Saraikistan (Saraiki: سرائیکستان) is the central region of pakistan covering North Sindh, Northeast Baluchistan, South khyber pakhtunkha and parts of South Punjab.Saraiki language
The word "Sarāiki" originated from the word "Sauvira", a state name in old India. By adding adjectival suffix "-ki" to the word "Sauvirā" it became "Sauvirāki". The consonant 'v' with its neighboring vowels was dropped for simplification and hence the name became "Sarāiki". Although George Abraham Grierson reported that "Sirāiki" (that was the spelling he used) is from a Sindhi word sirō, meaning 'of the north, northern', Shackle:388 asserts that this etymology is unverified. Another view is that Saraiki word originates from the wordSarai. The standard Roman script spelling of the Saraiki language name (at least de facto) is "Saraiki". However, "Seraiki", and "Siraiki" have also been used in academia until recently. The language name (in whichever of these spellings) was adopted in the 1960s by regional social and political leaders. An organization namely Saraiki Academy was founded in Multan on 6 April 1962, under the Presidentship of Mir Hassaan-ul-Haidri who was replaced by Makhdoom Sajjad Hussain Qureshi, which gave the name of universal application to the language. In this way, Saraikistan means the land of Saraiki people.History of Multan, Derajat, Bahawalpur, History of Punjab, Alexander the Great, Indo-Greek Kingdom, Maurya Empire,Kushan Empire, Muhammad bin Qasim, Mahmud of Ghazni, Mughal Empire, Ranjit Singh, Fort Munro, History of Pakistan, andIndus Valley Civilization
The origin of this language and culture goes back to the Indus Valley Civilization. The name "Saraiki" (or variant spellings) was formally adopted in the 1960s by regional social and political leaders who undertook to promote Saraiki ethnic consciousness and to develop the vernaculars into a standardized written language. Historically, the speakers of dialects now recognized as belonging to Saraiki did not hold the belief that they constituted a cohesive language community or a distinct ethnicity. This consciousness developed among local elites in the years after the independence of Pakistan in 1947 in response to the social and political upheaval caused by the mass immigration of Muslim refugees including Urdu (Muhajirs) speaking from India. Traditionally, the dialects were designated by any of a number of areal or demographic names (see table below), e.g. "Multani" for the dialect spoken around Multan, which has been the largest city in the "Saraiki" speaking area for centuries.Saraiki_language#Geographic distributionDerawar Fort is on the outskirts of the city in the Cholistan Desert
Traditionally, the political dimension of Saraikistan includes the Saraiki speaking ten districts of North Sindh, eight districts of South Punjab, three districts of South of Khyber Pukhtunkhwa and six districts of North easteren Balochistan provinces.Proposed map of Saraikistan
The districts of Bahawalpur, Multan, Rahim Yar Khan, Dera Ghazi Khan, Muzaffargarh, Layyah, Lodhran, Rajanpur Districts of Punjab, Kashmore,Ghotki,Sukhar,Jacobabad,Shikarpur,Larkana,Naushahro feroz, Qambar shahdadkot,Dadu and Kherpur Districts of Sindh. In Balochistan Barkhan,Jafferabad, Naseerabad Jhalmagsi Sibi, Musa khel districts and Daroug, Rakni areas. In Khyber Pukhtunkhwa Dera Ismail Khan, Tank, and Bannu are geographically regarded as components of the region. Sometimes, the region is categorized as the combination of four sub-regions:
- Roh: means mountains, referred to the Sulaiman Mountains in Dera Ghazi Khan, Rajanpur, Barkhan, Musa khel, Tank, Bannu districts and Daroug, Rakni areas
- Rohi: Cholistan Desert in Bahawalpur, Rahim yar khan
- Thal: Thal Desert in Layyah, and Muzaffargarh districts
- Daamaan: meaning the foothills, referred to the foothills of Sulaiman Mountains in Dera Ismail Khan and Dera Ghazi Khan. It may also referred to the plain areas around Multan Kashmore,Ghotki,Sukhar,Jacobabad,Shikarpur,Larkana,Naushahro feroz, Qambar shahdadkot,Dadu,Jafferabad, Naseerabad Jhalmagsi Sibi, and Kherpur districts.
- see this map of Saraikistan.
