THIS is apropos of the letter ‘Partitioning Punjab’ (Feb 1) by Kunwar Idris. Mr Kunwar is not an unknown person and those who belong to civil services of Pakistan hold him in high esteem.
He has been one of the role models for CSP/DMG officers because he was a public/civil servant in its true spirit well above all biases.
However, his opinion/lamentation on the partition of Punjab needs revisiting none else but by him. Seraiki area, the core of which is the area around Multan and Bahawalpur division, has never been part of Punjab in recorded history except when it was conquered by the Sikh ruler Ranjit Singh in 1812 and put under Takht-i-Lahore.
When British ended Sikh rules in 1849, they retained the Bahawalpur state but annexed Multan and surrounding areas with Lahore. D.G. Khan was made a buffer arrangement between British and warring Baloch population.
Therefore, separating Seraiki belt from Punjab and giving it an independent identity will put right the historical wrong.
Distortions in history were made by past rulers according to their convenience and loyalty to conquering rulers. An example in the present context could be Bahawal Khan who was given undue favours and allowed more land of Sadiqabad Kot Subzal and Rojhan Mazari, etc., after defeat of Talpurs in Sindh in 1843.
While discussing present scheme of division of Punjab, the writer has made a reference to partition of Punjab in 1947. He has made a bold statement that by accepting cabinet mission plan, the Quaid-i-Azam had virtually abandoned the demand for Pakistan and accepted united India with provinces having substantial autonomy because he had known very well consequences of the partition and the people who would follow him to run the country.
It was only the historical unwise statement of Jawahar Lal Nehru that the scheme of things devised under the cabinet mission plan would be changed through an amendment in the constitution that Jinnah was alarmed, rejected the plan and accepted truncated Pakistan where Punjab was partitioned along with Bengal.
ABDUL QADIR MEMON
Former deputy commissioner, Badin