Punjab-Chakwal

Introduction

Chakwal district is located between 71° 48′ to 73° 16′ east longitudes and 32° 33′ to 33° 12′ north latitudes. Attock and Rawalpindi districts are located on its north, Khushab is on its south, Jhelum on its east, and Mianwali district is on its west. It is located in the Potohar Plateau, in the Dhanni region,[1] and the Salt Range enters the district at its extreme southwest corner.

District at a Glance

Name of District Chakwal District
District Headquarter Chakwal City
Population[2] 1,495,982 persons
Area[3] 6,624 km2
Population Density[4] 223.9 persons/ km2
Population Growth Rate[5] 1.7%
Male Population[6] 48.4%
Female Population[7] 51.6%
Urban Population[8] 19.0%
Tehsils 4 tehsils:

1.    Chakwal Tehsil

2.    Choa Saidan Shah Tehsil

3.    Kallar Kahar (new tehsil created in 2005)

4.    Talagang Tehsil

Main Towns Chakwal town, Talagang, Choa Saidan Shah, Kallar Kahar, Bhagwal, Bilalabad, Budhial, Dharyala Kahoon, Dhoular, Dulla, Lawa, Khoday, Rupwali, Tamman, Dulmial, and Murid
Literacy Rate[9] 74%
Male Literacy Rate[10] 84%
Female Literacy Rate[11] 66%
Major Economic Activity[12] Agriculture with its Allied Livestock Breeding, Fishing 42.4%
Mining & Quarrying 2.2%
Manufacturing 3.6%
Construction 20.3%
Wholesale/Retail, Restaurant/Hotel 7.8%
Transport, Storage & Communication 5.8%
Community Social & Personal Services 11.5%
Others 6.4%
Main Crops Wheat, jowar, ground nut, gram, maize, bajra, moong, maash, masoor, oil seeds such as rape/ mustard, and sun flower
Major Fruits Citrus, guavas, apricot, banana, loquat, pears, peaches, and pomegranate
Major Vegetables Cauliflower, turnip, ladyfinger, potatoes, carrot, peas, tomato, chillies, garlic, and onion
Forests (Area)[13] 67,000 HA[14]
Black Topped Roads[15] 2,519.0 km
National Highways[16] – Km
Motorways[17] 79.0 km
Provincial Highways[18] 2,440.0 km
Sugar Cess Roads[19] – km
No of Grid Stations[20] 7 grid stations, ranging in capacity from 66 KV to 132 KV. Electricity is provided by Islamabad Electric Supply Company (IESCO)
No. of Tel. Exchanges[21] 63 telephone exchanges, with a total capacity of 50,728 lines
Industrial Zones[22] 1 industrial estate established by Punjab Small Industries Corporation (PSIC), with 25 Industrial units
Major Industry[23] Agricultural implements, cement, ceramic products, cold storage, flour mills, paper cone, poultry feed, textile spinning, textile weaving, and tobacco
Household Size[24] 5.7 persons per house
Houses with Piped Water[25] 7.9%
Houses with Electricity[26] 48%

Table 1.1 Chakwal District at a Glance

[1] Dhanni region is the traditional territory of the Dhanni tribe. The Dhanni are the descendants of Moazzam Shah, known as Dhanni Pir. His tomb is located in the Chakwal tehsil. The Dhanni believe themselves to be descendants of Hazrat Ali, the Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) son-in-law and one of his wives, Khoula Bint Ayas bin Jaffer Banu Hanifa. She is the mother of Hazrat Imam Abu Hanifa, who is one of the 4 main Imams of the Sunni sect.

[2] 2017 Census

[3] 1998 Census

[4] 2017 Census

[5] 2017 Census

[6] 2017 Census

[7] 2017 Census

[8] 2017 Census

[9] Pakistan Social & Living Measurement Survey, 2014-15 (PSLM); Latest available

[10] PSLM

[11] PSLM

[12] 1998 Census; 2017 Census data has not been made public

[13] Punjab Development Statistics 2018-19

[14] Land Utilization Statistics reports an area of 58,000 HA under Forests

[15] Punjab Development Statistics 2018-19

[16] Punjab Development Statistics 2018-19

[17] Punjab Development Statistics 2018-19

[18] Punjab Development Statistics 2018-19

[19] Punjab Development Statistics 2018-19

[20] Pre-investment Study, Directorate of Industries, Lahore, Chakwal District Study 2012; Latest available.

[21] Pre-investment Study, Directorate of Industries, Lahore, Chakwal District Study 2012; Latest available.