- Dera Ghazi Khan
- Dera Ismail Khan
- Rahim Yar Khan
- Toba Tek Singh
- Frontier Region Tank
- Frontier Region Dera Ismail Khan
These distracts are also Saraiki
Saraiki is spoken in India, United Arab Emirates and Afghanistan also. Saraiki is second largest language in Kingdom of Saudi Arabiawith more than 2.5M. In United Kingdom Saraiki is spoken by 400,000. In Canada, China, South Africa and United States saraiki is also spoken. Ten districts of North Sindh Province , Seven distracts in South punjab, Pakistan , five distracts from Northeast BaluchistanProvince and three distracts from South Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province, Total Twenty five districts in Pakistan are are saraiki speaking area.
- Lakki Marwat
- Naushero Feroze
- Qamber Shadadkot
- Beas River
- Chenab River
- Cholistan Desert
- Ganji Bar
- Ghaggar river
- Gomal River
- Indus River
- Jhelum River
- Kallar Kahar
- Khewra Salt Mine
- Kirana Bar
- Kirana Hills
- Neeli Bar
- Ravi River
- Salt Range
- Sandal Bar
- Soon Valley
- Sulaiman Mountains
- Sutlej River
- Thal Desert
The Saraikistan or Saraiki Movement is an affiliation of Punjabi political parties, politicians and groups in South Punjab, aiming to establish a separate province for Saraiki ethnicity within Pakistan - there are no secessionist undertones to the movement. The Movement contends that a new province should include Southern Punjab, the city Dera Ismail Khan from the North-West Frontier Province, Sukkur from Sindh and some areas of Balochistan.
Beginning in the 1960s, Riaz Hashmi Saraiki nationalists have sought to gain official language status and to create a new province out of southern Punjab. This has led to a proposed separate province Saraikistan Saraika or Rohi, a region being drawn up by activists in the 1970s. The 1977 coup by General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq of Pakistan, a centralist ruler, caused the movement to go underground. After his death in 1988, the Saraiki movement re-emerged with the goals to have a Saraiki language recognised, to have official documents printed in Saraiki, a Saraiki regiment in the Pakistan Army, employment quotas and more Saraiki-language radio and television. The movement's aim is to establish a collective identity for the Saraiki linguistic group in the Punjab province of Pakistan and to secure an official status for the language. As of 2002, there were approximately 15 million Saraiki people, who were speaking theSaraiki language, in central Pakistan in the Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan provinces, mainly based in the former princely state ofBahawalpur. Following are the considered as the main points around which the movement is focused on:
- The Saraiki Nationalist have a demand a separate Saraikistan Province from the southern parts of the Punjab Province. This province may comprise the districts of Rahim Yar Khan, Bahawalpur, Bahawalnagar, Multan, Lodhran,Vehari, Khanewal, Sargodha, Jhang, Muzzafargarh, Layyah, Bhakkar, Mianwali, Khushab, Rajan Pur and Dera Ghazi Khan from Punjab province and district of Dera Ismail Khan from Kheber Pukhtunkhaw province.
- The Saraiki Nationalist have a demand of more budget allocation to the southern parts of the Punjab Province till the above demand is accepted.
- A demand of Saraiki being accepted as a separate language rather than a dialect,and its use in official documents for southern Punjab along side Urdu. Though Saraiki has been accepted as a separate language in Pakistan, it is not used for official and educational purposes as some of the other regional languages like Sindhi in Pakistan. Only two languages are used for nationwide official purposes in Pakistan;Urdu and English.
