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Jinnah Mausoleum.JPG
Sindh Madrassa.jpg
Ranikot fort 2 (asad aman).jpg
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From top, left to right: Jinnah Mausoleum/Mazar-e-Quaid, Sindh Madressatul Islam University, Ranikot Fort, Faiz Mahal, Nagan Chowrangi flyover, Ayub Bridge adjacent to Lansdowne Bridge
Coat of arms of Sindh Province.svg
Mehran (Gateway), Bab-ul-Islam (Gateway of Islam)
Sindh in Pakistan (claims hatched).svg
Location of Sindh in Pakistan
Coordinates: 26°21′N68°51′E / 26.350°N 68.850°E / 26.350; 68.850 Coordinates: 26°21′N68°51′E / 26.350°N 68.850°E / 26.350; 68.850
CountryFlag of Pakistan.svg  Pakistan
Capital Karachi
Largest city Karachi
  Type Self-governing Province subject to the Federal government
  Body Government of Sindh
   Governor Imran Ismail
   Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah
   Chief Secretary Mumtaz Ali Shah
   Legislature Provincial Assembly
   High Court Sindh High Court
  Total140,914 km2 (54,407 sq mi)
Area rank3rd
 (2017) [1]
  Density340/km2 (880/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Sindhi
  Languages Sindhi and Urdu
Time zone UTC+05:00 (PST)
ISO 3166 code PK-SD
Notable sports teams Karachi Kings
Karachi United
Hyderabad Hawks
Karachi Dolphins
Karachi Zebras
HDI (2018)0.533 Decrease2.svg [2]
Seats in National Assembly 75
Seats in Provincial Assembly 168 [3]
Divisions 7
Districts 30
Tehsils 138
Union Councils 1108 [4]

Sindh ( /ˈsɪnd/ ; Sindhi : سنڌ; Urdu : سندھ, pronounced  [sɪndʱ] ; historically romanized as Sind) is one of the four provinces of Pakistan. Located in the southeastern parts of the country, Sindh is the third-largest province of Pakistan by total area and the second-largest province by population after Pakistani Punjab. It shares land borders with the Pakistani provinces of Balochistan and Punjab to the north, respectively, and the Indian states of Gujarat and Rajasthan to the east; it is also bounded by the Arabian Sea to the south. Sindh's landscape consists mostly of alluvial plains flanking the Indus River, the Thar Desert in the eastern portion of the province along the international border with India, and the Kirthar Mountains in the western portion of the province.


The economy of Sindh is the second-largest in Pakistan after the province of Punjab; its provincial capital of Karachi is the most populous city in the country as well as its main financial hub. Sindh is home to a large portion of Pakistan's industrial sector and contains two of the country's busiest commercial seaports: Port Qasim and the Port of Karachi. The remainder of Sindh consists of an agriculture-based economy and produces fruits, consumer items and vegetables for other parts of the country. [5] [6] [7]

Sindh is sometimes referred to as the Bab-ul Islam (transl.'Gateway of Islam'), as it was one of the first regions of the Indian subcontinent to fall under Islamic rule. Parts of the modern-day province were intermittently subject to raids by the Rashidun army during the early Muslim conquests, but the region did not fall under Muslim rule until the Arab invasion of Sind occurred under the Umayyad Caliphate, headed by Muhammad ibn Qasim in 712 CE. [8] [9] Ethnic Sindhi people comprise the largest group in the province; Sindh is also the place of residence for the overwhelming majority of Muhajirs (lit.'migrants'), a multiethnic group of Indian Muslims who migrated to the region after the Partition of British India in 1947. The province is well-known for its distinct culture, which is strongly influenced by Sufism, an important marker of Sindhi identity for both Hindus and Muslims. [10] Several important Sindhi Sufi shrines are located throughout the province and attract millions of devotees annually.

Sindh is prominent for its history during the Bronze Age under the Indus Valley Civilization, and is home to two UNESCO-designated World Heritage Sites: the Makli Necropolis and Mohenjo-daro. [11]


The Greeks who conquered Sindh in 325 BC under the command of Alexander the Great referred to the Indus River as Indós , hence the modern Indus. The ancient Iranians referred to everything east of the river Indus as hind. [12] [13] The word Sindh itself is a Persian word, which itself is a derivative of the Sanskrit term Sindhu, meaning "river" - a reference to Indus River. [14]

Southworth suggests that the name Sindhu is in turn derived from Cintu, a Dravidian word for date palm, a tree commonly found in Sindh. [15] [16]

The previous spelling "Sind" (from the Perso-Arabic سند) was discontinued in 1988 by an amendment passed in Sindh Assembly, [17] and is now spelt "Sindh."


The Priest-King from Mohenjo-daro, 4000 years old, in the National Museum of Pakistan Mohenjo-daro Priesterkonig.jpeg
The Priest-King from Mohenjo-daro, 4000 years old, in the National Museum of Pakistan

Prehistoric period

Extent and major sites of the Indus Valley Civilization in pre-modern Pakistan and India 3000 BC IVC Map.png
Extent and major sites of the Indus Valley Civilization in pre-modern Pakistan and India 3000 BC
Excavated ruins of Mohenjo-daro, Larkana Mohenjodaro Sindh.jpeg
Excavated ruins of Mohenjo-daro, Larkana

Sindh's first known village settlements date as far back as 7000 BC. Permanent settlements at Mehrgarh, currently in Balochistan, to the west expanded into Sindh. This culture blossomed over several millennia and gave rise to the Indus Valley Civilization around 3000 BC.

Indus Valley Civilisation

Sindh was the centre of the Indus Valley Civilisation, which rivaled the contemporary civilizations of Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia in size and scope, numbering nearly half a million inhabitants at its height with well-planned grid cities and sewer systems.