[22] Pre-investment Study, Directorate of Industries, Lahore, Chakwal District Study 2012; Latest available.

[23] Pre-investment Study, Directorate of Industries, Lahore, Chakwal District Study 2012; Latest available.

[24] 1998 Census; 2017 Census data has not been made public

[25] 1998 Census; 2017 Census data has not been made public

[26] 1998 Census; 2017 Census data has not been made public

Brief HistoryGovernmental StructureAdministrative DivisionsHeritage Sites and Tourist Attractions

Brief History of the District

Ancient History

Chakwal district is one of the four districts that are a part of the Potohar/ Potowar Plateau of Pakistan; the other districts are Attock, Jhelum, and Rawalpindi. This plateau is home to the ancient Soan Valley Civilization/ culture. Fossils, tools, coins, and remains of ancient archaeological sites have been discovered along the Soan River. The earliest Stone Age artifacts have been preserved and displayed at the Museums of Lahore and Karachi. Some of these artifacts date back 500,000 to 100,000 years ago. The Indus Valley civilization is known to have flourished in this region between the 23rd and 18th centuries BC. The archaeological sites discovered in the Soan Valley/ Potowar region are scattered around Rawalpindi and Jhelum districts as well as the Chakwal region.

History of the Dhanni Region

The area of Dhanni (Chakwal tehsil) is a large plain, and is currently the traditional home of 3 main tribes: the Mair-Minhas, Kassar, and Kahut. The area was an uninhabited part of the Jammu State of the Dogra Rajputs for a long time. Although powerful tribes like the Gakkars and Janjuas ruled the adjoining territories, the Dhanni region remained a hunting ground for the Rajas (Chiefs/ Kings) of Jammu, who hunted wild game that populated the forests of the region.

The area was populated when, according to local tradition, Raja Bhagir Dev, a Jamwal Prince,[1] while on a hunting expedition, fell in love with a Muslim woman belonging to a tribe of wandering Gujjar grazers, in the year 1190. In order to marry her, he converted to Islam, and was consequently expelled from Jammu by his father. He and his followers settled in the Chakwal/ Dhanni area. After conversion to Islam, Raja Bhagir Dev was named Muhammed Mair (his descendants are now the Mair-Minhas Rajputs). The Mairs preferred pastoral rather than agricultural pursuits for the next few centuries, and remained confined to this area.

Around 1525, the Mughal Emperor Babar stopped by in this region on his way to Kashmir, and his army was ambushed by the hostile Rajput tribes from the adjoining areas. However, the Mairs helped Babar’s army. The Mughal King then summoned the chief of the Mairs, Raja Sidhar, and offered him two-thirds of the land of Dhanni on the condition that he provide labor to help the Kassar tribesmen[2] drain water from the eastern part of the Dhanni region, as most of the Chakwal region was a lake at that time. Both tribes then took up the job, and drained water by cutting a canal through Ghori Galla,[3] through which the Bunha River now flows. The Emperor gifted them the areas as their own, and awarded them the title of Chaudhry. This area has since then been called Dhan Chaurasi or Maluki/ Malooki Dhan.

Chaudhry Sidhar settled his people in villages and named them after his sons Chaku, Murid, and Karhan. Chaku Khan settled in Chakwal, the village that is now named after him, and made it the center for the administration of the area, while the Kassar chiefs founded the villages of Bal Kassar and Dhudial in Chakwal district.

This specific story is corroborated by the local Hindu family of Gadihok, who were the Qanoongoe[4] of the area during the Mughal era and were awarded many certificates by the Mughal Emperors. The Gadihoks claim that Dhanni was named Maluki Dhan after their forefather, Malook Chand, who happened to be with Babar during the settlement of the area, but they agree that the area was given to the Mairs, Kassars, and Kahuts, while the Gadihoks received a certain portion of the revenue as an inam or gift.

However, contrary to the claim of the Gadihoks, the Janjuas claim that the area was called Maluki Dhan after their ancestor, Raja Mal Khan. The Kassars have a similar claim, and they say that the area was actually Baluki Dhan, named after their ancestor Bal Kassar, and that it was only due to a lithographic error that the area was called Maluki instead of Baluki in Ain-e-Akbari.[5] In contrast to all the aforementioned claims, Ain-e-Akbari indicates that the Gakkars were the rulers of the land.

These tribes, especially the Mair-Minhas Chaudhrials of Chakwal, rose to further prominence during the short rule of Sher Shah Suri, who handed them control over the adjoining territories, extending as far as the Soan River in Potowar and the Pind Dadan Khan Plains in the south.

