Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Environment Protection in Cholistan

Punjab Rangers in collaboration with locals and government officials worked out on multiple options for provision of sweet water to its troops performing their duty under scorching sun on vast front of Cholistan Desert. Punjab Rangers has also taken a number of serious and practical steps to rehabilitate the depleting water resources in desert with the help of civil administration / philanthropist to meet the water requirement of troops / local population.

Pakistan Rangers (Punjab) is guarding eastern border of Pakistan within geographical commitment and dedication. Multifarious tasks to include border guarding from green belt to scorching desert, internal security assignments in varying / difficult environment have transformed Rangers soldiers capable of delivering their best.

Punjab Rangers are also guarding huge area in Cholistan desert. Cholistan is the largest of four major deserts of Pakistan. It is bordered on the south by the Thar Desert in Sindh province and on the east by the Rajashthan desert in India. Most of the rainfall is received during the monsoon months of July through September, smaller quantities of rainfall sometimes occur in winter. Consequently, freshwater availability is very limited. There are no perennial or epherneral streams, and most of the groundwater is saline with a medium to high range of dissolved solids that make it generally unfit for drinking. High salt concentration also makes groundwater impossible to use. The only source of fresh water for inhabitants and their livestock is the occasional rainfall. The droughts are quite common and can last from a few months to a few years. Water, a basic requirement for all living beings needs no emphasis, yet its availability in pure and sufficient quantity is of paramount importance and one of the main command responsibilities. Availability of water in green belt is not difficult but it is an uphill task in case of desert and semi desert terrain. Non availability of sweet water in close proximity of Border Out Posts and its transport from far areas has multiple issues like huge expenditure of fuel, wear and tear of transport and time consumin efforts.

Director General Pakistan Rangers (Punjab) Major General Mian Mohammad Hilal Hussain, has infused a new spirit in all ranks and concieved / implemented the concept of Rangers Environment Protection & Improvement Drive (REPAID) and provision of sweet water specially for troops deployed in Desert.

To improve the environment, more than 500,000 saplings were planted, 4000 birds and 14000 fish spawns released into natural habitat and into the rivers flowing through Punjab. In addition, a massive environment awareness capmaign was launched for Rangers persons including general masses as part of REPAID.

Punjab Rangers in collaboration with locals and government officials worked out on multiple options for provision of sweet water to its troops for provision of sweet water to its troops performing their duty under scorching sun on vast front of Cholistan Desert. Punjab Rangers has also taken a number of serious and practical steps to rehabilitate the depleting water resources in desert with the help of civil administration / philanthropist to meet the water requirement of troops / local population.

New sweet water souces have been developed after necessary reconnaissance and technical sweep of the area. A waterfall is developed at Maujgarh to supply water to locals. Rangers troops and animals. From this well, approximately 50,000 litres per day is being pubped out with a 30 Hp motor. With the current water usage, the well is expected to last for 4 - 5 decades. In the extreme weather condition of summer with scorching heat and high temperature, water well at Maujgarh is thus truly a delight. The beneficiaries of this well are as:

  • 700 people of Maujgarh including Rangers troops.
  • Around 12,000 sheep, goats and cows.
  • Around 2000 camels.


So far about two tons of vegetables
have been cultivated deep in
the desert for the benefit of local
population and Rangers troops.

In addition to this, contruction of new well at Lubanewala and repair of Khutriwala pipe lines have also been carried out to provide water to troops and locals of area.

The water was also utilized in developing three acres of land for farming vegetables and animal fodder. So far, about 2 tons of vegetables have been cultivated deep in the desert for the benefit of local population and Rangers troops.

 The provision of handsome financial assistance by philanthropist like Mr Irfan of Faisalabad played a pivotal role in timely completion of these projects. The hunge distances from water sources to border out posts have been reduced to ust few kilometers, there by saving fuel & efforts. Troops deployed in desert area and local population equally happy on this mammoth development. by undertaking these projects, the leadership of Pakistan Rangers (Punjab) and its soldiers conveyed the message that no enemy including scorching sun can fail them in performing their duty in the order area of dusty terrain with lack of trees. Their shinging faces are the reflection of their high morale, dedication and commitment to their duty.

This article was published in "Sunday Plus; The Nation" 29 July, 2012.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Sadiq Public School (SPS)

About Sadiq Public School (SPS)

The Emergence of Pakistan with the changing horizons and new aspirations required a new leadership in almost every walk of Public and Social life. Thus the need of the Hour was a Public School to lay special emphasis on Islamic Ideology, revive our Glory and restores our cultural heritage besides character building and personality development programmes and usual academic activities; a Public School disciplined on the style of Harrow or Eton. The building of such an institution is an uphill task but real men are those who established such colossal monuments, worthy of the Nation, the teacher and the taught. Such institution illumines the life and character of the young generation which is but the future hope of our Millat.

This project was taken up by the Government of Bahawalpur. Its foundation stone was laid by Alahazrat, Sir Sadiq Mohammad Khan Abbasi V, in March 1953.

No country can prosper and flourish unless its people are properly educated so that they may know what is happening in the world around them and are able to discern between good and bad. The problem of education becomes all the more important and pressing in these fast changing times when our people aspire to attain full rights, and benefits of democracy and an enviable position among the progressive nations of the world. The achievement of this objectives needs large finances, careful planning, vision and better methods, New Schemes need to be evolved whereby our educational institution should not merely produce Babus and pretty job-hunters but youth with strong character, great capabilities, initiative and drive to shoulder the responsibilities lying ahead of them.

The Ruling House of Bahawalpur the scion of Abbaside Caliphs of Baghdad which had earned worldwide fame as patrons of education and knowledge – has distinguished itself in the Orient as great lovers of art and learning. The grant by them to big Jagirs to religious institutions which served as centres of education and enlightenment in those days is a vivid expression of their desire to maintain the noble traditions of their illustrious ancestors. Their zeal in this direction has continued unabated and as a result of this, satisfactory progress is being achieved in the field of education.

The Bahawalpur Government under the kind patronage of the Ammer of Bahawalpur and dynamic Chief Minister Makhoomzada Hassan Mahmud very timely, visualized the need of an institution which should nourish in its fold polished young men to fit in the future set-up as administrators, educationists, scientists, engineers and diplomats.

