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Explore Pakistan | Cities | Khushab خوشاب
  Location | Education | History | Notable Places | Tribes | Language | Geography | The Nuclear - Weaponry Program

KhushabKhushab District is a rural district located in Punjab, Pakistan. According to the 1998 census, the population was 905,711 with 24.76% living in urban areas. The district consists of 3 tehsils: Khushab, Nurpur, and Quaidabad, as well as a sub-tehsil Noshehra. Khushab is home to the Heavy Water and Natural Uranium Research Reactor a critical part of the Pakistan's Special Weapons Program, which has come under much heated scrutiny.


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Places of Interest | Hotels | Eating & Dining | Parks & Gardens | Educational Institutes | Hospitals | Sport Centers | Banks | Fuel Stations | CNG Stations  | Police Stations | Shopping /Trade


Khushab is situated between the cities of Sargodha and Mianwali, near the river Jhelum. The district is headquartered at Jauharabad (founded 1953, pop. 39,477).

Khushab is one of the most important cities especially from a defensive (atomic) point of view.
The district is full of natural beauty containing Jhelum River, Fields, Mountains (Skaisar) and Thal desert. Its main towns included Quaida-bad, Jauhara-bad, Mitha Tiwana and Nowshera. Jauharabad (atomic city) is beautiful city for residence having wide roads and streets. Nearby cities include Sargodha, Mianwali, Bhakher, Jhelum and Jhang. saadat khan tareen khushab

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The education rate is increasing in the district. The top Schools and colleges include DPS Khushab & Fauji foundation Khushab. Now there is a campus of Arid University in Khushab.

Some very important intellectuals belong to this city, like Mr.Noman Khaiar Web Developer PTV NEWS belongs to this city.

There are many schools in the area mostly Secondary or Higher Secondary Education institutions. Students have to go to the other cities for higher education and further education. The literacy rate of Khushab is about 65% and due to recent research projects in the area, the literacy rate is increasing.


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During colonial rule Khushab town was the headquarters of the tehsil of the same name in the Shahpur District of British Punjab. The town situated on the right bank of the Jhelum River was on the route of the Sindh-Sagar branch of the North-Western Railway.

During that time it had an extensive trade, exporting cotton, wool, and Ghee to Multan and Sukkur; cotton cloth to Afghanistan and the Derajat; and wheat grown in the Salt Range, which was considered particularly suitable for export, principally to Karachi. The municipality was created in 1867. The income during the ten years ending 1902-3 averaged Rs. 12,100, and the expenditure Rs. 11,000. In 1903-4 the income was Rs. 11,500, chiefly from octroi ; and the expenditure was Rs. 11,000. The town had an Anglo-vernacular middle school, maintained by the municipality, and a Government dispensary.

The population according to the 1901 census was 11,403.

Khushab is located at 3217'48N 7221'9E and is situated between Sargodha and Mianwali, near the Jhelum River. It is on one side lnked to Chakwal District via Padhrar through Pail-Piran,and through Talagang via Jaba). Soon Valley(Soon Sakesar)is part of tehsil Khusab and Sub tehsil Naushahra. Valley is home to Awans,except the village Pail-Piran,which is inhabited by Hashmites(Hashmi Sadat),descendents of Hazrat Baha ud Din Zakkariya of  Multan,who in turn belonged to Habbari Sadat,the Arabs who ruled Sindh once). Among the leading personalities of Soon valley were Late Pir Naubahar Shah s/o Pir Chan Pir Shah, numberdar/zaildar,Pir Bahadur Shah numberdar/zaildar, Late Pir Kalu Pir,Late Bashir Ahmed Shah,Late Pir Ajaz Hussain Shah,Brig(R)Zafar Iqbal Shah. The Mazar of Hazrat Pir khawaja Noori was rebuilt in 1967 by Pir Ghulam Nabi Shah. First three bigest property holders of thesalt range ( sakaser to choa saiden shah) are belong to peer family .1. PIR ANAYAT SHAH 2 .PIR GHULAM NABI SHAH. 3. PIR SATTAR SHAH are ownner of almost 100 acras (excluding shamlat) of valuable land each. Pir family celebrate the birthday (urus mubarik) of Hazrat PIR KHAWAJANOORI on very first day of Islamic calender each year. Chadar Pooshi by Faisalabadian ( sangat -e- piran ) is the most popular event of urus mubarik.


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Notable Places

The Soon valley Sakasir is one of the most beautiful areas of the district.

