Sunday, December 18, 2011
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Wahe Watan O Hushkien Dar The fatherland even barren is worth anything
People with a warlike spirit, wearing exalted plumes, like the cocks comb, on their turbans.Firdausi in Shahnama
On August 15, 1947, a day after Pakistan came into existence, the Khan of Kalat had declared independence. Kalats independent status had been affirmed several times by the Muslim League and by the Kalat National Assembly. Despite this, on 1 April 1948, the Pakistan Army marched into Kalat and arrested the Khan who capitulated. His brother, Prince Abdul Karim (with the Khans tacit approval) however, declared a revolt proclaiming the independence of Kalat and issued a manifesto in the name of the Baloch National Liberation Committee rejecting the accession agreement signed by the Khan. Karim hoped to obtain Afghan support since Afghanistan had objected to the inclusion of the Baloch and Pashtun areas in Pakistan and had even opposed the admission of Pakistan to the United Nations. While the Pakistani version is that Karim received substantial Afghan support, the Baloch nationalist version is that Afghanistan denied support since it favoured the inclusion of Balochistan in Afghanistan rather than an independent Balochistan.
First Guerrilla Revolt
The Second Revolt
The arrest touched off a chain reaction of violence and counter-violence with the government bombing villages suspected of harbouring guerrillas. Pakistan military's campaigns in Danshera and Wad were resisted by the Jhalawan Sardars loyal to the Khan. The octogenarian Chief of the Zehri tribe in Jhalawan, Nauroz Khan put up a stiff resistance in the Mir Ghat mountains, but the Pakistani military swore an oath by the Quran and urged Nauroz to give up arms and prepare for negotiations.
Nauroz surrendered in anticipation of safe conduct and amnesty but the army put Nauroz and his sons behind the bars as soon as they laid down their arms. Naurozs sons were hanged soon afterwards, in Hyderabad and Sukur, in July 1960. A shocked and surprised Nauroz died soon afterwards in Kohlu prison in 1962. Ayubs message to the Balochis of Kalat who were the first to challenge the might of the Pakistani state, was clear. He reportedly threatened the total extinction of Balochis if they did not mend their ways.
The 1958 revolt was followed by the Pakistan Army setting up new garrisons at key points in the interior of Balochistan. This in turn provoked the Baloch to plan for more armed guerrilla movements capable of defending Balochi interests. The movement was led by Sher Mohammed Marri who was far-sighted enough to realise that the disorganised random struggle adopted so far would have to be transformed into a classic guerrilla warfare. For this purpose, he set up a network of base camps spread from the Mengal tribal areas of Jhalawan in the South to the Marri and Bugti areas in the North. The Pararis, as the guerrillas were called, ambushed convoys, bombed trains and so on. In retaliation, the army staged savage reprisals. For example, the Army bulldozed 13,000 acres of almond tress owned by Sher Mohammed and his relatives in the Marri area. The fighting continued sporadically until 1969 when the Yahya Khan withdrew the One Unit plan and got the Baloch to agree to a ceasefire. Despite the ceasefire, the Pararis assumed that the renewal of the hostilities with Islamabad would be unavoidable sooner or later. As such, the organisational infrastructure was kept intact and cadres continued to be trained.
The nationalist Balochis took to rudimentary politics during Ayubs practice of Basic Democracy in Pakistan. They struck a chord of unity with the Pakhtuns in NWFP and formed a National Awami Party (NAP) upon the dissolution of the One Unit scheme in 1970. In the elections of 1971, while Bhuttos PPP swept the polls in West Pakistan, the NAP won in Balochistan and NWFP. The attacks on Punjabi settlers in Quetta and Mastung in early 1973, the perceived defiance of the Ataullah Mengal-led government in Balochistan and the discovery of a large consignment of weapons in the Iraqi embassy were woven together to be served as conclusive evidence of the Balochis militant intentions and General Tikka Khan was sent to Balochistan to lead the second military attack on Baloch nationalists. Pakistan, smarting under the shock of vivisection in 1971, certainly over-reacted to the Balochi nationalist assertion. The immediate provocation for the Baloch resistance was Bhuttos dismissal of the Baloch provincial government in February 1973 in which Ghaus Bux Bizenjo was Governor and Attaullah Mengal Chief Minister. Bhutto alleged that the government had repeatedly exceeded its constitutional authority and alleged that this had been done in collusion with Iraq and the Soviet Union as part of a plot to dismember both Pakistan and Iran. The dismissal was timed with the disclosure of a cache of 300 Soviet sub-machine guns and 48,000 rounds of ammunition allegedly consigned to Baloch leaders that were found in the house of the Iraqi Defence Attaché in Islamabad. It was, however, subsequently revealed that the arms had actually been found in Karachi and were meant for Iranian Baloch in retaliation against Irans support to Iraqi Kurds and that the Iraqi Defence Attaché had collaborated with Iranian and Pakistani intelligence agents in staging the arms exposure to put pressure on the Iranians.
