Sindh-Matiari

Introduction

The district derives its name from its capital/ headquarters town Matiari. It is located between 68° 14″ 8Ꞌ to 68° 14” 40Ꞌ East longitudes and 25° 26” 20Ꞌ to 26° 5” 43Ꞌ North latitudes. The district is bounded by district Sanghar on the East, district Jamshoro on the West, district Shaheed Benazirabad (Nawabshah) on the North and districts Hyderabad and Tando Allahyar on the South.

District at a Glance

Name of District Matiari district
District Capital Matiari Town
Population[1] 770,000 persons
Area[2] 1,417 km2
Population Density 543.4 persons per km2
Population Growth Rate[3] 2.4[4]%
Male Population[5] 51.6%
Female Population[6] 48.4%
Urban Population[7] 23.8%
Tehsils 3 Tehsils:

1.    Hala

2.    Matiari

3.    Saeedabad

Main Towns Hala, Matiari, Saeedabad, Sekhat, Nasarpur, Bhitshah, Zairpir, Oderolal, and Khudabad.
Literacy Rate[8] 45% (Literacy rate of Hala city is 90%)
Male Literacy Rate[9] 60%
Female Literacy Rate[10] 30%
Major Economic Activity[11] Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting 57.8%
Construction 14.5%
Wholesale, Retail, Hotels/Restaurants 18.8%
Community, Social & Personal Services[12] 18.8%
Main Crops Wheat, cotton, sugarcane, rice, jowar, bajra, maize, barley, gram, rape & mustard, and all pulses
Major Fruits Banana, dates, chikoo, guava, jaamun, mango, watermelon, musk melon, papaya, phalsa, citrus, ber, and mulberry
Major Vegetables Okra, tinda, brinjal, bitter gourd, bottle gourd, pumpkin, cucumber, long melon, purslane, arum, beans, field vetch, lotus roots, chilies, turmeric, spearmint, carrots, spinach, turnips, tomatoes, potatoes, cauliflower, cabbage, sweet potatoes, peas, radish, garden peas, fenugreek, and lettuce
Forests (Area)[13] 28,440 HA[14]
High Type Roads[15] 361 km
Low Type Roads[16] Nil
No of Grid Stations[17] 2 grid stations with capacity of 132 KV each
No. of Tel. Exchanges Data not available, but telephone facilities are available in the entire district
Industrial Zones[18] One Small Industrial Estate on Hala-Shahdadpur Road.
Major Industry[19] Sugar, ice factories, cotton/ginning factories, oil mill, flour mills[20]
Household Size[21] 5.5 persons per household
Houses (Piped Water Inside)[22] 47.3% (Hyderabad district)
Houses with Electricity[23] 73.6% (Hyderabad district)

Table 1.1 Matiari District at a Glance

[1] 2017 Census

[2] 1998 Census (only Matiari and Hala talukas)

[3] 2017 Census

[4] Rounded off from 2.35%

[5] 2017 Census

[6] 2017 Census

[7] 2017 Census

[8] Pakistan Social & Living Measurement survey 2013-14 (PSLM); Latest available

[9] PSLM

[10] PSLM

[11] 1998 Census; 2017 Census data has not been made public yet.

[12] This includes data for Tando Allahyar, Hyderabad, and Tando Mohammad Khan Districts also

[13] Sindh Development Statistics 2017-18

[14] Land Utilization Statistics designates an area of 23,000 HA under Forests.

[15] Sindh Development Statistics 2017-18

[16] Sindh Development Statistics 2017-18

[17] Environmental and Social Assessment HESCO, Latest available

[18] A Profile of District Matiari by Pakistan Emergency Situation Analysis (PESA) USAID Pakistan.

[19] A Profile of District Matiari by Pakistan Emergency Situation Analysis (PESA) USAID Pakistan

[20] Report on Tranche Condition,District Matiari by Sind Devolved Social Services Program (SDSSP)

[21] 1998 Census; 2017 Census Data has not been made public yet.

[22] 1998 Census; 2017 Census Data has not been made public yet.

[23] 1998 Census; 2017 Census Data has not been made public yet.

