New provinces will break Pakistan

Published: August 16, 2011
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The writer is an advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan
zahid.ebrahim@tribune.com.pk

The writer is an advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan [email protected]

The 1973 Constitution is the only consensus document binding the federation. It neither recognises nor foresees the further division of Pakistan into more provinces. The manifestos of the PPP and its ally, the Q League, make no reference to new provinces. Thus, the call for more provinces is nothing but reckless desperation of a morally bankrupt political leadership which sees defeat written large in the next election.

The Q League, which is in the process of rapid evaporation, is the most vociferous proponent of more provinces. Chaudhry Shujaat and Pervez Elahi have the most to lose come elections and are therefore eager incendiaries demanding a division of Punjab. In the week leading to Pakistan’s independence day, the PML-Q introduced a proposal in the Punjab Assembly for breaking Punjab and creating a Seraiki province.

The PPP, whose new poster boys were never seen in Benazir Bhutto’s lifetime, is equally passionate about new provinces, at least in Punjab. President Zardari’s trusted troubleshooter, Dr Babar Awan, claims that the Seraiki province cannot be suppressed any longer. As if this was a long-standing promise of the PPP. It is obvious that the PPP high command feels there is no national slogan which is capable of garnering votes in the next election, and it’s only option will be to pit the people of Punjab against each other.

For those who want a Balkanised Pakistan, a Seraiki province is not enough in Punjab. Mohammad Ali Durrani, General Musharraf’s information minister, is hoping to come out of the political wilderness by leading the battle for a Bahawalpur province. Durrani’s vision is to restore the former nawab of Bhawalpur’s scion to the lost glory of the British Raj. Another notable supporter of a Bahawalpur province is Izajul Haq, who leads his own one-man faction of PML (Ziaul Haq).

In what is developing into a rapid free for all, Dr Nazir Bhatti of the Pakistan Christian Congress is demanding the formation of a Christian province in southwest Punjab. On the other hand, a JUI MPA from Mianwali rejects the proposal for a Seraiki province and has demanded a Thal province where people of his constituency can be free, according to him, from the lords of Multan. The temperatures are slowly rising. In the last parliamentary session of the Punjab Assembly, the proponents of Seraiki vs Thal provinces traded insults and abuses and had to be physically restrained from attacking each other.

The danger of lighting a fire in Punjab is that it can engulf the entire country. The demand for a Hazara province to be carved out of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa has now been renewed. Dozens were killed in rioting leading up to a mere change of name from NWFP to Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. Imagine the bloodletting which will welcome the partition of a province. And with every drop of blood wasted in the name of division of provinces, it is the federation of Pakistan which will suffer irreparable harm.

For MQM supporters, the demand for Karachi and Hyderabad as a separate province is literally the writing on the wall and the restoration of the city district governments is considered its foundation. However, Sindhi nationalists promise that their province will only be divided over their dead bodies. There is already no dearth of violence in Karachi and we cannot afford more bloodletting. Stoking the fires of division in far away Punjab merely to cut the Sharif’s down to size is likely to not only destroy PPP’s traditional vote bank in Sindh, but threaten Pakistan as we know it.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 17th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (89)

  • Mustafa
    Aug 16, 2011 - 7:30PM

    Precisely why I am not in favour of the creation of new provinces. Every new province created will be for some ethnicity or some people, and they will be living in that province as though its their own kingdom, rather than a part of Pakistan. I wholeheartedly agree with you. As if the current sectarian and ethnic violence isn’t enough, these political parties are trying to spread it to Pakistan’s largest province.

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  • faraz
    Aug 16, 2011 - 7:52PM

    Is there any example in history of a country which fragmented due to creation of more provinces. Division of provinces is essential to ensure better management and equitable distribution of resources.

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  • Jamel
    Aug 16, 2011 - 8:09PM

    New provinces will break Pakistan

    and

    The 1973 Constitution is the only
    consensus document binding the
    federation.

    What a croak and pure scaremongering. Pakistan existed before 1973. The reason Pakistan broke is the same that you are advocating now ie not to recognise the rightful demands of people of Pakistan.

    This scaremongering is just to devoid Siraikis of their right over their resources so those resources can continue to be diverted for the benefit of Takht-e-Lahore rulers. Bahawalpur used to be a developed area in British era. Takht-e-Lahore has been worst than British in their treatment of Siraikis/Bahawalpur. Why did we get independence for; only to be made slaves of Takht-e-Lahore?

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  • Aryabhat
    Aug 16, 2011 - 8:17PM

    Contrarary to Author’s viewpoint, actually more provinces will make Pakistan stronger. Allow me to explain why?

    As of now one of the biggest grouse in Pakistan as a federation from Sindh, KP and Balochistan is dominance of Punjab.

    Once Punjab is divided in the smaller 2 (or say 3) states, no new state would be SO dominant and perhaps true spirit of federation would be then enjoyed by all provinces. Hopefully that would set to rest the famous story (right or just perceived) Punjabi domination in almost everything!

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  • Aug 16, 2011 - 8:19PM

    The Brookings Institution recently claimed that Pakistan was not on the verge of a break-up or balkanization because of the size and strength of the Punjab province.
    Somebody must have taken notice and is in the process of fulfilling this requirement of the enemies of Pakistan.
    The Nawab of Bahawalpur was not stupid when he willingly accepted the assimilation of his state into the Punjab. He knew it was a necessity for strengthening the polity.
    We don’t need another bunch of extra provincial parliaments, with even more ministers and their army of advisers and experts, all ‘washing their hands in the Ganges’.
    This will lead to infighting, bickering, instability, xenophobia and an even greater weakening of the State.
    I salute the writer for talking some sense on this subject.

