Author Topic: Balochistan is between Iran,Pakistan and Afghanistan  (Read 3715 times)

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Balochistan is between Iran,Pakistan and Afghanistan
« on: September 29, 2008, 11:39:09 AM »
 Balochistan is between Iran,Pakistan and Afghanistan. It traces its history from times immemorial. Before the birth of Christ, it had commerce and trade with ancient civilization of Babylon through Iran and into the valleys of Tigris and Euphrates. Alexander the Great also had an encounter with the Serbia tribe of Balochistan.
A Balochi war song describes the province of Balochistan thus: "the mountains are the Balochi's forts; the peaks are better than any army; the lofty heights are our comrades; the pathless gorges our friends. Our drink is from the flowing springs; our bed the thorny bush; the ground we make our pillow."
Balochistan is a land of contrast. It has places with rugged mountains like Chiltan, Takatu, Sulaiman, Sultan etc. and plains stretching hundreds of miles. It has fertile land such as in Nasirabad and the tracks which are thirsty for centuries in the Pat section of Sibi district and the Makran desert zone. It has hottest places in the country like Sibi and the cool towns like Quetta, Ziarat, Kan Mehtarzai and Kallat where temperature goes below freezing point and these areas remain under a thick cover of snow in winter.
Balochistan (or Baluchistan), also known as "Greater Balochistan" is an arid region which sits on the Iranian Plateau in Southwest Asia, presently split between Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan. The area is named after the numerous Baloch (or Baluch, Balouch) tribes, an Iranian people, who moved in to the area from the west some time around 1000 A.D. The southern part of Balochistan is known as Makran.

Before the arrival of the Baluch, the region was populated by Pashtuns and Brahuis. The Pashtuns are now concentrated in Sibi, Bolan, Quetta, Pishin, Killa Abdullah, Killa Saifullah, Loralai, Zhob, Ziarat and Harnai. Many Brahuis live in Kalat. Languages spoken in the region include Balochi, Pashto, Persian, and Brahui.
Recent History
Pakistani Balochistan was conquered by the British Empire on October 1, 1887. In 1948, it became part of Pakistan. Since then, some separatist groups in the province have engaged in armed violence, first led by "Prince Karim Khan" in 1948, and later Nawab Nowroz Khan in 1968. These tribal uprisings were limited in scope. A more serious insurgency was led by Marri and Mengal tribes in 1973-1977. They have a view of "Greater Balochistan," presently split between Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan as one independent state ruled under tribal jirgas (a tribal system of government).

Accession Problem 1948
The ruler of the Khanate of Balochistan, Mir Ahmad Yar Khan,might have been coerced by Jinnah to sign the document of accession. Balochi nationals support this claim, however critics dispute such claims as unrealistic and contrary to popular support for Jinnah, as the Khan of Kalat ruled even after death of Jinnah with the support of the government. However, The Khan was not an absolute monarch; he was required to act under the provisions of the Rawaj (the Baloch constitution).

The incorporation of the Khanate resulted in a few anti-Pakistani rallies and meetings in certain areas of the Khanate. To subdue the anti-Pakistani sentiments, the Army of Pakistan was placed on alert. The Government of Pakistan decided to take complete control of the administration of Balochistan (Khanate) on 15 April 1948. The A.G.G. in Balochistan conveyed the orders of Mohammad Ali Jinnah that the status of the Khanate, "would revert back to what it was during the preceding British rule. Besides the policy of the central government of Pakistan towards the Khanate, Jinnah also refused to give Autonomy to Balochistan."

In April 1948, several political leaders from Balochistan such as Mohammad Amin Khosa and Abdul Samad Achakzai were arrested. The Anjuman-i-Watan Party (pro-congress), headed by Samad Achakzai, was declared unlawful.

First Baloch National Resistance 1948
Prince Abdul Karim Khan
The refusal to grant autonomy and the continued existence of the Sandeman system re¬sulted in unrest. Thus, on the night of 16 May 1948, Prince Abdul Karim Khan, the younger brother of the Khan, decided to lead a national liberation movement.

He invited the leading members of nationalist political parties, (the Kalat State National Party, the Baloch League, and the Baloch National Workers Party) to join him in the struggle for the creation of an independent "Greater Balochistan". Apart from his political motives, the Prince was a member of the royal family and the former governor of the Makran province; the recognition of Sardar Bay Khan Gichki as a ruler of Makran by Pakistan upset him.