The scheme was discussed in all its details by the experts and as soon as they were convinced of its usefulness and feasibility, plans were drawn up, necessary formalities were gone through and the P.W.D. machinery was put into gear.

Just opposite the Bahawalpur Forest Reserve, on the left side of the road to Dera Nawab Sahib where there was a vast area of 180 acres covered by wild growth or mounds of earth and deep depressions, like irregular water catchments caused by excavation of earth by the owners of brick kilns across the road, bulldozers and hundreds of labourers began to work.

The opening ceremony of the School was performed by Ala Hazrat the Ameer of Bahawalpur on 18th of January 1954. The school started functioning with the main School Block, a senior and Junior Boarding House with accommodation for 50 boys each and five staff Bungalows. Within two years, a Mosque, two Swimming Pools, a Hospital, a dozen more staff Bungalows and all the ancillary building were completed.

To begin with, the School had only 37 children and 7 teachers. Khan Anwar Sikandar Khan, the first Principal developed this institution from scratch and converted a veritable wilderness into a campus of panoramic spectacle.

It was a Herculean task to make a beginning on nothing more than 450 acres of barren land. At present this institution ranks among the foremost Public Schools of the country. It has now five Boarding Houses where more than 400 pupils reside varying in age from 5 to 18 years.

With the exception of Aitchison College in Lahore and a few Public Schools in Karachi there was no institution of high standard between Lahore and Karachi. This institution was thus established with the specific objective of providing Public School education to the children of Bahawalpur Region in particular and the whole country in general, so to produce leaders in various walks of public and social life.

Sadiq Public School is situated on the national highway, 392 kilometres from Lahore, 828 kilometres from Karachi and 100 kilometres from Multan. Bahawalpur is in southern Punjab, 350-375 feet above sea level and linked with Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad by road, rail and air. The temperatures vary from extreme hot in summer to very cold in winter.

Official Website: http://www.sps.edu.pk/

Movement for Bahawalpur Province

Abstract:

Bahawalpur Division was the State of Bahawalpur, which had a history of 228 years of rule by the Abbasi Nawabs. The State, which was formed in 1727, ended in 1955 and the whole area of the State was made a division of Punjab Province. Bahawalpur region since last 300 years has faced a common historical experience. The people of Bahawalpur region are facing similar problems; these include underdevelopment, economic and political deprivations. The general masses feel that their region is being exploited and they are not being provided their due shares. These shared problems have brought the people of Bahawalpur region closer to each other towards the demand for a separate province for Bahawalpur region which has always been geographically distinct. Ever since the establishment of the State, Bahawalpur region has had an independent and separate identity.

Introduction:

Bahawalpur region in one of the nine divisions of the Punjab province. Its total area 18,000 sq miles. Area wise it is the largest division of Punjab. As per 1998 census, the total population of the region is 7.518 million, which is 10.3% of the total population of the Punjab and 5.6% of the total population of the country. The average growth rate of the region is 5.0% per annum. It is one of the important regions from agricultural and defence point of view. The important agricultural crops of this region are cotton, wheat, sugarcane, oilseeds and pulses. The most important crops are cotton and wheat, which contribute 23% and 10% of the total production of the country respectively. From the defence point of view Bahawalpur has three hundred miles long border with India with the requirement of special defence tactics suited to desert warfare. This region is being represented by 15 MNA’s in National Assembly and 31 MPA’s in the Punjab Assembly.

Even though area wise it has been the largest division of Punjab yet it is also one of the most backward region. The region remains underdeveloped, in nearly all fields.

Bahawalpur as a State merged in 1955 and along with it was the end of the Abbasi Nawab’s rule, but even today all the Nawab’s are remembered by the people. This includes all sections of people, the leaders, ordinary masses, the educated all and sundry. The Nawabs are an important feature of the Bahawalpur region. People love and respect them as a symbol of their glorious past.

The people of Bahawalpur have not forgotten the Nawabs, the family of Nawab is still highly respected in the region. Nawab Salahud-Din Abbasi the grand son of the last Nawab is one of the most important and the most respected political figure in the region. He has all the public support. The people still give him the same respect, which was given to the Nawabs.

“Another grievance is that Bahawalpur’s prosperity mainly depended on the waters of River Sultej, which was given to India in the Indus Water Treaty, this adversely affected the economy of the region”.8 Earlier in Bahawalpur State judiciary and executive were separate, which also ended at time of One Unit. The State had its own legislature Assembly, Secretariat, High Court, Accountant General and Public Service Commission.

The major reason for remembrance and respect for the Nawabs is that even though the Nawabs were autocratic rulers, who did not allow or give political freedom but they did a lot for the development of the State, which benefited the people. The first Nawab laid the foundation of the State in 1727, with only a small locality, very soon the latter Nawabs started expanding the domain of the State. Not only they gained a lot of land, they also made it one of the richest states of sub-continent. A lot of development work was done in the State in all fields. Schools, Colleges and later on a University were opened. A number of scholarships were given to students even outside the State. Railway track was laid by the Nawabs in the State. Hospitals and dispensaries were established. Canals were dug and Sultej Valley Project was completed to provide water to the lands of Bahawalpur region. The State had its own administrative and judicial system.

It was but natural that as to retain their authority and control over the State, the Nawabs did not want political awareness amongst the people and thus did not allow any political activity or freedom in the State. But their contributions out weigh this drawback. Then, also after the merger of the State, the region has been comparatively neglected by successive governments, the region lacks development and is not given its due share in both economic and political matters. Due to the deteriorating condition of the region, the people remember the times of the Nawabs even more. The people of the region strongly feel that they were much better during the State than after the State was merged. The people were then assured that the earnings would be spent on the region, whereas, now the earnings of the region are spent elsewhere.

Political Movements in Bahawalpur In recent times there have been two political movements in Bahawalpur region. One is the Saraiki Province Movement and the other is the Bahawalpur Province Movement. These two movements have been active at different times in Bahawalpur region. The Saraiki area comprises southern Punjab, which includes Bahawalpur region also. Saraiki Movement started in 1960’s, initially not as a political movement but more of a cultural and linguistic movement. The movement gained momentum in early 70’s after the Bahawalpur Province movement had fizzled out in 1971.

