Some facts about the Bahawalpur province:
- The state acceded to Pakistan on 7 October 1947 after an agreement between the founder maker of Pakistan, Jinnah sahab, and the Nawab of Bahawalpur. In the agreement, it was clearly stated that the state will remain a separate administrative and federating unit of Pakistan, a province.
- When the state government was officially abolished, On 30th April, 1951 the Pakistan Government and the Ruler of Bahawalpur entered into an important agreement which put the State on the same footing as provinces under the Government of India Act of 1935 in the matter of legislation and administration.
- Provincial elections were conducted in 1951, and a forty-nine member legislative assembly was formed, which began functioning in 1952.The first chief minister of Bahawalpur province was Makhdoomzada Syed Hassan Mehmood.
- In 1954-55, the provincial assembly of Bahawalpur presented a surplus budget of rupees 20 crores, with a surplus of over 4 crores. It was the only province of Pakistan with a surplus budget.
- The provincial assembly was functional from 1952, till 14 October 1955, when it was merged into the West Pakistan province, or the 'One Unit.' Bahawalpur entered One Unit with a condition that when the West Pakistan province will be abolished, Bahawalpur would retain it's provincial status.
- It is a historic fact that before One Unit Bahawalpur had a provincial status, and Bahawalpur merged with a status of a province with West Pakistan at the time of One Unit. But when One Unit was broken on 30th March, 1970, Bahawalpur was merged into Punjab through an illegal and immoral executive order by General Yahya Khan, subsiding all the previous agreements.
- 51% of it's population lives under the poverty line, which is highest in any region of Punjab. On the contrary it was among the higher per capita regions in India before partition. Today it is Punjab's poorest region by far.
- The only river that irrigated Bahawalpur was given to India under Indus Water treaty. Some say it was sold to India for 35 billion rupees, but that's debatable. After the treaty, Bahawalpur province was to get water from the other rivers of Punjab and it was allocated a share. It is on record that Bahawalpur hasn't, in any year since then, received more that 30% of it's allocated water. In the 1991 water accord, 70% of Bahawalpur's water was given to other regions.
- The infant mortality rate in Bahawalpur is 142 for every 1000 births, highest in Punjab. As compared to that in rest of the Punjab it is 72 deaths per 1000.
- Literacy rate of Bahawalpur is 34%, where as in the rest of Punjab it is above 57%.
- If Bahawalpur province's last provincial is to be taken as a base, it's budget today after adjusting inflation and devaluation of currency (if we assume that income level of the province hasn't increased even one bit) it's budget today should be around 65 billion rupees. But it gets only 5 billion, or less per annum.
- Bahawalpur province produces 44% of Punjab's total cotton, 22% wheat, 18% sugarcane, 20% rice, 45% mango and 35% of the total live stock.
- The region was given a 12% quota in the civil services, which has now been reduced to 3%.
Can all these facts be discredited? I don't think that a sane and a patriotic citizen of this Land of Pure would or should oppose the restoration of the province. The movement has a very strong case, now it's just a matter of effort and time that the dream would see the light of the day. I hope I live to witness that.