and it is believed that the remaining 450 may be housed in the barracks which were erected as a sanatorinm for invalids from Peshawur.

By 1868 there were several most extensive permanent cantonments, which were not only of no value in a political point of view, but are positively injurious to the troops themselves. This is an admitted fact, some of these stations are unhealthy in the extreme, but they have cost millions of money, and on tlmt account only, cannot be abandoned. Of the number of these ill selected localities, Meean Meer, near the Punjaub capital, Sealkote, Rawul Pindee, Nowshera, Peshawur, Ferozepore, and Loodianah, may be selected as specimens. Sealkote is healthy, but, in a political point of view, is of no value whatever. Hawul Pindee, nominally the support to the frontier post of Peshawur, is veiy much too far distant; it is healthy and agreeable, and consequently popular. Nowshera, in which are a set of the very best built and finished barracks in the world, is not only unhealthy, but positively dangerous. On one occasion, the whole of the officers' quarters were washed away by a flood, which may occur again and again, and has often occurred before, as any one may observe who looks to the principal features of the surrounding country. Had the flood, above alluded to, been a little more extensive, and had it occurred in the night instead of in the day, a whole European regiment of a thousand men would have been annihilated.

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