After the Mughal King Humayun returned to India with the help of the Persians, he handed the control of the entire Potowar region, including Dhanni, to the Gakkars, who had helped him escape from India during Sher Shah’s revolt and reign. The Gakkars moved the capital of the taluka from Chakwal to a neighboring town called Bhon and stationed their Kardars (officials) there. Consequently, the village of Bhon grew bigger than Chakwal in the Mughal era.

The Mair-Minhas and Mughal Kassar tribes rose to power again after Emperor Aurangzeb’s death. They had supported his son Moazzam Shah in his quest for power, and in return, he re-appointed the Mair-Minhas Chief Gadabeg Khan as the Taluqdar (official) and Chaudhry of the entire Dhan Chaurasi, whereas rule of the Kassar Chaudhrys was confirmed in the Babial and Chaupeda regions.

Sikh Era

The rule of Mair-Minhas and Mughal Kassar tribes over Dhanni continued during the Sikh era. One of the Mair chiefs, Chaudhry Ghulam Mehdi, invited Sardar Mahan Singh to their lands. Their Dogra cousins, Raja Gulab Singh and Dhian Singh, were very powerful in the Lahore Durbar, and hence, the influence of the Chakwal Chaudhrys during the Sikh era was considerable, and Chakwal once again became the center of activity. It was during this era that the Dhanni breed of horses became very popular, and even Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s personal horses were kept in the stables of the Chakwal Chaudhrys.

British Era

In the Second Anglo-Sikh War at Chaillianwala in 1849, the citizens of Chakwal supported the Muslims, and hence, their Jagirs/ lands were confiscated by the British and the lands of Chakwal were distributed among the tenants. Consequently, Chakwal started growing as a city, and was declared a Tehsil Headquarters in 1881. Town Municipal Administration (TMA) Chakwal was notified as a Small Town Committee in 1924. This tehsil was part of the Jhelum district till 1985.

Post-Independence

Chakwal was created as an independent district of Rawalpindi Division in 1985 by combining Chakwal Tehsil of District Jhelum, Talagang tehsil of District Attock and The Police Station Post of Choa Saidan Shah, which was divided from Pind Dahdan Khan Tehsil of District Jhelum.

After the implementation of Punjab Local Government Ordinance 2001, it was given the status of a TMA. In 2005, a new tehsil, Kallar Kahar, was created out of Chakwal tehsil.

Governmental Structure

At the Federal level, Chakwal district is allocated a set number of representatives in both the National Assembly and the Provincial Assembly:

  • Number of seats in the National Assembly 2
  • Number of seats in the Provincial Assembly 4

Under the Local Government and Community Development, Chakwal district has 1 District Council and 6 Municipal Committees as follows:

  • Chakwal
  • Choa Saidan Shah
  • Kallar Kahar
  • Bhoun
  • Talagang
  • Lawa

Administrative Divisions

The total area of the district is 6,624 km2 and it is divided into 4 tehsils as follows:

Chakwal Tehsil 30 Union Councils
Choa Saidan Shah Tehsil 07 Union Councils
Kallar Kahar Tehsil 08 Union councils
Talagang Tehsil 23 Union councils

Table 1.2 Chakwal Administrative Divisions

Heritage Sites and Tourist Attractions

The following are the important historical/ cultural heritage buildings of the district:

  • Karas Raj Hindu Temple located in Katas village nearChoa Saidan Shah: Dedicated to Shiva, the temple has, according to Hindu legend, existed since the days of the The Pandava brothers are said to have spent a substantial part of their exile at the site. This site is not protected
  • Dolmial Village: The village contains a number of colonial era buildings and a small museum
  • Gurdwara Nirali and Mandir Raadhay Shaam in Daultala Village Chakwal: It is believed that Baba Guru Nanak visited the Gurdwara
  • Malot Fort: The ruins of this fort are located between Kallar Kahar and Choa Saidan Shah. The fort is believed to be 800 years old
  • Shrine of Shakhi Saidan Sherazi, Choa Saidan Shah
  • Darbar Hazrat Ahoo Shah, Kallar Kahar
  • Chilla Gah, Hazrat Sultan Bahoo, Kallar Kahar
  • Chilla Gah Hazrat Baba Farid Ganj Shakkar, Kallar Kahar
  • Darbar Pattalian
  • Darbar Alawal Sharif
  • Darbar Pir Waliyat Shah, Kursai

Kallar Kahar Lake and Soan River area are both protected under Federal Government Laws and hunting is allowed only through licenses.

Tourist attractions include the wildlife protected areas described above.

