New province, old motives?

New province, old motives?

With the calls for a new province constantly being echoed, various questions are being raised regarding the motives, prudence and consensus behind this. Where most people seem to agree with the fact that smaller provinces may help bolster efficient administration, confusion starts at how these would be carved out.

For instance, in the case of the Seraiki province, will the geographical boundaries incorporate three divisions of southern Punjab or will the Seraiki-speaking parts of other provinces be included? Forming a consensus and strategies on this issue is far more important than rushing the process before the next polls.

Are the calls for the new province(s) simply led by political convenience and point scoring or could the government actually be sincere in encouraging the devolution of power and improving governance through this process?

If the Seraiki province is carved out, will the government next look at the Hazara belt and its plea for a separate province as well? Or does their interest lie only in the breaking down of Punjab?


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69 Responses to “New province, old motives?”

  1. Bokhari says:

    Irrespective of politicisation of issue, delaying tactics of ‘some’ media ‘factions’ (marginalised areas saraiki especially has less representation in media) and parties the creatiom of provinces is the ultimate sollution for grievances of neglected and marginalised areas & it will be remembered who favored the right.

  2. Adnan says:

    I think it would be very good for the administration of Sindh if it can be further divided into a few administrative units for better management.

  3. Arbab Zahid Ali says:

    Delegation of power by adopting any of the methodologies is a lucrating decision. It enables the government to address the problems as the target population becomes more defined. We can relate it to a marketing strategy of segmentation and further leading to niche, by focusing the target market more closely and precisely. To be optimistic, the administration of such a huge and fast growing population in five segments is practically impossible, but this segmentation should not be based on ethnic or linguistic disintegration, which can lead into grevience among masses. If we observe the current situation, the Balochi’s have a separate province constituting 4 % of the population but Siraiki’s despite of being 10% not previledged. I urge to the policy makers to simply divide the population by a scaling method, not on the basis of ethnic or linguistic divisions which will certainly protect the unity, a major pilar of the three.

  4. Asif iqbal says:

    I’m from india, and i believe its a good step by our pakistani brothers to make new provinces on the basis of language. In india we have 29 states and each state has its own language. making new provinces has in turn united we indians. Now talking about punjab, indian punjab region at the time of partition is already divided in to three states – punjab, haryana and himachal pradesh on linguistic nd administrative grounds.

  5. Shakeel Babar says:

    Creation of new provinces is a welcome move; it will bring the authorities closer to the public, for whom the whole system works, and will result in greater efficiency.

    However, pertinent question is: how the provinces be created? Certainly not in the way the political parties are trying. It is a national security issue, in socio-economic and devolution sense, hence must not be made victim of political gains.

    This is reality that Pakistan is changing, rather transforming. New provinces has to be created, if not through peaceful means, the people would force the government/s by intimidation. Hence, the political parties are trying to use the cards they have – PPP Saraiki; PML N Bawalpur. The proposed criteria for creation of new provinces seems to be ethnicity, history and administrative.

    Non of the province in Pakistan is ethnically monolithic entity. It is very hard to make province consisting of one major ethnic community, as this would lead to discontent as was the case with naming KPK.

    History can not be a criteria for province creation, thorugh I duly respect the magnificient history of the areas dating back to thousands of years. But if any province is created on the basis of history, then what about all the states who joined Pakistan? e.g. Khairpur, Sawat, Dir, Kalat.

    Only seemingly reasonable criteria is creation on the basis of administrative needs. But who will define administrative needs. Here the PML N again plays politics.

    Devolution of power is always welcomed, hence more provinces. The right approach to deal with the situation should be making a commission including parliamentarian, economists, notable jurists and members of civil society with a time frame of six months to come up with a consensus plan for demarcation of all the provinces of Pakistan. However, it must be a precondition for new province that it must be self-sufficient. Moreover, the federal-provincial fiscal management must be revamped. The federation should collect enough tax for its spending – Defence, Debt, Development – for smooth running of federal government and it should hand over the collection, allocation and spending of all other taxes to the provinces. The basic idea is federal government must not provide funds to provinces, rather the other way round. Only than Pakistan can develop, true fruit of decentralization be acquired and inter and intra-provinces harmony be created.

    • Zain ul Abidin says:

      i support your idea of making new provinces through a commission but it is hard to achieve because we Pakistanis have never agreed on a thing in history. there are always the conspiracies..

  6. Fayzee says:

    Its not the devolution of power, but just political activities to degrade the other party. We could not hold municipal elections since more than 4 years now!! So, where are we heading. Making more and more provinces is a very delicate matter which should be given a thorough thought. We need REAL commissions of learned people, from almost all walks of life. My dear Pakistanis! Please do not rush to any solutions, be patient, think before you talk and implement anything.