There are three beautiful lakes (Ochali, Khabbaki and Sodhi Jay Wali) and a beautiful Garden Kanhatti Garden near Khabbaki village, located here in the Soon valley area is the largest forest in Khushab district. Pail-Piran a gate way to Soon Valley represents a scenic view as you enter the valley via Kalar Kahar from Islamabad-Lahore MotorWay. On your left on the hill top you see shrine of Hazrat pir Khawja Noori,descendent of Hazrat Baha ud din Zakkariyya of Multan (a saint descendent of Habbari Arab rulers of Sindh).Few leading personalities of  Pail Piran includeLate Late Pir Nowbahar Shah,Late Pir Kalu Shah,Late Pir Walayat Shah (Dr.Wali Pir).

Katha Saghral - is semi-hilly and mineral area. Dozens of minerals including coal and salt are being mined in the surrounding area of this village.

Khabikki Lake is a salt water lake in the southern Salt Range area in Pakistan. This lake is formed due to the absence of drainage in the range. Earlier its water was brackish. Now the water is sweet and a Chinese breed of fish is introduced in it.

The lake is one kilometre wide and two kilometres long. Khabikki is also the name of a neighbouring village. Boats are also available and there is a rest house beside the lake. A hill gently ascended on the right side of the lake. The lake and the green area around provide a good scenery.

Sakaser is the highest mountain in the Salt Range area in Pothohar in Pakistan. It is 1522 metre / 4946 feet high. It is situated in Khushab District but it can be seen from adjoining districts of Mianwali and Chakwal.

Uchhali Lake is just below the Sakaser mountain, it is a salt water lake in the southern Salt Range area in Pakistan. This lake is formed due to the absence of drainage in the range. Sakaser (1522 metre / 4946 feet), the highest mountain in the Salt Range, looms over the lake. Due to its brackish water the lake is lifeless. But it offers a picturesque scenery.

It is a good picnic spot and moderately tough walking point. At its top there is a radar


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Kalira tribe is very important cast residance Village Dravi Union council Adi Kot teh.Noor Pur

  • Sangha.
    The famous cast of khushab.

  • Aheer tribe.
    Aheer is the oldest cast in this area, mostly reside in khushab city and jauharabad

  • Hashmi Sadaat
    Hashmites:Also called Pir families (descendents of Baha Ud Din Zakkariyya Soharwardi Multani), settled in Pail-Piran

  • Awan
    Awan is the major family of district khushab

  • Tiwana
    The Tiwana are found mainly in the Khushab tehsil.

  • Bhatti
    The Bhatti(Bilholky) are found in Glaywali village of khushab

  • Bangyal
    Found mainly in Thal desert region,They are an ancient Rajput clan.

  • Baloch
    reside mainly in khushab city and tehsil noor pur thal

  • Johiya
    The Johiya are found along the Jhelum valley in tehsil noor pur. They are an ancient Rajput clan.

  • Khaira
    The Khaira are a Jat clan commonly found in the villages of Khushab

  • Raja
    The Raja are found in District Khushab especially in Thal Desert. They positively effect the politics of said District.

  • Uttra
    A local Jat clan, found in thana gunjial side, new tehsil (qaidabad)

  • Aulakh
    Aulakh are found as a major tribe of Khushab mostely in Adhi kot, A well known personality in Aulakh tribe is Malik Khalid Mehmood Aulakh Assistant Voice presedent (Sargodha Region) National Bank of Pakistan.

  • Rajput(Naru)
    A local rajput clan, found in Noor Pur Thal, Jamali, Bambool, Mahmood Shaheed, Jara. Nootable persons are Raja Ashraf Hayyat(Advocate), Raja Aftab.

  • Jamali
    Jamali are a Baluch tribe. Found in Jamali Balochan, in Nurpur Tehsil.

  • Baghoors
    They are a Jat clan, mostly reside in Rangpur Baghoor and tehsil noor pur thal and have hold in tehsil noor pur of khushab district over other tribes. Baghoor tribe always play a dominant role in tehsil noor pur's politics


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Punjabi is the most widely spoken language,whereas saraiki is also spoken.


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Khushab consists of agricultural lowland plains, lakes, and hills. Parts of the Thal desert touch the district and the Jhelum runs alongside it making it highly fertile for agriculture. The district is rich in natural resources (salt and coal). Most people are associated with farming and agriculture. One third of the district is hilly and is dominated by Awans and other minor tribes. Since there is no agriculture in the area, this part of Khushab district has been favoured by governments since British times as being fertile ground for armed services recruitment - a majority of the population from this area goes into the armed forces. The other two parts are irrigated lands between Khushab and Quaiadabad and the desert area of Tehsil Noorpur Thal. This desert area is the beginning of large Thal desert that continues into India's Rajasthan. In the 1980s the district was classified as a tax relief zone for new industries. This led to the establishment of many industries including cement, sugar, and textiles. But this exist only in the Headquarter (Jauharabad) so the benefits are getting the Elite ones. Masses have still a very hard life.

