The Cantonment was built in late 50’s with the support of USA as part of the military assistance to Pakistan. Its construction was supervised by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and was built according to American standards The population of cantonment is 90,462 whereas the population of the parent city Kharian is around 30,000.
Kharian Cantonment is located on the GT Road (N-5) at a distance of 125 km from Capital city of Islamabad and 145 km from provincial capital Lahore. Prominent nearby cities and towns include Jhelum, Lalamusa, gulyana, Dinga, Sarai Alamgir, and district city of Gujrat.
The construction of Kharian Cantonment was completed in 1958 with the assistance of USA as part of the military assistance to Pakistan. Its construction was supervised by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and it was built according to American standards which differed considerably from the standards laid down by the British for Indian and British troops. The master plan of the cantonment is a planned grid like network of roads. It was one of the few cantonments which was established post partition era. It was constructed to station US troops in Pakistan, a plan which was partly reversed because of the U2 spy plane crash scandal. It was one of the biggest army bases and the home of BURAK, (the Armoured division of Pakistan Army Reserve North) until 2008.
The residential areas of the cantonment include the I.J. Colony, Defence Colony, Shami Colony, North Colony, M-Block, Afzaal Colony, Gammon Colony and Johar Colony. In addition there are number of small camps and residential areas for the residence of troops.
As the cantonment is located on the main National Highway N-5 (known as the GT road) and the main Rail line, kharian cantt can be reached in a number of ways either by road or train. As there is not much rail traffic for the city, all express trains do not stop at the kharian cantt Railway station; public and private buses are the main means of transportation. The international Airports of Islamabad (Benazir Bhutto International Airport), Lahore (Allama Iqbal International Airport) and Sialkot International Airport can be accessed in two to three hours by means of public transport.Heliport and airstrip is there in the central portion of Kharian Cantt that is used for the small planes and helicopters.
Kharian Cantt offers a number of education institutes for basic, intermediate as well as the higher education. The prominent schools and colleges include:
F.G Degree College For Men
F.G Degree College For Women
F.G Boys Public School
F.G Girls Public School
F.G. Boys High School
F.G Girls High School
Govt. Institute of Commerce, Kharian (TEVTA)
Govt. Technical Training Center (Thapla) Kharian (TEVTA)
Govt. Vocational Training Institute (Women), Kharian (TEVTA)
Garrison Academy and College
Bloom Field Hall School
Cambridge Standard School Kharian
Army Public School & College
Cantonment Board Public School
Islamic Asian College of Commerce & Computer Sciences G.T. Road Kharian
Kharian College of Commerce & Computer Sciences G.T. Road Kharian
Rosebelt College G.T. Road Kharian
New Vision College of information Technology Kharian
In addition there are number of good schools in the neighborhood of cantonment which include The Beaconhouse School Systems, Dar-e-Arqam School and The City School (Pakistan) etc. A famous Cadet College with a name of Military College Jhelum is located at a distance of 15 km at Sarai Alamgir.
The cantonment has an “A” class standard, 600-bed teaching hospital known as CMH (Combined Military Hospital) Kharian. It is the second largest CMH after Rawalpindi. All the departments of the hospital are equipped with the latest and state of the art equipment and Facilities. The burn center is one of the few in country.
The cantonment has number of markets with small to medium shopping stores offering variety of products. These shopping areas are source of attraction for both locals and visitors alike. Every colony has its own shopping complex with fast food restaurants. The area has a lot of shopping malls and the famous ones include the Sarhang market, 10&7 shopping complex, Saddar, Corner shop and Saf Shiken Shopping Complex.