The primitive village communities in Balochistan were still struggling against a difficult highland environment, a highly cultured people was trying to assert itself at Kot Diji. This was one of the most developed urban civilizations of the ancient world. It flourished between the 25th and 15th centuries BC in the Indus valley sites of Mohenjo Daro and Harappa. The people had a high standard of art and craftsmanship and a well-developed system of quasi-pictographic writing which remains un-deciphered. The ruins of the well planned towns, the brick buildings of the common people, roads, public baths and the covered drainage system suggest a highly organized community. [18]

There is no evidence of large palaces or large tombs for the elite. The grand and presumably holy site might have been the great bath, which is built upon an artificially created elevation. [19] This civilization collapsed around 1700 BC for reasons that are uncertain; the cause is hotly debated and may have been a massive earthquake, which dried up the Ghaggar River. Skeletons discovered in the ruins of Moan Jo Daro ("mount of dead") were thought to indicate that the city was suddenly attacked and the population was wiped out, [20] but further examinations showed that the marks on the skeletons were due to erosion and not of violence. [21]

Early history

The ancient city of Roruka, identified with modern Aror/Rohri, was capital of the Sauvira Kingdom, and finds mentioned early Buddhist literature as a major trading center. [22] Sindh finds mention in the Hindu epic Mahabharata as being part of Bharatvarsha. Sindh was conquered by the Persian Achaemenid Empire in the 6th century BC. In the late 4th century BC, Sindh was conquered by a mixed army led by Macedonian Greeks under Alexander the Great. The region remained under control of Greek satraps for only a few decades. After Alexander's death, there was a brief period of Seleucid rule, before Sindh was traded to the Mauryan Empire led by Chandragupta in 305 BC. During the rule of the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka, the Buddhist religion spread to Sindh.

Mauryan rule ended in 185 BC with the overthrow of the last king by the Shunga Dynasty. In the disorder that followed, Greek rule returned when Demetrius I of Bactria led a Greco-Bactrian invasion of India and annexed most of the northwestern lands, including Sindh. Demetrius was later defeated and killed by a usurper, but his descendants continued to rule Sindh and other lands as the Indo-Greek Kingdom. Under the reign of Menander I, many Indo-Greeks followed his example and converted to Buddhism.

In the late 2nd century BC, Scythian tribes shattered the Greco-Bactrian empire and invaded the Indo-Greek lands. Unable to take the Punjab region, they invaded South Asia through Sindh, where they became known as Indo-Scythians (later Western Satraps). By the 1st century AD, the Kushan Empire annexed Sindh. Kushans under Kanishka were great patrons of Buddhism and sponsored many building projects for local beliefs. [23] Ahirs were also found in large numbers in Sindh. [24] Abiria country of Abhira tribe was in southern Sindh. [25] [26]

The Kushan Empire was defeated in the mid-3rd century AD by the Sassanid Empire of Persia, who installed vassals known as the Kushanshahs in these far eastern territories. These rulers were defeated by the Kidarites in the late 4th century.

It then came under the Gupta Empire after dealing with the Kidarites. By the late 5th century, attacks by Hephthalite tribes known as the Indo-Hephthalites or Hunas (Huns) broke through the Gupta Empire's northwestern borders and overran much of northwestern India. Concurrently, Ror dynasty ruled parts of the region for several centuries.

Afterwards, Sindh came under the rule of Emperor Harshavardhan, then the Rai Dynasty around 478. The Rais were overthrown by Chachar of Alor around 632. The Brahman dynasty ruled a vast territory that stretched from Multan in the north to the Rann of Kutch, Alor was their capital.

Arrival of Islam

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Arab Muslim rule in Pakistan region
Sindh captured by the Umayyads:
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Expansion under Muhammad, 622-632
Expansion during the Rashidun Caliphate, 632-661
Expansion during the Umayyad Caliphate, 661-750 Map of expansion of Caliphate.svg
Sindh captured by the Umayyads:
  Expansion under Muhammad, 622–632
  Expansion during the Rashidun Caliphate, 632–661
  Expansion during the Umayyad Caliphate, 661–750

The connection between the Sindh and Islam was established by the initial Muslim invasions during the Rashidun Caliphate. Al-Hakim ibn Jabalah al-Abdi, who attacked Makran in the year AD 649, was an early partisan of Ali ibn Abu Talib. [27] During the caliphate of Ali, many Jats of Sindh had come under the influence of Shi'ism [28] and some even participated in the Battle of Camel and died fighting for Ali. [27] Under the Umayyads (661 – 750 AD), many Shias sought asylum in the region of Sindh, to live in relative peace in the remote area. Ziyad Hindi is one of those refugees. [29]

Muhammad Ali Jinnah claimed that the Pakistan movement started when the first Muslim put his foot on the soil of Sindh, the Gateway of Islam in India. [30]

In 712, Muhammad bin Qasim conquered the Sindh and Indus Valley, bringing South Asian societies into contact with Islam. Raja Dahir Sen was an Hindu king that ruled over a Buddhist majority and that Chach of Alor and his kin were regarded as usurpers of the earlier Buddhist Rai Dynasty, [31] [32] a view questioned by those who note the diffuse and blurred nature of Hindu and Buddhist practices in the region, [33] especially that of the royalty to be patrons of both and those who believe that Chach may have been a Buddhist. [34] [35] The forces of Muhammad bin Qasim defeated Raja Dahir in alliance with the Hindu Jats and other regional governors. [ citation needed ]

In 711 AD, Muhammad bin Qasim led an Umayyad force of 20,000 cavalry and 5 catapults. Muhammad bin Qasim defeated the Raja Dahir and captured the cities of Alor, Multan and Debal. Sindh became the easternmost State of the Umayyad Caliphate and was referred to as "Sind" on Arab maps, with lands further east known as "Hind". Muhammad bin Qasim built the city of Mansura as his capital; the city then produced famous historical figures such as Abu Mashar Sindhi, Abu Ata al-Sindhi, [36] Abu Raja Sindhi. At the port city of Debal, most of the Bawarij embraced Islam and became known as Sindhi Sailors, who were renowned for their navigation, geography and languages. After Bin Qasim left, the Arab Caliphate ruled Sindh through the Governors.

