South Punjab
جنوبی پنجاب
Country Pakistan
Largest cityMultan
 • TypeSelf-governing administrative secretariat to the Federal government
 • BodyAdministrative Secretariat of South Punjab[1]
 • Chief SecretarySaqib Zafar[2]
 • Total102,301 km2 (39,499 sq mi)
 • Total34,743,590
Time zoneUTC+05:00 (PST)
Main Language(s)Saraiki, Urdu and others
Map of proposed Saraikistan (Red) and Punjab (White). The map is made up of Bahawalpur Division, Multan Division and Dera Ghazi Khan Division.
Map of proposed Saraikistan (Red) and Punjab (White). The map is made up of Bahawalpur Division, Multan Division and Dera Ghazi Khan Division.

Saraikistan (Saraiki: سرائیکستان[3]) or South Punjab (Urdu: جنوبی پنجاب[4][5]) is a proposed new province of Pakistan, comprising the areas which has a majority of Saraikis in the southern part of Punjab province. Made up of Bahawalpur Division, Multan Division and Dera Ghazi Khan Division, the proposed Saraikistan forms about 52 percent of the total area and 32 percent of the population of Punjab province.[6] Saraikistan has a population of 34,743,590 as of 2017, up from 23,507,210 in 1998.


In 2012, Punjab Provincial Assembly and the National Assembly passed resolutions for the creation of new province in Punjab. These resolutions were supported by the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League (N) (PMLN) and was passed.[7]

In 2013 election the PPP tried to mobilize the Seraiki voters over the Saraikistan province creation. But they got only one National Assembly seat from the Saraikistan region.[7]

In 2018 the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) promised to create a new province in South Punjab within the first 100 days of taking office, if they win.[8] PTI won the election and won 30 out of 50 seats of the National Assembly seats in South Punjab.[9] On August 15, 2018, the PTI MPA of Punjab Assembly, Mohsin Leghari tables a resolution for the creation of a new province in South Punjab.[7]

In 2022 the Senate accept a bill seeking creation of South Punjab province on 18 January, was supported by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).[10]

Establishment of Separate Administrative Secretariat

In 2020, a separate secretariat was established for southern areas of Punjab (Saraikistan). The secretariat is made up of Dera Ghazi Khan Division, Multan Division and Bahawalpur Division. It became officially operational on 15 October 2020.[11] Initially the departments of Services and General administration (S & GAD), Home department, Health, Education, Agriculture, Planning and Development, Live stock and dairy development, Local government and community development, Housing, urban development and Public health engineering, Irrigation, Forest, Communication and works, Revenue[12] and Police are included in the separate Administrative Secretariat of Saraikistan region with following officers:

  1. (i) Zahid Akhtar Zaman, June 30, 2020, to March 3, 2021[13] (ii) Saif Anjum, March 10, 2021, to April 11, 2021 (iii) Captain Retd Saqib Zafar, April 12, 2021, to till now,[14] Additional Chief Secretary, South Punjab
  2. (i)Captain (Retd) Zafar Iqbal,[15] September 2020 to March 2022 (ii) Dr Ehsan Sadiq [16] March 15, 2022 to till now, Additional Inspector General of Police, South Punjab
  3. Momin Agha, Secretary Home department
  4. Nosheen Malik, Secretary S & GAD
  5. Dr. Ahtasham Anwar, Secretary Education
  6. Muhammad Ajmal Bhatti, Secretary Health
  7. Rana Ubaidullah Anwar, Secretary Finance
  8. Shoaib Iqbal Syed, Secretary Planning and Development
  9. Rana Khurram Shehzad Umar, Secretary Local government and community development
  10. Liaqat Ali Chatha, Secretary Housing, Urban development and Public health engineering
  11. Saqib Ali Ateel, Secretary Agriculture
  12. Aftab Ahmad Pirzada, Secretary Live stock and dairy development


The Saraikistan Qaumi Council demanded the creation of Saraikistan province by merging 24 districts in South Punjab and 2 districts in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (Dera Ismail Khan and Tank districts, there 70 percent of the people speaks Seraiki).

The Main Political parties PTI, PPP and PML(N) have difference on the geography of Saraikistan. The PPP supports the formation of the South province by merging 11 districts of Punjab and 2 districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The PTI supports the formation of the South Punjab province by merging 11 districts South Punjab only. The PML(N) supports the formation of two provinces in South Punjab - the Bahawalpur Province and another South Punjab province containing Dera Ghazi Khan and Multan divisions.[8]



The proportion of people with Saraiki as their mother tongue in each Pakistani District as of the 2017 Pakistan Census.
The proportion of people with Saraiki as their mother tongue in each Pakistani District as of the 2017 Pakistan Census.

The major native language spoken in the South Punjab is Saraiki and mostly spoken in most parts of South Punjab,[17] Punjabi also popular in eastern part of Bahawalpur Division, Urdu is widely used as a lingua franca in official.[18]


Saraiki, Punjabi and Baloch people in South Punjab believe Islam, most are Sunnis.[19]

See also


  3. ^ "South Punjab province or Saraikistan; what do Saraikis demand?". News Desk. Retrieved 2 July 2020.
  4. ^ "پاکستان تحریک انصاف جنوبی پنجاب کی محرومیوں کا ازالہ کرنے کیلئے پرعزم ہے،پنجاب کابینہ نے جنوبی پنجاب سیکرٹریٹ کی خودمختاری کیلئے تاریخ ساز فیصلہ کیا ہے". Office of the Chief Minister of Punjab, Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
  5. ^ "Hopefully, govt will end injustice towards South Punjab: PM Imran". Aaj news. February 2022.
  6. ^ "South Punjab: larger in size, less in population". Retrieved 13 April 2020.
  7. ^ a b c "What lies behind demands for a separate province in south Punjab". Retrieved 16 April 2020.
  8. ^ a b "A province for Seraikis". Retrieved 16 April 2020.
  9. ^ "A province in the making". Retrieved 16 April 2020.
  11. ^ Reporter, The Newspaper's Staff (September 5, 2020). "South Punjab secretariat becomes operational on Oct 15". DAWN.COM.
  12. ^ Malik, Mansoor (September 1, 2020). "15 full-fledged depts created for south Punjab secretariat". DAWN.COM.
  13. ^ "AIG, ACS appointed for South Punjab Secretariat on merit: CM Buzdar".
  14. ^ "Additional Chief Secretary | - A Veterinary Information Hub". April 13, 2021.
  15. ^ Capt. Zafar Iqbal appointed Additional IGP, South Punjab
  16. ^[user-generated source]
  17. ^ "Saraiki, a Language of Pakistan". Ethnologue. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 25 September 2015.
  18. ^ Robina Kausar; Muhammad Sarwar; Muhammad Shabbir (eds.). "The History of the Urdu Language Together with Its Origin and Geographic Distribution" (PDF). International Journal of Innovation and Research in Educational Sciences. 2 (1).
  19. ^ "Information on Sunni-Shia conflict". Pakistan - Researched and compiled by the Refugee Documentation Centre.