• Sunday, July 12, 2020


Discussion in 'Central & South Asia' started by Armstrong, Jul 10, 2012.

  1. Armstrong

    Armstrong RETIRED TTA

    Feb 2, 2012
    +96 / 47,044 / -2
    I found a fairly good, well referenced article on the accession of Balochistan to Pakistan which in fact was the ascension of Kharan, Las Bela, Makran and finally Kalat to form the present day Province of Balochistan ! I hope this is an informative read for those who might have queries about it :


    Dushka H Saiyid *

    Baluchistan formed the western borderlands of the British India. What the British sought here was not political dominion, but suzerainty, as the cheapest and most efficient way of controlling the area inhabited by fiercely independent tribes. This did not require direct administration of British India.1

    Baluchistan that Pakistan inherited consisted of three types of territory. First, there was a long strip of territory separating Baluchistan from Afghanistan and the Northwest Frontier Province, which was directly administered by the British. The purpose of this territory was to have a buffer to isolate the Baluch tribes from their neighbours. Then there were districts leased from the Khan of Kalat after the original annexation. Both these territories, the leased and the directly administered strip, were under the control of Chief Commissioner. Chiefs, who had treaty relationships with the British, controlled the rest of Baluchistan. They had internal independence but the Government of India controlled their external relations. The Khan of Kalat was the most important of these chiefs, whose territories were divided amongst a number of feudatories with different levels of independence. Three of these feudatories – Makran, Las Bela and Kharan – had emerged as separate political entities by 1947, and with Kalat formed the Baluchistan States Union. They were something more than tribes, but less than states.2

    The Viceroy to India, Lord Lytton, invited the Khan of Kalat to attend the imperial assemblage at Delhi in January 1877. A nationalist historian has argued that the British regarded the Khan of Kalat as independent because on this occasion he was not given a flag like the other princes. Moreover, the Viceroy received the Khan and the Sultan of Oman and also paid them return visits. None of these gestures was made to other princes, he argues, because they were not regarded as independent.3 However, British policy changed with the ascension of Abdur Rehman as the Amir of Kabul in the late nineteenth century, when Afghanistan became pro-British. Sir J. Brown, who was the successor of Sandeman, deposed the independent Khan and had Mir Mahmud II installed as the Khan of Kalat. The British also framed a new constitution for Kalat.4

    In 1942 the Khan wrote to the Cripps Mission and forwarded the case of an independent Khanate of Baluchistan. In the same year, the Secretary of State for India informed the Viceroy about the British policy towards the Khanate, denying its status as an independent, sovereign, and a non-Indian state. The decision of the Government of India was conveyed to the Khan in June 1942. The British gave legal arguments, which were not contested by the Khan. The Khan re-opened the question in 1946 at the end of the Second World War.5

    The Accession

    Kalat did not feature large in the competition between India and Pakistan for the accession of princely states at the time of the partition. Since it was on the periphery of the Indian sub-continent, it did not hold the same importance as Kashmir or Hyderabad, or even Junagadh. Nor did it have the conflict of the ruler belonging to one faith while its population belonged to another, as both were Muslim. However, the Quaid-i-Azam had promised Kalat and other princely states independence, if they acceded to Pakistan. Independence in this context meant that foreign affairs, defence and communications would be handled by Pakistan.

    The Prime Minister of Kalat, Muhamed Aslam, went to meet the Nawab of Bhopal, the Chancellor of the Chamber of Princes, in December 1946 to discuss the future status of Kalat state. He gave an account of this meeting in a letter to Lancelot Griffin, Assistant to the Crown Representative.6 The meeting, he said, was to discuss Kalat’s three concerns once the British had withdrawn: the relationship of Kalat with India and the rest of the world, the return of the leased areas of Nushki, Quetta and Nasirabad to Kalat, and the future of the feudatory states like Las Bela and Kharan, and the tribal areas like the Bugti and Marri territories.7 The letter recounts all the treaties concluded between Kalat and the British Government in India, and then quotes from Article 3 of the Treaty of 1876 that binds the British Government “to respect the independence of Kalat”, and that this Treaty is in force at the present time.8

    The same letter to Lancelot Griffin said that the Government of India Act of 1935 held the Kalat state as situated in India, but argued that the state was not consulted in the drafting of this Act, and in response the Khan of Kalat had written to the Crown Representative protesting the infringement of the Treaty of 1876. The Crown Representative had replied that he recognized the 1876 Treaty as valid which would form the basis of the relationship of Kalat and the British Government. 9