    Right now we do not need any more or less provinces. We should wait for the coming elections, whenever they are held, and let the new assembly delibrate on it and give it due time and thought before implementating any decision.

    May Allah help us Pakistanis to be united not divided.

  7. Dawar Naqvi says:

    Recently NA passes resolution in favor of south Punjab province. We Pakistani American applause this resolution. For the stability of the country and region this is essential to create more provinces. This will be easy for administration to solve the issue.
    Current division of provinces is based on ethical boundaries.
    We are Punjabi from Punjab.
    We are Pathan from PukthoonKhaw
    We are Sindhi from Sind
    We are Balouchi from Balouchistan
    Where is my Pakistan? Inshallah, this administrative division of Pakistan will eliminate ethical boundaries.

    Dawar Naqvi

  8. naseer nasar says:

    The present parliamentarians are not creating new province nor framing any new constitution for a newly liberated state.Our politicians are intending to reorganize and rename the provincial region for the realization of efficient administration which means good governance.And this package is applicable to South panjab which is need of the hour but hazara province is a matter of point scoring and just a reaction to the legitimate name of KP.In matters of administration and population sraeki region is more legitimized in its cause than Hazara people.Dawn is just exaggerating the less important and less populous hazara district which should not be discussed this way any more.however the package is equally applicable to FATA and Pashtoon belt of Balochistan.

    • Rahan says:

      Hazara is not matter of reaction to legitimate reaction to renaming NWFP but it is need and demand of the people. Infact it the demand form Hazara that initiated the debate for new provinces. Smaller administrative units are necessary for development, peace and security of the country. Theories of ethnicity for having big and separate entities will not work any more. Small efficiently and effectively administrated units will be demand from every province soon

  9. Piyush says:

    I’m an indian and i don’t think there is any harm in creating new provinces on the basis of language. In india we have 29 states and each state has its own language. Creating new provinces has in turn united india. Now talking about punjab, indian punjab region at the time of partition is already divided in to three states – punjab, haryana and himachal pradesh on linguistic nd administrative grounds.
    PS- i’m a north indian studing in south indian state of karnataka. Just minutes ago we and my kannada(karnataka) friends were watching ipl match b/w where i was supporting mumbai and the bangalore

  10. SYED ADEEL says:

    One unit has its advantages for a country as complex and complicated like Pakistan. All who resided in Pakistan during the 60s (at-least in the western wing) considered themselves to be Pakistani first !
    Those who talk about new provinces are actually trying to be helpful but what they don’t understand is that new provinces based on ethnic identity will erode the integrity beyond repair. I am not even in favor of these four provinces which creates a big sense of disparity among those sub-nationalities who do not have a province in their name.
    Hence we need to for a commission and develop a road map that will create new provinces on administrative basis .
    But my last far is that this isn’t just about provinces, there is definitely a lot more to it!

    • Zarmeena says:

      I totally agree with provinces on administrative basis. And, second a comment given below by someone else to even consider renaming all the existing provinces to remove the ‘ethnicity’ element from them.

      Although even the existing structure can be leveraged if only the vote-winners would do their job honestly and aptly and the government would work for the rights and welfare of the entire Pakistan, rather than concentrating on some electorates.

      When N.W.F.P government made hue and cry to rename the province, the opportunity should have been ceased to rename all the provinces away from their ethnic-based names. Instead, what happened has given fuel to the fire of other ethnic-based province demands.

      Have provinces, by all means if you must. But not on ethnic names.

    • shahid says:

      i agree with you but to further amplify or add i must say that division should have administration as its only criterion

      • Jamal says:

        An ancient problem with an ancient solution – The Greek City states, after all people live in large settlements, with a concentrated centre, the modern age is no different. Let’s map them to cities and their surrounding conurbations. This is will probably be very hard to sell to the public, so the easier option would be to make the districts provinces in their own right.

  11. Asif Shaikh says:

    @Zain ul Abidin: its very easy to draw a jigsaw Puzzle of Pakistan map :) 2 nation theory was for just 2 nations and ultimately it divided india in 3 pieces !! it will be a Joke to take the same logic for 7 nations and which will result atleast 10+ pieces of this country :) do you have any Idea that who will be able to handle issues bw all those segments,what about water accords, post division matters like quota,revenue,most damaging part will be the migration … !. this is a leader less nation and when there is no national leader there would always be dozens of leaders with very limited agendas. nothing would change by dividing land until nation change its mindset …. Pakistan was administratively divided into towns & UCs and that didn’t resulted positively except 2 metropolitan but even in karachi over powering one community resulted a complex scenario of frustration bw other communities and resulted chain reaction which is still un stopable after 5 years. so pakistan’s political and ethnical dynamics doesn’t allow to divide it.

