JHANG: A majority of the people belonging to Chiniot district are unwilling to be a part of the proposed new Jhang division.

The opinion leaders representing different walks of life in an informal discussion with Dawn expressed their reluctance to be a part of the new proposed division.

They don’t want to be detached from Faisalabad, which is far more developed and also situated at a small distance compared to Jhang.

All the members of national and provincial assembly belonging to Jhang district, accompanied by a couple of MPAs from Chiniot, met the Punjab chief minister [the other day] with a requisition demanding Jhang to be made a civil division, comprising Jhang, Chiniot and Bhakkar districts.

The CM sought a feasibility report from the Faisalabad commissioner who tasked the Jhang deputy commissioner with preparing the report. Jhang DC Mr. Tahir Wattoo after taking the historical, administrative and cultural background [of Jhang], in context of similarities and affinities with the other two districts, strongly recommended the creation of the new division in his detailed report.

Later, the two Chiniot legislators changed their stance on public pressure, making an amendment that they supported the move to the extent of creation of Jhang division, but that did not support the Chiniot district to be a part of it.

Jhang is one of the oldest districts of Punjab, created by the British in 1849, with the first batch of districts carved out under the new administrative system.

Jhang district at the time of its creation, comprised vast areas. Its eastern boundary was common with the Sheikhupura district, the Ravi separated it from Multan district and Montgomery (Sahiwal) in the south, while its northern boundary extended up to Kirana bar in the present-day Sargodha district.

The entire Faisalabad district [currently] was a part of Jhang district, till the creation of new district of Lyallpur in 1904.

Almost half of Kabirwala tehsil in the north of the Ravi in Khanewal district and some parts of Sillanwali tehsil and Sargodha up to Kirana Hills in Sargogha district were also a part of Jhang district. In this background, Jhang should have been elevated to the status of division long ago, said Mr. Sher Bahadari Noul, president of ‘Jhang division banao movement.’

He said the aversion [on the part of people of Chiniot] to be a part of Jhang division was against historical facts. Chiniot has been a tehsil of Jhang district for 160 years.

The people of two districts are tied with very strong historical, cultural, linguistic and dialectical bonds.

They have overwhelmingly more commonalities among them than the people of Faisalabad, a vast majority of whom have migrated from various districts of East Punjab and speak a different dialect of Punjabi. Their customs and cultural traits are also different from those of the people of Jhang and Chiniot.

As far as the distance factor is concerned, many areas of Chiniot district, such as Bhowana and Brana tehsils and some parts of Lalian tehsil are much closer to Jhang than Faisalabad. Jhang is a natural choice of becoming the divisional headquarters of Chiniot district, he said.

Published in Dawn, July 21st, 2019

Opinion

Editorial

China’s concerns
23 Jun, 2024

China’s concerns

Pakistan has no option but to neutralise militant threat to Chinese projects, as well as address its business and political stability concerns.
War drums
23 Jun, 2024

War drums

If it is foolish enough to launch another war in Lebanon, Tel Aviv will be solely responsible for setting the Middle East on fire.
Balochistan budget
23 Jun, 2024

Balochistan budget

BALOCHISTAN’S Rs955.6bn budget for the fiscal year 2024-25 makes many pledges to the poor citizens of Pakistan’s...
Another lynching
Updated 22 Jun, 2024

Another lynching

The chilling alternative to not doing anything — which appears to be the state’s preferred option — is the advent of mob rule.
Tax & representation
22 Jun, 2024

Tax & representation

THE taxation measures outlined in the budget for the incoming fiscal year have triggered a lot of concern among ...
Life of the party?
22 Jun, 2024

Life of the party?

THE launch of Awaam Pakistan, a party led by former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and former finance minister...