Should Punjab carry Pakistan’s burden?

Published: August 1, 2013
The writer is a political economist

The writer is a political economist

The evidence is quite clear: Punjab is far more developed than the rest of Pakistan; it has been growing faster, has far less terrorism than Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) or Karachi, and almost none of Karachi’s regular shutdowns. Shahid Javed Burki has written a number of well-argued articles on these pages arguing this point.

The question of what ‘Punjab’ is, is clearly central to any fair assessment of Punjab’s presumed success and prospects. Of course, there are very wide disparities within Punjab itself, a fact recognised by anyone who talks about Punjab, with southern Punjab, in many ways, worse than many of Sindh’s districts in terms of underdevelopment. One highly respected Lahore-based researcher has called the Takht-e-Lahore an oppressive entity usurping the rights, resources and identities of the Seraiki people, equating central and northern Punjab (and Punjabis) to colonisers. One can also complicate such analysis by asking whether the Punjabi industrialist in Karachi, or agricultural settler in Sindh, or trader in Gilgit, ‘belongs to’ Punjab in any meaningful way, and , what such location means to understanding regional and subregional administrative structures. Despite such disparities and questions of methodology, there is still a province in Pakistan called Punjab, and until there are more provinces in Pakistan (with Punjab needing at least three), one can continue to speak of an entity called ‘Punjab’.

The question arises, then: should prosperous Punjab, which has all the attributes listed above, carry the rest of Pakistan with it? Now that Punjab’s political leadership is also the party in power in Pakistan, does one expect this political leadership to sort out the other problem provinces in Pakistan (all three), as well? Or should it concentrate just on Punjab, for as we know, whoever rules Punjab, rules Pakistan? For some, Punjab is Pakistan, and vice versa.

The term ‘should’, showing a choice, differentiates clearly from ‘can’, showing ability. Clearly, Punjab can, especially with the same party ruling Islamabad and Lahore, devise public policy and economic programmes, which are non-partisan and are what people still call “in the greater interests of the nation”. This is bound to happen, even unconsciously, as many policies are to be devised, which will have broadly similar effects across Pakistan. Taxation, pricing policy for energy and petrol, trade, and numerous other topics ought to be province-neutral, although given the economic impact of Punjab (and Karachi), these two regions might be more affected. Something as straightforward as uninterrupted power supplies will have a beneficial impact across Pakistan, but will also have a differential impact on users, and since parts of Punjab and Karachi consume more energy, they may benefit disproportionately

The question of ‘should’ is more complex. If the PML-N was not in power in Islamabad, what interest would the Punjab government in Lahore have of fixing Balochistan? Or the militancy problem in K-P? And would the Punjab government have the means and jurisdiction to intervene in any meaningful way? Probably not. An influential public policy analyst from Lahore threw up his hands in dismay and said that Punjab was fed up of having to suffer on account of Karachi, Balochistan and K-P, adding that “it should go its own way”, a view he said was gaining ground in Lahore. This was before the elections.

Ironically, only if Islamabad and Punjab are ruled by the same party would there be incentives and externalities to helping the rest of Pakistan, which would be far greater than just helping Punjab, but with Punjab benefiting more, as a result. This does not mean that the centre usurp the rights of other provinces, something which it cannot do after the Eighteenth Amendment, but it does mean that both Islamabad and Lahore would need to work together for the welfare and development of the other provinces as well. A trouble-free Karachi and K-P allow for more trade to and from Punjab, increasing economic activity, benefiting everyone, as would better relations with India. The responsibility on Islamabad is far greater than just helping the brothers in Lahore. And if Lahore can help Islamabad, even better. However, in order to stop the continued domination of Punjab and of Karachi over the rest of the country, the three provincial governments need to develop their own provinces as well, so that they can also benefit from gains which may accrue. Perhaps, what is good for Punjab may be good for the rest of the country. And, vice versa.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 2nd, 2013.

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Reader Comments (47)

  • MJ
    Aug 1, 2013 - 10:54PM

    Looking at the present export of Punjab .. sectarian terrorism, looking at the extremely high figure of non payment of electricity bills by industries to LESCO, and judging by unmatched corruption in Punjab ….. actually Punjab IS THE BURDEN.