Following the dismissal of their government, Baloch guerrillas began to ambush army convoys from April 1973. Bhutto retaliated by sending in the army to Balochistan and by putting three veteran nationalist leaders of Balochistan Ghous Bux Bizenjo, Ataullah Khan Mengal and Khair Bux Marri, behind the bars. The armed struggle continued over the next four years with varying degrees of severity. At the height of the war there were over 80,000 Pakistani troops in the province. The fighting was more wide-spread than it had been in 1950s and 1960s. The guerrillas succeeded by July 1974 to cut off most of the main roads linking Balochistan with surrounding provinces and to periodically disrupt the Sibi-Harnai rail link thereby blocking coal shipments from the Baloch areas to the Punjab. Additionally, attacks on drilling and survey operations stymied oil exploration activities.
The then Shah of Iran, apprehending trouble in Iranian Balochistan, supported the Pakistan forces in decimating the Baloch resistance. The Shah sent in 30 US Cobra Helicopters manned by Iranian pilots who pounded the Baloch pockets of resistance. The turning point came during the 6-day battle at Chamalang in the Marri area in September 1974. In line with the Pakistan armys scorched earth policy, an army ground and air offensive in the winter of 1974 on the Baloch tribes, largely Marris, along with their families, who had gathered in an annual pilgrimage to the Chamalang plains to graze their flocks, inflicted heavy human and livestock casualties. While casualties on both sides were heavy, the Baloch were unable to regain the military initiative in the ensuing years.
Most of the Balochi leaders left Pakistan and went into exile in Afghanistan, the UK and other places outside Pakistan. Several Baloch groups migrated to Afghanistan where they were permitted to set up camps by Mohd Daud. Even if Bhutto claimed to have wiped out Baloch resistance, he played a big role in the transformation of dispersed Pararis into the Balochistan Peoples Liberation Front (BPLF) in 1976, led by Mir Hazar Khan Marri, who broke away from Baloch Students Organisation (BSO) led by Sher Muhammad Marri.
The anti-Bhutto sentiments of the Baloch nationalists were well manipulated by Zia ul Haq after he seized power in 1977 and his show of clemency was received well by many Baloch leaders including the Baloch triumvirate: Ghaus Bux Bizenzo, Ataullah Mengal and Akbar Khan Bugti. However, a rebel faction of the Marris continued defying the Pakistani administration. And, as a proof of the irreconcilability of Balochi nationalism with the Pakistani state-nationalism, the most aggressive and fiercely independent of all Baloch factions, the Baloch Students Union (BSO), reorganised and reasserted itself in the early 1990s.
Selig S. Harrison in his book cited below analyses the insurgencies between 197 and 1977 ina splendid manner. His book is:
In Afghanistans Shadow Baluchistan: Baluch Nationalism and Soviet
Temptations, 1981, New York / Washington: Carnegie Endowment
for International Peace.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
AND WHEREAS the Government of India Act, 1935, as so adapted by the Governor-General provides that an Indian State may accede to the Dominion of Pakistan by an Instrument of Accession executed by the Ruler thereof:
I, His Highness Baglar Begi Khan of Kalat (signed) Ruler of Kalat State in, the exercise of my sovereignt; in and over my said State DO hereby execute this my Instrument of Accession and
1. I hereby declare that I accede to the Dominion of Pakistan with the intent that the Governor-General of Pakistan, the Dominion Legislature, the Supreme Court and any other Dominion authority established for the purposes of the Dominion shall, by virtue of this my Instrument of Accession, but subject always to the terms thereof, and for the purposes only Dominion, exercise 1n relation to the State of Kalat (hereinafter referred to as “this State”) such functions as may be vested in them by or under the Government of India Act, 1935, as in force ,in the Dominion of Pakistan on the 15th day of August 1947 (which Act as so in force is hereinafter referred to as “the Act”).
