Punjab is the most populous province of Pakistan with almost 56% people of Pakistan lives in Punjab. Southern Punjab consists of Saraiki speaking people. According to 1998 censes there are almost 14 million Saraiki speaking people in Pakistan. The Saraiki nationalists claimed in 2002 that there are 30 million Saraiki speaking people in Pakistan. Sarakiki (sometimes spelled Siraiki and Seraiki) is ancient language of the region consist of present day districts of Bahawalpure,Sukkur, Larkana, Dadu, Sehwan, Sanghar, Nawabshah, Hyderabad, Sindh, Mirpurkhas, Multan, Lodhran, Vehari, Khanewal, Rahim Yar Khan, Rajanpur, Dera Ghazi Khan, Muzaffargarh, Layyah, Bhakkar, Mianwali, Dera Ismail Khan, Bahawalnagar, Dera Bugti, Jafarabad, Nasirabad and Sibi. The Saraiki speaking people can be found in all provinces of Pakistan, India and even Afghanistan.
The people of Southern Punjab are demanding for separate province of Saraikistan which is legitimate and justified demand. Punjab province is dominated by Punjabi speaking people who claimed that Saraiki is dialect of Punjabi. Upper Punjab (Lahore, Rawalpindi and adjacent areas) is the most developed part of Punjab and Southern Punjab (Multan, Bahawalpure and DG Khan and adjacent areas) is underdeveloped and backward.
Indifferent attitude of mainstream Punjabi politicians is another cause of Saraikistan demand. There are very limited job opportunities available for people in Southern Punjab due to lack of industrialization and development. Southern Punjab is considered as Cotton Belt of Pakistan but there is no textile industry in the region and all cotton produced by South Punjab is used by textile industry of Upper Punjab. Similarly, South Punjab or Saraikistan is backward area with all dependency on agriculture but there is not enough water available here for agriculture and it rendered vast tracts of agricultural land in South Punjab useless.
The list of grievances of people of Southern Punjab is very long and it is impossible to cover all in this articles. There are many mainstream politicians from Saraiki area but ironically they done nothing for this region. Presently PM of Pakistan Syed Yousif Raza Gillani himself is Saraiki, although he started many development projects in the region but all the grievances can only be addressed by making separate province of South Punjab. The biggest hurdle in the way of Saraiki Province is the Punjabi dominated establishment which is against it. Army and bureaucracy dominated by those people who are against the creation of Saraikistan. It is time to create new province of South Punjab because it will greatly help the solidarity of Pakistan. Today all other provinces are complaining against the domination of Punjab due to its size, with the creation of new province of Southern Punjab these grievances will automatically be reduced to minimum levels. The administration of such a large province of Punjab is also difficult hence with creation of new province of Southern Punjab management can also be improved. In 1905, British divided the province of Bengal because at that time due its huge size it was very difficult to manage it but Hindus agitated against it. They feared that it would end their domination on poor Muslims. Today the dominated Punjabis are against the division of Punjab because they fear that division of Punjab will end their domination of poor people of Southern Punjab. At the time of division of Bengal in 1905 who was right? And today who is right? You can deduce the conclusion by yourself.