Brief HistoryGovernmental StructureAdministrative UnitsHistorical/ Heritage SitesPicnic Spots/ Recreational Areas

Brief History of the District

Matiari is one of the oldest parts of Sindh, with its own cultural values. The district shares in Sindh’s historical upheavals, and has been ruled and controlled by the different dynasties that controlled most of Sindh. Originally, the city was known as Chang village, named as such for the Chang tribe. During the time of Taimur Lung (Tamerlane, 1336-1405 AD), the Syeds arrived from Bukhara (Iran) and settled in the region. One of the leaders of the Syed tribes, a Sufi saint Syed Meyoon Haji placed some muts (pots with drinking water) outside his residence, so the passersby could drink water from these pots. Over time, people began to refer to the Chang village as Mut Waree or the place where muts are kept, which then became Matiari.

Hala town is said to have been founded in 1800 AD, when old Hala—located about 2.5 km to the West of present day Hala—was threatened with encroachment by the meandering of River Indus. The new city was founded by Makhdoom Mir Muhammad who called it Murtizabad. Due to its proximity to the old Hala town, this new settlement took the name of Hala. Among the historical heritage of Hala are 2 tombs and a Masjid. These tombs have been constructed in honour of a reputed Muslim Saint known as Makhdoom Nuh. A fair is held twice a year in March and October to pay homage to this saint. The mosque to the North of the tomb was built by Mir Karam Ali Khan Talpur and the other buildings in connection with this shrine were built in 1810 by Makhdoom Pinio Ladho. Hala is famous for its glazed pottery.

3 kms from Hala is the old town of Khudabad which once rivalled Hyderabad in size and population, and which was once the favourite residence of the Talpur Chiefs of Sindh. Remains of several of the residences of the chiefs can still be seen. Of these, the tomb of Fateh Ali Khan Talpur is important.

Many of the famous Saints of Sindh were born at Matiari, due to which Matiari is sometimes also known as the city of saints. Saints associated with Matiari include Syed Abdul Kareem Shah of Bulri, Syed Abdul Latif Shah (Shah Latif Bhitai), Syed Pir Ruknudin Shah, Syed Pir Hashim Shah, Syed Shahmeer Shah, and Muhammad Raheem Qazi (first known martyr of the Khilafat movement of the early 1900s).

Bhit Shah, a small village about 6 kms East of Hala, is the home of Shah Abdul Latif, the great poet, Sufi saint and teacher of Islamic ideology, who lived and died in the village. His tomb is now in Bhit Shah. Built in 1167, the tomb is made of pucca bricks (burnt bricks) on stone foundation, and decorated with glazed tiles. Two more tombs of Pirs are also located near this tomb. An annual fair is held in the month of Safar (the second month of the Islamic Calendar) which lasts 3 days, and attracts thousands of people. Since Independence, a Sindh Adabi Conference is held during the fair as well. A beautiful Rest House, a cultural center, and a museum have also been constructed at Bhit Shah.

District Matiari was notified as a district on 4 April 2005, after being separated from Hyderabad district.

Governmental Structure

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

  • Number of seats in the National Assembly of Pakistan 01
  • Number of seats in the Provincial Assembly Sindh 02

Matiari has 1 Municipal Committee at Hala and 6 Town Committees as follows:

  • Matiari
  • Khyber
  • Oderolal Station
  • Bhit Shah
  • Hala Old
  • Saeedabad

Administrative Units

The total area of the district is 1,417 km2 and it is divided into 3 Talukas as follows:

Hala Taluka 06 Union Councils
Matiari Taluka 09 Union Councils
Saeedabad Taluka 04 Union Councils

Table 1.2 Matiari Administrative Divisions

Historical/ Heritage Sites

The following buildings/ archeological sites are important heritage sites of the district:

  • Dargah of Abdul Latif Bhitai, Bhit Shah. Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai was a noted Sindhi Sufi scholar, mystic, saint, and poet. The compilation of his poems is known as Shah-jo-Risalo. A 3 day annual Urs is held at his shrine every year
  • Dargah of Makhdoom Nooh (also spelled Nuh), Hala. Makhdoom Nooh was a saint and scholar of the Suhurwardia order of Sindh. His mausoleum is located at Hala, 56 km from Hyderabad, Sindh
  • Historical City of Khudabad
  • Dargah of Sakhi Hashim Shah, Matiari
  • Dargah of Syed Muhammad Shah Gilani, Matiari
  • Hala Haveli: This is the birthplace of Syed Abdullah Shah Bhittai
  • Jamia Masjid, Matiari: This is a 500 year old mosque

Picnic Spots/ Recreational Areas

The tomb of the founder of Hala city, Hazrat Makhdoom Nooh “Re” in Hala provides a nice picnic spot. Another important spot, the tomb of Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai also provides not only recreation but reminds one of the mysticism of the great Sufi saint. The historical city of Khudabad, as well as the previously mentioned dargahs and shrines are places of interest for locals and tourists alike, and can easily provide a day-long outing to families.