 

Figure 1.4 Chakwal Katas Raj Temple

Figure 1.5 Chakwal Kallar Kahar Lake

 

Figure 1.6 Chakwal Darbar Sakhi Saidan Shah Shirazi

Figure 1.7 Old City Chakwal

[1] Jamwal is a Suryavanshi Rajput Clan of Chattari lineage in Jammu and Kashmir that claims origin from Sri Rama Chandra of Raghav (Raghuvanshi) Rajput clan by direct descent. Jamwal traditions state that their ancestor, Raja Agnigarba, came from Ayodhya and founded a small State on the banks of River Tawi (Jammu, Kashmir). A few generations later, Raja Jambu Lochin founded the city and State of Jammu. In Rajputana, their closest cousins are Raghav (Raghuvanshi) and Kachwaha Rajputs of Jaipur

[2] The Kassar tribesmen had accompanied Mughal Emperor Babar when he invaded India in 1526. They were later given the western part of Dhanni region

[3] Ghori Galla is named after a man who went in the lake on his horse with a spear to determine the depth of the water but drowned; the place was named after him as Ghori Galla

[4] The Qanoongoes were important officials who maintained records of revenue collections

[5] Ain-e-Akbari is the biography (history) of India composed by Mughal Emperor Akbar

Topography

Geographically situated in the Potowar Plateau and on the fringes of the Salt Range, Chakwal is a barani (rain-fed) district, and the terrain is mainly hilly, covered with scrub forest in the southwest, and leveled plains interspersed with dry rocky patches in the northeast. The south and southeast is mountainous and rocky, covered with scrub forest, interspersed with flat plains; the north and northeast consist of a softly undulating plains area with patches of rocky areas, known as khuddar in the local dialect, as well as ravines and gorges, and some desert areas. The topography of Chakwal district can be classified into mountains, hills, rocks, plains, weather-rocked plains, piedmont[1] plains, loess[2] plains and river plains.

Mountains

The south and southeast parts of the district are mountainous and rocky. The mountain ranges in the district include the Kallar Kahar Hills and the Choa Saidan Shah Hill Range which runs into the Kallar Kahar Lake on one side and River Jhelum on the other. Both these ranges are off-shoots of the Salt Range. The highest peak of the Salt Range in the district is Chail Peak at 1,128 m (3,701 ft) above mean sea level (MSL).

Piedmont Plains

Between the hill ranges and the Soan River are the piedmont plains of the Salt Range which are also called the Soan River Valley. This consists of what was once a fairly level plain, sloping down from 610 m (2,000 ft) at the foot of the hills to 430 m (1,400 ft) in the neighborhood of the River Soan; however, the surface is now cut up by ravines.

River Terraces

These are considerably higher than the beds of hill torrents and are formed by the depositions of the River Soan and its tributaries.

Loess Plains

These plains have been formed by in-fills of loess in narrow valleys, which, in turn, has been moved by water torrents to lower positions.

Rivers, Streams, and Lakes

The Soan River passes through the district. It enters the district from the Pindi Gheb area (Attock district), passes through to Talagang tehsil (Chakwal district), after passing through Tamman (a village in Talagang) and ultimately joins River Indus on the border of Mianwali-Kohat districts. In both the summer and rainy seasons there is heavy flow of water in the river as well as in water torrents flowing down the hills, but in winter, these torrents become just a trickle.

Some of the important nullahs of the district include Nullah Soj, Nullah Wahan, Nullah Gabbir, Nullah Tarapi, Nullah Dharabi, and Nullah Banhaa.

The only lake in the district is the Kallar Kahar Lake. Mial Spring is a spring located at the foothills on the Chakwal-Choa Saidan Shah Road.

Forests

The forests in the region exist naturally since Chakwal lies in the Subtropical, Semi-arid Zone, and are mainly dry deciduous scrub, consisting of plant varieties which are typical of these kinds of forests. They include kikar (Acacia nilotica), kau (Olea cuspidata), phulai (Acacia modesta), sanatha (Dodonaea viscosa), wild ber (Zizyphus jujube), gurgura (Monotheca buxifolia), and pataki (Gymnospo Riaroyleana).  The underbush mainly consists of sariala (Heteropogan contortus), khawi (Cymbopogan jwarancusa), mesquite (Prosopis juilflora), and karir (Capparis aphylla).

In the plantations that have been established by the Forest Department and private farmers, along with the naturally occurring species of trees, shisham (Dalbergio sissoo), sufaida (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) and, to some extent, poplar (Populus alba) trees have been planted.

