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Attock

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to navigationJump to search. This article is about the city founded during the British era. For the historic city of Attock, see Attock Khurd. For the district, see Attock district. For other uses, see Attock (disambiguation). Attock (Punjabi, Urdu), formerly known as Campbellpur is a city located in the north of Pakistan's Punjab Province, not far from the country's capital Islamabad. It is the headquarters of Attock District and is 61st largest city of Pakistan by population. The city was founded in 1908 several miles southeast of the older city of Attock Khurd, which had been established by the Mughal Emperor Akbar in the 16th century, and was initially named in honour of Sir Colin Campbell.

History

Attock is located in a historically significant region. Gandhara was an ancient kingdom extending to the Swat valley and the Pothohar Plateau regions of Pakistan as well as the Jalalabad district of northeastern Afghanistan. Situated astride the middle of the Indus River, the region had Takshashila and Peshawar as its chief cities. The place is of both political and commercial importance, as the Indus is here crossed by the military and trade route through the Khyber Pass into Afghanistan. Alexander the Great, Timur and Nader Shah crossed the Indus at or about this spot in their respective invasions of India.

The Attock Fort was completed in 1583 under the supervision of Khawaja Shamsuddin Khawafi, a minister of Emperor Akbar. Nader Shah crossed through Attock when he defeated the Mughals at the Battle of Karnal and thus ended Mughal power in Northern India. The Battle of Attock took place at Attock Khurd on 28 April 1758 between the Durrani state Maratha Empire. The Marathas under Raghunathrao Ballal Peshwa and Tukojirao Holkar Bahadur were victorious in the battle and Attock was captured. But this conquest was short-lived as Ahmad Shah Durrani came in person to recapture Attock and checked the Maratha advance after destroying their forces at Panipat. After the decline of the Durrani state, the Sikhs invaded and occupied Attock District. The Sikh Kingdom (1799–1849) under Ranjit Singh (1780–1839) captured the fortress of Attock in 1813 from the Durrani Nawab.

In 1849, Attock Khurd (Old Attock) was conquered by the British East India Company who created Campbellpur District. Following the Indian Rebellion in 1857, the region's strategic value was appreciated by the British, who established the Campbellpur Cantonment in 1857–58. Campbellpore District was organised in 1904, by the division of Talagang Tehsil in the Jhelum District with the Pindigheb, Fateh Jang and Attock tehsils from Rawalpindi District.