By the year 750, Debal (modern Karachi) was second only to Basra; Sindhi sailors from the port city of Debal voyaged to Basra, Bushehr, Musqat, Aden, Kilwa, Zanzibar, Sofala, Malabar, Sri Lanka and Java (where Sindhi merchants were known as the Santri). During the Decline of the Abbasid Caliphate in 860s, the Habbari dynasty became semi-independent and was eliminated and Mansura was invaded by Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi. Sindh then again became an easternmost client State of the Later Abbasid Caliphs ruled by the Soomro Dynasty until the Siege of Baghdad (1258). Mansura was the first capital of the Soomra Dynasty and the last of the Habbari dynasty. Muslim geographers, historians and travelers such as al-Masudi, Ibn Hawqal, Istakhri, Ahmed ibn Sahl al-Balkhi, al-Tabari, Baladhuri, Nizami, [37] al-Biruni, Saadi Shirazi, Ibn Battutah and Katip Çelebi [38] wrote about or visited the region, sometimes using the name "Sindh" for the entire area from the Arabian Sea to the Hindu Kush.

Soomra dynasty period

When Sindh was under the Arab Umayyad Caliphate, the Arab Habbari dynasty was in control. The Umayyads appointed Aziz al Habbari as the governor of Sindh. Habbaris ruled Sindh until Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi defeated the Habbaris in 1024. Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi viewed the Abbasid Caliphate to be the caliphs thus he removed the remaining influence of the Umayyad Caliphate in the region and Sindh fell to Abbasid control following the defeat of the Habbaris. The Abbasid Caliphate then appointed Al Khafif from Samarra; 'Soomro' means 'of Samarra' in Sindhi. The new governor of Sindh was to create a better, stronger and stable government. Once he became the governor, he allotted several key positions to his family and friends; thus Al-Khafif or Sardar Khafif Soomro formed the Soomro Dynasty in Sindh; [39] and became its first ruler. Until the Siege of Baghdad (1258) the Soomro dynasty was the Abbasid Caliphate's functionary in Sindh, but after that it became independent.

When the Soomro dynasty lost ties with the Abbasid Caliphate after the Siege of Baghdad (1258,) the Soomra ruler Dodo-I established their rule from the shores of the Arabian Sea to the Punjab in the north and in the east to Rajasthan and in the west to Pakistani Balochistan. The Soomros were one of the first indigenous Muslim dynasties in Sindh of Parmar Rajput origin. [40] They were the first Muslims to translate the Quran into the Sindhi language. The Soomros created a chivalrous culture in Sindh, which eventually facilitated their rule centred at Mansura. It was later abandoned due to changes in the course of the Puran River; they ruled for the next 95 years until 1351. During this period, Kutch was ruled by the Samma Dynasty, who enjoyed good relations with the Soomras in Sindh. Since the Soomro Dynasty lost its support from the Abbasid Caliphate, the Sultans of Delhi wanted a piece of Sindh. The Soomros successfully defended their kingdom for about 36 years, but their dynasties soon fell to the might of the Sultanate of Delhi's massive armies such as the Tughluks and the Khaljis.

Samma Dynasty period

Makli Hill is one of the largest necropolises in the world. View of Makli by Usman Ghani.jpg
Makli Hill is one of the largest necropolises in the world.

In 1339 Jam Unar founded a Sindhi Muslim Rajput Samma Dynasty and challenged the Sultans of Delhi. He used the title of the Sultan of Sindh. The Samma tribe reached its peak during the reign of Jam Nizamuddin II (also known by the nickname Jám Nindó). During his reign from 1461 to 1509, Nindó greatly expanded the new capital of Thatta and its Makli hills, which replaced Debal. He patronized Sindhi art, architecture and culture. The Samma had left behind a popular legacy especially in architecture, music and art. Important court figures included the poet Kazi Kadal, Sardar Darya Khan, Moltus Khan, Makhdoom Bilawal and the theologian Kazi Kaadan. However, Thatta was a port city; unlike garrison towns, it could not mobilize large armies against the Arghun and Tarkhan Mongol invaders, who killed many regional Sindhi Mirs and Amirs loyal to the Samma. Some parts of Sindh still remained under the Sultans of Delhi and the ruthless Arghuns and the Tarkhans sacked Thatta during the rule of Jam Ferozudin.

Migration of Baloch

According to Dr. Akhtar Baloch, Professor at University of Karachi, and Nadeem Wagan, General Manager at HANDS, the Balochi migrated from Balochistan during the Little Ice Age and settled in Sindh and Punjab. The Little Ice Age is conventionally defined as a period extending from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries, [41] [42] [43] or alternatively, from about 1300 [44] to about 1850. [45] [46] [47] According to Professor Baloch, the climate of Balochistan was very cold during this epoch and the region was uninhabitable during the winters so the Baloch people emigrated in waves to Sindh [48] and Punjab.

