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The exact date of Kalat's occupation

By Hussain Bux Thebo

Original article http://www.balochpeople.org/eng/2007/apr/Opinions.htm

Also published at: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/balochistan-60-years-ago-the-twilight-of-independence.html

As student of history I want to share with you about Kalat.

(photo: includes Khan Kalat and son, 1919)

The sorrowful state of affairs of Balocnistan were created because the cheat and deceit on the part of Mr. Jinnah and weakness on the part of Mir Ahmed Yar khan played pivotal role to put it into permanent bondage of subjugation.

In 1946 the newly elected Labor Party Government headed by Clement Attlee in Britain decided to send a 3-member Cabinet Mission to India in a final bid to devise the methodology for the transfer of power in India. The Mission comprising the Secretary of State for India, Lord Pethic Lawrence, AV Alexander and Sir Stafford Cripps arrived in India on March 24, 1946. The Khan of Kalat, on the advice of Mr, Jinnah the legal advisor to the Kalat state at the time, approached the Mission on behalf of his government to discuss the future status of his state in the scheme of independence for India. The Mission advised the Khan to have his case prepared by legal experts. Eminent lawyers as I I Chundrigar, Sir Sultan Ahmed, Sardar BK Memon and Sir Walter Monkton were hired to prepare the case for the Kalat state, which after vetting by the Quaid himself, was submitted to the Mission in the form of a memorandum. This memorandum, briefly, re-stressed the following major points:
That Kalat is an independent and sovereign state its status is different from other princely states of British India , its relations with the British government being based on various mutual agreements and treaties. That Kalat is not an Indian state, its relations with India being of only a formal nature by virtue of Kalat's agreements with the British and that with the ceasing of the Agreement of 1876 with the Kalat government, Kalat would regain its complete independence, as it existed prior to 1876. All such regions including Quetta Municipality as were given under the control of the British in consequence of any treaty will be returned to the sovereignty of the Kalat state, and resume their original status as parts of the Kalat state.

On March 22, 1947, Lord Mountbatten, the last of the Viceroys of India, arrived in Delhi to wind up British supremacy in this part of the British dominions. The final partition plan of June 3, 1947 stated in respect of transfer of power in India. Mr, Jinnah wrote to the Khan of Kalat that since the position of the Kalat State was different from the other Indian States, representation on behalf of the state should be made directly to the Viceroy in Delhi to discuss the future position of Kalat and the return of Baloch regions hitherto under the control of the British Government. Accordingly, the Chief Secretary of Kalat State was sent to Delhi with a draft of the new position of Kalat as prepared by legal experts. This resulted in a round table conference, held on August 4, 1947, in which Lord Mountbatten, Mr, Jinnah, Mr Liaqat Ali Khan, Chief Minister of Kalat, Sir Sultan Ahmed, the legal Advisor of Kalat State and the Khan of Kalat took part in the deliberations The following points were agreed upon:

"Kalat State will be independent on August 5, 1947, enjoying the same status as it originally held in 1838, having friendly relations with its neighbors. In case the relations of Kalat with any future government got strained, Kalat will exercise its right of self-determination, and the British Government should take precautionary measures to help Kalat in the matter as per the Treaties of 1839 and 1841."
As a corollary to the round table conference at Delhi, another agreement was signed between Kalat and Pakistan on August 4, 1947. The points agreed upon were broadcast on August 11, 1947, as under:

"The Government of Pakistan agrees that Kalat is an independent state, being quite different in status from other states of India; and commits to its relations with the British Government as manifested in several agreements.. ... In the meantime, a Standstill Agreement will be made between Pakistan and Kalat by which Pakistan shall stand committed to all the responsibilities and agreements signed by Kalat and the British Government from 1839 to 1947 and by this,.... In order to discuss finally the relations between Kalat and Pakistan on matters of defense, foreign relations and deliberations will be held in the near future in Karachi." A few weeks after the agreement, the Agent to the Governor-General informed the rulers of Kharan and Lasbela that the control of their regions had been transferred to the Kalat State. Hence they once again came under the direct influence of Kalat. The Marri and Bugti tribal region was also returned into the Kalat fold soon after.