Bahawalpur Province Movement: Saraiki Province Movement began when the Saraiki speaking areas of Punjab felt that in comparison with Punjabi speaking areas, there was less and slower development in Saraiki areas. Less access to power, and goods and services resulted in lack of development. There are number of grievances which have been put up by the various Saraiki political parties and organizations. One of the grievance is settlement of people from other areas. This began when in 1886-86 canals were dug by the British and new canal colonies of Southern Punjab Bahawalpur region were opened to settlers from outside. Then again after Sutlej Valley Project new settlers came into Bahawalpur region, which is still continuing much to the disapproval of Saraiki people. Another grievance is that the Saraiki area generates more income than what is spent on it. According to Saraiki activists, Saraiki area is economically exploited. It is believed that Bahawalpur being the major producer of cotton, the income earned from it is not being spent on Bahawalpur. A major demand of Saraiki activists is that the quota of employment for Saraiki’s be raised.

The number of people in Bahawalpur who support Saraiki Suba Movement comprise only of few Saraiki speaking people. The urdu speaking and Punjabi speaking section of people are totally against the creation of a separate Province on the basis of difference in the spoken languages as they then will be dominated by the Saraikis.

The Saraiki Suba Movement does not have many roots in Bahawalpur region. Not even once in all the elections, has any candidate of the Saraiki Party ever won a single seat in Bahawalpur, rather they always lost very badly in the elections.

It is not a popular movement in Bahawalpur region. The majority in Bahawalpur region still favours Bahawalpur Province upon Saraiki Province. The people feel that by supporting the creation of Saraiki Province they will be foregoing the demand for Bahawalpur Province. The other feeling toward Saraiki Province is that Multan will be the centre of power and the capital of Saraiki Province and the domination of other areas over Bahawalpur region will remain as such.

Being Saraiki, a limited section of people in Bahawalpur do have a soft corner for Saraiki Province, but in the last few elections no candidate of Saraiki Party has been able to get even a respectable number of votes. The people of Bahawalpur claim that they are not seeking the establishment of a new province but are demanding for the restoration of Bahawalpur Province, whereas the Saraiki Province demands the division of Punjab and creation of a new province.

At present, Bahawalpur Province Movement is again active as it has always been a deep rooted movement in Bahawalpur region. The movement is also known as “Bahawalpur Suba Movement” and “Movement for Restoration of Province of Bahawalpur”.

Bahawalpur Province Movement:

“On 30th April, 1951 the Pakistan Government and the Ruler of Bahawalpur entered into an important agreement which put the State on the same footing as provinces under the Government of India Act of 1935 in the matter of legislation and administration.”1 The agreement technically described as the Supplementary Instrument of Accession, was signed by Ameer Sadiq Mohammad –V and was accepted by the Governor General of Pakistan Khawaja Nazim-ud-Din. Under the agreement the Ruler of Bahawalpur agreed to transfer to the Central Government all subjects mentioned in list one of the Government of India Act (1935) called central subjects i.e. defence, communications and foreign affairs administered by the centre. All subjects covered by list two of the Government of India Act, called provincial subjects, would continue to be administered by the State. Both the Federal and the State legislature in respect of subjects mentioned in the Concurrent List but the Federal Legislature will have precedence over the State legislature should there occur a conflict between the two.

The government also clarified that the pattern evolved for Bahawalpur State would not be applicable to all ten States in Pakistan, claiming that all were very different from one another. The State will in future be treated as a province in the matter of grants and loans.2 Even after signing the document, the Ameer of Bahawalpur will remain as the State’s constitutional head.3

After the provincial status in 1951, elections were held in Bahawalpur to elect the legislative assembly. A forty-nine member legislative assembly was formed, which began functioning in 1952. This assembly remained along with other provincial assemblies till the promulgation of One Unit. This assembly passed the resolution to join the West Pakistan like the other provinces.

It is a historic fact that before One Unit Bahawalpur had a provincial status, and Bahawalpur merged with a status of a province with West Pakistan at the time of One Unit.4 But when One Unit was broken on 30th March, 1970 Bahawalpur was made a part of Punjab Province. Even though at the time of merger, an understanding was given to the Ameer of Bahawalpur that whenever One Unit will be broken, Bahawalpur will be restored as a separate Province.5 This is from where the Bahawalpur Province Movement begins. Historically for nearly two and a half centuries since the State of Bahawalpur was established, it had retained its internal sovereignty.6 Never was it ruled or taken over by any other government, ruler or province. Even at the time when Sikhs took over whole of Punjab, Bahawalpur State remained out of their rule. Even after joining Pakistan till the time of merger into One Unit, Bahawalpur retained its sovereignty. The distinct and independent administrative identity, the deprivations & under development in Bahawalpur led to the emergence of Bahawalpur Suba Movement, which demanded that Bahawalpur should be made as the sixth province of Pakistan. The experience of One Unit turned out to be a bad one for the people of Bahawalpur, which led the region to consider utilizing its own resources towards its development.

The economic and political deprivations became the major causes leading towards the demand of a separate province. Bahawalpur State had always been a very rich State, it was a self sufficient region, which was able to fulfill its requirements itself and never remained dependent on any other outside source.7 On the opposite Bahawalpur State contributed financially first to the Britishers and then later on to Pakistan government. At the time when Bahawalpur was a State not only was it economically sound but in other fields there was immense development, especially in the field of education, all over the State, students were given free education uptil matric, even after that it was the responsibility of the state government to provide higher education. The higher education institutions were affiliated with Punjab University. Outstanding students were given stipends and were sent abroad for further studies. It was the duty of the State to provide jobs to them. The treasurer department of the State used to give huge aid to various institutions like Punjab University, Aligarh University, Jamia Anjuman Himayat Islam and other institutions of the sub-continent. There were fixed seats for students from Bahawalpur in Medical and Agriculture colleges. At the time of One Unit, this ended.

