The British Empire Library

Bahawalpur: The Kingdom that Vanished

by Anabel Loyd

Book Review by kind permission of Chowkidar, the journal of the British Association for Cemeteries in South Asia
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 Ahbasi, grandson of the last ruler of Bahawalpur, who was bom 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. Pakistan’s troubled history has clouded a clear picture of the nation and shrouded its component parts. From the microcosm of Bahawalpur, this account helps to join the dots for a more coherent view of the macrocosm of Pakistan and queries the future route of the Islamic State.

British Empire Book
Anabel Loyd
Vintage Books
Review Originally Published
Autumn 2020 in Journal of the British Association for Cemeteries in South Asia


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