Interview with Radcliffe

Cyril Radcliffe gets a lot of (mostly undeserved) flak from people anxious to find some scapegoat for the partition disaster. The following is an extract from Kuldip Nayar’s book “Scoop” (published originally by Scroll, India) that sheds some light on those times and Radcliffe’s role in them.


An excerpt from ‘Scoop’, in which the veteran journalist, who died on August 23, wrote about interviewing Cyril Radcliffe, Chairman of the Boundary Commission.

“I nearly gave you Lahore,” Lord Cyril Radcliffe, Chairman of the Boundary Commission, told me. “But then I realised that Pakistan would not have any large city. I had already earmarked Calcutta for India.”

Lahore had Hindus and Sikhs in a majority and way up in assets, he said. Yet he had no option because of paucity of big towns in Pakistan. The conversation took place at Radcliffe’s flat in London towards the later half of 1971. I had gone there to meet Lord Mountbatten, the last British Governor-General. I wanted to know how the boundary lines of India and Pakistan were drawn. Although the Boundary Commission had four more members – two from India, Mehar Chand Mahajan and Teja Singh, and two from Pakistan, Din Mohammed and Mohammed Munir – they were all serving judges.

Radcliffe was the one who made the decision because the Commission was divided, India’s members on one side and those from Pakistan on the other. What yardstick did he apply? I was keen to know. I found to my horror that Radcliffe had no fixed rules to go by when he drew the boundaries between India and Pakistan. He had gathered sufficient information by the time he came to demarcate the borders.

The two sides were exhaustive in their presentation. He had read tonnes of material as well. The ticklish part of his assignment, as he said, was to partition the last track of Punjab and Bengal on the basis of religion. Therefore, his decision to give Lahore to India and then to reverse it in favour of Pakistan was understandable. He had some kind of balance in view. That Mohammed Ali Jinnah, founder of Pakistan, had recommended Radcliffe’s name had nothing to do with the change in the decision to give Lahore to Pakistan.

“Are you satisfied with the way you drew the border lines between India and Pakistan?” I asked.

“I had no alternative; the time at my disposal was so short that I could not do a better job. Given the same period I would do the same thing. However, if I had two to three years, I might have improved on what I did,” said Radcliffe.

He flew only once in a Dakota over the parts of northern India before actually demarcating borders. “If aspirations of some people had not been fulfilled,” he said, “the fault must be found in political arrangements with which I am not concerned.” Radcliffe was wearing a jacket with the necktie, a formal attire of sorts. As he had been a former judge for a long time it was probably his habit to wear a jacket when he met a foreigner. But there was no formality in his manners. I found him a simple, straight person during my conversation with him. He himself opened the door when I rang the bell at his flat. The room was cluttered with old furniture, something he must have collected over the years. The living appeared austere. He had no servant or maid because he himself went to the kitchenette, which I could see from the sofa in the sitting room, to place a kettle on the burner to prepare tea.

Radicliffe was given very little time to finish his work. He was delayed because the provincial assemblies of Punjab and Bengal had to vote for division of the two provinces, a legal obligation. Radcliffe was in Shimla when Mountbaten nominated him as the Chairman of a Boundary Commission. He told me that he would have preferred to work in Punjab in July. “It was impossible to undertake the field survey in June because of the heat,” he said. But Mountbatten, according to Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, a top Congress leader, told Radcliffe that he could not delay the work even by one day.

Radcliffe was not happy with members on the Boundary Commission, he told me. All that they did was to put across the point of view of the country they represented. Both sides wanted the maximum territory and argued at cross-purposes. One Muslim member hailing from East Bengal, Radcliffe told me, came to him in private and pleaded for Darjeeling’s inclusion in Pakistan. “My family goes to Darjeeling every summer and it would be hard on us if the place went to India.” Radcliffe had a good word for Meharchand Mahajan, the Indian Boundary Commission member who subsequently became India’s Chief Justice. He impressed him with his erudition and legal knowledge. “The Muslims in Pakistan have a grievance that you favoured India,” I told Radcliffe.

His reply was: “They should be thankful to me because I went out of the way to give them Lahore which deserved to go to India. Even otherwise, I favoured the Muslims more than the Hindus.”

It seemed that the criticism against his award had reached his ears by the time I met him. He was irritated whenever I would mention “the unhappiness” of the Pakistanis. What had hurt him most was the allegation that he had changed his report at Mountbatten’s insistence. The allegation of Pakistanis was that Mountbatten put pressure on Radcliffe to give India Firozepur and Zira tehsils to provide a link with Jammu and Kashmir.

“I was not even aware of Kashmir,” Radcliffe said. “I heard about it long after I returned to London.” During the conversation, lasting for more than one hour, I told him about sharp differences between India and Pakistan over Kashmir. He was aware of those. He also knew about the wars the two countries had fought against each other. He felt sorry about what had happened. But he remained firm in his assertion that he gave India Firozepur and Zira because that was how he felt. There was no pressure on him. However, he was pressed for the report.

On July 22, 1947, writing to Radcliffe, Mountbatten said that he had a discussion at Lahore with the Punjab Partition Committee. Referring to the assurance he had given to that Committee that he would write to Radcliffe of the urgency of the earliest possible date for the Punjab Boundary Award, Mountbatten continued. “It was emphasised (in the Punjab Paritition Committee) that the risk of disorder would be greatly increased if the award had to be announced at the very last moment before August 15. I know that you fully appreciate this, but I promised that I would mention it again to you, and say that we should all be grateful for every extra day earlier that you could manage to get the award announced. I wonder if there is any chance of getting it out by the 10th?”

Replying the next day, Radcliffe said: “I will certainly bear in mind that importance of the earliest possible date for the award. I do not think that I could manage the 10th. But I think that I can promise the 12th, and I will do the earlier day, if I possibly can.”

I did not ask Radcliffe about the letter Mountbatten’s Naval Attache G Abell had written to Abott, Secretary to the Punjab Governor since I was not aware of its existence at that time. The letter dated August 8, 1947, said: “I enclose a map showing roughly the boundary which Sir Cyril Radcliffe promised to demarcate in his award and a note describing it. There will not be any great changes from this boundary, but it will have to be accurately defined with reference to village and zilla boundaries in Lahore district”.

Jenkins wrote to Mountbatten: “The enclosures were a schedule (I think typed) and a section of a printed map with a line drawn thereon, together showing a boundary which included in Pakistan a sharp salient in the Firozepur District. This salient enclosed the whole of Firozepur and Zira tehsils.” Jenkins also stated that: “About August 10, 11, when we were still expecting the award on August 13, at latest, I received a message from Viceroy’s House containing the words ‘Eliminate Salient’. The change caused some surprise, not because the Firozepur salient had been regarded as inevitable or even probable, but because it seemed odd that any advance information had been given by the Commission if the award was not substantially complete.”

It was strange that Radcliffe who divided India into two independent countries advised “some joint control” when it came to splitting the irrigation network of the Punjab between India and Pakistan.

His award had given the irrigation canals to Pakistan and the rivers feeding them to India, while the controlling headwork was evenly divided. But he hinted at “some joint control”. India’s then prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, rejected it as “a political recommendation”. Since there was no “joint control”, the two countries, after the division, argued endlessly over their respective rights. Pakistan said that the rivers were common to the subcontinent and maintained that it was the sole owner of the waters and the headwork was in its territory. It became such a divisive issue that Rawalpindi suggested that the matter be referred to the International Court of Justice at the Hague. But Nehru opposed the proposal on the ground that it would be “a confession of our continued dependence on others”.

Before saying good-bye to Radcliffe I posed to him the same question which I had asked Mountbatten. Did Mohammed Ali Jinnah hesitate when Pakistan was conceded? He said no. Radcliffe’s reply was: “It is very unlikely”. I also checked with him about Mountbatten’s warning to Jinnah that “his moth-eaten Pakistan will not last more than 25 years”. Radcliffe said: “You are the first person to have told me this. I never heard it before.”

When I alighted the steps of his flat, I wondered how India and Pakistan came to sign the Indus basin treaty.

In 1951, when Pakistan was on the point of referring the dispute to the Security Council, an article by David E Lilienthal, former chairman of the US Tennessee Valley Authority, appearing in an American magazine, saved the situation. He suggested a comprehensive engineering plan under which India and Pakistan could develop the entire Indus basin jointly, “perhaps with the World Bank help”.

It turned out later that Eugene E Block, the then World Bank’s chief, had been consulted before Lilienthal wrote the article. Both India and Pakistan saw that America too had given its blessings to the proposal. The development of the Indus basin was considered acceptable, particularly when the funds had been promised. Since it suggested a way out and was also laced with money, both India and Pakistan accepted the formula. The Indus basin treaty was signed in 1960 between Nehru and General Ayub Khan, Pakistan’s military ruler.

In response to the formal proposal of the World Bank chief (November 1951), a “working team” of engineers was appointed to tackle the problem outside the political arena. India gave a guarantee not to disturb supplies until the end of the negotiations and it kept its word though Pakistan continued to make allegations to the contrary.

For nine years the negotiations between India and Pakistan covered a long, tortuous route, and even in the last stages, both Nehru and Ayub Khan had to intervene to put the talks back on the track when the prejudice and cussedness of officials looked like derailing them.

