District Qambar Shahdadkot with headquarters at Qambar was established on 13th December 2004. Taluka Qambar and Shahdadkot were part of Larkana district since long before they were combined and made one whole district for administrative purposes. At first it was named only Qambar but due to the dissent of people of Shahdadkot city, the name Shahdadkot was also added. The district was created in the tenure of Chief Minister Arbab Ghulam Rahim who is accused of creating this district for political gains and to weaken the stronghold of Pakistan People’s Party in the area because Shahdadkot has been the electoral constituency for Shaheed Benazir Bhutto. The creation of the district benefitted Chandios who are the landlords of Qambar Shahdadkot. In 2005, Nawab Shabbir Khan Chandio became the first elected nazim of the newly created district.
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The total area of District Qambar Shahdadkot is 1453383 acres. The district is divided into 7 talukas which are Qambar, Miro Khan, Shahdadkot, Warah, Sija Wal Junejo,Nasirabad and Qubo Saeed Khan. Taluka Qambar has the highest area which is 522,462 acres. These talukas are further divided into 40 Union Councils. The district government comprises seven groups of offices i.e. Health, Education, Works & Services, Finance & Planning, Community Development, Revenue and Agriculture besides district administration.
The total population of the district, as per the consensus of 1998, is 922,323 and the projected population at 2.8% growth rate is 11, 82,554 for the year 2011. Taluka Qambar also has the highest population with 245,700 people according to the consensus of 1998 and a projected population of 315,024 for the year 2011. Majority of the population of the district consists of Muslims with a small minority of Hindus.
According to a survey conducted by Sindh Education Management Information System in 2010-11, total number of schools for boys is 377, for girls is 306 and co-ed schools is 997. The number of boys enrolled in boys schools 7538 and total number of girls enrolled in girl’s school is 33,061. Te total number of enrolled students is in all the schools is 195,774. Total number of teachers in the district is 4239 out of which 3411 are male teachers and 828 are female teachers. The student per teacher ratio is 46. Number of functional schools in urban areas is 91 and in rural areas is 1439. Total number of closed schools in the district is 150. The total number of schools in Qambar Shahdadkot is 1680.
Qambar Shahdakot shares its borders with 3 districts of Baluchistan on the west which are Khuzdar, Jaffarabad and jhal Magsi. Its southern borders are connected with district Dadu. District Larkana is on the east and district Jacobabad is on the north.
The district has variety of features with its vast plains, agriculture land, mighty mountain range of Kirthar and a number of wetlands including Hamal, Drigh and Langh lakes. The Khirthar extends southward for almost 300km from the Mula River in east-central Balochistan to Cape Muari (Monze) west of Karachi on the Arabian Sea. Khirthar in Sindhi means ‘milk-cream’ which is contrary to the environment of the place. It’s a range of limestone hills and mountains which is referred as Hallar by the old writers, but it is commonly known as Kirthar today. The Khirthar range also has a National Park which is also second largest Wild life Park in the area. It is located between Karachi and Balochistan. This hilly area is covered with limestone hills are rise from 4000 to nearly 8000 feet and surrounded by fossilized remnants from different times of history. The inhabitants of the region are chiefly Balochi and Sindhi who belong to Brahui tribe and they survive by flock graze. Chhuttas of Balochistan, Chandios and Gainchos of Sindh also live in this area. Rare species of animals are found in Khirthar National park for example Sindh Wild Goat, Indian Fox, Egyptian vulture, Indian Pangolin, Desert Wolf, Chinkara Gazelle, Honey Badger, Jackal, Asiatic leopard, Bonnelli’s eagle, Stripped Hyena, Jungle cat, and also a numbers of reptile and bird species.
The climate of Qamber Shahdadkot district is mainly dry, with rain-fall varying between 5 to 10 inches in a year. The district is mainly rice and cultivating region. About 95 percent population depends on agriculture. Chilies and vegetables are also grown in the district. Qambar Shahdadkot is also rich in gas reserves and minerals.
