Who wins if Punjab is divided?

Published: June 3, 2012

The creation of provinces and the sudden granting of large provincial funds may cement the power base of corrupt groups that already exist in the region.

There has been a lot of talk recently regarding the impending division of Punjab. From the viewpoint of many analysts and politicians, it is simply a matter of time before Punjab is divided into, at least, two provinces.

The question, however, remains; does division, whatever form it eventually takes on, make sense?

There is one line of argument that focuses on how large countries, like China and India, are able to experience substantial economic growth side-by-side with a substantial number of provinces. This argument makes the false assumption that the provincialism is somehow driving the economic growth. The truth is that the economies of these countries may be growing despite the provincialism as opposed to growing because of the provincialism.

In the case of China, there is a national history of a strong central state that has always ensured unity despite the many provinces. There is also the presence of a clear ethnic Han majority. Both of these factors ensure a stable and united political climate which helps economic growth.

In Pakistan, we do not have a history of a strong central state, nor do we have a clear ethnic majority.

Regarding provincialism in India, there are worrying signs that regional parties are beginning to make inroads into the vote banks of the national parties. This may result in a more unstable political climate, which may affect Indian economic growth. A similar increase in regional parties and political instability can occur if Pakistan begins creating new provinces. As such, the economic benefits of further provinces are not clear-cut.

Besides economic benefits, supporters of devolution argue that there are political benefits such as enhanced government administration. The basic argument revolves around how Lahore and its neighbouring regions make maximum use of provincial funds and leave barely anything for the other regions of Punjab. There is some merit to this argument. It is a proven fact that provincial capitals have a natural monopoly on provincial resources. Generally speaking, the further a locality is from the provincial capital the tougher it is for provincial resources to arrive there.

However, there are many factors that help make a government’s administration more efficient.

One of these is a sincere group of administrators and bureaucrats. Even if a massive amount of funds are present as a result of creating a new province, there is a possibility that the funds will be captured by political groups that are not intent on sharing the new-found resources with the rest of the province. Who is to say that such a group will not exist in future provinces? In fact, the creation of provinces and the sudden granting of large provincial funds may cement the power base of corrupt groups that already exist in the region.

Supporters of Punjab’s division regularly argue that the creation of further provinces provides another political benefit because it is a legitimate assertion of the democratic rights of the residents of Punjab.

On what basis do they make this claim?

Do they make it on the basis of the resolutions that were recently passed by the National Assembly and the Punjab Assembly supporting the creation of further provinces?

Such resolutions may represent the will of elected politicians but they do not represent the will of the people of Punjab. It is one thing to elect someone as your representative and have that person represent you in day-to-day political matters. It is quite another to have that person make a momentous decision on your behalf regarding the political status of the territory you live in. That is exactly what the National Assembly and Punjab Assembly have done.

The division of an entire province requires a referendum across the province. Only then can one make the claim that the creation of further provinces represents the true democratic aspirations of the majority of Punjab.

In short, the economic and political benefits of new provinces is not clear-cut. The speed with which the resolutions have been passed on such a momentous issue illustrates that the motives behind the resolutions are more for political power than they are for any serious solution to government inefficiency or disenfranchisement of the people of Punjab.

Mohammed Bilal Khan

Mohammed Bilal Khan

Works in Toronto's finance industry and obtained his graduate degree from the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. He blogs at mb-khan.blogspot.com/

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Qaisrani

    The author seems confused whether he supports the idea of demarcation or not?Suggesting referrendum to know what the people want is an absurd idea as Punjabi speaking are in majority and they are enjoying economic well being at the cost of Saraikis.Why would they like to let the people from Saraikistan prosper??Division will mean less jobs for people from Upper Punjab in south and less land to be allotted to them in Layyah,Muzaffargarh,RY Khan and other areas.

