Jokhio Jasarat Ilyas Sindhi
Sindh has been beautiful since its creation on the earth planet. Its great Indus valley civilization has been the most ancient civilization of the world which contains various regions among which the hilly region of southern Sindh called “Kohistan” (meaning hilly area) is very distinguished and aesthetically attractive. As it is very near to the coastal belt of Sindhi Sea, so its beauty is more fascinating than the other mountain regions of the world. It contains the mountains or mount means a solid form of hard and grown land protruding above the earth surface. Generally, any mountain is usually higher and steeper a bit than the surrounding hills. As per the Encyclopedia Britannica; a mountain has a peak of more than an elevation of 2000 feet or 610 m from surface. As per this definition of mountain, all the mountains on earth cover its total 24% of areas (including 64% of the land of Asia) while as mountains are the sources of water mainstream as many rivers of the world are exclusively flown from the abdomens of these mountains whereon more than half of the humanity is dependent. Mountains are very beautiful while visiting either during pre-monsoon or post-monsoon days. Among such beautiful mountains of Sindh, “Karo Jabal” (the black mountain) of Malmari-Kohistan is worth-mentioning in terms of bio-geographical, climatic and cultural as well as historical studies. The beautiful and astonishing Karo Jabal (the black mountain) of Kohistan is situated near the famous village Malmari on the latitude of 25.0457° or 25° 2′ 44.3″ in north and longitude of 67.652° or 67° 39′ 7.3″ in east at the distance of 40 Km on north-east side from Jungshahi Railway Station, taluka and district Thatta, Sindh. Karo Jabal contains the various chains of rocks which are randomly scattered in the two districts i.e. Thatta and Jamshoro extend to Malir and Dadu. This is a really peaceful mountain with calmness in its surrounding at the elevation of more than 2000 feet above earth surface. The first ever staunch historian Mr. Muhammad Ilyas “Hamgham” Jokhio (birth; 1939) is the first writer and historical intellectual who wrote on this beautiful mountain first time ever in the history of Sindh while he was a learning scholar in the Government Elementary College of Education For Men Hyderabad. According to him, Karo Jabal has the peak point called “Thull” which is above 2000 feet from earth while as if we count it from sea level, it might cross the elevation of 8000 feet too. As per ‘mapcarta’ website, ‘Pugandari’ is in the southwest of Karo Jabal at the distance of 6 Km and ‘Ghazz Makan’ is located towards east of Karo Jabal at the distance of 9 Km. In this way, this mountain is considered as the one and only biggest mountain of district Thatta which has a greater Kohistani belt full of little and big rocks but Karo Jabal is of reputed identity in the vicinity due to its folk-lore popularity as the famous poet of Sindh Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai has also used the folklore traditional remembrance of this mountain by describing it as “Chappar” and “Karo” in his poetry. Famous Sindhi teacher Muhammad Ilyas Hamgham Jokhio compares the rainfall water of the Karo Jabal with the “Niagara” of the United States of America (Wallriyan Waas). The learned personality of Kohistan Mr. Abdul Aziz Jokhio also wrote on the cultural traditions as well as cultural diversity of Kohistan in the reputed monthly magazines of Sindh during pre-partition days i.e. 1940s. He was considered as the pioneer of education in the central hilly village Malmari along with Mr. Jehan Khan Jokhio the first ever local government school teacher of village who served for the education of rural region around a century ago. Later on, various names in the educational history come in this regard. Adding to the nature, the Karo Jabal (black mountain) of Kohistan is full of the wonders of the world, sound scenarios of Sindh and tremendous beauty like; wildlife, animal diversity, environmental beauty, rich ecosystem, traditional cultural diversity, seasonal greenery due to monsoon rainfall etc. The archaeological clues found in Karo Jabal are very strange because we can see the evident points having the ancient presence-signs of the earthquakes due to tectonic plates. Though the mountains along with its ranges and regions have been left free of urban population and industrialization i.e. in the ancient and natural states but, the tragedies with Karo Jabal of Malmari are far beyond discussing. From Nooriabad,-a large industrial city solid waste like different materials of industries are expelled in air, rivers and atmosphere which in result, pollutes the natural biodiversity and inhabitants of wildlife as well as surrounding villagers. From its other side of Karachi, it has the large pollutants of Lucky Cement Industries as well as the establishment of Bahria Town and other housing societies have compelled the hundreds of wildlife species to migrate from Kathore rocks to Karo Jabal whereas already it is extreme level of pollution in region here wherein the species are disappearing to the extinction status. Notwithstanding the above realities, housing societies are on the other hand, creating artificial rocks and little mountains for recreation purposes but if so, why did they damage the natural beauty of the region by creating illegal roads and shining their business which ruined the wildlife habitat and nature here? Such artificial mountains are though little but they are used for ornamental beauty by offering spectacular views from their summits as well as in order to attract the customers etc. Moreover, the local tribes who are living here since centuries are Jokhio, Palari, Burfat, Jakhro, Gabol, Baloch, Khaskheli, Barijo, Memon, and various tribes of Sindhi Hindus who are popular with the title of Dewan; used for rich people. They all are the local tribes whose ancient graveyards and Chowkundi type graves may also be seen prominently in the way of Karo Jabal near Allahrakhio Jokhio Goth. Some of the plagiarist and “artificial” writers have been attempting their efforts to prove these graves on biased finding referring to some specificity in terms of its ownership but there is not a single research has been done on the scientific basis on the concerned topics before. While as English writers of British Indian era referred these graves to the local tribes i.e. Jokhyo and their invaders like Kalmati and others. Same is described in “A History of Sindh: Volume I” written by Abdul Haleem Shaarar (1860–1926). Furthermore, about such ancient graves, detailed scientific papers will separately be published soon by the author. Aesthetical look of the Karo Jabal is very attractive as its natural beauty is evident from far away specially after the rainfall; it is clearly visible from the three districts of Sindh i.e. Thatta, Malir and Jamshoro. Notwithstanding the name “Karo” which means “Black” in Sindhi, after rainfall the mountain becomes very green and fertile for about next 06 months. The agriculture land in the local area land is termed as “Khait” is cultivated exclusively on the mainstreams of rain. The green land looks very attractive and soothing with the natural smelling of herbs and plants after rainfall. The names of the rainfall rivers are also popular in these consequences as; “Dhoro” and “Nain”. People become so happy during the rainfall. Even birds and wildlife dance during the drizzling season and appeal to nature for the mega rainfall which can never ever bring any disaster of flood here due to the mountainous surface of the region which absorbs hundreds and thousands of millimetre (mm) within seconds. Naturally, the cattle and wildlife found here are also rigid and face very hard and tough times and are like rocks; habitual to live within the mountain by travelling around the caves of Karo Jabal which extend very deep and narrow.