The following table shows the kinds and area of forests in the district (Punjab Development Statistics 2018-2019):

Total Forest Area 164,542 A Reserved Forests under Provincial Govt. 115,747 A
District Govt. – HA Un-classed Forests 48,795 A
Linear Plantation 415 km Resumed Lands – HA

Table 1.3 Chakwal Forests

Some of the reserve forests in the district are at Diljabbah, Drangan, Karangal, Gandala, Datwal, Chinji, Simbli, Nurpur, Bagga, Samarkand, Ram Hilwan, Parrera, Malot, Bakhshiwala, and Nakka Kahut.

Soils

The soils of the area have developed from wind and water transported materials consisting of loess alluvial deposits, mountain outwash, and recent stream valley deposits. A part of the soils has also been derived from shale and sandstone. Almost all of the soils in District Chakwal range from slit loam to loam.

Climate

Chakwal is located in the subtropical region, and its climate is typical of the area, with the exception being the lower temperatures due to its elevation, which makes the region slightly cooler than central Punjab. Winter temperatures normally range between –4 °C and 25 °C, while summer temperatures average between 15 °C and 40 °C, and may reach a maximum of 50 °C.

The summer season starts in April and continues through October, with June being the hottest month. The mean maximum and minimum temperatures during this month are 41 °C and 26 °C respectively. The months of November through to March are considered to be winter months, with January being the coldest. The mean maximum and minimum temperatures during this month are 20 °C and 5 °C.

Chakwal is located within the Monsoon range, and in addition to the occasional rainfall, there are two rainy seasons: the first, triggered by the Monsoon winds originating from the Bay of Bengal, begins from around mid-July and continues up to around mid-September; the second, triggered by Mediterranean winds, falls in the last two weeks of December and the first two weeks of January. The average rainfall is 559 to 635 mm (22 to 25 inches). The Choa Saidan Shah subdivision has the maximum rainfall in the district. The average annual rainfall is 880 mm.

Seismic Activity

The district belongs to Zone 2B of the Seismic Zone Map of Pakistan which means there will be minor to moderate damage to property due to earthquakes.

[1] Piedmont Plains are those plains which are found on the foot of mountains or hills. Piedmont Plains are formed by the deposition of materials.

[2] The fine sand particles brought by the wind gets deposited on large plains, as a result of which loess plains are formed; they are usually found near deserts.

Population

The following table shows the population of the district and its tehsils as per the 2017 Census:

District/Tehsil Area km2 Population Male% Female% Urban% Growth Rate %
Chakwal District 6,524 1,495,982 48.4 51.6 19% 1.7
Chakwal Tehsil 3,120 656,978
Choa Saidan Shah 472 141,844
Talagang Tehsil 2,932 401,607
Kallar Kahar Tehsil Created from Chakwal tehsil in 2005 169,660

Table 1.4 Chakwal Population Statistics

Religions[1]

Muslims 99.2%
Christians 0.5%
Hindus Negligible %
Ahmadis 0.2%
Scheduled Castes Negligible %
Others Negligible %

Table 1.5 Chakwal Religions

Languages[2]

Urdu 0.9%
Punjabi 97.7%
Sindhi Negligible %
Pushto 1.2%
Balochi 0.2%
Seraiki 0.2%
Others Negligible %

Table 1.6 Chakwal Languages

[1] 1998 Census; 2017 Census data has not been made public yet.

[2] 1998 Census; 2017 Census data has not been made public yet.

Economic ActivityEconomic Infrastructure

Economic Activity

The major economic activity of the rural areas of the district is agriculture and its allied livestock breeding. According to the 1998 Census (2017 Census data has not been made public yet), the main industrial groups of the district are:

  • Agriculture with its Allied Livestock Breeding, Fishing (42.4%)
  • Mining & Quarrying (2.2%)
  • Manufacturing (3.6%)
  • Construction (20.3%)
  • Wholesale/ Retail, Restaurant/ Hotel (7.8%)
  • Transport, Storage & Communication (5.8%)
  • Community, Social & Personal Services (11.5%)
  • Others (6.4%)

Agriculture

The district belongs to the barani (rain-fed) Agro-Ecological Zone of Pakistan. Chakwal is a semi-arid area, with serious shortage of water for agriculture. Most villages have no irrigation system support.

The main crops of the district include wheat, jowar, groundnut, gram, maize, bajra, moong, maash, masoor, oil seeds such as rape/ mustard, and sunflower.

The major fruits grown in the district are citrus, guavas, apricot, banana, loquat, pears, peaches, and pomegranate.

The major vegetables are cauliflower, turnip, ladyfinger, potatoes, carrot, peas, tomato, chillies, garlic, and onion.

