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It is the capital of Sialkot District and, formerly, it has been the winter-capital of the State of Kashmir. The city is about 125km north-west of Lahore and only a few kilometres from Jammu in India.
The recorded history of Sialkot covers thousands of years. Sialkot has, since its foundation, changed hands from Persian, Greek, Afghan, Turk, Sikh and British rule to that of present-day federation of Pakistan.
During the decline of the Durrani regime, Sialkot was occupied from the Pashtuns by the Sikhs and, thus, began the rise of their empire. Between 1797 to 1810, Maharaja Ranjit Singh occupied Sialkot. The Sikh Empire extended from Peshawar in the west, to Kashmir in the north (touching) the borders of Tibet, to the Indus river in the south near Multan and, in the east, to the modern-day Tibet (autonomous region in China).
Ranjit Singh and his Sikh generals were capable of conquering such a great expanse of land for many reasons, varying from their European-trained army, Sikh rules of discipline, their modern European weaponry, modern British maps and the presence of ex-European mercernaries in the Sikh armed forces.
After the death of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the British officers were appointed in Sialkot. Sialkot was annexed by the British after the Second Anglo-Sikh War in 1849. The British laid the foundation of the Sialkot cantonment in 1849 which was completed in 1852.
For establishing the Sialkot cantonment, the British Commander-in-Chief, Sir Lord Napier, surveyed and selected the area between the seasonal streams, Bher Nala and Palkhu Nala, from the point of view of defence. The Area Command laid its foundation in 1852 under the leadership of Major-General Angulas.
During the Indian Rebellion of 1857 it was the scene of heavy fighting, and the Sialkot Fort was used by the Europeans for protection. The native troops plundered the treasury and destroyed all the records.
|This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Sialkot. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.|