Saraiki People and Brief History


Total population
16 million
Regions with significant populations
Pakistan 13,843,106[1]
Afghanistan 56,096[2]
Related ethnic groups

The Saraiki people (Perso-Arabic: سرائيکی, Gurmukhi: ਸਰਾਇਕੀ) or Multani people (Perso-Arabic: ملتانی, Devanagari: मुल्तानी, Gurmukhi: ਮੁਲਤਾਨੀ) are an ethnic group from the south-eastern areas ofPakistan, especially in the area of the former princely state of Bahawalpur and the districts of Sukkur LarkanaDaduSehwanSangharNawabshahHyderabad, SindhMirpurkhasMultan,RajanpurDera Ghazi Khan, Muzafar GarhLayyahBhakkarMianwaliDera Ismail KhanKarachi. A significant number of Saraikis also reside in India, with most concentrated in the state of Punjab,Maharashtra and Gujarat.[1] The Saraikis maintain that they have a separate language and culture, but their language is often viewed as a dialect of Sindhi or Punjabi. While the majority of Saraikis follow Islam, a few also follow Hinduism and Sikhism



At the time of independence of Pakistan in 1947, Muslims constituted between 90 to 75% of the population of Saraiki speaking region of West Pakistan. While the Hindus and Sikhs constituted between 10 and 25% of the population of the regions in West Punjab, nearly all Hindus and Sikhs migrated to India in 1947, while a substantial number remigrated later to the United Kingdom from India, among other countries. The Muslims ofEast Punjab were also around 45%, nearly all migrated to Pakistani and Saraiki areas. Sindh also had Hindus and Sikhs population of 25% at time of independence of West Pakistan, most of them migrated to India, many of them remigrated from India to the other parts of the world.

A Saraiki campaign (struggle) grew in the 1960s with the aims of establishing language rights and stopping what was seen as exploitation and repression by the traditionally Punjabi dominated government. Saraiki land has always been very fertile, producing much of Pakistan’s wheatand cotton. However little money has been re-invested, and this has led to impoverishment and underdevelopment. The current Prime Minister of Pakistan, Yousuf Raza Gilani, is Saraiki native, and has initiated several projects to uplift the region particularly in and around Multan.[3]

The campaign continued on into the 1970s, by which time political activists had drawn up a map of a proposed new province to be carved out of central Pakistan named Saraikistan[citation needed], including most of southern Punjab and Dera Ismail Khan in the North-West Frontier Province(this excluded Sindhi and Baloch areas, possibly because of strong nationalist movements in those regions). The movement, however, was not an independence movement, but rather a movement for the establishment of a separate province within Pakistan.

In 1977 General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq took power in a coup of Pakistan. Under his strongly centralist rule the Saraiki movement went underground. The death of General Zia in a plane crash in 1988 gave the impetus for the Saraiki movement to re-emerge. By now the aims were to have a Saraiki nationality recognised, to have official documents printed in Saraiki, a Saraiki regiment in the army, employment quotas and more Saraiki language radio and television (recently one channel is working).

In 1993 moves were made to settle Biharis in Saraiki areas. This was resisted violently by the Saraikis and the plan was eventually shelved.

Early history
Ali-Al-Kufi 700 AD also in his book (Shash nama) about Sindh says that Seraiki is a dialect of Sindhi language. Ali-Al-Kufi was considered an authority on subject of Sindh and because of this reason he was invited by the Arab rulers several times to provide useful information about Sindh and its people. He explained in detail that there is one language spoken in country Sindh and its called Sindhi. He further said that ‘Sereki’ is one of Sindhis three dialects.
Multan is mother of all Seraiki areas, because in past they all were part of it and parted from it during long course of history. Today we find some Seraiki areas incorporated in Punjab, while others are part of NWFP, Baluchistan and Sindh. In past they were part of one single administrative entity called Multan. Multan in history existed as an indepedent state, a province, a division and now as a district. It is one of the few living cities of the world which have their origin in pre-historic times. There are countless references about Multan in ancient and medivial history. Medivial historian describe Multan as province of Sindh, during Ghaznavid period it was a separate province, it existed as independent state under Nasir-u-Din Qabacha. Then during Sultnate era it was a province which owed its allegiance to Dehli. It became independent state under Langhas, later on it became province of Mughal era. Although Multan was biggest and hence most important province of Mughal empire, but it is the period when question was put on its territorial integration. It lost it significance to great extent when Lahore gained importance. During the centuries which followed Mutan kept losing its territories and its grip on its pripherial areas became weak. It lost lot of area in south to Daudaputras when they established State of Bahawalpur. In west and north-west Dera Ghazi Khan and Dera Ismail Khan came into existence and at a times remained independet of influence from Multan. Finally, the Sikh Invasions of 19th century snatched identity of Seraiki wasaib from it and labelled the whole wasaib as Punjab. However it is interesting to note that Multan remained a separate province in Mahara Ranjeet Singh’s Punjab.

