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November 23, 2014

Saraikistan or New Province of Southern Punjab in Pakistan, Seraiki Speaking People and Movement

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.

Map of Proposed Province of Saraikistan in Pakistan

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.

Comments

  1. Khwaja Aftab Ali says:

    FIVE REGIONAL CITIES should be upgraded with in the provinces in Pakistan. Regional cities of Dera Ismail Khan in NWFP, Gawadar/ Qalat in Balouchistan, Sukkar/ Larkana in Upper Sind, Jehlam/ Rawalpindi and Multan in Punjab province. These regional cities have been ignored by the federal and provincial governments although these cities have their own history, culture and languages.Dera Ismail Khan in south of Pakhtun khwa/MWFP is under seige, Multan/DG Khan in south of Punjab is next target of religious extremists,Sukkar/ Larkana is being rule by criminals, Gawadar/ Qalat is trouble some. The people of these regions have to travel to provincial capitals for every small issue and requirement of the daily life which should be provided in nearby cities. A good number of population travel to big cities for their survival to earn livelihood as the local feudal own majority land and keep the common man as their slaves. Creation of regional government and upgrading of the regional cities will save a lot of money and time of the poor people of these regions. Circuit benches of the High Courts are already working in these areas and only requirement is the additional staff of different departments involved in additional work at the provincial capitals. The concern authorities should immediately consider to upgrade the regional cities. And immediate attention should be given upgrade/build the airports,TV station, civic center, libraries,hospitals, educational institutes and investment opportunities for Pakistanis living abroad and foreign firms to create jobs in the area as majority population in rural Pakistan do not have enough resources to survive. It remind me the condition of pre Islamic revolution of Iran in Shah time when the rural Iran was ignored and the capital Tehran was developed in a way to call it Paris of Middle East with modern life style. Couple of other big cities like Isfahan and Caspian sea was taken care of because of foreign tourists but rural area was ruled by cruel police and intelligence. Then what happen rural population supported the Islamic revolution and moved to Tehran and other big cities later on. The new government after revolution developed, built and upgraded the rural areas of Iran accordingly. A fund to upgrade/build these regional cities in Pakistan should be introduced by public and private sector and Pakistani government, our foreign friends and Pakistanis living abroad may be asked to participate in this development mission in the country..KHWAJA AFTAB ALI,( former secretary, Iranian embassy, Saudi Arabia,1975-88) Advocate High Court & I.P. Attorney-first & the only Pakistani lawyer who earned Intellectual Property laws scholarship in USA,presently residing in Florida, USA. pip.law@hotmail.com

  2. Khwaja Aftab Ali says:

    Khwaja Aftab Ali, USA Says:

    September 20th, 2009 at 10:15 pm

    Hearty Eid Greetings to the People’s Prime Minister of Pakistan and special appreciation for the recent development activities in Multan greater area. Would prime minister be kind enough to work on a mega project for this neglected area of Southern Punjab to create enough jobs which may stop poor people of this area to be exploited in big cities of the country and abroad. Last but not least, if the Prime minister could arrange to move/ transfer the Head Quarters of Pakistan Railways in Multan area-the real center of the country to boost under developed area and provide an opportunity to earn fortune by selling railways expansive land in Lahore, mostly used for railway officers’ residences. I hope PM will do his best as no one stays for ever on this authoritative important positions. Sincerely , Khwaja Aftab Ali, Advocate/ I.P. Attorney,presently residing in Florida, USA

    • thanks for your comments and thoughts mr khwaja aftab ali
      yes you are right. presently lot of work going on in this neglected area and your suggestion regarding pakistan railways is also good but the real solution of pakistan railways is its privatization . whats your opinion ?

  3. Anwer Kamal Pasha says:

    Actually this is the problem. Language alone is not sufficient reason for a new province.Actually some Saraiki leaders who are in this front they dis not consider other reasons. Nultan is some 1400 years old Muslim state and it is the oldest Muslim state/Province in the sub-continent. Multan has a rich history and great traditions.
    Multan have all the reasons to become a province so it would be better to call Saraiki province as Multan Province.
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  4. M.AKRAM KHAN NIAZI says:

    “Disease of Ethnocentrism and New Provinces.”
    Investors of Ethnocentrism.
    ANP, PPP and MQM are main beneficiaries and investors of ethnocentrism, provincialism and sectarianism and therefore Mr. Zardari is trying to divide Pakistani nation on such lines, and making statements such
    • As people of other provinces are eating the resources of Baluchistan while in fact those are Balouch Sardars who are mostly involved properties in other provinces, Jamali sons are having properties in Sind, Mengal and Marri are having properties in Karachi, Moreover Mr. Zardari is himself involved in making properties in U.K. (Surrey Palace) and every where in Pakistan (from Marri to Guwadar)
    • Punjab is taking the share of water of Sind while in fact it the Sind Government which is wasting the River Indus water in land and in Arabian Sea. Due to which many parts of Sind are suffering from problem of water accumulation leading to stagnant water in lakes and creating swamp lands and rise in sea level.
    • People of Sind will be converted to minority due to migration of Pukhtoons to Karachi, while in fact if whole of NWFP population move to Sind even then it is simply impossible to convert people of Sind into minority as population of NWFP is 15 Million and That of Sind about 40 million.
    • Mr. Zardari Always mentioning the names of Karbala, Hazrat Hussain and Hazrat Zainab in his speeches to impress Shia community and to cultivate the crop of sectarianism.
    Meanings of above statements are just to create disharmony and hatred among different sections of society.
    Who supports ethnic Name of Provinces?
    If ethnicity is so much important why Mr.Zardari is not naming Karachi as Urdu Khuwa or Gulshane Urdu or Urdunia, Because word Karachi also does not have any meaning, if ethnicity is so much important than why Muhajir Quomee Movement had changed its name to Mutahida Quomee Movement, if Provincialism is so much important then why PPP, MQM and ANP are not trying to make separate provinces for Pukhtoons of Balochistan, Urdu speakers of Karachi, and Seraiki speakers of Punjab. It is the need of time for Pakistanies to be vigilant against conspiracies of making them confined to ethnicity and sectarianism and snatching their identity of a single nation because in this case every one will be looser.
    Ethnic ANP.
    ANP Foolish leaders always made wrong decisions for Pukhtoons, such as:
    1) Opposition to creation of Pakistan even when not only all Muslims of India but also
    British and Hindus had accepted that.
    2) Support for Soviet Union occupation on Afghanistan, when all nations of world
    including chronic supporters (Libya and Cuba) of Soviet Union opposed that
    occupation.
    3) Now how blood of Pukhtoons is flowing in NWFP is one of result of Foolish policies
    of ANP.
    If any one have any desire for welfare of Pukhtoons,they should work for the Union of Pakistan and Afghanistan by which Pukhtoons living in Afghanistan and Pakistan will be united and that will be good for the development and progress of culture, language and economical prosperity of Pukhtoons and other ethnic groups living in both the countries otherwise pseudo acts of changing the names for political gains are meaningless.
    Name of Punjab.
    Name of Punjab means Land of five Rivers that does not have any link with any nationality or ethnic group.
    Name of Sind.
    Name of Sind indicates the land which is dependant totally on River Sind (Indus) that does not have any link with any nationality or ethnic group.
    Name of Surhad.
    Name of Surhad indicates Land of frontier dividing two areas that does not have any link with any nationality or ethnic group.
    Name of India indicates valley of Indus that does not have any link with any nationality or ethnic group.
    If any one calls himself Lahori, Punjabi, Sindhi, Surhadi Gandhi, Indian than it just means peoples relates themselves to that land, where as name Frontier (Surhad) is concerned this province was created by British by separating Six districts of Punjab in 1901, and most logically it should be termed as North West Punjab that does not have any link with any nationality or ethnic group.
    Price of Ethnic Name of Balouchistan
    Pakistani nation is already paying heavy price of ethnic name of province of Balouchistan, it has become a chronic disease and nuisance and Balouch organizations are killing and are involved in ethnic cleansing of Pukhtoons and Punjabies and their Ideology is based on just ethnic name of Balouchistan.
    Need to change ethnic Name to Non ethnic Name of Balouchistan.
    Infact due to killing and victimization of ethnic minorities In Balouchistan and to counter such ethnic cleansing in that province there is need to change the ethnic name of Balouchistan by some geographical name such as Jabalistan or Hills Land and making more provinces of that provinces such as Quetta Province, Makran Province, Kalat Province, Chaggi Province and Lasbella Province for countering disease of Provincialism instead of surrendering against Provincialism and Ethnocentrism.
    Provincialism and Ethnocentrism already had caused a serious loss of life and property of people.
    Example Of Bangladesh and Palestine
    Dhaka fall is the biggest example of adverse effects of Ethnocentrism and Provincialism.
    * Three millions people in Bengal were the victims of this disease,due to this disease A MUSLIM ARMY SUFFERED with the biggest defeat of the history.
    Now Bangladesh is one of the least developed country of the world.
    Now their position is that of a bonded slave working for others to earn their bread.
    Daily Indian Border Security forces kill one or two Bengalees mercilessly.
    Now Bangladesh is trying to find its future in Saarc, then why they have been separated from Pakistan.
    There are lessons to be learnt from fate of Bangladesh and Palestinians (Who made mutiny against Ottoman Khilafat) in the result of their Ethnic mistakes their present generation is suffering from painful humiliations and difficulties.
    Sind and Karachi.
    Presently people of Karachi and Sind are also suffering from this disease and thousands of people have died due to this disease in only Karachi,
    This disease makes people mad, blind and deaf ,This is the reason that although people of Karachi and Sindh are most educated in Pakistan and know very well that their leaders are terrorist, killers and corrupted but even then they supports to terrorist, killers and corrupted leaders, and there is no value of life in city of Karachi and Sind.
    Example of Arabs versus Israel.
    The fact of Unity is strength and division is weakness, is clear from the example of nationalistic 20 Arab states, who have same race, same language, same land, same religion but are shamelessly divided into 20 states due to nationalism ,regionalism, and for the lust of power of their rulers and kings although they are the most powerless nations against tiny state of Israel who with the blessing of unity of different races, groups, cultures (whether Black, White , Red, Arabs, Russians, Africans, Europeans ) from different regions of world ,Due to unity of Jews whether Black, White , Red, Arabs, Russians, Africans, Europeans now Israel is one of the most developed and powerful nation of the world.
    If we can not understand the teachings of Islam then it will be better to learn something from the living example of Jews.
    Example of European Union and USA.
    Every one should take a look to other developed nations like European Union and USA when they were divided on the basis of language, region and colour, they were nothing and were killing each other but now they are united so they are governing all over the world and are most advanced, developed and safe nations of the world.
    1. Provinces are very active in making Pakistan a failed and dysfunctional state, if ethnic and strong provinces are good for Pakistan then there is need to creat more provinces on the basis of ethnicity,racialsim and sectarianism,such as from Balouchistan following provinces may be created,
    Province of Makran.
    Provice of Brohian.
    Province of Pukhtoons.
    Province of Balouchs.
    Province of Shias of Quetta.
    Province Sunni Balouch.
    Province of Punjabies.
    Province of Bugties.
    Province of Chaggi
    POSTED 1 YEAR AGO ON 27 MAR 2010 4:56 #
    Provincialism,Ethoncentrism and Sectarianism are the main tools of enemies of any nation,Nations make progress only with Patriotism,honesty and unity.
    In Karachi so many Pukhtoons have been brutally murdered without any reason just on the name of ethnocentrism and sectarianism and just for the lust of MEMBERSHIP IN SINDH ASSEMBLY BY ANP.
    Those who wants membership of assemblies on the basis of ethninicity and ethnic politics are infact abusing and hurting the feelings of other ethnic groups.
    Supporters of ethnocentrism have not seen the deaths of so many Bengalies in 1971, so many deaths in Karachi, so many deaths in Quetta, these deaths as due to ethnic cleansing,this a poision which never ends and one day brother will kill his brother
    Due to this poision, Zardari will kill to Murtaza Bhutto and son of Murtaza will kill to Zardari.
    Due to this disease Iltaf Hussain will kill to Azeem Tariq and son of Azeem Tariq will kill to Iltaf Hussain.
    Nawaz shareef will kill to Musharaf and Musharaf will kill to Nawaz Sahreef.
    Why we are asking to our people to drink this poision.

