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The Magnificent Rohtas Fort of Pakistan

The magnificent Rohtas Fort lies in the central part of Punjab, Pakistan. This World Heritage site exemplifies a splendid amalgamation of stone and history. This historical marvel unveils its past, present role, and impact on Pakistan’s social and economic advancement. Rohtas Fort stands as one of the best surviving specimens of medieval architectural brilliance.

Constructed in the 16th century by the great Afghan king Sher Shah Suri in 1541, Rohtas Fort was established to restrain the movement of the Mughal emperor Humayun. Covering over 70 hectares, it is one of the largest fortresses in South Asia. The architectural layout is notably solid, with exceptionally thick walls. Rohtas Fort is more than just a structure of stone and mortar; it embodies the living history of the people and generations that have witnessed its grandeur. Today, it attracts thousands of tourists annually, making it a significant point of interest in the region and the nation.

Architectural Marvel and Design

Muhammad Jahangir, a historian and caretaker, stated, “This fort was built in 1541. It has 12 gates in total, covers a boundary wall of 5 kilometers, and spans a total area of 175 hectares.” The fort’s structure and defensive positions reflect a history spanning centuries, serving as a prison, garrison for the Suri army, and a barrier to Mughal emperor Humayun’s return to India from Persia. The colossal structure and robust design were crucial for creating a safe space against possible assaults, symbolizing the military vision of that era.

Built from durable sandstone, Rohtas Fort features walls with a circumference of over 4 kilometers, reaching heights of up to 18 meters and thicknesses of 4 meters. The fort contains several beautifully carved gates designed to deter invasions, including the Suhail Gate, adorned with intricate calligraphic inscriptions. Within the compound, there are barracks, offices, storage facilities for ammunition and weapons, and a mosque that showcases a unique blend of Islamic and Hindu architecture.

Modern Context and Security Significance

In the modern context, Rohtas Fort’s history is intertwined with contemporary security issues in Pakistan, particularly regarding anti-terrorism measures. The Pakistani military’s ‘Azm-e-Istehkam’ (Resolve for Strengthening) operation against militants, including the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), echoes the fort’s historical role in military preparedness. This operation reflects Rohtas Fort’s enduring function as a base and security stronghold in the fight against terrorism.

The fort’s location near the modern Afghanistan-Pakistan border underscores its historical significance in regional conflicts and strategic planning. Such forts help understand the historical conflicts and strategies that have shaped this region’s dynamics. The geopolitical and geostrategic relations formed throughout history remain dominant, influencing the security patterns in both state- and nation-building processes.

Khurram, a tourist, remarked, “I came today to visit the fort with my family, but I noticed that the management should focus on restoring the fort to attract more tourists to this historical place in Pakistan.”


Tourism and Economic Impact

Today, Rohtas Fort is a major tourist attraction. Its historical significance and architectural beauty draw visitors from around the world, contributing to the local economy by providing jobs and supporting small businesses. From guides to craftsmen, everyone has a story connected to this ancient fortress. The fort’s historical and cultural significance also offers a unique perspective on Pakistan’s rich heritage, making it a pivotal part of educational curriculums and cultural studies, both nationally and internationally.

Zohair, a university student, commented, “Standing within these ancient walls, where history whispers tales of valor and strategy, Rohtas Fort feels like a timeless sentinel, watching over the unfolding stories of past and present. However, the government should look into the preservation of these sites.”

Rohtas Fort stands as a testament to Pakistan’s resilience and diversity. It is not just a fort; it represents history, culture, and education. Drawing visitors from across the globe, it sparks interest and fosters economic growth through tourism.

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