Sikhs and British:
Punjab is phenomenun of yesterday. Although Punjabi speakers existed from time unknown but there was no Punjab, as there is no Seraiki Wasaib today, but that doesnot mean Seraikis never existed. It has its origin in early part of 19th century when short lived Sikh rule was established as a result of rise of Sikh Religious Nationalism and conquests made there after. The areas what now are called Pakistani Punjab and Indian Punjab were brought under Sikh domanian (there were some other territories which now are separate provinces of Hariana, Himachal, Some areas were incorporated into N-W.F.P in 1901). However Sikh rule proved to be short lived and after British takeover the Sikh domnian became part of British Empire. This is the point where Multan’s separate identity as an administrative unit was merged with that of erst-while unknow Punjab. Before British take over Punjab was an independent state and Multan was its province. When Punjab became province of British empire, status of Multan was reduced to that of a division. The British Bereaucrats and Civil servants, who although did great a job of writing extensively about history, culture, geography, geology etc. of the areas under their control. But they overlooked some facts and considered Seraiki as a dialect of Punjabi. Although some Punjabi intellectuals of that time who wrote about Punjabi labguage, considered Seraiki as a separate language. Similarly, today even, Sikhs do not include Seraiki areas in the definition of Punjab.

After Partition:
When both India and Pakistan gained independence, Indians keeping in mind the ground realities and in order to provide sound foiundations to the newly created country carved two states out of the over stretched East-Punjab in 1967 (A separate article, supported with authentic maps and historical facts will be uploaded to explain, how Indians managed over stretched province of East Punjab). Where as Pakistan fell in the hands of naive politicians, who grossly failed in managining the affairs of the state and couldnot draft a constitution for quite a long time. They lacked political accumen, sagacity and foresightedness. So not only the failed to realize ground realities, but took actions which proved fatal for Pakistan, one such action was declaring Urdu as a national language (India declared 14 languages as it national languages), the second blunder was keeping over streched Punjab intact, not only this they also merged State of Bahawalpur in it. Today all smaller provinces seem fed up with the politics of this big brother. Which in fact is not big, it derives its powers from Seraiki land and people included in it. If we listen to history and act according to what it tells us, we can get rid of lot of ominous political tensions, which are eroding very basis of federation of Pakistan.

The Rule of Punjab:
Today Seraikis are in control of Punjabis and reading history written either by Punjabis or by the people who don’t belong to this area. So we are told the we always were part of Punjab and Seraiki is just a dialect of Punjabi. It in fact is a political wickedness, by doing so they are userpingour economic and political rights. They want to deprive us of our history and identity, because only in this way they will be able to maintain their unholy dominance on us. Because who controls the past, controls the future.

Notable personalities

  • Imran Ajmal (Consultant Developer),Det Norske Veritas (DNV Middle East Kuwait


  1. a b “Seraiki”. Ethnologue. Retrieved 2007-07-14.
  2. ^ Abstract of speakers’ strength of languages and mother tongues – 2001Census of India (retrieved 19 March 2008)
  3. ^ PM’s mega uplift plan for hometown -DAWN – National; May 05, 2008



  2. My Mother Tongue is Seraiki. I was born and raised in Village Muhammad Ali Bozdar, Taluka KHIPRO (formerly Tharparkar district), now Sanghar district. I belong yo a “TAKARI” clan of Baloch tribe. My great-grand father either Sohbat Khan or Mohabat Khan migrated from Bhag Narhi Sibi, Balochistan in early NINETEENTH century and settled there.

    I graduated Bachelor’s Degree with DISTINCTION in Sindhi, English, Economics, Political Science, and Islamic Studies from University of Sindh, Old campus, Garhi Khata, Hyderbad, West Pakistan in 1969. I graduated Master’s Degree in Economics from University of Sindh, New Campus , Jamshoro, Pakistan in 1972.I graduated three Degree Courses of Official Urdu of Pakistani Federal Government Officers from Allama Iqbal Open University, Islamabad in 1985.I graduated LLB Degree from University Law College, University of Balochistan, Quetta in 1994.I graduated 23rd Advanced Management Strategies (NIPA) from National Institute of Administration from Quetta in 1998.I graduated Logic and Oracle Programming Training Course from Digital Corporation, Reston Campus, South Lakes Drive, Reston, VA 2091 in 2000.

    I qualified Central Superior Services Examination (CSS), 1973 and graduated Second Common Administrative Training/FPO from Civil Services Academy, Lahore, Punjab in 1974-75. I was allocated to Information Service of Pakistan (defunct ISP)/Information Group. I worked in different capacities as Information Wizard with Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Government of Pakistan from 1973 to 1999.