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  • irfan khan
    Aug 16, 2011 - 8:20PM

    why is there a campaign against punjab in the media these days? why only punjab is being singled out for being destroyed? karachi has a gigantic population of over 20 million people,it deserves to be given the status of a separate province,why doesn’t the ppp start with this? the ppp should form a new province made up of karachi and hyderabad.

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  • TANOLI.
    Aug 16, 2011 - 8:22PM

    Christian province hahahahahah then qadiani will demand qadiani povince and hindu in mir
    pur khas will say hindu province is india also like this singh province muslim province or
    christian province ,jain province ,budhist province ,hindu Dalit province so on………

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  • Frank
    Aug 16, 2011 - 8:46PM

    Good article, thanks. But we can’t just leave Southern Punjab to the mercy of Lahore anymore. Strip Lahore of its status as capital of Punjab and devolve power to the divisions. Let the denizens of this useless city earn their living for a change.

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  • Thucydides
    Aug 16, 2011 - 8:49PM

    Is division the only way to unite us as a nation?

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  • AZZZY
    Aug 16, 2011 - 8:54PM

    @Aryabhat:
    yr if you say that punjab dominates other provinces then let me tell you that if you break punjab it will lead to a 25 seats increase in the senate for the punjab region then punjab in two parts will have a total of 50 seats which will then harshly dominate other provvinces..THINK!

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  • Chengez K
    Aug 16, 2011 - 9:03PM

    The rights of people of Mekran cannot be suppressed.A Mekran province with own Gwadar port will be the richest province of Pakistan.We can earn so much fromn trade that we can remove the debt of whole Pakistan.

    Long Live Mekran province…Long live Pakistan

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  • Jamel
    Aug 16, 2011 - 9:06PM

    @TANOLI.:

    Christian province hahahahahah

    If Deobandis are demanding Deobandi province in FATA and swat and are actually killing Pakistanis over it daily then why not others in principle?

    Those who support Taliban should take note and stop supporting religious zealots for the reason that it breaks the country on religious hatred lines.

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  • Sean
    Aug 16, 2011 - 9:12PM

    Change is not to be feared, if done in a responsible manner.

    The argument against new provinces as set in this article appears to come from an emotional corner rather than a pragmatic intellectual side.

    Yes it would be better to divide on non-ethnic lines but the fact is that the provinces already in existence are already divided in a broader sense on linguistic lines (languages: punjabi, sindi, pushtoon, baloch) already.

    The population has increased astronomically since the birth of the nation and the constitution. Need to govern closer to the grass roots is better because it holds the elected officials more accountable for local issues

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  • mazen
    Aug 16, 2011 - 9:15PM

    To forming new provinces in this already fragmented society will deteriorate ethnicity of this society further, if not completely mutilate it. Media is the other source that is propagating this absurd doctrine of need more provinces. The agenda of PML-N that to demarcation of new provinces should be for administrative purpose, the question arise here is that is this a decision based on the desire of people or a political one. All parties wants to grab as many votes as they like.

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  • mazen
    Aug 16, 2011 - 9:16PM

    To forming new provinces in this already fragmented society will deteriorate ethnicity of this society further, if not completely mutilate it. Media is the other source that is propagating this absurd doctrine of need more provinces. The agenda of PML-N that to demarcation of new provinces should be for administrative purpose, the question arise here is that is this a decision based on the desire of people or a political one. All parties want to grab as many votes as they like.

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  • TANOLI.
    Aug 16, 2011 - 9:18PM

    @Jamel
    Soon we gonna have provinces based on firqas and tribes. means 390 provinces.Recommend

  • TANOLI.
    Aug 16, 2011 - 9:21PM

    Field marshal Ayub khan was when said never break the one unite pakistan other wise its ginna be big pboblem now we are seeing that.

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  • Rafi
    Aug 16, 2011 - 9:25PM

    Well said Mr Ebrahim.
    Another article that will correctly set your compass on the subject of more provinces can be found here:
    http://www.dawn.com/2011/08/16/from-one-to-sixteen.html
    Wisdom in a world of chaos – thank you gentlemen.

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  • zubair shah
    Aug 16, 2011 - 9:48PM

    dude, i don’t know which fool’s paradise are you living in. what kind of apocalyptic polemics is this? a person of your mediocre intelligence could only practice in Pakistan’s supreme court headed by Justice Chaudhary. with all due respect Pakistan is a federation, don’t treat it like an empire of Punjab, we lost East Pakistan because of this very mentality. Pakistani constitution, yes 73 constitution has an elaborate procedure given in it for the creation of new provinces, please read it before spreading your subterfuge.Recommend

  • Mirza
    Aug 16, 2011 - 10:14PM

    The author said “pit the people of Punjab against each other.”
    There cannot be a bigger insult of the masses of Punjab. Pakistan did not split by making more provinces and giving local people more of their democratic rights. On the contrary Pakistan lost Eastern part, only because they were ruled from far away place. It was their right that the Bengal’s were demanding and were denied by the slogan of strong center and strong Pakistan. Shamefully, we have not learned anything from our worst surrender in human history. Recommend

  • Alsahdiq
    Aug 16, 2011 - 10:20PM

    Lets us all look at the facts. Did the Bengali population achieve anything by the establishment of Bunlahdaysh? Did they? No. None whatsoever.
    Where are things wrong? In the system. Not only in the system but also in the minds of the people. Slave mentality is the biggest problem. People create problems for themselves just because of this shortcoming. People suffer autocracy. Why? People leave everything that they should be doing, to be done by others. Hence people leave the door open for autocrats to take over and rule over them. Autocracy gets all the impetus due to peoples’ mentality i.e. slave mentality. Today people are waiting for a aleader to crop up. They have waited six decades and do not mind waiting another sixty decades. What will such inert and inactive peple achieve if they have a leader? The leader will expect and ask people to change their bad habits for good habits. Will they do it? If they do not, then the leader will fail.
    So we come to the conclusion that people need to change their habits and mentality. They must work, work together with the people of their neighbourhood to become “Responsible Citizens”.
    This means that people must come together, organise themself to co-operate in order to take interest in those matters that affect their life, well being, progress and security.
    Once people at large can do so in every nook and corner of the country, they will be on course to creating history. They will set themselves on course to a peaceful revolution. A revolution of the people, by the people, for the people.
    Will all the people become active in doing themselves a great favour by organising themsleves to do as expelined above? If they do, they will then never look back and in a very short time start enjoying the fruits of their hard work in coming together, organising themselves to become “Responsible Citizens”.