Topography

Matiari district was made a district separate and distinct from Hyderabad district in 2005. In the West of the district, the River Indus separates it from Jamshoro district. Matiari is located between 0-150 m above mean sea level. The district is mostly an alluvial plain formed by the deposits of River Indus. The Pab Hills and Ganjo Takkar segments of the Kirthar Mountain Range pass near the district.

Rivers, Streams, and Lakes

The only river in the district is River Indus which flows along its western boundary. There are 2 lakes (dhands): Gulsher dhand and Samno dhand. These have been declared as wildlife sanctuaries. Some small natural streams flowing in the district include Obaio Nala, Chhandanr Wah, Takarro Dhora, Karri Nal, Sada Bahar Wah, Baghdad Wah, Takarro Nala, and Bajani Nadi.

Forests

Total forest area of the district is 23,000 HA. Matiari is home to riverine forests, the major vegetation of which includes babul or gum Arabica (Acacia nilotica), bahan or poplar (Populus euphratica), khagal/ghaz or tamarisk/athel pine (Tamarisk aphylla), lai or salt cedar (Tamarix dioica) and kandi (Prosopis cineraria).

Some of the important riverine forests of the district include:

  • Khyberani Reserved Forest (3,000 HA)
  • Unarpur Reserved Forest (7,000 HA)
  • Rais Mureed Reserved Forest (4,800  HA in 2008; now only 800 HA)
  • Hala Forest (954 HA)
  • Matiari Reserved Forest (5,000 HA)
  • Khanot Reserved Forest (3,600 HA)
  • Keti reserved Forest (2,800 HA)

Soils

The soil of the area is generally loamy and clayey, and has been formed from Indus River alluvial deposits.

Climate

The climate of Matiari district is moderate. The months of May and June are very hot during the day, with maximum and minimum temperatures of 41 °C and 26 °C respectively in June—the hottest month. December and January are the coldest months, with maximum and minimum temperature of 25 °C and 11 °C respectively. Sometimes, cold winds from Balochistan make the winter severe.

Humidity levels vary; highest humidity occurs near the end of August, and the minimum in May, when the air can be uncomfortably dry. Fogs are common in the cold season.

Mean annual rainfall[1] in the district is 155 mm.

Seismic Activity

The district lies in the low to moderate Seismic Activity Zone of Pakistan, where the damage to property will be minor.

[1] from Hyderabad District figures

Population

The population figures for the district as per the 2017 Census are as follows

District/Taluka Area

km2

Population Male% Female% Urban% Growth Rate %
Matiari District 1,417 769,349 51.6 48.4 23.8 2.35
Matiari Taluka 569 340,677
Hala Taluka 848 262,423
Saeedabad Taluka Part of Hala Taluka, in 1998, the population according to 2017 Census population is 166,249 persons

Table 1.3 Matiari Population Statistics

Religions[1]

Muslims 87.4%
Christians 0.1%
Hindus 11.3%
Ahmadis 0.1%
Scheduled Casts 0.8%
Others 0.2%

Table 1.4 Matiari Religions

Languages[2]

Urdu 3.6%
Punjabi 0.8%
Sindhi 91.7%
Pushto 0.3%
Balochi 1.2%
Seraiki 0.3%
Others 2.0%

Table 1.5 Matiari 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 activities[1] of the district are:

  • Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting (57.8%)
  • Construction (14.5%)
  • Wholesale, Retail, Hotels/Restaurants (18.8%)
  • Community, Social & Personal Services (18.8%).

Agriculture

Agriculture and its allied livestock breeding is the mainstay of the economy of Matiari district. Important crops are wheat, cotton, sugarcane, rice, jowar, bajra, maize, barley, gram, rape & mustard, and all pulses.

Important vegetables are okra, tinda, brinjal, bitter gourd, bottle gourd, pumpkin, cucumber, long melon, pursilane, arum, beans, field vetch, lotus roots, chilies, turmeric, spearmint, carrots, spinach, turnips, tomatoes, potatoes, cauliflower, cabbage, sweet potatoes, peas, radish, garden peas, fenugreek, and lettuce.