    The only beneficiaries would be Saraikis.They will have their own government at their door step in Multan,more jobs,more lands to cultivate by themselves and preservence of their own culture.The only referrendum would be to know the will of the people of Bahawalpur whether they want Bahwalpur or be part of cultural identity as their movement has been hijacked by the settlers and turncoats like Muhammad ALi Durrani.The real sons of soil of Bahawalupur must be given chance to decide about their own fate.If they want Bahawalpur province then it’s OK otherwise it should not be business of PMLN to interfere in Saraikistan’s matter as they have proven record of hating and contempting the Saraikistanis.Recommend

  • http://www.tanzeel.wordpress.com Tanzeel

    Who wins if Punjab is divided?
    People of South Punjab in particular, people of Pakistan in generalRecommend

  • Rai Rashid Kharal

    The division of Punjab will never benefit the people of Punjab, only the corrupt elite would be able to secure territories for their rule and benefit their coming generation. The elites of the southern punjab have always promoted corruption, nepotism and injustice. Elites from Southern part of Punjab includes, Mumtaz Daultana, Mustafa Khar, Sajad Hussain Qureshi, Balakh Sher Mazari, Farooq Leghari, Yousif Raza Gilani, Shah Mahmood Qureshi etc never showed interest in the development of their constituencies. They deliberatly kept them uneducated so that their power remain unchallenged. Educated middle class has started challenging these elites within their own constituencies. A strong perception among these elites is that the rising middle class of Punjab has become a threat to their power. Moreover weakened PPP devoid of public support has nothing in their kitty except bad name and corruption. People of Punjab share similarities in culture, language, history and have same lineage except few exception like Gilanis, Qureshis, Makhdooms, Jatois etc. The land of 5 rivers will be a prosperous unit for many years to come if divided no one is certain about their future. Therefor it is a responsibility of the majority of this province to stop this heinous attempt of corrupt elite and stay united.Recommend

  • Ali Ahsan

    A country like Pakistan is better off with local empowerment and provincial autonomy rather than a strong centre. We have seen Pakistan having most if its political troubles and army interventions as a result of a strong centre that failed to take in the considerations of other provinces and imposed their will on everyone.Recommend

  • BlackJack

    I don’t know if Pakistani Punjab should be partitioned – but the arguments offered against partition using India and China as an example are not persuasive. China is a largely homogenous state and provinces are administrative units that do not face the ethnic and linguistic pressures that are prevalent in the subcontinent. India as a concept has managed to survive/ succeed, not in spite its diversity but because of it – and the state was smart enough to realize early on that there is no way to manage such a large country without providing significant recognition to state-specific aspirations (unity in diversity was enshrined in the directive principles in the Constitution). You haven’t been reading the Indian news enough – there are only 7 states (less than 20% India’s population) where the Congress and BJP (the large national parties) are the only major players – everywhere else, regional parties have managed to become relevant by addressing local issues. If we had fewer states/ provinces, there would have been fear of domination by a specific segment (most likely from the Hindi speaking region) making centre-state relations more testy and people in far-flung areas more suspicious on the centre’s motives. Your call.Recommend

  • Ordinary Villager

    A nice article. Punjab was known to be welcoming and they were very much less nationalistic compared to any other region in Pakistan. But recently I have seen that in Punjab Nationalism is really gearing up. If Punjab will be divided then this Punjabi Nationalism will come into full force atleast in Upper Punjab and will replace both PPP and PMLN with Regional parties that will mark the new division on ethnic basis. Punjabis always remain non nationalist but if they will become one and will make their Own Parties based on models of MQM , BNP and ANP then it will be not a good sign for the harmony in this country. Many people in Upper Punjab are talking about creation of local parties like Punjab National Party or Punjab Party and we could see these parties in future and in the end National Harmony with only Punjab’s division will be increased and eventually it could lead to ethnic tension as well.Recommend

  • http://www.gmail.com khanzada wazir

    The division here seems more for the people aspirant of more powers and resources in their hands. Division of Punjab will create new problems much deeper than division of other provinces of Pakistan. The first and foremost will be division of water resources with the fact that all the five rivers flow from north Punjab to south Punjab and head works on these rivers are located in the North. It will be a constant issue between the two units. Resolution of boundaries and inclusion of Saraiki populated areas in the new province is another big issue. If the Saraiki populated areas of Sindh, Baluchistan and Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa are kept outside the new province, they will start agitation, as a result will bring ethnic division in the whole country. In my view a formula may be evolved through long debate not only in the parliament but in public, civil society and media, to decide the basis of creating new provinces. If provinces are created in haste just for political purposes, it will cause long lasting affects on the nation. This will definitely paved way for creation of Provinces like FATA, South PakhtoonKhwa to carved out of Baluchistan and Muhajir Province. FATA once created will go in the hands of religious parties and the demand of imposing Sharia on the pattern of Malakand will surface its neck and I am sure that the fight to suppress this movement will not be simple as was in Malakand. Creation of Muhajir Province will mean handing over of 75 % resources of Pakistan to MQM, which would mean either hand over the country or surrender before Muhajiristan. Recommend