Nehru had to face criticism in India for accepting 19 per cent of the Indus basin waters and agreeing to continue deliveries till Pakistan built its alternative channels. Indian engineers had prepared a formidable case to prove that both Punjab and Rajasthan would be practically ruined if India were to stay its hands for the ten-year transitional period.

Morarji Desai, then a member of Nehru’s Cabinet, organised opposition from political quarters. Even Govind Ballabh Pant, then the Union Home Minister who was loyal to Nehru, expressed his unhappiness over India’s “heavy contribution” to the Indus basin Development Fund. He wanted to get it adjusted against the value of the property that Hindu refugees had left in Pakistan. Nehru brushed aside all objections. He was anxious to build good relations with Rawalpindi and settlement of the water disputes could serve as a foundation upon which he could raise a durable structure of Indo-Pakistan amity. Why didn’t it happen? The successive rulers in India and Pakistan were answerable.

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Omar Ali

I am a physician interested in obesity and insulin resistance, and in particular in the genetics and epigenetics of obesity As a blogger, I am more interested in history, Islam, India, the ideology of Pakistan, and whatever catches my fancy. My opinions can change.

124 thoughts on “Interview with Radcliffe”

  1. My father’s family was from Firozepur and lost much of what they had accumulated from years of effort and sacrifice thanks to the salient being given to India. Oh well, at least they got out unharmed.

  2. The whole partition was a nightmare for my family. My paternal grandmother was on a train from Bihar with her grandmother and siblings pretending to be Hindus so they wouldn’t be attacked by Hindu rioters. They got to Calcutta thinking it would be part of Pakistan and because her grandfather had property there. Unfortunatly after finding out Calcutta was going to India they left for West Pakistan since most of the extended family were migrating there. The way there they were again in danger when a group of Sikh thugs stopped their train in East Punjab and started shooting at the train. Luckily the train had Muslim soldiers who were also headed to West Pakistan and shot back resulting in a gun fight. Thankfully the train made it to Lahore.

    I get that Radcliffe had to do a job and divide a land he barely had knowledge of. It was a difficult task to be sure. Just wish he had more time to do the job and Mountbatten gave an earlier announcement on the new borders so that people could migrate without short notice.

  3. The partition of Punjab was highway robbery for India, and still remembered by Muslims today. Lots of Muslim majority areas contiguous with Pakistan were given to India, while no non-Muslim areas were given to Pakistan.

      1. Gurdaspur district should have gone to Pakistan but it didn’t because it would have deprived India of a land link with Kashmir.

    1. Did you read the article? It literally starts off with Radcliffe saying that Lahore was non-Muslim majority but given to Pakistan. Same was the case with Rawalpindi IIRC. And maybe even Karachi.

      Anyway it’s all done and dusted. I still marvel at the fact that a white man drew a line in the sand and millions migrated and perished for it, like cattle being driven by an invisible force. Apologies if this comes across as insensitive. I cannot imagine what it must have been like to live through those events. But to their credit the refugees from W Pakistan have mostly pulled themselves up and thrived in India, a credit to the human spirit

      1. Lahore city was 50% non-Muslim. The elite was non-Muslim. Lahore district was Muslim-majority.

        The idea of Lahore (the heartland of Pakistani Punjab) going to Hindu India is absurd. Thank God it didn’t happen.

      2. Lahore was 60% Muslim according to 1941 Census of India. I don’t think there was any way to slice and dice Lahore’s boundaries to make it Hindu/Sikh majority in 1947. So it should have gone to Pakistan.

    2. From a Indian – secularist perspective…

      The partition was fundamentally a Muslim Nationalist demand to create a pure Muslim homeland, so its fundamentally a win for Pakistan.

      It’s just as the creation of the United States was a win for the US patriots even though the Queen remains the head of state in Canada to this day.

  4. Radcliff is unfairly pilloried for his role during the demarcation process. Anyone in his shoes would have divided the subcontinent almost exactly the same way. The maps published in Ambedkar’s ” Partition of India” are exactly the same , and that was in 1940.

    All this grand theories about certain regions going to India or Pakistan are all post facto assessment where these regions become important due to subsequent events. Almost always the Indian side and Pakistan side got a equitable share of the pie.


    India’s next attack is coming

    Some nuggets from famed Pakistani ‘liberal’

    “Meanwhile, despite the agony that all Pakistanis feel for what happened in 1971, never has Pakistan ceded territory to India (note: the founding of Bangladesh was not ceding of territory to India – no matter how stupid some Pakistanis may be in how they speak of modern Bangladesh as an annex or proxy for India. Bangladeshis are as fiercely protective and proud of their national identity with respect to India as they are with respect to Pakistan).”

    “Unlike its one-and-done fight against China, India has engaged in four wars with Pakistan, all of them rooted in and initiated by India’s denial of the international system, its rejection of dialogue and multilateralism and its foundational expansionist tendencies. ”

    “From the Pakistani vantage point, the heart of Pakistan’s problem with India is neither religion, nor territory, nor competition. It is very simply a battle for survival. ”

    “But that is where Pakistan is today, in part thanks to India’s sad slide into nationalist and religious extremism. Indian aggression across the LOC, in Gilgit-Baltistan, through violent extremists, terrorists and separatists are not hypotheticals. They are taking place, almost on a daily basis.”

    1. He isn’t wrong. Pakistan never lost in western sector, not even in 1971. Meanwhile India has been ceding territory to China after losing war or even without war since 1962.
      I find the idea of Pakistani can’t be liberal unless he support hindutva regime funny. lol

  6. Partition was a rush job, both at political and administrative level – should have been given 10 years for tempers to cool , all stakeholders to have a say and each country to decide it’s shape of things to come. Mountbatten was the worst thing to happen to India . It speaks volumes of the Congress leaders lack of judgement that Mountbatten was their friend mostly and was even the GovGen of independent India

  7. The Lahore story is confirmed In the book former Chief Justice Mohammad Munir wrote on Pakistan titled From Jinnah to Zia. Munir says that Radcliffe had awarded Lahore to India, but on his pleading changed the award in Pakistan’s favour.
    The award does seem to have been changed on Mountbatten’s request, but not in Gurdaspur. That change, the mysterious salient, concerned Zira and Ferozepur tehsils, which were Muslim by a 51 to 49 ratio, and had to go to Pakistan. The trouble was that the headworks of the Bikaner canal drawn from the Sutlej river were located in Ferozepur. The Maharaja Bikaner stated that he would have to accede to Pakistan if the headworks went to that country. Ferozepur remained in India because of the change in the award that occasioned.
    It is one of those persistent Kashmiri factoids that Gurdaspur was awarded to India so as to enable it to remain connected to J&K. Even Wavell the previous Viceroy had planned for its inclusion in India to enable the Sikhs to have direct access to Amritsar without having to pass through the princely state of Kapurthala. Gurdaspur tehsil was Muslim majority but Pathankot tehsil through which the track to Jammu passed was Hindu majority, and regardless of the decision about Gurdaspur, it would have gone to India.
    It is wrong to say as Indthings does that no non Muslim majority area went to Pakistan. The Chittagong hill tract which was inhabited by the Buddhist Chakma majority was given to Pakistan in lieu of Calcutta. Calcutta was Hindu majority as well as Lahore, as was the whole of 24 Parganas district, but Jinnah was particularly keen on getting Calcutta.

    1. Is it accurate to say that the logic of awarding a city was based on the demographics of the district it sat in – this would explain Lahore, Rawalpindi and Karachi being awarded to Pakistan.

      However Punjab state was split down district by district (or tehsil by tehsil). Why did Sindh go wholesale to Pakistan? Did the hindus of Sindh count less for Radcliffe than the Sikhs of Punjab? If my memory serves me, there were Hindu majority districts at the time which were contiguous to Rajasthan…

      Seems on the whole that Pakistan managed to get the upper hand in the awarding process.

      1. “Lahore, Rawalpindi and Karachi”– Wow, you clearly didn’t want us to have a viable Pakistan.

        Congress and the League only agreed to divide Punjab and Bengal. There was no question of Sindh going to India.

        1. Nothing like that. My interest in this is purely academic.

          I was just wondering aloud why the Hindus of Sindh were left without a homeland, instead of being given a few districts, since Punjab and Bengal were divided that way.

          1. No other province was divided.

            As Muslim-majority provinces, Punjab and Bengal should have gone to Pakistan entirely. But Congress wanted us to have a moth-eaten Pakistan.

            Congress didn’t think we would last ten years. We’re still here. Too bad for India.

        2. “Lahore, Rawalpindi and Karachi”– Wow, you clearly didn’t want us to have a viable Pakistan.

          Wasn’t Pakistan supposed to be all about the the magical powers of Islam sustaining a polity?

          Who gives a crap about viability?

          1. If you all claimed all of our major cities, we couldn’t have had a country. While you’re at it, why not take Peshawar as well?

            This is a truly ridiculous argument.

          2. “While you’re at it, why not take Peshawar as well?”

            Its a good idea, though its far too underdeveloped for my taste.

