Balochistan conundrum: Khan of Kalat’s return is a distant possibility

Published: May 26, 2013

Khan of Kalat Mir Agha Suleman Daud. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: 

An initiative by the Balochistan caretaker chief minister, Nawab Ghous Bakhsh Barozai, to facilitate the return of self-exiled Khan of Kalat Mir Agha Suleman Daud from the United Kingdom failed primarily because of a lack of trust.

“The initiative could not succeed due to a trust deficit,” a relative of the Khan of Kalat, told The Express Tribune. “The khan is not willing to trust the federal government on this issue.”

Soon after taking over as interim chief minister in March Barozai announced that he would travel to the UK to convince the Khan to end his self-exile. He also intended to meet other Baloch separatist leaders in London and Europe to initiate dialogue with them.

“The initiative failed to kick off mainly because Barozai did not receive a positive response from the Khan,” a senior official of the Balochistan government told The Express Tribune. The official requested not to be named in the report because he is not authorised to speak to the media on the subject.

Prince Mohiuddin Baloch, a prominent figure of the Kalat royal family who is also the father-in-law of Mir Daud, said his son-in-law would never return under the prevailing circumstances.

Prince Mohiuddin – who served as a federal minister for nine years under General Ziaul Haq’s dictatorship – suggested the federal government cut a deal with the khan with international bodies, such as the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), as a guarantor.

Prince Mohiuddin, who heads his own political group Baloch Rabita Ittefaq, believes democracy is the best system of governance but “unfortunately it was not allowed to take roots in Pakistan”.

“Those who are sending people to London to bring the Khan back to Pakistan lack credibility,” he said. “Those who are being used as a mediator don’t have guts to guarantee the implementation of any accord, if reached, between the Khan and the government.”

Mir Daud went into self-exile after the assassination of Baloch nationalist leader Nawab Akbar Bugti in 2006 and formed a government in exile of Balochistan. He also plans to approach the International Court of Justice against Khan-e-Kalat Mir Ahmed Yar Khan’s decision of ceding the princely state of Kalat to Pakistan at the request of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah in 1948.

A close family friend said Mir Daud also fears reprisal from the federal government for his anti-state activities. Prince Mohiuddin confirmed this. “History bears witness to the fact that the federal government reneged on the commitments it made to my uncle, Prince Agha Abdul Karim Baloch and Baloch militant leader Nawab Nowroz Khan Zehri,” he alleged.

Prince Abdul Karim led an armed rebellion against Pakistan after his elder brother Ahmed Khan agreed to cede the Kalat state. He surrendered to Pakistani authorities after he failed to enlist official support in Afghanistan. Subsequently, he was imprisoned in Haripur jail where he spent 10 years.

Political observers hope that prime minister-in-waiting Nawaz Sharif, who is committed to resolving the festering Balochistan conflict, will work for the return of the self-exiled Baloch leaders, including the Khan of Kalat, as a trust-building measure.

“Nawaz Sharif is in a position to resolve all the issues pertaining to the crisis in Balochistan,” Amanullah Gichki, a former Baloch diplomat and president of the Friends of Baloch think-tank, told The Express Tribune.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 26th, 2013. 

Reader Comments (20)

  • Riaz Ahmad
    May 26, 2013 - 11:22AM

    Feudal parasites still in existence in the 21st century. In a democracy, sovereignty belongs to the people, not the Khan’s or the Nawabs. The people of Boluchistan must enjoy same rights as anyone else in Pakistan, enough is enough, the exploitation of our Boluchi brothers and sisters must stop; this is my view as a Punjabi.

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  • Feroz
    May 26, 2013 - 1:34PM

    The Khan of Kalat has a standing among the Baloch people, none else can match. He knows and understands the cause of alienation and what needs to be done. Continuing with the same policies of arrests and disappearance will not work.

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  • Baluch
    May 26, 2013 - 3:22PM

    His highness shouldn’t return to Balochistan at the moment, he is doing much better in exile while supporting the Baloch cause.
    @Riaz Ahmed, you cannot associate Khan as a fedual, many developed countries are still “kingdom”, his grandfather lost our respect when he merge with Pakistan but still we can’t deny that he is our Khan.