  • Khan
    Aug 1, 2013 - 11:23PM

    And whenever Punjab is in trouble they can readily ask the dominant Punjabi army for help to keep Punjabi power. Its a pity that this planning of keeping all other three provinces especially the people of K.P poor begun 60 years ago, giving only leftover jobs in government institutions. Army is also run in the same style and now people of the three minority provinces will always be a step backward in all aspects of life. What Ghaffar Khan said to Gandhi ” You are leaving us among wolves” is proving to be true till now, unless some miracle happen.


  • lol
    Aug 1, 2013 - 11:53PM

    Very convenient article, you forget Punjab’s energy is powered by the other 3 provinces and is not capable of running on its own, if Punjab ‘should not’ carry the other three provinces, they ‘should not’ supply Punjab either, in this scenario Punjab will be the first to perish, please remember the only reason Punjab prospers is b/c of the cunning Punjabis who understand they need to take advantage of the other 3 provinces to survive, without Sindh, K-P and Balochistan, Punjab is nothing.


  • Shoaib
    Aug 2, 2013 - 12:43AM

    Dear Editor,
    I just found a typo in the title the words “Punjab” and “Pakistan” should be interchanged. Please avoid such mistakes in the future, it sets the blood of half of Pakistan boiling.


  • Parvez
    Aug 2, 2013 - 1:14AM

    Pakistan is basically an agro based economy, the Punjab is the centre of wheat production being our primary crop because it feeds us……………today after years they are talking of importing wheat – what does that tell us about planning and the Punjab ?


  • Abdullah Khan
    Aug 2, 2013 - 1:17AM

    The main Sub Nationality of Pakistan are Punjabi tribes ,Pashtoon Tribes ,Baluchi tribes and Mahajar(if some one consider it a Nationality). KP consist of Pashtoon tribes and allied non pashtoon tribes(chitarli+kohistani etc)Sindh consist of Baluchi tribes and Mahajar ,Baluchistan consist of Baluchi and pashtoon tribes , and punjab consist of All these tribes inculding punjabi tribes (original and migrated punjabi). Punjab is mini Pakistan. Because all sub nationality of other provinces of Pakistan are present in punjab (Baluchi+ pashtoon+Mahajir and punjabi. The problem of punjab is Wadira and industrialist mentality which dominated separated punjab from other provinces. These wadera are Baluch Sayyed and migrated punjabi industrialists. And Lahore composition are also same wealthy and privilege class of all sub nationality gathers in Lahore. Which creating problems for other provinces I.e utilizing and investing in Lahore ,Faisal Abad and sailkot. The original people of punjab are Hard working. Even the industrialist of KP and Sindh doesn’t recruit their peoples in their industries and Recruiting punjabi. In KP all industries were closed due to Unions. Some closed industries were restarted by bringing labour from punjab. Even pashtoon Floor mill owners doesn’t employs pashtoon and their employs are all punjabi.
    Its not a case of Nationality it is mentality of Elite class of all nationality


  • Sajida
    Aug 2, 2013 - 2:09AM

    Punjab has had power shutdwons. My friend in Lahore has also complained of them.
    It is Karachi that is better off. KESC as been a great help.
    “Power cuts lasting 12 hours a day or more have devastated Pakistan’s economy. The loss of millions of jobs has fuelled unrest in a nuclear-armed nation already beset by a Taliban insurgency.
    The only city bucking the trend is the violent megacity of Karachi, Pakistan’s financial heart – thanks to Tabish Gauhar and his team at the Karachi Electricity Supply Company (KESC).
    “It has consumed every ounce of my energy,” 42-year-old Gauhar told Reuters in his wood-paneled office. “But we have helped millions of people.””
    Pakistan utility company fights to power chaotic port megacity


  • Sajida
    Aug 2, 2013 - 2:16AM

    It is Karachi which is carrying the Pakistan burden not the Punjab. Given that why did PPP not treat it better when it was in Government? Didn’t even care to improve its transport system;whereas Lahore got a start on a more modern system.