Mughal era

In the year 1524, the few remaining Sindhi Amirs welcomed the Mughal Empire and Babur dispatched his forces to rally the Arghuns and the Tarkhans, branches of a Turkic dynasty. In the coming centuries, Sindh became a region loyal to the Mughals, a network of forts manned by cavalry and musketeers further extended Mughal power in Sindh. [49] [50] In 1540 a mutiny by Sher Shah Suri forced the Mughal Emperor Humayun to withdraw to Sindh, where he joined the Sindhi Emir Hussein Umrani. In 1541 Humayun married Hamida Banu Begum, who gave birth to the infant Akbar at Umarkot in the year 1542. [49] [51]

During the reign of Akbar the Great, Sindh produced scholars and others such as Mir Ahmed Nasrallah Thattvi, Tahir Muhammad Thattvi and Mir Ali Sir Thattvi and the Mughal chronicler Abu'l-Fazl ibn Mubarak and his brother the poet Faizi was a descendant of a Sindhi Shaikh family from Rel, Siwistan in Sindh. Abu'l-Fazl ibn Mubarak was the author of Akbarnama (an official biographical account of Akbar) and the Ain-i-Akbari (a detailed document recording the administration of the Mughal Empire).

Shah Jahan carved a subah (imperial province), covering Sindh, called Thatta after its capital, out of Multan, further bordering on the Ajmer and Gujarat subahs as well as the rival Persian Safavid empire.

During the Mughal period, Sindhi literature began to flourish and historical figures such as Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai, Sulatn-al-Aoliya Muhammad Zaman and Sachal Sarmast became prominent throughout the land. In 1603 Shah Jahan visited the State of Sindh; at Thatta, he was generously welcomed by the locals after the death of his father Jahangir. Shah Jahan ordered the construction of the Shahjahan Mosque, which was completed during the early years of his rule under the supervision of Mirza Ghazi Beg. During his reign, in 1659 in the Mughal Empire, Muhammad Salih Tahtawi of Thatta created a seamless celestial globe with Arabic and Persian inscriptions using a wax casting method. [52] [53]

Sindh was home to several wealthy merchant-rulers such as Mir Bejar of Sindh, whose great wealth had attracted the close ties with the Sultan bin Ahmad of Oman. [54]

In the year 1701, the Kalhora Nawabs were authorized in a firman by the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb to administer subah Sindh.

From 1752 to 1762, Marathas collected Chauth or tributes from Sindh. [55] Maratha power was decimated in the entire region after the Third Battle of Panipat in 1761. In 1762, Mian Ghulam Shah Kalhoro brought stability in Sindh, he reorganized and independently defeated the Marathas and their prominent vassal the Rao of Kuch in the Thar Desert and returned victoriously.

After the Sikhs annexed Multan, the Kalhora Dynasty supported counterattacks against the Sikhs and defined their borders. [56]

In 1783 a firman which designated Mir Fateh Ali Khan Talpur as the new Nawab of Sindh, and mediated peace particularly after the Battle of Halani and the defeat of the ruling Kalhora by the Talpur Baloch tribes. [57]


The Talpur dynasty was established by members of the Talpur tribe. The Talpur tribes migrated from Dera Ghazi Khan in Punjab to Sindh on the invitation of Kalhora to help them organize unruly Baloch tribes living in Sindh. Talpurs, who learned the Sindhi language, settled in northern Sindh. Very soon they united all the Baloch tribes of Sindh and formed a confederacy against the Kalhora Dynasty.

Four branches of the dynasty were established following the defeat of the Kalhora dynasty at the Battle of Halani in 1743: [58] one ruled lower Sindh from the city of Hyderabad, another ruled over upper Sindh from the city of Khairpur, a third ruled around the eastern city of Mirpur Khas, and a fourth was based in Tando Muhammad Khan. The Talpurs were ethnically Baloch, [59] and Shia by faith. [60] They ruled from 1783, until 1843, when they were in turn defeated by the forces of the East India Company at the Battle of Miani and Dubbo. [61] The northern Khairpur branch of the Talpur dynasty, however, continued to maintain a degree of sovereignty during the period colonial rule as the princely state of Khairpur, [59] whose ruler elected to join the new Dominion of Pakistan in October 1947 as an autonomous region, before being fully amalgamated in the West Pakistan in 1955.

Colonial period

Sindh became part of the Bombay Presidency in 1909. Bombay Prov 1909.jpg
Sindh became part of the Bombay Presidency in 1909.

In 1802, when Mir Ghulam Ali Khan Talpur succeeded as the Talpur Nawab, internal tensions broke out in the state. As a result, the following year the Maratha Empire declared war on Sindh and Berar Subah, during which Arthur Wellesley took a leading role causing much early suspicion between the Emirs of Sindh and the East India Company administration. [62] The East India Company made its first contacts in the Sindhi port city of Thatta, which according to a report was:

"a city as large as London containing 50,000 houses which were made of stone and mortar with large verandahs some three or four stories high ... the city has 3,000 looms ... the textiles of Sindh were the flower of the whole produce of the East, the international commerce of Sindh gave it a place among that of Nations, Thatta has 400 schools and 4,000 Dhows at its docks, the city is guarded by well armed Sepoys".

Bengal Presidency forces under General Charles James Napier arrived in Sindh in the mid-19th century and captured Sindh in February 1843. [63] The Baloch coalition led by Talpur under Mir Nasir Khan Talpur was defeated at the Battle of Miani during which 5,000 Talpur Baloch were killed in action. Shortly afterwards, Hoshu Sheedi commanded another army at the Battle of Dubbo, where 5,000 Baloch were also killed in action.[ citation needed ]

The first Agha Khan, who was escaping persecution in Persia and looking for an ally, helped the East India Company in their capture of Sindh. As a result, he was granted a lifetime pension.[ citation needed ]

A British journal [64] by Thomas Postans mentions the Sindhi Amirs as prisoners of war: "The Amirs as being the prisoners of 'Her Majesty'... they are maintained in strict seclusion; they are described as Broken-Hearted and Miserable men, maintaining much of the dignity of fallen greatness, and without any querulous or angry complaining at this unlivable source of sorrow, refusing to be comforted". Within weeks, Charles Napier and his forces occupied Sindh.