“Another grievance is that Bahawalpur’s prosperity mainly depended on the waters of River Sultej, which was given to India in the Indus Water Treaty, this adversely affected the economy of the region”.8 Earlier in Bahawalpur State judiciary and executive were separate, which also ended at time of One Unit. The State had its own legislature Assembly, Secretariat, High Court, Accountant General and Public Service Commission.

An important grievances is that Bahawalpur region is one of the major producers of cotton crop, the earnings of this cotton crop are not being spent on the region but elsewhere. Another major grievance is the share of government jobs for the region.9 This has been deeply felt in the region that both Provincial & Federal Government jobs quota is negligible. This includes lower scale as well as higher-grade jobs. Because of this the region feels left out from the mainstream of Punjab politics. There is not much representation of Bahawalpur in various important government institutions like Public Service Commission, Board of Revenue, Industrial Development Corporation, Agricultural Development Corporation, WAPDA etc.

1954-55 – Rs.4,09,20,612/- (Four Crore Ninety Lakh Twenty Thousand Six Hundred and Twelve).

From the above statement, that the surplus net closing balance, of the Bahawalpur State, for 1954-55, was much more than any Province of Pakistan including the East Pakistan and on the other hand it shows that the budget of the Province of Punjab, was in deficit, and Punjab was unable to maintain its budget. According to an economist, the aim for the establishment of West Pakistan was to feed one deficit region with the surplus of the other regions.”10

“Bahawalpur had been able to balance its budget in the past and had also been a surplus and is now in a position to balance its budget over a reasonable time, and it has a capacity to increase its economic resources to meet higher level of development. Financial viability is to be regarded as an important criterion bearing on the creation of a new province and this consideration when weighed with other important factors like past history, population, culture and wishes of the people go long way to support the case of Bahawalpur for a separate province.”11

On 22 November 1969, the newspapers started giving news that the government will soon end One Unit and the previous provinces will be revived and it was revealed in the newspapers that Bahawalpur would not be given a separate identity. Immediately on 22nd November Allama Arshad called a joint session of various parties of Bahawalpur to stress upon the government to consider giving Bahawalpur a provincial status. These parties included Council League, Convention League, Democratic Party, National Awami Party, Jamiat Ulema Islam, Peoples Party, Chamber of Commerce, Bar Association and Jamat-e-Islami. The representatives of all these parties and pressure groups passed a unanimous resolution, declaring that at the break up of One Unit, Bahawalpur should be made a separate province, the other points in the resolution included the following:-12

  1. In 1955 Bahawalpur decided to join the One Unit and not any province, therefore, when One Unit breaks upon then politically, legally and morally Bahawalpur’s distinct identity should not be resisted by anyone.
  2. The proper way at the time of break up of One Unit was to restore the original jurisdiction of earlier provinces and not to increase the jurisdiction of any province.
  3. At the time when One Unit was established, Bahawalpur had a full status of a province, and like other provinces there was an assembly here, so when One Unit broke Bahawalpur’s status should remain as a province not as a State.
  4. Bahawalpur is not economically self sufficient, but it has been noticed from the provincial budget statistics that since last fifteen years the earnings from Bahawalpur have been spent on the development of other areas.
  5. Bahawalpur decided to join One Unit with the feelings of nationhood and love for Pakistan, whereas in return it received deprivations and discontent, and this has been accepted in the statements given by provincial finance minister, Governors and President in which they accepted that in Bahawalpur region less is being spent on development than its earnings. So Bahawalpur cannot further experiment by joining any province, which will bring discontent.
  6. The demand for the restoration of province of Bahawalpur is not only from the people of Bahawalpur region but it has been supported by various political parties, these include Democratic Party, Council Muslim League, Jamat-i-Islami, Thus the views of these political parties should not be ignored by the government.
  7. If the opinion of people of Pakistans largest previous State and also of the various political parties is not looked upon, then it may also have negative consequences on the Kashmir issue, a hasty decision which favours the expansionist intentions of a province should be avoided.
  8. In 1955 One Unit was established after the consent of major political parties, so at the time of break up of One Unit the consent of political parties and people should be taken into consideration.
  9. Bahawalpur has larger population than Baluchistan and Bahawalpur had more earnings than Baluchistan and Frontier province. Therefore, it has the capacity and capability to fully survive as a separate province.
  10. If at the break up of One Unit only provinces are to be made then there will be a need for redrawing them, so at this time the government should not go against the peoples opinion and include Bahawalpur in any province. Several groups were formed for the restoration of Bahawalpur province. The most effective group was the Bahawalpur United Front abbreviated as Mahaz. The important leaders of this Mahaz included Mian Nizam ud Din Haider, Sardar Mahmud Khan, Chaudhry Farzand Ali and Tahira Masood.
With the announcement of Pakistan government in March 1970 that One Unit is broken up into provinces of Punjab, Baluchistan, NWFP and Sindh. Bahawalpur was inducted into Punjab Province.13 This decision led to great resentment from all sections in Bahawalpur. All over Bahawalpur began processions, protests and meetings negating the governments decision to amalgamate Bahawalpur in Punjab. By end of March activists starting courting arrests.

On 24 April 1970 the police opened fire on a procession killing two persons and wounding many. Many protesters were arrested. Five processions were taken out in the Bahawalpur city to press the demand for separate provincial status for Bahawalpur. The processionists started brick-bating the police, upon this the police opened fire. The local administration called in the Army and curfew was imposed.14 Various political leaders were arrested, amongst them were Seth Ubaidur Rehman, Maulana Ghulam Mustafa, Altaf Qureshi, Allama Arshad, Syed Ahmad Nawaz Shah Gardezi. Begum Tahira Masood, was expelled from Bahawalpur for a period of one month.

For the restoration of Bahawalpur province, the women of the region also played an active role under the leadership of Tahira Masood, daughter of Mian Nizam ud Din, ex-Prime Minister of Bahawalpur. This was the first time that the women broke away the centuries old traditions and came out on roads. They would hold meetings and take out procession draped in white chaddars.

