BAHAWALPUR Bahawalpur was one of the several “princely states” that opted to join Pakistan after the partition of British India in 1947 About the size of Denmark, it was founded by Nawab Bahawal Khan Abbasi in 1748, exactly 100 years before the British occupation of Punjab Bahawal Khan came from Sindh but claimed descent from the Abbasid Caliphs of Baghdad The state carved out by Nawab Bahawal lay between Punjab and Sindh On the northwestern side its boundary ran along three rivers, the Sutlej, the Panjad, and the Indus For the most part, the southeastern boundary ran along the states of Bikanir and Jaisalmir, in what was to become the state of Rajputana in independent India In 1833, fearing invasion by the Sikh ruler Raja Ranjit Singh, the ruling nawab of Bahawalpur turned to the British for protection The British, as had been their practice with other similarly situated princes, acted with dispatch and declared Bahawalpur to be a protected princely state In this way they not only kept the Sikhs out of Bahawalpur but also ensured that their southern flank would be in friendly hands when they decided to march into PunjabBahawalpur remained a princely state until 1947 when the British partitioned India

After slight hesitation, the ruler of the state was persuaded to accede to Pakistan, in 1947 In 1955, the state was merged with the provinces and other princely states in the western part of Pakistan to create the One Unit of West Pakistan When the one unit was dissolved in 1969, Bahawalpur became part of the province of Punjab

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