Land Use

The following table shows the main land use statistics of Chakwal district as per Punjab Development Statistics 2018-19:

Total Area 668,400 HA Reported Area 668,000 HA
Total Cultivated Area 318,000 HA Net Sown 227,000 HA
Current Fallow 91,000 HA Total Uncultivated Area 350,000 HA
Culturable Waste 34,000 HA Forest Area 58,000 HA

Table 1.7 Chakwal Land Use Statistics

Livestock

The following table shows the livestock population as recorded in the 2006 Census of Livestock (extracted from Punjab Development Statistics 2018-19):

Cattle  280,000Heads Buffaloes 101,000 Heads Sheep 128,000 Heads
Goats 465,000 Heads Camels 1,183 Heads Horses 1,860 Heads
Mules 1,035 Heads Asses 37,624 Heads

Table 1.8 Chakwal Livestock Statistics

The Dhanni cow and the Dhanni horse are the indigenous livestock breeds of the district.

Poultry

According to Table 17 (Number of Commercial Poultry Farms and Number of Birds by Size of Flock), there are 2,197 poultry farms in the district. There are 665 broiler, 195 layer and 7 poultry breeding farms as per the Punjab Development Statistics 2018-19. These farms are Privately owned.

Fishing

Fishing is carried out in all the small dam reservoirs of Chakwal district. Fishing is also carried out in Soan River (both in Chakwal and Talagang tehsils) and Gandhala Nullah in Choa Saidan Shah tehsil. Most of this fish is consumed locally.

Bee Keeping/ Apiculture

Commercial bee keeping is carried out in various forests and farms in the district. Chakwal district is one of the districts where honeybee keeping was carried out successfully and where the apiary business helped reduce poverty while producing pure honey. The region’s specialty is ber honey.[1]

Irrigation

Chakwal is an un-irrigated, or what is called barani, area, and there is no canal system in the district comparable to those in other parts of Punjab. However, a number of small dams have been constructed in the district. These irrigate a small acreage of cultivated land through water channels. The important dams include Khokharzer, Surrlah, Dhurnal, Ghurab, Wallana, Nikka, Bughtal, Dhoke Qutb Din, Kot Raja, and Pira Fathial.

The following table shows the mode of irrigation and the area irrigated by each mode as per Punjab Development Statistics 2018-19:

Total Area Sown 266,000 HA Irrigated Area 15,000 HA
Un-Irrigated Area 251,000 HA Canal Irrigated 3,000 HA
Dug Wells 4,000 HA Tube Well Irrigated 3,000 HA
Canal Well Irrigated 2,000 HA Canal Tube Wells – HA
Others 1,000 HA

Table 1.11 Chakwal Irrigation Statistics

Figure 1.9 Dok Tahlian Dam, Chakwal

Minerals and Mining

Mineral mining is an important activity in the district. Chakwal is rich in mineral resources, which include limestone, argillaceous clay, coal, rock salt, gypsum, dolomite, marble, mill stone, and ebry stone, all of which are being commercially mined by both the private and public sectors.

Oil and gas has also been discovered in the district and are being successfully mined.

Industry

At present, there is 1 industrial estate in the district[2] established by the Punjab Small Industries Corporation (PSIC), but there are 32 different manufacturing industries in the district as follows:

Type of Industry Number
Agricultural Implements 04
Cement 04
Ceramic Products 01
Cold Storage 10
Flour Mills 05
Poultry Feed 01
Textile Spinning 06
Tobacco 01

Table 1.9 Chakwal Industries

Handicrafts

Chakwal is famous for making zari shoes, which are handmade leather shoes with an embroidery technique using a thread called zari. Khes weaving is also an important traditional craft of the district.

Figure 1.3 Zari on Shoes or Khusasa made in Chakwal District

 

Economic Infrastructure

As stated already, Chakwal district is a barani district with no irrigation canal networks, but small dams supply water for irrigation purposes.

Roads

There are 2 major roads linking Chakwal with other cities: one is the Islamabad-Lahore Motorway and the other is the Rawalpindi-Chakwal, Talagang, and Mianwali Road.

The following table shows the road statistics of the district as per Punjab Development Statistics 2018-19:

Total Road Length 2,519.0 km
National Highways – km
Provincial Highways 2,440.0 km
Motorways 79.0 km
Sugar Cess Roads – km

Table 1.10 Chakwal Road Statistics

Other important roads of the district include:

  • Jhelum-Chakwal Road
  • Choa-Kallar Kahar Road
  • Chakwal-Sargodha Road
  • Talagang Road
  • Bhon Road
  • Jhellum-Rawalpindi Road
  • Chakwal-Khushab Road

Figure 1.8 A Street Scene, Chakwal

Rail and Airways

There is no major Rail links in the district, but the Mandra-Bhon Railway line passes through Chakwal city.