          3. The Pathans of Peshawar aren’t going to let Hindus rule over them.

            Sorry, your ship has sailed.

        1. Thanks mate.
          That article was very informative.

          Can’t help but feel sad for the Sindhi Hindus who were left without a homeland. But the partition has enabled them to spread their wings and become one of the most successful groups both within India and abroad. So there’s a silver lining there somewhere

        2. I was initially surprised at that one Sindhi district in the west being Hindu Majority before partition, then i remembered it’s Karachi, LOL

  8. “As Muslim-majority provinces, Punjab and Bengal should have gone to Pakistan entirely.”

    If the founder of a new country describes Hindus and Muslims as two separate nations then what reason do Hindus have to join a Muslim-majority country? Might as well join the nation they belong to.

    “But Congress wanted us to have a moth-eaten Pakistan.”

    It wasn’t just the congress, the dharmic people made it pretty clear they didn’t want regions in which they were a majority (E. Punjab & W. Bengal) to go to Pakistan. The congress just represented the will of the people.

    Jinnah’s whole purpose of ruling over a large number of dharmics was to fulfil his hostage theory to protect apparent extraterritorial ‘citizens’ of Pakistan who would live in India. Every time something happened in India these poor souls would be at the receiving end of collective punishment. Words can’t describe how terrible an idea this is.

    1. Congress didn’t think Pakistan would last ten years as a viable nation and that we would come crawling back and accept Hindu rule.

      Sorry suckers. We’re still here and now we are nuclear armed. No Hindu will ever rule over Muslim-majority land again. Some day Kashmir will also be free from the Hindu yoke.

      1. “Congress didn’t think Pakistan would last ten years as a viable nation and that we would come crawling back and accept Hindu rule.”

        Pakistan, as it was the time of partition, did not last beyond 1971. Anyway, good on your army for keeping together the country for the 49 years since.

        “No Hindu will ever rule over Muslim-majority land again.”

        Why do you hate Hindus so much?

        1. I don’t hate Hindus. But Muslims have a right to rule over lands in which we are a majority.

          You all wouldn’t be OK with Muslim rule over a Hindu majority populace.

          1. Interesting. However, you are OK with Muslim minority having ruled over a large majority of non-Muslims for hundreds of years 🙂

          2. JT

            “How Muslim politics has become perverted is shown by the attitude of the Muslim leaders to the political reforms in the Indian States. The Muslims and their leaders carried on a great agitation for the introduction of representative government in the Hindu State of Kashmir. The same Muslims and their leaders are deadly opposed to the introduction of representative governments in other Muslim States.

            The reason for this strange attitude is quite simple. In all matters, the determining question with the Muslims is how it will affect the Muslims vis-a-vis the Hindus. If representative government can help the Muslims, they will demand it, and fight for it. In the State of Kashmir the ruler is a Hindu, but the majority of the subjects are Muslims. The Muslims fought for representative government in Kashmir, because representative government in Kashmir meant the transfer of power from a Hindu king to the Muslim masses. In other Muslim States, the ruler is a Muslim but the majority of his subjects are Hindus.

            In such States representative government means the transfer of power from a Muslim ruler to the Hindu masses, and that is why the Muslims support the introduction of representative government in one case and oppose it in the other. The dominating consideration with the Muslims is not democracy. The dominating consideration is how democracy with majority rule will affect the Muslims in their struggle against the Hindus. Will it strengthen them, or will it weaken them? If democracy weakens them, they will not have democracy. They will prefer the rotten state to continue in the Muslim States, rather than weaken the Muslim ruler in his hold upon his Hindu subjects.”

            ~ Dr. B. R. Ambedkar

          3. JT,

            Pre-modern empires are different from sovereign democratic states. This is not a difficult distinction to understand.

  9. “Congress didn’t think we would last ten years. We’re still here. Too bad for India.”

    I think I speak for all Indians when I say thank goodness that didn’t come to pass. Good riddance and good bye 🙂

    1. Good bye to you Hindus as well:) Now just free your Muslim-majority colony and then you can do whatever the hell you want amongst yourselves as far as I’m concerned.

    2. Saurav, I have a different view. While Pakistan has been a thorn in India’s side, a Pakistan that had broken apart into smaller states/statelets would not have been in India’s interests. This would have effectively brought the brought the Durand Line on India’s border.

      A Pakistan that fell apart would have also encouraged fissiparous tendencies in India.

      1. Where do i argue abt Pakistan breakup? LOL

        “On our side of the border, Indian peaceniks fall back on another tried-and-tested argument. If Pakistan slides further into chaos, then this will be bad for India. So, we should try and promote democracy in Pakistan.”

        And finally my view on Pakistan

        ” So, it is time to remember Sattar’s advice. We are not the same people. We don’t care which of Pakistan’s politicians overthrows the other. And we don’t even mind if the army takes charge.
        It is their country and it is their problem. They can deal with it – or not deal with it – as they choose.”

  10. Why did no one from Sindh argue for Sindh’s partition on the lines of Shylet in Assam? It would have been pretty clean too. What were Sindhi Hindus thinking?

    1. Sindhis are a docile lot. Even now their sword arm against MQM are Pashtuns and Balochs. They mostly talk a big game like ZAB or Advani , but push comes to shove, they sort of chicken out.

      Also they were the first ones to move lock stock towards Pakistan. Sindhi UCs Hindus saw this coming and had already started moving from the 40s itself to India. The Sindhi Hindus pops (adjunct to rajasthan ) is majority tribal and lower caste which did not have any leadership. Assam on contrast had a Bordoloi who went out of his way against his own party to include Assam into India.

  11. It is factually incorrect for Kabir and Indthings to state that no non-Muslim majority districts went to Pakistan. Tharparkar in southern Sindh (adjacent to Rajasthan and Gujarat) was Hindu majority but went to Pakistan (different rules were applied to Sylhet in Assam). There was also the princely state of Amarkot (adjacent to Tharparkar) ruled by a Hindu Rajput dynasty and part of Rajputana that went to Pakistan. If Tharparkar had the option of joining India, Amarkot (renamed “Umerkot”) could have done the same. Khulna (Hindu majority) and the Chittagong Hill Tracts (Buddhist majority) also went to Pakistan. Then there are the great cities of Lahore and Karachi, which were split almost evenly (50-50) between Hindus-Sikhs and Muslims. Karachi had a thriving Sindhi, Kutchi and Gujarati Hindu business community (including some of my ancestors who were forced to flee after partition) who dominated the city. We lost not just our cultural heritage in Karachi (which is well recorded) but also in places like the Nagarparkar area near the Indian border whose famous Hindu-Jain temples now lie in ruins. Sikh farmers dominated in the Central Punjab area (split at partition) and Hindu Bengali zamindars had huge holdings in rural East Bengal- all lost at partition. The comparative loss suffered by Muslims in UP and Bihar were limited as most of the migration was voluntary- even today there are big Muslim zamindars in Western UP (Rohilakhand).

    True there was some benefit to the Indian side in the Punjab, predominantly due to the soft spot the British had for the Sikhs whose homeland (central Punjab) was split down the middle. The Gurdaspur link to Kashmir was purely fortuitous- I don’t believe Mountbatten and Radcliffe were thinking of Kashmir when they awarded Gurdaspur to India. Luckily that decision saved the Hindu Dogras of Jammu, who were in a majority in lower Jammu and would otherwise have suffered the same fate as the Hindus and Sikhs of West Pakistan in 1947 or the Kashmiri Pandits in 1990.

    I also find the phoney holier than thou mindset of people like Kabir and Indthings extremely annoying. It would have been one thing if their victim mentality was borne out by the facts, but it is not. There was a mutual genocide in the Punjab because the Sikhs fired back with equal vengeance, but almost everywhere else the facts tell a different story. The Hindus of Sindh are practically decimated and continue to trickle into India to this day. The Hindus of East Bengal suffered two shocks- one at partition (but luckily the situation in Bengal wasn’t as bad as Punjab). Then in the 1969-71 period in particular, when the West Pakistan army and their allies committed particular and targeted brutalities. The situation since then hasn’t been great either, such that the Hindu population in East Bengal (Bangladesh) has come down from 30% to less than 10%. If it wasn’t for Sheikh Hasina and the Awami League, the situation would surely have been worse. The East Bengal Hindus and Buddhist Chakmas (whose lands were inundated by a dam built in the Chittagong Hill Tracts) can be found all over West Bengal and North East India. The Muslims in West Bengal and the rest of India on the other hand have thrived- the numbers bear testimony to this. Despite the occasional communal riot and sporadic beef lynching cases, overall Muslims in India have been treated as equal citizens with dignity, as is their absolute and legitimate right. I am not saying this with any regret- I am proud of the fact that Muslims have thrived in India and I hope they continue to do so. I am proud that India is a constitutionally secular and multicultural republic (unlike Pakistan which is a self consciously Islamic republic). The point I am making is that despite the jingoism and chauvinism of the Modi regime (which I oppose), there is no comparison between the records of India and Pakistan.