The Saraiki nationalist intellectuals reacted to the a perceived threat to their language and identity and set out to develop an ethno-linguistic consciousness. The efforts towards this cause were directed towards creating a Saraiki identity. Initially this was done to counter the "misleading label of Punjabis". These endeavors have been termed as the Saraiki movement'. Attempts have been made to get the support of the Saraiki speaking middle-class using economic reasoning to support the partition of the punjab on linguistic lines. The Saraiki movement was the combination of language planning and efforts to establish a collective identity to convince Saraiki speakers and others of the status of Saraiki as a separate language distinct from Punjabi.It also aimed to establish Saraiki as a separate language by invoking shared awareness of the local past among the people living across the Saraiki region speaking different dialects of the Saraiki language. Consensus on the name Saraiki for all the dialects spoken in the Saraiki region was a part of this reaction. Creation of a Saraiki identity in south-western Punjab involved the deliberate choice of a language called Saraiki, as a symbol of this identity. Language was chosen as a unifying symbol because a local language serves its speakers as an identity marker that can successfully separate them from other ethno-linguistic groups that share identity on another basis,such as culture,traditions and religion (in this case Islam).It was chosen also because it was an aspect the leaders thought will serve to unite the group and will be useful in promoting the interests of the group and ethno-politicians. Like many such movements, the Saraiki movement also started in the name of cultural revival and promotion.What really lay behind it was the lack of development of South Punjab region which was not voiced in the first phase, ethno-nationalism is generally a response to perceived injustice. In general, the slogans and demands of the Saraiki nationalists have been coupled with linguistic rights and economic grievances, but in the late 1990s and the following decade, the linguistic issue has ceased to have much importance. This is evident in the charter of demands made at the end of a Saraiki conference held in December 2003, in which, out of twenty-one demands made, only one pertained to language. (Daily Khabrain, 2003)
At the time of creation of Pakistan on 14 August 1947, basing on the historic Pakistan resolution of 23 March 1940 Lahore, wherein, it was resolved that a country by the name of Pakistan will be created on the territories in the north and east of India, comprising of maximum Muslim population areas, provinces/states basing on religious, cultural, social and political basis. In the northern territories, west Pakistan comprising of the following units, where no province was made for the Saraiki people(less State of Bahawalpur given status of province till 1955) despite being the oldest and the largest civilization in Indus Valley of present Pakistan.
- a. Punjab.
- b. Sindh.
- c. NWFP (present Khyber Pakhtunkhwa)
- d. Territories of Balochistan.
- e. FATA.
- f. Bahawalpur State (13 Oct 1947 till 1951) / Status of Province upto 1955.
- g. Azad Kashmir.
a. Out of the eight federating units shown in the table , serial (1) unit, Punjab, is having a population of 9.595 crores which is larger than rest of the seven federating units from serial (2) to (8) which are having combined population of 8.353 crores.
b. Out of eight, five of the units are having population below 87 Lacs each, which is less than the population of Bahawalpur division alone, which is 1 crore and 13lacs.
c. Population of 9.595 crores is almost 12th largest population of 242 countries of the world, being administered by One Governor, Chief Minister, Chief Secretary and IG police.
d. Population of areas included in proposed Saraiki province i.e. 6 crores would be larger than population of 219 countries of the world.
e. It is worth mentioning that IG Police Punjab is commanding a police force of over One Lac and Fifty thousand men which is equivalent to three Corps of Army which are commanded by three Lieutenant Generals and 9 to 12 Major Generals.
f. Chief Justice of Lahore high Court has to take care of cases of approximately 10 crore population which end up at High Court level.
g. If the Chief Minister Punjab wishes to visit one district of the province on weekly basis the re-visit of each district will be scheduled after nine months. This has resulted in bad governance and un-realistic distribution of development budget and ascertaining of priorities.
h. A careful study of the schedule of the Chief Minister Punjab will reveal that some of the districts might have not been visited even once, in his entire tenure of four and half years.
2. Drastic Imbalances in the Creation of Provinces, Population, Population Density viz a viz General Seats of Provincial Assemblies GENERAL ELECTIONS 2008
a. Careful study of the table shown above reveals that out of the four Provincial Assemblies, seats during elections in 2008 in Punjab province were 370 and in Balochistan Assembly the seats were 65. This political imbalance provided blackmailing power to the ruling party of the province of Punjab which is always a threat to the Unity and Solidarity toWaffaq-e-Pakistan, thus, if this political imbalance is not broken by creating another province/provinces within Punjab this condition of un-certainty and un-restness in the state will continue as in past. b. There are six seats of MNAs and 13 seats of MPAs in District of Rahimyar Khan. Basing on the population of Rahimyar Khan, which is over 40 Lacs, whereas, in Balochistan (Less Quetta), most of the districts of Balochistan and some of the districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit-Baltistan and Sindh and Upper-Punjab are having one to two MNA and two to three MPAs in each district.
English is the official language of Pakistan, whereas Urdu is the national language. There are 85 languages spoken in Pakistan, out of them, following are the six major regional and provincial languages of Pakistan;
4. Saraiki language is the oldest and one of the most spoken language in Pakistan. It is spoken in 23 districts out of the 36 districts of Punjab, one third of the total population of Sindh, including the 35 lacs in Karachi which have migrated from the Saraiki belt due to poverty and joblessness, and also approximately one fourth population of the southern districts of Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Saraiki people as a qaum were deprived of their recognition in the light of 23rd March 1940 - Lahore resolution, as well as at the time of creation of provinces after the independence wherein, it was ensured that the new independent, sovereign states/units will be formed basing on the cultural, social political and administrative basis. Twenty three districts of Saraiki belt wherein 65 to 94 % people are Saraiki speaking, have been deprived of their identity and basic rights for the past 64 years and after the independence from English regime, have come under the regime of Takht-e-Lahore and Takht-e-Peshawar. As a result of a continued long struggle the Saraiki Sooba Tehreek has matured and is nearing success, but due to un-merciful opposition by Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz), the matter remained pending under discussions in the National Assembly of Pakistan.
