Why divide Punjab?

Published: January 10, 2012
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Making Karachi a separate province can be justified on all grounds - ethnic, linguistic, and administrative. PHOTO: AFP

“Why not create a Seraiki province in Sindh?”

This is my cardinal question to all those who want Punjab to be divided.

The MQM’s recent call for new provinces to be carved out in Pakistan has irked me a great deal. To explain my sentiment, here’s some background on the province of Punjab.  Many different dialects are spoken in this province, some of which include Majhi, Jhangochi, Pothohari, Saraiki, Jatki, Hindko, Chhachhi, Doabi, and Derewali.

The MQM has submitted a bill to the National Assembly calling for Punjab’s division on linguistic basis. What they don’t understand, perhaps, is that Seraiki is a just dialect of Punjabi and not a different language.

Moreover, the Seraiki population in Punjab is 17%, while 40% of Sindh’s population is Seraiki. Given these statistics, where should a Seraiki province first be made, Punjab or Sindh?

In the 1990’s, the MQM had a muhajir province in their manifesto – why aren’t they making a muhajir province in Sindh now? Why are they bent on breaking up other provinces? The population of Karachi has almost exceeded 20 million. This is twice the size of the Seraiki population in Punjab. Logically speaking, the top priority should be to make Karachi a province, not only because the law and order situation is worsening, but also because it is the financial capital of the country.

In addition to this, making Karachi a separate province can be justified on all grounds – ethnic, linguistic, and administrative. The MQM also holds the majority of seats in Karachi. Then why are they interested in dividing Punjab first, where they still don’t even have any mandate of the vote? Haven’t Punjabis already divided their motherland to become a part of the federation of Pakistan?

Another vocal supporter of the division of Punjab and Balochistan was the ANP. They wanted a Seraiki province in Punjab and a Pukhtoon province in Balochistan, however now they have changed their stance and are against the idea of division altogether.

Confusing? Well, that’s Pakistani politics for you.

Why, though, has the ANP changed its stance?

My guess is that this is primarily because the MQM has filed a bill for the Hazara province to be stamped in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and calls have also come up for Malakand to be established as a province. The ANP is, thus, worried that it will have less land to govern if two more provinces are carved out of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Isn’t it a violation of the constitution of Pakistan to take these bills to the National Assembly when the constitution clearly states that the division or demarcation of provinces will be decided by the provincial assemblies? Will it not weaken the federation further, when the centre decides on the division of federating units, which are semi-autonomous as declared by our constitution?

If  Pakistan carves out four more provinces out of all the federating units, will the treasury be able to bear the expenses of the offices of 16 chief ministers, governors, secretariats, chief secretaries, provincial secretaries, police chiefs, and many others? The creation of new provinces will not contribute towards provincial or federal revenue, in fact it will add an extra financial burden on the nation that already spends a large amount of its revenue on the defense budget.

However, if only the Seraiki province is created out of Punjab, it will lead to unequal representation in the Senate, and Punjab will have double the number of senators as opposed to other federating units. This will create a renewed sense of insecurity in the smaller federating units, who already complain about getting unequal representation in the National Assembly and that Punjab is dominating the national affairs.

The creation of new provinces will exacerbate these problems. They will bring political turmoil to a society that is already going through social polarisation.

Ali.Thair

Ali Tahir

A law student, studying at Szabist (Karachi) in the University of London International LLB Program. He tweets @AliTahirArain

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

  • Junaid C

    this was some common senseRecommend

  • Asad A.

    The only thing that makes sense is that MQM would want any other province to be divided before they push for Jinnahpur, obviously so there’s minimal resistance when they go ahead with it. It’s all dirty politics, prime example of ‘begaanay ki shaadi main Abdullah deewana” for now. Wonder why Gwadar was never allowed to develop? Gwadar’s progress is inversely proportional to that of Karachi. An unimportant Karachi is an emasculated MQM.Recommend

  • http://guldaan.wordpress.com/ Hamza Balouch(@H_Balouch)

    MQM done phd for creating “hot topics” for TV shows.

    New provinces is an attempt like “Marsha law in Punjab”, “awami referendum”!!Recommend

  • anonymous

    Dear Author…whats your age?????????????
    good Job!!! you have your five fingers posted on somebodys face…loveing it…Recommend

  • http://www.usmanasif.wordpress.com Usman Asif

    Good thoughts, but a questions

    How is Punjab going to have double the number of senators if a Seraiki province is created from Punjab?

    Furtheron, i do support a creation of a Seraiki province, not for the purpose of just creating provinces, but to reduce the dominance of one province alone in the parliament. It is not healthy to have one veto power in a federation.

    I have one old piece on the matter of provinces in the following link:
    http://usmanasif.wordpress.com/2011/08/06/divide-unite-and-rule-effectively/Recommend

  • Asjad Khan

    62% of Pakistani population is living in only Punjab …Ample enough reason to divide it more equally.The equal distribution of resources is as important as a strong army if not more.MAY BE MQM may have jumped the gun for a political leverage but after creation of Bangladesh and alienation of Balochistan, it is high time scare resources are used equally and fairly. After renaming of NWFP to KP…all provinces are divided on basis of Lingo…so why make an exception with Southern Punjab?Recommend

  • http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/author/13/syed-ali/ Syed Ali Raza Abidi

    Can you please show us a reference or proof of when MQM had Mohajir Province in their manifesto?Recommend

  • Kashif Iqbal

    Very good analysis. I second you Mr. Ali Tahir !

