The princely state of Bahawalpur was founded in 1802 by Nawab Mohammad Bahawal Khan II after the break-up of the Durrani Empire. The city is over 4.51 kilometres long. Nawab Mohammad Bahawal Khan III signed a treaty with the British on 22 February 1833, guaranteeing the independence of the Nawab. The state acceded to Pakistan on 7 October 1947 when Nawab Sadiq Muhammad Khan Abbasi V Bahadur decided to join Pakistan at the time of independence. The predominantly Muslim population supported Muslim League and Pakistan Movement. After the independence of Pakistan in 1947, the minority Hindus and Sikhs migrated to India while the Muslims refugees from India settled down in the Bahawalpur state. Bahawalpur became a province of Pakistan in 1952 and was merged into the province of West Pakistan on 14 October 1955. When West Pakistan was divided into four provinces — Sindh, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Punjab — Bahawalpur was amalgamated in Punjab.
The main crops for which Bahawalpur is recognised are cotton, sugarcane, wheat, sunflower seeds, rape/mustard seed and rice. Bahawalpur mangoes, citrus, dates andguavas are some of the fruits exported out of the country. Vegetables include onions, tomatoes, cauliflower, potatoes and carrots. Being an expanding industrial city, the government has revolutionised and libertised various markets, allowing the caustic soda, cotton ginning and pressing, flour mills, fruit juices, general engineering, iron and steel re-rolling mills, looms, oil mills, poultry feed, sugar, textile spinning, textile weaving, vegetable ghee and cooking oil industries to flourish.
The city is served by: