|Founded by||Kheshgi tribe of Pashtuns|
|• Total||3,995 km2 (1,542 sq mi)|
|Elevation||218 m (715 ft)|
|Time zone||UTC+5 (PST)|
Kasur (Punjabi and Urdu: قصُور) is a city located to south of Lahore, in the Pakistani province of Punjab. The city serves as the headquarters of Kasur District, and is located near the border with neighbouring India. Founded by Pashtun migrants in 1525, Kasur is now the 20th most populous city of Pakistan, and is renowned as the burial place of the legendary 17th century Sufi-poet Bulleh Shah.
Kasur derives its name from the Arabic word qasur (قصور), meaning “palaces,” or “forts.” Hindu traditions claim that Kasur was founded by, and named for, Prince Kusha of the Ramayana, son of the Hindu deities Rama and Sita. Historical record rejects an ancient mythological founding for the city, and instead dates the city to around 1525 when the city was founded as a fortified settlement by the Kheshgi tribe of Pashtuns who had migrated from what is now north western Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Kasur region was an agricultural region with forests during the Indus Valley Civilization. The Kasur region was ruled variously by the Maurya Empire, Indo-Greek kingdom, Kushan Empire, Gupta Empire, White Huns, Kushano-Hephthalites and Kabul Shahi kingdoms.
Kasur was established as a city by Kheshgi tribe of Mohammadzai Pashtuns who had migrated to the region in 1525 from Afghanistan, during the reign of Babur, and built several small forts in the area. During this time, the Punjab region became predominantly Muslim due to conversions from missionary Sufi saints.
Under Mughal rule, the city flourished and was notable for commerce and trade. It became the home of the legendary Sufi saint and celebrated poet, Bulleh Shah, who is buried in a large shrine in the city.
After the decline of the Mughal Empire, the Kasur region fell into a power vacuum. Kasur was captured by Ahmad Shah Durrani, though Sikhs sacked the city in 1747 under Jassa Singh Ahluwalia, and again in 1763 after Durrani shifted to Afghanistan. The Sikh Empire under Ranjit Singh then captured the city in 1807.
During the British Raj, the irrigation canals were built that irrigated large areas of the Kasur District. Communal disturbances between Sikhs, Hindus, and Muslims erupted in 1908 over the issue of meat sales. Riots erupted following the Jallianwala Bagh massacre on 12 April 1919, leading to the destruction of civic infrastructure, including the city’s railway station. Martial law was imposed on 16 April 1919 in response to the riots.
After the independence of Pakistan in 1947, the minority Hindus and Sikhs were to migrate to India while the Muslim refugees, migrated from India and settled in Kasur. Kasur emerged as a major center of leather tanning after independence, and is home to 1/3rd of Pakistan’s tanning industry.
In January 2018, two protestors were killed in rioting over the rape and murder of a seven-year-old girl. There had been 12 similar murders in the past two years, five of which have been linked to one suspect, leading to widespread anger at police failures.