  • dr HA Talpur
    Aug 2, 2013 - 2:31AM

    Accepted Punjab is prosperous and rich,it has no obligation to carry on the burden and let Sindh and Balochistan go and decide their own future.That is the only way your burden would be lessened and you can enjoy your prosperity.


  • dr HA Talpur
    Aug 2, 2013 - 2:34AM

    @Abdullah Khan:
    You seem to be highly illiterate person.There are 25 million Sindhis in Sindh apart from Baloch and Mohajir.


  • Ammar Zaheer
    Aug 2, 2013 - 5:43AM

    People will probably get emotional with this topic but a good analogy for understanding is whether the heart is more important or the brain. Each organ in the body has a purpose and cannot be replaced that easily. In the same vein, each part of Pakistan has a purpose and no one can take precedence over the other.

    What we need now is for distributing power at the grass root level. This entails:
    1) Increasing number of provinces
    2) Provincial autonomy
    3) An agreeable/workable administrative system (councils and nazim etc.)

    This will help develop the various provinces and cities according to their potential.


  • John
    Aug 2, 2013 - 7:30AM

    Kindly, Punjab should not carry the burden of other provinces–rather should go its own way as one Lahore-based policy maker has wished taking with it the Punjabi-dominated army that is sucking the resources of other provinces and help expanding the middle class of Punjab to defend the land-locked militarily vulnerable and water and energy-deficient Punjab from collapsing or being invaded. Let the other provinces sort out their problems freely as they like.


  • Roni
    Aug 2, 2013 - 8:32AM

    This Op Ed is misinformation and disservice and a wasted effort.
    The writer repeatedly talked about Punjab and Karachi as they are independent provinces. While he did not separate Lahore and Pindi from Punjab.
    No province of Pakistan wants to waste so much money on the army except Punjab. It is the burden of not Pakistan but Punjab that is imposed on other provinces.
    We have heard these same logic about E. Pakistan being most backward and burden on Pakistan. What happened, their rate of growth is higher than any province in Pakistan with a stable secular democracy and not much extremism. If Punjab does not want to “carry” the other provinces then without lot of atrocities like Bengal, they should let go of these backward provinces! Punjab’s per acre yield is a fraction of India’s Punjab and its comparison with KPK or Sindh is like comparing apple and oranges.


  • Umar Pathan
    Aug 2, 2013 - 10:03AM

    Before reading this article i was thinking it might be offering something interesting. But now i think this piece is nothing but telling the non-Pakistani as in efficient or some sort of burden on Pakistan.

    If that is the case and Punjab is so overwhelmed then why don’t we dissolve federal divisible pool so every province have 100% have hundred percent control on their resource so and to be honest no one need Punjab to share our economic indeed majority of the non- Punjabi found this narrative very attractive to get rid of Punjabi domination some how. The writer has describe energy policy to be a sort of special favor to the province but he forgets that its actually Punjab who need energy of every type and so good in use of energy but so poor in producing it .Recommend

  • Malveros
    Aug 2, 2013 - 10:46AM

    The real burden is Sindh. Biggest Kunda operation for stealing electricity is run in Karachi. Biggest electricity losses are in Karachi and Hyderabad and biggest gas losses are in Sindh example Dr.Asim’s Clinic stealing gas for two years for his hospital from Qadirpur gas field making Sindh the most corrupt province. Tribal area does not pay for electricity along with some districts of KPK. For the ones who are saying that Punjabi Army and the intelligence apparatus is sucking the resources then why do the other provinces call it in times of need and help. The Punjabi army is not there to clean up the mess created by other provinces. In regards to dams whenever Punjab talks about building Kalabagh Dam, Sindh cries that water will be stolen and KPK says Nowshera will get flooded which are both erroneous reasons. People who are talking about Punjab’s energy needs shared by the other three provinces must also remember that Punjab feeds the rest of the country. Also to the ones who say Karachi generates maximum revenue I must say that collecting duty and taxes on imports and exports means nothing. That is federal revenue. Punjabis are the most hard working and have made their mark on merit all over Pakistan in all the provinces. Also another clarification I would like to make is that pathans are equally represented in Army and Intelligence Apparatus so people from KPK are not employed in leftover jobs. Another example is Wapda. Yes Punjab should not carry the burden of other provinces and more than 60% of the people (all ethnicities) residing in Punjab make it Pakistan.