2. I hereby assume the obligation of ensuring that due effect is given to the provisions of the Act within this State so far as they are applicable therein by virtue of this My Instrument of Accession.
3. I accept the matters specified in the Schedule hereto as the matters with respect to which the Dominion Legislature may make laws for this State.
4. I hereby declare that I accede to the Dominion of Pakistan on the assurance that if an agreement is made between the Governor-General and the Ruler of this State whereby any functions in relation to the administration in this State of any law of the Dominion Legislature shall be exercised by the Ruler of this State, then any such agreement shall be deemed to form part of this Instrument and shall be construed end have effect accordingly.
5. Nothing in this Instrument shall empower the Dominion Legislature to make any law for this State authorising the compulsory acquisition of land for any purpose, but I hereby undertake that should the Dominion for the purposes of a Dominion law which applies in this State deem it necessary to acquire any land, I will at their request acquire the land at their expense or if the land belongs to me transfer it to them on such terms as may be agreed, or, in default of agreement, determined by an arbitrator to be appointed by the Chief Justice of Pakistan.
6. The terms of this my Instrument of Accession shall not be varied by any amendment of the Act or of the Indian Independence Act, 1947, unless such amendment is accepted by me by an Instrument supplementary to this Instrument.
7. Nothing in this Instrument shall be deemed to commit me in any way to acceptance of any future constitution of Pakistan or to fetter my discretion to enter into arrangements with the Government of Pakistan under any such future constitution.
8. Nothing, in this Instrument affects the continuance of my sovereignty in and over this State, or, Save as provided by or under this Instrument, the exercise of any powers, authority and rights now enjoyed by me as Ruler of this State or the validity of any law at present in force in this State.
9. I hereby declare that I execute this Instrument on behalf of this State and that any reference in this Instrument to me or to the Ruler of the State is to be construed as including a reference to my heirs and successors.
Given under my hand this 27th March 1948. Nineteen hundred and forty eight
Signed by: His Highness Baglar Begi Khan of Kalat
(Ruler of Kalat State)
I do hereby accept this Instrument of Accession.
Dated this 31st March 1948 Nineteen hundred and forty eight
Signed by: Ma Jinnah
(Governor-General of Pakistan)
Copy of the original document Below
Monday, October 6, 2008
The Khan of Kalat, who had expressed his enthusiasm for Pakistan as had Muhammad Ali Jinnah, who was the leader of the Muslim League and went on to become the first Governor General of Pakistan, in his payrolls as the legal advisor to the Kalat state, resorted to the legal position that with the lapse of paramountcy, leased out territories around Quetta that would return to Kalat and so also Kharan and Las Bela would be left independent to decide to rejoin Kalat.
The British had a relationship of paramountcy with the Indian states or principalities. The rulers of these states enjoyed substantial measure of internal autonomy in exchange for their loyalty to the British. The Khan of Kalat, Mir Ahmad Yar Khan, emphasized on the special status of the
By the time the British began their preparations to leave the Indian subcontinent, the state of Kalat had lost much of its past glory, yet it had a functioning government responsible to a parliament, which comprised of two houses, like the British parliament. Its council of ministers included Douglas Fell, a British, who was functioning as the Foreign Minister. In addition it also had Mohammed Ali Jinnah as its legal adviser. According to Baloch nationalists, Jinnah had agreed that the position of the
Jinnah as the legal advisor of the Kalat state and Jinnah as the Governor General of
ed by the British in 1839 in Kalat. Through gentle but forceful nudges, the principalities of Kharan, Makran and Lesbela were merged into
There were reports that during this period the Khan had sought Indian help but was turned down. However, Nehru later denied the report.1 The rumor was enough for Pakistan to threaten the Khan with preparation for military takeover and on 30 March 1948, in what the Khan construed as a decision taken in the interest of Balochi nation, without obtaining formal sanction from the Balochi Sardars and in opposition to the decision of the Balochi legislature (in October 1947), signed the treaty of merger with Pakistan.2 In April 1948, Pakistan forced status quo ante, i.e., Kalat was to be ruled by an agent of the Pakistani state. The short display of Balochi nationalist defiance under the leadership of Khans brother, Abdul Karim Khan, continued until 1950, when the latter was captured along with his followers and put behind the bars. He spent 16 out of the rest of his 22 years in Pakistani prisons on charges of sedition.