  • Sami Malik

    I can envisage the rise and creation of local parties in Punjab and that will not be a healthy trend. If Punjabis becomes nationalist as pointed by author then more problems could arise but if we introspect then it could be good for preserving our culture, language, history and most of all we could progess more as Punjabis at present are made scapegoat of everything and they remain silent on many issues owing to national interests but our own national party could solve these problems for good.Recommend

  • Ali Syed

    Punjab has been divided… now let it go.Recommend

  • FaiselH

    A very well written article. Precise and to the point.
    Our Political Parties are run like dynasties. Before harping on the merits of this so called Democracy, all Political Parties should introduce Democracy first within.
    If Pakistan needs to be divided into more Provinces, then the first & foremost need arises with FATA & PATA.
    Make them into a new province, enforce the writ of law, implement good governance, make it a role model for any further divisions, if need be.
    Punjab should not be divided on the altar of petty politics.Recommend

  • http://www.czarlartelier.net Zaggi

    Could not agree more with the writer. People of provinces and the districts which are supposedly demanding provincial status should decide the fate. No political party or members of Parliament have this right. Resolution should be passed to hold referandum on the matter. Recommend

  • Asad Malik

    The size of the state of Texas is approximately 268,000 square miles while that of Pakistan is about 310,000 square miles. A single U.S state is about the same size as our country. Do you really believe the lies told about making Punjab easier to govern by dividing it into two provinces?

    My village in near Mianwali and there is NO DEMAND for a separate province by us ‘Saraeki brothers’. This is purely for election purposes to increase votes for the PPP led government and reduce the influence of Punjab. Recommend

  • Cynical

    ‘Who wins if Punjab is divided.’

    It’s not rocket science.It will be a triumph of TNT in it’s refined avtar. Recommend

  • Tahir

    Agree, devolution of power must be to local levels rather than provincial governments for long term economic development.Recommend

  • Farhan

    Dude! you better keep your opinions to yourself. Lahore is devouring the funds earmarked for whole Punjab. It is time that Lahore district be declared another province so that it gets its due share only. We in Multan are asking for an identity of our own for last 50 years. We are not Punjabis and don’t like to be referred as suchRecommend

  • http://www.tanzeel.wordpress.com Tanzeel

    Who wins if Punjab is divided.
    South Punjab in particular , Pakistan in general.Recommend

  • Lala Gee

    @Author:

    An excellent article, pristine analysis and articulate presentation. Totally agree with you that only referendum is a legitimate way to know the wishes of the people of Punjab and to decided which areas will to go with the new province, if any. Congratulations and welcome to ET blog.Recommend

  • Lala Gee

    @Farhan:

    “We in Multan are asking for an identity of our own for last 50 years.”

    Iqbal stressed for Muslim identity and brotherhood, Jinnah vouched for Pakistani identity, and you seek Multani identify. Everybody has different capacity and intellectual level.Recommend

  • Lala Gee

    @Qaisrani:

    “…..and preservence of their own culture.”

    What the Seraiki culture has to do with Baloch culture, if you know what I mean. That culture has already been diluted by a large number of Balochi settlers like yours own tribe of Qaisrani. Why is that you are so worried about the Seraiki speaking people of Punjab but totally ignore the those living in upper Sindh and Southern KPK.Recommend