  • Ammar
    Aug 2, 2013 - 11:03AM

    An influential public policy analyst from Lahore threw up his hands in dismay and said that Punjab was fed up of having to suffer on account of Karachi, Balochistan and K-P, adding that “it should go its own way”, a view he said was gaining ground in Lahore. This was before the elections.

    I didn’t understand, is it the view of an analyst from Punjab or Lahore. How low one can sink? If we are talking about burden then why not South Punjab go its own way, after all it is feeding a white elephant in shape of Lahore (an ultimate parasite), with minimum share in budget. Shame!!!


  • shinwari
    Aug 2, 2013 - 11:07AM

    lol very funny to read “Punjab was fed up of having to suffer on account of Karachi, Balochistan and K-P…” Punjab is the major exporter of consultants (individuals and organizations) and provides other ways and means in numerous ways to the on going militancy in other provinces. It must not be ignored that without other provinces resources of water and energy, Punjab will be near to zero.


  • Karim
    Aug 2, 2013 - 11:48AM

    It is true that 53% of the population of Pakistan lives in Punjab and so they rule Pakistan one way or the other. Punjab feeds Pakistan as wheat and other eatable are mostly grown there and most of the man power in services come from Punjab. Punjab is the dominant province of Pakistan and we should respect it a first place. There is load shedding of gas and electricity in Punjab unlike Karachi. The simple logic is that we are living in a democratic country and it mean who ever has greater head counts they are dominant and this province has 53% of headcount of this country. This logic applies on NFC and other resources of this country and we should accept it because this is the logic of democracy. Why should it matter if Karachi provides 68% of the revenue, gas is mostly found in Sindh,Balochistan and KPK, Power is provided by KPK, SIndh and Balochistan, the water that flows from Gilgit-Baltistan, Kashmir and KPK to the lands of Punjab. The solution lies in increasing the number of provinces in Pakistan and this means selling their dominance for scrap thus it is their last choice.


  • Bhai log
    Aug 2, 2013 - 12:51PM

    Punjab is also the largest consumer of other province’s natural resources so which province is the burden? It is because of Punjab that people of Sindh have to face the load shedding of natural gas despite being the largest contributor of this natural resource. The writer seems to be biased.


  • Bhai log
    Aug 2, 2013 - 12:53PM

    What is good for Punjab is solely for Punjab and what is good for the rest of the country is also good for Punjab.


  • Bhai log
    Aug 2, 2013 - 12:53PM

    Punjab itself is a white elephant for the rest of Pakistan.


  • Bhai log
    Aug 2, 2013 - 12:59PM

    It was Punjab who was responsible for the disintegration of Pakistan and articles like this might contribute for the same again.


  • Unarmed
    Aug 2, 2013 - 1:14PM

    WTF? Why should Punjab meddle in others affairs? The Other 3 provinces hate us. Literally hate us. I remember, tales of Punjabi doctors being followed and thrower stones at by children in Swat Valley after the operation for being Punjabi. There is also the case of state sponsored suppression of Punjabi language. Every assembly in the country took oath in their provincial language along with Urdu but in Punjab assembly, punjabi is though of as Painduon ki zaban. Punjabis need their identity which is being taken away from them. We don’t care what happens in other 3 provinces. We need to resolve our issues.Recommend

  • IndusValley
    Aug 2, 2013 - 1:18PM

    Sindh is the biggest producer of Gas, petrol, electricity, and she has ports, fertile land and developed Urban centers. Some in center does not want New and old Sindhi unity, they want to usurper our resources with divide n rule policy. A rich province of Sindh has vast majority of poor ppl. If Sindh is considered burden on center, they should let her go. And its not good to deal small provinces as colony but they need to be empowered n respected. Thanks


  • Bhai log
    Aug 2, 2013 - 1:18PM

    If u don’t care about other provinces then stop consuming our precious resources. We don’t care what happens to you after that.