    Down with linguistic divisions. Recommend

  • Atif Ejaz

    Very well written, balanced articleRecommend

  • http://islamabad pakipower

    if we make the new province on linguistic basic,then seraikis are also in Baluchistan and on the other hand if it is an administrative Province the Karachi is the biggest administrative unit…Recommend

  • pakistan

    the writer is claiming that karachi has population of 20 million and should be divided further but he is forgetting that punjab has 62 % of Pakistan why not divide punjab?when you talk to create a seraiki province in sindh you have forgotten the fact the seraikis living in punjab want another province because of negligence from provincial Govt. while allotting funds.So i think its quite clear and justifiable that punjab should be divided.and the facts presented in the articles are completely wrong very sorry to listen that.Recommend

  • Ali Tipu

    MQM doesn’t have the mandate to talk about the people of KPK and Punjab. This is a fact and a reality. At best, it represents only a part of Karachi and that’s where it should focus its attention at. If they are hell bent on dividing Punjab and KPK by stirring controversy and WITHOUT laying out a complete and unanimous plan, the terms and conditions of creating new provinces, then they should also realize that tomorrow the Pakhtuns of Karachi can demand their own province to be created out of Karachi since they are in huge numbers there and another Seraiki province should be made in Sindh. Moreover Pakhtuns can also demand for one more province in Baluchistan. And if they are all for creating provinces for administrative issues, then Karachi should be made a separate province before making provinces elsewhere since it holds almost one tenth of the country’s population. So until and unless they figure this one out, all their rhetoric will only create more hatred and animosity towards each other.Recommend

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

    You’re too innocent to understand MQM’s smart politics, they have engineered it in a way that the more you criticize them on province demand the more benefit they would reap out of it. Recommend

  • Ebad Pasha

    Ali Tahir, You have understood the whole issue wrongly, or perhaps, all those who’re in support of the Seraiki province have. If you actually meet seraikis from sindh and punjab, you are to find out that those in punjab will claim being deprived, living in Punjab. On the other hand if you meet Sindhi Seraikis, they proudly associate themselves with SIndh. This is also the reason why, there have been no Sindhi Seraiki voices for a seraiki province in Sindh. However, this is not true for Punjab. The seriakis there, including the leaders want a separate province. This is because they believe they are not getting what is due to them and the central and northern punjab are taking away their share.

    As far as Karachi is concerned, there’s a reason it’s called mini-pakistan. It is the capital of the province and is not deprived in any way. MQM can not afford to talk about it being made a separate province because that will lead to an uproar in the province, including karachi. When the people of the city, and the province do not want it to be separated why should it? MQM is not accepting five districts being made out of Karachi district and we all know why. This also shows how MQM is not the sole representative of the city.Recommend

  • fahad siddiqui

    @ ali tipu……”MQM doesn’t have the mandate to talk about the people of KPK and Punjab” then why on earth politician from KPK and Punjab cry for Karachi. this is a real nonsense. MQM has a representation in National assembly and they can give their opinion on anything.

    Reading this article and comments reminded me what my g.ma use to say “bad acha badnam dura” MQM is always criticize for not speaking other ethnicities or issues outside Karachi. And when they do it people find a point in it as well. ( TTP can grow in Pakistan but MQM should be stop. do a “Aman muhaida” with TTP. but take the war to the houses of MQM workers”

    And for those who are and will remain in the state of denial. MQM is King maker in PakistanRecommend

  • http://urduseek.com Ks

    Next Jinah Pur province…. Recommend

  • Qaisrani

    @author.Such a biased article with extreme nationalist ideology.

    Have you ever been to South Punjab??I am sure never.

    How many bureaucrats,army officers,professors,Judges have you seen in Pakistan who belong to Saraikistan? Have you seen how the Saraikistanis face differ from Punjabis due to poverty.Have you witnessed Villages in central Punjab to villages in South Punjab?

    If you d’not like MQM then it’s OK.but d’not push us to the wall.As MQM has put this bill in senate,so all the Saraikis be punished.Strange.

    In order to reduce Punabis representation in senate,should we let Saraikis to starve??In senate there is majority of Pushtuns,why not to change that 1st hailing from Balochistan,FATA and KPK.

    You have enumerated demography of Saraikis etc,can’t you enumerate funds,fly overs,pink buses for women,Universities and medical colleges in Lahore and central Punjab.It took more than century to pass the bill in Punjab Assembly on 4th January to establish 1st University in 8th of it’s dera Ghazi Khan Division which is even backward than Balochistan while same in population.

    Look at the comments section,all the comments are coming from Punjabis applauding this biased article.Can’t the Saraikis read and comment??Why so??because they d’not have resources.

    Divide Punjab,Long Live Saraikistan,Long Live Pakistan.Recommend

  • Sharjeel

    totally agreed..:)
    looks as if the establishment has one agenda: RULE OUT PML-N AND NAWAZ SHARIF cuz apparently he is the only to give GHQ a tough time.. by creation of a Seraiki province the vote bank of PML-N could be broken and thus the biggest province population wise could be controlled..

    Note: I AM NOT A NAWAZ SHARIF FAN BUT THIS IS WHAT I SEE…Recommend

  • Waqas Farooq

    Right Said Ali, Probably MQM trying to achieve its objective using others shoulders. They think that the only way to gain popularity & soft corner among the Pakistani people is to ignite ethinicity (What they did in past as Muhajir Qaumi Movement). What MQM believes that new provinces is the core issue against development of Pakistan infact this is the assignment they has taken from Mr President to engage media & political parties till senate elections, Recommend

  • Hameedullah

    To the author;
    “Moreover, the Seraiki population in Punjab is 17%, while 40% of Sindh’s population is Seraiki. Given these statistics, where should a Seraiki province first be made, Punjab or Sindh?”