After 1853, the Company administraton divided Sindh into districts and later made it part of the Bombay Presidency.[ citation needed ]

In the year 1868, the Bombay Presidency assigned Narayan Jagannath Vaidya to replace the Abjad used in Sindhi, with the Khudabadi script . The script was decreed a standard script by the Bombay Presidency thus inciting anarchy in the Muslim majority region. A powerful unrest followed, after which twelve separate periods of martial law were imposed by the colonial government. [65]

During the period of Company rule,the city saw the rise of nationalist leaders such as Sibghatullah Shah Rashidi, who pioneered the Sindhi Muslim Hur Movement. He was hanged on 20 March 1943 in Hyderabad, Sindh. His burial place is unknown.[ citation needed ]

During the colonial period, railways, printing presses and bridges were introduced in the province. Writers like Mirza Kalich Beg compiled and traced the literary history of Sindh.[ citation needed ]

Although Sindh had a culture of religious syncretism, communal harmony and tolerance due to Sindh's strong Sufi culture in which both Sindhi Muslims and Sindhi Hindus partook, [66] the mostly Muslim peasantry was oppressed by the Hindu moneylending class and also by the landed Muslim elite. [67] Sindhi Muslims eventually demanded the separation of Sindh from the Bombay Presidency, a move opposed by Sindhi Hindus. [68] [69] [70]

By 1936 Sindh was separated from the Bombay Presidency. Elections in 1937 resulted in local Sindhi Muslim parties winning the bulk of seats. By the mid-1940s the Muslim League gained a foothold in the province and after winning over the support of local Sufi pirs, [71] it didn't take long for the overwhelming majority of Sindhi Muslims to campaign for the creation of Pakistan. [72] [73]



Demographic Indicators
Urban population52.02%
Rural population47.98%
Population growth rate2.41%
Gender ratio (male per 100 female)108.58
Economically active population22.75% (Old Data)
Historical populations

Sindh has the 2nd highest Human Development Index out of all of Pakistan's provinces at 0.628. [74] The 2017 Census of Pakistan indicated a population of 47.9 million.

The major ethnic group of the province is the Sindhis, but there is also a significant presence of other groups. Sindhis of Baloch origin make up about 30% of the total Sindhi population (although they speak Sindhi Saraiki as their native tongue), while Urdu-speaking Muhajirs make up over 19% of the total population of the province, while Punjabi are 10% and Pashtuns represent 7%. In August 1947, before the partition of India, the total population of Sindh was 3,887,070 out of which 2,832,000 were Muslims and 1,015,000 were Hindus [75]


Religions in Sindh (2017 Census) [76]

   Islam (incl. Ahmadiyya (90.39%)
   Hinduism (incl. scheduled castes) (8.73%)
   Christianity (0.85%)
  Others (0.03%)
Sindh Religious diversity as per (2017 census) [77] [ failed verification ]
Muslims ( Star and Crescent.svg )43,251,615
Hindus ( Om.svg )4,177,305
Christians ( ChristianitySymbol.svg )406,725
Shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar Shrine Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, Sehwan Shareef, Sindh, Pakistan.jpg
Shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar
Devotee at Panchmukhi Hanuman Temple Devotee at Punchamukhi Hanuman temple.jpg
Devotee at Panchmukhi Hanuman Temple

Islam in Sindh has a strong Sufi ethos with numerous Muslim saints and mystics, such as the Sufi poet Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai, having lived in Sindh historically. One popular legend which highlights the strong Sufi presence in Sindh is that 125,000 Sufi saints and mystics are buried on Makli Hill near Thatta. [78] The development of Sufism in Sindh was similar to the development of Sufism in other parts of the Muslim world. In the 16th century two Sufi tareeqat (orders) – Qadria and Naqshbandia – were introduced in Sindh. [79] Sufism continues to play an important role in the daily lives of Sindhis. [80]

Sindh also has Pakistan's highest percentage of Hindu residents, which make up 8.73% of its population overall, [76] and 11.6% of the province's rural population. These numbers also include the scheduled caste population, which stands at 1% of the total in Sindh (or 1.8% in rural areas), [81] and is believed to have been under-reported, with some community members instead counted under the main Hindu category. [82] The Shri Ramapir Temple in Tandoallahyar whose annual festival is the second largest Hindu pilgrimage in Pakistan is in Sindh. [83] Sindh is also the only province in Pakistan to have a separate law for governing Hindu marriages. [84]

There are approximately 10,000 Sikhs in Sindh. [85]


According to the 2017 census, the most widely spoken language in the province is Sindhi, the first language of 62% of the population. It is followed by Urdu (18%), Pashto (5.5%), Punjabi (5.3%), Saraiki (2.2%) and Balochi (2%). [76] [86]

Other languages with substantial numbers of speakers include Kutchi and Gujarati. [87] Other minority languages include Aer, Bagri, Bhaya, Brahui, Dhatki, Ghera, Goaria, Gurgula, Jadgali, Jandavra, Jogi, Kabutra, Kachi Koli, Parkari Koli, Wadiyari Koli, Loarki, Marwari, Sansi, and Vaghri. [88]

According to the 1998 census, 7.3% of people Karachi's residents are Sindhi-speaking. However, since the last few decades, every year thousands of Sindhi speaking from the rural areas are moving and settling to the Karachi due to which population of the Sindhis is increasing drastically. [89] Karachi is 40% populated by Muhajirs who speak Urdu. [90] Other immigrant communities in Karachi are Pashtuns from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjabis from Punjab and other linguistic groups from various regions of Pakistan.