  • Bhai log
    Aug 2, 2013 - 1:19PM

    Attitude like this is more dangerous to the sovereignty and integrity Pakistan then drones.


  • Bhai log
    Aug 2, 2013 - 1:19PM

    Attitude like this is more dangerous to the sovereignty and integrity of Pakistan then drones.


  • IndusValley
    Aug 2, 2013 - 1:25PM

    Sindhis are under represented in Army, Judiciary, big corporations, sports and bureacracy. We are systematically sidelined. Our patriotism is not less than Punjab but despite all rich resources, high GDP share in budget, fertile land, and ports, we got No return. People are living in poverty. We demand due rights.


  • Arifq
    Aug 2, 2013 - 1:34PM

    Akbar Zaidi article helps us better understand how Punjab thinks of itself and of others, good job Zaidi Sahib.


  • ST
    Aug 2, 2013 - 2:55PM

    We can’t tolerate a dissenting view and the only critique is that Punjab is a burden. Nobody has come up with credible arguments.


  • Pappoo
    Aug 2, 2013 - 3:47PM

    MR Author! its actually punjab which is a burden


  • Khalq e Khuda
    Aug 2, 2013 - 4:06PM

    Apart from sweeping statements the article is devoid of any statistics:

    Punjab is deficient in electricity production lagging behind KPK and Sindh in absolute terms
    Punjab’s per capita revenue is far below Sindh
    Punjab takes the lions share in federal government jobs and all federal departments; in fact the chunk of people who are appointed in lieu of quota for smaller provinces are also Punjabis; case in point 15 out of 17 judges of Supreme Court are ethnic Punjabis; including all from Balochistan & Sindh
    With 23% of country’s population, its contribution to the national GDP is around 33%. Sindh collects 70% of Pakistan’s Income Tax and 62% of Sales Tax.
    Sindh has 54% of country’s textile units, 45% of its sugar mills, 20% of pulp & paper mills and 35% of edible oil processed locally. Sindh accounts for 34% of total industrial capacity in large scale manufacturing and 25% of small scale manufacturing.

    Moreover as stated by commentators above the biggest problem being faced by Pakistan i.e. terrorism has its roots in Punjab and sectarianism can be directly traced to patronage of the current government of Punjab in centers in Jhang, Muridke, Raiwind, South Punjab and elsewhere.


  • Random Passerby
    Aug 2, 2013 - 6:15PM

    @lol: You are right that Punjab’s is dependent on other provinces for it energy needs, that is why, to “go its own way” Punjab is looking to buy for electricity from India. An international power purchase contract with India, where the violations can be challenged in International Courts, is a far better solution then dealing with the power politics of KP and Sindh. Soon, Punjab will also start setting up alternate energy solutions in the province to reduce its dependency on KP’s hydel power as much as possible.


  • The Paki!
    Aug 2, 2013 - 8:28PM

    Millat kay saath Raabita e Istawar rakh
    Paiwasta reh shajar say, Umeed e Bahar rakh
    Allama Iqbal


  • Malveros
    Aug 2, 2013 - 9:37PM

    @ Bhai Log : How did u come to the conclusion that Punjab was responsible for the disintegration of East Pakistan ? Do u have any clue of history and ground realities. Do u not know the role of the power hungry Mujeeb Ur Rehman, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Yahya Khan (None of them were Punjabis) ? The punjabi army was called in at the last stage to cure cancer (cleaning up the mess).It was your leader Liaqat Ali Khan who sowed the seeds of separation in East Pakistan when they forced Urdu upon Bengalies as an official language to be used. Did u very conveniently forget about this. If u are not happy in Pakistan u can go back to where u came from (India). Do not try to stir up emotions among the indigenous people of Pakistan (Sindhi, Punjabi, Pathan and Baluch). All the four provinces are vital organs of Pakistan. Another misconcept that Sindh collects 70% of Pakistan’s Income Tax and 62% of Sales Tax. This is federal revenue not Sindh’s generation of revenue. Who are the owners and the people running the textile mills, sugar mills and pulp and paper mills providing employment to people of Sindh ?