    Your reference clearly says that 92% of Siraikis in Pakistan live in Punjab(means Siraiki population is more condensed in Punjab. 17% may be the result of huge population of province) so if there is any provisions for new provinces then Siraiki province should definitely be made in Punjab but there is no any permission to make any “new” provinces but only altering the provincial boundaries and that too with province’s consent. Second your reference doesn’t say 40% of Sindh’s population is “Siraiki”. It says 40% speak “Sindhi Siraiki” , a huge difference.

    “Haven’t Punjabis already divided their motherland to become a part of the federation of Pakistan?”
    Does this statement of yours translate that Sindhi people joined the federation to get divided?

    “In addition to this, making Karachi a separate province can be justified on all grounds – ethnic, linguistic, and administrative.”

    It is not justified on any ground. Karachi is already divided on 5 administrative units which are manageable if off course MQM wants (insisting on it’s one district status). In fact creation of provinces on administrative grounds is a fallacy because districts anywhere in Pakistan are basically “administrative units”. We need good governance to make things better not new provinces. Regarding division of Karachi on ethnic grounds too is not justified because Karachities are not one nation/ethnicity while Siraikis are.

    I suspect you are Punjabi(only my guess) and you are angered on division of your homeland but please bear in mind that we Sindhis do feel the same way about our homeland.Recommend

  • Rehan Ali

    Why not abolish all the provinces and keep the local body governance. As for the senators let there be a technocratic criteria for the house and it should be elected through voting for political parties such as PPP, PTI, JI, PML (proportionate representation). This way inter-provincial rifts created in the last 62 years would loose ground.

    As you rightly said the exchequer will not be required to fund the 5 cheif ministers, governors, secretaries and their cronies. Recommend

  • Umer

    Why divide Punjab?

    At least two good reasons;

    Punjab has almost double the population of UK and UK is divided in several states Scotland, England, Wales etc. Divining Punjab will help in administration.
    Siraikis for one do not want to remain under the thumb of Takht-e-Lahr as their wealth is mostly spent on Lahore and not in Siraki areas.

    Why is Takht-e-Lahore always so resistant to give rights to others; Bengalis, Sindhis, Baluchis, Pashtoons, Urdu Speakers, Siraikis — and instead prefers to treat them as slaves? Lahore is no longer capital of Moghal Empire so grow up and act democratic.Recommend

  • Hasan

    Here is the reason for dividing Punjab. No one provinces should have that much control of the population, resources and the “establishment”. Punjab has had that since 1971 and the rest of the provinces suffer as a result of it.

    India, at the time partition in 1947 had 14 Provinces. It now has 28 states and 7 union territories. That is the BIGGEST reason in favor of the division of Pakistani provinces.

    Baluchistan needs to be a north and a south, KP needs to be a K and a P, the Tribal areas need to be a provinces, Azad Kashmir needs to be a provinces, Punjab needs at least one division, maybe two. Sindh needs one division. It all needs to happen but it has to start with Punjab.Recommend

  • http://www.farukipulpmills.com saleem ullah

    It is very easy to understand the formula, that starting from Punjab and then all the provinces follow the same trend.And it should not be stopped after creating two or three provinces only. The score must be reaching to six. That is the right way to control and develop the country effectively. Recommend

  • http://bigsaf.newsvine.com bigsaf

    Weird…Punjabis against a Seraiki province are usually against a Karachi province too. Most rather not see any province formations, at least on ethnic linguistic lines, not realizing their own large hegemonic footprint. I wouldn’t be surprised if most interior Sindhis were for a Seraiki province but against a Karachi one. Part of the motivation is indeed to devolve absolute power from Punjab.

    Putting aside the constitutional scope of who can/can’t push the agenda, there is a good ethical and pragmatic case in carving up both Punjab and Sindh based on their population, district concentrations and hegemonic federal controls, usually neglecting one group or area over the other.

    ANP’s change in political stance, or hypocrisy, for supporting new provinces in the name of equality then balking at giving up their own privilege and power for Hazara rights is not surprising. It’s the age old reactionary ethnic protectionism, in this case for it’s majority Pashtun supporters. This is really the curse of our entire country which is reflected in our politics. PML-N is Punjabi dominated, PPP is Sindhi dominated, MQM is Urdu speaking dominated, etc.

    Until we promote education and equality for everyone of all ethnic/religious backgrounds overlooking community differences, mistrust, bigotry, favouritism, discrimination, it’ll unfortunately be what it is.

    Pak itself is a manufactured country, so the violin music of Punjab being divided, while retaining cultural roots and hegemonic institutional majority power over other ethnicities, means little to disaffected Baluchis, Sindhis, Urdu speakers, Pashtuns, etc who too lost a lot, if not more and everything, with the formation of the federation of Pak. Disconnecting them from their original cultural origins (Urdu-speakers, Pashtuns) and created new demographic realities making local natives nervous for their fates (Sindhis, Baluchis).

    Naturally other groups such as Hazaras and Seraikis feel the same and lack true representation, not to mention the religious sectarian skewing in areas like Gilgit-Baltistan where Deoband law makers reside over a majority Shiite population diluted with Sunni migrants.

