A Princely Affair

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A Princely Affair
The Accession and Integration of the Princely States of Pakistan, 1947–1955

Yaqoob Khan Bangash


West Pakistan, on 15 August 1947, was less than half its present size. Nearly a year of negotiations, arguments, threats, and even chance, brought nine princely states into the Pakistani fold. Thereafter followed a long and staggered process of integration.

Using hitherto unused and inaccessible primary sources, this path-breaking book completes the story of the creation of Pakistan. In charting the accession and integration of the princely states, this book shows, for the first time in detail, the complicated and often botched processes of the early consolidation of Pakistan. The problems emanating from this early period, haphazard constitutional integration, weak local political forces, the insurgency in Balochistan since 1948, and a weak sense of national identity and citizenship remain with Pakistan today.

‘While there is a considerable body of literature on the accession and integration of the princely states to the Indian Union, hardly anything comparable exists on the Pakistani side of the story. Rectifying this imbalance in South Asian historiography, Yaqoob Khan Bangash makes a welcome contribution to the literature on state formation in Pakistan with significant comparative insights on why it differed so markedly from the Indian experience. Based on hitherto unused archival sources, he tells the important but untold story of Pakistan's former princely states with clarity and rare insights. A solid piece of historical research, the book is must reading for anyone interested in how Pakistan negotiated the postcolonial transition and the ways in which this affected the nature of the state and its relations with the different constituent units, and especially the former princely states.’

Ayesha Jalal

Mary Richardson Professor of History

Tufts University

‘Yaqoob Khan Bangash has produced a seminal work based on significantly expanded sources on the slow, complex integration of the princely states into Pakistan. His balanced analysis illuminates the diversity of these states and their rulers, and the haphazard policies of both British and Pakistani administrators, and Pakistani politicians toward their rulers and subjects during colonial and post-colonial periods. Policy analysts, diplomats as well as scholars will learn much from his informative assessment.’

Barbara N. Ramusack

Charles Phelps Taft Professor of History Emerita

University of Cincinnati

'Bangash’s study of how former British princely states were persuaded to join Pakistan raises issues of identity, integration, and citizenship. In doing so this important book engages with weaknesses which have dogged Pakistan throughout its existence.’

Francis C. R. Robinson CBE

Professor of the History of South Asia, Royal Holloway, University of London

and Visiting Professor in the History of the Islamic World, University of Oxford

Author Description

Yaqoob Khan Bangash was born and raised in Lahore, Pakistan. After finishing his initial schooling at Salamat Academy and Lahore College of Arts and Sciences (LACAS), he went to the University of Notre Dame, Indiana, USA, earning a BA in History in 2004. He worked at the Asia Society and East-West Institute during 2004–5, and then joined the University of Oxford in 2006 to research for a DPhil in Modern History which he completed in 2011. Presently, he is teaching history at Forman Christian College and Information Technology University, Lahore.


Additional Information

Additional Information

ISBN 9780199066490
Weight in kg 0.7200
Rights World
Year of Publication 2015
Binding Hardback
Pages 472 pages