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Sindh

Sindh is one of the four provinces of Pakistan, in the southeast of the country, and the historical home of the Sindhi people. Sindh is the third largest province of Pakistan by area, and second largest province by population after Punjab. Sindh is bordered by Balochistan province to the west, and Punjab province to the north. Sindh also borders the Indian states of Gujarat and Rajasthan to the east, and Arabian Sea to the south. Sindh’s landscape consists mostly of alluvial plains flanking the Indus River, the Thar desert in the eastern portion of the province closest to the border with India, and the Kirthar Mountains in the western part of Sindh.

Sindh has Pakistan’s second largest economy, while its provincial capital Karachi is Pakistan’s largest city and financial hub, and hosts the headquarters of several multinational banks. Sindh is home to a large portion of Pakistan’s industrial sector and contains two of Pakistan’s commercial seaports, Port Bin Qasim and the Karachi Port. The remainder of Sindh has an agriculture based economy, and produces fruit, food consumer items, and vegetables for the consumption other parts of the country.

Sindh is known for its distinct culture which is strongly influenced by Sufism, an important marker of Sindhi identity for both Hindus (Sindh has Pakistan’s highest percentage of Hindu residents) and Muslims in the province. Several important Sufi shrines are located throughout the province which attract millions of annual devotees.

Sindh’s capital, Karachi, is Pakistan’s most ethnically diverse city, with Muhajirs, or descendants of those who migrated to Pakistan from India after 1947 and throughout the 1950s and 1960s, making up the majority of the population. Karachi and other urban centres of Sindh have seen ethnic tensions between the native Sindhis and the Muhajirs boil over into violence on several occasions. Sindh is home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites – the Historical Monuments at Makli, and the Archaeological Ruins at Moenjodaro.

The word Sindh is derived from the Sanskrit term Sindhu (literally meaning “river”), which is a reference to Indus River. The official spelling “Sind” was discontinued in 1988 by an amendment passed in Sindh Assembly.

The Greeks who conquered Sindh in 325 BC under the command of Alexander the Great rendered it as Indós, hence the modern Indus. The ancient Iranians referred to everything east of the river Indus as hind.

History

Prehistoric period

Sindh’s first known village settlements date as far back as 7000 BCE. Permanent settlements at Mehrgarh, currently in Balochistan, to the west expanded into Sindh. This culture blossomed over several millennia and gave rise to the Indus Valley Civilization around 3000 BCE. The Indus Valley Civilization rivalled the contemporary civilizations of Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia in size and scope, numbering nearly half a million inhabitants at its height with well-planned grid cities and sewer systems.

The primitive village communities in Balochistan were still struggling against a difficult highland environment, a highly cultured people were trying to assert themselves at Kot Diji. This was one of the most developed urban civilizations of the ancient world. It flourished between the 25th century BCE and 1500 BCE in the Indus valley sites of Mohenjo Daro and Harappa. The people had a high standard of art and craftsmanship and a well-developed system of quasi-pictographic writing which remains un-deciphered. The ruins of the well planned towns, the brick buildings of the common people, roads, public baths and the covered drainage system suggest a highly organized community.

According to some accounts, there is no evidence of large palaces or burial grounds for the elite. The grand and presumably holy site might have been the great bath, which is built upon an artificially created elevation. This indigenous civilization collapsed around 1700 BCE. The cause is hotly debated and may have been a massive earthquake, which dried up the Ghaggar River. Skeletons discovered in the ruins of Moan Jo Daro (“mount of dead”) were thought to indicate that the city was suddenly attacked and the population was wiped out, but further examinations showed that the marks on the skeletons were due to erosion and not of violence.