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  • Naeem
    Aug 16, 2011 - 10:44PM

    @Mustafa and Darkstar
    I completely agree with the writer and the above-named correspondents. Let me add my two-cents too:
    a.Suffice it to say that the hypocrical clamour for new provinces, particularly the so-called Seraiki province is to adversely effect the electoral power of the N-League.
    b. Even if for the safe of arguement, this is an impeccable imperative for new provinces; this iss not the right time to open up more divissive issues. We are facing economic meltdown, terrorism, foreign interference, water crisis, poverty and illeteracy; the litany is interminable. These are the existential problems demonizing the masses.

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  • Naeem
    Aug 16, 2011 - 10:56PM

    I categorically agree with the writer and endorse the views of Mustafa and DarkStar. Allow me to add my 2-cents worth too!

    a. Thyis hypocritical clamour for new provincss, particularly about the so-called Seraiki province is a political gimmick to interdict the votes of N-League (by the way, I don’t hold any brief for this entity).
    b. Even if for the sake of arguement, there is an impeccable imperative for new provinces; is this the right time to open up an other divissive issue? Pakisatn is already being assailed by corruption, bad governance, economic meltdown, terrorism and poverty – the litany of existential problems is interminable.
    c.This potential Balkanization would God forbid, unravel the state of Pakistan, as we known it.

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  • Zahid
    Aug 16, 2011 - 11:07PM

    If creation of more provinces breaks a country. India, Iran and Afghanistan would have fallen apart a long ago. The article makes no sense and seems to be politically motivated. Giving people their due rights and recognition will only strengthen the country. Constitution is not any holy book, which can not be changed. It can be and should be amended according to changing time.

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  • Shams uz Zaman
    Aug 16, 2011 - 11:54PM

    So true he is.
    It depends how we make new provinces. I don’t know a place where provinces or states are made on ethnic or racial lines. We lost East Pakistan because of ethnicity and we will loose rest of Pakistan if we made further provinces on ethnic or racial lines.
    Pasthuns have different demands, Hazaras have different demands, Sirakis are asking for something different, Mohajirs have different demands, Balochis no more want to live with Pakistan, Pashtuns in Balochistan are asking something different, some people have now asked for a separate Thar province. If this trend continues, there would be no Pakistan after few years. Either we remain in a state of denial or wake up to reality.
    However, if provinces are made on administrative basis then its a different story. Equate our self to Switzerland or Massachusetts is another sweet fallacy. There are no ethnic divisions on USA or any other western country nor have they such a hostile neighbourhood where some state would fuel the fissiparous tendencies. India also faces the same problems in the states which have been shaped on ethic lines. Ayub Khan made one unit thus ethnically dividing Pakistan into Bengalis and Non-Bengalis the result was of 1071 breakup. If we do it again, the result would definitely be the same resulting in breakup up of Pakistan. Repeating the same experiments while expecting to get different results is foolishness. Our leaders absolutely lack the vision, Yahya Khan was telling the nation and the western media that he is “absolutely in control of the situation” and few weeks after that Pakistan fell apart. Musharraf used a similar tone for Balochistan and the situation is in front of us. The map of Ralph Peters and theory of Robert Kaplan gain further credibility under these circumstances. Even if new provinces are to be made in Pakistan, it must be based on administrative line and not on ethnic lines. If we do it on ethnic lines there is no doubt that Pakistan will meet the same fate of 1971 again even if we keep it denying like of previous occasions.

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  • Mahmud
    Aug 16, 2011 - 11:55PM

    Pakistan was broken so that power is not shifted to the majority province – East Pakistan. Now the same game is being played. The past destructive policies of Islamabad has come to haunt it!!

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  • let there be peace
    Aug 17, 2011 - 12:01AM

    not sure about Pakistan but in general smaller provinces are good for ease of administration. provinces made by taking language and geography into consideration are OK but i think they should not be made on basis of ethnicity in a multicultural nation.

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  • Arif Qureshi
    Aug 17, 2011 - 12:02AM

    These Politicians all they want this country to be in pieces anyways, they are not different then as butchers. What happen to Quaid’s Pakistan? Where all the promises are being gone as ONE Muslim omha when we all migrated to seek a better Muslim country?
    Where these leaders come from? Who are these people? They have no sympathy to the local people and now they are trying to stand a brother against brother just for the sake of their own agendas. For God sake people of Pakistan WAKE UP!!! Before you are all become slaves to your own actions! These political parties have murdered their own people and continuing. Bribing is become a common practice in the cities (Asthukfirullah) because what they have damaged. They have even quotas for buying and selling professions, no merit exists at all. What kind of religion practice are we doing to server our communities??
    The whole country is running by some juvenile politicians and their thinking abilities are limited to a chalk slate and brain works like a water sponge. We need an advance experienced “management” in the country who they can utilize and flow a balance budget within the resources instead enlarging it. We need proper audit areas to keep eyes on the flow of country’s resources. This concept of newly establish provinces are going to create more problems but sure benefits to them. What need to correct are the current policies and there implementation on urban and rural areas first. Jumping on a new toy and not to put open once in the box; it’s going to be a mess!
    Bottom line is we must find a better management to run this country. Not to discriminate what we have in our young talents but we need “working management skills” perhaps for that we may have to look outside of the box. Our leaders and politicians are FAILED tremendously to run this nation. This is not the dream of Quaid’s Pakistan. This nation is running under sever corruptions! Allah may help us to avoid this muddle. Ameen! Salam

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  • Rao Shukat
    Aug 17, 2011 - 12:26AM

    Making new provinces can be the single best strategy to deal with poor governance and allocation of resources. We should make 12 to 14 new provinces, 4 to 6 in Punjab, 4 in baluchistan, 4 in Sindh and 3 or 4 in KP. New provinces will increase sense of involement among people, reduce the hatred against each other and calm down insurgency in Baluchistan.