Partition and the Annexation of Balochistan
"We are Muslims but it (this fact) did not mean (it is) necessary to lose our independence and to merge with other (nations) because of the Muslim (faith). If our accession into
Mir Ghaus Bux Bizenjo in 1947-48
The legal status of Kalat was different from that of other princely states in the Indian subcontinent. The 560 odd princely states belonged to Category A under the political department. States like Kalat, together with
In a Memorandum submitted to the British Cabinet Mission in March 1946, the Khan made the following points: First, the Government or Governments succeeding the Raj would inherit only the treaty relationships of the colonial government in
Apart from declaring independence, the Khan also formed the lower and upper houses of the Kalat Assembly. A meeting of the Kalat National Assembly (elections for which had been held a few weeks earlier) held on August 15, 1947 as well as subsequent meetings of the Assembly, decided not to join Pakistan and Affirmed the position that Kalat was an independent state and would only enter into friendly treaty relations with Pakistan. Amongst those who, in these meetings of the Kalat Assembly spoke in clear terms about the justification for an independent Balochistan was Ghaus Bakhsh Bizenjo, who later became a leader of the National Awami Party and also the Governor of Balochistan for a short period.
Bizenjos speech of
"We have a distinct civilization and a separate culture like that of
What was the position of the Muslim League on this issue? The League had, in fact, signed a joint statement with Kalat and repeated the declaration two or three times that the League recognized that Kalat was not an Indian state and constituted an independent entity and the League would recognize and respect this independence. In fact, as late as
As a result of a meeting held between a delegation from Kalat and officials of the Pakistan States Department, presided over by the Crown Representative, and a series of meetings between the Crown Representative, HH the Khan of Kalat, and Mr Jinnah, the following was the situation:
- The Government of Pakistan recognizes Kalat as an independent sovereign state; in treaty relations with British government, with a status different from that of Indian states.
- Legal opinion will be sought as to whether or not agreements of leases made between the British government and Kalat will be inherited by the
Hence, by 1948 there was a situation where Khan of Kalat had declared independence, both houses of the Kalat Assembly had endorsed this decision and rejected accession with
Why this sudden turn-around? It was British advice that led to the forcible accession of Kalat to
Not surprisingly therefore, Secretary of State Lord Listowell advised Mountbatten in September 1947 that because of the location of Kalat, it would be too dangerous and risky to allow it to be independent. The British High Commissioner in
After the departure of the British,
The Indian Position
As soon as the possibility of the British leaving
Not only Khan, but the goal of the Kalat State National Party, made up largely of educated and left leaning Baloch, was also an independent and unified Balochistan. As a necessary prelude to independence, the party demanded that the British restore the Baloch principalities of Kharan, Makran and Las Bela to Kalat.
The Khan had argued before the Cabinet Mission in March 1946 that since the Empire was being withdrawn those other areas that the British had taken away from the original Kalat state should be returned to Kalat. The Khan followed this up by sending Samad Khan (a member of the AICC) to plead Kalats case with the Congress leadership. Nehru, however, totally rejected this contention and stated that the Congress would not accept on any account any attempt to bring about such a deal. Presumably, this was due to the Congresss antipathy to the princely states without, however, making a distinction between the state of affairs in Kalat and the other princely states. Subsequently, Ghaus Bux Bizenjo, President of the Kalat State National Party went to
status governed by the Treaty of 1876. However, Azad argued that the Baloch would never be able to survive as a sovereign, independent state and would ask for British protection. If the British agreed and remained in Balochistan, the sovereignty of the sub-continent would become meaningless. Hence, though Azad admitted that the demands of the Baloch were genuine that Balochistan had never been part of
A third blow to Kalat was the
Significantly, the minutes of a Cabinet meeting held on March 29, 1948 as well as Nehrus reply to a question on March 30, 1948 in the Constituent Assembly19, state that V P Menon had, in fact, made no such comments and that there was an error in reporting by
1- For details see Baren Ray, Balochistan and the Partition of India: The Forgotten Story, Occasional Paper, South Asian Centre for Strategic Studies,
2- One can find a detailed discussion on this from the Khans autobiography. Mir Ahmad Yar Khan Baluch, Inside
3- For details see Khan of Kalats autobiography cited in end note no 10.