Early history

The ancient city of Roruka, identified with modern Aror/Rohri, was capital of the Sauvira Kingdom, and finds mentioned early Buddhist literature as a major trading center. Sindh finds mention in the Hindu epic Mahabharata as being part of Bharatvarsha. Sindh was conquered by the Persian Achaemenid Empire in the 6th century BC. In the late 4th century BC, Sindh was conquered by a mixed army led by Macedonian Greeks under Alexander the Great. Alexander described his encounters with these trans-Indus tribes of Sindh: “I am involved in the land of lions and brave people, where every foot of the ground is like a well of steel, confronting my soldier. You have brought only one son into the world, but everyone in this land can be called an Alexander.” The region remained under control of Greek satraps for only a few decades. After Alexander’s death, there was a brief period of Seleucid rule, before Sindh was traded to the Mauryan Empire led by Chandragupta in 305 BC. During the rule of the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka, the Buddhist religion spread to Sindh.

Mauryan rule ended in 185 BC with the overthrow of the last king by the Shunga Dynasty. In the disorder that followed, Greek rule returned when Demetrius I of Bactria led a Greco-Bactrian invasion of India and annexed most of the northwestern lands, including Sindh. Demetrius was later defeated and killed by a usurper, but his descendants continued to rule Sindh and other lands as the Indo-Greek Kingdom. Under the reign of Menander I, many Indo-Greeks followed his example and converted to Buddhism.

In the late 2nd century BC, Scythian tribes shattered the Greco-Bactrian empire and invaded the Indo-Greek lands. Unable to take the Punjab region, they invaded South Asia through Sindh, where they became known as Indo-Scythians (later Western Satraps). By the 1st century AD, the Kushan Empire annexed Sindh. Kushans under Kanishka were great patrons of Buddhism and sponsored many building projects for local beliefs. Ahirs were also found in large numbers in Sindh. Abiria country of Abhira tribe was in southern Sindh.

The Kushan Empire was defeated in the mid 3rd century AD by the Sassanid Empire of Persia, who installed vassals known as the Kushanshahs in these far eastern territories. These rulers were defeated by the Kidarites in the late 4th century.

It then came under the Gupta Empire after dealing with the Kidarites. By the late 5th century, attacks by Hephthalite tribes known as the Indo-Hephthalites or Hunas (Huns) broke through the Gupta Empire’s northwestern borders and overran much of northwestern India. Concurrently, Ror dynasty ruled parts of the region for several centuries.

Afterwards, Sindh came under the rule of Emperor Harshavardhan, then the Rai Dynasty around 478. The Rais were overthrown by Chachar of Alor around 632. The Brahman dynasty ruled a vast territory that stretched from Multan in the north to the Rann of Kutch, Alor was their capital.

Arrival of Islam

The connection between the Sind and Islam was established by the initial Muslim missions during the Rashidun Caliphate. Al-Hakim ibn Jabalah al-Abdi, who attacked Makran in the year 649 AD, was an early partisan of Ali ibn Abu Talib. During the caliphate of Ali, many Jats of Sindh had came under influence of Shi’ism and some even participated in the Battle of Camel and died fighting for Ali.Under the Umayyads (661 – 750 AD), many Shias sought asylum in the region of Sindh, to live in relative peace in the remote area. Ziyad Hindi is one of those refugees

Muhammad Ali Jinnah claimed that the Pakistan movement started when the first Muslim put his foot on the soil of Sindh, the Gateway of Islam in India.

In 712, Muhammad bin Qasim conquered the Sindh and Indus Valley, bringing South Asian societies into contact with Islam. Dahir was an unpopular Hindu king that ruled over a Buddhist majority and that Chach of Alor and his kin were regarded as usurpers of the earlier Buddhist Rai Dynasty, a view questioned by those who note the diffuse and blurred nature of Hindu and Buddhist practices in the region, especially that of the royalty to be patrons of both and those who believe that Chach may have been a Buddhist. The forces of Muhammad bin Qasim defeated Raja Dahir in alliance with the Hindu Jats and other regional governors.

