This is not an academic and/or a well informed debate…but you could make it one in the comments 🙂
New provinces I think are a good, even a great idea. You bring out of obscurity all those smaller yet important towns and cities. Administratively, let the localized locals do the management of their own affairs? It is and should be primarily a ‘management’ decision, a strategy for maximizing efficiency of resource allocation and utilization. It boils down to letting the natives (what a colonial word!) govern themselves and manage their own resources from nearby. Since we/me/my friends/ accept and celebrate diversity (do we when in Pakistan?), this is the thing to do. Once people get over their ethnic bickering, then we the people might just turn to more important issues?
But dividing provinces on ethnic lines really doesn’t do any harm, or does it? Is ethnicity a can of worms? Doing it on purely ethno-linguistic lines, especially at a time when you ought to be integrating and coming together as a nation (how does having new provinces take you far from being a nation?), that is a debate for politico social scientists and others who have an opinion on that. But it certainly didn’t hurt India, or are their provinces based on something other than ethnicity? Some people say that when you do ethnicity, then there probably is no lower limit to breaking down people by language or ethnicity. True.
Some voices say that make the current country Divisions the provinces. But aren’t the divisions a bit arbitrary? Do we try to balance provinces on geographic size, population size or economic output size?
What about resource allocation and the ‘economic viability’ of new provinces? Our political or bureaucratic or public narrow mindedness would dismiss many regions as un-viable, because we do not put trust in the ingenuity of local people, or in the idea known as innovation, or in the fact that competition might bring out the best of each region. Many examples exist internationally where tiny countries compete at the global scale.
Anyway, there ought to be some debate on this, especially in an academic setting. Debate this thing to death in universities and across national campuses. On TV as well as in the papers. Have some concrete proposals and create scenarios and alternatives. Give us options!
Take this thing out of the politicians’ hands? A common theme of the criticism so far has been that this needs to be managed such that the benefits are passed on to the people and not to the “predatory elite” as Ayesha Siqqiqa puts it. Give it back to them when they are ready to implement it. But of course Politicians are the gun runners here but can this debate be their guiding light? I hope so.
Anyway, since this debate reopened last July with the demands of severing Punjab into Southern Punjab aka Seraiki province, a lot more people have joined the party. How many provinces are possible…? Ethnic lines or geographic lines, or a combination, or something altogether different?
I am having a hard time keeping track of the ‘suggestions’ being thrown around now for the past year or so. I will try to compile a summary here with the hopes that this becomes a reference point for all those looking for new provinces in their back yards!
– BTW, public demand might not exist for some of province ideas listed
– Some sources or debate forums are referenced inline.
– I will edit the post below for facts/province demands should the need arise as per your suggestions
– I hope to have a visual representation of this mess on a google maps mashup, but I need sources for that
By Division of Existing Provinces
a. Seraiki Province and/or Bahawalpur state.
b. Potohar/Pahari province (Potohar region)
c. Punjab Central remnant
a. Hazara Province (5 districts of Hazara Division – Abbottabad, Batagram, Haripur, Kohistan, Mansehra)/Hindko speaking areas
b. Malakand Province
i. Take one, call it Udhyana province (weird name, what language is this?) – seven districts of Malakand division including Swat, Shangla, Malakand, Buner, Lower Dir, Upper Dir and Chitral along with Kala Dhaka in Hazara’s Mansehra district could become a separate province.
ii. Take two: Include Kohistan District of Hazara Region in a Malakand province
c. Remove British merged Punjab areas a.k.a D.I. Khan and merge in Seraiki province
d. New Pakhtunkhwa to include Balochistan’s Pakhtun areas
a. The northern Pakhtun areas merged into the Pakhtunkhwa province or called Southern Pakhtunkhwa?
b. Makran belt in southern Balochistan as a new province?
c. Balochistan remnant province
i. Does it require further divisions, probably on geographic lines given the remaining ethnicity is predominantly Baloch or not?
a. Karachi province? Muhajir/Urdu speaking/Cultural melting pot province.
b. Sindhi remnant province (probably a flavor of Sindhu Desh, but which was once a separatist movement by one dude called Pir GM Syed?)
c. Thar Province for the Thari’s
a. Maintains status quo. Eventually becomes a province once Kashmir is settled…if ever 😛
6. Azad Kashmir
a. Status quo and depending on Kashmir issue, can it have the option of joining the big boys club aka Pakistan and be a province?
7. FATA & PATA
a. Merged into Pakhtunkhwa-New
By New Resultant Provinces
1. Seraiki Province:
a. South Punjab areas
b. Bahawalpur State
c. D.I. Khan division from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa
2. Potohar Province
a. Rawalpindi, Murree, Jehlum, Chakwal etc
a. All left over districts once 1 and 2 are made
4. Hazara Province
a. Abbottabad District
b. Batagram District
c. Haripur District
d. Kohistan District
e. Mansehra District
5. Malakand Province
a. Option 1: Swat, Shangla, Malakand, Buner, Lower Dir, Upper Dir and Chitral along with Kala Dhaka in Hazara’s Mansehra district
b. Option 2: Include Kohistan District of Hazara Region in a Malakand province sans Kala Dhaka
6. Pakhtunkhwa New
a. Remnant districts after 4 & 5 are carved
d. Pakhtun districts from Balochistan
e. DI Khan no longer here
7. Thar Province
8. Karachi Province
a. The entire Karachi district only which used to consist of 5 districts till year 2000
9. Sindhi Province
a. All districts sans 7 & 8
10. Markan Province
a. Markan belt districts form Balochistan
11. Balochistan New
a. Remaining districts once 10 & 6d are eliminated
a. As it is
13. Azad Kashmir
a. As it is or as a part of Pakistan proper should they want to if and if ever Kashmir issue is resolved.
- Agree or Disagree, take the poll below.