    The letter also discussed the future of the territories leased from Kalat by the British, and that when the British relinquished control of these areas, they should be restored to the Khan of Kalat, their rightful owner. It argued that the Khan was the head of the Baluch Confederacy, and the suzerain of the Kharan and Las Bela states, and that all Baluch tribes are anxious to preserve their “national existence” and stay out of the Indian Union.10 Muhamed Aslam said that the Chancellor of the Chamber of Princes had appreciated the point of view that Kalat could not be party to any formal negotiations conducted by the Negotiating Committee of the Chamber of Princes with the Constituent Assembly, without compromising its position as an independent state in the Treaty of 1876.11

    As the Viceroy, Lord Mountbatten, sought to settle the question of accession of all princely states, Kalat was the subject of a meeting on July 19, 1947. At this meeting Lord Mountbatten, the Crown Representative, said that those districts which all acknowledged to be administered by Kalat were Mekran, Jhalawan, Sarawan, Kachhi, Dombki and Kaheri. He also said that Las Bela and Kharan were disputed, as their rulers claimed not to be under the suzerainty of the Khan of Kalat.12.

    At this meeting, the Prime Minister of Kalat, Nawabzada Aslam Khan, claimed that the relationship of Kalat with the British Government was defined in the Treaty of 1876 as one of an independent, sovereign state. While the Viceroy said he would accept this only for the purposes of negotiations, Nishtar, the Pakistan government representative said that he would not contest this claim.

    Lord Mountbatten said that the four territories of Quetta, Nushki, Nasirabad and Bolan, which had been leased by Kalat to the British Government in India, were the issues at hand. The Kalat representative claimed that with the transfer of power, these should be returned to Kalat. The Government of Pakistan’s claim was “based on the grounds that the successor authorities in India would, in relation to foreign states, inherit all Treaty obligations incurred on behalf of India, and the Pakistan Government would be heir to the obligations (both burdens and benefits) arising out of treaties with Kalat, as they would be, for example, to the Anglo-Afghan Treaty of 1921”.13

    The Viceroy also maintained he had been advised that, according to international law, treaties such as these were inherited by the successor states, while treaties with states over which the Crown had exercised paramountcy, would lapse and could not be transferred to successor states. He also said that provision had been made for this in the Indian Independence Bill. It was agreed between all parties present that the Khan of Kalat and the Quaid-i-Azam should discuss the matter.14 It seems quite clear that the Government of Pakistan did not want any doubt to be cast about its retention of the leased areas, which included Quetta, the most important city of Baluchistan, and also the centre of communications. The recognition of Kalat’s indepen-dence put Pakistan in a strong legal position to inherit the leased areas from British India.

    It was at the same meeting of July 19, 1947 that the Viceroy Lord Mountbatten mentioned that the status of Kharan and Las Bela was disputed as the rulers of these two states claimed not to be under the suzerainty of the Khan of Kalat.15

    While discussing the future of Kalat, Lord Mountbatten said that he would meet the representatives of the other princely states and suggest to them that they should adhere to one or the other of the Dominions. The Union of India had reduced its demand for adherence to the states only to the subjects of defence, communications and foreign affairs. He further said that since there were only few such states in the case of Pakistan, Mr Jinnah was willing to discuss the question of the method and degree of adherence with each individually.16 He went on to argue that paramountcy would lapse with the transfer of power, and states would become independent de jure, but de facto very few were likely to benefit from it. He said that adherence to a Dominion was the only way of maintaining some form of relationship between the Crown and the states. He advised Kalat that although it had liberty of choice, it should associate with Pakistan on some terms.17 The Prime Minister of Kalat, Aslam Khan’s responded that the Khan of Kalat wanted to come to an amicable settlement with Pakistan, which would be of mutual benefit.

