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Default Punjab's Hegemony A Reality - 09-28-2010, 04:42 PM

I don’t want to go into the details of the issue of whether Punjab is a nation or not but there is no doubt that it is a hegemonic political entity or group which has had severe problems with Pashtun, Sindhi, Seraiki, Bengali and Baloch nations soon after Pakistan’s creation and its military occupation of Baloch land in 1948.

It is also of no use to discuss whom to consider Punjabis and who are non Punjabis.

Anyhow, as we know that there is an Arab nation and we also know this fact that not all Arabs belong to the same ethnic group as that of Arabian Peninsula. Historically after Arab’s conquests the people of many conquered lands lost their original identity and are now considered as Arabs. For instance, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Libya etc., are such countries which don’t ethnically belong to the peninsular Arabs but the inhabitants of these countries are now called Arabs.

The example of Arabs which I’ve cited above is enough to explain that it is not at all essential that all the people of a nation must belong to the same ethnic group.

Original Arab people from Arabian Peninsula who conquered Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Algeria etc. apparently had a religious agenda but this ultimately resulted in the Arabization and the transformation of the people of these newly conquered lands. Historically the people of Iraq used to speak Aramaic language but now they speak Arabic. Iranian people are an exception in the Middle East region who retained their language and to a greater extent their culture as well.

Let’s now come to the relevant case. In very rare cases there may be Pashtun families who don’t consider themselves as Pashtuns but this is absolutely false to claim that the Pashtuns of Mianwali and Attock consider themselves as Punjabi, though their domicile is from Punjab. For the information of readers I intend to make it clear that Attock and Mianwali regions were dissociated from NWFP and were merged with Punjab after the imposition of One Unit in 1955. Mianwali was once the District of Tehsil Banu before the promulgation of One Unit. Besides, the people of Mianwali don’t speak Punjabi rather they speak Seraiki language just as many Pashtun speak Dari language in Afghanistan.


There are Afghan families who settled in India during Afghans’ long rule over India. After living for so many centuries in India if they are not concerned about their Afghan identity they have the right to do so. Same has even happened within Afghanistan where people from other ethnic groups, like Ozbeks, Turkman, Hazara have been integrated into afghan nation.


Now we turn to the case of Punjab’s hegemony which started with the very inception of Pakistan. Pakistani federation originally comprised of Bengali, Sindhi, Punjabi, Seraiki and Pashtun nations (with their historical lands) with a very tiny (9 percent) Baloch population in British Balochistan (a misnomer for the 91 percent Pashtun majority province). The actual Baloch land was the Qalat States Union with Kharan, Makran and Lasbela as its Khanates. Baloch got their independence on August 15, 1947 but in 1948 Pakistan occupied their land through a military operation.

When the British decided to divide India, the elected members of NWFP assembly and Pashtun Jirga demanded for an independent state of Pashtunistan through the famous Banu Resolution on 21st June, 1947 but, sadly, the British colonialists refused to comply to their genuine demand for an independent Pashtunistan. Above all the British even deprived the elected legislative assembly of NWFP of its right to vote in favor of India or Pakistan. A fake referendum was staged and historical Pashtun land was thus forcibly merged with the federation of Pakistan.

As an illustration let me start with a brief information about Bengali nation, which had an outright majority with 56 percent of the total population of Pakistan in comparison to the west wing of the federation which had 44 percent of the population.

If one looks at the constitutional history of Pakistan it becomes obviously clear that the initial history of this so-called Pakistani federation is full of conspiracies to stop federating units from the getting autonomy as was promised in the Lahore Resolution of 23 March 1940. The Basic Principle Committee of the First Constituent Assembly presented three formulas where the third formula was accepted by the Constituent Assembly to approve the very first constitution for the newly created country based on the principle of a Federal Parliamentary Democracy but the then Governor General Ghulam Muhammad dismissed the Constituent Assembly in 1954 to stop the enaction of the very first constitution. The speaker of the Constituent Assembly appealed against the dismissal of the assembly but the Supreme Court justified the decision of the Governor General through the Doctrine of Necessity.

In 1955 through a conspiracy by the Punjab dominated civil-military bureaucracy the infamous rule of One Unit was imposed to keep Pakistan deprived of any kind of constitution whatsoever for nine long years. The intention behind the imposition of One Unit was the so-called Principle of Parity, i.e., to counter Bengal’s majority. Under the rule of One Unit the rulers of Pakistan forcibly merged NWFP, British Balochistan (a misnomer for Pashtun majority land), Qalat States Union, Sindh, the State of Bahawalpur and Punjab.

During this period a new (fake) constitution was enacted in 1956 to pave the way for the imposition of Presidential Rule in the country. Elections were declared in 1958 for the next constituent assembly but before holding elections General Ayub took over and imposed Martial Law in October 1958 to stop elections from being held. After the abolition of One Unit in 1968 the Pashtun majority province of British Balochistan was merged with Qalat States Union and was named as Balochistan. Attock and Mianwali were merged with Punjab and same happened with Seraiki State of Bahawalpur.

