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After Ranjit Singh's death in 1839, the empire was severely weakened by internal divisions and political mismanagement.This opportunity was used by the British East India Company to launch the Anglo-Sikh Wars.The Hindi-speaking areas were formed into the states of Himachal Pradesh and Haryana respectively, leaving a Punjabi speaking majority in the state of Punjab.In the 1980s, Sikh separatism combined with popular anger against the Indian Army's counter-insurgency operations (especially Operation Bluestar) led to violence and disorder in Indian Punjab, which only subsided in the 1990s.Large communities of Punjabis are also found in the Jammu region of Jammu and Kashmir and in Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh.Punjabis make up just under half of the population of Pakistan, and they are the largest ethnic group in Pakistan by population.
Punjabis in India can be found in the states of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi and the Union Territory of Chandigarh.
The Punjabis found in Pakistan belong to groups known as biradaris.
In addition, Punjabi society is divided into two divisions, the zamindar groups or qoums, traditionally associated with farming and the moeens, who are traditionally artisans.
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).