Geography and nature

Peninsula of Manora Manora Beach 1100641.JPG
Peninsula of Manora

Sindh is in the western corner of South Asia, bordering the Iranian plateau in the west. Geographically it is the third largest province of Pakistan, stretching about 579 kilometres (360 mi) from north to south and 442 kilometres (275 mi) (extreme) or 281 kilometres (175 mi) (average) from east to west, with an area of 140,915 square kilometres (54,408 sq mi) of Pakistani territory. Sindh is bounded by the Thar Desert to the east, the Kirthar Mountains to the west and the Arabian Sea and Rann of Kutch to the south. In the centre is a fertile plain along the Indus River.

Sindhri is among top 10 mango varieties in the world Sindhri Mango.JPG
Sindhri is among top 10 mango varieties in the world


Sindh ibex in Kirthar National Park Blackbuck1-Kirthar National Park.jpg
Sindh ibex in Kirthar National Park

The province is mostly arid with scant vegetation except for the irrigated Indus Valley. The dwarf palm, Acacia Rupestris (kher), and Tecomella undulata (lohirro) trees are typical of the western hill region. In the Indus valley, the Acacia nilotica (babul) (babbur) is the most dominant and occurs in thick forests along the Indus banks. The Azadirachta indica (neem) (nim), Zizyphys vulgaris (bir) (ber), Tamarix orientalis (jujuba lai) and Capparis aphylla (kirir) are among the more common trees.

Mango, date palms and the more recently introduced banana, guava, orange and chiku are the typical fruit-bearing trees. The coastal strip and the creeks abound in semi-aquatic and aquatic plants and the inshore Indus delta islands have forests of Avicennia tomentosa (timmer) and Ceriops candolleana (chaunir) trees. Water lilies grow in abundance in the numerous lake and ponds, particularly in the lower Sindh region.[ citation needed ]


Indus river dolphin Schnabeldelphin-drawing.jpg
Indus river dolphin

Among the wild animals, the Sindh ibex (sareh), blackbuck, wild sheep (Urial or gadh) and wild bear are found in the western rocky range. The leopard is now rare and the Asiatic cheetah extinct. The Pirrang (large tiger cat or fishing cat) of the eastern desert region is also disappearing. Deer occur in the lower rocky plains and in the eastern region, as do the striped hyena (charakh), jackal, fox, porcupine, common gray mongoose and hedgehog. The Sindhi phekari, red lynx or Caracal cat, is found in some areas. Phartho (hog deer) and wild bear occur, particularly in the central inundation belt. There are bats, lizards and reptiles, including the cobra, lundi (viper) and the mysterious Sindh krait of the Thar region, which is supposed to suck the victim's breath in his sleep. Some unusual sightings of Asian cheetah occurred in 2003 near the Balochistan border in Kirthar Mountains. The rare houbara bustard find Sindh's warm climate suitable to rest and mate. Unfortunately, it is hunted by locals and foreigners.

Crocodiles are rare and inhabit only the backwaters of the Indus, eastern Nara channel and Karachi backwater. Besides a large variety of marine fish, the plumbeous dolphin, the beaked dolphin, rorqual or blue whale and skates frequent the seas along the Sindh coast. The Pallo (Sable fish), a marine fish, ascends the Indus annually from February to April to spawn. The Indus river dolphin is among the most endangered species in Pakistan and is found in the part of the Indus river in northern Sindh. Hog deer and wild bear occur, particularly in the central inundation belt.

Although Sindh has a semi arid climate, through its coastal and riverine forests, its huge fresh water lakes and mountains and deserts, Sindh supports a large amount of varied wildlife. Due to the semi-arid climate of Sindh the left out forests support an average population of jackals and snakes. The national parks established by the Government of Pakistan in collaboration with many organizations such as World Wide Fund for Nature and Sindh Wildlife Department support a huge variety of animals and birds. The Kirthar National Park in the Kirthar range spreads over more than 3000 km2 of desert, stunted tree forests and a lake. The KNP supports Sindh ibex, wild sheep (urial) and black bear along with the rare leopard. There are also occasional sightings of The Sindhi phekari, ped lynx or Caracal cat. There is a project to introduce tigers and Asian elephants too in KNP near the huge Hub Dam Lake. Between July and November when the monsoon winds blow onshore from the ocean, giant olive ridley turtles lay their eggs along the seaward side. The turtles are protected species. After the mothers lay and leave them buried under the sands the SWD and WWF officials take the eggs and protect them until they are hatched to keep them from predators.


Lansdowne Railway Bridge Ayub.jpg
Lansdowne Railway Bridge

Sindh lies in a tropical to subtropical region; it is hot in the summer and mild to warm in winter. Temperatures frequently rise above 46  °C (115  °F ) between May and August, and the minimum average temperature of 2 °C (36 °F) occurs during December and January in the northern and higher elevated regions. The annual rainfall averages about seven inches, falling mainly during July and August. The southwest monsoon wind begins in mid-February and continues until the end of September, whereas the cool northerly wind blows during the winter months from October to January.

Sindh lies between the two monsoons—the southwest monsoon from the Indian Ocean and the northeast or retreating monsoon, deflected towards it by the Himalayan mountains—and escapes the influence of both. The region's scarcity of rainfall is compensated by the inundation of the Indus twice a year, caused by the spring and summer melting of Himalayan snow and by rainfall in the monsoon season.

Sindh is divided into three climatic regions: Siro (the upper region, centred on Jacobabad), Wicholo (the middle region, centred on Hyderabad), and Lar (the lower region, centred on Karachi). The thermal equator passes through upper Sindh, where the air is generally very dry. Central Sindh's temperatures are generally lower than those of upper Sindh but higher than those of lower Sindh. Dry hot days and cool nights are typical during the summer. Central Sindh's maximum temperature typically reaches 43–44 °C (109–111 °F). Lower Sindh has a damper and humid maritime climate affected by the southwestern winds in summer and northeastern winds in winter, with lower rainfall than Central Sindh. Lower Sindh's maximum temperature reaches about 35–38 °C (95–100 °F). In the Kirthar range at 1,800 m (5,900 ft) and higher at Gorakh Hill and other peaks in Dadu District, temperatures near freezing have been recorded and brief snowfall is received in the winters.