In 1970, 24 years after the creation of Pakistan, first general elections were held. But as usual the results of the elections were not acceptable to the Punjabi civil-military establishment and Awami league; Bengal’s representative party was refused to be recognized as victor despite winning an outright majority. As a consequence war ensued in Bengal which resulted in the cessation of Bengal from Pakistan. This was the very unique case in the political history of the world when the majority of a country had opted for dissociation from minority after Bengali nation’s historic and unsuccessful political struggle. This war cost them three million lives.

Before the creation of Pakistan the British had established a strong industrial infrastructure in our province and province’s control over the natural resources was far greater as per Government of India Act 1935 if compared to what Pakistan granted to the federating units later. Under the British regime the very first government (1937) of Khudai Khidmatgar declared Pashto as the official language of the province and a compulsory subject in schools.

If we analyze the forces behind the creation of Pakistan the only genuine political force appears to be the one which belonged to Bengal. Punjab had a government of Unionists; the British loyalists, NWFP had Khudai Khidmatgars’ government as a result of 1946 elections.

Bengalis and Pashtuns were politically more aware and more conscious of winning their freedom back. Even the literacy rate of Bengal was far higher than Punjab and all other provinces, so it should not be accepted as an argument that Punjabis were smarter than Bengalis.

Likewise, during the British Rule, Pashtuns province of NWFP had a well developed industrial infrastructure with nine big industrial units like Mardan Sugar mill by then the biggest in the Asia, Charsada Paper mill, Takhtbai Sugar mill, Nishat Textile mill, Janana Textile mill, Banu Woolen mill etc. So it is a false assumption that Pashtuns are incompetent that’s why they are not developed. This is another common myth or misperception propagated by some vested interest people that Punjabis are hardworking that is why Punjab is developed. But facts reveal the case to be the contrary. In fact Pashtun is one such nation on earth which has the largest (as compared to other nations) portion of its population out of its homeland, majority of whom are doing menial jobs in very miserable conditions. Just in Karachi Pashtun is the 2nd largest immigrant community with over 4 million pashtuns. A large section of our population is away from its homeland in the Middle East living in very pathetic circumstances.

Ironically our land is rich of natural resources like minerals, forests, oil and natural gas resources, resources which are vital for economic development. Our water resources are being used to irrigate the vast lands of Punjab and Sindh but our own farmers pray for rain water to irrigate their millions of acres of barren land. All our natural resources are in Punjab’s control and we are like beggars in our own land.


Pashtun nation and its political leadership have offered immense sacrifices by spending almost whole of their lives in prisons. Bacha Khan and Khan Shaheed Abdul Samad Khan were such great personalities with thousands of other political workers who suffered greatly under the British and Punjabi rule. Our leadership has been severely punished for raising its voice against the blatant robbery of Pashtuns’ resources. The distorted, one sided and biased history in Pakistani text books and state owned media and a complete ban on every reference to Pashtuns’ historic struggle for their independence against the British colonialists is just another obvious character of Punjab’s hegemony. Sindhis are fortunate to have Sindhi as their official language but we don’t have even a single official Pashto newspaper, TV or radio channel not to speak of having Pashto as our official or national language.

The main purpose of this writing is to make people aware of the blatant Punjabi hegemony.
This seems ridiculous when false and fallacious justifications are concocted for Punjab’s hegemony which is actually a continuation of the British Rule. Our rich and strategically important land was gifted to Punjab as a reward of its loyalty and services it offered to its British masters to help them continue and perpetuate their rule over India.

The event of Bengal’s cessation from Pakistan and the open rebellion of Baloch nation, the declared anti Pakistan stance of the once very pro Pakistani leaders like G.M Syed, Mujib ur Rahman, Akbar Bugti is a clear endorsement and eye opener for those who plead advocacy for Punjab’s innocence.

Punjab’s military supremacy which it got during the British Rule gave it unprecedented advantage to control every institution of this country. Even majority holder Bengali nation was helpless before Punjab to bring about any substantial change with regard to Provincial or National Autonomy. Now that Punjab has got an outright parliamentary majority by merging Attock and Mianwali regions from Pashtuns and Seraiki belt from the Seraiki nation it is obviously a lame excuse to accuse Pashtun nation or its leadership. Punjab, through its parliamentary majority, has even vetoed our unanimously adopted resolutions regarding Kalabagh dam and renaming our province (thanks to 18th amendment by the PPP’s Sindhi leadership).

The current reign of terror in both Azad Afghanistan and Pakhtunkhwa is the result of the Punjab’s imperialistic dreams of occupying the Afghanistan, which was initially subjected to a proxy war and was later on turned into a safe haven for global terrorists.

Although the historic events which caused our enslavement was the technologically far superior British invaders but what is shocking for Pashtun and Baloch nations is the fact that their heroic struggle against the British rule ended up in the commencement of just another episode of their servitude to the former British slaves who know very well that Pashtun and Baloch nations never wanted to join Pakistan. Another thing which needs explanation is that Pakistan is actually a cover up name for Punjabi rule.

Last edited by khyaal; 09-28-2010 at 06:31 PM.
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Default 09-28-2010, 06:03 PM

This is a classic piece of writing supported by arguments as well as an eye opener for those who are happy with their enslaved status in Pakistan.
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Default 09-28-2010, 07:08 PM

Very well written. I actually read through every line. thank you!
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