    Finally back on the topic of partition and Kashmir: the loss of West Punjab, Pakistani Kashmir (Mirpur and Muzaffarabad), Sindh and East Bengal were an irreparable loss to India. These areas had 25-55% Indic faith populations as late as 1947 and have been lost now to Indian civilisation for perpetuity. The western half of Pakistan on the left side of the Indus (Balochistan, NWFP and Gilgit-Baltistan) were civilisationally more Afghan/Iranic so I would largely discount these. Every life lost (Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist or Muslim) in the sordid saga was a tragedy. But given the circumstances in 1947 and the blackmail of the Muslim League there was sadly no other option. The upshot is that there is no further appetite on the part of the Indian Republic to concede any further territory to Muslim separatism. The reason why India would not concede Kashmir is in the history (as set out above). If the threat to India’s territorial sovereignty recedes, then there is hope that a more liberal Indian government would give the Kashmiri Muslims their autonomy and dignity back. There could be a settlement along the lines of the Manmohan-Musharraf formula of 2008. But giving up the Kashmir Valley to Pakistan and changing the border isn’t something Indian opinion (left, right or centre) would countenance.

    1. Congress and ML didn’t agree to divide Sindh, so the question of any part of that province going to India didn’t arise.

      You are another of the people on this forum that doesn’t use the word “genocide” properly. Genocide implies a State-led campaign of extermination, which is not what happened at Partition. The correct term is Ethnic Cleansing.

      As for the great existence of Indian Muslims, you seem to conviently forget the POGROMS in your national capital just a few months ago. You are another one who uses the word “riots” when POGROM is the appropriate word. This was a campaign against Muslims encouraged by the state.

      If you want to talk demographics of “Indic” faiths, don’t leave out the fact (inconvinient for your narrative) that the Valley of Kashmir was 95% Muslim even one century ago. There is no reason at all (except for the decision of the Hindu Dogra who was clearly unrepresentative of the Kashmiri Muslim majority) that such an overwhelmingly Muslim area should form part of a Hindu majority country.

      Finally, India is secular on paper but is rapidly becoming a Hindu majoritarian hellhole. Anyone who doesn’t recognize this fact is delusional.

    2. It is factually incorrect for Kabir and Indthings to state that no non-Muslim majority districts went to Pakistan.

      Dude, Kabir is an idiot and Indthings is a troll. They are barely tolerated on this blog (and sometimes provide comic relief). You didn’t have to write such a long post responding to their juvenile rantings.

      1. Calling me an idiot is not something I would have expected from you. I thought you were one of the relatively sane non-Hindutvadis on this forum.

        Newsflash: Intelligent people can disagree with the Indian nationalist viewpoint. I am a Pakistani and obviously will have different views from the Indians here

        1. “Newsflash: Intelligent people can disagree with the Indian nationalist viewpoint.”

          ok but you’re not one of them these days. You used to have different opinions but presented them in a compelling way that makes a reader take note even if they disagree. Now it’s just emotional rants animated by religious zeal and jingoistic nationalism that make a reader genuinely concerned about your mental health.

          You’ve been fighting Hindu internet trolls for so long I worry that you have become one (albeit, with a different religion / country).

          1. You are no one to worry about my mental health. Have you suddenly become a licensed psychiatrist? Don’t condescend to me.

            It is your compatriots who suggested bombing Pakistani cities. Obviously, threats to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan are a redline for me (as they would be for any Pakistani).

  12. @London Observer
    25-55% is exaggeration despite the fact huge chunk of hindu/sikhs were not indigenous but colonial settlers.
    Karachi: 100% muslim baloch-sindhi before British started importing colonial settlers from India.
    Rawalpindi: 95% muslim potoharis before British brought in colonial settlers.
    AJK: Was 95% muslim paharis before and after British because there wasn’t any new city build there.
    Faisalabad region: 95% muslim before British set up canal colonies and brought sikhs from east punjab.
    So as far as I’m concerned huge chunk of hindu/sikh in Pakistan were colonial settlers. Same regions now have post partition muslims from India in large numbers and in some places like Karachi this is huge issue to this day.

  13. @Raz: “Indian colonial settlers”: what an astounding claim. It is true that some Sikhs were awarded lands in the Central Punjab as a reward for their military service, but to say that everyone living in what is today Eastern Pakistan was a “colonial settler” is laughable. Most of these were Punjabi (and its related dialects Saraiki and Pothwari) and Sindhi speaking local Hindus and Sikhs who migrated to the big cities that were built or patronised by the British, much like their Muslim compatriots. I have relatives and friends whose grandparents spoke Sindhi and Saraiki and migrated to India.

    The proof is in the shared ethnicity and the architecture. Butt (Bhatt), Mattoo, Malik, Cheema, Chauhan, Sethi, Solanki (Solangi), Gujjar, Nanjiani, Memon, Khawaja (Khoja), Sheikhs (mostly converted Banias). You will recognise these surnames in Pakistan. These surnames are found on both sides of the border and across faiths. I have experiences from my own family: my great grandmother who passed away two decades ago knew of distant ancestors who had converted to Islam. Even six or seven generations ago, people were able to trace a common bloodline which then got split. You can read about the Hindu Lohana caste of Sindh, Kutch and Gujarat and it’s links to the Khoja and Memon communities if you are interested. The conversions happened for a variety of reasons: a whole spectrum from coercion to convenience to conviction, and everywhere in between. This does not fit well with the Hindu nationalist or Islamist black or white narratives. Even the Muslim immigrant castes: Baig, Mirza, Ashraf, Pathan (Khan) etc. are found on both sides, but that is a separate story.

    As far as architecture and physical evidence is concerned, we can start from the Indus Valley (Sindhu-Saraswati) civilisation on both sides of the border. Starting from north to south in Eastern Pakistan, you have Sharda Peeth in Pakistani Kashmir (now ruined temple and site of Shaivite learning), Taxila (the great ancient Hindu centre of learning), Kartarpur Sahib (founded by Guru Nanak Devji), the sun temple of Multan (now ruined) and the Nagarparkar temples. From the very north to the very south of Eastern Pakistan.

    Please admit that we are the same people. How and why would you erase this history?

    1. Don’t forget 2 Muslims with recent Hindu ancestors broke India ( 2 different Civ- Jinnah) and threaten India (Z A Bhutto) . Both of them were opportunists to their eyeballs, with no regard for human lives.

  14. The notion that Hindus and Sikhs were colonial settlers in Western Punjab is Utter and complete rubbish. Sikhism was born in West Punjab and some of the holiest places of the Sikhs are in Pakistan. Muslims Punjabis, mainly Jats, Khatris, and Rajputs, were Hindu before they converted. In the late 19th century some Sikhs from Eastern Punjab were settled in Lyallpur, and some other canal areas. Rawalpindi Sikhs and Hindus as well as the ones across the Indus have always lived there. long before Islam entered the subcontinent. Punjabis, of whatever religious hue can’t be colonists of theri own land.
    The colonial enterprise began with the Abbasid encroachment into Sind with bin Qasim and continued into medieval and modern period through migration of Afghan, Turkic and Iranian colonials into Punjab. Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Syed Raza Geelani are good examples. The former should rejoin his Qureshi clansmen in Arabia, and Geelani could make a go at being an Ayatollah, unless his Sunni linkage precludes him from the task. Gen. Bajwa is not a colonial, and Imran Khan barely qualifies as not being one. Ayub Khan was a genuine Hindko, and therefore not colonial. We can agree that Bhutto was not a colonist either. The most recent and the real colonists were Jinnah, Liaqat Ali Khan, and Musharraf.
    One solution to the problem would be for all those claiming Arab/Persian/Turkic ancestry to seek re-entry to their original homelands. The remainder can live as good Muslims within the confines of what was formerly Hind.
    I suggest that the Pakistani government use paternal dna to send colonists back to wherever they came from. Those with mitrochondrial dna from the subcontinent should be allowed to remain in Pakistan. It may help resolve identity issues affecting most Pakistanis. They can then behave like Indonesian, Bengali, or Tamil Muslims, leading normal lives knowing who they are.

  15. So on the wholes issue of “colonial settlers” and who actually is a “colonial settler ” and who isn’ t, y not allow people of Pak Punjab to speak for themselves, and what they see themselves as

    “On account of its strategic location in the Indian sub-continent, wave after wave of migrants poured into the area and settled on its fertile lands and today, although originally belonging to the Aryan stock, the people of Punjab are descendants of the Iranians, Turks, Afghans and Arabs who came individually or in groups.”

    Hmm, interesting 🙂

  16. @London Observer

    Did you look at Indian punjab map? Its far cry from 1947. Similarly seraiki, potoharis are anything but punjabi. Seraiki province making up more then half of punjab is soon going to be reality. And near future potohar. When talking about punjabi people its only some districts like Lahore, Kasur, Sialkot. Basically north east of punjab bordering Indian punjab.

    I didn’t say everyone was colonial settler but huge chunk of them. In region like Faisalabad which used to be part of Seraiki belt became part of punjabi speaking belt after British demographic engineering.

    Same happened in Karachi where large number of Indians from Gujarat and other areas migrated before and after 1947.


    Sikhism may have originated in west punjab but by 1947 vast majority of sikhs were indigenous to east punjab including large numbers in canal colonies of west punjab seraiki belt.

