West Punjab

West Punjab

Infobox Former Pakistan subdivision
subdivision = West Punjab

capital = Lahore
area = 160,662
languages = Punjabi
established = 15th August 1947
abolished = 14th October 1955
footnotes = [http://www.punjab.gov.pk Government of Punjab]

West Punjab was a former province of Pakistan which existed from 1947 to 1955. The province covered an area of 160,622 km², including much of the current Punjab province and the Islamabad Capital Territory, but excluding the former princely state of Bahawalpur. The capital was the city of Lahore and the province was composed of four divisions (Lahore, Sargodha, Multan and Rawalpindi). The province was bordered by the Indian states of Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir to the east, the princely state of Bahawalpur to the south, the provinces of Balochistan and Sindh to the southwest, the Northwest Frontier Province to the northwest, and Azad Kashmir to the northeast.


The independence of Pakistan in 1947 led to the divisions of the Punjab province into two new provinces. The predominantly Sikh and Hindu East Punjab became part of the new nation of India while the predominantly 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.


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.


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.

ee also

* Punjab region
* Punjab (Pakistan)
* Punjab (India)
* Haryana
* Bahawalpur State


External links

* [http://www.punjab.gov.pk Government of Punjab]
* [http://www.pakistan.gov.pk Government of Pakistan]
* [http://www.pap.gov.pk/general/assemblies/1947-49.htm Punjab Provincial Assembly Records]
* [http://www.statoids.com/upk.html#Population_History Population at 1951 census by Statoids.com]

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