The Politics of the Punjab Boundary Award
According to the partition plan of June 3, 1947, the redrawing of the boundaries of the Punjab and Bengal was to be undertaken by the newly set up Boundary Commission after the provincial assemblies had taken a decision to this effect. The verdict started an intense controversy. In many ways no man made boundary has caused so much trouble and effectively impeded the advent of peace in South Asia as has been done by the Punjab boundary resulting from the Commission's verdict. For both the Pakistanis and the Indians the boundary resulting from the partition of Punjab has proved to be a source of constant headaches and periodic convulsions. Just as the problematic border of the North Western Frontier Province (NWFP) elicited constant British vigilance, the Indo-Pak border in the Punjab area has kept the two nations continuously preoccupied throughout their independent existence. The hasty British departure along with unimaginative surgical partition of the Punjab left many complicated problems for the successor nations of British India. The inability of the British to partition the province in congruence with principles of justice and fair play produced unnecessarily a large pile of complex problems. This article is an attempt to understand the basic principles governing the division of Punjab along with the politics that caused the undesired departure from the adopted principles.
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