“All this suppressed emotion was expressed in the elections of 1970. Most seats went to the sympathizers of the Mahaz, whether they stood as independents or as candidates of a political party”.15 At the time of general elections of 1970, when the movement for a separate province of Bahawalpur was at its peak, the candidates who supported the cause received 80% votes. Out of total of 10 Lakh 30 thousand votes, 7 lakh 14 thousand votes went to the supporters of Bahawalpur Province Movement. The candidates who were not supporting this movement altogether received only 1 lakh votes.16 Once elected the leaders of Mahaz did not pursue the case of Bahawalpur forcefully, but they did issue declarations in support of a separate province, letters were addressed to Yahya Khan and Z.A. Bhutto. After 1971 when Pakistan lost East Pakistan, many in the Mahaz felt that it was unsuitable to pressurize for their demand at this time and along with it the Mahaz lost its unity and effectiveness.

Conclusion:

When the first ever general elections were held in 1970, it was the time when the movement for Bahawalpur Province was at its peak. The popularity of this demand in Bahawalpur was clearly manifested in these elections. All the candidates who got elected were great supporters of a separate province of Bahawalpur. These elected representatives from Bahawalpur comprised of few land lords and some were from the middle class. The question arises, once elected why these representatives did not strongly pursue the cause? It was because these representatives especially the one’s from the middle class could not sustain the government pressures, few joined the government camp and some became inactive.

The other option for the people of Bahawalpur was to adopt aggressive attitude towards the movement but one of the quality of people of this region is that they are peace loving. Another reason for the weakening of the movement was the lack of leadership. Lack of strong leadership became and is still one of the major cause, leading to the hibernation of the movement for a separate province. To cap it all the separation of East Pakistan forced the exponents of restoration of Bahawalpur province to leave it in the lurk, lest they be misunderstood.

Then there is strong influence of major national political parties in Bahawalpur. Most of these parties do not support the movement as they claim to be national parties discouraging ethnic and logistic divisions. Pakistan Muslim League is taken to be the party of Punjab. Its strength lies in Punjab, Muslim League cannot afford to favour the division of Punjab Province. Pakistan Peoples Party, which is the next major national party in the region is taken as a party of Sindh Province. If Peoples Party supports the Bahawalpur Province Movement, then it will also have to ultimately make Karachi Division a province which will be dominated by MQM and as such will be unacceptable to Peoples Party. Jamaat-i-Islami contests elections in Bahawalpur region, but seldom its candidates win. At the time when the movement for restoration of Bahawalpur Province was active, Jamaat-i-Islami in its manifesto had supported the establishment of a separate province for Bahawalpur. But when Mian Tufail became the Ameer of Jamat, this issue was removed from the party’s manifesto, one of the reasons given for this was the pressure of Punjabis on the Ameer.

The separation of East Pakistan should be taken as a lesson for all times to come, where refusal by the West Pakistan to provide due share to East Pakistan led to separatist movement eventually leading to dismantling of Pakistan. Bahawalpur region should be provided with its due share in both economic and political fields. The government should try to remove the feelings of deprivation amongst the people of Bahawalpur region before these surface into a active movement, which will have a negative impact on the integration of Pakistan. Even though Bahawalpur Province Movement is not active at the moment but it has strong roots amongst the people of the region. The people strongly feel that the problems of Bahawalpur region can be solved if it is made a separate province rather than a part of Punjab. While comparing the level of development of Bahawalpur region with that of other areas of Punjab, the difference can be seen and felt immediately. The people of the region are not wrong in feeling left out of the mainstream. At the movement there is no political party on platform working towards the Bahawalpur Province demand but during national and provincial elections, the people only like to vote for those candidates who support the cause. In Bahawalpur region it is very difficult for a candidate to win no matter from which political party, if he does not support a separate province for Bahawalpur. The demand for a separate province is popular amongst all sections of people. The masses of the region seem to be very touchy on this issue, it is still very fresh in their minds that this region as a State was a flourishing one.

Bahawalpur State was one of the richest States of the sub-continent. It was fully capable of surviving without outside help, it was able to generate its resources as to fulfill its requirements, not only this Bahawalpur States annual budget used to be in surplus.

Bahawalpur State had its own separate administrative judicial and educational systems, which were efficient and provided prompt relief to the people. After the merger of the State, the systems prevailing in other parts of the country were established in Bahawalpur region, which did not come up to the expectations of the people of the region, as a result this further dissatisfied the people. If Bahawalpur region had developed more after the merger and if it had received its due share then maybe things could have been different. The general feeling in the region is that as long as the region was a State, it had a separate and distinct identity, which did not rely on others but was sovereign in all its internal matters.

If serious thoughts and steps are not adopted for the uplift of the region then the politics of regionalism in this region may become a very serious issue. The majority of masses of the region aspire for a separate province for Bahawalpur region, this strong feeling may turn into a political movement, if the grievances of the region are not seriously looked upon.

References:

  1. The Civil & Military Gazette (Lahore: Civil and Military Gazette Press,1951), p.30.
  2. The Statesman, Delhi: 2 May, 1951
  3. Dawn, Karachi: 1 May, 1951.
  4. Sahibzada Mohd. Qamar-ul-Zaman Abbasi, Quaid-i-Azam Aur Riasat Bahawalpur (Bahawalpur: Sahibzada Qamar Abbasi, 1999), p.188.
  5. Ibid., p.204.
  6. Chaudry Farzand Ali, Convener Mahaz, Kianat, Goli Number 3, July, 1974.
  7. Qamar-ul-Zaman, Quaid-i-Azam Aur Riasat Bahawalpur, op.cit., p.230
  8. Shahab, op.cit., p.406.
  9. Qamar-ul-Zaman, Quaid-i-Azam Aur Riasat Bahawalpur, op.cit., p.280.
  10. Riaz Hashmi, Brief for Bahawalpur Province, op-cit., p.100.
  11. Ibid., p.103.
  12. Kianat, Goli Number, Bahawalpur, 3rd July, 1974.
  13. Imroz, Multan, 30th March, 1970.
  14. Dawn, Karachi, 25th April, 1970
  15. Tariq Rehman, Language And Politics In Pakistan, op.cit., p.182
  16. Qamar-ul-Zaman, Quaid-i-Azam Aur Riasat Bahawalpur, op.cit., p.235.

