Pakistan Emergency Situational Analysis - District Ghotki, September 2014

Originally published


1 Background Information

1.1 Introduction

1.1.1 History

District Ghotki is an important administrative unit of Sind province that plays an important role in the economy, and trade of Upper Sindh. Historically, Alexander invaded India in 326 BCE and the ruins of Greek invasion can still be seen in this region. The Arab invasion, led by Muhammad Bin Qasim, in 711 A.D, made Sindh part of the Umayyad Caliphate. Ghotki was founded as a camp by an Ambassador General of Raja Ibn Selaj Birhman (a relative of Raja Dahar of Sindh) in 637 A.D. At that time it was named as Hath Sam. When, in 712 A.D, Mohammad Bin Qasim conquered Sindh by defeating Raja Dahar, Ghot Ibn Samed Ibn Patel, the grandson of Raja Dahar, was settled in the area as he converted to Islam and in whose name the Ghota tribe came into being. Arabs awarded many Jagirs (Estates) to Ghotas and named this village as "Daharwali", to honor their grandfather.

Later on, this region was ruled by different dynasties, including the Soomras (1024-1351), the Arghuns (1520-1650), the Kalhoras (1657-1783) and the Talpurs (1783-1843). When Britain invaded the subcontinent, General Charles Napier, a commander in the British Army, defeated the Talpur dynasty and conquered Sindh in 1843. After the British conquest of Sindh province, in 1847, they awarded huge blocks of irrigated fertile land to the Ghotta tribal chieftains in return for their loyalty to the British. Gradually, the town's name changed into Ghotki (of Ghottas).

The British contributed in a number of ways towards the development of Sindh. General Charles Napier was appointed as the first Governor General of Sindh. The province was divided into different administrative units and assigned to Zamindars (landlords) to collect taxes for the British government. The British government developed these areas as urban centers. Consequently, people migrated from other districts and provinces as well and started to reside here. The British named these small developed areas as "Talukas".