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  • Domlurian
    Aug 17, 2011 - 1:22AM

    Well, Pakistan itself was formed on the basis of partitioning a country.
    Applying it recursively is the only solution to its existential problem.

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  • Aug 17, 2011 - 1:29AM

    @Zahid.

    Erm…. I gather you missed one huge distinction ie Iran, Afghanistan and India = NOT Pakistan. What works for one does not necessarily mean it would work for the other. Pakistan has its own unique set of circumstances……and break down of the strongest province will not resolve any significant/insignificant issues we might be encountering.

    In contrast to what you said ”the division” is politically motivated, where endorsers and advocates from various political parties (Sharif ‘brathraan’ beware) are just ogling at potential seats and votes in their constituencies.

    Why fix if its not broken? Or why ‘break up’ if it seems fixed in this situation???

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  • Dr Mian Amir Sohail
    Aug 17, 2011 - 1:45AM

    Before making highflying comments about making or not making new provinces, could some one visit the opinion of the people of saraiki area and hazara and ask them if their rights are not being usurped by Lahore and Peshawar. Sraiki Punjab contributes to about 45% of Punjab’s economy, whereas till recently hardly 10% was being spent over there for development purposes. Similarly 85% of KPK income is from Hazara Division where hardly even less than 10% is spent for development. Anyone is welcome to visit Peshawar, Charsadda and Mardan, notice the roads and communication, and then visit Hazara and notice the narrow broken down roads even the famous Shahrah-e-Karakoram. Visit the Govt offices in Hazara and notice majority officers and even lower grade employees and peons are from outside Hazara. As Linin said,’ Tie a thread to any big event and follow it, the other end lies in the stomach”. All the opinion makers and high and low flying real and pseudo-politicians and columnists should first talk to the people of these areas demanding separate entities, look into the ADPs (Annual Development Programs) of Punjab and KPK for the past 10 – 20 years and notice the huge discrepancy in the revenue generation of Seraiki areas and Hazara vis-a-vis their development allocations. Notice the discrepancy in jobs allocation, number of ministers from these areas, conditions of living, health sector, education etc etc. If the people of these areas demand better control on their assets and earnings then why is everyone so angry at these underserved and abused people. Newer administrative have been and are being created in countries all over the world. In 1947 India had 9 provinces, today it has 28 provinces; in 1950 Iran had 10 provinces and today has 31 provinces; France has 22 provinces, Germany has 16, Saudi Arabia has 13. Nowhere in the world anyone has considered creation of smaller administrative units as harmful to the federation. Rather when everyone gets gets his due share the federation is further strengthened.

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  • mussarat hussain
    Aug 17, 2011 - 4:56AM

    @Mahmud:
    I NEED A LOGICAL ANSWER WHY AND HOW PAKISTAN WILL BE BROKEN DUE TO THE CREATION OF NEW PROVINCES. I DON’T THINK SO. IS THERE SOMEONE TO PRESENT A LOGICAL ANSWER.
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  • Amjad
    Aug 17, 2011 - 5:47AM

    @Jamel: I really think you don’t understand the concept of opening a ” can of worms”. By the way, a very small minority of people in Southern Punjab want a Seraiki province and whether you realise it or not, everyone in the present Punjab looks towards Lahore with pride and belonging. You may wish to divide all of the provinces further but all you will accomplish is creating many more layers of burocracy and corruption. Punjab is the best run province- people are jealous of that. This is only political gamesmanship and the people of Pakistan understand that.

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  • Aug 17, 2011 - 5:47AM

    This is a perfect analysis on the topic of “more provinces.”

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  • Nasir Khan
    Aug 17, 2011 - 5:55AM

    @Dr Mian Amir Sohail
    From where did you get the figures that 85% of pukhtunkhwa’s income is from Hazara.
    Hazara division is a beautiful place but its source of income is Tourism alone while other regions like MARDAN , SWABI and CHARSADA grow muntiple cash crops like tobacco and sugar cane.
    Brother you can not make a province out of a district.

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  • rehmat
    Aug 17, 2011 - 6:36AM

    @Shams uz Zaman:
    ” I don’t know a place where provinces or states are made on ethnic or racial lines. We lost East Pakistan because of ethnicity”

    1, Look to your east you will find a country that is largely divided in States on linguistic and ethnic lines.
    2. East Pakistan wasn’t lost due to recognition of their ethnicty but rather due to supplression of their rights and ethnic individuality

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  • amjad
    Aug 17, 2011 - 6:52AM

    The whole article is based on absurd notion. Creation of new provinces, will not weaken the country, but will strenghthen the country, if done with sincerety and pragmatism. United States is not a weak country, becoause of its fifty states, plus territories. This was done, whe US was not a power, let alone a super power. United Arab Emirates, have become a stable economic power house. These,sheikdoms were insignifacant in all sense less than fifty years ago. No one expected India. as united country to last this long. There were all kind of seperation movements till the easrly nintees. There are few still exists. It has drawn and redrawn the borders of its state, quite a few time. Creation, of new provinces, will provide a sense of ownership to every citizen of the country. Ofcourse, the only people whocan get hurt by this would be handful of political leaders or their dynasties. These, people have to remind themselves, that their existnce on this earth is short, while Pakistan, if done right would be there, Inshalllah, for generations to come.