Major fruits are bananas, dates, chikoo, guava, jaamun, mango, watermelon, musk melon, papaya, phalsa, citrus, ber, and mulberry.

Land Use

The following table shows the land use pattern of Matiari district[1]:

Land Use Area Land Use Area
Total Area 142,000 HA Reported Area 142,000 HA
Cultivated Area 86,000 HA Current Fallows 11,000 HA
Net area Sown 76,000 HA Forest Area 23,000 HA
Culturable waste 16,000 HA

Table 1.6 Matiari Land Use Statistics

Livestock Breeding

Livestock is the second source of income in the district. The livestock mostly consists of sheep, goats, cattle, donkeys, camels, and horses. These animals play a vital role in the economy of the district and provide food of rich nutritional value such as milk and meat, and by products such as butter, oil, cheese, curd, skin, and intestines. Sheep provide wool. Bullocks and camels are kept for farming as well as for nutritional purposes.

The following table shows the number of livestock in the district as per Sindh Development Statistics 2017-18:

Cattle 267,000 Heads Buffaloes 235,000 Heads Sheep 52,000 Heads
Goats 330,000 Heads Camels 1,000 Heads Asses 20,000 Heads
Horses 1,000 Heads Mules – Heads

Table 1.7 Matiari Livestock Statistics

The main livestock breeds of the district are: kundi and milch (buffaloes), kachhi, and kooka (sheep), kamori, bari, bugi toori, and kachhan (goats), tapir or lappi, and larri or Sindhi (camels), and thorough bred horses.

Poultry

In rural areas, poultry in small numbers is bred in houses by women for eggs and meat. Most of the commercial poultry farms are located around urban centers. There are 55 poultry farms[1] in the district.

Fisheries

Inland fishing is one of the major economic activities of Matiari district. Fishing is carried out in River Indus and the water canals/water courses of the district.

Irrigation

The district is irrigated by the Indus Basin Irrigation System. The Rohri Canal system, originating from Sukkur Barrage, is the main canal irrigating the district. The Matiari Distributary is the chief canal providing water for agriculture to the district. This canal irrigates the eastern part of the district; the waters from River Indus irrigate the western part. The mode of irrigation and area commanded by each[1] is shown in the following table:

Mode of Irrigation Area Mode of Irrigation Area
Total Irrigated Area 56,379 HA Un-irrigated 20,278 HA
Canal Irrigated 15,654 HA Tube Wells 40,725 HA
Wells – HA

Table 1.9 Matiari Irrigation Statistics

Mining

Oil and gas mining exploration is being carried out in Matiari district; Pakistan Petroleum Ltd discovered gas in Hala taluka in 2007. There are coal reserves at Khanote.

Industry

There is one Small Industrial Estate in the district, there are a number of small, and medium enterprises scattered all over the district. These are:

Sugar Mill  1 Unit
Ice Factories  10 Units
Cotton Ginning Factories  9 Units

Table 1.8 Matiari Industries

Handicrafts

Matiari district is renowned for its handicrafts, especially ceramic pottery, jandi[1] wood work on furniture, embroidery, and the making of khaadi cloth. Hala’s apparel tradition, in fact, is one of the world’s oldest in the region, with handlooms and power looms, as well as cloth weaving techniques dating back to the Indus Valley Civilization. Archeological explorations indicate that the hand-spun and hand-woven cloth called khaadi was being exported to various countries when the Indus Valley Civilization was trading with Ancient Mesopotamia. This material uses natural fibers like cotton, silk, and wool. Over time, cotton was mixed with silk to create Mashru, a double layered material with a thick cotton base and a silken warp woven in satin weave, an innovation unique to this region. It was woven specially for women. Soosi cloth is another renowned cloth associated with the district.

Kashi (traditional ceramic tiles), Jundi (woodwork on furniture), Ajrak (traditional Sindhi chador) and Sindhi cap are renowned handicrafts of the region.

The leaves of kundar (Typha angustata) are used for making ropes, thatch roofs, and baskets.

Figure 1.3 Jandi woodwork

 

Economic Infrastructure

Matiari district is well served with a good network of roads. National Highway N-5 passes through this district from Chhandan Mori to Hala Branch, which is a distance of about 60 km. Roads to various major cities like Shahdadpur, Nawabshah, Tando Allahyar, Sanghar, and Hyderabad originate from Matiari district.

The main railway line from Karachi to Peshawar passes through Matiari district.