    The minutes of the same meeting reveal the Khan of Kalat claimed that Jinnah had asked him whether he would be willing to send representatives to the Pakistan Constituent Assembly, but he had responded in the negative, saying it would not be possible because of Kalat’s independent status. However, more importantly, the Khan had agreed with Jinnah that an understanding must be reached between Kalat and Pakistan on defence, external affairs and communications. The Viceroy opined that agreement on these subjects was essential.18

    A series of meetings between the Viceroy, as the Crown’s Representative, the Quaid and the Khan of Kalat followed, which resulted in a communiqué on August 11, 1947. The communiqué stated that:

    The Government of Pakistan recognizes Kalat as an independent sovereign state in treaty relations with the British Government with a status different from that of Indian States.
    Legal opinion will be sought as to whether or not agreements of leases will be inherited by the Pakistan Government.
    Meanwhile, a Standstill Agreement has been made between Pakistan and Kalat.
    Discussions will take place between Pakistan and Kalat at Karachi at an early date with a view to reaching decisions on Defence, External Affairs and Communications.

    While the Quaid on behalf of the Government of Pakistan agreed to recognize Kalat as an independent and a sovereign State, the Khan of Kalat tried to get the Crown Representative to do so as well. The Crown Representative refused on the basis of an advice from his political adviser, saying: “The Treaties of 1854 and 1876 do not lead to the inference that Kalat is an independent sovereign state and it has in fact, always been regarded as an Indian state. It figures as such in Part II of the 1st Schedule of the Government of India Act of 1935…”19 He then went onto express the hope that “a close understanding between Pakistan and Kalat on matters concerning foreign affairs, communications and defence, analogous to the understandings between the Government of the Dominion of India and the States which have acceded to it.”

    It is clear from the draft communiqué and the UK High Commissioner’s letter discussing it that not only was the British Government unhappy with Pakistan’s recognition of Kalat as an independent and a sovereign State, but it also did not want it to become a precedent. Hodson has repeatedly argued that Mountbatten’s main motivation in preventing the states from exercising the independence option was his concern that it would lead to the fragmentation of India.

    Lawrence Grafftey-Smith, High Commissioner of the UK in Pakistan, while commenting on the draft communiqué, expressed grave reservations about Pakistan’s recognition of Kalat’s independence, saying: “Nothing we could do to prevent the Government of Pakistan from recognizing Kalat’s independent status although this step seems to be of doubtful political wisdom and contrary to our interests elsewhere.” He goes on to explain the cause of his discomfiture, saying: “This precedent may well encourage Hyderabad in maintaining its claim to independence in its negotiations with the Government of India…the admission of Kalat’s claim means the emergence of a weak buffer state on the frontiers of Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan”.20 It has been argued that Mountbatten was against any state becoming independent and harried them into acceding to one of the Dominions because he feared the fragmentation of India.21

    A memo by Arthur Henderson, the Minister of State for Commonwealth Relations Office, hinted at the advantage to Pakistan of recognising the independence of Kalat, saying: “Pakistan has entered into negotiations with Kalat on the basis of recognizing the State’s claim to independence and of treating the previous agreements between the Crown and Kalat providing for the lease of Quetta and other areas, which would otherwise lapse under Section 7(1)(b) of the Indian Independence Act, as international agreements untouched by the termination of Paramoutcy.”22 The memorandum further state: “The UK High Commissioner in Pakistan is being informed of the position and asked to do what he can to guide the Pakistan Government away from making any agreement with Kalat which would involve recognition of the State as a separate international entity.” It also discussed the effect of the policy that Pakistan had adopted towards Kalat on the state of Kashmir: “One consequence might well be that the Pakistan Government would be obliged to concede to Kashmir a similar recognition, although Kashmir has certainly never been independent, having been created by the British for the present dynasty on the conclusion of the Sikh wars and is hardly equipped to maintain the international responsibilities of an independent State vis-à-vis its neighbours, Russia and China”.23

    The Khan wanted both issues of the state’s accession to Pakistan and the future of the leased areas to be settled simultaneously. It is argued that he would have preferred to have treaty relations with Pakistan as an independent state, rather than sign the Instrument of Accession, but might have agreed to the latter if was offered favourable terms in respect of the leased areas. At least this was the understanding of Sir Grafftey-Smith.24

    Grafftey-Smith mentions in his memo of September 24, 1947 to the Commonwealth Relations Office that a draft Instrument of Accession has been sent to the Khan of Kalat, and it is in the same form as the Junagadh Instrument, but that the Khan is unlikely to accept it.25 Referring to a Savingram No. 55 of October 17, 1947 from Grafftey-Smith, the Political Department, in a note on Pakistan-Kalat negotiations, says that Jinnah has had second thoughts regarding the recognition of Kalat as an independent sovereign state, and is now desirous of obtaining its accession in the same form as was accepted by other rulers who joined Pakistan. The same note mentions that an interesting situation is developing as Pakistan might accept the accession of Kalat’s two feudatories, Las Bela and Kharan, and points out that this is like Junagadh, where India is negotiating directly with Mangrol. However, it says, the significant difference between the two situations is that the Crown Representative recognised Kharan and Las Bela as independent states prior to August 15, 1947, which was not the case with Mangrol.26 The note also mentions that the Khan has assured Jinnah of having no intention of opening negotiations with Iran, Afghanistan or India, but observed that the situation would become very difficult if the Khan attempted to open negotiations with New Delhi.

