Baluchistan (old princely state of Kalat In pre- independence India) and Jammu & Kashmir are the two princely states of Pre-independence British India, who are victims of Pakistan’s high handedness and “Islamic arrogance”, based on Two Nation Theory, disproved and ridiculed by the separation of Bangla Desh from Pakistan. No doubts, Kashmir and Baluchistan, .in 1947, were the two Muslim Majority states and they continue to be so even today.. But an unbridgeable chasm exists between 1947 and 2016. Even then, they were not the automatic votaries of Pakistan, as today’s Pakistani rulers continue to advocate and believe. The problem of Pakistan is its inability, even after 69 years of its existence, to come out of this emotional abyss it has fallen into. Its Pan – Islamic dream of the world has much to answer for its modern plight. It lost Bangla Desh in 1971 and now selling sovereignty of Baluchistan to China through much hyped CPEC (China Pakistan Economic Corridor). To be very frank, CPEC is a “Strategic Condom” of China to enjoy Baluchistan’s mineral richness without impregnating it. Pakistan has acted as a broker for this mineral beauty.
To understand present situation in Baluchistan, we ought to know that in 1947, there were two types of India. One was British India, directly under the British government of Great Britain; other was India of 562 Princely States, governed by Indian Princes, under British Paramountcy Pacts, which enjoyed some autonomy. J&K and Kalat Khannate (Present day Pakistan’s Baluchistan) were two such princely states governed by British Paramountcy pacts with the rulers. Indian Independence Act passed by British Parliament in June 1947, while divided British India into two dominions, I.e India and Pakistan; it allowed 562 princely states two options: one, either to join India or Pakistani; two, stay independent. Accordingly, if by 15 August, any of the princely states did not join either of the two dominions, it would stay as an independent country.
Accordingly, Kalat State (Present day Baluchistan) and J&K did not join either of the two dominions and became independent. Thus, Kalat state, which had its own parliament of two houses, passed a resolution and declared independence on 11 August 1947.
J&K refused to join any dominion but offered a still agreement to India and Pakistan. India refused to accept this, while Pakistan signed it. In spite of this Stand – Still Agreement with J&K, Pakistan attacked it ion 22 October 1947, disguising its army units, as tribal raiders. They were led by Maj General Akbar Khan of Pakistan army who masqueraded as Gen Tariq Ali. Maharaja Hari Singh, then ruler of J&K asked for Indian military help, which was provided after Maharaja Hari Singh signed accession document, making J&K legal Part of India.
However, Baluchistan (Kalat State) had become independent on 11 August 1947. It remained country till 08 April 1948, when military operation by Pakistan army forced the ruler of Kalat to sign the accession document, which the Khan of Kalat did under duress. Though it had acceded, but Pakistan had no political and military control over Baluchistan ever. It has been in continuous state of revolt since 1948. It does not accept Pakistani Nationality, as is evident from “Al Zajira” video in the end.
Surprisingly, the accession to India by J&K is being questioned by Pakistan, while accession to Pakistan by Kalat State has not been questioned by India. It was the biggest blunder of Indian government. Jawahar Lal Nehru, Indian Prime Minister, new to International politics, was probably too deeply guided by Gandhian Moralities and exploited by Lord Mountbatten. It exposes his inexperience of realpolitik on matters of national importance.
The same blunder was committed by then Nehru Government in NWFP (KPK—- Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa). In fact , an incident had taken place when Prime Minister JL Nehru of Interim Indian Government, disallowed Congress voters of NWFP (people of KPK had elected a congress government in the province in June 1946) to vote in the referendum to say whether to join India or Pakistan. His reasons for asking Congressmen not to participate are unknown till date. But because of this decision there was a lot of resentment amongst nationalistic Palhtoons. An incident took place whereby Nehru was almost slapped by one Major Mehar Dil Mehshud of South Wazirstan, for not allowing congress and Khudai Khidmatgar to vote. He was saved by British Resident.
Ever since 1948, there have been three uprisings in Balochistan in 1958; 1973-78 and 2005. The last one has been carrying on since the killing of Baloch leader Akhtar Bugti by Pakistan Army under Pervez Mushareff. It has been 68 years of discontent and unacceptability of Pakistan’s suzerainty in over Balochistan by the people. We must know certain other facts about Balochistan as highlighted in succeeding Paras.
Facts about Baluchistan
- Baloch, as an ethnic community, is divided into three countries I.e. Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran.
- In size, Iranian Baluchistan is largest with over 2.5 lakh sq Kms which includes two provinces of Iran i.e, Sisten and Baluchistan. Population of this region is around 2.2 millions or 22 Lakhs.
- Pakistani Baluchistan is around 1.32 lakh sq KMs but has the largest population around 75-80 Lakhs. This portion has never accepted Pakistan’s suzerainty since it was forcibly annexed in 1948.
- Afghan portion of Baluchistan includes districts of Kandhar and Nimruz. It’s population is around 6 Lakhs.
- Besides them, a sizeable Baloch population of around 5 Lakhs is in OMAN.
- It would be interesting to note that Gwadar Port of Southern Baluchistan of Pakistan was part of SULTANATE of OMAN till 1958. It was purchased by Pakistan.
- Pakistan portion of Balochistan is rich in oil and natural gas and also in mineral deposits such as Iron Ore, Gold, Copper, Zinc. Most commentators think that other than access to warm water Gwadar port on the Arabian Sea, China is interested in the rich mineral deposits which it can exploit once it gets her foot in. This is why CPEC .
.8. CPEC agreement allows China to control the oil trade from Persian Gulf countries to rest of the world . besides cutting down a distance of 12000 Kms for its oil tankers through Indian Ocean and various choke points on the sea lanes. In return , China has offered only three power Points run with outmoded coal technology. The development of Gwador port is for its own benefit. Pakistan will be spending a huge amount for the protection of this corridor.
- It must be noted that 10-15000 troops of China are already in Gilgit Hunza area under this agreement. In real terms Pakistan is handing over sovereignty of Baluchistan to China. This is also a major resentment of the local people.
- Insurgency and Freedom movement in Baluchistan has been simmering since 1958 and it has reached a point of NO RETURN for Pakistan. Some observers feel that it was a deliberate ploy by Pakistan Army to hand it over to China as it did in the case of 5180 Sq KMs of AKSAI CHIN of POK in 1963. What it can not control it disposed off, while keeps the general public emotionally charged about Kashmir.
- History of Balochistan dates back to pre- Indus Civilisation. Mehargarh has traces of human habitation dating back to 7000 -8000 BC. Most commentators think the word Baloch is a derivation from Meluluha or Sanskrit root Malechha. The local folk lore says they had come from Lazuli in Syria. It would be interesting to note that Indus Valley civilisation was spread right upto Syria. The traces of Barhui language has resemblance to Proto- Dravidian Tamil language. Anyway , let us revert to present times.
- A You tube video report by Bureau Chief of Alzazira TV channel on Baluchistan insurgency is eye opener