Roads and Transport

The National Highway N-5 passes through Hala, and all taluka headquarters are connected through metaled roads. According to the Sindh Development Statistics 2017-18, there are 361 km of black topped roads in the district.

The major roads of the district are:

  • National Highway N-5: from Chhandan Mori to Hala Branch (60 kms)
  • Roads to various major cities like Shahdadpur, Nawabshah, Tando Allahyar, Sanghar, and Hyderabad
  • Road linking N-5 (Matiari district) to Tando Adam (Sanghar district)
  • Road linking N-5 at Hala with Shahdadpur

Rail and Airways

The district is well connected through Pakistan Railways to other parts of Pakistan. There are 4 railway stations: the Tajpur Nasarpur Railway Station (Nasarpur), Oderolal Railway Station (Oderolal), Hala Railway Station (Hala) and Pallijani Station (Pallijani). These are all small stations, and only local trains stop here. The main Karachi-Peshawar line passes by Matiari, but the main line has no stop here.

One airstrip and helipad for landing of small planes is maintained at Bhit Shah town. There is no commercial airport in the district; the nearest airport is the Hyderabad International Airport.

Radio and Television

There is no television station in Matiari district, but TV can be viewed through boosters and cable. Similarly, there is no radio broadcasting station in the district.

Telecommunications

There are 6 digital telephone exchanges[1] and 5 RABX telephone exchanges in the district.

Post Offices/ Courier Services

Pakistan Post Office has its offices in all taluka headquarters with Urgent Mail Service (UMS) also easily available.

Banking/Financial Institutions

The following banks have their branches[2] in the district:

  • Allied Bank Ltd.
  • Habib Bank Ltd.
  • Muslim Commercial Bank Ltd.
  • National Bank of Pakistan (NBP)
  • Sindh Bank Ltd.
  • Soneri Bank Ltd.
  • United Bank Ltd. (UBL)
  • Bank Al Habib Ltd.
  • Agriculture Development Bank of Pakistan (ADBP)

In all there are 29 branches of conventional banks and 3 branches of Islamic banks in the District.

Electricity and Gas

HESCO (Hyderabad Electric Supply Corporation) is responsible for supplying electricity to the district, and is connected to the national grid. Most of the rural areas of the district are also on the national grid and have electricity. There are 2 grid stations, each with a capacity of 132 KV, in Matiari district providing electricity.

Natural gas is used as cooking fuel in the urban areas of the district; some rural areas also use natural gas as cooking fuel.

Education

According to the latest available Pakistan Social & Living Measurement Survey 2013-14 (PSLM) the literacy rate of the district is 45% with 62% urban and 39% of the rural population being literate.

The following table shows the number of educational institutions in Matiari district as per Sindh Development Statistics 2017-18:

Institution Boys/Girls Institution Boys/Girls
Primary Schools 697/70 Middle Schools 18/02
High School 36/06 Higher Secondary -/-
Degree College 06/02 Technical Training 02/-
Commercial Training 01/- Law Colleges 01
Vocational Training 01/02 Medical Colleges
Engineering Colleges Universities

Table 1.10 Matiari Educational Institutes

There are private sector institutions[1] in the district as well, of which there are 14 high schools, 17 middle schools, and 14 primary schools.

Health

The following table shows brief data on Government Health Institutions of Matiari district as per Health Profile Sindh Districts 2017:

Institution No./Beds Institution No./Beds
Government Hospitals 03/126 Dispensaries 51/24
Rural Health Centers 04/52 Basic Health Units 21/42
T B Clinics 07/- Mother Child Health Centers 03/-
Private Hospitals -/- Private TB Clinics -/-
Private Dispensaries 20/-

Table 1.11 Matiari Health Institutes

In addition there are 03 Trauma Emergency Centers and 01 Maternity home in the District.

Policing

Policing duties of Matiari district are handled by the Sindh Police, Hyderabad Zone. The Matiari district police is headed by DPO Matiari, who, in turn, reports directly to DIGP Hyderabad, who reports to Additional IGP Hyderabad.

There are a total of 14 police stations[2] in the district.

Figure 1.4 A Statue of Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai placed in front of Bhit Shah Rest House[3]

Figure 1.5 Tomb of Hazrat Abdul Shah Latif Bhitai

Figure 1.6 Kashee Tile Work, Hala

[1] http://matiari.net/private-schools/ (retrieved November 2014)

[2] Official website: Sindh Police

[3] Sculpted by Prof. Nadir Ali Jamali; Source: Dawn.com 11/5 2017

[1] District Government Matiari Official website. (currently inaccessible)

[2] List of Reporting Bank Branches 2019 by State Bank of Pakistan.

