|Elevation||217 m (712 ft)|
|Time zone||PST (UTC+5)|
|Number of towns||1|
|Postal Code 051010|
Daska (Urdu: ڈسکہ), is a growing industrial city with a population of around 440,200 in the Punjab province of Pakistan. The town is the capital of Daska Tehsil one of four tehsils of Sialkot District. It is located at 32°19'60N 74° 20' 60E.
The name Daska is said to be a distortion of "Dah Kos". The term "Dah" is the Persian word for the numeral ten, and "Kos" refers to a unit of distance used in Mughal times. The town was situated some ten "Kos" between neighbouring Gujranwala, Sialkot, Pasrur, Wazirabad and Sambrial, hence Dah Kos became Das Kos in the local Punjabi language, later shortened to Daska.
The principal clans of Daska and its environs include the Kashmiri,Sethi, Mughal, Bajwa, Cheema, Baryar, Dhillon, Sahi, Maher, Ghumman, Nagra, Waraich, Wahla, Basra, Kang, Goraya, Mew, Khokhar, Bhatti, Minhas, Rana, mahar, Rajput, Randhawa and Sandhu. Many of the villages surrounding Daska are also named after Jatt and Rajput clans such as Adamkey Cheema, Mundayki, and Goraya . The Jatts are said to have originated from Scythian invaders from Central Asia. Some people have wrongly confused Jats with Chaudries which is simply an honorific given to land owners.
An old Suryavanshi Kshatriyas tribe Gurjar now called Gujjar is also a part of population of Daska. Gujjar population increased in Daska after 1947 when Muslim Gujjar community migrated from eastern Punjab, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir and other parts of India. Many Gujjar clans are found in Daska, including Khatana, Kasana, Chaichie, Poswal, Maelu, Chouhan etc.
The major manufacturing industries in Daska are those related to agricultural implements, surgical equipment, cutlery items vehicle parts such as the axles of tractor trailers. The manufacture of agricultural implements is the largest industry of its kind in Pakistan. From the late twelfth century, Ghaurid rule over present Afghanistan, Pakistan and Northern India introduced Turkic, Pashtun and Persian inhabitants of the Empire into the region. Shahab ud Din Ghauri was himself assassinated near Jhelum at Sohawa by Khokars. In subsequent centuries, large numbers of Pashtun Kakars as well as other Afghan tribes settled in the region. In the modern age a good number of Pashtun Kakars who had been living in Indian part of Punjab, migrated to Daska in Pakistani West Punjab after the independence of Pakistan in 1947. These groups are closely integrated among Daska's peoples. In particular, it is hard to distinguish them by the language, as all of them are merged into the common Punjabi culture and so speak Punjabi as their mother tongue. Similarly large numbers of Kashmiris including Maliks, Dars, Butts and Thaheem are part of local population. The same level of integration has not been witnessed among the more recent Bihari migrants from Eastern India. This group was resettled in the area following the Bangladesh War of Independence. A number of local Bihars in Bangladesh opted for resettlement in Pakistan and found themselves in Daska. They are recognizable by their more typically East Indian features including smaller stature and darker complexions. Although the majority population is Sunni Muslim, smaller groups of Shia Muslims are also found in Daska City. Moreover other minority groups such as Christians and Ahmadiyyas also live in the district. There is remarkable harmony among the different racial and religious groups in Daska where no instances of ethnic or religious violence have been reported in recent times. Many argue that Daska should be taken as a role model for the rest of the country. Mooranwalee Kothi, the so-called Peacock mansion, is a distinctive building in Daska. It was built during the 1930s by a prominent local businessman, Sardar Jawala Singh Sahi's whose family who later migrated to India in 1947 at the time of the independence of Pakistan in 1947.
The local dialect of Punjabi is the Western or Northern Dialect akin to that spoken in Sialkot. A native speaker from Daska and Sialkot District will easily recognise another native speaker of the area due its rhythmic melodious sound, the use of several distinct words and aspects of syntax.
Of interest is the apparent similarity of the name Daska to similar names in the Serbo- Croatian, Macedonian tongues. Daska has fallen under the rule of Alexander the Great's Empire when nearby Sialkot was the fabled Sagala of history. Greek generals and soldiers were left behind who ruled and settled among the native peoples in the 3rd century BC. Vestiges of their rule are unearthed in the form of coins, statues and artifacts however no effort has been yet made to house them in a local museum. The Greeks like the Persians before them ruled and integrated with the community about Daska for several centuries.
