Baqaul Mohsen

BAHAWALPUR - Nawab Sir Sadiq Muhammad Khan Abbasi V, the last ruler of the second largest Muslim state of Indo-Pak Subcontinent that lasted for 230 year from 1725 to 1955, was born on September 30, 1904.

He was declared the head of the state on May 15, 1907. In March 1924, a ceremony of coronation was held at Noor Mahal, Bahawalpur and he was crowned by His Highness Lord Reading, then viceroy of India, and was granted absolute authority. On the occasion, the foundation stone of Sadiq Reading Library was laid. It is called Central Library now and is the 2nd largest library of Punjab.

Nawab Sadiq era was famous for justice, good administrative system and prosperity. Special steps were taken for the health and safety of the public. The Bahawalpur State was rich in resources. He did not let Sikhs cross the River Sutlej and laid foundation of Pakistan at the same day. Bahawalpur State was the first state to declare Ahmadi’s non-Muslims in 1935.

He was a true Muslim and real follower of the Holy Prophet (Peace be Upon Him) and was blessed with religious passion. He laid the foundation of a society based on justice, equity, tolerance and equality, where even the minorities also enjoyed their due rights and freedom of worship. He still rules the hearts of people of Bahawalpur. He not only affiliated the state with Pakistan but presented his everything to the homeland too.

He introduced the concept of a welfare state in which the rulers in actual are the servants of the public and the proof of this fact was eminent in the official crest of the state, where two pelicans were shown as state emblem, as symbol of sacrifice and dignity. The “Sadiq Dost” was the sign of true and sincere friend of the public.

He established a prosperous state with reference to the economic stability through Sutlej Valley Project. He did remarkable services to make the state a real welfare Islamic State where he set up a public friendly system according to the Islamic rules as socio-economic conditions, education, health and social welfare schemes were according to the public demands.

Bahawalpur State then possessed the status of a “Grain House” for Indo Pak Subcontinent due to the enormous agriculture produce.

Bahawal Victoria Hospital at the time of its commencement used to provide free medical facilities not only for the state public, but also the people of adjoining districts of British India, Balochistan and Sindh. He not only laid a network of educational institutions but also extended financial help to the academic institutions of British India.

He established Abbasia University in 1925 on the pattern of Al-Azhar University and also promoted Madrassa Sadar Dinyat. In addition, a sub-institute of Abbasia University, Tibya College was established in 1926. In 1925, Middle School of Ahmadpur East was upgraded to high level and in 1929 boarding houses were built in the high schools of Ahmadpur, Khanpur and Chishtian.

Besides, a many educational institutions were set up across the Bahawalpur state. Sadiq Dean School, Sadiq Egerton College, Khawaja Fareed College, Girls Colleges in Bahawalpur and Rahim Yar Khan, teachers training colleges in Bahawalpur, Khanpur and Chishtian, Poly Technical Institute, Abbasia High School and Hostel and Sadiq Commercial Training Institute are amongst his major achievements.

The greatest achievement of Nawab Sir Sadiq Muhammad Khan was to establish a boarding school, Sadiq Public School, on the pattern of Aitcheson College Lahore. He not only provided financial support but also donated a wide and large agricultural land for it. This is the only institution of its kind where the focus was laid on imparting education along with training and character-building.

He died in London on May 24, 1966 when he was only 62 years of age. He ruled Bahawalpur for 59 years. The district administration declares local holiday on his death anniversary only in Bahawalpur district but not in other parts of the Bahawalpur division, Rahim Yar Khan and Bahawalnagar districts which were also the part of the former Princely State of Bahawalpur. The social circles of the city have expressed deep concern and demanded complete holiday in the Bahawalpur division on the occasion to salute Sir Sadiq Abbasi over his services for the Bahawalpur State and then Pakistan.