Coordinates: 33°46′0″N 72°22′0″E / 33.76667°N 72.36667°E / 33.76667; 72.36667
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From top left to right: Attock city view, Attock Fort, Attock River near Akhori, Attock Bridge
Attock is located in Punjab, Pakistan
Attock is located in Pakistan
Coordinates: 33°46′0″N 72°22′0″E / 33.76667°N 72.36667°E / 33.76667; 72.36667
Country Pakistan
Province Punjab
Established4 April 1904
Incorporated1978 (Renamed to Attock)
 • TypeDistrict Administration
 • Deputy CommissionerRao Atif Raza[1]
355 m (1,165 ft)
 • City146,396
 • Rank60th, Pakistan
Time zoneUTC5 (PST)
Postal code span
Area code057

Attock (Punjabi, Urdu: اٹک), formerly known as Campbellpur (Punjabi, Urdu: کیمبل پور),[3] is a city located in Punjab, Pakistan, not far from the country's capital Islamabad. It is the headquarters of the Attock District and is 36th largest city in the Punjab and 61st largest city in the country, by population. The city was founded in 1908 several miles southeast of the historical city of Attock Khurd (Urdu: اٹک خورد:),[4] which had been established by the Mughal Emperor Akbar in the 16th century,[5] and was initially named in honour of Sir Colin Campbell.[6]


The city was initially founded by the Mughal emperor Akbar as (Urdu: اٹک بنارس) Atak-Banarās.[6] It was changed to Campbellpur after the Commander-in-Chief of British forces Sir Colin Campbell, who rebuilt the city of Campbellpur.[6] The name 'Attock' was returned in 1978 because of the people's preferences.[6]


Attock is located east of the Indus River, 80 km (50 mi) from Rawalpindi, 100 km (62 mi) from Peshawar, and 10 km (6 mi) from the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex, Kamra.


Ancient period[edit]

Attock is located in the historical region of Gandhara. Alexander the Great, Mahmud of Ghazni, Timur, Nader Shah and Babur crossed the Indus at or about this spot (Attock Fort) in their respective invasions of India.[7]

After the founding of the city by the Mughal emperor Akbar,[6] the Attock Fort was completed in 1583 under the supervision of Khawaja Shamsuddin Khawafi, a minister of Akbar.[8] During the Mughal era, Attock was part of the Lahore Subah of Punjab.[9]

Attock in the Lahore Subah, depicted in map of Mughal India by Robert Wilkinson (1805)

Nader Shah crossed through Attock when he defeated the Mughals at the Battle of Karnal and thus ended Mughal power in Northern India. The Battle of Attock took place at Attock Khurd on 28 April 1758, between the Durrani state and Maratha Empire. The Marathas under Raghunathrao Ballal Peshwa and Tukojirao Holkar Bahadur were victorious in the battle and Attock was captured.[10]

But this conquest was short-lived as Ahmad Shah Durrani came in person to recapture Attock and checked the Maratha advance after destroying their forces at Panipat. After the decline of the Durrani state, the Sikhs invaded and occupied Attock District. The Sikh Kingdom (1799–1849) under Ranjit Singh (1780–1839) captured the fortress of Attock in 1813 from the Durrani Nawab[citation needed]. After the occupation of Kashmir by Sikh Kingdom in 1820 many Kashmiris migrated to the plains of Attock.

In February 1849, Attock Khurd (Old Attock) was conquered by the British East India Company who created Campbellpur District. Following the Indian Rebellion in 1857, the region's strategic value was appreciated by the British, who established the Campbellpur Cantonment in 1857–58.[4]

Modern Period[edit]

The Campbellpur Cantonment was established by the British colonial rulers in 1858. Campbellpur District was organised in 1904,[4] by the division of Talagang Tehsil in the Jhelum District with the Pindigheb, Fateh Jang and Attock tehsils from Rawalpindi District. Today the Attock district consists of six tehsils: Fateh JangHazroHasan AbdalJand, and Pindi Gheb.