The areas included in the proposed province have been parts of Multan province in the past as under;
a. Multan Division Till 2 June 1818 when captured by Ranjit Singh and made part of Takht-e-Lahore (Punjab province) b Dera Ghazi Khan Division Till 2 June 1818 when captured by Ranjit Singh and made part of Takht-e-Lahore (Punjab province) c Sargodha Division Till 2 June 1818 when captured by Ranjit Singh and made part of Takht-e-Lahore (Punjab province) d. Dera Ismail Khan Division (Till 1901) e. Bahawalpur Division Till October 1955 when merged in West Pakistan province (one unit) f. Sahiwal Division (Late 1 g. Jhang and Chiniot Districts (Till 2 June 1818)
6. Geographical All the proposed 23 districts are a compact integrated unit, having a similar topography, landscaping, climate, timings, agriculture, living style, language etc. (See map of proposed province of Saraikistan at Page 5)
7. Large Area Areas supposed to be included in the Saraiki province are about 23 districts from 62% of the total area of Punjab (1,49,419 km²) . This area is bigger than 120 countries of the world.
8. Large Population Population being about 60 million is around 63% of the population of Punjab which will be most populated province of the country having larger population than 219 countries of the world.
9. Cultural Differences The area has its own unique culture, customs, dresses , jewelry , poetry , folk music etc.
10. Administrative Problems due to Long Distances Present Punjab from Rahim yar Khan to Murree and Attock/Mianwali is over 1000km in length and capital being located at Lahore has multi-administrative problems especially because of the long distances, and poverty. Distance between Kot Sabzal, RahimyarKhan and Lahore is approximately 600 km.
11. Political , Social , Economical ,injustice and most oppressed class of Pakistani Society Deprived of basic rights having lowest ratio of education, health, poverty, basic necessities and development .Even in the present 21st century most of the areas human beings and animals drink water from same place. People have lowest ratio in the Armed Forces and in public and private sector. Some of the areas which have been very badly neglected and have very poor ratio viz-a-viz population and area are as under;
a. No Agriculture University. Despite the fact that, it is mostly the agriculture based area, which produces approximately 57% of the total income of Punjab.
b. No Medical Universities. There is no medical university, however, only four medical colleges in entire area of twenty three districts i.e. Quaid-e-Azam, Gomal, Nishtar and Sheikh Zayed.
c. No Engineering University. Has adverse effect on job opportunities and producing of Engineers in Saraiki belt. d. No IT and Science and Technology University. Has adverse effect on job opportunities and producing of Engineers in Saraiki belt. e. No Cadet College. (Only one at Sargodha, but specifically for induction of cadets for PAF) This has resulted in only one percent gazetted posts held by Saraiki people. f. No Saraiki Regiment. As in case of Punjab, Sindh, Frontier Force, Baloch and Azad Kashmir Regiments, no Saraiki Regiment has been formed, rather, Abbasia regiments of ex Bahawalpur states have been merged in Baloch regiment. Baloch-Saraiki ratio as a qaum in terms of population is 1:5. As a result, there is a very less ratio of Saraiki people in Armed forces and Civil armed forces. g. No International Airport. There is no international airport In twenty three districts, only one is coming up in Multan. This has adverse effect on travelling abroad and export of fruits, vegetables and rest of the commodities abroad. h. Lack of Motorways. There is no motorway in twenty three districts, whereas, in upper Punjab, three motorways have been constructed i.e. Lahore to Islamabad, Lahore to Faisalabad and Lahore to Sialkot. This is unfortunate and step brotherly treatment to the Saraiki belt, where the existing communication infrastructure is also in very bad condition. i. Lack of Bridges. Lack of bridges on rivers, overhead bridges and old communication infrastructure has adverse effect on inter district trade, social contacts and communication. Construction of Nishtar Ghat Bridge now Shaheed Benazir Bridge is still pending despite allocation of funds, thrice in the past. j. Lack of Textile Industry. The Saraiki belt produces most of the cotton, whereas, there is only one textile mill in Multan. k. Shortage of