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  • Qadir Nihariwala
    Aug 17, 2011 - 7:19AM

    I want my own lil province …Is that possible just 2 kanals in DHA ,lahore

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  • Maria
    Aug 17, 2011 - 7:40AM

    @mussarat hussain: Do you honestly not understand the cat you let out of the bag? Go and aszk some Sindi what he thinks if the Muhajirs are allowed to make a separate province in Karachi for Indian migrants. Go and ask Pashtun what they think if Hazarawals will be given another province cut out from Pakhtunkhwa and lose a lot of water royalty. It will be relatively easier in Punjab since the people there are better governed already and the province is stable but then why do it there at all? Maybe the Brookings people know something about proviincial integrity that we need to learn? As for the tired example of India, you can;t compare apples to oranges because in Pakistan, ethnicity is important whereas in India it’s more about caste. Cate matters more to Indians. In Pakistan people identify with region and tribe more.

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  • Realist.
    Aug 17, 2011 - 8:53AM

    //Once Punjab is divided in the smaller 2 (or say 3) states, no new state would be SO dominant and perhaps true spirit of federation would be then enjoyed by all provinces. Hopefully that would set to rest the famous story (right or just perceived) Punjabi domination in almost everything!//

    LOL.
    Punjab will be MUCH MUCH more dominant after its division.
    By getting more seats in Senate.
    more share In Budget.
    more votes in IRSA (water).
    More Quota of Jobs!!

    THINK my friend THINK & use your mind.

    So Sindh/KPK/Balochistan will have to fight 3 Punjabs to get their Share :P
    Jiye Punjab Division ;)

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  • Aug 17, 2011 - 8:56AM

    What is there to break Pakistan? Are you really serious? Have you ever read about country which broke just because of creation of provinces? Honestly why dont you do your homework before writing an article

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  • Naeem Raza
    Aug 17, 2011 - 9:14AM

    Well, interesting discussion but some have crossed limits so their approach is becoming violent and language abusive! If Pakistan breaks (God forbids) how will the smaller states survive? It seems they (being weak) will be swallowed by big powers. As for as equality is concerned, new provinces cannot guarantee equality, justice and corruption free governance. The feudal lords will remain rulers only new capitals new assemblies will be created. This is one possibility that I imagine but devolution is the relief that is really needed. More provinces on ethnic grounds must not be carved rather they must be on administrative grounds, At least four province in Punjab, four in Sindh, Four in KPK, and six in Baluchistan on the basis of divisions in this way greater punjab and usurpation by punjab concept may vanish and this may evaporate ethnic rift as their may be two seraiki provinces in punjab instead of one! Similarly in other current provinces ethnic issue may vanish! Moreover those who have property and bank accounts abroad must not be allowed to contest elections. and so on……………………………

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  • Sanaullah
    Aug 17, 2011 - 9:52AM

    Love and Loyalty are the prime factors of saving a country no matter there are thousands of provinces or a single unit if its citizens do not love or not loyal than no one can save countries. Creation of Provinces are necessary for administrative reasons. By the way not declaring Bengali the official language of Bengal did we save the Country.

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  • Aug 17, 2011 - 10:01AM

    Shallow and motivated, the article is pure nonsense.Admiistration at grass root is vital and since provincial politicians will not allow LG system, only smaller efficient units will deliver to the seething and hapless populance.Time is running out.

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  • Ilmana Fasih
    Aug 17, 2011 - 10:10AM

    The logics given in the article against the creation of provinces are precisely the reasons Provinces should be formed. To say that 1972 Constitution is the only thing that binds the federation–yes but how will making more provinces bind it any less. We have an example of India–which began if 18 states if I remember correctly and now has 28 states and 7 Union territories. How have they fared after the creation of new states?

    True the political parties may be driven by vested interests, in this, but thn it will benefit the federation and satisfy the disgruntled small ethnic groups.

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  • Aristo
    Aug 17, 2011 - 10:15AM

    “I don’t know a place where provinces or states are made on ethnic or racial lines. We lost East Pakistan because of ethnicity”

    Mr. Zahid, Pakistan is the place that came into existence with five provinces or states made on ethnic or racial lines. Are you suggesting that the foundation by itself is flawed or what????

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  • Haider Hussain
    Aug 17, 2011 - 10:57AM

    Blockquote The 1973 Constitution is the only consensus document binding the federation. It neither recognises nor foresees the further division of Pakistan into more provinces

    1973 Constitution is not a divine guidance. It has and will always have room for improvement. More provinces will make administration easier.

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  • Zaicha
    Aug 17, 2011 - 11:03AM

    Two-nation theory caused the dismemberment of Pakistan; the same people have come ahead with the idea of 4-nations. What is reality is that there is only one nation i.e Pakistan. This is what which only people living within state structure understand, not those who have belonged to the lawless regions, (so-called provinces).

    As for Bahawalpur, its leadership is saying that they don’t accept the decree of the dictator, Yahya Khan, who merged Bahawalpur province into Punjab.

    The problem is that the people don’t know about Bahawalpur, its 300 year legacy as an independent state, the unique relationship between people and its rulers (spiritual), and, hence, the committment of the people to undo the injustice done to them by a dictator. What Bahawalpuris uderstand is that though dictators are no more, their legacies are there to stay for some time.

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  • babar
    Aug 17, 2011 - 11:13AM

    “Pakistan as we know it” is not doing too good, lets try improvise…

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  • mind control
    Aug 17, 2011 - 11:24AM

    @Mr Ebrahim

    Sir, you defy logic.In fact Amoebas being single cell structures divide much more easily than any other multi cell complex structure.The same is applicable to Human society, if you have a number of organs that specialise and are interdependant, the chances of a break are minimal. In fact in 1971 the two units were able to go their own ways as there was no interdependence.

