SIALKOT - Sialkot Deputy Commissioner Dr Syed Bilal Haider has ordered early renovation and restoration of centuries old historic Sialkot Fort to its original design and shape, besides removal of all encroachments in and around the fort.

He issued the directives during a visit to the historic Sialkot Fort here.

The DC also formulated a special review committee, headed by ADC (Revenue) Sialkot Miss Sadia Mehar to ascertain encroachments in and around the Sialkot Fort.

The DC said that there is an urgent need for early repair to, renovation and preservation of the crumbling Sialkot Fort in its original shape and design. Dr Bilal Haider directed the officials concerned to consult old maps of Sialkot Fort, made in 1851 and purge the fort from encroachments surfaced in and around the fort since 1851.

He said that these encroachments would be removed during a vigorous anti-encroachments operation to be launched at Sialkot Fort soon by the district administration without any indiscrimination.

On the other hand, condition of the historic has gone worst from bad due to official apathy. The situation has also left a big question mark on the performance of the Punjab government, the Sialkot District Council and even the Municipal Corporation, which have utterly failed to come up with a comprehensive plan to preserve the rapidly vanishing remains, comprising the only Faseel and the outer wall of the centuries old fort.

These remains of the historic fort presenting a picture of height of official negligence as no government department including Sialkot District Council and Municipal Corporation never bothered to allocate even a single penny for its preservation through early repair to the remains of the fort.

Although offices of both the Sialkot District Council and Municipal Corporation are located on the premises of the fort since long, no any officials or elected representative of both the DC and MC ever felt the need for maintenance of this fort.

On the other hand, politically influential mafia has set up encroachments around the fort and different dilapidated parts of the fort have become the “safer places” for the addicts. Amazingly, no one has ever bothered to check this alarming situation.

According to Mr Diayas Jee (the prominent historian and author of Hinduism’s international famed history book “ Maha Bhaarat), Hindu Raja Sull had established this Sialkot city about 5000 years ago for ruling the area (his kingdom) between River Ravi ad River Chenab. Raja Sull had built this Sialkot Fort (having then double Faseel) for the Defence of Sialkot city and Sialkot Fort.

Local historian Rashid Niaz (late) revealed in his book “Tareekh-e-Sialkot” that the second Faseel of this ancient Sialkot Fort was discovered by the then Sialkot Municipal Corporation in 1923, during digging of the city’s various part for setting up corporation’s various installations.

The archaeology experts from Taxila and Delhi (India) visited Sialkot and had confirmed that this recovered stone-made second Faseel was 5000 years old. Later, this Faseel was re-buried in soil, due to some unknown reasons. Another prominent Hindu historian Boodha Pram revealed that later Raja Sull became ruler of Sialkot. He ordered fill all the surrounding lakes for extending this Sialkot Fort.

Raja Sull deputed more than 10000 labourers and masons for the repairing and widening of this fort with huge-sized stone slabs and rocks brought here from the then Pathaan Kot. This work completed in a stipulated period of two years, having two huge Faseels and 12 Burj in this ancient Sialkot fort. Sialkot is one of the most ancient cities of Pakistan, enriched with grand historic assets and a custodian of golden traditions, culture art and craft skills.