Flag of Pakistan
Circumcision in the Islamic
Republic of Pakistan


Location, political and cultural history

The Islamic Republic of Pakistan is the most westerly fragment of former British Colonial India, bordering Iran and Afghanistan to its west, China to the north-east and India to the east.

The border with China, especially, is very mountainous. The Karakoram Range is now traversed by the highest paved international road in the world, rising to 4,693 metres (15,397 feet) above sea level. This route, part of the ancient Silk Road, has been open to the public since 1986, but the Karakoram mountains remain a barrier to cultural influences as well as an impediment to trade. With predominantly Hindu India to the east, Pakistan now tends to look in a generally westerly direction, towards Islamic neighbours, when seeking cultural empathy.

Following the Second World War, extensive decolonisation began worldwide. In 1947 the British left India, ending the British Raj (Raj is a Hindustani word meaning reign) that formally commenced in 1858 but traces even further back to the governance of the British East India Company which began in 1757.

Immediately before decolonisation, a partition arrangement was made that divided pre-1947 India along religious lines. That created West Pakistan, East Pakistan (both Islamic) and India (predominantly Hindu and Sikh). Huge migrations of population, not always peaceful, took place with an estimated 12½ million people displaced especially in the Punjab region.

The two fragments of the original Pakistan formally separated in 1971, East Pakistan becoming Bangladesh and West Pakistan becoming The Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Border disputes with India continue, especially with respect to the state of Kashmir.

Map, Partition of India   Map - Pakistan today (2012)

Above: Pakistan today (2012).
The border of Kashmir is disputed.

The location of Sialkot, an important centre of manufacturing of surgical instruments, is identified by the red dot.

Circumcision in Pakistan is typical of Islamic societies generally. Rather than repeating a description of those norms, the remainder of this page of the Circlist website instead takes a behind-the-scenes look at surgical instrument manufacture in the Punjab.

Manufacture of circumcision instruments in Sialkot, Pakistani Punjab

Sialkot is a major centre of surgical instrument manufacture, including the manufacture of circumcision clamps. The city, which is located close to the border with India, has a population of just over 1 million people (2011). The location is identified on the map above-right.

Manufacturing process - Gomco Clamp

SLA photo : Pattern

SLA photo : Pouring

       The Gomco Clamp is made by pouring molten metal into a mould and then machining the resulting casting.
       Here we see:

       Above left : Preparing the mould by pressing the pattern into casting sand.
       Above right: After the two halves of the mould have been assembled, molten metal is poured in.
       Below left: The "flash" shows the position of the join between the two halves of the mould.
       Below right: The same components after finishing work.

SLA photo : Raw casting

Circlist photo : End product

Manufacturing process - Mogen Clamp

       Below left: A grinding wheel is used to achieve the required surface finish.
       Below right: The finished article.

SLA Photo - Grinding

Circlist Photo - End product

Manufacturing process - Winkelmann Clamp

SLA Photo - Reaming

SLA Photo - Buffing

       The Winkelmann Clamp is made in a manner similar to the Gomco Clamp. Here we see the later stages
       of the manufacturing process:

       Above left : Reaming the inside of the bell that protects the glans during circumcision.
       Above right: Buffing, to achieve the final finish.
       Below left: The finished article.
       Below right: Quality control by the Proprietor, Mr. Tahir Mahmood Mughal.

Circlist Photo - Finished article

SLA Photo - Quality Control

Other circumcision instruments made in Sialkot

Other clamp types, including replicas of historic designs no longer in commercial production, can be made to special order.


The following resources were used in the preparation of this web page:
Logo Wikipedia
Flag of Pakistan Camera icon SLA Logo In-factory photography ©2012 Tahir Mahmood Mughal, Sky Light Associate.
Thumbnail Thumbnail Maps courtesy of Wikipedia and the US Central Intelligence Agency.

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