The Shahdadkot Textile Mills was situated in the north of Shahdadkot City. It employed around 4500 workers in the district which was previously part of Larkana. The mill was established in 1974 under the orders of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, then prime minister of Pakistan. Iran had assisted Pakistan for the installation of the mill in Shahdadkot. The mill was started in 1978 it became the source of livelihood of many people living in all four provinces. The cloth from here was sent to Punjab for selling. The mill produced export quality cloth. Due to political problems after Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s time and financial crisis to the mill, it could not pay salary to its 4000 workers and this lead to the downfall of the mill during Zia’s regime. When Benazir Bhutto returned to the government in 1990, the mill again started to produce fine Polyester productions of various designs. Abdul Fatah Bhatti, funded by Nisar Memon-a contractor from Karachi, was give complete authorization to operate in the Mills. He even expelled the few remaining workers from the Mills and put up a notice of shutting down of the Mills on July 8, 2007. Because of political and economic crisis, the mills and the industry in the district suffered and its infrastructure was sold for petty amount. Now it wears a deserted look. The present small industries are as follows; Electronic goods, Agricultural tools, construction material and food processing through bakeries and shops. The cottage industry of embroidery caps particularly in Shahdadkot Taluka has a good market in the district as well as outside the district.
Rice, mangoes, lemons, watermelons, dates, vegetables, handicrafts, leather Items, embroidery pieces, Sindhi caps and Animal Hides are exported from here. Major Imports are medicines, Vehicles, Iron ore, Petroleum, Edible oil and cosmetics.
The Sindh province has number of famous and historical places and Qambar-Shahdadkot is one such prominent place. The district was witness to countless anecdotes of historical value and is a permanent abode of several archaeological monuments.
The architecture of Qambar Shahdadkot has an uninterrupted history from Indus Valley Civilization to present times. The Cultural Heritage of this land is highly inspired by Mughal and Rajputana/ Jaisalmir Architecture. This can be easily seen in Kalhora Monuments. Museums of Natural Science and archaeology antiquites but these are personal museums of Shafqat Hussain Wadho, Comrade Wali Muhammad Manganhar and Sheikh Javed Ali Sindhi.
As the district is newly made, there are many administrative level gaps which need to be filled for its growth and better lives of people. The main issues of Qambar Shahdadkot district are poverty, illiteracy, health, law & order situation, honor killing, violence against women and child abuse. Other issues include problems of flood during rainy season and sanitation.
PROBLEMS OF THE DISTRICT
One of the main issues of the district is law and order. The poor law and order situation is not a problem in just Qambar Shahdadkot but in other districts of Sindh especially upper Sindh region. The lawlessness in the area is evident from incidence of violence, crime and murder taking place. Worsening conditions of law and order situation is causing concern not just among the public but international organizations had to stop the relief work which was going on in the flood hit areas of Qambar Shahdadkot. The previous home Minister of Sindh has emphasized a lot of times that law and order situation is better than ever before but the reality is far away from his statements.
The people of the district have serious concerns over the deteriorating security of the district. Kidnapping of children and their killings are increasing with every passing day and the police has failed to take up the issue. The civil society has also shown concern over the issue and expressed their feelings by saying that it is the right of every citizen to sleep peacefully at night rather than worrying about the safety of their family. There are many, who believe that the killings, kidnappings or missing of people are routine in Qambar-Shahdadkot and tribal clashes have also destroyed the society.
Mugheri tribes have been disturbing the law and order and have been involved in serious crimes including land grabbing, killing, possession of crops and threatening poor villagers. On May 10th 2012, a local TV journalist, Aurangzeb Tunio along with his brother and friend were killed by Mugheri tribesman in his office. The Mugheri tribesmen killed the three men after threatening them before at their house after looting the valuables. They were killed because a girl from Mugheri tribe eloped with Tanveer Tunio from Lalu Rank village in Kamber-Shahdadkot. For revenge, a large number of Mugheri tribesmen from their villages came with arms and ammunition and reached Lalu Rank and started aerial firing and created a panic and fear in city and the local traders had to shut down their shops and businesses.
The relatives of deceased journalist told that the killers belong to a criminal gang of Gulbahar of Mugheri tribe. The police of Larkana and Kamber-Shahdadkot cordoned off the area after several hours and arrested few among the villagers and in a retaliation both sides firing with police by the criminals gang in the villages, but no major arrest of killers of Journalist and others on the occasion.
