Friday, July 18, 2014


Muslim world is a vast and immense mass of land sprawling from West Africa facing the Atlantic to southern Philippines far in the Pacific. Its northern limits touch the Volga in Russia while southern frontiers run up to Mozambique in South-East Africa on the Indian Ocean. In China, in addition to Sinkiang, Muslims are in substantial numbers in the provinces bordering Burma and in the districts around Peking. Total population of Muslims in the world is estimated at one billion.
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The land of Sind has a hoary past with some of the most striking episodes in history having occurred in its bosom. It has given a slightly different variation of its name to our neighbouring country and to the religious majority of its inhabitants. Both the words India and Hindu are derived from Sindhu, which, in Persian became Hind and Hindu (the letter H substituted for S) and in Greek and Roman, Ind (the letter S of Sind having being dropped). The meaning of the word Sindhu is water, referring to the great river. There is an old belief among Muslims that four rivers had sprung from Heaven: Neel (Nile), Furat (Euphrates), Jehoon (Juxartes) and Sehoon (Sind).
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The next period in Pakistan’s history begins with the defeat of Raj Jaipal and his son Anandpal, rulers of northern areas of Pakistan, and of the Ismaili and Carmathian rulers of southern areas i.e., Multan and Sind at the hands of Mahmud Ghaznavi, leading to the unity of the two region. Eleventh century ushered in an era of Muslim rule over the entire length and breadth of Pakistan. During the 32 years of his rule Mahmud invaded Pakistan and India more than 17 times and though he carried his successful arms up to Muthra, Kanauj, Baran and Gawaliar, he did not annex any area beyond Ravi. As such, Pakistan continued to remain separate from India, again looking westward constituting a part of the Ghaznavi Empire. The boundaries also were almost the same which had been coming down from the days of the Indus Valley Civilization. It will be notice that this phenomena of Pakistan forming a separate country with its eastern boundaries running upto either Ravi, Beas or Sutlej has been recurring again and again.
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In spite of the intrinsic hostility of its landscape and climate, archaeological discoveries have confirmed that Baluchistan was already inhabited in the Stone Age, and the important neolithic site at Mehrgarh is the earliest (7000-3000 B.C.) on the subcontinent. Until its overthrow by Alexander the Great, Baluchistan was part of the Persian Empire, whose records refer to it as “Maka”.
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The railway linking Lahore to Multan in Pakistan is 4,600 years old. In truth, the rails were laid down in the middle of the nineteenth century, but to build the railway bed, British engineers smashed bricks from crumbling buildings and rubble heaps in a town called Harappa, halfway between the two cities. Back in 1856, Alexander Cunningham, director of the newly formed Archeological Survey of British India, thought the brick ruins were all related to nearby seventh-century Buddhist temples. Local legend told a different story: the brick mounds were the remnants of an ancient city, destroyed when its king committed incest with his niece. Neither Cunningham nor the locals were entirely correct. In small, desultary excavations a few years later, Cunningham found no temples or traces of kings, incestuous or otherwise. Instead he reported the recovery of some pottery, carved shell, and a badly damaged seal depicting a one-horned animal, bearing an inscription in an unfamiliar writing.

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