    I got retirement from the Pakistan Government on 08/01/199 and immigrated to the USA on 09/08/1999. Since then I am working as a Foreign Media Analyst and and Senior Linguist for Urdu, Punjabi, Sindhi, and Seraiki languages in the USA from 1999 to present.


  4. heloo saraiki bhirao kia hal en janab main abu dhabi ich job pia kraina tay multan mera waten hy maikon aapni saraiki zuban nal bahu piyar hi aa ty main saraiki ich MA v kita hoya a ager mery laiq kahen saraiki bhira da koi kam ho wy taan main hazer han
    i love to speek saraiki

    00971 56 6525330

    han yad aaya kahen akhbaar ya tv koun khabraan ghinanyaan howen taan banda hazir a

  5. Asan qaidi tkht lahore de
    jab tak ham apni pahchan nahein banain gai tu hamain punjab se azadi nahein milai gi
    pakistan zindabad sarakistan paindabad

  6. Thank you very much for such an informative essay about saraiki history. It would give strength to stand on my point to ask for a new province SARAIKISTAN.

  7. Assalamoalikum Saiin,
    Main Shahid Hussain haan
    District Muzafar Gharh
    Ajkal Thaheem construction company (pvt) Ltd
    wach Civil Supervoser de nokari krenda

  8. AOA i m imtiaz Hussain from taunsa Sharif near Mongrotha east.
    i work an organization Unicief at programme eradication of polio. i work in SQM in past. Now i leave this party because some ideas.
    Now i m working at sraiki nation with some ideal friends.

  9. jayker kapray tha mull hik saal kanown bay saall tak assi feesad tak wadh sagday taan kpaah thi qeemat which qiun izaafa nain theenda.


    kpah thi suth kolon ghin k sater feesad paidawar sraiki illaakkaay wich theendi hay.

  10. Meda naa Irfan Fareed aa te main Quaid-e-Azam University ech Masters krenda peyan. Meda tauluk Kot Mithan Sharif toon hay. Apren culture te zuban de baray parh te bahoon khushi thai yee.

  11. I am a Multani born and brought up in Delhi , India. Reading the above messages I recollect the sound bytes of my grand parents who had migrated from Multan during the unfortunate and unnecessary division of our country. I believe that no one has the right to cause separating people who speak a language common to them and whose forefathers have lived in a place for centuries. Leaving your home land out of choice is one thing , but forcing people out is criminal. No god will condone it. I can now barely speak the language , but I do can understand it drawing the recollection of the language from my childhood. It is nice feeling to learn that the language in the Sariaki region is alive. Sad to admit it is dead like a Dodo in India.

      • I felt good to learn that my language is alive . My dear Hammad I wish that we the same people find a way out to be one again. Nations and even states within a country are largely grouped on the basis of language. Religion is but a way to seek the blessing of god and there can only be one god. Miracles do happen.


  13. Bhirawa Asheet Kumar Malikji,

    Tusan hale vi beete waqt kun yaad paye karende ho?
    Pakistan hik azad mulk he te hunankun pura hak he ke o keeven apni civilization kun rakhna chahnde hen.

    Today there are many counties in the world speaking the same language like Arabic, English,German, French, Spanish,Portugese etc. They all respect one and another and continue to share their culture. Unfortunately it is not so between our two countries.
    On the contrary Pakistan, being an ISLAMIC state, has been unsuccessfully trying to identify itself with Arabic countries.They should learn from history that no PEOPLE have survived when they tried to shun their own identity and tried to identify itself with others.
    Wish good luck to all our Saraiki brothers in Pakistan.

  14. mera nam abid nazeer ha mara satay abi karachi ma ha yaha par saraiki kya value ha main achy sy janta han par wo to mamol ki batain han but aj mera such ma dil roya ha jab main na ak hotel main apny aj jan sy pyary saraikyeo ko dakha mera dil kar rha tha waps punjab jou or in ky leya koch kiron .kesi ko bi ham logo ka khayal nahi na pml (n) ko na PTI ko nA ppp ko hmara koi leader bi nai.hum an ky gulam han har koam ka koi na koi leader hai nahi. othooo saraikeo apna izat bano

  15. The information is really good. The improvement may be change in the font of page. Its not a reader friendly style

  16. Main Bahawalpur de kol hik chhota gaoin he, uthan main 1939 ich paid thian. Hun main 78 salan da han. Bada afsos he, ke saakun apna Saraikistan 1947 ich chhodna piya. 78 salan de baad wi main apne watan (Saarikistan) kun nahin bhul sagda. Mare Pakistani bhirawo, tusan janaabe allaa, Saraikistan kun zaroor ghin ke chhodne. Sada, Tuadaa hak hey, sain.

    Namaste, Salaam walekum, Sain.

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