  • MJ
    Aug 3, 2013 - 1:05AM

    @Malveros: What you stated as facts are mixed with fiction. Hyderabad (HESCO) is the second highest in the ranks of non payment or electrical losses, primarily due to the non urban surroundings. Here are the losses from the previous five year. KESCO (Karachi) losses are dwarfed when compared to LESCO (Lahore):

    FESCO Rs. 600 million
    GEPCO Rs. 360 million
    LESCO Rs 2.35 billion
    MEPCO Rs. 280 million
    IESCO Rs. 3.66 billion
    SEPCO Rs. 7.47 billion
    HESCO Rs.16.17 billion
    PEPCO Rs. 59 billion
    KESCO Rs. 90 million

    Interestingly KPK is highest in terms of non-payment (PEPCO 59 Billion) lets see if IK/PTI government can bring the change that they so fondly talk about by collecting electric bills from KPK.
    As far as your claim that Karachi’s share in GDP is only due to import duties, here are the facts: Karachi is vital to Pakistan’s economy, contributing 42 per cent of GDP, 70 per cent of income tax revenue and 62 per cent of sales tax revenue. How come almost non one in Lahore or other urban centers in Punjab pays income tax?
    Pakistan cannot prosper till there is a lands reforms act like the one in India. We have to tax agricultural income, specially on farms/owners above a certain acreage. But Punjab backed governments will never let this happen. They will continue to be a burden on the rest of Pakistan.


  • John
    Aug 3, 2013 - 2:02AM

    By the way, it is Punjab that is a burden on other provinces. Punjab has nothing to give to other provinces. As for wheat, it must be noted that agriculture is a provincial subject and the wheat production, storage, distribution, and trade is under the provincial control of Punjab. Other provinces cannot buy wheat in open markets in Punjab and must procure it through inter-provincial trade. Furthermore, Punjabi wheat cannot be supplied to other provinces unless flour millers of Punjab get it. Also, other provinces cannot buy wheat from international or regional markets and are forced to buy it from Punjab.

    Contrary to this, the levers of control of hydroelectric power and natural gas are in Lahore.


  • Samo
    Aug 3, 2013 - 3:09AM

    @Abdullah Khan

    It is quite clear that you are neither from Sindh or Balochistan. Yes, half of the Sindhi population is Baloch. The rest are indigenous Sindhi tribes. Correct your information.

    And there is no ‘Mahajir tribe’ from Sindh. The ‘Mahajir’ title was self-proclaimed by immigrants from Muslim-minority Indian provinces, none of whom had any relation whatsoever with Sindh. No native group that is actually FROM Sindh is known by that term. And I would wager any amount of money due to your deliberately provocative misinformation that you hail from Uttar Pradesh or Bihar, not Sindh.

    PS: The author of the article is clumsily attempting to push an ethnic agenda when he implies that Karachi is a separate territory, using the favourite phrase of many non-locals, “Karachi AND Sindh”. I should point out that Karachi is a part of Sindh, & was a busy commercial port 150 years before the Partition of India. Many of the city’s busiest areas, for example Saddar or Drigh Road (now Shahrah-e-Faisal) date to the 19th century, a fact many try to ignore.


  • Shahid Bukhari
    Aug 3, 2013 - 5:50AM

    I am sorry to my all KPK, SIndh, Balochistan brothers on behalf of the people of Punjab. I just want to say that such articles do not in anyway represent the thinking of an average ‘Punjabi’. We had have never think in such a way about other provinces of Pakistan. I have been in three universities, BZU, IUB, and QAU. I have never observed/heared about such illicit thinking at these places. You know well that universities are the places which represent people from about every sector/class of the society. There is nothing like that here. May Allah Bless us Unity, Faith & Discipline.


  • Malveros
    Aug 3, 2013 - 7:41AM

    @ John : Good riddance if Punjab is a burden for you and offers nothing in return. I do not want to get into the inter provincial trade aspects (all products from Punjab double taxed due to not having seaport). FYI the levers of control of hydroelectric power and natural gas are not in Lahore but Islamabad (Federal Territory). Remember Karachi used to be part of federal territory before and if that status is reverted to Sindh will not have much to account for in terms of so-called revenue generation.