    On August 15, 1947 when the British withdrew from India, the Khan of Kalat said in his speech: “I thank God that one aspiration, that is independence, has been achieved, but the other two, the enforcement of Shariah-i-Muhammadi and unification of Baluch people, remain to be fulfilled.”27 The speech was delivered in the Baluchi language, with promises to work towards the unfulfilled aspirations. He also expressed the sense of incompleteness of the process of unification and independence, and appeared to be referring to the leased areas, which Pakistan had inherited from British India.

    What complicated the situation was the desire of Kharan and Las Bela, two feudatories of Kalat, to accede to Pakistan, irrespective of Kalat’s decision. Moreover, Mekran, which was a district of Kalat, wanted to do the same. There are a plethora of letters from the rulers of Kharan and Las Bela entreating the Quaid to accept the accession of their states to Pakistan, irrespective of Kalat’s decision. Mir Mohammed Habibullah Khan, the ruler of Kharan, wrote to the Quaid on August 21, 1947: “I announce on behalf of myself and my subjects…and joins Pakistan Dominion as its suzerain and promises to serve Pakistan up to its extent.”28 In each successive letter, Habibullah Khan makes it apparent that the supremacy of Kalat is unacceptable to him. He wrote to the Quaid in November 1947, by then the Governor-General of Pakistan: “My State will never submit to the dictates of the Kalat State and will continue to oppose any moves aimed at an interference of the State’s freedom to act.”29 A few days later writing again to the Governor-General, he argued that it is not possible any longer for Kharan to bear the undue interference from the Kalat state, and described the legal status of Kharan in these words: “Following the lapse of the British paramountcy, Kharan repudiated the supremacy of Kalat and acceded to Pakistan.”30 Kharan also complained that Kalat was arming the “mischief mongers” in Kharan with the purpose of creating law and order situation in Pakistan-controlled areas.

    By October 1947, Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah had a change of heart on the recognition of Kalat as an “Independent and a Sovereign State”, and wanted the Khan to sign the same form of instrument of accession as the other states which had joined Pakistan.31 The Khan was unwilling to abandon the nominally achieved independent status but ready to concede on defence, foreign affairs and communications. However, he was unwilling to sign either a treaty or an Instrument, until and unless he had got a satisfactory agreement on the leased areas.32 Fears were also being voiced that officials of the Government of Pakistan might start dealing with the two feudatories of Las Bela and Kharan, and accept their de facto accession, as these two feudatories “were recognized by the Crown Representative as separate States” prior to August 15, 1947.33

    Mir Mohammad Habibullah Khan, the ruler of Kharan, wrote to the Quaid-i-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah in December 1947 and explained why Kharan did not accept the suzerainty of Kalat. He said that before the advent of the British, Kharan was under the influence of Afghanistan, and that it was in 1883 that it accepted the paramountcy of Britain. Kharan, he said, received an allowance of Rs. 6,000 per year from the British until August 15, 1947 in lieu of the allowance it used to get from Afghanistan. He argued that Kharan was an independent state under the paramountcy of the British. Kalat, he said, has always wanted to subjugate Kharan, and even launched an armed attack against Kharan in 1939 to force it to accept Kalat’s hegemony. Habibullah Khan then declared: “After August 15, 1947, Kharan is absolutely an independent State. It has decided to accede to Pakistan. However, whether Kharan joins Pakistan or remains outside, this much is clear that it will never, in any way, accept Kalat’s hegemony.”34 His position about the Brohi Confederacy was that Sardar Azad Khan, the ruler of Kharan, had not recognized the Khan of Kalat as his Sardar during Sir Robert Sandeman’s tenure of office.35

