ORIGIN OF THE NAME
province of Sindh has been designated after the
river Sindh (Indus) which literally created it and
has been also its sole means of sustenance.
However, the importance of the river and close
phonetical resemblance in nomenclature would make
one consider Sindhu as the probable origin of the
name of Sindh. Later phonetical changes
transformed Sindhu into Hindu in Pahlavi and into
Hoddu in Hebrew. The Greeks (who conquered Sindh
in 125 BC under the command of the Alexander the
great) rendered it into Indos, hence modern Indus.
Indus valley civilization is the farthest visible
outpost of archeology in the abyss of prehistoric
times. The areas constituting Pakistan have had a
historical individuality of their own and Sindh is
the most important among such areas. The
prehistoric site of Kot Diji in Sindh has
furnished information of high significance for the
reconstruction of a connected story which pushes
back the history of Pakistan by at least another
300 years, from about 2,500 BC. Evidence of a new
element of pre-Harappan culture has been traced
here. When the primitive village communities in
Baluchistan were still struggling against a
difficult highland environment, a highly cultured
people were trying to assert themselves at Kot
Diji one of the most developed urban civilization
of the ancient world that flourished between the
year 25,00 BC and 1,500 BC in the Indus valley
sites of Moenjodaro and Harappa. The people were
endowed with a high standard of art and
craftsmanship and well-developed system of
quasi-pictographic writing which despite ceaseless
efforts still remains un-deciphered. The
remarkable ruins of the beautifully planned
Moenjodaro and Harappa towns, the brick buildings
of the common people, roads, public-baths and the
covered drainage system envisage the life of a
community living happily in an organized manner.
earliest authentic history of Sindh dates from the
time when Alexander the Great abandoned his scheme
of conquest towards the Ganges, alarmed at the
discontent of his soldiers. He embarked a portion
of the army in boats, floated them down the Jhelum
and the Chenab, and marched the remainder on the
banks of the river till he came to the Indus.
There he constructed a fleet, which sailed along
the coast towards the Persian Gulf with part of
his forces, under the command of Nearchus and
Ptolemy, whilst Alexander himself marched through
Southern Baluchistan and Persia to Seistan or Susa.
At that time Sindh was in the possession of the
Hindus, the last of whose rulers was Raja Sahasi,
whose race, as is reported by native historians,
governed the kingdom for over two thousand years.
The Persian monarchs were probably alluded to, for
in the sixth century BC Sindh was invaded by them,
They defeated and slew the monarch in a pitched
battle and plundered the province and then left.
Eight years after his accession to the Persian
throne, Darius I, son of Hystaspes extended his
authority as far as the Indus. This was about 513
Arab conquest of Sindh by Muhammad Bin Qasim in
712 AD gave the Muslims a firm foothold on the
sub-continent. The description of Hiun Tsang, a
Chinese historian, leaves no doubt that the social
and economic restrictions inherent in the caste
differentiations of Hindu society had however,
gradually sapped the inner vitality of the social
system and Sindh fell without much resistance
before the Muslim armies. According to Al-Idreesi,
the famous city of Al-Mansura was founded during
the reign of Mansur (754-775 AD) the second
Khalifa of the Abbasid dynasty. Khalifa Harun-al-Rashid
(786-809 AD) was able to extend the frontiers of
Sindh on its western side. For nearly two hundred
years since its conquest by Muhammad Bin Qasim,
Sindh remained an integral part of the Umayyad and
the Abbasid caliphates. The provincial governors
were appointed directly by the central government.
History has preserved a record of some 37 of them.
Arab rule brought Sindh within the orbit of the
Islamic civilization, Sindhi language was
developed and written in the naskh script.
Education became widely diffused and Sindhi
scholars attained fame in the Muslim world.
Agriculture and commerce progressed considerably.
Ruins of Mansura, the medieval Arab capital of
Sindh (11 kms south east of Shahdadpur) testify to
the grandeur of the city and the development of
urban life during this period.
the 10th century, native people replaced the Arab
rule in Sindh. Samma and Soomra dynasties ruled
Sindh for long. These dynasties produced some
rulers who obtained fame due to judicious
dispensation and good administration.
Sindh was partially independent and the scene of
great disorders till late in the sixteenth century
when it failed into the hands of Emperor Akbar,
and for a hundred and fifty years the chiefs paid
tribute, but only as often as they were compelled
to do so, to the Emperor at Delhi. Later the
Kalhora clan claiming descent from the house of
Abbas and long settled in Sindh produced religious
leaders of whom Main Adam Shah attained prominence
in the 16th century. His descendants continued to
gather large following and this enabled them to
capture political power in the north western Sindh
under the leadership of Mian Nasir Muhammad. This
happened in the 2nd half of the 17th century. By
the turn of that century, foundations of the
Kalhora power were firmly laid in the northern
Sindh under the leadership of Mian Yar Mohammad.
During the reign of his son, Mian Noor Muhammad,
lower Sindh with Thatta as its capital came under
the Kalhora administration (1150 A.H).
Under the banner of Mir Fateh Ali Khan Talpur, the
Balochis defeated the last Kalhora ruler Mian
Abdul Nabi in the battle of Halani in 1782 AD.
Talpur Amirs regained the parts of Sindh (Karachi,
Khairpur, Sabzal Kot and Umar Kot) which the last
Kalhora chief had conceded to the neighboring
rulers. By eliminating the foreign interference,
which had plagued the Kalhora rule, and by their
essentially democratic way of governance, the
Talpurs were able to take the people into
confidence and thus achieved
Great many things within a short period of 60
years. They built up an excellent system of forts
and outposts guarding the frontiers, extended the
irrigation system, encouraged scholarly pursuits
and educational institutions, and promoted trade
and commerce internally as well as with the
British who came to Sindh also as traders became
so powerful in rest of the sub-continent that in
1843 Sindh lost its independence falling prey to
the British imperialistic policy. The Talpurs were
defeated on the battlefields of Miani, Dubba and
Kunhera and taken prisoners. The conquerors
behaved inhumanly with the vanquished as they did
with the Muslim rulers in India. Charles Napier
who commanded the troops subsequently became the
first Governor of the province of Sindh.
British had conquered Sindh from their bases in
Bombay and Kutch and their supporters were Hindus.
Therefore, Sindh was annexed to the Bombay
Presidency in 1843 and a constant policy to subdue
the Muslim majority and to lionize the Hindu
minority in Sindh was followed. Trade and
commerce, Services and education became monopolies
in the hands of the minority whom with the support
of the rulers wrought havoc on Muslims. Within a
few years forty percent of the Muslim land
holdings passed on to the Hindu creditors. It was
after a long struggle that the cause of Sindh was
supported by the Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah
when he brought in his famous 14-points the demand
of Sindh's separation from Bombay Presidency. H.H.
Sir Agh Khan, G.M. Syed, Sir Abdul Qayyum Khan (NWFP)
and many other Indian Muslim leaders also played
their pivotal rule that was why the Muslims of
Sindh succeeded in getting Sindh separated from
the Bombay Presidency in 1936.