    This punjabi hegemony will soon be over once new provinces are made like potohar and seraikistan, taking up 70% of west punjab land. Still some regions like Faisalabad are permanently lost to colonial punjabi speakers.

    Even genetically seraikis and potoharis are more like Sindhis then sikhs who are more like haryanvis.

    About time Indians learn reality of west punjab.

  17. @Raz. Punjab means the land of the five rivers and that includes the area from the Indus to the Ghaggar, roughly the land North of Sindh. Seraiki and Potohari are dialects of Punjabi, Grierson called it Western Punjabi and gave it a name he invented called Lahnda, which is Punjabi for West (setting sun). I have friends who came to India from Multan, and they call their language (which I can follow almost fully) Punjabi. I have Potohari speaking relations and there again we have no problem in conversing. At what stage a dialect becomes a separate language is for linguists to say. I have more problems understanding the Punjabi spoken around Chandigarh than I do with Seraiki and Potohari. I’ve had conversations with folk from Muzzafarabad and we conversed perfectly easily, though they spoke Potohari. My own folk came from the borderlands of Seraiki speaking territory, and they have records of having lived there for over 500 years.
    It is not for me to decide what Pakistanis want to call themselves. In India refugees from Potohar and Multan are considered Punjabi. The famous song ‘Chan kithan guzariayi raat ve’ which you may have heard is Seraiki, written by a Batra lady from Dera Ismail Khan, but it is a Punjabi favourite.
    Now about the Sikhs. They were not the majority in any district of Punjab. When the Akalis tentatively raised the concept of Sikhistan in 1947, Mountbatten mockingly asked them which areas it would include. Post-1947 Akali politics centred around creating such a territory. Be that as it may, Punjabi hegemony is a problem in Pakistan, not India where Punjabis are too small in number to count politically, though they can create a presence not always welcome in areas outside Punjab, and are even considered a nuisance sometimes.
    Be that as it may, the bulk of the Sikhs were in Central Punjab, Lahore Amritsar or Majha, as it is called, and in Malwa and the Bist Doab. Their small number relatively speaking does not make them or the Hindus, colonists; only a minority. No one calls the Muslims who lived in Eastern Punjab colonists, just as the Muslims of Malerkotla are not considered colonials from West Punjab. In West Punjab more Jats, Rajputs, and Khatris became Muslim than they did in East Punjab. That is the only difference. As we know from genetic studies there is very little recent admixture of Arab/Persian/Central Asian invaders in modern Pakistanis.
    I think you will find on closer study that the genetic stock of Punjabis taken category, or community-wise is similar on both sides of the border. Razib’s statistical data would pay closer perusal. Punjabi Jats and Haryanvi jats are very similar, and so are Pakistani jats. That must be true of Pakistani Rajputs and Punjabi Rajputs as well. Potoharis are mainly Khatris and they cluster with Pakistani Khatris I suppose, though I don’t know. Brahmins from West Punjab and the Frontier should have similarities with those from East Punjab and I suppose with Pakistani Punjabis of the area. I would be interested if you have data showing that Seraikis and Potoharis cluster with Sindhis not other Punjabis.

  18. @Onlooker

    Now lets talk about origin of sikhsm. Guru Nanak was not born far from Lahore. North east corner of “west punjab”. Area that make up like 25% of west punjab but was more populated back then and even now similar to east punjab, haryana or gangetic plains. Which still had significant population of non-muslims.

    Sikhism didn’t penetrate in potohar or seraiki belt because 95% of population was muslim. Only significant indigenous non-muslim population in these regions were khatris/banyas.

    British build canal colonies in seraiki belt and brought sikhs and also muslim arains from overpopulated east punjab. It was classic case of colonisation. Land which belonged to indigenous seraiki speakers for thousands of years was now in the hands of colonial punjabi settlers in matter of 50 years.

    Potohar is mountainous so no canal colonies. But British build cantonment in Rawalpindi and brought large number of people from outside, this is why hindu/sikh population in Rawalpindi was way more then in neighbour districts.

  19. Raz, the Potohari Khatris, most of whom settled in Delhi after partition, are native to Potohar. They were traders, not farmers, though sometimes they owned land as well. Potohari Sikhs are called Bhapa Sikhs or Bhapas for short, because of their distinct style of communication, and their tendency to sharp practice. I do not quite follow your reasons for saying that Sikhs were in a small minority in North Punjab. They were a minority everywhere, to a lesser or greater degree.
    You would also remember that before the area was Muslim dominant it was peopled by Hindus and before that, Buddhists. The dominant Gakhar, (Khokar), Awan and Bhattis later seem to have converted en masse to Islam, but a few did not and you can find them in North India, even in Kashmir around Baramulla, where the Gakhars became Kakroos. I know at least one Hindu Gakhar at my golf club, and a couple more in Delhi.
    The Arain were exclusively Muslim, but Kambohs are Hindu, Muslim and Sikh.

  20. @Onlooker

    Dialects of punjabi? For hegemonic punjabis maybe. Why stop there? Lets call every Indo-aryan language dialect of punjabi.

    Similarity in language doesn’t give you right to take over land of others. Your ancestors were likely aroras, who are indigenous to seraiki belt. I’m not talking about every hindu/sikh. But if you find Cheema in Faisalabad then be sure that his ancestor migrated under colonial rule to occupy seraiki land.

  21. No, I am not an Arora, and my forebears are not from the Seraiki belt, only from lands bordering the Seraiki belt. Faisalabad was where the bulk of the canal colonies were set up with Sikhs of the Eastern districts. But they were a small proportion of the Sikhs of Pakistani Punjab. The non farming Hindus of West Pakistan of course were always there. There were never too many Cheemas in the Multan area. And how about the Muslim Cheemas and Bajwas of Pakistan? Are they from East Punjab too. Or the Gills, Waraich, Sandhus, Virks, Tarars, etc. Surely you can agree that those who had not become Muslim later turned Sikh. And the Bhattis, Janjuas, Tiwanas, Chauhan, Rathore – all of them to be found among Sikhs and Hindus in India as well. Do you consider the Mullah jats from Haryana now settled in Pakistan to be colonists too?
    It is no concern of mine how big a Potohari or Seraiki nationalist you are, or how anti Punjabi. It is your internal Pakistani affair. But we must get our facts straight even if can’t straighten our narratives.

  22. @Onlooker

    The few surnames you mentioned all belong to north east region around Lahore. They are from punjabi speaking areas. I’m talking about colonisation of seraiki belt by east punjab sikh/hindus.

    Faisalabad which used to be seraiki speaking land for thousands of years became punjabi speaking in matter of 50 years under British colonial rule.

    This didn’t change post 1947 because of refugee migration. Point is majority of sikhs and hindus in Faisalabad region didn’t lost anything of their own, seraikis did. They just went back to from where they came from. Same happened in Rawalpindi and Karachi.

  23. 99% of Sikhs aren’t native to any region south of Lahore or west of the Ravi river. They moved to these areas quite late, during either the British or Sikh period. In fact, even most Sikhs living in Lahore, Amritsar, and Gurdaspur weren’t native either, they settled there en mass during the Sikh and late Mughal period. Nearly all Sikhs are originally from Malwa, Doaba, and Puadh regions (East Punjab).

    The majority of Hindus in West Punjab (including in Seraiki and Pothwari speaking regions) were natives.

  24. Indthings. From where did you get these figures?
    Raz. Punjab is more than Faislabad, is it not?
    Your narrative does not stand up. If Hindus converted to Islam they remain native to Pakistani Punjab. If they converted to Sikhism they became East Punjabis. The Khokhars and Bajwas are native if Muslim but not if Hindu or Sikh.
    By Indthing’s presumption only 1% of the converts to Sikhism were from Pakistani Punjab. Since we don’t have the census before 1881 there can be no statistics to refute this nonsense.
    Sikhs of Rawalpindi, nearly all Khatri Sikhs, belonged to Potohar. They lived in the villages as well and owned lands there. The Sikh holy places in North Punjab did not come up under Sikh and British rule. Manmohan Singh the former Indian PM was a native of Jehlum as was IK Gujral.
    I did a quick check. Three Sikh misls came up in the early 18th century in the part of Punjab now in Pakistan. These were in Okara, Gujranwala, and Sheikhupura, well within Pakistani Punjab. Three more were centred squarely in the Lahore Amritsar area. That is to say, half of the Sikh misls were centred in Pakistani territory. You fellows seem to have difficulty accepting that non-Muslims were native to West Punjab. In fact, West Punjab, traditionally, was land beyond the Chenab, not the Ravi. i.e it was not coterminous with present-day Pakistani Punjab, and even that had a significant Hindu population though only a smattering of Sikhs. Khushwant Singh, the Indian writer came from Hadali.
    I was surprised to come across pictures of Pushto speaking Pakhtun Sikhs still living in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
    It seems that Raza and Indthings are allergic to the idea that the territory now Pakistan could have had any native Hindus and Sikhs, particularly the latter.

    To go by Raz’ theory there are no Punjabis living in Punjab, only Seraikis, Majhails, Potoharis, Powadhis, Malwais, Doabia’s, Dogras and other sundry groups.