In 711 AD, Muhammad bin Qasim led an Umayyad force of 20,000 cavalry and 5 catapults. Muhammad bin Qasim defeated the Raja Dahir, and captured the cities of Alor, Multan and Debal. Sindh became the easternmost State of the Umayyad Caliphate and was referred to as “Sind” on Arab maps, with lands further east known as “Hind”. Muhammad bin Qasim built the city of Mansura as his capital; the city then produced famous historical figures such as Abu Mashar Sindhi, Abu Ata al-Sindhi, Abu Raja Sindhi and Sind ibn Ali. At the port city of Debal, most of the Bawarij embraced Islam and became known as Sindhi Sailors, who were renowned for their in navigation, geography and languages. After Bin Qasim left, the Umayyads ruled Sindh through the Habbari dynasty.

By the year 750, Debal (modern Karachi) was second only to Basra; Sindhi sailors from the port city of Debal voyaged to Basra, Bushehr, Musqat, Aden, Kilwa, Zanzibar, Sofala, Malabar, Sri Lanka and Java (where Sindhi merchants were known as the Santri). During the power struggle between the Umayyads and the Abbasids. The Habbari Dynasty became semi independent and was eliminated and Mansura was invaded by Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi. Sindh then became an easternmost State of the Abbasid Caliphate ruled by the Soomro Dynasty until the Siege of Baghdad (1258). Mansura was the first capital of the Soomra Dynasty and the last of the Habbari dynasty. Muslim geographers, historians and travelers such as al-Masudi, Ibn Hawqal, Istakhri, Ahmed ibn Sahl al-Balkhi, al-Tabari, Baladhuri, Nizami, al-Biruni, Saadi Shirazi, Ibn Battutah and Katip Çelebi wrote about or visited the region, sometimes using the name “Sindh” for the entire area from the Arabian Sea to the Hindu Kush.

Soomra dynasty period

When Sindh was under the Arab Umayyad Caliphate, the Arab Habbari dynasty was in control. The Umayyads appointed Aziz al Habbari as the governor of Sindh. Habbaris ruled Sindh until Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi defeated the Habbaris in 1024. Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi viewed the Abbasid Caliphate to be the caliphs thus he removed the remaining influence of the Umayyad Caliphate in the region and Sindh fell to Abbasid control following the defeat of the Habbaris. The Abbasid Caliphate then appointed Al Khafif from Samarra; ‘Soomro’ means ‘of Samarra’ in Sindhi. The new governor of Sindh was to create a better, stronger and stable government. Once he became the governor, he allotted several key positions to his family and friends; thus Al-Khafif or Sardar Khafif Soomro formed the Rajput Soomro Dynasty in Sindh; and became its first ruler. Until the Siege of Baghdad (1258) the Soomro dynasty was the Abbasid Caliphate’s functionary in Sindh, but after that it became independent.

When the Soomro dynasty lost ties with the Abbasid Caliphate after the Siege of Baghdad (1258,) the Soomra ruler Dodo-I established their rule from the shores of the Arabian Sea to the Punjab in the north and in the east to Rajasthan and in the west to Pakistani Balochistan. The Soomros were one of the first indigenous Muslim dynasties in Sindh of Parmar Rajput origin. They were the first Muslims to translate the Quran into the Sindhi language. The Sammas created a chivalrous culture in Sindh, which eventually facilitated their rule centred at Mansura. It was later abandoned due to changes in the course of the Puran River; they ruled for the next 95 years until 1351. During this period, Kutch was ruled by the Samma Dynasty, who enjoyed good relations with the Soomras in Sindh. Since the Soomro Dynasty lost its support from the Abbasid Caliphate, the Sultans of Delhi wanted a piece of Sindh. The Soomros successfully defended their kingdom for about 36 years, but their dynasties soon fell to the might of the Sultanate of Delhi’s massive armies such as the Tughluks and the Khaljis.

Samma Dynasty period

In 1339 Jam Unar founded a Sindhi Muslim Rajput Samma Dynasty and challenged the Sultans of Delhi. He used the title of the Sultan of Sindh. The Samma tribe reached its peak during the reign of Jam Nizamuddin II (also known by the nickname Jám Nindó). During his reign from 1461 to 1509, Nindó greatly expanded the new capital of Thatta and its Makli hills, which replaced Debal. He patronized Sindhi art, architecture and culture. The Samma had left behind a popular legacy especially in architecture, music and art. Important court figures included the poet Kazi Kadal, Sardar Darya Khan, Moltus Khan, Makhdoom Bilawal and the theologian Kazi Kaadan. However, Thatta was a port city; unlike garrison towns, it could not mobilize large armies against the Arghun and Tarkhan Mongol invaders, who killed many regional Sindhi Mirs and Amirs loyal to the Samma. Some parts of Sindh still remained under the Sultans of Delhi and the ruthless Arghuns and the Tarkhans sacked Thatta during the rule of Jam Ferozudin.