There are no airports in the district; the closest airport is at Islamabad. There is a PAF Base at Murid, which is also the second largest town in the district.

Radio and Television

At present, there is a privately-owned local radio station in the district. Cable TV can be viewed throughout the district.

Telecommunications

There are 63 telephone exchanges[1] operating in the district, with a total capacity of 50,728 lines. Nearly all of the major cellular companies also operate in the district.

Post Offices/ Courier Services

Pakistan Post has its headquarters in Chakwal city. There are 87 post offices[2] in the district, of which 31 are in Chakwal tehsil, 34 in Talagang tehsil, 14 in Choa Saidan Shah tehsil and 8 in Kallar Kahar tehsil. Nearly all the courier services of Pakistan provide their services in the district.

Banking/ Financial Institutions

In all, a total of 128 branches[3] of various banks are operating in the district. Of these, 78 are in Chakwal, 33 in Talagang, 9 in Choa Saidan Shah and 8 in Kallar Kahar tehsil.

According to the List of Reporting Bank Branches 2012-13 by State Bank of Pakistan following banks have their branches in the district:

  • Askari Bank Ltd.
  • Allied Bank of Pakistan Ltd.
  • Bank Al Falah Ltd.
  • Bank Al Habib Ltd.
  • Bank Islami Pakistan Ltd.
  • Faysal Bank Ltd.
  • Habib Bank Ltd.
  • JS Bank Ltd.
  • Muslim Commercial Bank Ltd.
  • Meezan Bank Ltd.
  • National Bank of Pakistan Ltd.
  • National Investment Bank Ltd.
  • Soneri Bank Ltd.
  • Summit Bank Ltd.
  • The Bank of Punjab Ltd.
  • The Punjab Provincial Cooperative Bank Ltd.
  • United Bank Ltd.
  • Zarai Taraqiati Bank Ltd.

In all there are 124 branches of various conventional banks and 17 branches of various Islamic banks in the District.

Electricity and Gas

Islamabad Electric Supply Company (IESCO) supplies electricity in the district. There are 7 grid stations, ranging in capacity from 66 KV to 132 KV.[4]

At present natural gas is available in Chakwal city and Choa Saidan Shah tehsil.

Education

The following table shows the details of educational facilities in the district as per Punjab Development Statistics 2018-19:

Institution Boys/Girls Institution Boys/Girls
Primary Schools 457/368 Middle Schools 86/116
Secondary Schools 120/120 Higher Secondary 26/28
Degree colleges 26/35 Other Higher Secondary[5] 13/12
Other Degree Colleges[6] 09/20 Technical Training Institutes[7] 06/01
Vocational Institutes[8] -/05 Commercial Training Institutes[9] 02/-
Universities[10] 01 Govt. Mosque Schools 08/01
Medical Schools[11] Engineering Schools[12] 01

Table 1.12 Chakwal Educational Institutions

Allama Iqbal Open University has a Regional Campus in Chakwal city, and a cadet college in the private sector is situated in Kallar Kahar.

Figure 1.10 An Education Trust, Chakwal

Health

The District Health Officer (DHO) is in charge overall of health services provided in the district. The DHO is supported by doctors, paramedics, technicians, and other support staff. The following table shows the number of health care institutions in the district as per Punjab Development Statistics 2018-19:

Institution No./Beds Institution No./Beds
Government Hospitals 06/410 Dispensaries 08/-
Rural Health Centers 10/168 Basic Health Units 65/130
T B Clinics -/- Mother Child Health Centers 01/-
Private Hospitals 01/10 Sub-Health Centers -/-
Private Healthcare Providers[13] 60

Table 1.13 Chakwal Health Institutions

Policing

The Inspector General Police (IGP) stationed at Lahore is responsible for the overall policing in Punjab. The Deputy Inspector General Police (DIG), Rawalpindi Region reports to the IGP, and is responsible for maintaining law and order in Rawalpindi region which consists of 4 districts: Rawalpindi, Chakwal, Jhelum, and Attock. The District Police Officer (DPO) Chakwal is in charge of the district. The DPO Chakwal has 03 Deputy Superintendent Police (each in charge of one policing circle). These DSPs control 11 police stations[14] in the Chakwal jurisdiction.

[1] Directorate of Industries Punjab, Pre-Investment Study Chakwal District 2012; Latest available.