    Issues are finally at least being seriously discussed. Recommend

  • Pakistan Khan

    @ Author
    Dude! First learn to do some credible research. Saraiki is not a dialect of Punjabi. Have you ever heard Saraiki? If you are a Punjabi, I bet you would never be able to speak it. And also learn to respect, other people’s point of view. Go study some authentic history books. You would get to know that before Sikh rule, Multan and other Saraiki areas have been a separate state/province for thousands of years. Saraiki language and culture is way different from Punjabi. Go to Saraiki belt, you would find out how much people hate Punjab due to its colonialist policies there. And Saraiki area belongs to only Saraikis. They don’t need to go to Karachi or anywhere else. If you are uncomfortable with Saraiki province then go to Indian Punjab (where your Sikh brethren live. For you kind information Ranjit Singh and his coterie is hero for Punjabis but for Saraikis they are villain. Difference should be clear now!)Recommend

  • Ali Tanoli

    Why not divide punjab i will say divide KP BALUCHISTAN SINDH TOO.Recommend

  • raza

    it’s a good move to make more provinces in Pakistan , and thus provincal autonomy would be giving out to the people of the provinces, we have quota for CSS exam right? is there any quota for saerieki or urdu speaking or bilty speaking!! and Karachi will also become a province one day Inshallah!! and they should make as many provinces they can because this will give them equal rights and then power will be decentralize from the higher authority!! have to ever been to south pujab have you seen the situation there?! only one university and one hospital caters the whole south punjab!!! and one more thing eventually quota system has to end if more provinces will form!!! and as you know whole of pujab is controlled frm lahore by PML N so by creating provinces power will be distributed and funds will reach to common man!! and 2ndly kid sarieki is demanded by people of south punjab not sindh!! and poor people of sindh dunt even know who’s the president of state how can they ask for province !! after making new provinces ruling territories will be small and leader will be in approach!! i am not in favour of MQM, and plzz dont think i am a sareiki !! i am a pure urdu speaking, who have lived in lahore for 4 years and have seen people duying for new province!!!
    thanksRecommend

  • Hassan

    @ Writer

    MQM NEVER had a Muhajir province in its manifesto. Kindly research before posting articles.Recommend

  • raj

    u guys are funny , i jus wanna ask u one question and tht is if u think tht mqm is raising the point of making up new provinces than who are those people in those areas wants seperate provinces? since many of u guys been sayin tht mqm doesnt have one concellor or mpa frm tht areas, to those i would like to advice tht u can get ur desire answer frm ur question of wht u saying, cuz by sayin this tht mqm doesnt hold any representation in these areas, means tht there are other forces ( ordinary local people), who are demanding fr a seperate province, so mqm is the only party who took an initiative to raise the voices of the people of these areas in the national assembly. Recommend

  • Faith Betrayed

    MQM believes in its cultural hegemony over the native cultures of Pakistan. The imposition of Urdu and Lakhnavi culture is considered sacred and is the basis of Pakistaniat. Anyone who wants better status for the native langauges of Pakistan is either a traitor, agent of Hindu Lobby or a cultural degenerate. The people of MQM have a historic bias against other cultures and their centuries old biases form the fundamental approach of MQM which only recently adopted “Mutahida” in its name so as to expand its cultural promised land from Karachi to entire Pakistan. I bet the admin will not have the authority to publish this bitter fact.Recommend

  • Amjad

    @Pakistan Khan: I don’t know where you get your information but most linguists do consider Seraiki a dialect of Punjabi and for that matter Hindko spoken in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa is also a dialect. I suggest you reference a classic text on South Asian languages to prove this to yourself. Granted Seraiki may take time for a native Punjabi speaker to master but don’t kid yourself. As a dialect, it can be learned relatively easily by any native Punjabi speaker of the standard West Punjabi dialect. Incidentally, the Western Punjabi dialects as spoken in Pakistan are noticeably different than the dialects of Punjabi spoken in the Eastern Punjab of India. Any native Punjabi speaker can usually make out the origin of a Punjabi speaker from India. You are sadly mistaken when you state that Pakistani Punjabis consider Ranjit Singh a hero. Sikhism is a relatively new religion to the Punjab whereas Islam has been there over 1000 years. If you had any idea of how the majority Muslims and Pashtuns of Pakhtunkhwa suffered under the brief Sikh rule, you would never make such a comment. Lahore in particular had many of its Muslim monuments defaced by the Sikhs during their brief rule.Recommend

  • Furqan

    The sky will not come down if Punjab is divided for administrative purpose. The way Shareefs are ruling in the Punjab, a population of more than 9 Crore and still they claim they are not the rullers, seems funny, don’t you think?

    People in various parts and in great numbers demanding such demands and mind you sir jee, even Sharifs and the ruling party (PML N) acknowledges the demand and says that we also want New Provincies to be established but not on linguistic but administrative basis, (What the hell of hypocratic behaviour is this, yes this is PML N.

    Once they used to say that we will not accept LOTTAS and now all sorts of LOTTAS are welcome in PML N

    Punjab and other provinces should be divided into small portions so that the situation can get better. Recommend

  • aziz

    Long Live Raja Ranjit Singh.Recommend

  • Yamna Khan

    “Haven’t Punjabis already divided their motherland to become a part of the federation of Pakistan?”