    I read a book by a Pakistani about the nonsense taught in Pakistan schools about the history of Pakistan. No wonder these absurd narratives abound.

  25. Onlooker,

    When I say “99%” its a figure of speech, meaning, “hardly any”, not an attempt at an actual figure. This is common phrasing in America, its possible you are from India and not aware of these quirks.

    Of course Western Punjabi Hindus who converted to Sikhism are native to West Punjab. But relatively few converted, and relative to the total Sikh population, its a minuscule figure.

    Yes, Sikhs ruled much of West Punjab (and KPK, Kashmir, Ladakh) during the late Mughal and Sikh period, I’ve already said this. But the VAST majority of these Sikhs weren’t native, they were invaders from East Punjab (Malwa, Doab, Puadh).

    There was a significant number of Majha Sikhs in the Lahore-Amritsar-Gurdaspur corridor prior to the 18th century, but even most of them aren’t native, but East Punjabis who settled in the region for religious and political reasons during the 17th century.

    You seem to think that being born somewhere and speaking the language makes you native. It does not. There were a number of Pashtun-speaking Sikhs in KPK and Afghanistan. They weren’t native, they were settlers from Punjab. Likewise, there were a number of Seraiki and Pothwari speaking SIkhs. Virtually none of them were natives to the area.

    1. I have to agree with Onlooker here (much as I don’t like the guy). The argument that Hindus and Sikhs were colonial settlers in what is now Pakistani Punjab is absurd. Punjabi Muslims are converts to Islam from the religions earlier being practiced in that area. Sikhism is a syncretic faith that developed in Pakistani Punjab.

      However, Onlooker’s argument that real “colonialism” began with Muhammad bin Qasim etc is also absurd. In pre-modern times, it was perfectly normal for conquerors to go in search of new kingdoms. “Colonialism” has a specific meaning and doesn’t apply to pre-modern times. British colonialism is conceptually different from the Mughal Empire or the Delhi Sultanate.

  26. British colonialism is conceptually different from the Mughal Empire or the Delhi Sultanate.

    setting these aside, and the qasim example, a good analog to British colonialism is what arabs did in kufa qom and khorasan in the 7th and 8th centuries. these arab military cities served to entrench proto-islam and were the locus of imperial rule, surrounded by mostly Zoroastrian persians (ok, Christians in jews in kufa), who did not convert in large numbers (majority) until the 10th century.

    there is nothing sui generis about the British case. the term colonialism comes from roman colonies, and illustrates that the idea and technique is quite ancient and useful for empire building.

    (the ‘alexandrias’ predate roman colonies)

  27. Everyone calls the previous “people” colonizers unless of course they become the majority at which point they become “native”

    Never leave a job unfinished.

    1. Imperial colonies of the 19th century type as markets for industrial goods and sources of raw material are different from colonies of humans settled someplace other than their previous homeland. We are all colonists of the latter type, in some sense.

  28. Indthings, 99% is not a figure of speech. It is a gross exaggeration. Sikhism was born in the area that is now Pakistan, and all the converts to that faith in its first 150 years were from that area. Sikhism shifted its focus East around 1670 with the last two Gurus of the faith, which is when the Jat tribes of East Punjab converted in large numbers. Till then Sikhism was centred in Pakistani Punjab and the area around Amritsar. The canal colonies began to come up only after the mid 1880s – population figures from the 1881 census should, therefore, give you the real numbers of Sikhs resident in Pakistani Punjab. You will find they are quite substantial.
    Further, the fact that six of the twelve Sikh misls were Pakistan based also shows the large number of ‘native Sikhs’ in Pakistani Punjab. Internal Sikh power plays at the time were gaining control of Punjab were all among the Misls centred around, or in Pakistani Punjab. The ones in East Punjab such as the Phulkian, had put themselves under British protection against Ranjit Singh.
    In any case the canal colonies were not populated exclusively by Sikhs from East Punjab. Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus, Jats and Rajputs, Arains and Kamboh all got grants.
    K K Aziz’ book The Murder of History gives a representative idea of the myths that schoolchildren are fed and the nonsense they are led to believe.

  29. @ Indthings.
    99% is not a figure of speech, it is complete misrepresentation, a terminological inexactitude. Sikhism in its first century and a half was centred in areas now Pakistani Punjab. Six of the 12 misls in which Sikhs had grouped were also based in and around territory that is now Pakistan. Nearly all Sikhs at that time came from this area. The last two Sikh gurus shifted focus to East Punjab in the late 17th century and that is when the major conversions of the Jat tribes in East Punjab took place. All the early Sikh holy places are in Pakistan and Amritsar and Tarn Taran. Only the ones associated with the last two Sikh gurus are in East Punjab.

    The British built the canal colonies after 1885. The first census took place in 1881. Those figures should give you a genuine idea of the Sikh and Hindu population of Pakistani Punjab. Few if any Sikhs migrated West from East Punjab under Sikh rule because there was no land to migrate to. It was only when the British built the canals enabling formerly barren lands to be cultivated that colonists were brought in, and they were of all hues, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, and Kamboh, Arain, Khatri, Jat and Rajput, preference, of course, being given to agricultural communities of which there were not many among the Khatris. The colonists came from Lahore, Amritsar, Jehlum, Rawalpindi as well as Jullunder and Hoshiarpur.
    The Sikh misls centred in East Punjab such as that of the Phulkian (rulers of Patiala, Jind, Faridkot, Nabha) had taken British protection against Ranjit Singh. No one would have migrated from their territories to the Sikh empire.
    K K Aziz wrote a telling book called The Murder of History. Read it up if you can get hold of a copy. It is available in pdf. You will then understand the myths on which schoolchildren in Pakistan are brought up.
    Who is a native of West Punjab by your definition. No Sikh ruled Punjab till 1799. Do you have any historical support for your claim that Sikhs were not native to Pakistani Punjab but invaders, or is mere bald assertion all you have.

    “You seem to think that being born somewhere and speaking the language makes you native. It does not. There were a number of Pashtun-speaking Sikhs in KPK and Afghanistan. They weren’t native, they were settlers from Punjab. Likewise, there were a number of Seraiki and Pothwari speaking SIkhs. Virtually none of them were natives to the area.”

    So what makes them native. Are you talking about autochthons here? Who is autochthonous to Punjab. Unless you want to go back to the Aryan Migration Theory and a discussion on OIT. Rajputs and Jats have lived in the area for at least a thousand years, Khatris and Kambohs probably longer. The origin of the Arain is disputed. Those claiming Turkic, Persian, or Pakhtun origin have a much more recent history. Where are the natives then?
    As far as I know those Afghan Sikhs I read about some years ago all claimed to be Pakhtun, and were accepted as such by the Muslim Afghan neighbours. In Kashmir and POK the Sikhs were of three kinds. Punjabi settlers, (mainly in the valley), Brahmin origin Sikhs settled around Baramulla and Poonch Muzzafarabad, and Kashmiri Pandits ( a small cohort) who became Sikhs. Try lumping them together, and see what you get from them.

  30. Indthings.

    99% is not a figure of speech, it is a terminological inexactitude – a gross exaggeration.

    In the first hundred and fifty years of its existence Sikhism was centred around areas of Pakistani Punjab including Amritsar, from where it got the bulk of its followers. The last two Sikh Gurus shifted to East Punjab in the late 17th century when the bulk of the East Punjab Jat tribes converted.

    No, there was not much migration of Sikhs to the Pakistani part of Punjab under Sikh rule. Six of the twelve Sikh misls, or confederacies, were based in what is now Pakistani Punjab. Of the other six. three including the largest the Phulkian, took British protection against Ranjit Singh when he set out to conquer their lands. Nor was there unoccupied territory to which anyone could have migrated in Pakistani Punjab, because the lands that became canal colonies were quite barren at the time. Ranjit Singh’s administration was run by Khatri Hindus and Muslims, not Sikhs.
    You can get an idea of the Hindu and Sikh population of the Punjab from the 1881 census. The canal colonies came up after 1885.

    It was not just Sikhs who were allotted land when the canals were built. They were colonized by Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, alike whether Kamboh, Arain, Khatri, Rajput or Jat. Of course, few Khatri Hindus got in because they were not considered an agricultural community. And the colonizers came from all over Punjab excluding what is now Haryana and Himachal. There were allottees from Rawalpindi, Jehlum, Lahore, Amritsar, Jullunder and Hoshiarpur.

    “You seem to think that being born somewhere and speaking the language makes you native. It does not. There were a number of Pashtun-speaking Sikhs in KPK and Afghanistan. They weren’t native, they were settlers from Punjab. Likewise, there were a number of Seraiki and Pothwari speaking SIkhs. Virtually none of them were natives to the area.”

    From what I have read the Khyber Sikhs are genuine Pakhtuns and taken as such by their fellow Muslim Pakhtuns. Kashmir too has a small cohort of genuine Kashmiri Sikhs, KPs who converted, separate from Sikhs who migrated from West Punjab under Sikh rule. Poonchi Sikhs and those from Muzzafarabad are not Punjabi either.

