Sindh (Sind) is one of the provinces of Pakistan. It was first settled about 2 million years ago by the Riwat people, and the region's fertility around the Indus River led to the development of the Indus Valley Civilization, and the advanced cities of Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro between 3300-1300 BCE. Sindh has been exploited by invaders from old time among Arghuns, Turks and the exploits of the Beg-lar family, who were Turks of Turmuz who migrated to Samarkand and then to Sindh.
Ongar is one of the most important Paleolithic site discovered in southern Sindh, few kilometers south of Hyderabad, on the right side of the Indus River. According to the aspect and surface patina of the tools, the flint assemblages can be attributed to the Early, Middle and Late (Upper) Paleolithic periods.
At Rehri, along the coast east of Karachi, Karachi University team has discovered a few Mesolithic and Late Palaeolithic sites. Most of these sites have vanished during the last twenty years. Nevertheless, their discovery shed new light on the prehistory of the coastal area of Lower Sindh. Scatters of flint were found in different spots, some of which were associated with Terebralia palustris mangrove shells.
The Late Palaeolithic and Mesolithic sites found by Karachi University team on the Mulri Hills, in front of Karachi University Campus, constitute one of the most important archaeological discoveries made in Sindh during the last fifty years. The last hunter-gatherers, who left abundant traces of their passage, repeatedly inhabited the Hills. Some twenty different spots of flint tools were discovered during the surface surveys.
Copper to the Bronze Age
The mound of Amri is located along the right bank of the Indus River, south of Dadu. The excavations carried out by the French Archaeological Mission at the beginning of the sixties revealed a long sequence of subsequent habitation phases datable from the Copper to the Bronze Age. The typical Amri layers have been radiocarbon-dated to the second half of the fourth millennium BCE and are attributed by some authors to the beginning of the Early Harappan Civilization. At least 160 settlements attributed to the Amri Culture, among them the Tharro Hills, near the village of Gujo, is one of the most famous of lower Sindh. .. The site of Kot Diji, near Rohri, consists of a small mound composed of a sequence of overimposed structures and anthropogenic layers. They have been subdivided into two main complexes, the first of which belongs to the Early Harappan, Kot Diji Culture, and the second to the Mature Harappan Civilization.
The site of Lakhueen-jo-daro, near Sukkur, belongs to the Mature Harappan Civilization as indicated by the characteristics of the structural remains, material culture finds and one radiocarbon date, covers a wide area, from which a few mounds emerge. The site indicates that the origins of Sukkur are to be referred to a much older period than previously suspected.
The metropolis of Mohenjo-daro, near Larkana, is largest Indus city so far discovered in Sindh. The large-scale excavations carried out in the 1920s brought to light most of the architectural remains that are still currently visible. They are mainly of backed bricks with very well preserved buildings aligned along streets and lanes. Mohen-jo-daro is the largest Bronze Age city of the world.
In ancient times, the territory of the modern Sindh province was sometimes known as Sovira (or Souveera, Sauvīra) and also as Sindhudesha, Sindhu being the original name for Indus river and the suffix 'desh' roughly corresponding to country or territory.
The first known village settlements date as far back as 7000 BCE. Permanent settlements at Mehrgarh to the west expanded into Sindh. One of the original inhabitants of ancient Sindh were the Austro-Asiatic speaking peoples who spoke the Munda languages. This culture blossomed over several millennia and gave rise to the Indus Valley Civilization around 3000 BCE. The Indus Valley Civilization spanned much of what is today Pakistan, but went into decline a few centuries prior to the invasion of the Indo-Aryans which is still a hotly debated subject, a branch of the Indo-Iranians, who are considered to have founded the Vedic Civilization, that existed between the Kabul River, the Sarasvati River and the upper Ganges river after 1500 BCE. The Vedic civilization - with much in-fighting and fighting with the locals as well as interaction with them - ultimately helped shape subsequent cultures in South Asia.
Another group of academia, claims that the original inhabitants of Sindh, who gave rise to the Indus Valley Civilization around 3000 BCE, were native Aryans, as Vedic literature speaks of no reference to an Aryan race outside of the South Asia. This topic is considered still unresolved.
The Indus Valley Civilization rivaled the contemporary civilizations of Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia in both size and scope numbering nearly half a million inhabitants at its height with well-planned grid cities and sewer systems. It is known that the Indus Valley Civilization traded with ancient Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt via established shipping lanes. In ancient Egypt, the word for cotton was Sindh denoting that the bulk of that civilization's cotton was predominantly imported from the Indus Valley Civilization. Speculation remains as to how and why the civilization declined and may have been a combination of natural disasters such as deterioration in climate, flooding as well as breakdown of international trade and internecine conflicts.
References in ancient literature
The Vedas (Rigveda) praises the Sindhu, the cradle of civilization. "Sindhu in might surpasses all the streams that flow.... His roar is lifted up to heaven above the earth; he puts forth endless vigour with a flash of light .... Even as cows with milk rush to their calves, so other rivers roar into the Sindhu. As a warrior-king leads other warriors, so does Sindhu lead other rivers.... Rich in good steeds is Sindhu, rich in gold, nobly fashioned, rich in ample wealth." In this hymn Sindhu, unlike other rivers, is considered masculine. Other references are, when the Vedic seer invokes heaven and earth, he also invokes the Sindhu. The Veda refers to the Ganges only twice; but it makes as many as thirty references to the Sindhu. This is the Great Sindhu that gave Sindh its name.