    Conclusion:
    It is the need of the time to inform to masses of Pakistan that such ethnic and dividing ideologies are not beneficial to any one if we Pakistanis when united are unable to do any great and worth mentioning deed in the world then what will be our role when we will be divided into further pieces (Pukhtoonkhwa, Azad Balouchistan, Azad Punjab, Sindho Desh) and such hatred based dividing ideologies do not have an end and their adverse effects are countless.
    Moreover Provincialism and ethnocenterism Blocks the mix up of different races and ethnic groups which also hinders evolution of good genetic health characteristics in present races and due to this racial and ethnic groups become confined just to their community , causing increase in genetic and hereditary diseases in human population.
    Therefore it is necessary to strongly and categorically oppose those who are trying to divide Pakistan on the basis of ethoncentrism, provincialism and sectarianism.
    Written By:
    M.AKRAM KHAN NIAZI

    • @M.Akram Khan Niazi
      thanks for such an impressive and detailed essay about this serious topic
      i hope many of our readers like it and we are expecting some interesting replies from our readers

      • Muhammad Dilshad Arya says:

        M Akram Niazi PMNL always focus on area where people speak Punjabi . South Punjab is only labor market for whole country . If you see labor of Karachi 40 % are saraiki and they are living like salve similarly if you see labor of Lahore 70 to 80 % are saraiki and they are also living like slave . All development is in Punjabi areas if now Saraiki dont raise their wise their next generation will also be slave

  5. In order to maintain harmony and peace in Pakistan, there is need that all such efforts and conspiracies that tend to divide the nation on ethnic, linguistic and sectarian grounds must be opposed tooth and nail. Yes, a number of more provinces can be made (and should be made) on administrative grounds in order to alleviate the sufferings of the people. While making new provinces the factors to be considered should be the manageable population, the distances to be traveled to provincial capitals and geographical features (natural boundaries)for better control.
    The forces who want to disintegrate and weaken Pakistan have as top priority the ethnicity to exploit in this land. If this menace is not checked well in time, the bloodshed, strife and possibly the civil wars in Pakistan will surpass all the ills including the terrorism that the nation has faced so far.

  6. faisal shahbaz chaudhary says:

    i totally agree with mr niazi…
    it is time to make pakistan strong and stable..
    it is the need of the time to inform to masses of Pakistan that such ethnic and dividing ideologies are not beneficial to any one

  7. Muhammad Dilshad Arya says:

    I am looking for any Saraiki movement for Saraikistan . I want to join and play my active role. I think i can play some part .

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