Sights and Sounds of Pakistan: Jacobabad
There are many cities in Pakistan that bore the names of Englishmen who came to rule the Indian Sub-Continent in the 19th century, like Cambellpur (now Attock), Montgomery (now Sahiwal), Lyall Pur (now Faisalabad) and Jacobabad. While all other names of
the cities have since been changed, Jacobabad remains unchanged. Jacobabad, a small city in the Sind Province on the border between Sindh and Balochistan provinces, was founded near the village of Khangarh in 1847 by Brigadier General John Jacob, who was the
Commandant of the Sindh Horse. Jacob later became the first deputy commissioner of the Jacobabad district.
The city had a cantonment for a cavalry regiment, with accommodation for caravans from Central Asia. The city was incorporated as a municipality in 1875. The general laid out the modern city died and was buried there in 1858, and left a marvellous Victoria
Tower in his remembrance in the heart of the city. He is also commemorated by monuments, and even his horse has been memorialized by a mud pyramid.
The city is famous for its consistently high temperatures and holds the record for the highest temperature recorded in Pakistan, 126° F (52° C) in the shade. The city is the administrative centre of Jacobabad Taluka, an administrative subdivision of the
district. Jacobabad city is subdivided into 8 Union Councils. Jacobadad is highly multicultural, with ethnic and tribal groups including Dashti, Pechuho, Banglani, Sunderani, Unar, Abro, Soomro, Khoso, Bhayo, Mangrio, Surhio, Jakhrani, Marri, Gabol, Jarwar
and Brohi. The area is predominantly Muslim with Hindu and Christian minorities.
The city also has a commercial airport co-located with the Shahbaz Air Base of Pakistan Air Force. Shahbaz Air Base recently assumed prominence as one of three Pakistani air bases used by U.S. and allied forces to support the Operation Enduring Freedom campaign
in Afghanistan. Pakistan agreed to an American request for a long-term, logistics and support base presence at the Shahbaz Air Base in Jacobabad following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The US forces, mainly from the United States Air Force,
were stationed there from Oct 2001 to Nov 2004.
It is watered by two canals. An annual horse show is held in January. There are many educational institutions in Jacobabad. One of them is S.M.A.M High School. This high school is the oldest educational institute in Jacobabad, and is over 100 years old.
Several famous teachers served in this historical institute. Jacobabad has produced many poets, writers, teachers and social workers. Abdul Karim Gadai was a famous poet and many other famous poets have come from the Jacobabad district.