Faisalabad (Urdu: فیصل آباد; English: /fɑːɪsɑːlˌbɑːd/), formerly known as Lyallpur, is the third-most-populous city in Pakistan, and the second-largest in the eastern province of Punjab. Historically one of the first planned cities within British India, it has long since developed into a cosmopolitan metropolis. Faisalabad was restructured into city district status; a devolution promulgated by the 2001 local government ordinance (LGO). The total area of Faisalabad District is 5,856 km2 (2,261 sq mi) while the area controlled by the Faisalabad Development Authority (FDA) is 1,280 km2 (490 sq mi). Faisalabad has grown to become a major industrial and distribution centre because of its central location in the region and connecting roads, rails, and air transportation.
Lyallpur during the Partition of India
Gurbachan Singh Talib
- Lyallpur constituted the richest spot the Sikhs possessed in the Punjab. It was purely a Sikh creation, economically speaking. Sikhs had converted by hard toil of generations a sandy waste which this area was, into the granary of the Punjab. The Lyallpur Sikhs were not only one of the most prosperous group among the Sikhs anywhere, but they were also very well-disciplined, independence-loving and had a highly developed social conscience. They had taken a leading part in the movements of education and reform which stirred the Sikh people in the twentieth century. They were a proud, assertive and militant kind of people, who would not easily take a beating from any one. It was of the Lyallpur Sikhs primarily and also of the Sheikhupura Sikhs that the official Pakistan publication said that they left the West Punjab ‘defiantly.’ Yes, the sturdy Sikhs of those areas left the West Punjab thoroughly defiantly, and not abjectly. It was they again, to turn out whom from West Punjab, Governor Mudie made up his mind firmly. In his letter to Governor-General Jinnah, quoted elsewhere, he said: “I am telling everyone that I don’t care how the Sikhs cross the border, the great thing is to get rid of them as soon as possible. There is still little sign of the 3 lakh Sikhs in Lyallpur moving, but in the end they too will have to go.”
- p 174 ff
- The Lyallpur Sikhs, as has been pointed out above, were a resolute disciplined body of men and in these days they were fortunate in being served by a band of selfless and cool-headed leaders, who to shame the devil, decided to co-operate fully with the regulations of the Pakistan Government, which that Government never seriously put into effect. Some of these workers had to their credit the rescue of Muslim women and children trapped in East Punjab... During the months of September and October, 1947 the roads leading from West Punjab into India revealed one unending, melancholy procession, day after day, of Sikh men, women, children and cattle, all fatigued and hungry, as they trekked into India, some with their few salvaged belongings in carts and others on foot. These begrimed and harassed Sikhs were those driven out of Lyallpur by systematic and designed Pakistan terror.
- p. 180