West Punjab

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Map of West Punjab in Pakistan

West Punjab was a former province of Pakistan which existed from 1947 to 1955. The province covered an area of 160,622 square kilometres (62,017 sq mi),including much of the current Punjab province and the Islamabad Capital Territory, but excluding the former princely states of Bahawalpur. The capital was the city of Lahore and the province was mad up of four divisions (Lahore, Sargodha, Multan and Rawalpindi). The province was bordered by the Indian states of East Punjab to the east, the princely state of Bahawalpur to the south, the provinces of Balochistan and Sindh to the southwest, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to the northwest, and Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Occupied Kashmir to the northeast.

History[change | change source]

The independence of Pakistan in 1947 led to the divisions of the Punjab province into two new provinces. The East Punjab where most people were Sikh and Hindu became part of the new nation of India while the mainly Muslim West Punjab became part of the new nation of Pakistan. The name of the province was shortened to Punjab in 1950. West Punjab was merged into the province of West Pakistan in 1955 under the One Unit policy announced by Prime Minister Chaudhry Mohammad Ali. When that province was dissolved, the area of the former province of West Punjab was combined with the former state of Bahawalpur to form a new Punjab Province.

People[change | change source]

At independence there was a Muslim majority in West Punjab with significant minorities of Hindus and Sikhs. Nearly all of these minorities left West Punjab for India, to be replaced by large numbers of Muslims fleeing in the opposite direction. The official language of West Punjab was Urdu but most of the population spoke Punjabi using the Shahmukhi script.

Government[change | change source]

The offices of Governor of West Punjab and Chief Minister of West Punjab lasted from August 15 1947, until 14th October 1955. The first Governor was Sir Francis Mudie with Iftikhar Hussain Khan as the first Chief Minister. Both offices were abolished in 1955, when the province of West Pakistan was created. The last Governor of West Punjab, Mushtaq Ahmad Gurmani, became the first Governor of West Pakistan.

Tenure Governor of West Punjab[1]
15th August 1947 - 2nd August 1949 Sir Francis Mudie
2nd August 1949 - 24th November 1951 Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar
24th November 1951 - 2nd May 1953 Ismail Ibrahim Chundrigar
2nd May 1953 - 24th June 1954 Mian Aminuddin
26th September 1954 - 26th November 1954 Habib Ibrahim Rahmatullah
27th November 1954 - 14th October 1955 Mushtaq Ahmad Gurmani
14th October 1955 Province of West Punjab dissolved
Tenure Chief Minister of West Punjab[1] Political Party
15th August 1947 - 25th January 1949 Iftikhar Hussain Khan
25th January 1949 - 5th April 1952 Governor's Rule
5th April 1951 - 3rd April 1953 Mian Mumtaz Daultana Pakistan Muslim League
3rd April 1953 - 21st May 1955 Malik Firoz Khan Nun Pakistan Muslim League
21st May 1955 - 14th October 1955 Abdul Hamid Khan Dasti
14th October 1955 Province of West Punjab dissolved

Other pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Ben Cahoon, WorldStatesmen.org. "Pakistan Provinces". http://www.worldstatesmen.org/Pakistan_states.html#Punjab. Retrieved 2007-10-03.

Other websites[change | change source]

Coordinates: 31°00′N 72°00′E / 31°N 72°E / 31; 72