Irrigation Water. After the surrendering of water of Sutluj, Beas and Ravi, two third area of entire Saraiki belt has converted into desert belt and the green belt is reducing day by day, due to shortage of electricity and heavy cost of diesel, agriculture through tube wells has become unaffordable (11 million acres of land of Bahawalpur and Multan division has been rendered banjar due to shortage of water). l. Shortage of Drinking Water. Due to extended desert range of Cholistan and thal, shortage of rainfall, depth of underground water, even in 21st century , the human beings are compelled to drink water of rain fed ponds (tobas), wherein, human beings/animals (both haram and halal) drink water together. m. Shortage of Jobs. Since there is no Urban/rural quota (as in case of Balochis and Sindhis), for admission in medical, technical colleges, special quota in armed forces, civil services, shortage of industries, very low ratio of poverty, health, per capita income, people are jobless, therefore, compelled to migrate to Karachi and abroad accepting least paid and low category jobs. n. Shortage of TV/radio stations/dry ports, industrial states, industries, women university. o. Minimum development/Budget Allocation. Although the Saraiki belt is about 63% of the total Punjab in population and area but only 11 to 18 % of the total budget of Punjab has been allocated for the development of Saraiki belt in the past. If the case ratio continues, then areas forming part of Saraiki belt will become further undeveloped and the ratio of poverty, health, education, development, jobs/opportunities will further badly deteriorate.
There are some political parties and groups which are working for Separate Saraiki Province in Pakistan
- Pakistan Saraiki Qaumi Ittehad : Chairman Colonel (Retd) Abdul Jabbar Abbasi. Central Secretariat at Rahimyar Khan, Camp Office at Karachi.Took over as Chairman on 17 December 2005 after the sad demise of Bani Chairman Sahibzada Mohammad Dawood Khan Abbasi Ex Bahawalpuur State.Haji Rabnawaz being the Senior Vice Chairman of PSQI.
- Pakistan Saraiki Party: Its head office is at Multan. Taj Muhamaad Khan Langah is its president and Aslam Rasoolpuri is its secretary general.taj langah also known as baba saraikistan.javed chanar press secretary, shafqat meethlo information secretary,Mir Sultan Mahmood Kulachi youth organizer in sarakistan.We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in punjab for seprate province, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender,We shll fight for over deserts.mountains etc.saraikis ready for fight from Chief youth commander Mir Sultan Mahmood Kulachi
- Saraikistan Youth Parliament: Its head office is at Multan. Muhammad Faraz Noon is its Leader and Shehryar Khan Tareen is currently handling Information Technological issues. Basic Demand of SYP (Saraikistan Youth Parliament is a separate province based on administrative distribution, not on language.
- Saraikistan qaumi council: its head office multan pro shoukat mughal and zahoor ahmad dhareja
- Saraiki Quomi Movement", famously known as SQM was founded by Bibi Shahida Naz, Karachi. 1988
- Saraikistan Qaumi Movement: Its head office is at Dera Ghazi Khan. Hameed Asghar Shaheen (president).
- Saraiki National Party : Its head office is at Rahim Yar Khan.Abdul Majeed Kanjo (President).
- Saraikistan Qaumi Ithad: Its head office is at Mithankot. Khawaja Ghulam Farid Sani (president).
- Saraiki Soba Movement: a registered party with Election Commission of Pakistan. Its head office is located in Multan. The current President is Malik Mumtaz Hussain Jai (Advocate Supreme Court Pakistan).
Many politicians from South Punjab had been elected at highest level in Pakistan, which are usually the economic elites and feudal. Among them areYousaf Raza Gillani (Current Prime Minister), Latif Khosa (Governor Punjab), Zulfiqar Ali Khosa (Former Governor Punjab), Mustafa Khar (Former Governor Punjab), Farooq Leghari (Former President of Pakistan), Dost Muhammad Khosa (Former Chief Minister Punjab), Shah Mehmood Qureshi (Former Foreign Minister), Hina Rabbani Khar (Foreign Minister of Pakistan), Javed Hashmi (Several times Federal Minster and leading politician). So, the slogan of being deprived seems to be senseless to many people in northern Punjab but the people in South Punjab consider these feudal as anti-poor. Until recently, none of these political leaders spoke in favour of regional autonomy.