    Right now the federating units have little interdependence and hence they can break free and still survive. This needs to change. Change brings in uncertainty and anxiety, it will also be resisted, but the test of leadership lies in holding fast to the bigger picture.

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  • Aug 17, 2011 - 11:49AM

    Problem is not with stars, Mr. Zahid
    Provinces are created by the of the centre for the better adminstration of its various regions. Every country has done so and the process is on. Even in Pakistan, onces the three provinces and a dozen of princely states were merged into One Unit. When this arrangement was done in 1969, a new province, Baluchistan, was created by attaching Baluchistan States Union (Qalat, Lasbela, Makran and Kharan) with the Pushtoon dominated Baluchistan Commissionerate. Three other provinces were revived by adding to them the adjacent princely states, which had joined Pakistan due by their free will: Khairpur to Sindh, Bahawalpur to Punjab and Amb, Dir, Chitral and Swat to the then NWFP. The problem is that all this was done by a dictator: General Yahya Khan who later presided over the dismemberment of Pakistan in 1971. So the problem, Mr. Zahid Ebrahim, is that the democrats don’t trust dictators and their judgement. Every one in Pakistan has the choice he/ she takes. Frankly speaking, dictators are on retreat elsewhere in the world, so is the case in Pakistan as well. What has become an estabelished reality is that religion as well as ethnicity both are dangerous for the state. Not only religion should be separated by the state but also ethnicity-based provinces should go the wind as well.

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  • Irshad Khan
    Aug 17, 2011 - 12:13PM

    The article written by Mr. Ebrahim has no logic and no basis. In this article people have been un-necessarily blamed, who are pleading for new provinces; moreover, I am a karachite and never heard demand of Karachi Suba, which the writer has referred, this tantamount to exploitation for one`s purposes. Writer has claimed that with the creation of new provinces Pakistan will break, as if Pakistan is made of thin glass sheets and tantamount to a nonsense talk. If creation of new provinces is illegal then on what basis province of Gilgit/Baltistan has been recently created and several parties took part in its elections, without making any objections. The article is written on Hypothetical basis and is an effort to scary the innocent public. Let us first start dividing Punjab into more manageable provinces due to its area, population, varied cultures, languages and resources. It is customary in the world to make a province on the basis of demand of the people and to manage the area and country in a better way. People will work more hard to make their province more prosperous, as they will be also in healthy competition to other provinces. We should not delay this matter on hypothetical basis before it is too late. We should try to satisfy people of all regions for their legitimate rights and unconcerned people should not try to become champions of other regions and should devote their efforts only for their areas.

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  • A J Khan
    Aug 17, 2011 - 12:15PM

    @Dr Mian Amir Sohail:
    Hazara is a district and will remain a district. Probably u have not visited Mardan and Peshawer, other wise you would not have compaired its development with Abbotabad.etc.
    Punjabi nationalists want to see the blood of Pashtuns spilled. Their craving and thirst for the pashtun blood is not satiating despite their their destruction and anhilation at their and their cronies hands. Zia the founder of Punjabi Nationalism in Pakistan has bleed the Pashtuns to the ultimate.

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  • BruteForce
    Aug 17, 2011 - 12:37PM

    Pakistan is a Country which fears a breakdown even in the matter of as simple as creation of new provinces. In India new states are created based on ethnicity and language, and nobody even blinks, the process is so smooth. This has led to states like Chattisgargh, which had previously very high levels of poverty to grow at a pace greater than the rest of India.

    This is the hallmark of a well-governed state, a state where the Constitution acts as a binding, unifying force and a guiding light.

    Pakistan has not even started on this path. It hasn’t even started the first step- getting a good Constitution.

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  • I love Pakistan
    Aug 17, 2011 - 1:20PM

    Hold referendum in Punjab and see what the people of this province have to say !?!?!

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  • Forever-Pakistani
    Aug 17, 2011 - 1:42PM

    Now is not the time, we need to focus on other problems. This can wait. No political party, except MQM, will propose breaking up the province where they get the majority vote. And breaking provinces based on ethnic groups/linguistics will divide the country more than it already is.

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  • yasmeen
    Aug 17, 2011 - 2:07PM

    It will break up Pakistan.

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  • Mustafa
    Aug 17, 2011 - 2:42PM

    @Irshad Khan:
    Its not Karachi demanding a separate province. Its people trying to play an ethnic card, saying if the PPP wants to create more provinces, they should start by dividing Sindh, as Karachi has a population of 20 million. Its a lowly ethnic card being played by some people who think Punjab is being targeted unfairly.

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  • Aug 17, 2011 - 3:25PM

    @Naeem Raza:
    This very mentality led to the breakup of Pakistan in 1971. At least in 1971, we were not trying to divide Bengal into pieces. Just because there are more PUnjabis in the country than other ethnicities, you will deem to break Punjab up?
    This is ludicrous, xenophobic and dangerous.

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  • liverpool lad
    Aug 17, 2011 - 3:26PM

    @Maria:
    no indian state has been created on the basis of caste as the identifying factor. rather it is largely ethno-linguistic factors that determine the formation of a state. many states have been formed since independence, and there is demand for more. it is possible some of them will be formed, but none will be on the basis of caste.

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  • Aug 17, 2011 - 3:42PM

    @BruteForce:
    Utter codswallop.
    Chattisgarh was in fact an area with a lot of mineral wealth and industrialization going on.
    It is called the Rice Bowl of India, producing a lot of it’s electricity and steel. Hardly a case of ‘high levels of poverty’ as you claim. In fact, the rest of Madhya Pradesh is probably poorer.
    The creation of Chattisgarh state was a consult`tive process, and not controversial at all. A consencus of the people, polity, politicians and civil society throughout Madhya Pradesh was achieved before the state was created, which is why the bill to create the seperate state was passed unanimously through the MP parliament.
    No such consensus exists in Punjab regarding the creation of a separate state. The loudest voices in support that I seem to be hearing are from Karachi and Mumbai.