Author's Profile:

Dr. Umbreen Javaid
Author is Chairperson & Associate Professor,
Political Science Department,
University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Cholistan Desert Jeep Rally

Tourism Development Corporation of Punjab’s Cholistan Jeep Rally event began in the majestic desert of Cholistan, in the year 2005, with a view to promote southern Punjab as a winter tourist destination, and a way to introduce motor sports in Pakistan.

Cholistan is locally known as Rohi. This famous desert is 30 Km from Bahawalpur, and comprises an area of approximately 16,000 sq.km, which extends up to the Thar Desert, and over to Sindh. Camel and Jeep Safaris and Tours in the Cholistan Desert give tourists the opportunity to learn and experience a nomadic life and culture having experienced guides and modern facilities at their disposal. The Jeep Rally affords an opportunity to visit Derawar Fort the most famous among the many ancient forts that are located in the Cholistan Desert.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Islamia University of Bahawalpur

About Islami University of Bahawalpur (IUB):


Bahawalpur has always been a seat of higher learning. Uch Sharif (a nearby ancient town) had one of the largest universities in the world where scholars from all over the world used to come for studies. As a continuation of this tradition a religious University (Jamia Abbasia) was established in Bahawalpur in 1925, following the academic pursuits of Jamia Al-Azhar, Egypt. The renowned scholars spread the beacon of Islam by teaching Tafseer of Quran, Hadith, Fiqh, and History along with other contemporary subjects.
In view of the changing scenario, Jamia Abbasia was declared as a general University in 1975, and was renamed as The Islamia University of Bahawalpur. Initially, it started functioning at Abbasia and Khawaja Fareed Campuses with ten Departments. In order to construct a modern and self-contained campus, 1250 acres of land was allotted to the University on Hasilpur Road about eight kilometers away from the city centre.

The sand dunes have been converted into well-built faculties, green lawns, hostels, residential colony, farms and orchards. It is known as Baghdad-ul-Jadeed Campus. The University was started with ten departments and now this number has increased to 45 offering 74 disciplines. Apart from conventional disciplines of Religious Affairs, Languages, Social and Basic Sciences; education is being imparted in the areas of Business Administration, Engineering, Agriculture, Veterinary Sciences, Computer, Law, Education, Fine Arts, Pharmacy, Life Sciences and Sports Sciences. The University values quality education rather than quantity. Towards achievement of this end a team of highly qualified and committed faculty members have been engaged. Moreover, research is being made corner stone of the educational philosophy.

In order to provide opportunities of higher education to the youth at their door step, two campuses were established at Rahim Yar Khan and Bahawalnagar in 2005. Initially, Departments of Management Sciences and Computer Science & Information Technology were established for which response was very encouraging. The number of Departments at Bahawalnagar and Rahim Yar Khan Campuses have been increased to seven and six, respectively.

Main entrance of IUB

Friday, July 20, 2012

Famous Saraiki Music Artists


Famous Saraiki Music Artists


Saraiki folk music revolves around the desert's beauty and following are the famous Saraiki singers who perform folk and Sufi music.


  • Attaullah Khan Essa Khailwi
  • Pathanay Khan
  • Abida Parveen
  • Ustad Muhammad Juman
  • Suraiya Multanikar
  • Mansoor Malangi
  • Ahmed Nawaz Cheena
  • Talib Hussain Dard
  • Kamal Mahsud
  • The Sketches (band)


Many modern Pakistan Singers like Hadiqa Kiyani and Ali Zafar have also sung Saraiki folk songs. Shakeel Awan,Hussain Baksh,Munir Awan, Naeem Hazarvi, Shahzad Awan, Tariq Hazarvi, Sanam Afreen, Saeed Hazara, Afshan Zebi, and Manzoor Hussain Basir are new Saraiki singers.

Photos:


Kamal Mehsood

Talib Hussain

Ahmed Nawaz Cheena

Mansoor Ali Malangi

Surayia Multanikar

Ustad Muhammad Jamun

Pathanay Khan

The Sketched (band)
Atta-u-llah Eesah Khelwi

Abida Parveen

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Music Academies in Bahawalpur


Here are the some address of the music teachers and the academies, I found them on an old website.


Flute

Syed Nasir Shah
Akash Bansari Club
Shahi Bazar, Farid Gate, Bahawalpur


Ghazal, Classical and Folk Music

Syed Mahmood Naqvi
Ghazal Academy
Shahi Bazar, Farid Gate, Bahawalpur


Classical Music, Semi-Classical Music, Folk Music and Ghazal Music

Nadir Shah
Sur Sangeet Academy
SE College Road, Bahawalpur


Pop and Bhangra Music



Music Math Band
Here are the names of the members, but I couldn't locate their address and contact details. 

Moeen Shah

Lead Vocal

Hassan Shah

Vocalist


Nasir Khan
Lead Guitar


Irfan
Bass


Imad
Key Board Player


Nasir Mahmood Khan
Drummer


Photos:


Listen Saraiki Music:

  1. www.saraiki.net
  2. www.seraiki.net
  3. www.wichaar.com
  4. www.saraikimp3.com

    Monday, July 16, 2012

    Flags

    I found this information at http://flagspot.net/flags/in-bahaw.html
    Image by Jarig Bakker

    Some facts

    from Filcher (1984):
    EMIRATE OF BAHAWALPUR
    Princely States of Western Punjab, Present-day Pakistan - Sind
    17 Gun Salute
    Area: 42,564 sq. km
    Acceded to Pakistan in 1955, Founded in 1701

    Emir's Standard


    Image by Jarig Bakker
    Flag of the Mir (Emir):The personal standard of the Emir of Bahawalpur is entirely black with in the center the crescent (points up) and a star (5-pointed), surrounded by Arab invocations, placed:
    a) below the two symbols, horizontally: "Sadiq Mohammed Abassi Khan, Farmanraway Mamlikat Khudad Dad Bahawalpur".
    b). on both sides (but the extremes don't touch the former ones): that is the "Khalma-i-Shahadad"
    c) and on top two small words, one beside the other in a half-circle:
    - on the left: "Wa Fatehun Quareeb"
    - on the right: "Nusrun Min Allah"
    - in the center: 786 (for Bismillah Sharif)
    This flag was adopted by the Souvereign in 1935 after his pilgrimage to Mecca; note that Emir Sadiq Mohammed Khan V reigned 1907-1947.

