Attock (Punjabi, Urdu: اٹک), formerly known as Campbellpur (کیمبل پور),[1] is a city located in the north of Pakistan's Punjab Province, not far from the country's capital Islamabad. It is the headquarters of Attock District and Attock Tehsil. The city was founded in 1908 several miles southeast of the older city of Attock Khurd,[2] which had been established by the Mughal Emperor Akbar in the 16th century,[3] and was initially named in honour of Sir Colin Campbell.[4]



Attock Fort in Old Attock
Attock is located in Pakistan
Attock is located in Punjab, Pakistan
Coordinates: 33°46′0″N 72°22′0″E / 33.76667°N 72.36667°E / 33.76667; 72.36667Coordinates: 33°46′0″N 72°22′0″E / 33.76667°N 72.36667°E / 33.76667; 72.36667
Time zoneUTC5 (PKT)
Postal code span
Area code(s)057


The city was initially named Campbellpore, also spelt Campbellpur, in 1908 in honour of Sir Colin Campbell.[4] The name was changed in 1978 to Attock, which literally means "Foot of the Mountain."[3]


Attock is located near the Haro River, a tributary 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.



Attock is located in a historically significant region. Gandhara was an ancient kingdom extending to the Swat valley and the Potohar plateau regions of Pakistan as well as the Jalalabad district of northeastern Afghanistan. Situated astride the middle Indus River, the region had Takshashila and Peshawar as its chief cities. The place is of both political and commercial importance, as the Indus is here crossed by the military and trade route through the Khyber Pass into Afghanistan. Alexander the Great, Timur and Nader Shah crossed the Indus at or about this spot in their respective invasions of India.[5]

The Attock Fort was completed in 1583 under the supervision of Khawaja Shamsuddin Khawafi, a minister of Emperor Akbar.[6] 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 Empire Maratha Kingdom. The Marathas under Raghunathrao Ballal Peshwa and Tukojirao Holkar Bahadur were victorious in the battle and Attock was captured.[7] But this conquest was short-lived as Ahmad Shah Durrani came in person to recapture Attock and checked the Maratha advance permanently after destroying their forces at Panipat. After the decline of the Durrani Empire, 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.

In 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.[2] Campbellpore District was organised in 1904,[2] by the division of Talagang Tehsil in the Jhelum District with the Pindigheb, Fateh Jang and Attock tehsils from Rawalpindi District.


The city's foundations were laid in 1908 by Sir Colin Campbell, the British Commander-in-Chief of India for whom the city is named.[2] 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,[8] while the Attock Oil Company was established.[9] It has an oil and gas field Dakhini near Jand and in Fateh Jang.


After the independence of Pakistan in 1947, the minority Hindus and Sikhs emigrated to India, while Muslim refugees from India settled in Attock. The Government of Pakistan renamed Campbellpur as Attock in 1978.[3] The city and surrounding area are known for their high representation among soldiers of the Pakistani Military.[10]


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.[11] A detailed picture of the district's education performance is also available online.[12] Army Public School & College, Government Polytechnic Institute,[13] Beacon Light English Model Secondary School,[14] COMSATS University Islamabad and Punjab College Attock are few important educational institutes in Attock.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ a b c d Pike, John. "Attock City Cantonment". Retrieved 2018-03-09.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ a b c Everett-Heath, John (2017-12-07). The Concise Dictionary of World Place Names. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780192556462.
  4. ^ a b Everett-Heath, John (2017-12-07). The Concise Dictionary of World Place Names. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780192556462.
  5. ^   One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Attock". Encyclopædia Britannica. 2 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 886.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ "Attock to Cuttack, PM Narendra Modi causes a stir". The Economic Times. June 27, 2017.
  8. ^ World oil. Gulf Publishing Company. March 1947. p. 12. Retrieved 17 July 2011.
  9. ^ (India), Punjab (1932). Punjab District Gazetteers: Attock district, 1930. Superintendent, Government Printing.
  10. ^ Jaffrelot, Christophe (2015-08-15). The Pakistan Paradox: Instability and Resilience. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780190613303.
  11. ^ "Alif Ailaan Pakistan District Education Rankings, 2014" (PDF). Alif Ailaan. Retrieved 2014-05-06.
  12. ^ "Individual district profile link, 2014" (PDF). Alif Ailaan. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2014-05-06.
  13. ^ "Government Polytechnic Institute". Archived from the original on 2012-03-12.
  14. ^ "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.