[2] Directorate of Industries Punjab, Pre-Investment Study Chakwal District 2012; Latest available.

[3] Directorate of Industries Punjab, Pre-Investment Study Chakwal District 2012; Latest available.

[4] Directorate of Industries Punjab, Pre-Investment Study Chakwal District 2012; Latest available.

[5] Includes Private, Federal and Schools owned by PAF and other organizations.

[6] Includes Private, Federal and Schools owned by PAF and other organizations.

[7] Pre-Investment Study 2009 Chakwal District, Directorate of Industries, Punjab; Latest available.

[8] Pre-Investment Study 2009 Chakwal District, Directorate of Industries, Punjab; Latest available.

[9] Pre-Investment Study 2009 Chakwal District, Directorate of Industries, Punjab; Latest available.

[10] University of Engineering &Technology Taxila

[11] University of Engineering &Technology Taxila

[12] University of Engineering &Technology Taxila

[13] Three Year Rolling Plan 2010-13 District Chakwal, GoPunjab,

[14] Punjab Development Statistics 2018-19

[1] Report on “Honey” by Trade Development Authority Pakistan, as well as Pakissan.com. According to these sites, Chakwal farmers are doing well producing honey and are also combating crop losses due to climate change.

Ber is a plant that is grown on roadsides and other locations in the district, hence honey can be collected most easily. This honey has medicinal value as well.

[2] Directorate of Industries, Punjab, Pre-Investment Study for Chakwal District 2012; Latest available.

Environment and Biodiversity

Chakwal is an agro-based rural area of Pakistan, with no industrial infrastructure, and hence the only air pollutants are vehicular emissions and dust particles. The ground water is potable and is used for irrigation purposes as well.

Flora and Fauna

Flora

Among plants, the species which are most abundant in the district are kau or wild olives (Olea cuspidata), phulai (Acacia modesta), sanatha (Dodones viscosa), gurgura (Monotheca buxifolia), pataki (Gymnospo Riaroyleana), shisham (Dalbergio sissoo), and poplar or kikar (Acacia arabica). The grass species which are dominant in the area are sariala (Heteropogan contortus), khawi (Cymbopogan jwarancusa), mesquite (Prosopis juliflora), and karir (Capparis aphylla). All these plant species are found throughout the district.

The medicinal plants of the district include kauri booti or bugle weed (Ajuga bracteosa), cholai or slender amaranth (Amaranthus viridis), piazi or onion weed (Asphodelus tenuifolius), chatak chandni or white top weed (Parthenium hysterophorus), khati booti or yellow sorrel (Oxalis corniculata), damni plant or broom weed (Malvastrum coromendelianum), kaan kati or bindweed (Ipomoea pentaphylla), shahtra papra or common fumitory (Fumaria indica), thandi booti or swinecress (Coronopus didymus), and kaana keerai or wandering jew (Commelina benghalensis).

Fauna

Mammals found in the reserved forests of the district include wild boar, jackals, foxes, rabbits, Punjab urial, jungle cat, grey wolf, Indian grey mongoose, and red lynx.

The bird species which exist in various areas of Chakwal district include grey partridge, black partridge, chakor, see-see partridge, quail, houbara bustard, common crane, various varieties of ducks, varieties of coots, and peacock.

Reptilian fauna found in the reserved forests includes flapshell turtles, Indian roofed turtle, brown-roofed turtle (rare), dhaman, checkered keel back, cobra, kraits, as well as various varieties of frogs and lizards including the leopard gecko, Hazara gecko, and house gecko.

Wildlife Protected Areas and Endangered Fauna

The following areas are protected wildlife areas of the district (protected under Government of Pakistan Laws):

  • Parts of the Chumbi Surla Game Reserve and Nature Park: This park is surrounded by reserve forests and hills. Average altitude ranges between 460 and 1,050 m above MSL. The forest supportsscrub biome having dry subtropical evergreen vegetation. Protected fauna includes Indian grey mongoose, grey wolf, jungle cat, urial, and caracal or red lynx
  • Chinji National park protects the endangered urial, red fox, Indian mongoose, caracal, jackal, and chinkara
  • Part of Diljabba/ Domeli Game Reserve
  • Jhangar Forest: This is a community owned forest maintained by WWF Pakistan
  • Tropical dry forests of Salt Range located in the Chakwal and Khushab districts
  • Kallar Kahar Lake: This lake is notable for its surrounding natural gardens, and the resident peacocks. It is located 125 km south of Rawalpindi. It is a salt water lake and is on the Ramsar List of internationally important wetlands. This lake supports a large number of migratory birds