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About 966 km from Karachi and more or less right in the centre of the country lies the ancient city of Multan. Multan, the 'City of Pirs and Shrines' is a prosperous city of bazaars, mosques, shrines and superbly designed tombs. It is also a city of dust, summer heat and beggars. It has a long history. Alexander the Great added it to his list of Indus conquests. In 641 AD Xuang Tzang found it 'agreeable and prosperous' - Mohammad Bin Qasim obviously agreed, he was the next to conqueror Multan in 712 AD. Mahmud of Ghazni invaded in 1006, Timurlane in 1398. In the 16th century it was the Moghuls turn, followed by the Sikhs in 1752 and the British in 1849.

Multan fort was built on a mound separating it from the city and the old bed of river Ravi. The famous Qasim Bagh and a Stadium are located within the walls of the fort. The shrines of one of the foremost scholars of Islam, Shaikh Bahauddin Zakaria is located in the fort. The devastation of Khorasan and Western Iran was to the benefit of this part of Pakistan, for it led to the settling in this city of a large number of pious and learned men and noble families like Gardezi Syeds and Qureshis from Khawarizm, amongst whom Sheikh Bahauddin Zakaria is a famous saint. About the same time Pir Shams Tabrez from Sabzwar and Kazi Qutubuddin from Kashan came to Multan. Baba Farid Shakar Ganj settled in Pakpattan. Khawaja Qutubaddin Bakhatair Kaki passed through to Delhi and Syed Jalal, the spiritual leader of many family in Multan, Muzafargarh and Bahawalpur, came to Uch, Sultan Sakhi Sarwar's father also emigrated from Bokhara to Sakot in Multan district. These venerable men contributed greatly to spreading Islam in this area. the saints and shrines of Multan have been attracting a large number of devotees all the year round.

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Page last modified: 02-08-2011 15:30:18 ZULU