Major cities

List of major cities in Sindh
1 Karachi Karachi East
Karachi West
Karachi South
Karachi Central
2 Hyderabad Hyderabad 1,732,693 Mir Karam Ali Khan Talpur Tombs were restored in 2016 1.jpg
3 Sukkur Sukkur 499,900 Rohri.jpg
4 Larkana Larkana 490,508 Larkana Aerial view.jpg
5 Nawabshah Shaheed Benazirabad 279,688 Tomb of Mian Noor Muhammad Kalhoro.JPG
6 Kotri Jamshoro 259,358 Kotri Barrage Indus River.jpg
7 Mirpur Khas Mirpur Khas 233,916 Chitorri Graveyard view4.JPG
Source: Pakistan Census 2017 [92]
This is a list of city proper populations and does not indicate metro populations.


Sindh province

Provincial symbols of Sindh [93] [94] [95]
Provincial animal Sindh ibex
Capra ibex ibex - 03.jpg
Provincial bird Black partridge
Naturalis Biodiversity Center - ZMA.AVES.25872 - Melanoperdix niger niger Vigors, 1829 - Phasianidae - skin specimen.jpeg
Provincial tree Neem Tree

The Provincial Assembly of Sindh is a unicameral and consists of 168 seats, of which 5% are reserved for non-Muslims and 17% for women. The provincial capital of Sindh is Karachi. The provincial government is led by Chief Minister who is directly elected by the popular and landslide votes; the Governor serves as a ceremonial representative nominated and appointed by the President of Pakistan. The administrative boss of the province who is in charge of the bureaucracy is the Chief Secretary Sindh, who is appointed by the Prime Minister of Pakistan. Most of the influential Sindhi tribes in the province are involved in Pakistan's politics.

In addition, Sindh's politics leans towards the left-wing and its political culture serves as a dominant place for the left-wing spectrum in the country. [96] The province's trend towards the Pakistan Peoples Party and away from the Pakistan Muslim League (N) can be seen in nationwide general elections, in which, Sindh is a stronghold of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP). [96] The PML(N) has a limited support due to its centre-right agenda. [97]

In metropolitan cities such as Karachi and Hyderabad, the MQM (another left-wing party with the support of Muhajirs) has a considerable vote bank and support. [96] Minor leftist parties such as People's Movement also found support in rural areas of the province. [98]


In 2008, after the public elections, the new government decided to restore the structure of Divisions of all provinces. [99] In Sindh after the lapse of the Local Governments Bodies term in 2010 the Divisional Commissioners system was to be restored. [100] [101] [102]

In July 2011, following excessive violence in the city of Karachi and after the political split between the ruling PPP and the majority party in Sindh, the MQM and after the resignation of the MQM Governor of Sindh, PPP and the Government of Sindh decided to restore the commissionerate system in the province. As a consequence, the five divisions of Sindh were restored – namely Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Mirpurkhas and Larkana with their respective districts. Subsequently, two new divisions have been added in Sindh, Banbore and Nawab Shah/Shaheed Benazirabad division. [103]

Karachi district has been de-merged into its five original constituent districts: Karachi East, Karachi West, Karachi Central, Karachi South and Malir. Recently Korangi has been upgraded to the status of the sixth district of Karachi. These six districts form the Karachi Division now. [104] In 2020, the Kemari District was created after splitting Karachi West District. [105] Currently the Sindh government is planning to divide the Tharparkar district into Tharparkar and Chhachro district. [106]


MapSr. No.DistrictHeadquartersArea (km²)Population 
(in 2017)
Sindh Districts.svg 1 Badin Badin 6,4701,804,516279
2 Dadu Dadu 8,0341,550,266193
3 Ghotki Ghotki 6,5061,647,239253
4 Hyderabad Hyderabad 1,0222,201,0792,155
5 Jacobabad Jacobabad 2,7711,006,297363
6 Jamshoro Jamshoro 11,250993,14288
7 Karachi Central Karachi 622,972,63948,336
8 Kashmore (formerly Kandhkot) Kashmore 2,5511,089,169427
9 Khairpur Khairpur 15,9252,405,523151
10 Larkana Larkana 1,9061,524,391800
11 Matiari Matiari 1,459769,349527
12 Mirpur Khas Mirpur Khas 3,3191,505,876454
13 Naushahro Feroze Naushahro Feroze 2,0271,612,373369
14 Shaheed Benazirabad (formerly Nawabshah) Nawabshah 4,6181,612,847349
15 Qambar Shahdadkot Qambar 5,5991,341,042240
16 Sanghar Sanghar 10,2592,057,057200
17 Shikarpur Shikarpur 2,5771,231,481478
18 Sukkur Sukkur 5,2161,487,903285
19 Tando Allahyar Tando Allahyar 1,573836,887532
20 Tando Muhammad Khan Tando Muhammad Khan 1,814677,228373
21 Tharparkar Mithi 19,8081,649,66183
22 Thatta Thatta 7,705979,817127
23 Umerkot Umerkot 5,5031,073,146195
24 (22) Sujawal Sujawal 8,699781,96790
25 (7) Karachi East Karachi 1652,909,92117,625
26 (7) Karachi South Karachi 851,791,75121,079
27 (7) Karachi West Karachi 6303,914,7576,212
28 (7) Korangi Korangi Town 952,457,01925,918
29 (7) Malir Malir Town 2,6352,008,901762