However, in ancient time, it was found that Deers and Black Partridges were abundantly seen which were invaded then after by the British rulers during 1800 A.D who used to visit this place and capture wildlife with the help of villagers. Such prey culture was later on banned by the tribal chief of the region who is the leading game birds breeder which is a good practice for the conservation of animals on the planet. In spite of this all, few preying birds are brutally killed from the external area of Karo Jabal from district Jamshoro wherein the dominance is nothing but everyone is free to catch birds. The biodiversity has been beautifully maintained by the villagers as they do love the migratory birds such as Houbara bustard and Quails etc. Wild animals are going to become extinct with the passage of time. Famous Sindhi intellect Prof. Dr. Manjhi (Chairman, Sindhi Language Authority Hyderabad) discloses the fact that when he was a child, he used to see deer and such presently rare species near Jhirak city. He says these all species have disappeared nowadays due to the urbanization surrounding the Karo Jabal and its adjoining mountain region. Consequently, a big danger to this beautiful mountain is pollution and china cutting from its side coming right in district Jamshoro and Motorway M9 where a cement factory company has been cutting and invading this great natural beauty and damaging its biodiversity as well as physical attraction. If this continues, it will ruin a lot of animal species which in result, will damage the local areas and convert it as a permanent non fertile region like desert. The road traffic of hundreds of vehicles passing from Motorway Road M9 (Karachi to Hyderabad) also create noise and air pollution which hazards the wildlife because Karo Jabal is very near to the mentioned road. Karo Jabal is the natural history location very near to village Malmari which is the city of philosophers and scientists like; Prof. Dr. M.H Jokhio, Dr. M. Shaban Jokhio and many others who are serving around the world in the various fields of Education, Engineering, Science and Technology. Lot of engineers and doctors are also found here who intend to do something better for their homeland Karo Jabal Malmari but due to unknown reasons still nothing has been done properly in the village by any of the reputed people. Migration is also a permanent reason for the local people who have practiced it since centuries but it is not static as few families are living permanently there. However, many scholars are trying here to enlighten and save their villages but still nothing is there in the results for which a long mission is needed to go on a continuous basis for the sustainable development of Karo Jabal and its surrounding villages. Furthermore, Karo Jabal is rich in plants, trees, hilly herbs and seasonal fruits which are grown after rainfall annually. It has a rich diversity of plants and trees which include most of the local trees like; Neem, Babar, Jaar etc. The seasonal fruits grown here after rainfall are very tasty in eating such as various kinds of mushrooms, onions and potatoes which are rich in Vitamins and proteins. People eat and make various recipes from such fruits which is their long tradition since centuries. Lassi is produced from Curd and Yogurt which is very sweet in taste sometimes if any person drinks it, he may feel sleep because of its relaxing taste. Historically, the routes and paths to climb upward on Karo Jabal are very difficult which date back to the origin of this mountain in the post-ice age period where earthquakes were observed. Muhammad Ilyas Hamgham Jokhio writes in his book “Walriyan Waas” that the paths inside and upside the Karo Jabal are very tough to climb and the camel and cattle charmers use to collect the herbs and plants by taking the risk while climbing on the mountain. Evolution studies can also be carried out from the historical evidence and clues found on Karo Jabal such as fossils of Prehistoric or Paleozoic era which are 500 million years old dead remains of Pisces and marine species. Mesozoic era fossils are also present here which are of reptiles while some are also related to the 65 million years ancient Cenozoic era of mammals. Some evolution studies may also be carried out while studying the ancient symbols found on and in the Karo Jabal. Scientists term such symbols as Stonehenge or Megaliths as per Dr. Zulfiqar Ali Kalhoro (notable Anthropologist of Sindh) etc can also evidently be seen on Karo Jabal. Further studies on this history needs scientific methods to work on, however, it is obvious that there were previously some creatures living on Karo Jabal. Same was witnessed by local men the author used to meet here. To conclude, Karo Jabal is a great source of life for local inhabitants as well as wildlife in terms of food and shelter, it must be preserved and saved from the invader urban mafia who are raiding on it for their business. Pollution, urbanization, land-mafia etc are few factors which are ruining the mountain which is a great source of history for science and anthropologists. If the global scientific community visits it and explores the forgotten history of Karo Jabal, many clues may be obtained consequently. Government of Sindh must take over and declare it as “national park of natural history” in order to save millions and trillions of lives.