The city's foundations were laid in 1908 and the city was named after Sir Colin Campbell, British Commander-in-Chief of India.[4] The old city was established near the 16th century near the Attock fort that had guarded the major routes between Central Asia and South Asia. Attock's first oil well was drilled in Khaur in 1915,[11] while the Attock Oil Company was established[12] with a selling arrangement with the Burmah Oil Company. During 1928, the region produced 350,000 barrels of oil.[13]

Attock was one of the northernmost points of the Punjab Province of British India prior to the partition; it thus found itself being a part of the common Hindi-Urdu phrase used to describe the length of colonial India: "Attock se Cuttack" (from Attock to Cuttack). The term "Attock se Cuttack" was first used to describe the extent of the Maratha Empire after they conquered Cuttack in 1750 and Attock in 1758.[14]

After the independence of Pakistan in 1947, Hindu and Sikh minorities emigrated to India, while Muslim refugees from India settled in Attock. The Government of Pakistan renamed Campbellpur as Attock in 1978.[5] The city and surrounding area are known for their high representation among soldiers of the Pakistan Army.[15]


According to the Alif Ailaan Pakistan District Education Rankings 2019, Attock is ranked 3 out of 146 districts of Pakistan in terms of the quality of education. For facilities and infrastructure, the district is ranked 17 out of 146.[16] A detailed picture of the district's education performance is also available online.[17]

Fazaia Degree College, Government Graduate College, Government College for Women, FG Public High School, University of Education Attock Campus, Fazaia Inter College, Army Public School & College, Government Polytechnic Institute,[18] Beacon Light English Model Secondary School,[19] COMSATS University Islamabad, Air University Aerospace and Aviation Campus Kamra and Punjab College Attock are a few important educational institutes in Attock.

Notable people[edit]

  • Malik Nur Khan (22 February 1923 – 15 December 2011), Air Marshal, politician, sports administrator, and commander in chief of Pakistan Air Force
  • Ali Khan (13 December 1990), Pakistani-born American professional cricketer.
  • Haider Ali (2 October 2000), Pakistani professional cricketer
  • Ghulam Jilani Barq (26 October 1901 – 12 March 1985), Pakistani Islamic scholar
  • Qazi Ashfaq (12 December 1967 – 13 November 2001), Pakistani footballer
  • Asfandyar Bukhari (1988-2015) , Pakistan Army Officer


Attock has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen: Cwa) which has hot and humid summers, and cold to mild winters.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "E-registry system to be launched in Punjab". Dawn (newspaper). 16 January 2024. Retrieved 18 January 2024.
  2. ^ "PAKISTAN: Provinces and Major Cities". PAKISTAN: Provinces and Major Cities. Retrieved 4 May 2020.
  3. ^ Shackle, Christopher (1980). "Hindko in Kohat and Peshawar". Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies. 43 (3): 482. doi:10.1017/S0041977X00137401. ISSN 0041-977X. S2CID 129436200.
  4. ^ a b c d Pike, John. "Attock City Cantonment". Retrieved 2018-03-09.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ a b Everett-Heath, John (2017-12-07). The Concise Dictionary of World Place Names. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780192556462.
  6. ^ a b c d e Everett-Heath, John (2017-12-07). The Concise Dictionary of World Place Names. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780192556462.
  7. ^  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Attock". Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 2 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 886.
  8. ^ Hasan, Shaikh Khurshid (2005). Historical forts in Pakistan. National Institute of Historical & Cultural Research Centre of Excellence, Quaid-i-Azam University. p. 37. ISBN 978-969-415-069-7. Retrieved 17 July 2011.
  9. ^ Singh, Surinder (1985). The Mughal Subah of Lahore, 1581-1751: A Study of Administrative Structure and Practices. Panjab University.
  10. ^ "Attock to Cuttack, PM Narendra Modi causes a stir". The Economic Times. June 27, 2017.
  11. ^ World oil. Gulf Publishing Company. March 1947. p. 12. Retrieved 17 July 2011.
  12. ^ (India), Punjab (1932). Punjab District Gazetteers: Attock district, 1930. Superintendent, Government Printing.
  13. ^ "India is natural kerosene market". The Japan Times and Mail. 26 December 1929.
  14. ^ Rajghatta, Chidanand (27 June 2017). "Attock to Cuttack, PM Narendra Modi causes a stir". The Economic Times. Retrieved 23 June 2020.
  15. ^ Jaffrelot, Christophe (2015-08-15). The Pakistan Paradox: Instability and Resilience. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780190613303.
  16. ^ "Alif Ailaan Pakistan District Education Rankings, 2014" (PDF). Alif Ailaan. Retrieved 2014-05-06.
  17. ^ "Individual district profile link, 2014" (PDF). Alif Ailaan. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2014-05-06.
  18. ^ "Government Polytechnic Institute". Archived from the original on 2012-03-12.
  19. ^ "Beacon Light English Model Secondary School official website". Beacon Light English Model Secondary School. Archived from the original on 2016-10-03. Retrieved 2018-09-05.