Thus the whole of Balochistan came under the suzerainty of the Khan of Kalat in the same confederacy of Baloch tribes that Nasir Khan I, in 1666-67, was able to create. The Kalat government made a formal declaration of its independence on August 15, 1947, soon after the end of British supremacy, and a day after Pakistan's coming into being on the map of the subcontinent. Immediately, a delegation comprising the Kalat prime minister and foreign minister was sent to Karachi, the then capital of Pakistan, for discussions and an honorable settlement vis-a-vis relations with Pakistan in the light of the mutually endorsed Standstill Agreement of August 11, 1947. To shock and grief of Khan of Kalat Mr, Jinnah coarsely persuaded the Khan to expedite the merger. The Khan replied, "I have great respect for your advice...... but Balochistan, being a land of numerous tribes, the people there must be duly consulted in the matter prior to any decision I take; for, according to the prevalent tribal convention, no decision can be binding upon them unless they are taken into confidence beforehand by their Khan." With this provisional agreement, the Khan returned to Kalat and promptly summoned the Kalat State Houses of Parliament, the Dar-ul-Awam and Dar-ul-Umra and proposed to the House to accord him a mandate on the matter of Kalat's merger with Pakistan. Both the Houses, however, contended unanimously that the proposal of Kalat's merger militated against the spirit of the earlier agreement arrived at between Kalat Government and the spokesmen of Pakistan on August 4, 1947, as also against the Independence Act of 1947. This decision of Kalat's Parliament was forwarded to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Pakistan, for necessary processing. Shortly afterwords, the Mr, Jinnah visited Sibi and during his stay there insisted upon the Khan to sign the merger documents in his personal capacity. Finding reluctance in Khan Govt: Pakistan Cabinet under the leadership and instruction of Mr, Jinnah working on a scheme to breakup the 500-year old state. The nature of their scheme, as it turned out subsequently, was tantamount to a political castration of the Baloch people. Illegally and in violation of of 4th August 1947 round table conference declaration and agreement made by Mr, Jinnah on the very day with Khan, Stand Still Agreement and also Govt; of Pakistan's earlier decion, it had decided to punish and encircle Kalat and Baloch people cut off Kharan and Lasbela by giving them an equal status as Kalat and obtaining their "mergers" with Pakistan directly. Makran, which had been a part of the Kalat State for the last 300 years, was made independent of Kalat on March 17, 1948; and one of the three Sardars made its ruler. Thus Makran, too, was made a part of Pakistan. These hasty, illogical, irrational and politically illegal and oppressive steps naturally disillusioned the Baloch people. They rightly felt that all their erstwhile services and sacrifices in the cause of Pakistan were now forgotten. So deep was their despair and frustration that several of them wanted to revolt. Meanwhile, the wave of hatred and animosity generated by the irrational policies of the Government of Pakistan against Kalat was fast gaining dangerous dimensions all over Balochistan. Feelings in the tribal areas particularly were running high against Pakistan and the Baloch people were calling the position of the Khan of Kalat himself into question. Things were moving fast towards a show down.

The Government of Pakistan instructed the Brigadier in Command at Quetta to go on full alert for action against Kalat state and the Agent to the Governor General began to prepare for police action. This was the situation as it stood in the first quarter of 1948 triggered by the illogical actions of the Pakistan. Under duress Khan of Kalat signed the merger documents in his personal capacity on March 27, 1948, in an effort to diffuse the situation in Balochistan. In his autobiography, he admits that he did not have the mandate to sign the merger without the consent of the Houses of Parliament of Kalat State. A fortnight after the merger, on April 15, 1948, the Agent to the Governor General in Balochistan issued an order in the name of Mr, Jinnah, and the legal entity of the Khan of Kalat was abolished and within 20 hours of the order many of the members of the Balochistan Cabinet were arrested or exiled from Balochistan. Prince Abdul Karim's revolt and first Baloch armed struggle started in this back ground,

Hussain Bux Thebo