Rawalpindi

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Rawalpindi

(räwəlpĭn`dē), city (1998 pop. 1,406,214), NE Pakistan. It occupies the site of an old village inhabited by the Rawals, a tribe of Yogis. A railroad junction and an important industrial and commercial center, the city has an oil refinery, gasworks, an iron foundry, railroad yards, a brewery, sawmills, and factories making tents, textiles, hosiery, pottery, and leather goods. Sikhs settled the area in 1765 and invited nearby traders to live in Rawalpindi. After the British occupied the PunjabPunjab
[Pers.,=five rivers], historic region in the NW of the Indian subcontinent. Since 1947 it has been separated into an Indian state and a Pakistani province bearing the same name. The Indus River bounds the region in part of the west and the Yamuna River in part of the east.
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 (1849), it became a major British military outpost. In 1919 a peace treaty ending the Third Afghan War was signed by British and Afghan representatives at Rawalpindi. The city, strategically located astride the road between the Punjab and Kashmir, is Pakistan's army headquarters. From 1959 to 1970, it was the interim capital of Pakistan. Six colleges affiliated with the Univ. of the Punjab, a polytechnic school, a police training institute, and an armed forces medical college are in Rawalpindi.

Rawalpindi

 

a city in Punjab Province, Pakistan, on the Leh Nala. Population, 615,000 (1972).

Rawalpindi, an important economic and cultural center of Pakistan, is situated on routes from Punjab to Afghanistan and Kashmir. The city has been of great commercial and military strategic importance since ancient times. Its territory practically merges with that of Pakistan’s new capital, Islamabad. Rawalpindi, a transportation hub and a trade and industrial center, has food-and-condiment, textile (knitted goods and cotton, silk, and wool fabrics), footwear, pharmaceutical, oil-refining, metalworking, machine-building (mainly repair and assembly shops), and cement industries. Various crafts flourish in the city. There are oil fields near Rawalpindi.

Before the Common Era the ancient city of Gajipur was probably situated on the present-day site of Rawalpindi. In the Middle Ages it was the site of the city of Fatihpur Baori, which was destroyed by the Mongols in the early 14th century. Later the city was restored by Rawal Khan, the chief of the Ghakkar tribe, who named it after himself. Rawalpindi was under Sikh rule in the first half of the 19th century but was captured by the British colonialists in 1849. Until 1947 it was an important British military base in India. A fort and an arsenal were built, and a strong garrison and the staff of the colonial army were stationed in the city. Rawalpindi’s importance increased after the formation of Pakistan in 1947. The constitution of 1962 made the city the temporary capital of Pakistan pending the construction nearby of the new capital, Islamabad.

Rawalpindi

an ancient city in N Pakistan: interim capital of Pakistan (1959--67) during the building of Islamabad. Pop.: 1 794 000 (2005 est.)
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