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This comprehensive survey of British rule in the Punjab demonstrates that colonial policy-making led to many of the socio-economic and political problems currently plaguing Pakistan and Indian Punjab. Subordinating development goals to its political and military imperatives, the colonial state co-operated with the dominant social classes, the members of which became the major beneficiaries of agricultural colonization. Even while the rulers tried to use the vast resources of the Punjab to advance imperial purposes, they were themselves being used by their collaborators to advance implacable private interests. Such processes effectively retarded both nationalism and social change and resulted in the continued backwardness of the region even after the departure of the British.