    Whom would you define as natives of Pakistani Punjab – its autochthons, so to speak. Are you referring to the Aryan Migration and Out of India theories The Hindu Khatris, and Kamboh’s have lived in Punjab for at least two thousand years. The Jats and Rajputs for nearly a millennium. One imagines a similar period for the Arain, though I do not know much about that community. Residents of Turkic, Persian, and Afghan origin have a much shorter history in Punjab and would probably qualify for the description that you gave; people born there, speaking the language but not native.

    I am reminded of the community in Kashmir bearing surnames such as Bokhari, Hamdani, Geelani, who assert a right to Kashmir superior to that of the Pandits who were there two thousand years before them. The same process seems to be work in Pakistan’s Punjab as well.

    1. Your comment about Kashmiris named “Bokhari, Hamdani” etc is now irrelevent since India is literally making Biharis “domiciles” of Occupied Kashmir. Settling non-Kashmiri Indian citizens in a Disputed Territory can be considered a violation of the Geneva Accords. It is simply an attempt to dilute the Muslim majority of the Valley.

        1. The article is partly accurate, but only partly. Kashmiri Muslims have been disempowered to quite an extent, and there is no doubt about the glee with which this was greeted by most Indians, but not all.
          The rest of the article is a mixture of half-truths and misdirection. The Resettlement bill of 1982 never became a law. It could not have because it allowed Pakistanis who had been former state subjects to reclaim their properties in J&K. It did not become law for two reasons. Under the J&K laws, only citizens of India could be permanent residents of Kashmir, and the law would have enabled tens of thousands of Pakistanis to claim a right to become Indians. The other reason was that it was discriminatory. Hindus and Sikhs who had had to migrate from their homes in POK were not being granted corresponding rights in that territory for lands and territories they had vacated.
          It is of course nonsense to say that there would be any dispossession of the residents of J&K to make way for outsiders. It cannot be done. Besides war crimes are committed in a war. There is no war going on in J&K except on the frontiers with China and POK, not even a civil war.

      1. Changing the Muslim majority nature of Kashmir is a long time dream of Hindutva nationalists. It cannot succeed for the simple reason that Hindus do not want to go and live in the valley. Over the decades I asked many many Dogras why they would not buy property in Kashmir when Kashmiri Muslims were freely buying up lands in Jammu. The unwillingness arose not just out of fear of terrorists, or of being ethnically cleansed like the Pandits, but from the certainty of social and cultural alienation as well. Kashmiris, whether Muslim or Pandit do not like non-Kashmiris taking permanent abode in the valley, though they themselves happily colonize elsewhere.
        Dogras have been feeling overwhelmed by Kashmiri Muslims and Pandits settling in and around Jammu city.

        Biharis don’t move about to settle in places they go to for work. Despite decades of coming to Punjab they have only just began to domicile in Ludhiana, Punjab where they work in the factories. Biharis visit Kashmir for work in the orchards and on construction projects, because there is not enough Kashmiri labour. They are not likely to want to settle down there. Where would they settle. There is no land to dish out like in the canal colonies of Punjab. They also migrate to Ladakh as manual labour. Again, they cannot settle there and it would be madness to want to.
        If anybody tries for domicile in J&K under the new law it is most likely to be Punjabis from Pathankot whose language is close to Dogri and have intermarried into Jammu.

        1. if british could build canal colonies and get migrants who eventually became local, i feel indians can also do the same in kashmir.
          i feel mallus should be tried!!!

  31. If India does indeed settle non-permanent residents of J&K in its territory it would be doing no worse than what Pakistan has already done extensively in GB. Which Geneva Accord are you referring to, by the way

    1. The author of the article is a Kashmiri Muslim and a lawyer. I would consider him much more credible on these issues than someone like you who is always trying to justify India’s colonial Occupation of Kashmir.

      This domicile law is just as dispicable as the Zionists settling Israelis in the Occupied West Bank. But Hindutvadis have always had Zionists as their models. No wonder, both ideologies are built on hatred for Muslims.

      1. Punjabi settler colonialists in Baluchistan by Ali Dayan Hasan

        The Dawn article was written in 2011 ; Settlers , the sword arm of Pakistani repression and Baloch freedom movement have only multiplied from 2011

        Baloch Freedom movement is not going away

        Is Pakistan doubling down on anti-Indian propoganda to divert from Baluchistan.

      2. I know many lawyers who spout nonsense; being Kashmiri or Muslim has nothing to do with it. It is the same in this case.

        1. As a Kashmiri Muslim, he is writing about an issue that is life or death for his people: the Indian State’s attempts to engineer demographic change by settling Indians (especially non-Muslims) on Kashmiri land.

          Since you are neither a Kashmiri Muslim nor a lawyer, your opinion on this matter is frankly irrelevant. People like you will continue to justify India’s colonial behavior in Kashmir no matter what happens.

  32. I dont understand what exactly is the issue here. These protections under article 370 was provided by the Indian constitution. And they took it away. The domicile laws are the same for every state.

    Pakistan never had this protections it in the first place. Don’t you find it odd being a Pakistani, complaining about a law which your own part of Kashmir never had? Its like Pakistanis complaining about lack of secularism in India.

      1. Balochistan is not a DISPUTED TERRITORY. Occupied Kashmir is. But I guess you’re not smart enough to understand this rather basic difference.

    1. It is illegal under International Law to settle your own citizens in an Occupied Territory. That’s the bottom line.

      Settling non-Kashmiris on Kashmiri land is completely unacceptable. Kashmir is not an Indian “state”. It is DISPUTED TERRITORY. I don’t know why you people can’t understand this extremely basic distinction.

      As for secularism: If you call yourself a secular state, then you will be criticized for not adhering to secular standards.

      1. “Kashmir is not an Indian “state”.”

        This feels like a stopped clock moment.

        You are right. Kashmir is not an Indian state. It is an administrative division of an Indian union territory.

        It’s pretty depraved the way you defend Pakistan on this blog despite the downright inhumane way in which the state treats its citizens. Drawing false equivalences might win you some internet brownie points but is not going to improve your country.

        But then again you do not live in the country so it won’t affect you. Pitfalls of dual citizenship at display here.

        1. You can call it whatever you like, Kashmir is a DISPUTED TERRITORY. Whatever illegal administrative changes were made post annexation don’t change that.

          Pakistan’s many problems are not the subject right now. I am happy to discuss those in good faith (but not with a bunch of Hindutvadis).

          And you have no idea where I live so don’t make assumptions.

      2. I understand the basic distinction. But the whole “illegal under International Law to settle your own citizens in an Occupied Territory” is true for Pak-Kashmir as well. And Pakistan has done it. So what exactly are you accusing India of?

        Or are you saying the in the last 70 years, no mainland Pakistani has settled in Pak-Kashmir?

  33. @Kabir.
    If, as you assert J&K is disputed why did Pakistan settle Pakhtuns in GB?
    Which Geneva Accords were you referring to?

    1. Kashmir is DISPUTED whether or not you want to believe it. It is not something I “assert”, it is what the entire International Community believes. This is why the part of Kashmir under India’s control is referred to as “Indian-administered Kashmir”.

      If Pakistan violates International Law, it doesn’t make it acceptable for India to do it. This is not a good argument.

      Under the Fourth Geneva Convention, it is illegal for an Occupying Power to transfer its own citizens into the Occupied Territory:

      “It is unlawful under the Fourth Geneva Convention for an occupying power to transfer parts of its own population into the territory it occupies. ”

      You will argue that Kashmir is constitutionally Indian territory unlike the West Bank which even Israel doesn’t claim (never mind that as of tomorrow they will announce an annexation plan). Whatever the technicalities are, as far as most Kashmiri Muslims are concerned, India is indeed an Occupying Power. Certainly the Indian Army fits the “hostile Army” part of the definition of Occupation.

      1. “If Pakistan violates International Law, it doesn’t make it acceptable for India to do it”

        Do you admit that Pakistan is breaking international law?

        1. I don’t know the details of Pashtuns being settled in GB. But settling your own citizens in an Occupied Territory is a violation of International Law no matter who does it.

          And Pakistan doing something wrong is not an argument for India doing something wrong. Please come up with a better argument (make the effort).

          1. It’s a simple yes or no question.

            Do you admit that Pakistan is breaking international law?

          2. Priest: Kabir, do you take so and so as to be your legally wedded wife?

            Kabir: I am not sure about the details of how wives work. But taking someone as a wife without their consent is a violation of law.

            In any case, me doing something doesn’t mean gay marriages will become legal.

            Priest: Do you or do you not?

            Kabir: Learn to read.

          3. What part of “settling one’s own citizens in an Occupied Territory is a violation of International Law no matter who does it” was unclear to you?

            It’s better if we just don’t engage with each other. Thanks.

      2. Who is the hostile occupying army ? Please read the UN Resolution

        Make the search yourself on UN website

        47 (1948). Resolution of 21 April 1948
        Restoration of Peace and Order
        1st Step
        1. The Government of Pakistan should undertake to use its best endeavours :
        (a) To secure the withdrawal from the State of Jammu and Kashmir of tribesmen and Pakistani na­ tionals not normally resident therein who have entered the State for the purpose of fighting, and to prevent any intrusion into the State of such elements and any furnishing of material aid to those fighting in the State;
        This is the UN demand on Pakistan . Once Pakistan has done it, then she is under moral authority to make demands on India

        1. What matters is what Kashmiri Muslims–the natives of the land–think. They see India’s Army as an Army of Occupation. It is the Indian Army that has raped Kashmiri women (Onlooker thinks Kunan Pushpora was made up– a claim which is deeply offensive to the Kashmiri people) and disappeared Kashmiri men. This doesn’t happen in Azad Kashmir. The people of Azad Kashmir don’t come out to protest against Pakistan.