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  • Jamel
    Aug 17, 2011 - 4:20PM

    @Amjad:

    @Jamel: I really think you don’t
    understand the concept of opening a ”
    can of worms”.

    As in non-Punjabi nations in Pakistan are worms who should not be allowed of Punjabi can? I think I understand.

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  • Aug 17, 2011 - 5:14PM

    Mr Nawaz Sharif recommendation for dividing provinces based on administrative account is the most sensible recommendation so far for this new province debate.Recommend

  • Sayyid Shah
    Aug 17, 2011 - 5:21PM

    New provinces is laughable. Give Hazaras a separate province. These people are not desi they should go back to Mongolia and live with their own breeds.

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  • a.m.malik
    Aug 17, 2011 - 5:27PM

    Previously we had 27 Divisions in Pakistan which were abolished in 2002. Theses divisions were purely on administrative basis and most of the people were speaking same language in a division and culture was also more or less similar. Make all of them provinces. Germany which is almost half of Pakistan in population and area can have 16 states so why can’t we have 27 provinces.There would be no need to draw new boundaries as division are already well defined. If a single division can not sustain economically ,join it with an adjacent one with the will of the people.

    Now something for fun:

    One of my friend who is Awan from Talagang many times argued with me to have a separate province for Awan tribe (Khoshab,Chakwal,Attock). Next time we can have a Jaat province, a Rajpoot province, Afridi province. By the way I am also Awan so “we want Awan province” ;)

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  • Rizwan Rauf
    Aug 17, 2011 - 6:36PM

    We love Pakistan. we want pakistan to be in such a beautifully divided parts as thay are now. Look , how beautiful is the map of pakistan with four almost equally divided parts.
    You people want to dismantle the integrity of my country just to have ur own CM and your own MPAs. You prople want a new layer of beaurocrates to run on your necks.
    ‘please stop it; stop it, let us prosperous in the way we are.

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  • Abhi
    Aug 17, 2011 - 6:56PM

    @Darkstar(Karachi)
    this is exactly the point even though Chhatisgarh area had more natural resources its people were poor compare to other area of MP. After gaining the statehood, the resources were utilized for the people of the state and that made the difference.

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  • james
    Aug 17, 2011 - 7:10PM

    the creation of new provinces will strenghten the federation. Pakistan has always shyed away from provincial autonomy, disregarding ethinic identities for religious identity based on Islam; disregarding Islam. Islam however in history recognised ethinic identities, the governors of provinces during the khiafat were mostly locals. we as Pakistani’s have always taken provincilism as fissiparious; by this could we save Pakistan from dismemberment. Problems like Balochistan and FATA continue as we disregard the essential human nature of ethnicity. Pakistan will strenghted if the federating units are strong.
    God Bless Pakistan

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  • Aug 17, 2011 - 7:46PM

    No state should be made to dominate others. Moreover, small states are administratively easy to rule and develop. The frustration of others on the dominant role of Punjab to be eliminated by dividing Punjab into more than two provinces. The simmering discontent of others especially Baluchistan may lead to separation from country itself if their role is curtailed or minimized.

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  • mussarat Hussain
    Aug 17, 2011 - 7:50PM

    Does so-called “Two Nation” theory still exists after the breaking up of former East Pakistan (Unfortunately).in 1971. It is insane we are still harping on same string and raising hue and cry of two nation theory.

    There should be only one “THEORY” that we are all humna being” and we have right to live, thats it.

    Mussarat Recommend

  • TANOLI.
    Aug 17, 2011 - 7:56PM

    @sayid shah
    shah sahab salaam elekum what wrong shah sahab why so rude if we mangolian than
    you are arab go back to arabia. khuda hafiz.

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  • Aug 17, 2011 - 8:23PM

    @Abhi:
    If that is the case, southern Punjab hardly generates any revenue for the province. The separation may in fact make the people of southern punjab even poorer, while the role of the landed elite may increase further.

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  • Ali
    Aug 17, 2011 - 8:44PM

    Not creating more provinces will weaken the country further

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  • a.m.malik
    Aug 17, 2011 - 9:23PM

    Why you did not post my comment in this topic? There was nothing wrong in that. Is this freedom of expression?

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  • Farhan Khan
    Aug 17, 2011 - 11:57PM

    Why people have forgotten story of Bengladesh…..deny us our rights and we will break this country with out creation of new provinces…..Punjabies think they can impose their will on Seraikies….if Americans cannot impose their will on Afghans or Iraqies how Punjabies will be able to maintain their occupation of Seraiki wasaib…..Seraikies will get their rights…..Province or a an independent country ….it is choice of Punjabies…???

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  • TANOLI.
    Aug 18, 2011 - 1:11AM

    @ Farhan
    west pakistan was little far from thats a reason they get away from us with the help of india but stop thinking of break away from pakistan or breaking pakistan this is fool dreams
    which not gonna come true keep in mind. Note to all fools who dreaming of this.

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  • Cynical
    Aug 18, 2011 - 2:14AM

    @Ali

    “Not creating more provinces will weaken the country further”.
    The opposite i.e. creating more provinces may not necessarily strengthen the country either.In both cases it’s matter of probability with many variables.
    There is no easy answers.

