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Partition - Aftermath

With West and East Pakistan separated by more than 1,000 miles of Indian territory and with the major portion of the wealth and resources of the British heritage passing to India, Pakistan's survival seemed to hang in the balance. Of all the well-organized provinces of British India, only the comparatively backward areas of Sindh, Balochistan, and the North-West Frontier came to Pakistan intact. The Punjab and Bengal were divided, and Kashmir became disputed territory. Economically, the situation seemed almost hopeless; the new frontier cut off Pakistani raw materials from the Indian factories, disrupting industry, commerce, and agriculture.

The most stupendous of Pakistan's problems stemmed from the refugees influx, particularly in the Punjab. After the partition, a large number of Muslims migrated from various urban centers of India to live in the new nation of Pakistan. These migrants later identified themselves as mohajirs. Mohajirs are Muslims who settled in Pakistan after the partition of British India in 1947. Unlike other cultural groups of Pakistan, they do not have a tribe-based cultural identity. They are the only people in Pakistan for whom Urdu, the official language, is their native tongue. A large number of Mohajirs settled in the cities of Sind Province, particularly Karachi and Hyderabad. They were better educated than most indigenous Pakistanis and assumed positions of leadership in business, finance, and administration. Today they remain mostly urban, and now constitute about 8 percent of Pakistan's population.

The Irrigation System which existed at the time of partition in 1947 was divided between the two countries without any regards to the irrigation boundaries which resulted in an international water dispute which was finally resolved by signing of the Indus Water Treaty in 1960 under the aegis of World Bank. The Treaty assigned three Eastern rivers (Ravi, Beas and Sutlej) to India and three Western rivers (Indus, Jhelum & Chenab) to Pakistan. It also provided construction of replacement works called Indus Basin Projects (IBP) to compensate for perpetual loss of Eastern rivers' water. The works proposed under the Treaty included two multipurpose dams i.e. Mangla Dam on Jhelum river and Tarbela Dam on Indus river having the provision of power generation. These were commissioned in 1967 & 1977 respectively. However, their capacities were subsequently extended in different phases.

Traditionalists are of the opinion that it was due to the efforts of results of British educated Indians, who started the struggle for independence, hence it can be said that partition was the result of the awareness of Indians because of British education system. Another opinion says that India was never a single nation, hence struggle can not be called a nationalist movement. It was a transfer of powers to Indian elites. Another opinion is that elites of India got their independence in result of negotiations and the common people did not benefit from this process. Whereas in Pakistan, history has been explained from 'Two Nations' perspective and 'heroism' has also appeared as a pivitol element.

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Page last modified: 11-07-2011 03:28:05 ZULU