    I hope you realize that Muhajirs LEFT their motherland to become a part of the federation of Pakistan!
    Next time please keep this in consideration before you make such an arrogant statement!Recommend

  • satwant

    punjab was made by punjabis,under maharaja ranjit singh. a country full of energatic ,humble, loving,caring,law and order, giving, etc.punjabis become royal,high earner, prosper, and most of all feeder to the rest of land. not only rest of todays india and pakistan.what did we get for thanks. divide and rule. divison of punjab in india.and that s what going on in pakistan.these marshal punjabi there languge, cultur, heratage,has to be distroit. wake up you punjabis. our love for each other is superior. hindu, sikhs, muslims of punjab never wanted punjab split. spliting was 1st move. more on the way.best management is . who makes you do the things they wants ,without asking. kill your self,hate yourself. my parents tought me never hate any oine, its punjabi way of living. my forfathers suffer lots. but i still love all punjabis. today i sit in canada.and have lots of punjabi friends of pakistani punjabi muslims. push to open border of punjab. no needs this border. come and see punjabi muslims living and controling malarkotla area. in town i meet lots sikhs and hindus living side by side.one of our muslim daughter from malarkotla got best teacher award from u.s.a. she still lives in chicago .go and see muslim pro. and students of ludhiana collages. in punjab you find best punjabi singers muslim.ie india punjab.please dont split punjab any more. enough has been done. long live punjab mera .punjabi sadi boli. we are lions of the area. love is our —for all. satwantRecommend

  • Ali T.

    @Yamna Khan:
    People tend to forget Muhajirs. Be it the Urdu Speaking one’s or the Punjabi speaking ones who had to flee for their lives leaving their ‘homeland’ and bearing atrocities committed by the Sikhs and other people from that side :) Recommend

  • Ich Dien

    Although i am a Punjabi hailing from chakwal I see no reason why Punjab or any other province should not be divided into smaller administrative division. Like someone from Sadiqabad has to travel 600km to reach Lahore to get his official work done, people from Ghotki have to travel 600km to Karachi for same purpose. I think it is unfair on all parties, but what should be decided is what will be reason for division either it should be area or population or language or any other. Tomorrow people might ask for division just on the basis of the tribe or caste they belong to just because of their numbers for example Awans are in majority in large areas of Rawalpindi, Attock, Chakwal, Jhelum, Sargodha, Khushab and Mianwali, what if tomorrow they ask for province by the in these areas…. .would that be fair???
    One more question …. if after the division of Punjab into say 3 smaller units other provinces will promise to stop crying about PUNJAB ESTABLISHMENT you will have my vote for the division.Recommend

  • raj

    @aziz: hahahaha!
    bro jus raj Recommend

  • http://www.shahabhameed.blogspot.com Muhammad Shahab

    The distance of Ghotki to Karachi is approx 400 km .

    Source : http://www.tiptopglobe.com/city?n=Ghotki&p=64319#lat=28.01670&lon=69.31670&zoom=7

    Secondly, I do support the division of provinces in Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan and KPK but not based on linguistic purposes , but on administrative purposes.

    Yes I agree Karachi is a big city and it should be made a province, dividing it into smaller cities for better administrative government.

    The author of this post is a biased in favour of Punjab. He does support creation of more provinces but is against division of Punjab because by doing so he believes Punjab will lose its majority power votes.Recommend

  • Grace

    @Pakistan Khan: If you want the majority native people of Pakistan who are Punjabis to move to another country like India where they will be a minority, how will that solve the issue of good governance? It’s sad to be making such statements when we are talking about how best to improve the administration of different areas of Pakistan. I know many Pakistanis of Punjabi background and none of them celebrate Sikh rulers over KPK province or Pakistani Punjab which is what you imply. I think you have your own issues against Punjab but try to see things in terms of what is best for Paksitan. After all, Pakistani Punjab is already the best governed province in Pakistan despite all of its faults. Maybe you should consider moving to India since you have an issue with the majority people of Pakistan?Recommend

  • A Seraiki

    “Seraiki is a just dialect of Punjabi and not a different language.”
    for your information seraiki is a DIFFERENT language.
    how can such an uninformed person write for a mainstream media group???
    and thx to punjabi dominance most seraikis cant read or write so u wont find many comments by seraikis here(just check the HEC’s website to see the number of universities in southern punjab)Recommend

  • Abira

    You make some good point Ali. But I think the question to be asked is what are the legitimate grievances of the people demanding Saraiki autonomy? Is it because of cultural and economic marginalization? I visited park of the Saraiki province in Punjab last year. There is a case of the Multan High Court which finds that peasant lands were illegally usurped by military generals. There are also some big canal projects that worked to the detriment of the Saraiki people. Please read articles by Mushtaq Gaadi. Should we be questioning military hegemony as you yourself point out the defense budget is very high? I do not believe in division of provinces but complaints should be addressed.

    Otherwise good work!! Impressed that you are so capable. :)Recommend

  • Awareness

    I don’t know why these politicians don’t understand, and media DO NOT promote that the constitution of Pakistan DOES NOT allow the creation of new provinces even if they get 100% votes in assembly (2/3 is enough to pass a bill)

    Waiting for they when they declare the constitution too, as “Just a piece(or bundle) of paper”Recommend

  • Shahzad Kazi

    @Usman Asif:
    Currently each province has 26 senators. This provides equal representation in the upper house. If Punjab is broken up into two provinces, then the total number of senators will go up to 130 from 104. Punjab currently has 25% share in the senate; if you put together the two provinces coming out of the existing Punjab, then its share would go up to 40% or 52 out of 130.Recommend

  • Shahzad Kazi

    @Qaisrani:
    The assumption here is that if a separate Seraiki province is created, funds and resources would appear magically and everyone would be happy. If Southern Punjab is poor, then it implies that this region has limited resources. If it were made into a separate province, then it would end up controlling these meager resources with a huge increase in administrative expense. In the end the resources available would end up being even less than the ones available currently.
    Now on the other hand, if the Seraiki belt contributes in a big way to Punjab in terms if tax and other revenue then the argument for a separate province might make sense.Recommend