    The ruler of Kharan in Baluchistan, while visiting Karachi in October 1947, issued a statement, saying: “Kharan was equal to Kalat and would never suffer subordination to her; Kharan would live and, if necessary, die for Pakistan.” Kalat continued to deny that either of the two feudatories could be regarded as separate states. 36

    By February 1948, the discussions between Kalat and the Government of Pakistan were coming to a head. The Quaid wrote to the Khan of Kalat: “I advise you to join Pakistan without further delay…and let me have your final reply which you promised to do after your stay with me in Karachi when we fully discussed the whole question in all its aspects.”37 On February 15, 1948, the Quaid-i-Azam visited Sibi, Baluchistan and addressed a Royal Durbar, where he announced that until the Pakistan Constitution is finally written in about two years time, he would govern the province with the help of an advisory council that he would nominate. However, the main reason for the Quaid’s visit to Baluchistan was to persuade the Khan of Kalat to accede to Pakistan. As it transpired, the Khan failed to turn up for the final meeting with him, pleading illness. In his letter to the Quaid, he said that he had summoned both Houses of the Parliament, Dar-ul-Umara and Dar-ul-Awam, for their opinion about the future relations with the Dominion of Pakistan, and he would inform him about their opinion by the end of the month.38

    When the Dar-ul-Awam met on February 21, 1948, it decided not to accede, but to negotiate a treaty to determine Kalat’s future relations with Pakistan.39 According to one report, the Afghan government was also interested in coming to an agreement with the Khan on their own terms. The Khan of Kalat also called a meeting of the Dar-ul-Umara to consider Quaid’s request for Kalat to accede to Pakistan. The Dar-ul-Umara asked the Khan to seek three months to consider this request. An intelligence report on the proceedings of the meetings reported that copies of the Instrument of Accession were distributed at the Dar-ul-Awam and Dar-ul-Umara before the members cast their votes, and that the Kalat State National Party was “propagating that accession meant restriction on their forces and armament, undesired freedom for their women and migration of Muslim refuges into the State which will weaken the voice of the original residents”.40 The Khan of Kalat, the report said, made a brief speech before the Dar-ul-Awam, in which he emphasized the need to have friendly relations with Pakistan, and also said that the intentions of the Quaid towards Kalat were good. The Prime Minister of Kalat spoke next, and said that since this House had voted for Kalat’s independence, he went to see the Quaid in January and had a two-and-a-half hour meeting. He said the Quaid was prepared to help the State in every way, and while independence of the State would remain intact, the only way forward for Kalat was to accede to Pakistan in the matters of Defence, Communications and Foreign Affairs.41 The Prime Minister argued that with accession in respect of the three subjects, the internal independence of Kalat would not be affected. But Mir Ghaus Baksh Bizanjo spoke against accession to Pakistan, and he argued that if Pakistan wanted friendship with Kalat, it should restore its leased territories as well as Kharan and Las Bela. The House dispersed without any intention of meeting again. Dar-ul-Umara asked for three months to study the terms of accession in order to understand its implications.42 The intelligence report also alleged that a day prior to the meeting of the Dar-ul-Awam, on February 25, Agha Abdul Karim, the brother of the Khan of Kalat, met the members of the Kalat State National Party at Dhadar to discuss the issue of the accession of Kalat to Pakistan, and it was here that a resolution was drafted rejecting the accession.43

    On March 9, 1948 the Khan received communication from the Quaid announcing that he had decided not to deal personally with the Kalat state negotiations, which would henceforth be dealt with by the Pakistan Government. So far there had not been any formal negotiations but only an informal request made by the Quaid to the Khan at Sibi.

    This request was placed before the Council of Sardars of the state, which asked for three months to consider the matter.44 The Khan was, however, under pressure from the Afghan government, which would have liked to negotiate an agreement on their own terms.45.