[1] Lacquered wood work is known as Jandi in Sindh (see figure 4)

[1] Sindh Development Statistics 2017-18

[1] Table 17 Number of Commercial Poultry Farms and Number of Birds by Size of Flock

[1] Sindh Development Statistics 2017-18

[1] 1998 Census. The figure includes data for Tando Allahyar, Hyderabad, and Tando Mohammad Khan districts, 2017 Census Data has not been made public yet.

Environment and Biodiversity

Since the district is devoid of large industry and lacks an industrial base, it is fairly free of air pollution; some pollution is caused by vehicular emissions and dust particles.

Flora and Fauna

Flora

In general, flora of the district includes shisham (Dalbergia sissoo), kikar (Acacia prosopis), mulberry (Morus alba), toot (Morus idevigata), ber (Zizyphus jujuba), dhrek (Melia azadirachta), sarin (Albizzia lebbek), sufeda (Eucalyptus cameldanesis), jand (Prosopis spicigera), and karil (Capparis aphylla). Along canals and other moist places, sar (Saccharum sara), kans grass (Saccharum spontaneum), pilchi (Tamarix dioca) and kundar (Typha angustata) are gown. The fodder grasses found in the area are khabbal (Cynodon dactylon) and madhana (Eleusine degyptica).

Some barren areas of the district are mostly saline and consist of salt tolerant species. The rangelands of the district mostly include lai or salt cedar (Tamarix dioca), athel pine, khagal or ghaz (Tamarix aphylla), kikar/babul or gum Arabica (Acacia nilotica), mesquite or velaiti kikar (Prosopis juliflora), milk weed or aak, (Calotropis procera), camel thorn or jawain (Alhagi maurorum) and kans grass (Saccharum spontinium).

Fauna

Mammals found mostly in riverine forests include hog deer, wild boar, fishing cat, jungle cat, small Indian civet, Indian crested porcupine, fox, desert cat, smooth-coated otter, palm squirrel, and rabbits.

Avifauna includes partridges (both gray and black), white-cheeked bulbul, little brown dove, black-crowned finch lark, Persian short-toed lark, Indian short-toed lark, lesser white throat, common white throat, house bunting, gray-necked bunting, and crested lark. Common area residents that are becoming rarer include Indian sparrow hawk, tawny eagle, common kestrel, gray partridge, Indian sand grouse, pintail sand grouse, collard dove, great gray shrike, gray-backed shrike, hooded wheatear, treepie, hoopoe, pied wagtail, black-winged stilts, red-wattled lapwing, sandpiper, white-backed vulture, griffon vulture, black vulture, golden eagle, rock partridge, black-shouldered kite, spotted owlet, Sindh nightjar, Indian roller, black-crowned finch lark, ashy-headed finch lark, crested lark, Indian robin, common babbler, jungle babbler, purple sunbird, Indian myna, and house sparrow. Starling (a migratory bird), pangolin (rare), greater flamingos, quails (migratory bird), mallard, pintail, blue winged teal, pochards, coots, and other waterfowl are also found along marshy areas. In some areas, the houbara bustard is seen in the season of its migration from Siberia.

Reptiles include monitor and spiny-tailed lizards, spotted Indian house gecko, ground agama, saw-scaled viper, Indian cobra, Indian sandy boa, and sand swimmer.

Protected Areas and Wildlife

There are 2 wetlands/dhands and one forest protected under the Government of Pakistan laws to provide sanctuary to migratory water fowl and other flora and fauna. These are:

  • Gulsher Dhand
  • Samno Dhand
  • Hala Forest Game Reserve

These provide sanctuary to greater flamingos, black and gray partridges, Indian sparrow hawk, tawny eagle, common kestrel, Indian sand grouse, pintail sand grouse, collard dove, great gray shrike, gray-backed shrike, hooded wheatear, treepie, hoopoe, pied wagtail, black-winged stilts, red-wattled lapwings, sandpiper, white-backed vulture, griffon vulture, black vulture, golden eagle, rock partridge, pangolin, quails, houbara bustard, and black-shouldered kite.

The reserved riverine forests of the area provide sanctuary to hog deer (which is now very rare), fishing cat, jungle cat, small Indian civet, Indian crested porcupine, fox, desert cat, smooth-coated otter, and palm squirrel.