More provinces in Pakistan
Dr Ghayur Ayub
sad part of it is that our top politicians haven't learnt any lesson from the
tragedy and keep strolling on the road which disintegrated the country in the
first place. They ignore the genius principle of Mr. Jinnah who projected
religion in the garb of nationalism or vice versa. They forget that Pakistan
harbours many Muslim nationalities with strong cultural and customary
differences. Such feelings are surfacing in the remaining Pakistan and the
politicians are busy amassing personal wealth through corrupt practices and
closing their eyes to the repeat of the history.
history has shown resentment appearing among the
public of smaller provinces after seeing the inequalities that have been
committed by the political custodians of a large province. Luckily, it hasn’t
reached a critical mass yet. But if the
self-centred political players didn’t realise this fact, soon the country will
touch the critical mass and we will find ourselves in worse scenario than we
were in early seventies.
question is can it be prevented.
answer that, we must revisit the principle followed by Mr. Jinnah by making
more provinces based on ethnic nationalities without challenging country’s
integrity, people’s religion and ongoing democracy. Once these provinces are given
self-governance, the burden will be shifted on to them and the age-old
grievances will fade away in today’s cyber space world, where facts and figures
cannot be hidden for too long. If the politicians want to see a progressive
Pakistan, they must follow that principle and find that nine provinces can be
carved out on ethnical statistics as follows:
Pashtunistan: to include the current KP and FATA excluding Hazara and Chitral,
with the capital at Peshawar
Pashtunistan: to include majority Pashtun region of the current north
Baluchistan with its capital at Quetta
to include current Chitral with its capital at Chitral City
to include current Hazara and Kohistan with its capital at Abbotabad.
to include current Gilgit-Baltistan with its capital at Gilgit.
Punjab: to include all the current north Punjab excluding the Saraiki belt with
its capital at Lahore
Punjab: to include all the current southern Saraiki Punjab with its capital at
to include all the current Sindh with its capital at Karachi
to include all the non-Pashtun area of the current Baluchistan with its capital
As such a change would need
constitutional amendments, the entire political map has to be re-worked. Among
other things, the provinces may be renamed as the autonomous states. Thus,
Pakistan will be a federation of nine autonomous states with its federal
capital at Islamabad
• Each state should be
self-generating and disbursing its own revenues. The short falls will be
compensated by the federation through decades-old NFC award and the 18th
• Each state will have its
own assembly similar to what exists now in present provinces.
• The federation will be
responsible for the national security of the entire country, the foreign
policy, the education and health. It will also maintain a single currency.
The new Pakistan will erase
the myth or reality that the biggest province has always deprived the smaller
provinces of their rights and privileges as it controls the federal government
because of the number of seats it holds in national assembly. This will also
put an end to the discussion of independent Baluchistan or Pashtunistan
especially emanating from the two neighbouring countries.
The Pashtuns of northern
current Baluchistan will attain their identity as Pashtuns and not be confused
with the Baluchis. At the same time, the Baluchis will not get confused by
linking with Pashtuns as is done in present set-up of Baluchistan. Since Quetta
is majority Pashtun it will go to South Pashtunistan. Baluchistan can move its
capital to Gawader which has a tremendous future as a strategic and trade hub
for all other federating states and the entire region.
The new Pakistan will nurture
in trade, economics, inter-state political understanding and intra-state ethnic
and cultural harmony. It all will be done in the domain of Islam and the
requirements of democracy. This is just a food for thought.