  • Shahzad Kazi

    @Pakistan Khan:
    In ancient times Multan and the Seraiki belt was part of Sindh. If you look at old maps, India is split into Sindh and Hind. The Indus valley basin was all Sindh.Recommend

  • Raja Islam

    @Yamna Khan:
    Nobody asked you to do so. Migration was done willingly in some cases, while forced in other, but the Pakistanis never asked Indian Muslims to migrate. Mass migration from India to Pakistan not only hurt the immigrants, but also harmed the indigenous population. Recommend

  • Shahzad Jatt

    Noone can divide Punjab. those who try are playing with fire and will get burned.Recommend

  • stenson

    @Pakistan Khan: You need to read more. Seraiki is a dialect of Punjabi and no Pakistani Punjabi likes Raja Ranjit Singh who robbed Lahore and hurt majority Muslim Punjab. The Pashtuns also hate him because he abused Pashtuns in Peshawar and vale area. I think you prefer India to Pakistan when you say things against Pakistanis.Recommend

  • Tahir

    No doubts the blogger has pointed out the right issues. Would he like to explain through another blog how the senate composition will be affected if more provinces are created? If Punjab is divided, then we may expect that dominance of Punjab in Senate will again creat inequility among provinces.Recommend

  • Yamna Khan

    @Raja Islam:
    Just the fact that you are currently using the words “Indian Muslims” to represent Muhajirs shows your thinking. I would like to reiterate the fact that Muhajirs ARE Pakistanis! So please clear your facts!
    Secondly, your statement about it hurting the immigrants is in fact true and this may actually make you think about the fact that they sacrificed so much and yet they are still treated as second-grade citizens. These “Indian Muslims”- as you put it- left much land, luxuries and wealth (which I doubt many of you-so-called-Pakistanis would ever willingly do), sacrificed so many members of their family and have faced a lot of atrocities. So again, next time please THINK before you make such comments!
    (Although I am not really an MQM supporter, after seeing such comments I do understand where they come from.)Recommend

  • http://www.usmanasif.wordpress.com Usman Asif

    @Shahzad Kazi:
    Yes indeed, the combined strenght will indeed increase, but fact of the ground will be two provinces, with their own separate interests. Another factor is the political party those legislators belong to from each respected province. Their allegiance will be to the political partys manifesto and not necessarily to their co-provincial politicians who belong to other parties.

    I do not find the argument that a combined punjabs strenght will increase if the province is separated to be comprehensable. Two provinces will have two different administrations and hence two different interests, even if the same political parties ruled both of them.Recommend

  • faran shakir

    first to congratulate Mr.Ali that our young generation is having keen eye on what we are and from which we r going through.

    yes the scenario is quite disturbing, this game is only to be played under immense pressure, how to earn more from divisions and from province.
    all the political parties are not delivering as they had to. so they thought to play a wild goose chase among each other. KPK shouting for Hazara, PML N and MQM shouting for Sariki
    did they tried to understand how much they performing and still willing to get positive response from public and constitution of Pakistan. No body is thinking how to give relief to the nation just a game of card is set on the ground of Pakistan just play, if u ruled out get advantage of NRO and enjoy some years of holiday in other country and than come back with new ideas of how to manipulate people and there own selves.Recommend

  • Sagad

    @Usman Asif:
    Beacuse in Senate (Upper House) every province is given equal representation, this means the present Punjab, after division, will have double the seats as compared to other three provinces. Recommend

  • Khan Jee

    Please make one province for me…….. PlzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzRecommend

  • Asif Ali

    the creation of new provinces would not guarentee the solution of all problems. if it were, then balochis would not have had reached at current threshold position. therefore, it is just a political gimmick. in country like Pakistan, unfortunately, though we were one nation before the partition of india, devolved into many. resultantly, we lost east Pakistan because of hegemonial role of Punjabi bureaucracy.still all the provinces except Punjab, have same grievances as the Bengalis had. eventually, it is imperative for the existence of this country that Punjab should be divided into two units. there is no harm in doing it. however, as for as the question of division of sindh is concerned, the seraikis have intertwined theirselves with the sindhi culture,and furthermore, they are living spontaneously in all sindh. but in case of Punjab, the seraiki population and the areas of seraiki dominated population have some historic backgrounds. let me remind you that Multan had remained the part of sindh for centuries. so i do respect your sentiments, but think logically.Recommend

  • Asif Ali

    the creation of new provinces would not guarentee the solution of all problems. if it were, then balochis would not have had reached at current threshold position. therefore, it is just a political gimmick. in country like Pakistan, unfortunately, though we were one nation before the partition of india, devolved into many. resultantly, we lost east Pakistan because of hegemonial role of Punjabi bureaucracy.still all the provinces except Punjab, have same grievances as the Bengalis had. eventually, it is imperative for the existence of this country that Punjab should be divided into two units. there is no harm in doing it. however, as for as the question of division of sindh is concerned, the seraikis have intertwined theirselves with the sindhi culture,and furthermore, they are living spontaneously in sindh. but in case of Punjab, the seraiki population and the areas of seraiki dominated population have some historic backgrounds. let me remind you that Multan had remained the part of sindh. so i do respect your sentiments, but think logically.Recommend