  • Umair

    @Tanzeel:
    and who wins if sindh divides? Pakistan or Mutahida ? Recommend

  • http://www.tanzeel.wordpress.com Tanzeel

    @ Moderators:
    Please remove my last comment, its repeated.Recommend

  • Ordinary Villager

    @Qaisrani: So Mr Qaisarani It is Pretty strange that you dont want Referendum for creation of Seraikistan right now. The reason you are giving you are in Minority. So it means you want us to rule with minority while Majority will remain under you??????? Because you know if referendum will be held then Sahiwal Division, Jhang Division, Mianwali Division, Sargodha Division, Bahawalnagar and Bhakkar will always want to live with Punjab as they always identify themselves with Punjabi Identity. The Punjabi language Movement founder Nazeer Kahut belongs from Sargodha. Jhang is the Place of Punjabi FolkLore Heer and Ranjha. Also in Bhakkar there is a famous village known as Dullewalla which is the birthplace of Famous Punjabi fighter known as Dulla Bhatti and now Dullay Da Wair stories are still famous in Punjab. The language of Mianwali is same as of Khushab, Sargodha and Chakwal and it is unique language and is known as Ancient Punjabi. You can hear this language in recent Coke Studio Song of Chakwal group. Also the Majority of Mianwali are Maliks and Awans and they are Punjabis and Niazis are Punjabis too and Munir Niazi is one of the famous Punjabi Poets. The people of Mianwali will be stupid that they will make Multan as Capital which is more than 200 miles farther away from Lahore. In my view less than 20 percent of Mianwali are presumed Seraikis while more than 80 percent are Punjabis so who will will have more say in that region then???.Recommend

  • Sami Malik

    @Qaisrani: Ilaughed while reading your comment. You call Mr Durrani a settler. Do you Qaisarani and you are Baloch and Mr Durrani came from Afghanistan and settled here then you are a settler in Punjab. Also i think you dont live in Bahawalpur as except Balochs and Gailanis who are infact settlers want separation but the other tribes of Bahawalpur are all famous Punjabi tribes. The Bhatti, Maliks, Jatts, Gujjars, Kharal, Watto, Arain, Butt, Rajas, Khar and Qureshi are all Punjabi tribes and they are the same people who infact live in whole of Punjab and they have a huge history of living with Punjabi identity in the past.Recommend

  • Zalim Singh

    Punjab?Recommend

  • Rashid Kharral

    @Qaisrani, Dear Brother, Let me update you on Siraiki identity, What is Siraiki Identity & culture? Stop raping & twisting history. Siraiki is a fabricated word invented in late 60s & early 70′s by some enemies of the people of Punjab. if Siraiki was a language, why Baba Farid, Khawja Farid, Sultan Bahu, Waris Shah, Bulleh Shah did’t mention the Word Siraiki? If you could find Siraiki in their Poetry (Kalam) please show us. Furthermore Punjab mean 5 Rivers. Punjab, Yes the land of 5 rivers, will u update me on Multan’s geographical location? is it not surrounded by 5 Rivers? Please read H.A Rose (A glossary of the castes & Tribes of Punjab & NWFP) and update yourself. you would find your tribe a settler in Punjab. Also study linguistics, lexical similarities, dialect & accent. All linguists who carried out survey of Punjab during british occupation referred Multani as a dialect of Punjabi. Punjabi Language has various dialects & accents. Punjabi is not a caste, it represent a geographical region & its langauge. Be a a true Baluch who have integrated with Punjabi region. Recommend

  • Qaisrani

    @Rashid Kharral.bro i donot want to involve in this discussion as it will yield nothing.Matter of the fact is that we have been plundered by Upper Punjab and now can’t let any one to plunder us under one Punjab or land of 5 rivers mantra etc.We are alos fed up with the argument that people from That area has kept us ignorant.Real power belongs to punjabis and Punjabi establishment.Even Gilani and Zardari are powerless in Punjab than Shehbaz Shareef and PMLN.

    This comment is just to request you not to use the world”Stop Raping”.it’s not funny word to be used.I would request admin to please remove this word and donot let this word to be used again at any forum.Hope Kharral sb,you would not mind it.Recommend

  • Farhan

    @Rashid Kharral:
    Saraiki was a name given to dialects of various regional languages in the region of southern punjab. In Multan, it is still referred as Multani. There is a whole department of Saraiki in BZU Multan who have done extensive research to refute your arguments of Saraiki being a dialect of Punjabi. And land of 5 rivers finished to exist on Indus Basin treaty once Beas was given to India. Indus was not part of 5 rivers initially and later our school text books started counting 5 rivers including Indus. Correct your history as well please. Why do you want to keep us with you? So that you can use funds for Saraiki regions and use them to build ring roads over ring roads in LahoreRecommend

  • Farhan

    @Lala Gee:
    Bhai Jan! please come out of fanciful singular identity concepts. Pakistan is a multi-ethnic, multi lingual and multi identity country. Already you lost half of it by trying to impose western pakistan’s culture over eastern parts. I am a Muslim, Pakistani and Multani and there is no conflict in all three. But I am not a Punjabi and do not want to be part of Punjab anymore. We have waited for 60 years and seen our funds being used to build ring roads and underpasses in Lahore. Punjabis do not understand and will get the country further dismembered due to their intransigence. Today we are asking our province only, you stop it and we will ask our own Pakistan tomorrow free of Punjabi dominanceRecommend

  • Lala Gee

    @Qaisrani:

    “Even Gilani and Zardari are powerless in Punjab than Shehbaz Shareef and PMLN.”

