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Attock city is located in Pothohar Plateau of the northern part of the Punjab Province of Pakistan and is the capital of the district. The district was created in April 1904 by the merging tehsils of nearby districts. Today the District consists of 6 tehsils that are Attock, Fateh Jang, Hazro, Hassan Abdal, Jand and Pindi Gheb. Attock district is bordered by Chakwal to its south, Mianwali to its south west, Rawalpindi to its east, Kohat to its west, Nowshera to its north-west and Swabi and Haripur to its north.
The original name of Attock District was Attock. It was changed to Campbellpur after the name of Commander-in-Chief of British forces Sir Colin Campbell, who re-built the city of Campbellpur on the banks of the River Indus, 80 km (50 mi) from Rawalpindi, 100 km (62 mi) from Peshawar. The name of the district was changed to Attock again as of 1978 again.
Attock's first oil well was drilled in Khaur in 1915. It has an oil and gas field Dakhini near Jand. Dhurnal & Sadkal in Tehsil Fateh Jang.
Gandhara was an ancient kingdom extending to the Swat valley and the Pothohar plateau regions of Pakistan as well as the Jalalabad district of north-eastern Afghanistan. Situated astride the middle Indus River, the region had Takshashila and Peshawar as its chief cities. It was conquered by the Persian Empire and later in 327 BC by Alexander the Great. The region occupied by Chandragupta, founder of the Maurya Empire, in the late 4th century BC, and under Ashoka was converted in the mid-3rd century BC to Buddhism. It was part of Bactria from the late 3rd century to the 1st century BC.
Under the Kushan dynasty (1st century–3rd century AD), and especially under Kanishka, Gandhara developed a noted school of sculpture, consisting mainly of images of the Buddha and reliefs representing scenes from Buddhist texts, but with marked Greco-Roman elements of style. The art form flourished in Gandhara until the 5th century, when the region was conquered by the Huns. The whole region formed part of the Kingdom of Ederatides the Greek, who extended his power over western Punjab. The Indo-Greek kings held the country after him, being at last ousted (about 80 B.C.) by the Indo-Scythians. When the Chinese pilgrim Xuanzang visited the Attock district in 630 A.D. and again in 643 A.D., he reported that Buddhism was declining in the region.
In the early 11th century, Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi launched seventeen expeditions into South Asia. In 1001, he defeated Raja Jayapala of the Hindu Shahi Dynasty of Gandhara in the Battle of Peshawar and marched further into Peshawar and, in 1005, made it the centre for his empire. Attock became part of the Ghaznavid Empire. The Attock fort was completed in 1583 under the supervision of Khawaja Shamsuddin Khawafi, a minister of Emperor Akbar.
The Battle of Attock took place in April 1758 between Indian Maratha Kingdom and the Durrani Empire. The Marathas under Raghunathrao Ballal Peshwa and Maharaja Tukojirao Holkar Bahadur were victorious in the battle and Attock was captured. In May 1758, the Marathas defeated Durrani forces in the Battle of Peshawar and captured the city of Peshawar. Marathas had now reached the Afghanistan border. Ahmad Shah Durrani got alarmed with this success of Marathas and started planning to recapture his lost territories.
After the decline of the Mughal Empire, the Sikhs invaded and occupied Attock District. The Sikhs established religious freedom and respected the native Muslims. The Sikh Kingdom (1799–1849) under Maharaja Ranjit Singh (1780–1839) captured the fortress of Attock in 1813 from the Afghan Kingdom. In 1849, Attock was conquered by the British who created Campbellpur District.
The city's foundations were laid in 1903, and it was named Campbellpur after Sir Colin Campbell. It was established near Attock fort that had guarded the major routes towards Central Asia. The district was created in April 1904 by the merger of Talagang Tehsil in the Jhelum District with the Pindigheb, Fateh Jang and Attock tehsils from Rawalpindi District of the Punjab province of British Raj.
The predominantly Muslim population supported the Muslim League and the Pakistan Movement. After the independence of Pakistan in 1947, the minority Hindus and Sikhs migrated to India, while Muslim refugees from India settled in Attock. The Pakistan Government re-named Campbellpur as Attock in 1978.
According to the Alif Ailaan Pakistan District Education Rankings 2014, Attock is ranked 3 out of 146 districts in Pakistan in terms of the quality of education. For facilities and infrastructure, the district is ranked 17 out of 146. A detailed picture of the district's education performance is also available online.
Army Public School & College, Noble Grammar, The City School, The Smart School System, and Beaconhouse School are few of the many educational institutes in Attock.
According to the 1998 census of Pakistan the district had a population of 1,274,935 of which 20.45% were urban. The estimated population in 2008 was 1.58 million.
The predominant first language according to the 1998 census was Punjabi, spoken by 87% of the population. Pashto was the language of 8.3% and Urdu of 1.1%. The Punjabi dialect of the eastern Fateh Jang Tehsil is called Sohai and belongs to the Dhanni dialect group. The dialects of Pindi Gheb Tehsil (called Ghebi) and of Attock (sometimes called Chacchi) have been classified as part of Hindko proper.
The district of Attock is divided into six tehsils which contain a total of 72 Union Councils.
Attock has a total of 1,287 government schools out of which 51 percent (657 schools) are for girl students. The district has an enrolment of 224,487 in public sector schools.