LOCATION AND AREA of SINDH in Pakistan
Pakistan consists of four provinces. Its second largest province is known as Sindh with its capital in Karachi, which is not only the most populous metropolis of the country, but also, a commercial hub.
The province of Sindh has two gigantic seaports and both are located in Karachi. The biggest international airport of Pakistan is also situated in Karachi and is widely known as Qaid-e-Azam International airport.
The Province of Sindh forms the lower Indus basin and lies between 23 to 35 Degree and 28-30, north latitude and 66-42 and 71-1-degree east longitude. It is about 579 kms in length from north to south and nearly 442 kms in its extreme breadth (281 kms average). It covers 1,40,915 square kms and is about as large as England.
Sindh is also proud of having acquired fame as Bab-ul-Islam (Gateway to Islam in the Indo-Pakistan subcontinent). At the time of the independence from the British occupation in August 1947, the population of Sindh was estimated at 5.5 million. Today, after the passage of fifty years the population of the province stands around 40 million souls, a half of whom now live in the urban centres like Hyderabad, Sukkur, Mirpurkhas, Tando Adam, Nawabshah, Larkana, Shikarpur, Khairpur, Badin and other smaller towns. It is basically an agrarian province. The Indus is by far the most important river of the province. The classical name of the river was Sindhu (Sanskrit for an ocean) and Sindh province was created and sustained by the river, without which it would have been a desert. Its length is about 2,880 kilometers and nearly a third of that (about 944 Kms) traverses the province. The striking resemblance of Sindh to Egypt was noticed long before the existence in it of a comparable great prehistoric civilization was even suspected; the idiosyncrasy of its people when compared with Indians, is very marked. There is an ancient saying "Just as Egypt is the gift of Nile, Sindh is the gift of the Indus".
Owing to its prevalent aridity and the absence of the monsoons, the climate of Sindh ranks among the hottest and is most variable. The average temperature of the summer months is 35 degrees centigrade and those of inter months 16. But the thermometer frequently rises in summer to 45 and occasionally to 50.In the northern part of Sindh the extremes of temperature are strongly marked. Jacobabad boasts of the highest temperature yet recorded at a Pakistani meteorological station i.e.52 degrees centigrade in June 1919. Sehwan is another hot place while Hyderabad is on the average pleasant due to cool breeze.
Cotton, rice, wheat and sugarcane are the main crops produced in Sindh. Rice is by far the most important crop cultivated here. It is the only crop that can be grown in the annually inundated lands within the delta of the Indus and a larger quantity and much finer quality is produced in the Larkana district. In Jacobabad, Sukkur, Badin, Thatta and Dadu, also, a great quantity of rice is cultivated. Cotton is produced mainly in Sanghar, Nawabshah, and Hyderabad, Sugarcane is another important crop which is chiefly grown in the Ghulam Mohammad Barrage zone in South. Sindh is proud of its bananas and mangoes also.
The waters around Karachi are rich with seafood and are considered to be some of the best fishing spots in the world. Surmai, pomphret, lobsters, shrimps, sharks, dolphins, crocodiles and other aquatic life especially Pallas exists in plenty in the sea as well as in the sweet waters of the Indus, Manchar, Keenjhar, Haleji and other lakes.
Within the last 45 years, three irrigation barrages have been constructed across the Indus in the province. The command areas of the three barrages are: Sukkur barrage 3.12 million hectares, Kotri barrage 1.12 million hectares, and Guddu barrage 1.172 million hectares.
The province of Sindh had traditionally been rich in wildlife heritage. Its Kirthar National Park, about 70 k.m. of North West of Karachi, is enlisted on World Heritage. Other side at Haleji Lake and Thar area are also of paramount importance.
Though chiefly an agricultural and pastoral province, Sindh has a reputation for textiles, pottery, leatherwork, carpets etc. The craftsmanship of the people of Sindh began during the period of Moenjodaro civilization. Their polished ornaments and articles of apparel made out of muslin and wooden lacquer work have won the praise in and outside the country.
Geographically speaking the word "Sindh" denotes the lower half of he Indus Valley from Bhakkar down to the sea and from the Kirthar in the west to the desert of Thar in the east. These geographical boundaries loosely form the basis of cultural, ethnic, linguistic and political frontiers of Sindh. Generally speaking the above-mentioned frontiers agree with the geographical boundaries but in some cases they over-step them. This is particularly noticeable in respect of the languages. In the north Landha and in the east Rajhastani co-mingle with Sindhi. Ethnically the Sindhi society has been cosmopolitan in its composition. Its ethnic groups range from the descendants of the ancient Aryans, the Secthians, the Arabs, the Turks, the Persians, the Rajputs and the Baluchis.
Politically speaking it is difficult to draw exact frontiers of Sindh as they have suffered constant changes in the course of history. However, references made by the Greeks and the Arab historians enable one to determine with some measure of precision the frontiers of Sindh which existed at the time when these records were written. The Greek accounts of Alexander’s expedition show Sindh divided into several states. The northern most was Alor, while Kachh-Gandava and the Arabi (the Purali) formed the boundary on the west. The description of Oritoe shows Mukran as a separate kingdom. Later Hiue Tsiang mentioned Cutch as a part of Sindh and described Multan as part of a separate kingdom. In the reign of Chach (last half of 7 century AD) the frontiers of Sindh extended upto Kashmir.
PRESENT DAY BOUNDARIES
Sindh is bounded on north by Baluchistan and the Punjab, on the east by Rajisthan (India), on the south by the Runn of Kutch and the Arabian Sea and on the West by Lasbela and Kalat districts of the province of Baluchistan.