    For your information, Shehbaz Shareef is a Kashmiri by origin and an immigrant. This quality of accommodating and assimilating other nationalities is only present in Punjab, which by the way, you are trying to subvert. Can you imagine a non-Sindhi being elected as CM of Sindh, or a Punjabi settler as CM Balochistan.

    Shehbaz Shareef is powerful in Punjab because people of Punjab voted him in power. Is he as powerful in other provinces as well as. Or, are you complaining why people of Punjab did not vote for PPP. If people like you are not happy even having your own Multani Prime Minister in power, who spent billions in Multan, then chances are you will never be happy in any setup.

    I have great respect for my Balochi brethern, but people like you are never happy. You were not happy in Balochistan, so you moved out to Punjab who gave you everything that other people have. You are not happy in Punjab either and asking for a separate province. I am sure, you will not be happy even in this new province and ask for another province for your people. Why don’t you move to Lahore, so that all of your miseries go away.Recommend

  • Naresh

    .
    I believe that, in 1966, Indian Punjab was divided into Punjab, Haryana and parts very transferred to the Union Territory of Himachal Pradesh to form the State of Himachal Pradesh.
    .
    Today, Punjab and Hayana produce more Food Grain then ALL OF PAKISTAN. Here it is pertinent to state that India gets less than Twenty Per Cent of the Indus Waters whereas Pakistan gets over Eight Per Cent of the Indus Waters.
    .
    Thus I would dispel the “Doom & Gloom” as I feel that the division of Pakistani Punjab should turn out to be beneficial not only for the new divided portions but also for Pakistan.
    .
    CheersRecommend

  • Naresh

    link text@Asad Malik Ji :
    .
    You stated “The size of the state of Texas is approximately 268,000 square miles while that of Pakistan is about 310,000 square miles. A single U.S state is about the same size as our country. Do you really believe the lies told about making Punjab easier to govern by dividing it into two provinces?”
    .
    The Population of Texas is about 26 Million. The Population of Pakistan is about 200 Million.
    .
    http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-13514-Population-shoots-up-by-47-percent-since-1998
    .
    As per the Article Population shoots up by 47 percent since 1998 the population share of Pakistan’s provinces is as follows :
    .
    As far as population proportion is concerned, 13.99 percent of the total population of the country has been reported in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in 2011, 2.32 in Fata, 47.52 in the Punjab – 95 Million about Four Times the Population of Texas,,28.73 percent in Sindh, 6.85 percent in Balochistan and 0.60 percent in Islamabad.
    .
    CheersRecommend

  • http://i.imgur.com/wPohA.jpg trollol

    Pakistan should just admit that it is incapable of running itself..it should disintegrate and give Punjab over to it’s rightful heirs..the Sikhs that is..long live Khalistan! hoping for the day when the horses are tied in Badshahi masjid again! Jo Bole So Nihal.. Sat Sri AkaalRecommend

  • Raj

    There is no such province called PUNJAB. Indian Punjab should be EAST DOAAB and Pakistani Punjab should be WEST DOAAB. River RAVI should be renamed as AAB-I- QATSEEM.Recommend

  • Farhan

    @trollol: Interesting comment trollol. But why do you want to put horses in Shahi mosque. Even Ranjeet singh did not do that. A just ruler does not do such things. So if you get a chance to rule whole Punjab in future, try to be a just rulerRecommend