  • observer
    Aug 3, 2013 - 12:42PM

    Should Punjab carry Pakistan’s burden?

    Of course not.

    And here is a roadmap.

    Al Bakistan has already disassociated itself from South Asia and is now a part of the Middle East.

    Since Al Bunjab is way ahead of Al Bakistan, Al Bunjab should now transplant itself in Al Arabia.

    If Al Bunjab also takes all the Lashkars and Jaishes of Jhang and Bahawalpur etc with them, the rest of Pakistan would be better off.

    Yesss You Can.


  • Umer
    Aug 3, 2013 - 5:50PM

    No one wants Punjab in rest of Provinces. If Punjab would let go of stealing other provinces’ resources the rest of provinces would be just fine. Unfortunately using the resources of other provinces all projects are designed to benefit Punjab like the current Karachi to Lahore motorway project.


  • Babloo
    Aug 3, 2013 - 7:35PM

    No Punjab should not carry the burden. It should let Sindh, Baluchistan go free. Then it should try to negotiate a ‘transit agreement’ with Sindh to move goods through Karachi port and see how that transit trade progresses.
    It will make Pakistan-Afganistan transit trade disagreements lokk like child’s play.


  • A. Khan
    Aug 3, 2013 - 10:06PM

    The general thrust of this article being : what can one part can do for the other parts, rather what all the parts can do for the whole country. This is a recipe for disaster and a one way street to break up.

    All provinces should be contributing to development. If a province feels it has been neglected, then look to your provincial leaders who seem to be enjoying a very good lifestyle and accumulating property/wealth at the provinces expense. Question them as to why that is the case.


  • Rabbani
    Aug 3, 2013 - 10:38PM

    I’m amazed at how conveniently the residents of other provinces have laid blame upon Punjab for their backwardness. Sons, such attitude, even in politics, is highly despicable. Everyone must admit that wherever they are now, is just because of the policies of their ancestors (predecessors), not because of “conspiracies” by Punjab.

    I hope if everyone could understand this, residents of all federating units of Pakistan would be able to live in peace and tranquility.


  • malik
    Aug 4, 2013 - 4:52PM

    Punjab bashing has become a fashion these days…

    rewind back to 47 , then it was not India …rather only Punjab and Bengal the two muslim majority provinces that were divided … so in present context of Pakistan …it was only PUNJ
    AB …that was divided…

    now some cold figures.

    13-14 lac were killed ….10 lac in Punjab
    14.2 were forced to migrate …. 9.2 million in Punjab , 3.2 million in Bengal …and post 48 ….1.2 Million from Sindh …. now figure out the rest.

    …the blame lies on the Punjabi intelligentsia and intellectual fair and square….


  • Bilal Akbar
    Aug 6, 2013 - 10:57PM

    Ah, Yet Another article whining about South Punjab and yet another article with a comment section filled with anti-Punjab sentiment. Well, let me be clear, there is no such thing as Takht-e-Lahore! The PML-N has got a massive mandate from southern Punjab just like it has from Northern and Central Punjab! And for all the people complaining about how Punjab is the problem and how punjab steals all the stuff, let me make some facts painfully clear. Punjab gives all the other three provinces the food they need to survive so people!, stop complaining about how punjab gets all the electricity and stuff ’cause Punjab provides something even more important, food! Punjab doesn’t dominate the army, only about 3 or 4 Punjabi men have led the Pak army out of the 14 chiefs till now. One has to admit the bitter reality that Punjab has 53% of the total Pak population and thus, they will also comprise the majority of people in all departments, industries etc. Another thing!, realize that it is this “Punjabi dominated” army that sacrifices its life for the security of other provinces. We don’t have a problem with terrorism, KPK does, Sindh does and Balochistan does. We really don’t have to fight for you guys yet Punjabis sacrifice their lives for your safety.

    So guys, please stop complaining about which province does what and gives what, it will only lead to division amongst us. We are Pakistan and each province has its own unique ways of contributing to this nation (Balochistan has its natural resources, Sindh has Ports and Coal etc., Punjab produces the food and has a majority of the industry, KPK produces energy and has a high tourism potential). So, all the provinces have something to contribute to this nation!


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