    The Emir of Bahawalpur claims descent from the Abbassid Caliphs and he is the Head of the "Deodpatra" brotherhood, a patriarchal confederation, rather than a state. The Abbassids adopted black as their dynastic color, like Caliph Walid, whose army, led by Muhammed bin-Khasim, penetrated in 712 in India.
    Chrystian Kretowicz, 28 January 2003

    Chrystian noted Arab invocations, placed:
    a) below the two symbols, horizontally: "Sadiq Mohammed Abassi Khan, Farmanraway Mamlikat Khudad Dad Bahawalpur".
    This is not really Arabic but probably Dari or Urdu. Nevertheless, the words are mostly Arabic derived and mean, I think, more or less (is that hedged enough?) "The Honorable Mohammed Abassi Khan, Ruler (?) of the Kingdom of Khudad and (?) Bahawalpur."

    b) on both sides (but the extremes don't touch the former ones): that is the "Khalma-i-Shahadad"
    That is, the Shahada, or Muslim creed. The lettering is too small to read, but it doesn't look to me as if what's on the hoist side is just a repetition of the words that begin to the fly side of the central emblem. The beginning of the script does appear to say "Ashhadu an la ilahi illa Allah... (I testify that there is no god but God...), but it looks to me as if something else follows after the ending phrase of the Shahada "Muhammadun rasuli-llah." Hard to say for sure.

    c) and on top two small words, one beside the other in a half-circle: - on the left: "Wa Fatehun Quareeb"
    "And conquest is at hand."

    d) on the right: "Nusrun Min Allah"
    "Victory is from God." This reads, of course, from right to left as one phrase: "Victory is from God and conquest is at hand."

    e) in the center: 786 (for Bismillah Sharif)
    The "Bismillah Sharif" is the invocation "In the name of God, the compassionate, the merciful" with which pious Muslims begin all writings and speeches. I don't know why the number 786 would stand for this phrase, however.
    Joe McMillan, 28 January 2003

    I just happen to have a book on Indian medals (so I'm not setting myself up as an expert translator!) which includes a Bahawalpur medal with a similar inscription - ' ... Sadiq Mohammed Abbasi Khamis. Farman rawai mumlukat khudadad Bahawalpur', and which translates the inscription as 'Sadiq Mohammed Abassi the Fifth, Ruler of the God-Gifted Kingdom of Bahalwalpur.'

    As for 786, elsewhere it says, 'The three digit 786 is a chronogram for Bism'illah-e-Rahman-e-Rahim (In the name of Allah the Beneficent, the Merciful)' What's a chronogram?

    Strangely, 1935, the year this flag was adopted, was the year that Sadiq Muhammad Khan V performed the hajj, but there is no mention of that in his name on the flag.
    Incidentally, the Emir's official titles before 1947 were 'His Highness Rukn-ud-Daula, Nasrat-i-Jang, Saif-ud-Daula, Haifiz-ul-Mulk, Mukhlis-ud-Daula, wa Huin-ud-Daula, Nawab [name] Bahadur, Amir of Bahawalpur.'

    Source: McClenaghan, Tony, 'Indian princely medals: a record of the orders, decorations and medals of the Indian Princely States' (New Delhi, Lancer, 1996).
    Ian Sumner, 29 January 2003

    Tuesday, July 3, 2012

    Places of Interest of Cholistan Desert

    I found some posts, at http://manaz.8m.net/history.html by Mr. Asif Naz, the native of Cholistan, didn't mention the date of publish. It looks me too old so I changed the text which needed, as there are a lot of changes have appeared during the past years in the Countrysides of Bahawalpur.


    Places of Interest in Cholistan Desert

    Derawar Fort
    Location 48 km from Dera Nawab Khan
    The tombs of the old rulers of Bahawalpur and their families are located in this fort. The tombs have nice glazed blue tile work.


    Shrine of Channan Pir
    Distance 45 km from Derawar fort
    The Urs of Chananpir is held in the beginning of March. A colorful Fair known as Mela Channan Pir is held on the night of the full moon to offer fateha.

    Derawar Fort and the Natives of the desert

    A shephered with its camels

    Sand of Cholistan

    Womens of Cholistan going for water

    A scene of a local fair

    Behind is the Shrine of Baba Channan Pir

    A Bazar of a town of Cholistan

    Monday, July 2, 2012

    The Cholistan Desert

    Cholistan is locally known as Rohi. This famous desert is 30 Km from Bahawalpur and comprises of an area of 16,000 sq.km. which extends upto the Thar desert extending over to Sindh. The word Cholistan is derived from 'Cholna' which means moving. The people of Cholistan lead a semi-nomadic life, moving from one place to another in search of water and fodder for their animals.