Before the independence of Pakistan in 1947, the city of Daska was under British colonial rule. Daska became famous largely due to the exploits of Jagga Daku who was an admired rebel leader and outlaw fighting against British Imperial rule. In the Punjab he came to be admired as a hero to the masses because of his brave stand against the European rulers. Much like Robin Hood, he would loot from the wealthy and redistribute this wealth to poorer sections of society. Most of the wealthy in the area around Daska were native collaborators of the colonial British. Jagga has a prominent place in Punjabi poetry because of his bravery and generosity.
Daska's role in the organised freedom movement is well documented. The nascent sense of nationalism among Punjabi Muslims evolved in the area. The people of the Punjab were a mixture of races and peoples who had been part of a number of kingdoms and territories over the course of history. The area around Daska had been part of Alexander the Great's Greek Empire, Persia's grand Khorasan, the Turkic Mughal Empire and most recently the rule of Sikhs before the arrival of the colonial British. The panoply of peoples living around Daska bear living testament to its storied past. The British Indian Empire added these people to its realm in the latter half of the 19th century unlike other parts of the British Raj which were under British rule from as early as the 17th century. The local people around Daska, especially the majority Muslim population, related little to the Indian National Congress which was primarily a party of the Hindu majority in peninsular India. It became clear that with the departure of the British, the recreation of a Mughal Empire or Muslim dominated state in South Asia was not in the cards. Daska embraced the cause of the Muslim League which was furthering the struggle of native Muslims in an independent state. The first meeting of the Muslim League in Daska was held on 13 April 1942 at Mian Lal Dian and Mian Jalal Din Ghumman's house in Mohallah Altaf Garaha.
The city has gained a measure of prominence due to the large number of products which are manufactured there including leather goods, agricultural machines, sporting goods, musical instruments and surgical goods. The area around the city is well known for farming and cottage industries.
The city is accessible by road from all major cities. The nearest railway station is about 17 km (11 mi) away (Sambrial railway station).
A link road for Daska is also proposed for Sialkot Lahore Motorway. The proposed motorway will start from the Mehmood Booti side of the Lahore ringroad and will end near Sambrial on the Sialkot-Wazirabad road. On the way, it will serve the cities and towns of Kala Khatai, Muridke, Narowal, Gujranwala, Eminabad, Pasrur, DASKA, Sambrial and Wazirabad. A link to Motorway M-2 near Kala Shah Kaku is also proposed to connect it to the network of motorways. The project will be completed within 30 months. The big consulting company of Pakistan NESPAK (national engineering services Pakistan) made its design and gave hope that this company would also supervise road construction. Length of this motorway is about 85 km. Daska is a well known for its light agriculture machinery and automotive spare parts,
A Sialkot-Lahore motorway is under construction as part of the overall vision of the National Highway Authority (NHA). Locals would like to see the linkage of Sialkot Daska and Gujranwala through a rail service which would run alongside the motorway. A 6-lane motorway from Sialkot to Lahore, the two important industrial centres of Punjab, is under construction which will give impetus to economic activities in the province. NHA recognises this motorway as M11, however it is also known as LSM, SLM, Lahore-Sialkot Motorway or Shahrah-e-Sanat (Industrial highway). Gujrat will be linked with the Sialkot Lahore Motorway (SLM) by constructing a bridge on the Chenab river near Shahbazpur. It will reduce the distance between Sialkot and Lahore to just 45 minutes. The purpose of the mega project is to facilitate export of products grown or produced in Punjab which will have a positive impact on the country’s economy. The project will be completed by the end of 2010. The Eastbound exit at junction 2 will lead directly to Daska.
Sialkot International Airport is the closest airport, 15 km away from the city centre. It currently handles only cargo but passenger flights are planned to start at the end of 2009. On 28 September 2007, Airblue operated its first test flight to Sialkot. The aircraft was an A321, (AP-BJB) with more than 30 passengers on the route between Jinnaj and Sialkot.
Pakistan International Airline (PIA) has announced its tentative flight schedule for flights between Islamabad-Sialkot-Islamabad. PIA started initially three flights weekly between Islamabad-Sialkot-Islamabad..
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