  • Shanawaz

    Rubbish argument
    I would be more happy from divided panjab as if u want to save pakistan
    have u have ever heard about ayub khan’s 2 unit system for balancing 5ft height people.
    You are talking about senate but what about national assembly.which cover more than half seats.
    My son tahir sindh’s 40% population is seriki where u get this non sense data
    if i stick to it then 25% are urdu speaker and 25% are baloch.so then i m right to say that in sindh, sindhis are only 10%
    hahaha what a jokeRecommend

  • Shahzad Jatt

    Dividing Punjab will result in anarchy. Respect the federating units, only then can you respect Pakistan. Recommend

  • M. Amir

    Very happy to see your articale. it depicts true picture of MQM policy against baseless division of punjab.Recommend

  • Samina Amir

    Nice article, showing true face of MQM which they show in day to day politics.
    Keep it up your efforts on all true and important issues.Recommend

  • Homa

    The seraikis of india should also have a voice in all of this. As a hindu with seraiki roots I am concerned about the destiny of seraiki and the seraiki homeland (multan, dera ismail khan, dera ismail khan etc). Our homeland was snatched away from us. I demand that a portion of the seraiki territories be given to india so that the hindus ie the original seraikis can revive and safeguard the original and refined seraiki culture which is being destroyed by the dominant cultureless muslim punjabi clique of pakistan. Recommend

  • Maria

    @A Seraiki: What world do you live in ? Since you don’t to hear this from a Pakistani, I want you to reference British texts about South Asian languages and especially read Richard Burton- the preeminent linguist of the British Raj. Linguists consider Seraiki a dialect of Punjabi. Perhaps you want to say all language texts are wrong then and write your own book. Even if Seraiki is a dialect of Punjabi, what difference does it make. Multan was part of ancient Sind, part of Afghanistan and now part of Punjab. Durrani the founder of the Afghanistan was born in Multan too.Recommend

  • Shahzad Jatt

    MQM should concentrate on Jinnahpur.Recommend

  • viki

    if we break the punjab means break the heart of PAKISTANRecommend

  • Jafery

    Because more, smaller provinces or states or whatever you want to call them is better for the administrative purposes, as well as for the democratic process. And I am from north punjab and I support creation of smaller provinces – although you could argue such division may not be purely ethnic or linguistic.Recommend

  • Homa

    Seraiki is not a dialect; it is an independent language with its own idependent culture. Recommend

  • Ata-ur-Rehman Tariq

    DIVISION OF PUNJAB INTO FIVE SMALLER PROVINCES
    By: Prof. Dr. Ata-ur-Rehman Tariq (e-mail: [email protected])
    Political polarization in Punjab suggests that the province of Punjab may be divided into five (5) administrative provinces with “equal stature” based on population and area. The province names may be related to geographical or cultural features of the area only. A transition time of 2 to 5 years may be set to resolve matters of province name; political bodies (cabinet, sub-assembly, etc); province boundary; capital city; administrative arm; resources and liabilities; irrigation water rights and canal operations. During transition time the provinces may be governed by Punjab as sub-provinces. The Punjab province will cease to exist when these provinces attain full province status.
    Punjab has population of 73.6 million (1998 census) and has area of 205,344 sq.km. There are 36 districts in Punjab. The provinces should have equivalent administrative weight based jointly on percent population and area of each province.
    NEW PROVINCES: The five new provinces and districts included are: 1. Rohtas or Potohar: 1-Attock, 2-Rawalpindi, 3-Chakwal, 4- Jhelum, 5- Gujrat, 6- Mandi Bahauddin, 7- Sarghoda, 8- Khushab, 9-. Mianwali; 2. Shalimar: 1-Sialkot, 2- Narowal, 3- Gujranwala, 4- Hafizabad, 5- Lahore, 6- Sheikhupur, 7-Nankana Sahib, 8- Kasur; 3. Rechna: 1- Faisalabad, 2- Chiniot, 3- Jhang, 4- Toba Tek Singh, 5- Okara, 6- Pakpattan, 7- Sahiwal, 8- Khanewal; 4. Roohi or Sutlej: 1- Vehari, 2-Lodhran, 3- Bahawal Nagar, 4- Bahawal Pur, and 5- Rahim Yar Khan; 5. Sind Sagar or Thal or Ghazi: 1- Bhakhar, 2- Layyah, 3- Multan, 4- Muzaffar Garh, 5- DG Khan, 6- Rajanpur.
    CAPITAL: A new city should to be established to house capital of new provinces so that population can reach the capital easily. The capital city should be limited to administrative purposes only. No large scale business, industrial, commercial, educational, and housing etc activities may be allowed in city.
    GOVERNANCE DURING TRANSITION: The Punjab Chief Minister may appoint Deputy Chief Minister for each province who picks a sub-cabinet with the approval of the Chief Minister. The CM, DCMs, Punjab and provinces’ Ministers constitute Punjab Government. The Punjab Assembly may also be partitioned into sub assemblies but rulings of sub-assemblies’ to be approved by Punjab Assembly.Recommend

  • Raza

    Some good points in the article, but the author has missed out a lot of pros for creation of new provinces which should be included in any critical analysis. As far as the MQM goes, it holds NA representation, so there is nothing wrong with tabling a bill if there is merit to it; if you choose to think otherwise, then thats your opinion, but a lot of people are in favor of more provinces after all. Also, it does make sense to have Karachi as a separate province (for the sake of administration) but not to have Seraiki or Pakhtun provinces since there are no clear areas where those ethnicities reside (unlike Urdu speakers and Sindhi speakers), as they are merged within Karachi only. Kindly research on Karachi’s demographics before claiming that it should be made a separate province on the basis of ethnicity; Karachi houses people from most ethnicities of the country, even if Urdu speakers are a clear majority. Recommend