Beginning of Movement and Allies
He decided to migrate to Afghanistan in order to get help and to organ¬ize the liberation movement. Prince Karim wrote to the Khan on 28 June 1948 ex¬plaining the causes of his migration.

Some of the prominent political leaders who joined him were Mohamed Hussain Anka (the secretary of the Baloch League and the editor of Weekly Bolan Mastung) • Malik Saeed Dehwar (the secretary of the Kalat State National Party) • Qadir Bakhsh Nizamami, a member of the Baloch League and prominent members of the Communist Party, Sind-Balochistan branch, and Maulwi Mohd Afzal, a member of Jamiat-¬Ulm-e-Balochistan.

Plan of Action
The Baloch Mujahideen ( Baloch Holy Warriors), as they called themselves, entered Afghanistan and encamped at Sarlath in the Province of Kandahar. During their stay, the Baloch freedom fighters adopted the following measures to achieve their goal:

Sending of messages to the Baloch chiefs of Eastern and Western Balochistan asking them to join in the armed struggle;
Running of a truth revealing campaign in Balochistan, aimed at the educating the locals, teaching them to fight for their right,and fight as well as the enlistment of a national liberation force;
Searching for international support, particularly from contries who are supportive of democratic process and don't support army ruling over the country.

Messages were sent to Mir Ghulam Faruq of the Rudini tribe, Sardar Mehrab Khan, Sardar Mir Jumma, Mir Wazir Khan Sanjrani of Chagai, and several other chiefs. The propaganda campaign was to be carried out on two fronts: (A) The National Cultural Front. (B) The Religious Front.

Armed Struggle
Besides the cultural and religious campaign, the Prince also organized a liberation force called the Baloch Mujahedeen, consisting of the ex-soldiers and officers Of the Khanate’s army. The Prince was chosen as the supreme commander.

The Prince issued an appeal to personages to help with the recruitment. A person re¬cruiting 100 men was offered the rank of a major and a person recruiting 50 men was entitled to the rank of captain. The Baloch liberation army had a secret agency called Jannisar (devotee), whose duty was to provide information, destroy the communication system, and watch the activities of traitors. In addition to this, there was a secret unit Janbaz (darer), to kill all traitors. The Janbaz were subordinate to the Jannisar. The headquarters of the agency was known as Bab-i-Aali (secret war-office) and headed by prince Karim. The total strength of Jannisar was recorded to be 30, while nothing is known about the strength of Janbaz.

Soviets and Afghans
However, the Prince did not start a war of liberation because of Afghanistan’s re¬fusal and the silence of the Soviet Union concerning assistance. During his stay in Sarlath, Prince Karim appointed Malik Saeed and Qadir Bakhsh Nizamani as his emis¬saries to contact the Afghan Government and to approach other embassies in order to get moral and material support. According to Nizamani, the Afghan authorities refused to provide any sort of help and told them either to reside as political refugees at Kandahar or to return. The Afghan authorities also re¬fused to permit the rebel group to operate from Afghan soil. Nizamami informed the Iranian Embassy of the Baloch demands as well.
Iranian diplomats showed their concern but did not offer any assistance, though they indicated their desire to provide, asylum to the rebel group in Iran. The last hope of the Prince’s re¬presentative was the Soviet Embassy. The Soviet diplomats listened to Nizamami carefully. Though they did not give any assurances, they did promise to inform Moscow. The Afghans, since the rise of Ahmad Shah, had treated Balochistan as a vassal state until the Baloch-Afghan war in 1758, when an agreement of ‘non-interference’ was signed between the parties. In the 19th century, Afghan rulers like Shuja and Amir Abdur-Rehman desired to occupy Balochistan. In 1947, the Afghan Government demanded the creation of Pashtunistan. Stretching from chitral and Gilgit to the Baloch coast in the Arabian Sea.The Afghan Go¬vernment called Balochistan ‘South Pashtunistan’ in statements and publications. The Afghan expansionist policy reflected the economic considerations of a landlocked state. At the same time, it was impossible for the Afghan Government to neglect its own national interests and to support the movement of an indepen¬dent Greater Balochistan,which claimed the Baloch region in Afghanistan. Stalin did not pursue Lenin’s policy in the East. Moreover, government of the Soviet Union was not ready to annoy the Afghans or the British, opponents of an independent Balochistan.

