In the seventy or so years since Independence, much less has been written about the Princely States which acceded to Pakistan than those that remained in India. The name of the once great State of Bahawalpur is no longer remembered among its well-mapped peers over the border in Rajasthan.
This book is based on conversations with Salahuddin Abbasi, grandson of the last ruler of Bahawalpur and born a year before Partition. Starting with the history of his State and his family, his memories add light to stories of Bahawalpur’s princes from old records, letters, and the accounts of British travellers and civil servants. They also encompass a lifetime of first-hand experience of the political life of Pakistan and his relationships with the country’s leaders.
The nation’s troubled history has clouded a clear picture of it and shrouded its component parts. From the microcosm of Bahawalpur, this account helps to join the dots of a more coherent view of the macrocosm of Pakistan and queries the future route of the Islamic State.