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Khuzdar


District Khuzdar Khuzdar was notified as a separate district on 1st March 1974. Previously, it was included in Kalat district. Khuzdar used to be the main city of Jhalawan state. The history of Khuzdar, like that of the rest of Balochistan, is in great obscurity. Very little definite information is available about the area before the advent of the Arabs who ousted the Rai dynasty of Sind in the 7th century. It is possible that some parts of the army of Alexander the Great traversed the country when the conqueror was in the Indus valley (presently upper Sind). The central position of Khuzdar, as the point of convergence of roads from Multan (via the Moola pass), Makran and Kandhar (province of Afghanistan), made it a very important place for the Arabs invading India. It is probable, too, that its moderate climate made the locality acceptable to them. In the time of the Arabs, Khuzdar was protected by a small fortress. The strong fortress was probably on the peak overlooking the valley, which is now known as Biradari (Shahi Bagh). An Arab poet wrote about Khuzdar, “what a beautiful country is Kusdar (Khuzdar). How distinguished are its inhabitants.”

Therefore, the Arabs made frequent attacks upon Khuzdar and in 664 AD, in the caliphate of Muawiya, Al-Manzar, son of Al-Jarud-al-Abdi, who had been appointed to the frontiers of India after conquering Nukan and Kikan, captured Khuzdar. Al-Manzar is said to have died here. During the caliphate of Al-Mutasimbillah (833-41 AD), Umar, who was nominated as governor of Sind, transferred the inhabitants of Kandabel (Gandava) to Khuzdar.

In 976 AD, Khuzdar was governed by an Arab named Muin bin Ahmed. A year later Amir Nasir-ud-din Subuktegin commenced a series of invasions to India. He conquered Khuzdar, but its possession was restored to its previous rulers through a treaty. The treaty stipulated that immediately a sum of money was to be paid and that the ruler would thereafter send a tribute every year. Subuktegin again attacked the recalcitrant ruler. During the days of Mahmud Ghaznivi, the rulers of Khuzdar again became disaffected and withheld the tribute. Mahmud Ghaznivi marched to Khuzdar and took the rulers by surprise. It was indeed owing to Mahmud’s possession of Khuzdar that his subsequent conquests in Sind were chiefly effective. Khuzdar was included in Mahmud’s territory in 1031 AD.

With the downfall of the Ghaznivids, Khuzdar passed to the Ghorids and then to Nasir-ud-din Kabacha. In 1225 AD Khuzdar submitted to Shamsuddin Altamash.

Afterwards, the country appears to have passed to the suzerainty of the Mughals. In 1590 AD Abdul Fazal speaks of the Zehri section of the Baloch tribe. Decline of the Mughal power was followed by the rise of the Brahvis to a position of greater or lesser independence.

During the reign of Mir Mahmud Khan, Pottinger visited Jhalawan in 1810 AD, travelling to Kalat via Bela and Khuzdar. He described Khuzdar as a small town not having more than 500 houses.

The influence of Hindus from Multan and Shikarpur appears to have been very great, so much, that the keys of the town gate were entrusted to the then senior Brahmin every night. During the 18th century, the people of Khuzdar were very religious. The rulers of that period seriously implemented the Islamic Laws. Since the death of Gauhar Khan, chief of Jhalawan, the area has enjoyed a long period of repose.

Khuzdar region was full of karezes and lush green cultivation at the times it was a province of Khurasan. Khuzdar was situated on the route for caravans taking merchandise on camel back to the port Makran for export to middle-east countries. The forces of Muhammad bin Qasim passed through this area gaining access to Sind through the Moola pass. The mud-fort in Khuzdar was built by the Khan Khuda Dad Khan in 1870, during a war with Jams of Lasbela.

In 1903, the British government appointed a political agent at Khuzdar to carry out the administrative affairs of the government .This administrative system continued till the partition of India. Before March 1974, Khuzdar was a sub-division of Kalat district. To serve the people and solve their problems at their doorstep, Khuzdar was awarded the status of district on 15th March 1974. Now, Khuzdar is divisional headquarters of Kalat.

The district headquarters is 302 kilometres from Quetta. It lies at an elevation of 1,249 meters above sea level and is situated on the RCD highway connecting it to Iran and Karachi.

A number of mounds of archaeological interest have been found in Khuzdar. The most important one is Meri Bhar or Palace Mound. It is believed to be the seat of the last Mongol governor of Khuzdar, Malik Chap, who was killed by Kurd inhabitants of Khuzdar.

The “Shahi Bagh” at Khuzdar gives an indication of its condition in ancient times. Many old dams and tombs are scattered throughout the district. A beautiful mosque, symbol of modern Islamic architecture on the RCD highway in Khuzdar, attracts many people.
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