Migration of Baloch

According to Dr. Akhtar Baloch, Professor at University of Karachi, and Nadeem Wagan, General Manager at HANDS, the Balochi migrated from Balochistan during the Little Ice Age and settled in Sindh and Punjab. The Little Ice Age is conventionally defined as a period extending from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries, or alternatively, from about 1300 to about 1850. According to Professor Baloch, the climate of Balochistan was very cold during this epoch and the region was uninhabitable during the winters so the Baloch people emigrated in waves to Sindh and Punjab.

Mughal era

In the year 1524, the few remaining Sindhi Amirs welcomed the Mughal Empire and Babur dispatched his forces to rally the Arghuns and the Tarkhans, branches of a Turkic dynasty. In the coming centuries, Sindh became a region loyal to the Mughals, a network of forts manned by cavalry and musketeers further extended Mughal power in Sindh. In 1540 a mutiny by Sher Shah Suri forced the Mughal Emperor Humayun to withdraw to Sindh, where he joined the Sindhi Emir Hussein Umrani. In 1541 Humayun married Hamida Banu Begum, who gave birth to the infant Akbar at Umarkot in the year 1542.

During the reign of Akbar the Great, Sindh produced scholars and others such as Mir Ahmed Nasrallah Thattvi, Tahir Muhammad Thattvi and Mir Ali Sir Thattvi and the Mughal chronicler Abu’l-Fazl ibn Mubarak and his brother the poet Faizi was a descendant of a Sindhi Shaikh family from Rel, Siwistan in Sindh. Abu’l-Fazl ibn Mubarak was the author of Akbarnama (an official biographical account of Akbar) and the Ain-i-Akbari (a detailed document recording the administration of the Mughal Empire).

Shah Jahan carved a subah (imperial province), covering Sindh, called Thatta after its capital, out of Multan, further bordering on the Ajmer and Gujarat subahs as well as the rival Persian Safavid empire.

During the Mughal period, Sindhi literature began to flourish and historical figures such as Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai, Sulatn-al-Aoliya Muhammad Zaman and Sachal Sarmast became prominent throughout the land. In 1603 Shah Jahan visited the State of Sindh; at Thatta he was generously welcomed by the locals after the death of his father Jahangir. Shah Jahan ordered the construction of the Shahjahan Mosque, which was completed during the early years of his rule under the supervision of Mirza Ghazi Beg. During his reign, in 1659 in the Mughal Empire, Muhammad Salih Tahtawi of Thatta created a seamless celestial globe with Arabic and Persian inscriptions using a wax casting method.

Sindh was home to several wealthy merchant-rulers such as Mir Bejar of Sindh, whose great wealth had attracted the close ties with the Sultan bin Ahmad of Oman.

In the year 1701, the Kalhora Nawabs were authorized in a firman by the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb to administer subah Sindh.

From 1752 to 1762, Marathas collected Chauth or tributes from Sindh. Maratha power was decimated in the entire region after the Third Battle of Panipat in 1761. In 1762, Mian Ghulam Shah Kalhoro brought stability in Sindh, he reorganized and independently defeated the Marathas and their prominent vassal the Rao of Kuch in the Thar Desert and returned victoriously.

After the Sikhs annexed Multan, the Kalhora Dynasty supported counterattacks against the Sikhs and defined their borders.

In 1783 a firman which designated Mir Fateh Ali Khan Talpur as the new Nawab of Sindh, and mediated peace particularly after the Battle of Halani and the defeat of the ruling Kalhora by the Talpur Baloch tribes.