4- Cited in Inayatullah Baloch, The Problem of Greater Balochistan: A Study of Baloch Nationalism, Steiner Verlag
5- For detailed discussion see Baren Ray, op. cit.
6- For further discussion on the way the princely states were absorbed into the Pakistani dominion see W.A. Wilcox,
Sunday, October 5, 2008
- Seistan and Western Makran, Sarhad, etc. became part of Iran.
- Outer Seistan and Registan came under the control of Afghanistan.
- Jacobabad, Derajat and Sibi were included in British India.
- The Khanate of Balochistan was recognised as an independent state with the status of a protectorate.1
During the process of demarcation of the frontier, several areas of the Khanate of Balochistan were surrendered by the British authorities to Iran and Afghanistan. The change in the British approach was visible in the way the Khan was treated during the negotiations. In 1871, the Khan was allowed to participate and the commission was called The Perso-Baloch Boundary Commission, but in 1896, it was called The Anglo-Persian Joint Boundary Commission. The Balochis had for all practical purposes lost their independence and autonomy.
By 1905, the demarcation of the boundary between British India and Iran on the one hand and between British India and Afghanistan on the other had quite effectively and unalterably divided the Balochis among three states British India, Afghanistan and Iran. The Khanate lost its previous glory. Even inside Balochistan, direct British rule was imposed on certain strategic areas like Derajati, Jacobabad and Sibi while the rest of the Balochi territory was under the control of the Khan of Kalat, whose Khanate was a mere protectorate of the British government. In order to further delimit Khans influence, the British encouraged the vassals of the Khanate in Makran and Las Bela to emerge as separate protectorates and thus there was a practical administrative trifurcation of the Khanate even within British India, i.e., the British Balochistan, the Khanate and Independent princely states of Makran, Kharan and Las Bela, and the tribal territories.
Nevertheless, Baloch tribes in the 19th century and at the beginning of the 20th century showed their hatred of the unnatural and unjust partition through their revolts against British and Persian rule. Gul Khan, a nationalist writer, wrote: Due to the decisions of (boundary) Commissions more than half of the territory of Balochistan came under the possession of Iran and less than half of it was given to Afghanistan.
The factor for the division of a lordless Balochistan was to please and control the Iran and Afghanistan governments against Russia2 in favour of Britain.
In 1932, the Baloch Conference of Jacobabad voiced itself against the Iranian occupation of Western Balochistan. In 1933, Mir Abdul Aziz Kurd, a prominent national leader of Balochistan, showed his opposition to the partition and division of Balochistan by publishing the first map of Greater Balochistan. In 1934, Magsi, the head of the Baloch national movement, suggested an armed struggle for the liberation and unification of Balochistan. However, it was a difficult task because of its division into several parts, each part with a different constitutional and political status.
As a border area, the British were more interested in keeping the area calm and quiet. Through the principalities and the tribal sardars, the British had astutely created a system of collaborative administration of the area and its people, which proved effective. The Khanate of Kalat was completely subdued and with the emasculation of the predominant seat of power in Balochistan, the British had ensured perpetuation of their rule in the entire region. The British system had, in fact, developed a curious sense of centripetality about it too. The moment Pakistan emerged as the heir to the British in 1947, the Shahi Jirga, a remnant of the British system of patronage, consisting of collaborative sardars and feudal overlords, immediately veered around Pakistan and supported Balochistan's accession to Pakistan. The rulers of Kharan and Makran were also too timid to support the Khan.
Baloch people are also known as Balochi, Balochee, Baluchee, Beloochi but they all mean the same. In this paper one or more of these expressions have been used but they all refer to the same Baluchi/Balochi people.
- See Inayatullah Baloch, The Problem of Greater Balochistan: A Study of Baloch Nationalism, 1987, Steiner Verlag Wiesbaden GMBH, Stuttgart, for South Asian Institute, University of Heidelberg.