Founded by Ameer Mubarak Khan Abbasi-I in 1702, the state of Bahawalpur was ruled by the Abbasis during the Mughal and the British eras. Thirteen ameers ruled the state, the last of whom, Sir Sadiq Muhammad Khan Abbasi-V,was crowned in 1907.
State of Bahawalpur had a Muslim ruler and a majority-Muslim population. The ameer of Bahawalpur declared its secession to Pakistan at independence.
Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah received the first guard of honour after becoming the first governor general of Pakistan from the State Forces of Bahawalpur. The state also provided financial help to the newly established Pakistan.
The state of Bahawalpur was merged with the province of West Pakistan under one-unit scheme in 1957.
The former princely state covered an area of 15,918 square miles and included the present day districts of Bahawalpur, Bahawalnagar and Rahim Yar Khan and a large part of the Cholistan desert.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 15th, 2011.