Talpurs

According to Nadeem Wagan, General Manager at HANDS,The Talpur tribe migrated from Dera Ghazi Khan in Punjab to Sindh on the invitation of Kalhora to help them organize unruly Baloch tribes living in Sindh. Talpurs, who learned the Sindhi language, settled in northern Sindh. Very soon they united all the Baloch tribes of Sindh and formed a confederacy against the Kalhora Dynasty. The Talpur Baloch soon gained power, overthrowing the Kalhora after the Battle of Halani to conquer and rule Sindh and other parts of present-day Pakistan, from 1783 to 1843. British East India Company forces led by General Charles James Napier overthrew the Talpur Baloch in 1843.

British Raj

 

In 1802, when Mir Ghulam Ali Khan Talpur succeeded as the Talpur Nawab, internal tensions broke out in the state. As a result, the following year the Maratha Empire declared war on Sindh and Berar Subah, during which Arthur Wellesley took a leading role causing much early suspicion between the Emirs of Sindh and the British Empire. The British East India Company made its first contacts in the Sindhi port city of Thatta, which according to a report was:

“a city as large as London containing 50,000 houses which were made of stone and mortar with large verandahs some three or four stories high … the city has 3,000 looms … the textiles of Sindh were the flower of the whole produce of the East, the international commerce of Sindh gave it a place among that of Nations, Thatta has 400 schools and 4,000 Dhows at its docks, the city is guarded by well armed Sepoys”.

British and Bengal Presidency forces under General Charles James Napier arrived in Sindh in the mid-19th century and conquered Sindh in February 1843. The Baloch coalition led by Talpur under Mir Nasir Khan Talpur was defeated at the Battle of Miani during which 5,000 Talpur Baloch were killed. Shortly afterwards, Hoshu Sheedi commanded another army at the Battle of Dubbo, where 5,000 Baloch were killed.

The first Agha Khan (was escaping persecution from Persia and looking for a foothold in the British Raj) he helped the British in their conquest of Sindh. As result, he was granted a lifetime pension.

A British journal by Thomas Postans mentions the captive Sindhi Amirs: “The Amirs as being the prisoners of ‘Her Majesty’… they are maintained in strict seclusion; they are described as Broken-Hearted and Miserable men, maintaining much of the dignity of fallen greatness, and without any querulous or angry complaining at this unlivable source of sorrow, refusing to be comforted”. Within weeks, Charles Napier and his forces occupied Sindh.

After 1853 the British divided Sindh into districts and later made it part of British India’s Bombay Presidency.

In the year 1868, the Bombay Presidency assigned Narayan Jagannath Vaidya to replace the Abjad used in Sindhi, with the Khudabadi script. The script was decreed a standard script by the Bombay Presidency thus inciting anarchy in the Muslim majority region. A powerful unrest followed, after which Twelve Martial Laws were imposed by the British authorities.

The Bombay Presidency caused the rise of rebels such as Sibghatullah Shah Rashidi pioneered the Sindhi Muslim Hur Movement against the British Raj. He was hanged on 20 March 1943 in Hyderabad, Sindh. His burial place is not known.

During the British period, railways, printing presses and bridges were introduced in the province. Writers like Mirza Kalich Beg compiled and traced the literary history of Sindh.

Although Sindh had a culture of religious syncretism, communal harmony and tolerance due to Sindh’s strong Sufi culture in which both Sindhi Muslims and Sindhi Hindus partook, the mostly Muslim peasantry was oppressed by the Hindu moneylending class and also by the landed Muslim elite. Sindhi Muslims eventually demanded the separation of Sindh from the Bombay Presidency, a move opposed by Sindhi Hindus.

By 1936 Sindh was separated from the Bombay Presidency. Elections in 1937 resulted in local Sindhi Muslim parties winning the bulk of seats. By the mid-1940s the Muslim League gained a foothold in the province and after winning over the support of local Sufi pirs, it didn’t take long for the overwhelming majority of Sindhi Muslims to campaign for the creation of Pakistan.

