SIALKOT (SKT)
Sialkot is the major export city in the northern Punjab province of Pakistan, located 135 kilometer north-west of Lahore and only a few kilometers from Jammu comprising a population of approximately 6,00,000. It is one of the major industrial centers of Pakistan. Sialkot is well-known for its manufacture and export of surgical instruments, musical instruments, sports goods, leather goods, textile products and other light manufactures.
Lying between 32°30′ North latitude and 74°31′ East longitude at an altitude of 256 m above sea level, Sialkot is bounded on the north by Jammu, north-west by Gujrat, on the west by Gujranwala and on the south by Narowal. The Chenab river flows to the north of Sialkot. There are three small seasonal streams flowing through the city, Aik, Bher and Palkhu.
Sialkot features a humid subtropical climate under the Koppen climate classification. Sialkot is chilly during winters and hot and humid during summers. May and June are the hottest months. The temperature during winter may drop to 0°C. The land is, generally, plain and fertile. Most of the rain falls during the Monsoon season in summer which often results in flooding. Sialkot has one of the most modern weather forecasting and flood warning centres in the country, which is fully equipped to record and transfer data to and from the relevant concerns. This facility is equpped with a radar and is internationally linked.
Sialkot boasts as a great center of Punjabi culture.The old city has a fascinating labyrinth of narrow streets and crowded bazaars. In the old part of the city is located the shrine of Hazrat Imam Ali-ul-Haq also known as Imam Sahib. The mausoleum complex is a maze of narrow corridors leading to several shrines of saints. The tomb of Imam Ali-ul-Haq is to the right, through a mirrored gateway tiled with Koranic inscriptions and geometric designs. On a low hill in the centre of the old city are the few remains of the Sialkot Fort. It is one of the oldest forts in Pakistan established around the 2nd century AD. The shrine of the saint Muradia Shah is also on the Fort.Puran Puran's Well is a famous historical site,which is related with Punjabi folklore 'Bhagat Puran'. It is located just outside the city of Sialkot. According to Mutiny in Sialkot there were remains of Puran's tomb extant in 1857, but now there is no tomb except for a small building, a small place for worship and a running well.
Transport
Daewoo Coach StationSialkot International Airport is the first-ever private-sector airport of Pakistan managed by the SIAL consortium. It is located near Sambrial and is noted for having the longest runway in Pakistan. Direct flights are available from Sialkot International Airport to Karachi, Islamabad, Abu Dhabi Sharjah & London, Muscat Kuwait, Dubai & Jeddah. Pakistan International Airlines has plans to start non-stop flights from Sialkot to Manchester, London & Barcellona & Hajj flights have started from the Sialkot International Airport last year in 2009. Emirates is also expected to start flights in mid 2010 to Dubai. Airblue will operate on domestic routes to Islamabad, Multan and Karachi in mid 2010.
A small Sialkot Cantonment Airport, located in the Sialkot Cantonment, is in use of the aviation wing of the Pakistan Army. This airport has also been used as a public airport by PIA for operating a Helicopter service from Sialkot to Islamabad in 1995-1996.
Sialkot Dry Port carries the honor of being the first-ever private-sector dry port in Asia. It was established in 1986 near Sambrial, about 20 km from the Sialkot city under the control of the Sialkot Dry Port Trust.
Sialkot is served by Pakistan Railways through the Sialkot Junction. Sialkot used to be a junction in the British era with trains leaving for Jammu and Gurdaspur. Plans are under consideration to open the border for an international train between Sialkot and Jammu. Express trains to and from Narowal, Lahore, Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, Multan, Bahawalpur and Karachi are available daily. The Railway station is situated in the center of the city. Other suburban train stations are Ugoki and Sambrial.
Sialkot is about two hours from Lahore and four hours from Islamabad.Sialkot is linked with the National Highway N-5 through Gujranwala and Wazirabad. A dual carriage-way is available between Sialkot and Wazirabad. A new bridge on the Chenab river, called the Shahbazpur bridge, is under construction these days which is located to the north-east of Gujrat. Once completed, it will connect Sialkot to N-5 at Gujrat. The Sialkot Lahore Motorway (M-11) is also under construction. All the bus and commuter coach stations are located on the Jail Road. A bus service operated by Daewoo Express is available from Sialkot to Rawalpindi, Lahore, Gujranwala and Multan.