    By early March 1948 it was obvious that Kalat’s accession was in limbo. The Quaid met Habibullah Khan on March 4, and promised him that a decision about Kharan’s relations with Pakistan would be made soon.46 On March 17, 1948 the Pakistan Foreign Ministry sent a telegram to London announcing that Kharan, Las Bela and Mekran had applied for accession to Pakistan and their accession had been accepted.47 The US Ambassador to Pakistan in his dispatch home on March 23, 1948 informed that on March 18, “Kharan, Las Bela and Mekran, feudatory states of Kalat” had acceded to Pakistan. He also wrote that their accession had “reduced the size of Kalat by more than one half, cutting that State off completely from the coast and leaving it largely isolated. As mentioned in the Embassy’s dispatch of March 10, the Rulers of Kharan and Las Bela had for some time been toying with the idea of acceding to Pakistan irrespective of the decision of the Khan of Kalat”.48 The Khan of Kalat objected to their accession, arguing that it was a violation of Kalat’s Standstill Agreement with Pakistan. He also said that while Kharan and Las Bela were its feudatories, Mekran was a district of Kalat. The British Government had placed the control of the foreign policy of the two feudatories under Kalat in July 1947, prior to partition.49

    The ruler of Las Bela too had been lobbying with the Quaid-i-Azam to let his state accede to Pakistan. Kharan and Las Bela appear to have been operating in tandem on this issue.50 On September 5, 1947, Mir Ghulam Qadir wrote to the Quaid, saying that he had already written to the Pakistani Prime Minister offering accession of Las Bela to the Pakistan Dominion.51 The letter also mentioned the dire economic conditions of the people of Las Bela as its supplies seem to have been cut off by Kalat. On March 17, 1948, Las Bela too acceded to Pakistan along with Mekran and Kharan. However, by this time the Kalat Government had heard a Radio Pakistan announcement that the Government of Pakistan had accepted the separate accession of Las Bela, Kharan, and Mekran, and wanted this report denied. 52 The Kalat Government said that the accession of these states would be contrary to the Standstill Agreement with Pakistan, which was recently affirmed in the House of Commons.53

    On March 18, 1948, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan issued a press note that the States of Kharan, Las Bela and Mekran had applied for accession to Pakistan, which was granted to them. The press report also said that after the accession of these three states to Pakistan, Kalat’s territory had been reduced to half of its previous area, and had ceased to have any outlet to the sea.54 The UK High Commissioner in Pakistan reported that the offer of accession was accepted by the Pakistan Cabinet when Jam of Las Bela, Chief of Kharan and Nawab Bai Khan of Mekran met the Quaid on March 17, 1948 and told him that “if Pakistan was not prepared to accept their offers of accession immediately, they would be compelled to take other steps for their protection against Khan of Kalat’s aggressive actions.”55 This was seen as a blow to the Khan as head of the Confederacy, the Baluchistan States Union.

    What finally forced the Khan of Kalat to accede was the furore caused by news on the All India Radio that the Khan had been negotiating with India. As a consequence of these developments, a report on March 20, claimed that the brother of the Khan, who was also the Governor of Kalat, was leaving for Afghanistan with his wife, who was from the Royal Afghan family.56 However, on March 28, the Reuters news agency carried a story filed from Karachi that ‘“Gateway State” Joins Pakistan’. The Khan issued a communiqué, which said: “On the night of March 27, All India Radio, Delhi announced that two months ago Kalat State had approached the Indian Union to accept its accession to India and that the Indian Union had rejected the request…It had never been my intention to accede to India…It is, therefore, declared that from 9 pm on March 27th – the time when I heard the false news over the air, I forthwith decide to accede to Pakistan, and that whatever differences now exist between Kalat and Pakistan be placed in writing before Mr Jinnah, the Governor-General of Pakistan, whose decision I shall accept.”57 The UK High Commissioner, commenting on the Khan’s denials, wrote: “Khan’s public denials of rumours about offers made to him by India and Afghanistan conflict with his own statements in earlier discussion with Pakistan representatives, when he used these offers as a blackmailing argument. There is good reason to believe that he has been flirting with both India and Afghanistan.” 58

    While the Instrument of Accession was signed by the Khan of Kalat on March 27, it was placed before Jinnah on March 31, 1948, who accepted it. There was no kind of resistance to the accession till the middle of July 1948, when the brother of the Khan returned from Afghanistan, where he had fled with a body of armed followers. The Pakistan Army engaged this band and the majority of his followers arrested.59

    As this account makes amply clear, the story of the accession of Kalat was a long drawn out process. And although Pakistan came into being on August 14, 1947, the accession of Kalat did not take place till March 27, 1948. The three feudatories, two of which Las Bela and Kharan, which were recognized by the British as independent, played a key role in forcing the Khan of Kalat to accede to Pakistan.

