However, Punjabi identity also included those who did not belong to any of the historical tribes.With the passage of time, tribal structures are coming to an end and are being replaced with a more cohesive based around the Punjab.Today, Punjabis continue to be the largest ethnic group in Pakistan, accounting for half of the country's population.They reside predominantly in the province of Punjab, neighbouring Pakistan Occupied Kashmir in the region of Jammu and Kashmir and in Islamabad Capital Territory.West Punjab was virtually cleansed of its Hindu and Sikh populations, who were forced to leave for India, while East Punjab and Delhi were virtually cleansed of their Muslim population.By the 1960s, Indian Punjab underwent reorganisation as demands for a linguistic Punjabi state increased (in line with the policy of linguistic states that had been applied in the rest of India).Until 1947, the province of Punjab was ruled by a coalition comprising the Indian National Congress, the Sikh-led Shiromani Akali Dal and the Unionist Muslim League.However, the growth of Muslim nationalism led to the All India Muslim League becoming the dominant party in the 1946 elections.
In 1799 Ranjit Singh moved the capital to Lahore from Gujranwala, where it had been established in 1763 by his grandfather, Charat Singh.
Large communities of Punjabis are also found in the Jammu region of Jammu and Kashmir and in Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh.
Punjabis are numbered as 110,012,442, which make 55% of the population of Pakistan, and they are the largest ethnic group in Pakistan by population.
As Muslim separatism increased, the opposition from Punjabi Hindus and Sikhs increased substantially.
Communal violence on the eve of Indian independence led to the dismissal of the coalition government, although the succeeding League ministry was unable to form a majority.