          I am frankly bored of you. You can bombard me with Indian propaganda all you like but you will have to deal with Kashmiri Muslims who will continue to fight for freedom from Hindu India. Deal with it.

          1. \What matters is what Kashmiri Muslims–the natives of the land–think \

            Why Muslims and that too in the valley ? all the people of J&K matter. Indian govt’s wishes also matter as J&K is part of India .

            That makes US citizens and Pakistani citizens with no locus standi in the matter.

          2. \bombard me with Indian propaganda \
            Where is the propaganda in this ? Just pointing out UN Resolution which calls for Pakistan to get out of J&K it occupied in 1948 , some of which donated to China without taking into account or consulting Kashmiri people
            \Kashmiri Muslims who will continue to fight for freedom from Hindu India.\
            India is still a secular and democratic country as of this morning. It is not yet Hindu India .

          3. ” J & K is part of India”– Wrong, it is a DISPUTED TERRITORY. That is why the UN refers to it as “Indian ADMINISTERED Kashmir”. You have to either be stupid or disingenous to keep insisting on the “integral part” bullshit. No one in the world buys that just as they don’t buy your distorted maps showing AJK and G-B as Indian territory.

            I am ethnically Kashmiri not a Tamil like you. These are my people you are talking about.

            India is secular on paper. In practice, it is a Hindu majoritarian country (if not yet, then it is rapidly becoming one). A Hindu Rashtra (even if an aspirational one) cannot possess a Muslim colony.

      3. @Kabir. Fortunately India is not an occupying power under international law, nor do the Geneva conventions of any sort apply. No sensible person applies the Geneva conventions to J&K except half-wit lawyers, whom no one, for that reason, would consult.
        You still have not answered my question about the Pathans settled in GB. What does your lawyer say about that.
        I am not Kashmiri, but neither are you. At best you are a wannabe Kashmiri. As for not being Muslim, when was that a disqualification to speaking the truth about J&K. Fully 30% of the population of J&K is not Muslim and about 37% is neither Muslim nor Kashmiri. You should quit thinking that Muslims alone have a prescriptive right to speak for J&K.

        1. “At best you are a wannabe Kashmiri”– You still haven’t learned that it is incredibly OFFENSIVE to question someone’s ethnic identity. Fortunately, whatever bullshit you write here doesn’t change the reality.

          1. Why is it offensive to tell a person pretending to be of a certain ethnicity that he is full of bullshit?
            There have been cases where white people pretending to be blacks or native Americans have been correctly criticized.

            What new civil law or religious injunction makes this offensive?
            Do “certified” woke people around the world get memos about these laws?
            You make me despair of the human race, Kabir.

          2. My ancestors were Kashmiri. My great grandfather is buried in Srinagar. I am not “pretending” to be anything.

            Newsflash: Kashmiri-Punjabis are a thing. There are many of us in Pakistan.

            I don’t really care what makes you despair, Hindutvadi Fascist.

          3. Didn’t you say at one point you also part Ashraf Muslim muhajir from UP.

            Not saying you can’t be both. Just curious.

            The atrocities against Kashmiri Pandits don’t excuse the atrocities against Kashmiri Muslims or vice versa.

            Also lol at Indian Hindutva suddenly caring about Human Rights when China is oppressing Muslims. But even more lol at the Islamic Republic of Pakistan’s silence on the issue.

            Sadly the world is just divided into teams it seems and Human rights are just sort of part of the ammunition of the cultural wars.

          4. My ancestors went from Kashmir to various parts of BRITISH India. My paternal grandmother’s family settled in Agra. My maternal grandfather’s family settled in Amritsar. But both sides of my family are ethnically Kashmiri.

            Pakistan is in no position to antagonize China. This may be hypocritical but it is how international relations works.

  34. Goodness, people! Still feeding the standard-issue babloos….
    Anyway, new domicile certificates are a good idea. End of.

    1. Trust someone from the collaborator class to support anything that will dispossess Kashmiri Muslims. No wonder your ilk are so hated.

      1. “collaborator class”
        If ever a phrase existed which smacks of Fascism, this is it.

        Its telling that Kabir does not find it distasteful calling someone who was chased out of Kashmir for being a Hindu, a collaborator.

        1. Every colonial occupation has a collaborator class. Mahmud Abbas is a collaborator in Occupied Palestine. The Abdullahs and Muftis are collaborators in Occupied Kashmir.

          The Pandits first collaborated with the Dogras and then with the Indian State. Their ethnic cleansing is unjustifiable but there are good historical reasons for the antipathy that they face.

        2. Muslims are pretty good at maintaining a pretense of liberalism, but they eventually bare their fangs over a long enough timescale.

          1. And right on cue comes the other Islamophobic bigot.

            You outright support fascism. Your generalizations about more than 1 billion Muslims are meaningless.

          2. Call me what you like, but I’m a lot more upfront about my views than you are.

          3. You support a leader who is responsible for pogroms against Muslims. Your bigotry has been on record for a long long time.

  35. Kashmir isn’t really disputed strictly speaking. Just read Kashmiri leader Abdullah Sheikh speech in UN thanking India who saved Kashmiris from tribal invasion. That should have been end of dispute. Ladakh and Jammu already were going with India. AJK and Gilgit would stay with Pakistan.

    What we have now is insurgency and India have dozens of them. And lets be fair, its the only insurgency in India which need constant supply of foreign militants to inflict damage. Kashmiris are just good for locking themselves down in homes since 1948 war. You don’t get freedom without sacrifice, learn from punjabis who butchered each other in millions.

    1. Kashmir is very much Disputed. That’s why there is a Line of Control and not an International Border. The entire International Community refers to the areas as Indian-controlled and Pakistani-controlled.

  36. Great job by security forces in Pakistan Stock Exchange. 4 down in less than 10 minutes. Also look at the massive amounts of grenades/whatever that pointy bomb type things, they came with. These terrorists would have destroyed a lot of families. Good they have been dispatched to their 72 (40 year old male) virgins.

    1. My mistake, I was typing on the cell phone. I thought this was the open thread. Moderator please delete the comments.

  37. Lahore could have been a part of India. The city has been reduced to a shadow of its past under the paper-clip maximizers. But then I look at Jerusalem etc and this shit could’ve been a lot worse. So, maybe, thanks Cyril..

    I think Radcliffe line is set in stone because of Indian status-quoism, its the Durand line that is a lot more fluid. ko addhā veda…

    1. No one is getting an inch of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Afghanistan knows that.

    2. Well if Lahore had more ‘Hindu memory’, perhaps Hindus would have fought as ferociously as Muslim or Sikhs did. But TBF it was a muslim/sikh city much like Punjab for the last half a century or so.

  38. Kabir,

    Lets talk about regions of so called Kashmir.

    Gilgit: Fought for Pakistan and it is with Pakistan.
    AJK: fought for for Pakistan and it is with Pakistan.

    Ladakh and Jammu: They will never join islamic country.

    Aksai chin. Desert that belong to China. This dispute was resolved when British ruled India.

    Now we are left with Kashmir valley which barely make up 5% of landmass of disputed Kashmir. Who’s leader joined India willingly.

    1. Sheikh Abdullah favored India because he believed in Nehru’s socialism. Yet he was jailed within a few years for calling for the plebsicite. He spent about two decades in prison. Kashmiri Muslims have been carrying out a freedom struggle for decades to get India to leave.

      In any case, the definition of a Disputed Territory is that two countries claim the same land. Technically, the entire former princely state is Disputed, including AJK and G-B.

  39. अतिशौचमशौचं वा अतिनिन्दा अतिस्तुतिः
    अत्याचारमनाचारं षड्विधं मूर्ख लक्षणम् 🙂

    1. Agree with the sentiment here 🙂
      I got the gist of this couplet, and the words Ninda, Stuti, Shadvidham and Murkh Lakshanam (haha) 🙂 What do Shauch and Atyachar mean in this context?

    2. अतिशौचमशौचं वा अतिनिन्दा अतिस्तुतिः
      अत्याचारमनाचारं षड्विधं मूर्ख लक्षणम् ?

      ati shoucham, ashouchan, va, ati ninda, ati stutih, atyacharam, anacharam,shat, vidham,moorkha, lakshanam.
      extreme cleanliness, dirtyness, or extreme abuse, extreme praise, molesting, not following rules, six, types, fool’s appearance or behavoiur.


    In Focus South Asia | Diplomatic front of Pakistan |

    Good discussion on Pak foreign policy b/w Pak ‘liberal’ and Pak’s NSA

    The more i see Pak foreign policy debates, the more i feel its like India’s “downed Pak f-16” theory. Its like they keep on going “India is Nazi” and the world just roles their eyes

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