In Ramayana, Sindh was part of Dasharatha's empire. When Kekayi goes into a sulk, Dasharatha tells her: "The sun does not set on my empire. Sindh, Sauvira, Saurashtra, Anga, Vanga, Magadha, Kashi, Koshal --- they are all mine. They produce an infinite variety of valuable articles. You can ask whatever you like." Of course Kekayi wants nothing short of the throne for her son, Bharata. The rest is epic history. When Sita was kidnapped by Ravana, Rama sent the vanaras (Van-nar = cave-men) to look for her, among other places, in Sindh with its "remarkable swimming horses." Later, when all ended well, Rama gave Sindhu-Sauvira (the Sindh and Multan areas) to Bharata, who duly extended his rule farther north to Gandhara, the home town of Gandhari of Mahabharata fame, which is the modern-day Afghan city Kandahar. His sons founded the cities of Peshawar (Pushkalavati) and Taxila (Takshasila).
The British East India Company started its invasion of Sindh at the time when it was ruled by Balochi tribesmen of Dera Ghazi Khan. Most of them were Talpur (a branch of Laghari tribe), Laghari, Nizamani, Murree, Gopang and other Balochi tribesmen. Karachi was the first area in the province to be occupied by the British East India Company in 1839. Four years later, most of the province (except for the State of Khairpur) was added to the Company's domain after victories at Miani and Dubba. Many people helped the British in the conquest of Sindh, including a Hindu government minister of Sindh, Mirs of Khairpur, Chandio Tribesmen, and Khosa Tribesmen. After General Charles Napier captured the province, a cartoon in Punch offered the Latin tag "Peccavi", meaning "I have sinned.".
Charles Napier had brought first army consisting of mostly Bengali soldiers. The Balochi ruling forces of Sindh used to attack the British led armies in the darkness of night. The Bengali soldiers could not compete in those war techniques, and they used to run away. Then, Charles Napier hired Khosa Baloch tribesman (from Dera Ghazi Khan) in his army, to fight with the ruling Balochis of Sindh, who were also originally from Dera Ghazi Khan, Punjab. Chandio Baloch Sardar brought a cavalry of 10,000 to support Charles Napier in the Miani war, but did not participate in the actual war, and his armies stood on reserve to attack in case Charles Napier lost the war. For his role, Chandio sardar got Chandka (present day Larakana, Qambar-Shahdadkot districts) as Jagir. Talpurs of Khairpur also got Khairpur state as gift from Charles Napier for non-participation in the war. The first Aga Khan had helped the British in the conquest of Sindh and was granted a pension as a result.
The foundation for modern, liberal, universal education was laid by the British colonial administration. Sindhi intelligentsia also participated in this modernisation of educational system. Hassan Ali Affandi, maternal grandfather of the ex-President of Pakistan (Mr. Asif Ali Zardari), can be regarded as Sir Syed Ahmed Khan of Sindh. He made great efforts to encourage the Sindhi people to get modern education. He built an educational institution known as Sindh Madrasatul Islam. Muhammad Ali Jinnah went to Sindh-Madarsat-ul-Islam in Karachi, Sindh for education and, after his law education, worked in Karachi for a Sindhi (Hindu) law firm.
Education in Sindh is divided into five levels: primary (grades one through five); middle (grades six through eight); high (grades nine and ten, leading to the Secondary School Certificate); intermediate (grades eleven and twelve, leading to a Higher Secondary School Certificate); and university programs leading to graduate and advanced degrees. Primary, middle and high schools are established in all parts of Sindh providing, Sindhi, Urdu and English-medium schools.
The colleges and universities are established in major towns and cities of Sindh. They provide courses leading to BA, BSc and Bachelor of Commerce / BCom/BBA degrees. medical colleges and engineering colleges are also established in major cities of Sindh. There are many postgraduate and research institutes in Sindh providing state-of-the-art education to Sindhi students.
Sindh has become the most industrialized and urbanized province of Pakistan because of migrated people, Muhajirs. The head offices of Pakistani companies, and regional offices of international companies, are located in Sindh. The Muhajirs have been in forefront of economic development of the province. The new dams and canals have irrgated many areas that were barren and Sindh produces many agricultural products for the country and for export. The construction of multi-billion projects like Karachi Nuclear Power Plant, Port Qasim and Pakistan Steel Mills provided tens of thousands of jobs to the residents of Sindh.
Khan Bahadur Muhammad Ayub Khuhro was the first Chief Minister of Sindh, after independence of Pakistan. Pakistan's political scene continued to be dominated by Sindhi politicians like Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Mumtaz Bhutto, Benazir Bhutto, Muhammad Khan Junejo, Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi, Asif Ali Zardari, Muhammad Mian Soomro, who served the nation as President, Prime Minister, Senate chairman etc. Karachi was chosen as the first capital of Pakistan and it remains now as the capital of Sindh province. In the province of Sindh, the Sindhis have always dominated the government and its various departments.Important role of Baloch tribe in sindhi history.