by: MANZOOR CHANDIO, Karachi, SINDH
Courtesy: daily dawn, Saturday, 27 Jun, 2009
THIS refers to Maria Malik’s letter, “Restoration of Bahawalpur’s status” (June 20) written in response to Ayesha Siddiqa’s article, “South Punjab ‘movement’” (June 12).
Defending former minister Mohammed Ali Durrani’s demand for restoration of the state, she sabotages a case for Seraiki province. She also wrongly claims that there is a popular demand for the restoration of Bahawalpur state. People with myopic view of history like Mr Durrani and Ms Malik have always raised the issue of Bahawalpur whenever movement for a Seraiki province gains momentum. We should keep in mind that Seraiki, one of the representative languages of the Indus Valley civilization, besides Sindhi and Punjabi, is the country’s largest spoken language. Seraikis are concentrated in South Punjab and Dera Ismail Khan division of the NWFP — their historical abode from time immemorial. The area has been a separate administrative region for centuries and has a separate cultural and linguistic identity from other areas. Unfortunately, the Seraiki belt has been severally neglected in the past 62 years and no significant development work has been done for the uplift of people and to preserve their language and culture.