  12. Pasta Jan, Bhittani says:

    Creating new provinces are good, but naming the province is also very important. I think we should even change the existing names of all the provinces.

    • Mirza Baig says:

      Very nice idea…..should remove this Punjabi, Sindhi,Balochi stuff……and name them on administrative and geographical basis…..for instance Sindh should be changed to Indus ….things like that….even if you go through out the world ….most of the developed countries have name their provinces like that …..look at Canada….there province Ontario’s name is not based on some ethinicity….. nice idea….should create space for other ethinic groups, increase unity and result in strong federation under single flag..

      • manish says:

        your intentions are good but you are comparing apples to oranges. canadians have a history of say 300 years, an ordinary pakistani, on the other hand, derives inspiration from period before 1700s, so it would be like divorcing them from history. it never works and never will.
        tell us can canadians now rename canada as islampur or iran? no because they have developed their culture around this name and will oppose any such move. the earlier you realise, the better it would be for you and your country.

  13. jamakhan says:

    i think punjab is already divided adminitratively with three benches of lahore high court facilitating people more close to their places.
    if u talk about ethnicity, i m not sure if saraiki is a different language altogether. its just a dialect of punjabi. people talking about no progress in multan region, should go and see roads in other parts of punjab. its all same, probably highways are better in multan region.
    if someone sits honestly and talk about reorganising provinces on administrative grounds, balochistan must be divided in 2-3 parts, punjab should be divided in three parts, with hazara division integrated with pothohar province. remember, another province means 17 members in senate. do u think its justified to have 17 members for hazara and 17 members for rest of punjab???

    • Zain ul Abidin says:

      Well you answered your question yourself. Hazara division Integrated with Pothohar Divison will form a province(17 seats), southern Pun jab integrated with DI Khan will form another province (17 seats) and the rest of punjab(Central Punjab) will have 17 seats. that makes senate seats division justified..

  14. awais says:

    i think mian nawaz sharif’s today’s speech is very important as he has very rightly said that PPP has’nt done a single thing for the welfare of the masses in four years so far. All they have done is to tread the path of self preservation and disregarding the orders of supreme court. Turncoats and opportunists like Aitzaz ahsan helping them mock the judiciary. Now they have come up with this idea of carving out a new province out of punjab. Have they been sleeping the last 4 years ? Idea in itself is not bad but the timing and the way it is being used by PPP to gain political mileage is objectionable. People of south Punjab must realize that zardari gives a damn to whether they get their rights or not, all he is interested in is how to weaken the position of PML-N in punjab. At this juncture of time when we dont have enough funds to pay IPPs to produce enough electricity, how we are going to afford the administrative expenses of making a new province ? Such decisions should be left for the new assemblies after the elections. Let the current corrupt government stew in its own juice of bad governance and mismanagement and die of its own natural death.

  15. Hanif Chaudhary says:

    I agree with Sarah. British divided punjab illogically. PPP has broken pakistan in cooperation with Mujib and Indra Ghandi. Now they want to divide Punjab. Will they diviode Sind and bring District of Ghotki and Rohree into Saraki Provine. I think NEVER.

  16. Raza says:

    If making a province in south Punjab according to ethnic diversity is the right of Seraiki people, then Hazara, Karachi and southern KPK should also be made separate provinces. But I disagree with the people who claim that Punjab is the best governed province. Looking at the development expense and results one can easily find stark difference between Lahore and other major cities of North Punjab, South Punjab is unfortunately even worse. This all is created by Mr. Sharif (I would rather call him CM Lahore as with his actions he does not qualify for the CM of Punjab province). All the new development, new schemes, new programs, new resource centers (whether economic, educational or others) are made in only Lahore. Mr. Sharif has created this feeling of derisiveness in the whole Punjab unfortunately.

  17. Capt Mansur says:

    After watching Jhang’s snail speed progress in the past 40 years, I can only hope forming the Seraiki provinve will improve the Infrastructure, bring employment etc.

  18. Zain ul Abidin says:

    Pakistan should be divided into 9-10 provinces. it will strengthen pakistan. making new provinces will always be politicized. There is no way you can escape this situation of democratic system. Its better to make a new pakistan and dump every sign of British Raj(the current provincial divisions)
    1. central punjab
    2. hazara division + rawalpindi division(its the same belt)
    3. Khyber pakhtwn kwah
    4. fata + some boundary districts of KP
    5.giligit baltistan
    6. Qalat+ makran+lasbellah divisons
    7. remaining balochistan
    8. multan, bahalpur, dg khan and DI khan divisons
    9. karachi+hydrerabad+mirpur khas divsions
    10. Remainig sindh

    • syed says:

      I totally agree with you zain….if someone is saying that new provinces not required I must say they are living in past…Everywhere in the world including India and even Afghanistan has more provinces and its keep growing. Forget about US and other western countries I am talking about our neighbours. Problem is that we as a nation prefer to live in Past, prefer to talk about the past thing rather than moving forward. Idon’tunderstand how can a nation move forward when avoiding the future challenges.For those who are saying that pakistan will break …..keep in mind my friend one of the basic reasons for creation of bangladesh was 2 unit (east and west pakistan)…

    • Muhammad Rohaan Sadiq says:

      There is certainly no need of making new provinces! Pakistan already has district system which needs proper governance. The trouble is that we don’t have proper governance here and I can tell you for sure that by having provinces, things will not change but instead go wrong. There are two reasons:

      1. The government which doesn’t have good governance will not be able to do anything even if we have provinces. The government which can’t even govern districts, how can it deal with provinces?

      2. The provinces which are tabled today are based on ethnicity. This is very wrong! If we were to get separate provinces why Quaid-e-Azam and all our elders bothered to come to Pakistan? Today we can’t deal with a group of people asking for independence in Balochistan, imagine what will happen if we have to deal with 9 or 10 groups asking for the same.

      Please for Allah sake don’t divide Pakistan into pieces. Inface we should be telling people to live together in peace and harmony in muslim society our elders dreamt for and to live only and only as PAKISTANI.

  19. Fahad says:

    the last thing Pakistan needs is additional provinces, get divided and be ruled

  20. Zafar Fatmi says:

    Smaller units are very much required to better govern the country. When Pakistan was created the population of West Pakistan (now Pakistan) was around 32 million. The current population size is approximately 175 million (6 times bigger in size). For appropriate governance if we consider that at baseline we need 24 provinces. We have to start somewhere and the largest is the most appropriate. It is not MQM/PPP/PML-N or anybody else. This is required for the welfare of the people of Pakistan.

  21. Jalbani Baloch says:

    Punjab has already paid the price at the time of creation of Pakistan. It was divided into two states, one became part of India and other of Pakistan. Further divisions of Punjab must not be made, and boundaries of all other provinces including Punjab may be considered as sacred. Saraiki is not a nation by any historical definitions, it is a conglomeration of different tribes and races, which have occupied this area in different periods of history. Historically, Sindh was a separate country, and its borders covered Sibi, Multan and a larger part of Rajistan. In later period of history, the borders were redefined and Multan including other Saraiki belt become an integral part of Punjab. Most of the people in this area are ethnically Baloch, who migrated from Sidbi due to their internal tribal wars. They abandoned their language and adopted Saraiki Language. Therefore, they should consider themselves as Punjabi Baloch, and should not assert or claim as their own identity of being Saraiki. The division of other provinces e.g. KPK, Sindh and Balochistan will be no less than a dangerous move, and I fear that it will be a great blow to the sovereignty of Pakistan.

  22. fus says:

    Either make more provinces or have effective local govt. system which empower ppl and provide development funds accross the districts. As far as those who are speaking in favor of Punjab, I can only say that Punjab is beyond Lahore, Gujranwala and Faisalabad. Go and get the facts about the development done per capita in lahore and then compare it to other cities or southern punjab. Secondly Bahawalpur was never part of Punjab, it was forced into joining Punjab after one unit ended.

    Btw why are you against creating a seperate province for ppl of southern punjab or hazara? What is wrong in it, it will still be part of Pakistan?

    • incognito says:

      Local government system has delivered (whereever implemented with comittment) and can deliver in future.

  23. rehan khawar says:

    I think it is alos important to divide balochistan into more sub provinces that is the only it can get prosperity and also the lawlessness inthe remote areas will be governed. This is formost important than dividing punjab. I am against making provinces based on language and race it unislamic thoughts and ignorance. when will be we mature enough to accept eachother as muslim brotherhood and care for people as being human not necessarily chatting the same language.
    Rehan New york

  24. Shahid Bhatti says:

    India started with 14 provinces in 1947 and now its more than 32 provinces. The only reason for not creating more provinces is the mind set of manipulating others peoples resources and to just think about themselves. More provinces can improve harmony and good will among people and alleviate the hatred whiich is cancerous to the country.

  25. A.Bajwa says:

    The problem is that one region doesn’t accept domination of another. Punjab is dominated by Shareef Brothers who basically represent business community. Zamindars in Punjab and Sind wouldn’t accept their domination. They are after all products of military regimes.

    South Punjab on the other hand cannot pretend that they have been subjected to injustices. We had so many political rulers from this region Gurmani down to Kher and Qureshis.

    Now whether people of Bahawalpur and Dera Khan accept the domination of big guys from Multan and Muzaffargarh, or even Liah remains to be see. Those from Rahim Yar Khan don’t accept them. on Facebook on Facebook