  • Rai Rashid Kharal

    @Qaisrani,

    We the Kharral, Khar, Daultanas, Lakhwera, Khichi, Joyia, Watto, Cheema, Chhata, Ghaloo, Jhakar, Jabwana,Fatiana, Sial, Langrial, Noon, Wains,Tiwana, Khokhar, Bhatti, Aulakh, Chhdar, Hinjra, Gujjar, and various such clans belong to Rajput Jutt ancestry, besides us there are Arain, Awan, etc. Please count us and mark our geographical presence in Punjab. The presence of these clans on the Bars (banks of Rivers of Punjab) since centuries make them the real & original inhabitants of this land.
    We all have one identity, culture & Language. How it is ironic if a Pashtun & Baloch Settler of Punjab ( Langah, Durani, Qureshi Arab, Gilani Arab & Irani, & Various Baloch tribes want separate identity with in the punjab while living with us side by side since centuries. Your tribe has forgoten your forefathers language hence integrated and adopted our language either you call it siraiki, Multani, Lambochri, Darewali or Punjabi. PAGG & DHOTI is the culture of Punjab, From DG Khan to Jammu & From Patiala to Abbotabad and from DI Khan to Bahawalpur. We do not need help of a translator when we travel to all these areas of Punjab. If You really want your identity you may cross over to Khuzdar or Makran. God Bless my Brother Recommend

  • Qaisrani

    @Kharal sb,whatever you say,time for division of Punjba and end to Saraikis exploitation has arrived.”Takht e lahore” is doing it’s best to divide the Saraikistanis yet we will be happy to be free from cluthces of “Takht e Lahore” at least.
    As far as Saraiki as a dialect of Punjabi,try speaking Saraiki in Lahore,Faisalabad,Gujranwala and they will consider it something alien from Mars.Why so bro???

    Saraikki and Saraikistanis are contempted even their own lands at Bahawalpur,RY khan etc by the settlers who coniser them as inferior.Their lands have been plundered so as their culture.Balochs have settled in the area centuries before and they have well adopted culture,language etc.Ask some Punjabi settler to speak Saraiki in Bahawalpur and then see his reaction??So who aresons of soil???

    I donot want to continue this discussion at ethnic lines.But we want live as equal citizen and enjoy same status as our bretehrn in upper Punjab.and that will only be possible by our own province.Recommend

  • Cynical

    @Farhan

    I like your response to @trollol, the measured tone in particular and the piece of wisdom in it.
    I think @trollol was just acting funny while exibiting a poor taste.Recommend

  • Cynical

    @Lala Gee
    You say @Farhan,
    ‘Iqbal stressed for Muslim identity and brotherhood, Jinnah vouched for Pakistani identity, and you seek Multani identify. Everybody has different capacity and intellectual level.’

    What’s wrong in asking for ‘Multani identity’? Didn’t our eastern brothers asked for ‘Bangladesi identity’?Recommend

  • black and white

    …………..we have to see the issue in the light of our national experience over last 64 years, where we used the concept of strong centre to create, in extreme haste, one -language ( and hence one culture ) speaking country, which was to put an end to our divided polity – divided in terms of language, culture, ethnicity, sects, history etc! Well, the thinking at the back of it was that diversity is bad and homogeniety is good; and once we attained that stage of homogeniety we will become a strong nation, which no outsider could dare to look at with bad intentions! Look at it after the passage of 64 years and see the uncontrollable winds of ethnicity, which when combined with the underdeveloped status of these regions, gave birth to very powerful political movement, which cost us half of the country in the case of east pakistan. The argument to go ahead with the concept of strong centre would only have been applied if the same had helped us to equitably spread the process of the dvelopment in the country. The underlying power of ethnicity, was so strong that it gave birth to the selective development of the country – along the ethnic lines ; and the counterpart of that tragedy was that the underdevelopment in the country was also spread on the ethnic lines – which has now acquired political logic in some areas, which does not yield to any logic! In short and simple terms, we have no other option left than dividing Punjab so that Saraikis also prosper and establish their physical stakes in the country, which Bangalis and Baloachis could not and hence the ensuing tragedy!Recommend

  • Identity crisis

    After reading comments I concluded that not only govt. but also people of Pakistan contribute their share to be called FOOLS. It’s amazing as nobody wants to call himself Pakistani. Creation of new provinces will not decrease inflation, increase availability of CNG, eliminate poverty & reduce load shedding. Instead of taking firm stand against corrupt leaders; we prefer to stand against identity crisis. Our identity is Pakistani & few elected fools can’t divide us. India is far better in dealing with such issues. Contradictory, being a Muslim country we are facing such awful issue. Disgrace only.Recommend

  • Ali

    A purely administrative issue in which South Punjab could and should become a province in its own right, has now become a terribly politicized where Punjabi speaking folks are pitted against the Seraiki speaking masses. It is an established fact that of all the districts in Punjab, the ones on the southern belt are the most backward and the ones in the north fare better. There is no reason why the treatment of Southern Punjab by the elite should be made the only reason why a new province is required. Administratively, it makes sense and that should be it. Division of land on the basis of ethnicity is always a bad idea. We will pushed back centuries if we tread this path. Recommend

  • Qaisrani

    @identity crises.Let’s dismantle all provincial units to form only one province and similalry forget our identity and become muslim and Pakistan,will it solve all the problems enunciated by you??If so,then it’s OK to go with your concept of homogenity.