    Cholistan is changing amazingly after the dryness of the Sutluj River, as the Sutluj was taken by India according to Sindh-Tas Agreement. The desert was under perennial regular irrigated cultivation till 1200 BC and under seasonal regular irrigated cultivation till about 600 BC. The area turned into arid and desolate desert with drying up of River Hacra. These days again, the desert is undergoing a process of profound change because of canal system originating from the River Sutlaj. But one can still find people living in houses made of mud and straw almost as they might have been living 200 years ago.
    The way of life is also about to change. The women folk in drab landscape of desert wearing Nath (nosegay), Katmala (necklace), Kangan (big bangles), Pazeb (worn on toes), bright color, and vivid pattern Lehngas of 20 yards and high Cholis may one day become part of history. Maybe not so in near future! Sufi poet Khawaja Ghulam Farid, who spent 18 years of his life wandering about in Cholistan, admiring its beauty and people wrote, "But what tongue shall tell the glory of it, the perpetual strength of it, and sublimity of its lonely desolation! And who shall paint the splendor of its light." The poet was passionately found of desert milieus that are hard, dry and at first repulsive. His fascination for Cholistan was so rich that his poetry has woven melodious aura all around Rohi -- as the desert is called in a local dialect. He has set the standards for desert wanderers. I can tell you something of what I have seen during my intermittent stay - from 1977 till 2000 - in the desert, but I cannot tell you the grander of the desert, nor the glory of colors that wrap the burning sand. The awesome vistas and richness of the desert are beyond description. Cholistan is a land of legends, myths, velour, romance, folk melodies and regal elegance.
    At the tail of monsoon region, Cholistan stands as if petitioning the sky for rain. It very seldom falls. And whenever the prayers are answered, the water is stored for human being as well as animals in reservoirs known as ‘Kunds'. Average rainfall in the area is 3 to 5 inches a year. Nomadic Holystones are constantly moving in search of water that is scarce, lies very deep, and is brackish. The lack of fresh water for drinking and irrigation controls the lives of the people of the region. A Saraiki poet once wrote, "Men tassel, merry dart tarsi, tee tarsi Rohi jai, melon ankh an pan dryad." It seems as if Cholistan is still mourning for the demise of the River Hacra. Cholistan is one of the fantasy regions for local as well foreign tourists, geologists, historians, archaeologists and naturalists.
    A part of Rajisthan desert called `marusthali' (region of death); Cholistan is an extraordinary place. The word Cholistan has got its origin from the Turkish word `chilistan' which means desert. As per the local lore, the name has been derived from choli worn by women of the area. When you get down to dust and sand, the desert is a place of striking contrasts, of ruggedness, of delicacy, of big noise and long silence. The best way to see Cholistan is on dirt roads and trails, either in hiking boots or on something with four wheels or four hoofs drive with lot of water in the backpack.
    Botanically divers Cholistan comprises of dry, wet, and green lands. Southern portion is called greater Cholistan with sand dunes rising high unto 100 feet.
    Even in dry tract there are hundreds of species of plants as Kandi, Aak, Wild Carper, Qatran, Ber and Khar with well-established root system in the environment. The loamy soil with lot of vegetation in northwestern portion is known as lesser Cholistan. Green areas are intensively cultivated with thriving plantation.
    Wildlife in Cholistan (95% of that has already been destroyed, though officially protected) has to blend rather than hide. On several occasions I nearly bumped into a flock of deer that was hiding into bushes as I approached. At night I once saw startled fawn gazing right into the headlights of my jeep. Many a times I came across feathers of Talor (Houbara Bustard) killed by poachers, though could not see one flying. Houbara Foundation International is trying hard to save the guest bird that is at the verge of extinction due to reckless hunting by 'royal dignitaries' who come in Cholistan every year. A renowned naturalist Jamal Hamid writes, "This desert is a particularly promising venue for the study of animals." Cholistan attracts not only the highest number but also the highest variety of wildlife that is not found anywhere else in Pakistan. Most of the 'honored guests' come from north. Most famous variety of local wildlife (Parha (hog deer), Neel Gae (blue bull), and Black Buck) are still available in the areas near border. Majority of these creatures is nocturnal and shy, so watching of these requires endurance and good pair of binocular. Wild cat, jackal, wolf, mangoes, squirrel, field rat, over 200 types of insects and as much as sixty varieties of snakes are found in 10400 square miles of this rain less tract. 
    Those who take their first chance on by train to Feroza, a small Railways Station on main track, find multiple tracks that originate from Feroza (more of a military railway station) and interlace the expanses of Cholistan. One has to muscle his way along these tracks lined with army camps: army personnel come to Cholistan for practice firing of heavy caliber weapons.
    Cholistan has some fifty sites and forts of Harappan demeanor. Derawer (also known as Dera Rawal, Deogarh, Dilawer, and Derawat) is situated in a dry bed of lost river Hacra. Sir Aural Stein during survey of Cholistan described it as "a place where occupation continued beyond pre historic times." It was once the centre of Aryan culture. In 1759, it was taken over by Abbasi Amirs and remained capital of Bahawalpur State. The city of bazaars, schools, madrassas, mosques and a headquarters of Bahawalpur Transport Camel Corps, in its hay days, lost its importance when it ceased to be the state capital. Now this place of antiquity is famous for the relics of the largest and most imposing of the Cholistani forts. Derawer Fort was built by Deoraj, a prince of Jaisalmir.
    The lofty and rolling battlements of the fort are visible from a long distance. The fort has 40 battlements made of thin red bricks. There are two old vintage guns mounted on pedestals in the dusty courtyard of the fort. The Abbasi Amirs and Nawabs are buried in a hall with engraved doors. On the western side are old dungeons and underground rooms now infested with bats and rats. As per the myth the secret to change metal into gold was told to Prince Deoraj by his mentor jogi and there still is a treasure hidden somewhere in the fort. In 1825, Nawab Bahawal Khan constructed a mosque with cupolas and domes of exquisite marble. The mosque is a living glory of the place.
    The inevitable tide of human change - education, communication, and opportunities elsewhere - has yet to reach this part of the world. These elements are following the water as, when and where it reaches. During my visits and stay throughout the active service, I have spoken with a few people who live in semi permanent settlements and watered nooks the desert provides here and about in greater Cholistan. An old man living near the Derawer Fort says, "All sorts of people (geologists, naturalists, archaeologists, travelers and hunters) are welcome here but nobody brings dams, roads, power lines, televisions and schools for our children from the mainland.
    Recently, Cholistan had an unusually long spell of dry seasons and its signs are still there. Cholistan Development Authority could think of piped water for drinking (and irrigation) on the lines as it is being used in Saudi Arabia or lift canal system as employed by Americans in California. These systems are less expensive than canals and will expedite the process.
    There is a large difference between rhetoric and realities in Cholistan. It is a tranquil, pollution free and quite destination. Visiting such a place is very simple and plenty of fun. The enjoyment increases exponentially with the level of interest. But, what of those who are living there. It seems pretty hard!

    This home left by its members because of no facilities.

    This Primary School was built 5 years before, but now there is no faculty and student.
    I found some posts, at http://manaz.8m.net/history.html by Mr. Asif Naz, the native of Cholistan, didn't mention the date of publish. It looks me too old so I changed the text which needed, as there are a lot of changes have appeared during the past years in the Countrysides of Bahawalpur.