“I repeat: Punjab elite must realize its political and economic hegemony has withered away. Give economic, cultural and political autonomy to the smaller provinces. There’s no one Pakistani culture, but many. Face it!”
I have very little respect for NFP and have written quite a few times about it. I wish he had stuck with only writing about music like he used to do for Bandbaja weblog. That said, he is so wrong in this on so many levels. First of all there is no Punjab controlling Pakistan. Punjab is the only province where speaking Punjabi (the regional language) is considered a bad thing to do. Here you get respect by speaking either an accent free Urdu or a British/American/whatever mix of English. Unlike any other province of Pakistan there is no compulsory course of local language in schools. Whole official correspondence is either English or in some departments in Urdu. This goes in with a stark comparison with any other province where provincial-Nationalism is flaunted on the back of local languages.
Plus Punjab has been, Pakistan’s very own land of opportunities. Only province in Pakistan who accepted my Afghan ancestors no questions asked, made a Baloch Chief Minister of the province, has elected Members of Provincial Assembly who just migrated to the province in last 20 years. You go in any market you find non-Punjabis doing business (and no they aren’t even referred as Settlers or Outsiders).
When whole Pakistan is made to be scared of Punjab, it is only because Punjab has not held anyone back. Just as Muslims collectively like to believe in a deep Zionist-American conspiracy to sabotage them, Pakistan is made to believe in an evil Punjab conspiracy - which of course helps incompetent leadership who hasn’t done anything for their people in over 60+ years.