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  • Frank
    Aug 18, 2011 - 8:35AM

    Farhan

    if Americans cannot impose their will
    on Afghans or Iraqies how Punjabies
    will be able to maintain their
    occupation of Seraiki wasaib…

    ‘Seraiki wasaib’ has evaporated into thin air, whence it came. Bawalapuris, the inventors of the Seraiki identity, are now calling themselves Riasatis and denouncing Multan. Mianwalli, Bhahhar etc are now calling themselves Thalochis and saying they will never accept Multani domination. Within Southern Punjab Multan has replaced Lahore as the hate figure. It hasn’t worked out quite the way the Seraiki idelogues intended, has it? Reality has an awful way of defying our expectations, especially delusional ones.

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  • mind control
    Aug 18, 2011 - 11:52AM

    @MS-Mariya

    As for the tired example of India, you can;t compare apples to oranges because in Pakistan, ethnicity is important whereas in India it’s more about caste. Cate matters more to Indians. In Pakistan people identify with region and tribe more.

    Shall we put the thesis to test?

    A. When the Malayali speaking people wanted a separate province-Kerala- were they mobilising along ethnic-linguistic lines or was it along caste lines?Do check up Kerala’s composition along religious/caste lines. You will also conclude that the binding factor was ethnicity and region.

    B. Ditto for Gujarati speakers seeking Gujarat. And the predominantly tribal populations seeking Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh. And even now the ethnic Gorkhas seeking a Gorkhaland in north Bengal.

    C. And if it is all about caste, can you enlighten me about the caste of Mrs Sonia Gandhi, the most powerful politician of India?

    Your posts often remind me of two lines of an old poem,
    A little learning is a dangerous thing; Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring.

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  • aziz
    Aug 18, 2011 - 1:27PM

    Why Bhawalpur was merged with Pujnab, why not with Sindh in the first instance? The forces who merged Bhawalpur with Punjab are the ones who are resisting creation of more provinces. Long Live Raja Ranjit Singh.

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  • Frank
    Aug 18, 2011 - 5:44PM

    aziz

    Why Bhawalpur was merged with Pujnab,
    why not with Sindh in the first
    instance? The forces who merged
    Bhawalpur with Punjab are the ones who
    are resisting creation of more
    provinces. Long Live Raja Ranjit Singh

    Bahwalpur is historically a part of the land of Punjab. Both the rule of the Abbasi Nawabs and Ranjit Singh were relatively short times in history. Bahwalpur was merged with Punjab and not Sindh because one of the greatest poets of the Punjabi language Khawaja Ghulam Fareed was born and lived in Bahwalpur state.Recommend

  • TANOLI.
    Aug 18, 2011 - 7:03PM

    why u guys just talk those past things look at america lot of peoples in america dont even
    know that red indian are native people of this land just live on man like some body said where ever you live its a your country.

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  • Babloo
    Aug 18, 2011 - 8:14PM

    Is there one good reason to preserve Pakistan ?

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  • syed
    Aug 18, 2011 - 8:59PM

    Creation of New provinces will help in bringing harmony,controlling law and order and, development opportunities in general and specially in the southern Punjab which suffers and bleeds.
    Why there is hue and cry for carving a new province in Punjab ??

    Punjab is already divided into east & west
    Punjab and east Punjab is further divided into Haryana ? ?.Why to go far away,we have example just next door.
    In 1947, India has few provinces and now there are twenty seven One can easily visualize the benifit that how both of those provinces ( Punjab & Haryana ) have flourished and contributing in Indian economy,( Economy growth over 8 % )

    Carve out a new province in Southern Punjab and have the same or better result,and let Multan be capital of the new province .

    .

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  • Arif Qureshi
    Aug 18, 2011 - 11:08PM

    Sorry to say but Shame on all the Pakistani leaders and their followers who are in the talk for new provinces at this current situation in the Pakistan. Please don’t take it personal because we all should and elevate a voice to achieve current BIG issues and to save the country first from it!
    The whole country is suffering severe corruption, killing, Law and Order, Bribing, Quota even in a police (no merit exist) and this is also a huge part of the debate in all the media. All of this because 3 big political parties to support their militant groups.
    As I said in my past post;
    Pakistan needs an advance management who they can utilize and flow a balance budget within the resources instead enlarging it. We need proper audit areas to keep eyes on the flow of country’s resources. This concept of newly establish provinces are going to create more problems but sure benefits to them. What need to correct are the current policies and there implementation on urban and rural areas first.
    We need a better management to run this country. Not to discriminate what we have in our young talents but we need “working management skills” perhaps for that we may have to look outside of the box. Our leaders and politicians are FAILED tremendously to run this nation. This is not the dream of Quaid’s Pakistan. This nation is running under sever corruptions! Brotherhood is almost gone from the country due to corruption and poverty. Allah may help us to avoid this muddle. Ameen! Salam

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  • Jawad
    Aug 19, 2011 - 12:50PM

    Zahid u need a break,,administrative division will certainly help to improve the infrastructure and reach out to more people..

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  • Paki
    Aug 19, 2011 - 9:58PM

    To all my friends who think that more provinces would end up with higher efficiency and better management… Wake up and smell the fresh air of corruption apathy and nepotism .. These are the ones that are stopping our development…not the fact that we have four provinces…no mTter how many provinces we might end up with .. Situation would remain the way it is until we realise the basic problems and differentiate it from imaginary ones such as creation of new provinces

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  • Raymond Durrani
    Aug 25, 2011 - 7:01PM

    Breaking up the heavly populated and and so populated like Blochistan makes good economical and and social sense where tight control over problems like corruption and discrimination (Christian Nation of 20 million of them has been openly discrimnated in every way – sometimes encouged by the majority and ignored by the government body like Police) could be excercised. It will create an excellent sense of democratic state where people would closly decide what is good for them – it will be a tool to create a system for fair distribution of national wealth. Job creation would be achieved at its best – undeveloped vast lands like Blochistan would reap the fruits of it and governemnts of all levels would earn massive revenues. In nutshell, it makes all the sense that 10 to 12 provinces be created without delay.

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