Salman Rashid

Travel writer, Fellow of Royal Geographical Society

Canals of Empire

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On Wednesday, 26 February I leave for Karachi. There is some research on the canal network of Sindh to be done in the Sindh Archives. My young friend Zaman Narejo of the Pakistan Administrative Service (erstwhile DMG) currently serving with the Chief Secretary has very kindly offered to facilitate.

Then it will be to the Kalri-Baghar canal system to check out the way the waterway turned two lakes into one huge Kinjhar to supply water to the city of Karachi. It will be after a quarter century that I will again be staying overnight on Kinjhar that was once a favourite haunt for my wife and me.

In Larkana, Ali Bhutto has once again offered to host me. This young man is remarkable for his interest in the history of Sindh. Though educated in another subject, he is currently devouring history. His curiosity is amazing and I see great promise in him. One day, there will be travel books written by this young man. Ali promises to drive me to the village of Amrot where the tiny mosque sits beautifully in the middle of the Khirthar Canal.

From there it will be to Dera Murad Jamali and into the hands of Murad Kasi, the Assistant Commissioner there. What draws me to Balochistan is the Patt Feeder, the canal that flows across what was once the most barren part of lowland Balochistan. I have seen images of a train steaming across a flat, treeless and intimidating wilderness and I know now that the country changed after the canal brought water to it.

The whole ends in Sukkur. Where Sattar Sareyo and Mulazim Sheikh of the Irrigation Department have promised to unravel the magic of Lloyd’s (Sukkur) Barrage for me.

In the end it is Rahim Yar Khan. The district is run by a most remarkable DCO, Nabeel Javed by name. We need to talk things that have long been neglected.

Related: Sindh Sojourn 

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posted by Salman Rashid @ 00:00,


At 26 February 2014 at 11:01, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Salmanji. Do,u have contact email adress I would like to ask u personal question.

At 26 February 2014 at 19:17, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's off-topic but I've noticed that punjabi musalmans don't highlight all the great punjabis that lived from Porus onwards down to the Shahi rajas who fought against the ghaznavid Turks to the different regimes from North Punjab (mostly Gakhaars and Janjua rajputs) who were the support/base/bulwark in the Mughal consolidation and victory over Delhi. Baburnama mentions these groups chieftains with names. These groups fought in both Panipat and Khanwa where Babur mentions that one Janjua prince (Sankar khan Janjua) who had fought alongside mughal forces passed away (I think W.M thackston and then the German translation of Baburnama are the best ones out there). Same is the case for the Gakhaar chieftains who became some of Babur's main supporters and fought in all the main wars alongside Mughals and Janjuas.
Unfortunately, punjabi musalmans valorise foreign heroes and not local ones. This is their greatest downfall

At 4 March 2014 at 13:43, Anonymous Darth Wadera said...

Any plans of highlighting canal system of Sindh given by Kalhoros in this Travel of yours?


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My Books

Deosai: Land of the Gaint - New

The Apricot Road to Yarkand

Jhelum: City of the Vitasta

Sea Monsters and the Sun God: Travels in Pakistan

Salt Range and Potohar Plateau

Prisoner on a Bus: Travel Through Pakistan

Between Two Burrs on the Map: Travels in Northern Pakistan

Gujranwala: The Glory That Was

Riders on the Wind

Books at Sang-e-Meel

Books of Days