Partitioning of Punjab is a hot topic, without going into the historical perspective of the matter we must understand that among all federating units of Pakistan, Punjab was and still is the only unit which is a geographical entity rather than a cultural one. Punjab is so diverse in culture that within a district sometimes there are more than one dialects of local language. The fact has been admitted by many Punjabi intellectuals including former Punjab governor Hanif Ramay in his widely acclaimed ‘Punjab Ka Muqadama’ and the interesting fact about the book is that the case of Punjab is presented in Urdu.

Depravation of southern Punjab or Seraiki belt is no fiction, there are factual proofs of that, according to BBC there are more than 1000 CSP officers hailing from north eastern Punjab whereas only 257 come from southern part of Punjab. The contrast is very sharp and speaks for itself. The other side of the picture is that the feudal aristocrats hailing from southern Punjab have always been at the helm of the affairs from Mushtaq Gurmani to Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani. Why have then the feudal lords of southern Punjab not done anything for their own people?

The fact is that the partitioning of Punjab on the eve of elections is nothing but a political gimmick. The ruling party has lost its support in north and central Punjab, leaving them with no choice but to strengthen their political future along with other left leaning forces in division of Punjab. The consequences of the division would favour feudals of the southern Punjab, while the common man would suffer more at the hands of traditional, absolutists power structures historically present there; therefore, any division of Punjab without land reforms would be like leaving lambs to the wolves.

Any partition without breaking the strength of traditional power structures would only benefit the forces of status quo. It may give short term political advantage to ruling party but eventually the ruling party too would become a hostage to the whims of few in the new province. Everyone would lose except pro-establishment feudal lords.


Australia, February 3.