    The issue of the accession of Kalat has been clouded in controversy and mythology, because little or no research has been done on the subject. One scholar has described the annexation as, “a nine month tug of war that came to a climax in the forcible annexation of Kalat.”60 The reality is quite different. Khan of Kalat had no choice but to accede after Kharan, Las Bela and Mekran’s acceded to Pakistan, cutting off Kalat from the sea. The announcement on All India Radio that Kalat had been negotiating with India, which Nehru was at pains to deny in the Indian Parliament, caused such an outcry within Baluchistan and outside that the Khan acceded immediately to Pakistan. It was only in July 1948, three months after the accession of Kalat, when the Khan’s brother, Prince Abdul Karim, returned to Kalat with a lashkar and a skirmish took place between the lashkar and a small Pakistan army contingent. Mountbatten’s policy towards the Indian princely states had conclusively turned against giving the princely states the option of independence, and the choice was accession to either of the two Dominions. As the correspondence of the UK High Commissioner to Pakistan shows, the British government was very concerned that Kalat should not be granted independence. Given all the above-mentioned conditions, any chances of Kalat being able to remain independent were just not there.


    * Professor Dushka Saiyid is Allama Iqbal Fellow at Wolfson College, University of Cambridge,
    United Kingdom.
    Ainslie T. Embree ed., Pakistan’s Western Borderlands: The Transformation of a Political Order, Durham, North Carolina: Carolina Academic Press, 1977, p. xvii.
    Ibid. p. xviii.
    I. Baloch, The Problem of Greater Baluchistan, Stuttgart: Steiner Verlag Wiesbaden GMBH, 1987. p. 168.
    Ibid. p. 170.
    Ibid. p. 171.
    Enclosure 1 to PS-49, Muhamed Aslam to Lancelot Griffin, Jinnah Papers, The States: Historical and Policy Perspectives and Accession to Pakistan, First Series, Volume VIII, Editor-in-Chief, Z. H. Zaidi, Quaid-i-Azam Papers Project, Government of Pakistan. p. 118.
    Ibid. p. 119.
    Ibid. p. 120.
    Ibid. p. 122.
    Ibid. p. 123.
    Ibid. PS-54, Minutes of Viceroy’s Twentieth Miscellaneous Meeting, R/3/1/166, p. 135.
    Viceroy’s Miscellaneous Meetings, 20th Meeting Minutes, July 19, L/P&S/13/ 1846, Oriental Section, British Library.
    PS-54, Minutes of Viceroy’s Twentieth Miscellaneous Meeting, R/3/1/166, Jinnah Papers. p. 135.
    PS-54, Minutes of Viceroy’s Twentieth Miscellaneous Meeting, Jinnah Papers, p. 137.
    L/P&S/13/1846, Viceroy’s Miscellaneous Meetings, 25th Meeting Minutes, August 4, 1947, p. 45.
    The High Commissioner of UK in Pakistan, Draft Letter, September 22, 1947, L/P&S/13/1846.
    Hodson, p. 361. Also see Andrew Roberts, Eminent Churchillians, p. 103.
    Annexure to Annex I to PS-66, Memorandum by the Minister of State for Commonwealth Relations, PRO, FO 371/F. 12773, Jinnah Papers. p. 154.
    Letter from the High Commissioner for the UK in Pakistan to the Commonwealth Relations Office, September 24, 1947, L/P&S/13/1846. p. 29.
    Ibid. Political Department, Register No. Pol. 1422/47. p. 24.
    Speech by the Ruler of Kalat, PS-67, Jinnah Papers, Vol. VIII. p. 156.
    PS-128, Ruler of Kharan to M.A. Jinnah, Telegram, F.124 (5)-GG/1, Jinnah Papers. p. 223.
    PS-129, Ruler of Kharan to M. A. Jinnah, 12 November, 1947, F124(5)-GG/5-6, Jinnah Papers. p. 224.
    Ibid. p. 225.
    Memorandum, Political Department, in response to a Savingram from Grafftey-Smith of October 17, 1947. Register No. Pol. 1422/47, L/P&S/13/1846.
    Ibid. High Commissioner for the UK, Savingram, October 17, 1947, p. 25.
    PS-131, Ruler of Kharan to M. A. Jinnah, F.124 (5)-GG/10-3, December 1, 1947, Jinnah Papers, p. 227.
    Ibid. p. 227.
    Savingram, From High Commissioner for UK in Pakistan to the Commonwealth Relations Office, October 17, 1947. L/P&S/13/1846.
    Jinnah to Ruler of Kalat, PS-69, Jinnah Papers, Vol. XVIII. p. 160
    Daily Telegraph, February 16, 1948, “Baluchistan ‘My Special Care’ says Mr Jinnah”.
    Appreciation of Events in Pakistan, February 1948, POL: 7067/48, L/P&S/13/1847.
    PS-82 and Annex to PS-82, Jinnah Papers, pp. 170-171.
    Ibid. p. 171.
    Ibid. p. 172.
    Ibid. His Majesty’s Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations, Whitehall, London, p. 74.
    LP&S/13/1847, Appreciation of events in Pakistan, POL: 7067/48, P. 73.
    PS-132, Ruler of Kharan to M. A. Jinnah, F.124(11)-GG/17-9 (Original in Urdu), Jinnah Papers. p. 227.
    PS-133, Ministry of Foreign Affairs to Geoffrey Prior, Telegram, F. 20-GG/13, March 17, 1948, Jinnah Papers. p. 228.
    Annex to PS-133, Paul H. Alling to George Marshall, US National Archives, F85.00/3-2348, March 23, 1948, Jinnah Papers, p. 229.
    Ibid. p. 230.
    PS-134 to PS-140 Correspondence between M.A. Jinnah and the ruler of Las Bela, Jinnah Papers, pp. 235-239.
    PS-141, Ruler of Las Bela to M. A. Jinnah, F.20-GG/5-6, Jinnah Papers, p. 240.
    POL.1067/48 Copy Telegram, Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations, Whitehall, London to Foreign Minister, Kalat. Addressed Sir Zafrullah Khan Lake Success. LP&S/13/1847.
    Inward Telegram to Commonwealth Relations Office from UK High Commissioner in Pakistan, March 20, 1948.
    Telegram No. 227, March 8, Kalat, LP&S/13/1847.
    Inward Telegram to Commonwealth Relations Office, POL. 1068/48, From UK High Commissioner in Pakistan, LP&S/13/1847.
    British Kalat File, Khan’s Protest to Pakistan, March 21, 1948..
    Reuters, India and Pakistan Service, Karachi, March 28, LP&S/13/1847.
    Inward Telegram to Commonwealth Relations Office, from UK High Commissioner in Pakistan, March 27, 1948, POL. 1096/48.
    Monthly appreciation (Pakistan), July 1948, part of POL.10030/48.
    Selig Harrison, In Afghanistan’s Shadow: Baluch Nationalism and Soviet Temptations, Washington D.C.: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, pp. 24-25.