Lower-level subdivisions

In Sindh, talukas are equivalent to the tehsils used elsewhere in the country, supervisory tapas correspond with the kanungo circles used elsewhere, tapas correspond with the patwar circles used in other provinces, and dehs are equivalent to the mouzas used elsewhere. [107]


A view of Karachi downtown, the capital of Sindh province PK Karachi asv2020-02 img22 Chundrigar Road.jpg
A view of Karachi downtown, the capital of Sindh province
GDP by province GDP by Province.jpg
GDP by province
Qayoom Abad Bridge Karachi Qayoom Abad Bridge.JPG
Qayoom Abad Bridge Karachi
Navalrai Market Clock Tower Hyderabad PK Hyderabad asv2020-02 img15 Navalrai Market tower.jpg
Navalrai Market Clock Tower Hyderabad

Sindh has the second largest economy in Pakistan. A 2016 study commissioned by Pakistan Ministry of Planning found that urban Sindh and northern Punjab province are the most prosperous regions in Pakistan. [108] Its GDP per capita was $1,400 in 2010 which is 50 percent more than the rest of the nation or 35 percent more than the national average. Historically, Sindh's contribution to Pakistan's GDP has been between 30% to 32.7%. Its share in the service sector has ranged from 21% to 27.8% and in the agriculture sector from 21.4% to 27.7%. Performance wise, its best sector is the manufacturing sector, where its share has ranged from 36.7% to 46.5%.

Endowed with coastal access, Sindh is a major centre of economic activity in Pakistan and has a highly diversified economy ranging from heavy industry and finance centred in Karachi to a substantial agricultural base along the Indus. Manufacturing includes machine products, cement, plastics, and other goods.

Agriculture is very important in Sindh with cotton, rice, wheat, sugar cane, dates, bananas, and mangoes as the most important crops. The largest and finer quality of rice is produced in Larkano district. [109] [110]


Dayaram Jethmal College (D.J. College), Karachi in the 19th century Photograph of the D.J. Sind Arts College (now known as the D. J. Government Science College) of Karachi 1893.jpg
Dayaram Jethmal College (D.J. College), Karachi in the 19th century
National Academy of Performing Arts, Karachi Hindu Gymkhana Karachi.jpeg
National Academy of Performing Arts, Karachi
YearLiteracy rate
201754.57% [111]

The following is a chart of the education market of Sindh estimated by the government in 1998: [112]

QualificationUrbanRuralTotalEnrollment ratio (%)
Below Primary1,984,0893,332,1665,316,255100.00
Diploma, Certificate...1,320,747552,2411,872,9889.59
BA, BSc... degrees440,743280,800721,5439.07
MA, MSc... degrees106,84753,040159,8872.91
Other qualifications89,04378,003167,0460.54

Major public and private educational institutes in Sindh include:

Culture Day

Children in a rural area of Sindh, 2012 Children in a village, Sindh, Pakistan, April 2012 (8405077775).jpg
Children in a rural area of Sindh, 2012

The rich culture, art and architectural landscape of Sindh have fascinated historians. The culture, folktales, art and music of Sindh form a mosaic of human history. [113]

Cultural heritage

Archaeological ruins at Moenjodaro, Sindh, Pakistan Archaeological Ruins at Moenjodaro-108221.jpg
Archaeological ruins at Moenjodaro, Sindh, Pakistan
The ruins of an ancient mosque at Bhambore Grand Mosque at Banbhore.jpg
The ruins of an ancient mosque at Bhambore
Sindhi women collecting water from a reservoir on the way to Mubarak Village Women in Sindh.jpg
Sindhi women collecting water from a reservoir on the way to Mubarak Village

Sindh has a rich heritage of traditional handicraft that has evolved over the centuries. Perhaps the most professed exposition of Sindhi culture is in the handicrafts of Hala, a town some 30 kilometres from Hyderabad. Hala's artisans manufacture high-quality and impressively priced wooden handicrafts, textiles, paintings, handmade paper products, and blue pottery. Lacquered wood works known as Jandi, painting on wood, tiles, and pottery known as Kashi, hand weaved textiles including khadi , susi, and ajraks are synonymous with Sindhi culture preserved in Hala's handicraft.

The work of Sindhi artisans was sold in ancient markets of Damascus, Baghdad, Basra, Istanbul, Cairo and Samarkand. Referring to the lacquer work on wood locally known as Jandi, T. Posten (an English traveller who visited Sindh in the early 19th century) asserted that the articles of Hala could be compared with exquisite specimens of China. Technological improvements such as the spinning wheel (charkha) and treadle (pai-chah) in the weaver's loom were gradually introduced and the processes of designing, dyeing and printing by block were refined. The refined, lightweight, colourful, washable fabrics from Hala became a luxury for people used to the woollens and linens of the age. [114]

Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) such as the World Wildlife Fund, Pakistan, play an important role to promote the culture of Sindh. They provide training to women artisans in Sindh so they get a source of income. They promote their products under the name of "Crafts Forever". Many women in rural Sindh are skilled in the production of caps. Sindhi caps are manufactured commercially on a small scale at New Saeedabad and Hala New. Sindhi people began celebrating Sindhi Topi Day on 6 December 2009, to preserve the historical culture of Sindh by wearing Ajrak and Sindhi topi. [115]

Huts in the Thar desert House in the Thar.JPG
Huts in the Thar desert


Tourist sites include the ruins of Mohenjo-daro near the city of Larkana, Runi Kot, Kot Deji, the Jain temples of Nangar Parker and the historic temple of Sadhu Bela, Sukkur. Islamic architecture is quite prominent in the province; its numerous mausoleums include the ancient Shahbaz Qalander mausoleum.

See also


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