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Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Independence of Nations ~ history of Balochistan


In our Nation some fringe parties speak of Kashmir and Independence after abrogation of article 370  without understanding the finer aspects and with no knowledge of History – pity them, for they know not, what they speak ! ~ and we have not read History properly in our school days. 

How many of them will condemn this - Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan will celebrate the Independence Day of Pakistan (August 14) in PoK where he is scheduled to address the legislative assembly after India revoked Article 370 of the Constitution which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir. According to the Pakistan Prime Minister's office, Imran Khan, accompanied by several ministers, will fly to Muzaffarabad on August 14 and hold an all-parties' conference there. He will be presented with a Guard of Honour. .. .. this is only to needle India ! - here is some history for those minions ! ~ that of Balochistan – one of the districts of Pak.

The Khanate of Kalat was a princely state that existed from 1666 to 1955 in the centre of the modern-day province of Balochistan, Pakistan. Prior to that they were subjects of Mughal emperor Akbar.  Ahmedzai Baloch and Brahui Khan ruled the state independently until 1839, when it became a self-governing state in a subsidiary alliance with British India. After the signature of the Treaty of Mastung by the Khan of Kalat and the Baloch Sardars in 1876, Kalat became part of the Baluchistan Agency.  It was briefly independent from 12 Aug 1947 until 27 Mar 1948, when the Khanate was occupied by the new Dominion of Pakistan.

To go back in history, the Pāratarajas was a dynasty of Parthian kings,  from the 1st century to the 3rd century. The seat of their capital was Balochistan. Centuries later the place was under the Durrani Empire which at its peak, ruled over modern-day countries of Afghanistan, Pakistan, as well as some parts of northeastern Iran, eastern Turkmenistan, and northwestern India including the Kashmir region. After the death of Nader Shah in 1747, the region of Kandahar was claimed by Ahmad Shah Durrani. From there he began conquering Ghazni followed by Kabul. After the death of Ahmad Shah in about 1772, his son Timur Shah became the next ruler of the Durrani dynasty who decided to make Kabul the new capital of the empire, and used Peshawar as the winter capital.

The Third Battle of Panipat took place on 14 Jan 1761 at Panipat, about 60 miles (97 km) north of Delhi, between a northern expeditionary force of the Maratha Empire and invading forces of the King of Afghanistan, Ahmad Shah Abdali, supported by two Indian allies.  The battle is considered one of the largest and most eventful fought in the 18th century,  and has perhaps the largest number of fatalities in a single day reported in a classic formation battle between two armies.  The forces led by Ahmad Shah Durranidestroyed several  Maratha flanks.

The modern day Balochistan is one of the four provinces of Pakistan. It is the largest province in terms of land area, forming the southwestern region of the country, but is the least populated. Its provincial capital and largest city is Quetta.Balochistan shares borders with Punjab and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh, Iran, Afghanistan and Arabian Sea.  The main ethnic groups in the province are the Baloch people and the Pashtuns. Largely underdeveloped, its provincial economy is dominated by natural resources, especially its natural gas fields, estimated to have sufficient capacity to supply Pakistan's demands over the medium to long term.

In the 15th century, Mir Chakar Khan Rind became the first Sirdar of Afghani, Irani and Pakistani Balochistan. He was a close aide of the Timurid ruler Humayun, and was succeeded by the Khanate of Kalat, which owed allegiance to the Mughal Empire. Later, Nader Shah won the allegiance of the rulers of eastern Balochistan. He ceded Kalhora, one of the Sindh territories of Sibi-Kachi, to the Khanate of Kalat. Ahmad Shah Durrani, founder of the Afghan Empire, also won the allegiance of that area's rulers, and many Baloch fought under him during the Third Battle of Panipat. Most of the area would eventually revert to local Baloch control after Afghan rule.

During the period of the British Raj from the fall of the Durrani Empire in 1823, four princely states were recognised and reinforced in Balochistan: In  1883, the British took control of the Bolan Pass, south-east of Quetta, from the Khan of Kalat.  In 1893, Sir Mortimer Durand negotiated an agreement with the Amir of Afghanistan,  to fix the Durand Line running from Chitral to Balochistan as the boundary between the Emirate of Afghanistan and British-controlled areas

Balochistan contained a Chief Commissioner's province and four princely states under the British Raj. Three of the princely states, Makran, Las Bela and Kharan, acceded to Pakistan in 1947 after independence. But the ruler of the fourth princely state, the Khan of Kalat, Ahmad Yar Khan, who used to call Jinnah his 'father',  declared Kalat's independence as this was one of the options given to all of the 565 princely states by British Prime Minister Clement Attlee. Kalat finally acceded to Pakistan on March 27, 1948 after the 'strange help' of All India Radio and a period of negotiations and bureaucratic tactics used by Pakistan.  The signing of the Instrument of Accession by Ahmad Yar Khan, led his brother, Prince Abdul Karim, to revolt against his brother's decision in July 1948. The Princes fought a lone battle without support from the rest of Balochistan.  Jinnah and his successors allowed Yar Khan to retain his title until the province's dissolution in 1955.

Insurgencies by Baloch nationalists took place in 1948, 1958–59, 1962–63 and 1973–77 – with a new ongoing insurgency by autonomy-seeking Baloch groups since 2003. Many thousands of the Baloch still support the demand for autonomy.  History has it that Balochistan was forcibly accessed years later after the Independence of India and Pakistan ~ and state which made such force in taking regions, now talks of internal matter of India aka Kashmir

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
14th Aug 2019.

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