    Believe me,you are so innocent.
    Stop following Zaid Hamid too.PRecommend

  • http://i.imgur.com/wPohA.jpg trollol

    @Farhan:.hehe yeah sorry about that..:) being just isn’t an option in my book any more..would simply put the horses there to spite people :) there is no justice man..stop fooling yourself brother.:) no wait..allow me to do a u-turn on that.. actually there is divine justice..if there are problems in the world out there today then Al-Hakam is responsible for them..so I don’t know why everyone is complaining about everything..this is Al-Hakam’s master plan and if it means that people have to live in misery or divide themselves up in provinces then let it be people..sit back and amuse yourself to death..
    @Cynical: sorry about my bad taste…I just threw up and the bad taste in my mouth has gone to my brain
    @Identity crisis: yeah our identity is Pakistani..because the man with the hat and the cigar who never really knew much about anything told us so..but yeah I agree with you..the stand should be made against corrupt leaders..but in order to do so we must recognize first that this country was founded ‘for the corrupt and was founded by the corrupt’..:) only acknowledging this fact first can help us in fighting them…remember it was us Pakistanis (see now conveniently I will own up the Pakistani identity you want me to own up) who massacred other Pakistanis in East Pakistanis :)..oh no wait those weren’t Pakistanis those were dirty stinking Bengalis :)..so now we can’t complain about being victims of war crimes when drones come and kill our Pakistani Pashtun women and children when we don’t own up to the sh*t we do ourselves..so coming back to my original point..Pakistan was founded by the decadent for the corrupt and by the grace of Al-Hakam it has lived up to the dream of our forefathers who gave us the great opium of faith, the illusion of unity and the impossibility of discipline :)Recommend

  • Identity crisis

    @Qaisrani:
    Division will also not going to solve our problems. Try to accept the reality; division will not increase job opportunities or any other resource. Don’t follow these idiots in power. Don’t take this as prestige issue.
    Why didn’t anyone realize in 1990s that new provinces would bring prosperity. Why at the end of PPP’s term everyone is talking about linguistic difference. Simply they are playing with our sentiments to get vote. Despite of huge linguistic differences in india; I didn’t heard proposal of new province in India in last decade proposed by any minister.Recommend

  • Farhan

    Hear Hear! There is no need to make a new province if all the resources in Punjab are properly divided among districts according to some criteria. I will elaborate point by point
    Jobs: Punjab does not divide quota between South and North so North which is better developed and provides better chances gets bulk of jobs (government)
    Development Funds: No criteria or record exists other than the fact that south punjab districts are most backward in whole punjab (refer Qaisar Bengali Article in DAWN). Clearly ring roads and underpasses in Lahore are being built on money earned from our cotton exports of South Punjab.
    Education: Situation in front of you, no need to elaborate
    Language: Punjabis refuse to accept Saraiki as separate language. Why? Whats your problem?
    Economic: South punjab is terribly backwards compared to North. I have lived and worked across the breadth of Pakistan i.e. From Gilgit to Quetta. So I am speaking from experience. Only once you cross Sahiwal, you start finding mud housed villages along the road. I have lived in Sialkot and seen whole Narowal area and believe me that villages right next to border are far better than ones in South Punjab
    I would not want if Multan starts eating funds of DG Khan like Lahore is eating funds of whole Punjab. Ring road over ring roads are being built while our southern cities are full of broken roads and pot holes. I would rather say that divide the whole Pakistan into division sized provinces. Restructure provincial administration to reduce extra fat. We broke our country because of economic exploitation before and if Punjabis do not understand, Pakistan will continue breaking into pieces only till Lahore will be left with name of Pakistan. Better have some sense my Punjabi brothersRecommend

  • Farhan

    @Cynical:
    Thanks Cynical. I do not want to be a cyber warrior. What can you do to a person who is abusing you from across the river. So better don”t careRecommend