  • The Thal desert

    The Thal desert is a dry desert with scarce vegetation mostly thorny bushes over a breadth of 70 miles (110 km) and is situated between the Indus river and the Jhelum river. In Thal the whole land is arid and depends upon the weather condition, but now with the project of greater thal canal the most part of the desert will be irrigated. Gram is the main crop. People are hardworking. Noorpur thal and Rangpur Baghoor are main towns of this tehsil. Mari Shah Sakhira is the one of the biggest towns of Thal desert. Noor Pur Thal has ten Union councils having degree college for men and as well as for women. Thal desert is basically is a triangle between the districts of Khushab, Bhakkar, Mianwali, Jhang, Leyiha and Muzzafargarh. Thal has very hot days and pleasant nights.

  • The Soon Valley

    The Soon Valley is the cultural hub of Awan tribe. The heirline of the Awan tribe reaches a common ancestor Qutab Shah who supposedly lived here, so the valley holds a special meaning to the tribe. One of the villages of the soon valley namely Pail-Piran is inhabited by the descendants of Bahauddin Zakkarya Multani, and are Hashmite Sadats (Syeds), whose ancestor Pir Khawja Noori son of Pir Ali Qatal made many people of region embrace Islam. Pirs of Pail-Piran are closely related to Pirs of Bhera Sharif (Sargodha), In Chakwal District Pir da Khara, Sarkal, Titral, Wahula, Watli, Karooli, In Abotabad District Malmula, Plasi, Arwari, Thath Pir Karam Shah. Few leading personalities of Pail-Piran included Pir Nowbahar Shah, Dr. Pir Walayat Shah (Dr. Wali pir). Pir Bahadar Shah (Zaildar), Pir Kalu Shah, Pir Qadir Bakhash one of biggest land lord of area, Pir Sattar Shah, Pir Walayat Shah, Pir Siddique Shah Nambardar, Pir Bashir Ahmad Shah, and lately the sons and grandsons of Dr. Wali Pir namely: Syed Sajid Hussain Shah, Dr. Syed Wajid H. Pirzada, Pirzada Majid Hussain Shah and Pirzada Zahid Hussain Shah (Zaidi Pir), Pirzada Aitizaz Walayat Shah (, Pirzada Danial Walayat Shah, Pirzada Sheharyar Walayat Shah, Pir Zakriya Walayat shah. Mazar of Pir Khawja Noori is located in Pail-piran. The Soon Valley is important as a hill station after Murree in the province of Punjab. The valley has beautiful lakes and gardens.

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The Nuclear Weaponry Program

A stark intervention of prying eyes of a privately owned satellite, at the eve of President Bill Clinton's arrival to the Indian Sub-continent, captured a nuclear weapons base in Khushab in 2000 and declared that Nuclear Weaponry Program in Pakistan was second only to the United States.

  • Controversies and Debates

    On March 21, 2000, the Christian Science Monitor published an article written by Alexander Colhoun, a high-resolution aerial satellite photo revealed a nuclear reactor and a missile base near the city of Khushab  These pictures had mixed views, one of the expression of power that could shackle or reshape diplomatic landscapes of a region and another of the ethical question about the usage of satellite imagery in terms of privacy and national sovereignty of a nuclear-capable nation. The report was published at a time when American President Bill Clinton was due to visit India and sparked concerns worldwide. It was later clearly stated in the Dawn newspaper on June 14, 2000 that this particular nuclear reactor at Khushab and its reprocessing plant were generating between 8 to 10 kilograms of weapons-grade plutonium per year, dedicated for military use

  • China, a Nuclear Friend

    Some reports around the time of the satellite imagery stunt revealed that China is helping Pakistan mount nuclear warheads atop mobile
    M-11 missiles for which garages were supposedly build underground at Sargodha. If the case be, Pakistan had a head-start in the nucleargame.
    John E. Pike, spokesperson for the Federation of American Scientists told a press conference nuclear powers, in the past, or presumed
    nuclear powers, except the U.S., had only one organisation for making uranium and plutonium bombs because of the high costs involved but, Pakistan
    had two.

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