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this is just not the only day when Mugheri tribe had created a law and order situation in the area. A week back before the killing of Aurangzeb, Mugheri tribesmen snatched ready crop of a Larkana TV Journalist Munwer Rind and all set on fire by the armed Mugheri tribesmen. The people from media protested against the police and offenders but the police is not as powerful in the area as Mugheri tribesmen so they failed to take up any action against them.
The Sindh Sahafi Sangat Larkana, Kamber-Shahdadkot, Khairpur, Shikarpur, Jacobabad, Naushehroferoze, Hyderabad , Dadu, Ghotki and journalists from other districts took out processions and rallies against killing of innocent journalists. They demanded from the Sindh police that they should protect journalist in different districts of Sindh where law and order situation is creating a problem for their work.
According to the police, residents in different villages across Qambar-Shahdadkot have revealed that they got their Kalashnikovs and G-3s from an unlikely source. The police department is responsible to provide security to the people but they have been supplying ammunitions including rocket launchers to the tribes.
The clashes among tribes and open use of guns and ammunition are common in the district. Teenagers patrolling with arms can be frequently seen. In 2010, Laiq Marfani, 50, who have had a dispute for a long time with the Mugheri tribe lost his son in these clashes. Eight other people have already lost their lives due to this dispute. The tribes usually get their arms from contacts in Khyber Pukhtunkhuwa. But according to a news article in Express Tribune, Laiq Marfani told them thattoday the process has become simpler “We have to pay Rs50 for a bullet used in Kalashnikovs and Rs70 to Rs100 for G-3 bullets,” he explained. Earlier the price of a Kalashnikov bullet was Rs 6 but since the tribal disputes have increased now, the prices have also increased. Kalashnikovs that cost Rs13,000 in 1993 are now bought for Rs100,000, informed Marfani.
The frequent clashes have created an unending fear and constant unrest among people of several villages in the district. The district which was once known because of the business is now known for these frequent fights. Shopkeepers alleged that their business has declined due to theses lethal clashes between tribes.
The only role the police have is that of supplying the weapons that keep these armed conflicts going.
“We have complained countless times to the District Police Officer (DPO) Qambar-Shahdadkot district, asking him to establish check posts and start patrolling in the area but they never do anything,” said Anwar Bohar, a landlord of Bohar village. People who are bystanders, often have to pay the price of their lives by getting caught in clashes they are not even part of. Anwar Bohar said “How can one expect peace when the police supply weapons and bullets to the criminals?”
He further said “A few days ago two rival groups belonging to the Marfani and Mugheri tribes attacked each other with rockets. We called the police but no one reached in time and a passerby died in the firing”.
In his defense, SHO Drigh Mir Muhammad Kalhoro said that the police have limited staff and resources. He asked the DPO to boost the force and hire more personnel so that they can establish pickets and check posts in the more volatile areas.
The officials in the police department said that former DIG Larkana Sanaullah Abbasi sacked policemen at the Kamber police station for their alleged contribution in providing weapons to criminals. Talking to The Express Tribune, Abbasi said the investigation has revealed that almost 100 policemen ranking from inspectors to constables, posted at different police stations in Larkana district were involved in supplying weapon to bandits. He dismissed around one dozen policemen for their involvement with bandits but within a few days they were either reinstated by couts or due to the pressure by the powerful politicians.
Abbasi has taken several measures to protect and resume the reputation of police department in the district. When he was incharge, he had told his men that if a kidnapped person was not found or released within a week then the relevant DSP and SHO would be suspended. This warning to the policemen resulted in a good way and 150 bandits were killed by the police officials in a month.
On the other hand, SP Investigations of the district Eijaz Tareen appreciated the police in his district. He said that the police have maintained law and order during the last few months, before which the rate of kidnapping-for-ransom cases was steadily rising. “I accept that a few clashes between different groups have been reported but the police should be given credit because they have managed to control the situation later,” he said. Regarding police involvement in supplying arms and ammunition to criminals, Tareen replied, “It is nothing but propaganda against the police.”
Until and unless the law and order situation is not in control, the people cannot move freely and live their lives peacefully. The business and economy of the district gets highly affected due to frequent clashes which automatically results in poverty. Sindh police needs to take serious actions against tribes who have criminals in them and who create this turbulence. The district police needs to separate itself from their alleged associations with criminals and policemen who are involved in providing arms and ammunitions to the tribes should be reprimanded. It should be made clear to the police that they are on duty for the security of the people of the district.
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