  • Shahzad Kazi

    @Farhan:
    By the way the entire Indus valley basin was part of Sindh. Historically the Seraiki belt was included in the Sindh province.Recommend

  • Identity crisis

    @trollol:
    lolzzz … current situation doesn’t allow me to disagree with your statement but now this is the time when we can say lessons are learnt, we have had enough of this bull sh** & we need to change this corrupt system. What happened in past; it is history and we can’t change our history. We can at least stand against corrupt system. I know it is not easy but remember where there is will there is way.Recommend

  • Farhan

    @Shahzad Kazi:
    And Multan was capital of Sindh. The current provincial boundaries are British marked and they were very bad in making boundaries. Indeed bulk of conflicts in Asia and Africa are due to wrongly marked borders by British before they left. They either did not understand or choose to ignore the historical and cultural significance while drawing bordersRecommend

  • Farhan

    @trollol:
    Your posts are very interesting indeed. I would love to sit with you and talk. You are right about most of the issues. But the confusion with divine is produced by our own minds. Once I read “Pakistan Aik Ishq, Aik Janoon” I kind of get upset. Pakistan is not more important than Pakistanis. People first. If they are better off out of it, so be it. If we can’t hold it without bloodshed, then better break it. (same analogy once houses are broken). While we condemn a husband who kills his rebellious wife rather than offering a divorce, we praise same action as a nation. Multan should stay part of Punjab or even Pakistan if it is notbeing exploited by Lahories. Otherwise better get out of it. This nation state is a European concept where states were hardly the size of cities. It is being wrongly imposed on us. But our puritans do not understandRecommend

  • http://i.imgur.com/wPohA.jpg trollol

    @Identity Crisis: you are right about one thing my friend..it sure as hell isn’t easy..but there is just too much apathy on our part man (at least I can say that for myself) to do anything..if you come to think of it there is a certain level of comfort that we enjoy (we who have fancy phones, computers and the time to read crap infested blogs (hehe no offence)) and sometimes I wonder if us who are privileged in anyway can do anything about it.anything really……I always picture someone with nothing to lose to do something about it (by nothing at all.I really mean nothing would mean to them..not their lives, not their families, not their god, nor their respect or ghairat…just some drive which knows nothing but that things have to be changed),..so I don’t know friend..I just say let things happen and imagine that we are some god watching things going on around us like it is some badly produced reality show)….and then those making claims that everything can be fixed in 30 days are too high on the opium of faith man..such a mindset scares the crap out of me..

    @Farhan: yeah man sure would be nice to talk..you make valid points brother..though don’t waste your time reading nonsense which upsets you..the puritans have institutionalized hypocrisy and are driven by a sense of morality that can very easily be tweaked to justify any and everything that they do.and that is the problem of puritans anywhere on this blessed planet..but that is how things are..this is how they control…I say reject everything they tell you and hate it from the depths of your heart..curse all teleological narrative and ridicule every universal/absolute belief that they have and show them how ridiculous their actions and justifications are by pointing a mirror at them..and if there is any hope left in them then perhaps they will realize that there are those amongst the herd that can be no longer be controlled! Recommend

  • feheema

    Division of Punjab will mean settlers/immigrants from Balochistan, Afghanistan, India, Sindh and other regions can demand division. On the same line Mohajirs have right demand division of Sindh. Many may not agree but this is bitter reality that most of residents of South Punjab had migrated from different regions in recent past i.e. about two hundred years and locals were either forced out or butchered.Recommend

  • Sid

    Its an internal matter of Pakistan, so as an Indian will tread these waters carefully.

    Some have compared Punjab to Texas. That is just plain stupid. Division makes sense from the perspective of population.
    Smaller provinces (in terms of population) are easy to govern. Smaller provinces encourage diversity and this where i think the author misses a huge point.

    Diversity is not a road block to success, it is a building block of success. India is not successfully despite diversity it is successful because of it.

    Diversity will allow different people to recognize their different traits and abilities and allow them to hone them. Homegenous masses tend to all do the same thing.Recommend

  • Nizamani

    The author states that “we do not have a history of a strong central state” The 30 year rule by the martial law administrators says otherwise. Recommend

  • Uza Syed

    Who wins if Punjab is divided? ——- PAKISTAN!Recommend