  • Shahzad Jatt

    What a hypocracy. Punjab can be divided, Sindh can’t ?Recommend

  • Raja Islam

    @Yamna Khan:
    Think about it this way. A bunch of refugees come to Sindh seeking help. The locals give them refuge. The refugees start to take over the administration and start imposing their language and culture on the indigenous population. Claim that all of them were wealthy in India (which is not correct) and demand compensation for property and wealth (that never existed) that they left behind. Get a lot of benefits and start pushing the local population out of the major cities initially by taking over the surrounding villages in the name of development and then by killing the locals. Demand that they (the refugees) have a right to rule the country as they are superior and have sacrificed a lot and therefore Pakistan is their birth right. At the same time refuse to adopt the local identity and call themselves Delhi Wala, Lucknow Wala, Bihari, etc.
    Think about it this way that a bunch of Pakistanis migrate to Canada and start demanding that it is their right to govern Ontario province and by the way Urdu should be made the national language of Canada.Recommend

  • Shahzad Jatt

    Raja Islam, Spot on bro.Recommend

  • Amjad

    @Raja Islam: I agree that no other nation on the earth has been so accommodating as Pakistanis in general or Sindis in particular. Whether Afghani refugee or Indian migrant or Central Asian migrant, Pakistan has welcomed many people with open arms even when people don’t consider Pakistan their home.Recommend

  • Jiey bhutto

    If Pakistan is not divided into more provinces, it will divide into countries and Punjab would become a poor landlocked nation.Recommend

  • http://- Abid Khan

    @Raja Islam have you ever opened any book in your life? Specially a history book.
    One cannot get more parochial than that,Recommend

  • Mudassir

    I totally do not agree. Actually our all politicians are corrupt whether its PPP or mqm or any other xyz political party. mqm is basically trying to make Karachi a new province so that to make sound future for Urdu speaking people as a result they will dominate the society. and other parts of the society would be discriminated. and if today one province is created today then tomorrow any other province or city will demand for new province and as a result whole Pakistan would be divided. and that is the thing which other countries want from us that we should be divided. it will make thier job easy not ours.
    *

    think

    *Recommend

  • Shahzad Jatt

    Punjab will not be allowed to be cut or slaughtered.Recommend

  • wasim saqib

    I don’t mind the creation of new provinces on Administrative grounds but I do mind provinces to be carved on the basis of ethnicity and jingoism.
    If it has to be done ethnically then no other region needs more to be divided into smaller units than Karachi and KP, where ethnic minorities are being violently oppressed. It will definitely bring peace to Karachi and the country as a whole.Recommend

  • muhammad zauq

    Every writer in its reply has counter-argued for creation of karachi as proviince as well. So MQM has very cleverly stirred the discussion of new province in Sindh so innocently. That is what the essence of their so called 20th amendment.Recommend

  • akbar ali

    good questions raised . The big inappropriate and misinterpreted thing in the article is that the writer/columnist tries with very much casual approach to equate the Seraikis of Punjab with those of Sindh whereas both are different in theirs mind make up , the Serikis in SIndh are not the victims of Discrimination nor they are facing Identity crisis ,neither they show/ manifest acts of group mentality as does the MOHAJIRS of SINDH DO and why should they be doing so !? they are the SINDHIS , attached with HER Soil , history , culture even language as are the rest of Sindhis , whereas the SERAIKIS in Punjab doesn’t enjoy the similarity with respect to Punjabis , they show theirs discontent with the situation time and after. The second thing which stand debateable to me is the claim that the SERIKI isn’t a different and a complete language Last but not the least , arrogance is obvious when he tells the number of Seraikis in Punjab and in Sindh again i would say that the Seraikis in Sindh count proudly themselves as being the SINDHI, on which basis he counts them as being separate (they stand Inseparable though ) from the Sindhis , and he doesn’t quote the refernce of that info .
    I would say the rules of busines of a federal republic must not at any cost be violated when it comes to the craetion of new Soobas..Recommend

  • Shahzad Jatt

    @ akbar ali : Seraikis are basically ethnic Balochs who settled in Sindh and Punjab. Recommend

  • http://n tameer hussain sraiki

    love u sindh medi maaaaRecommend

  • Adeel Hassan

    The division of Punjab is at least necessary for better administration. Khadim e Aala has kept close to 20 ministries under his belt and the saraiki population is starved of development in their region. At least it will bring more focused administration if u divide Punjab into two provinces.Recommend

  • Omer

    @Asad A.:
    that’s retarded i can only feel sorry for a guy who thinks on those lines,
    mqm had nothing to with gwadar, its a different ball game altogether, you punjabis are really low on IQ, no wonder balochs wants a separate countryRecommend

  • Asad A.

    @Omer: Please do not go jumping on to conclusions; I’m very Baloch & also immensely proud of being so. Now, where Gwadar is concerned, I would request your handlers to let you out of your straitjacket for a bit so you could read up on who controls Ports & Shipping, who pulls hat-tricks and containers disappear, & which happens to be the only gang benefiting from a dead Gwadar. Recommend

  • Hamza Satti

    British divide and rule concept still remains in our society, what misery are raising for poor Quaid e Azam’s soul who will be so agonized to see this irrational division.If only these idiot leaders talked about nationalism than divisions. I am sorry for Mohd Ali JinnahRecommend