    Source : The Institute of Strategic Studies, Islamabad.
    • Thanks Thanks x 4
  2. sylvester conception

    sylvester conception FULL MEMBER

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    Dec 16, 2016
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    Thank you, Professor, Dr. Dushka H Saiyid, for sharing Accession of Kalat: Myth and Reality. Surely the issue of Balochistan has been clouded in controversy and mythology since long, due to no research on the subject. The reality is quite different. Readers can now discern and judge for themselves the former Kalat rulers and Pakistan’s claims.

    The Kalat ruler’s concerns were, once the British had withdrawn the relationship of Kalat with India and the rest of the world, the return of the leased areas of Nushki, Quetta and Nasirabad to Kalat, and the future of the feudatory states like Las Bela and Kharan, and the tribal areas like the Bugti and Marri territories.

    The Government of Pakistan rightly and lawfully claimed that the successor authorities in India would, in relation to foreign states, inherit all Treaty obligations incurred on behalf of India, and the Pakistan Government would be heir to the obligations (both burdens and benefits) arising out of treaties with Kalat, as they would be, citing the example of the Anglo-Afghan Treaty of 1921.

    Viceroy Lord Mountbatten, maintained he had been advised that, according to international law, treaties such as the Treaty of 1876 were inherited by the successor states, while treaties with states over which the Crown had exercised paramountcy, would lapse and could not be transferred to successor states.

    The Treaties of 1854 and 1876 do not lead to the inference that Kalat is an independent sovereign state and it has in fact, always been regarded as an Indian state. It figures as such in Part II of the 1st Schedule of the Government of India Act of 1935.

    The British concerns then were to avoid emergence of a weak buffer state on the frontiers of Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan.

    Finally, the Khan of Kalat had no choice but to accede after Kharan, Las Bela and Mekran acceded to Pakistan, cutting off Kalat from the sea.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2017