Pakistani Punjab, 1947-1955

When India and Pakistan were released into independence in 1947, the Province of Punjab was partitioned. The area east of the Sutlej, with Amritsar and the envorons of Delhi, joined India; the area west of the Sutlej, with Lahore, joined Pakistan.
The First Indo-Pakistani War of 1948, the immigration of Muslim Mohajirs from India and the subsequent exodus of Punjabi Hindus and Sikhs had a significant impact on the Pakistani province of Punjab. Traditionally, the majority in the province spoke Punjabi (Seraiki being regarded a Punjabi dialect at that time); now a significant element of Urdu speakers was added.
The Pakistani part of the Punjab was constituted as the province of Punjab, with capital at Lahore. The princely state of Bahawalpur joined Pakistan, but maintained a separate administration until 1955.

From 1949 to 1951, the provincial assembly was suspended and Punjab placed under governor's rule, from 1951 to 1955 by civil administrations headed by chief ministers.

The provincial administration, by constituting a Committee for the Official Language, propagated the usage of the newly chosen national language of Urdu at the expense of Pakistan's regional languages. Although the capital was established in Sindh, the population majority in East Bengal and the national language that of the immigrant Mohajirs, Punjab emerged as the political core province of Pakistan, with Punjabis being heavily overrepresented in the army and state administration. Hence, Punjabis identified with the new state of Pakistan to a higher degree, than did East Bengalis and Sindhis, not to mention Balochis and Pashtuns.
The Pakistani administration pursued a policy of creating a national infrastructure and expanding the national economy based on economic planning by the state. Taken the contributions of the various provinces to the national revenue into account, Punjab greatly benefitted from this policy, as it received a major share of investments. Among others, hydroelectric dams were constructed which secured the prvince's irrigation-based agriculture (it was feared that India might use her control of the headwaters of Pakistan's major rivers to adversely affect Pakistan's economy).
In 1955, Pakistan implemented an administrative reform; the province of Punjab and the princely state of Bahawalpur were abolished, both integrated into the new province of West Pakistan.

Article Provincial Assembly of the Punjab, from Wikipedia
DOCUMENTS Pakistan Provinces : Sind, from World Statesmen
Historical Population Figures : Pakistan, Provinces, from Population Statistics
Former Assemblies of the Punjab, 1947-2001, from Provincial Assembly of the Punjab
REFERENCE Christophe Jaffrelot (ed.), A History of Pakistan and its Origins, translated from the French, London : Anthem Press (2002) 2004, KMLA Lib. Call Sign 954.91 J23h

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on May 3rd 2007

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