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Shorkot: one step in Toba, the other in Jhang

Shorkot: one step in Toba, the other in Jhang

TOBA TEK SINGH: Decades-old demarcation lines between Toba Tek Singh and Jhang districts are very weird in Shortkot.

The Shorkot Cantonment is regarded a part of the Jhang district. By the book, only its main bazaar and some residential colonies fall in Jhang district, while the Shorkot Rafiqui Airbase and several residential colonies are part of Toba Tek Singh district.

The railway line at the Shorkot Cantonment railway station serves as a demarcation line between the two districts where platform No 1 is in Jhang district while platforms No 2 to 4 are part of the Toba Tek Singh district, says Shorkot Railway Police Post in charge Chaudhry Muhammad Khalid.

Similarly, some portions of the railway staff colony are in the jurisdiction of Chuttiana police (Jhang) and other parts Pirmahal and Arrouti police stations.

Journalist Mian Tahir told Dawn that in 1998, then Rafiqui Airbase commander Rashid Kalim had sent a proposal to the Punjab Revenue Board that Jhang was 73km from the Shorkot Cantonment while Toba Tek Singh only 31km, so the Shorkot Cantonment be included into Toba Tek Singh for the convenience of the citizens.

He said the base commander had also got a no-objection certificate from then deputy commissioners of Jhang and Toba Tek Singh districts but his proposal found no takers in the government after he was transferred.

Shorkot Cantonment-based trader Chaudhry Muhammad Naeem told Dawn the unusual boundaries had caused great administrative hardships for the people of Shorkot Cantonment as a 60-foot road from Shorkot Cantonment to Shorkot city was being controlled by the Jhang highways department while the localities and lands on either side of the road were part of Toba Tek Singh.

He said even some portion of the airbase was under Haveli Koranga police station of the Khanewal district. Whenever search operations are launched around Shorkot Rafiqui Airbase, police of Jhang, Toba Tek Singh and Khanewal districts are deployed along with security agencies’ personnel.

Shorkot Cantonment Board Vice-Chairman Chaudhry Abdul Haq said the Punjab government should make the Shorkot Cantonment and Rafiqui airbase parts of Toba Tek Singh district to resolve the administrative problems faced by both the officials and the citizens.

Published in Dawn, June 9th, 2016

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