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Khushab is a city of Khushab District
Khushab District
Khushab District is a rural tribal 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 Naushera...

 in the Punjab
Punjab (Pakistan)
Punjab is the most populous province of Pakistan, with approximately 45% of the country's total population. Forming most of the Punjab region, the province is bordered by Kashmir to the north-east, the Indian states of Punjab and Rajasthan to the east, the Pakistani province of Sindh to the...

 province of Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

. The city serves as the headquarters of Khushab Tehsil
Khushab Tehsil
Khushab Tehsil is an administrative subdivision Khushab District in the Punjab province of Pakistan.-History:During British rule Khushab was a tehsil of the old Shahpur District, the tehsil at that time had an area of...

 an administrative subdivision of the district.

The city of 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.


During colonial rule
British Raj
British Raj was the British rule in the Indian subcontinent between 1858 and 1947; The term can also refer to the period of dominion...

 Khushab town was the headquarters of the tehsil of the same name in the Shahpur District of British Punjab
Punjab (British India)
Punjab was a province of British India, it was one of the last areas of the Indian subcontinent to fall under British rule. With the end of British rule in 1947 the province was split between West Punjab, which went to Pakistan, and East Punjab, which went to India...

. The town situated on the right bank of the Jhelum River
Jhelum River
Jehlum River or Jhelum River , ) is a river that flows in India and Pakistan. It is the largest and most western of the five rivers of Punjab, and passes through Jhelum District...

 was on the route of the Sindh
Sindh historically referred to as Ba'ab-ul-Islam , is one of the four provinces of Pakistan and historically is home to the Sindhi people. It is also locally known as the "Mehran". Though Muslims form the largest religious group in Sindh, a good number of Christians, Zoroastrians and Hindus can...

-Sagar branch of the
North-Western Railway.

During that time it had an extensive trade, exporting cotton, wool, and Ghee
Ghee is a class of clarified butter that originated in South Asia and is commonly used in South Asian cuisine....

 to Multan
Multan , is a city in the Punjab Province of Pakistan and capital of Multan District. It is located in the southern part of the province on the east bank of the Chenab River, more or less in the geographic centre of the country and about from Islamabad, from Lahore and from Karachi...

 and Sukkur
Sukkur, or Sakharu , formerly Aror and Bakar, is the third largest city of Sindh province, situated on the west bank of Indus River in Pakistan in Sukkur District. However, the word Sakharu in Sindhi means "superior", which the spelling of the city's name in Sindhi suggests is the origin of the...

; cotton cloth to Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 and the Derajat; and wheat grown in the Salt Range, which was considered particularly suitable for export, principally to Karachi
Karachi is the largest city, main seaport and the main financial centre of Pakistan, as well as the capital of the province of Sindh. The city has an estimated population of 13 to 15 million, while the total metropolitan area has a population of over 18 million...

. 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
Octroi is a local tax collected on various articles brought into a district for consumption.-Antiquity:Octroi taxes have a respectable antiquity, being known in Roman times as vectigalia...

 ; 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.

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
Nuclear reactor
A nuclear reactor is a device to initiate and control a sustained nuclear chain reaction. Most commonly they are used for generating electricity and for the propulsion of ships. Usually heat from nuclear fission is passed to a working fluid , which runs through turbines that power either ship's...

 and a missile base in 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
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

 was due to visit India and sparked concerns worldwide. It was later clearly stated in the Dawn
Dawn (newspaper)
Dawn is Pakistan's oldest and most widely read English-language newspaper. One of the country's two largest English-language dailies, it is the flagship of the Dawn Group of Newspapers, published by Pakistan Herald Publications, which also owns the Herald, a magazine, the evening paper The Star and...

 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.

Tribes in Khushab include the Aheer
Aheer is a Jat tribe found mainly in the western districts of Punjab and Sindh in Pakistan. -History and origin:The tribe is also known as Heer or Purewal depending on the dialect of the speaker. Those that tend to speak dialects of Lahanda, such as Seraiki or Pothari tend to refer to themselves...

, Awan
Awan (Pakistan)
Awan , is a South Asian Zamindar tribe, putatively of Arab origin, living predominantly in northern, central, and western parts of Punjab, Pakistan...

, Bandial, Baghoors, Baloch, Jasra, Kaloo, Lilla (tribe), Rajput
A Rajput is a member of one of the patrilineal clans of western, central, northern India and in some parts of Pakistan. Rajputs are descendants of one of the major ruling warrior classes in the Indian subcontinent, particularly North India...

,Thaheem, Uttra
The Uttra are a Jat clan found in the province of Pakistani Punjab. They are found through out the Sind Sagar Doab, and in Dera Ghazi Khan District, they claim to be of Rajput origin, and use the title rana....

, Tiwana etc.

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