Pakistan Emergency Situational Analysis - A Profile of District Mirpurkhas, October 2014


1 Background Information

1.1 Introduction

1.1.1 History

District Mirpur Khas is an ancient city with a rich history. This region has seen the reign of different rulers. The region used to be a Buddhist settlement known as Kahoo Jo Daro. Some of the remaining Stupas (a dome-shaped structure erected as a Buddhist shrine) can still be seen in an archeological site of this district. After the conquest by the Arabs, under the command of Muhammad Bin Qasim, in 712 A.D, this region was controlled by the Muslim rulers.

However, development in this region mainly started with the rule of Talpur dynasty (1773-1843). The rulers of the Talpur dynasty used the title Mir (modified from the Arabic word Ameer meaning commander-in-chief). The town of Mirpur Khas was named after its founder Mir Ali Murad Talpur in 1806. Mirpur Khas remained capital of the Mirs of Talpur until 1843 when Sindh was annexed to the British India under the East India Company. When General Charles Napier attacked Sindh, Mir Sher Muhammad Talpur, the last Talpur ruler, resisted the British. His battle for the liberation of Sindh rendered him the title of 'the lion of Sindh'.

The British made Sindh part of the Bombay Presidency and built a communication network throughout the province. They administratively divided the province in to districts and subdistricts (talukas). They built roads, schools, dispensaries and many other civic amenities.

Tharparker was made a district, comprising of Umerkot and Mirpur Khas towns. Umerkot was made the district's headquarters, while Mirpur Khas was ignored until the opening of the Jamrao Canal in 1900. This canal made Mirpur Khas stand out of the rest of the towns in the district. It was constituted as a municipality in 1901 and was made the district headquarters of district Tharparkar in 1906.

After the independence of Pakistan in 1947, because of its proximity with the Indian border,
Mirpur Khas became the first city to welcome refugees from India to Pakistan. It acted as a primary railway junction for the first trains to come across Rajhistan to the Sindh province. In 1990, the district of Mirpur Khas was carved out of district Tharparkar and was given the status of a district