Prince Karim's Legitimacy outlawed
Meanwhile the Prince and his party were regarded as a rebel group by a Farman royal order issued by the Khan on 24 May 1948, stating that no connection of any sort with the Prince and his party should be maintained nor should they be helped with rations, and that if any member of the rebel group committed an offence, he would be punished. The Government of Pakistan moved the army to the military posts of Punjab. Chaman chashme,and Rastri near the Afghan borders aiming to control the rebels’ rations, which were being sent by the pro-liberation elements, as well as to control their activities or any attempt to invade. The Pakistan au¬thorities confirmed two clashes between the army and the liberation forces.

To avoid popular unrest in Balochistan, the Khan sent his maternal uncles Hajji Ibrahim Khan and Hajji Taj Mohammed at Sarlath to bring Prince Karim back to Kalat. Khan made his return conditional . The Prince and the liberation movement failed to achieve internal and external sup¬port. Moreover, the Baloch nationalists were divided into two groups.Anqa and Malik Saeed favored armed struggle in the form of guerilla war, while Mir Ghous Bux Bizenjo and other prominent leaders wished to resolve all issues with dialogue.

The Return of Prince Karim
The Prince was forced to return to the Khanate and negotiate for his demands peacefully. On 8 July 1948, when the news of the Prince’s arrival reached Kalat, the Prime Minister, Mr.Fell, accompanied by a Kalat State Force, went to meet the Prince at Earboi to deliver the Khan’s message.

His Capture
Abdul Karim entered Balochistan with Afghan help and organized a rebellion against Pakistan in the area of Jallawan with the aid of Mir Gohar Khan Zahrri, an influential tribal leader of the Zarkzai clan. Further, it is stated that Major General Akbar Khan, who was in charge of the Seventh Regiment, was ordered to attack the insurgents and forced them to surrender. Prince Karim with his 142 followers were arrested and imprisoned in the Mach and Quetta jails. A detailed and interesting statement comes from General Akbar Khan, in his article published in the daily ‘Dawn’,dated 14 August 1960, under the title: “Early reminiscences of a soldier’. General Akbar confirms here that there was a plan to invade the Khanate and describes the clash between the Pakistan army and the liberation force headed by Prince Karim. Akbar says that Jinnah had issued instructions that this news should not be published in the press.

Trial and Sentencing
After the arrest of the Prince and his party, the A.G.G. gave an order for an inquiry, to be conducted by Khan Sahib Abdullah Khan, the Additional District Ma¬gistrate Quetta. He submitted his report on 12 September 1948. His report was based on the activities of the Prince and upon the letters and documents published by the liberation force. After the inquiry, R.K.Saker the District Magistrate at Quetta, appointed a special Jirga (official council of elders) consisting of the following persons:

1) Khan Bahador Sahibzada, M.Ayub Khan Isakhel, Pakhtoon from Pishin;

2) K.B. Baz Mohd Khan. Jogezai, Pakhtoon from Loralai;

3) Abdul Ghaffar Khan Achakzai, Pakhtoon from Pishin;

4) S.B. Wadera Noor Muhammad Khan, a Baloch Chief from Kalat;

5) Syed Aurang Shah from Kalat;

6) Sheikh Baz Gul Khan. Pakhtoon from Zhob;

7) Wahab Khan Panezai, Pakhtoon from Sibi;

8) Sardar Doda Khan Marri, Baloch from Sibi.

The Jirga was instructed to study the circumstances and events which led to the revolt and was asked to give its recommendations to the District Magistrate. On 10 November 1948, the Jirga heard the testimony of the accused and gave its recommendations to the D.M. on 17 November 1948, suggesting the delivery of the Prince in Loralai at the pleasure of the Government of Pakistan and various other penalties. The D .M., in his order dated 27 November 1948, differed with the opinion of the Jirga and sentenced the Prince to ten years of rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs 5000 other members of his party were given various sentences and fines. Thus the Pakistan Government crushed the first armed struggle by Balochi