Independence of Pakistan

At the time of Partition, there were 1,400,000 Hindu Sindhis, dominating the province’s upper middle class. There was very little communal violence in Sindh, in comparison to Punjab. Communal violence in Ajmer, India, in December 1947 led to Muslim refugees crossing over the Thar Desert to Sindh in Pakistan. This sparked riots in Hyderabad and later in Karachi, although less than 500 Hindu were killed in Sindh between 1947-48 as Sindhi Muslims largely resisted calls to turn against their Hindu neighbours. Hundreds of thousands of Sindhi Hindus fled to India. The arrival of Sindhi Hindu refugees in the Indian town of Godhra sparked the March 1948 anti-Muslim riots there which led to an emigration of Ghanchi Muslims from Godhra to Pakistan. Indian Muslims from the United Provinces, Central Provinces and Bombay continued migrating to and settling in Sindh’s urban centers throughout the 1950s and 1960s.

Languages

First languages of Sindh

Sindhi (61.6%)

Urdu (18.2%)

Pashto (5.46%)

Punjabi (5.31%)

Saraiki (2.23%)

Balochi (2%)

Others (5.2%)

Sindhi language

Sindhi (Arabic script: سنڌي) is spoken by more than 30 million people (in 2017) in the province of Sindh.

Sindhi is an Indo-European language, both are linguistically considered to be the daughter languages of Sanskrit. Balochi and Seraiki have also influenced Sindhi which also accommodates substantial Persian, Turkish and Arabic words. Sindhi is written in a modified Arabic script. Today, Sindhi in Pakistan is heavily influenced by Urdu with more borrowed Perso-Arabic elements, while Sindhi in India is influenced by Hindi and borrows more elements from Sanskrit. Key dialects of Sindhi include Kutchi, Lasi, Memoni, Lari, Vicholi, Utradi, Macharia and Dukslinu (which is spoken by Sindhi Hindus).

Other languages

Other languages in the province include Gujarati[83] and Parkari Koli (sometimes called just Parkari); a language is spoken by only 250,000 natives of Sindh according to a 1995 estimate.

Only 7.3% of people Karachi’s residents are Sindhi-speaking. Karachi is populated by Muhajirs who speak Urdu.[85] Other immigrant communities in Karachi are Pashtuns from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjabis from Punjab and other linguistic groups from various regions of Pakistan.

Geography and nature

 

Sindh is in the western corner of South Asia, bordering the Iranian plateau in the west. Geographically it is the third largest province of Pakistan, stretching about 579 kilometres (360 mi) from north to south and 442 kilometres (275 mi) (extreme) or 281 kilometres (175 mi) (average) from east to west, with an area of 140,915 square kilometres (54,408 sq mi) of Pakistani territory. Sindh is bounded by the Thar Desert to the east, the Kirthar Mountains to the west and the Arabian Sea in the south. In the centre is a fertile plain along the Indus River.

Flora

The province is mostly arid with scant vegetation except for the irrigated Indus Valley. The dwarf palm, Acacia Rupestris (kher), and Tecomella undulata (lohirro) trees are typical of the western hill region. In the Indus valley, the Acacia nilotica (babul) (babbur) is the most dominant and occurs in thick forests along the Indus banks. The Azadirachta indica (neem) (nim), Zizyphys vulgaris (bir) (ber), Tamarix orientalis (jujuba lai) and Capparis aphylla (kirir) are among the more common trees.

Mango, date palms and the more recently introduced banana, guava, orange and chiku are the typical fruit-bearing trees. The coastal strip and the creeks abound in semi-aquatic and aquatic plants and the inshore Indus delta islands have forests of Avicennia tomentosa (timmer) and Ceriops candolleana (chaunir) trees. Water lilies grow in abundance in the numerous lake and ponds, particularly in the lower Sindh region.

