The fiftieth death anniversary of Nawab of Former State of Bahawalpur, Sir Sadiq Muhammad Khan Abbasi the Fifth was observed on Tuesday.

He was born on September 29, 1904 at Derawar, near Bahawalpur. He ruled the Bahawalpur State from 1907 to 1966. In August 1947, he received the title of Amir of Bahawalpur. At the time of partition all the princely states of the subcontinent were given a choice to join either Pakistan or India. For convincing Nawab Sahib to join India, Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru went to him in London and offered various incentives in this regard but he didn’t accept them. On October 5, 1947 he signed an agreement with the government of Pakistan according to which Bahawalpur State joined Pakistan. Thus Bahawalpur was the first state that joined Pakistan. The main factor was of course the Islamic sentiments of the Muslims who were in majority in the Bahawalpur State. Moreover, Nawab Sir Sadiq Muhammad Khan Abbasi the Fifth and founder of Pakistan Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah were close friends and had great respect for each other even before the creation of Pakistan. The Quaid-i-Azam acknowledged the valuable contribution of the Bahawalpur State for the rehabilitation of the refugees many times.

At the time of independence, Nawab of Bahawalpur proved to be very helpful and generous to the government of Pakistan. He gave seventy million rupees to the government and the salaries of all the government departments for one month were also drawn from the treasury of Bahawalpur State. In 1955, an accord was signed between Nawab Sadiq Muhammad and General Ghulam Muhammad Malik, according to which Bahawalpur State became the part of the province of West Pakistan and de factoNawab began to receive yearly stipend, maintained the title of Nawab and protocol inside and outside Pakistan.

He started his education from Atchison College, Lahore and completed in England.  Nawab of Bahawalpur had a keen interest in education, which was free till A level and the State’s Government provided scholarships of merit for higher education. In 1951, the Nawab donated 500 acres in Bahawalpur for the construction of prestigious educational institution Sadiq Public School. He also gifted his private property to the University of the Punjab, King Edward Medical College (now University) and the Mosque of Aitcheson College, Lahore.

On May 24, 1966 Nawab Sadiq died in London. His dead body was brought to Bahawalpur and buried in his ancestral graveyard of Derawar Fort.

Pakistan Post also issued a commemorative stamp in 2013 to pay homage to late Nawab of Bahawalpur.[By Sajjad Pervez]

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