Fauna

Among the wild animals, the Sindh ibex (sareh), blackbuck, wild sheep (Urial or gadh) and wild bear are found in the western rocky range. The leopard is now rare and the Asiatic cheetah extinct. The Pirrang (large tiger cat or fishing cat) of the eastern desert region is also disappearing. Deer occur in the lower rocky plains and in the eastern region, as do the striped hyena (charakh), jackal, fox, porcupine, common gray mongoose and hedgehog. The Sindhi phekari, red lynx or Caracal cat, is found in some areas. Phartho (hog deer) and wild bear occur, particularly in the central inundation belt. There are bats, lizards and reptiles, including the cobra, lundi (viper) and the mysterious Sindh krait of the Thar region, which is supposed to suck the victim’s breath in his sleep. Some unusual sightings of Asian cheetah occurred in 2003 near the Balochistan border in Kirthar Mountains. The rare houbara bustard find Sindh’s warm climate suitable to rest and mate. Unfortunately, it is hunted by locals and foreigners.

Crocodiles are rare and inhabit only the backwaters of the Indus, eastern Nara channel and Karachi backwater. Besides a large variety of marine fish, the plumbeous dolphin, the beaked dolphin, rorqual or blue whale and skates frequent the seas along the Sindh coast. The Pallo (Sable fish), a marine fish, ascends the Indus annually from February to April to spawn. The Indus river dolphin is among the most endangered species in Pakistan and is found in the part of the Indus river in northern Sindh. Hog deer and wild bear occur, particularly in the central inundation belt.

Although Sindh has a semi arid climate, through its coastal and riverine forests, its huge fresh water lakes and mountains and deserts, Sindh supports a large amount of varied wildlife. Due to the semi-arid climate of Sindh the left out forests support an average population of jackals and snakes. The national parks established by the Government of Pakistan in collaboration with many organizations such as World Wide Fund for Nature and Sindh Wildlife Department support a huge variety of animals and birds. The Kirthar National Park in the Kirthar range spreads over more than 3000 km2 of desert, stunted tree forests and a lake. The KNP supports Sindh ibex, wild sheep (urial) and black bear along with the rare leopard. There are also occasional sightings of The Sindhi phekari, ped lynx or Caracal cat. There is a project to introduce tigers and Asian elephants too in KNP near the huge Hub Dam Lake. Between July and November when the monsoon winds blow onshore from the ocean, giant olive ridley turtles lay their eggs along the seaward side. The turtles are protected species. After the mothers lay and leave them buried under the sands the SWD and WWF officials take the eggs and protect them until they are hatched to keep them from predators.

Climate

Sindh lies in a tropical to subtropical region; it is hot in the summer and mild to warm in winter. Temperatures frequently rise above 46 °C (115 °F) between May and August, and the minimum average temperature of 2 °C (36 °F) occurs during December and January in the northern and higher elevated regions. The annual rainfall averages about seven inches, falling mainly during July and August. The southwest monsoon wind begins in mid-February and continues until the end of September, whereas the cool northerly wind blows during the winter months from October to January.

Sindh lies between the two monsoons—the southwest monsoon from the Indian Ocean and the northeast or retreating monsoon, deflected towards it by the Himalayan mountains—and escapes the influence of both. The region’s scarcity of rainfall is compensated by the inundation of the Indus twice a year, caused by the spring and summer melting of Himalayan snow and by rainfall in the monsoon season.

Sindh is divided into three climatic regions: Siro (the upper region, centred on Jacobabad), Wicholo (the middle region, centred on Hyderabad), and Lar (the lower region, centred on Karachi). The thermal equator passes through upper Sindh, where the air is generally very dry. Central Sindh’s temperatures are generally lower than those of upper Sindh but higher than those of lower Sindh. Dry hot days and cool nights are typical during the summer. Central Sindh’s maximum temperature typically reaches 43–44 °C (109–111 °F). Lower Sindh has a damper and humid maritime climate affected by the southwestern winds in summer and northeastern winds in winter, with lower rainfall than Central Sindh. Lower Sindh’s maximum temperature reaches about 35–38 °C (95–100 °F). In the Kirthar range at 1,800 m (5,900 ft) and higher at Gorakh Hill and other peaks in Dadu District, temperatures near freezing have been recorded and brief snowfall is received in the winters.

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