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  • Ali Tanoli
    May 26, 2013 - 5:30PM

    Balochistan bad luck are these fuedal…

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  • A J Khan
    May 26, 2013 - 5:57PM

    Most irrelevant person in Balochistan situation. He has run short of supplies as his foreign friends have refused to provide more funds seeing his insignificance. Pakistan should not waste time & money on him. Most of such self exiled persons will be returning after 2014.

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  • Quettawaal
    May 26, 2013 - 10:04PM

    The whole family of the Kalat Khans is some what irrelevant to the Baloch politics. The family members are even not able to win seats in elections on tribal grounds. The Khan family has no leverage over the Baloch population as they are not considered even Balochs by many. The ancestral graveyard of the Khans of Kalat is in Pishin, an area too deep into Pashtun territory. Many Balochs consider them as Pashtun colonists from the time of the Afgan empire. Interestingly enough most Pashtuns of Balochistan don’t except them as Pashtuns as well. In these circumstances the Khan of Kalat family stands in the middle of no where.

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  • Humayun
    May 27, 2013 - 5:47AM

    Feudal, Tribal or Democratic – How has democracy helped rest of the Pakistan in its progress, development and welfare of Pakistanis. You do not trust government run Civil Hospitals with your health and prefer to go to private clinics and hospitals for medical treatment, do not opt to send your children to government schools and work hard to pay heavy tuition fees of private schools, do not trust police with your security and always call out to army in difficult times, always curse the government on power outages, do not trust the justice system. Those are some of the basics and generally Pakistanis criticise the tribal systems and norms to make an escape goat out of Nawabs, Khans and Sardars even after 6 decades of running the show. I do not want to sound biased but suffice it to say set an example to follow instead of just pushing a supposedly popular idea.

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  • Tufan Agha
    May 27, 2013 - 1:03PM

    Mian Mohammad nawaz Sharif and Taj Mohammad jamali made a lifelong devastating mistake when he sent C 130 and rescued Nawab Khair Baksh Marri from Afghanistan along with his rebels. He thought that such action will create a soft corner in the hearts of these rebels and that they would be grateful to Government of Pakistan to have saved them from extermination.
    Alas that did not happen. The day he landed at Quetta air port, Pakistani flag was burnt by them. Another strategic mistake committed by then government was to settle them on outskirts of Quetta. The place was named as new Kahan. But that new Kahan became the Headquarter of Foreign Intelligence agencies. Weapons of BLA are stored there and most of the terrorists’ activities originate from this place.
    Please do not make these runaways hero for us. Let them perish in the land of their choosing

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  • Jameel ur Rasheed
    May 27, 2013 - 4:28PM

    Is he counted as a missing Baloch as well? I mean if he is, that makes sense. Atleast he exists!

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  • Linchpin
    May 27, 2013 - 7:34PM

    @Baluch:
    In a democracy everyone is equal. You have to prove your worth on merit. Don’t live in the past – yes he can return to Pakistan as it is his country but being a nawabzada, shezada or Sardar should count for nothing. Why reinforce hierarchies in society and in our minds?

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  • Ahmad Khan
    May 27, 2013 - 9:00PM

    Totally agree with Mr. Agha. After the fall of the communist Pashtun government of Afganistan Sardar Marri was desperate to find another refuge or go back home as the new rulers of Kabul were not Pashtuns and were not ready to host him any more. After Marri was continously harrased by Uzbek and Tajik militias he was desperate to leave Kabul with some face-saving. The government in Pakistan was misled by some Balochs who suggested to bring Marri back home.

    Now look what did? The Pashtun dominated governments of Afghanistan had protected him and given him and his tribe refuge for many years. After arriving back he ordered his tribe not to resettle in its original home area of Marri but settle in the southern flanks of Quetta so that to change the population percentage of Quetta in favor of Balochs and in addition, in an event of a conflict between Pashtuns and Balochs, Marri tribesmen would fight against the local Pashtuns. Just imagine how thankless this man was to his long time Pashtun protectors and hosts. Quetta was not the home of his tribesman and here they didn’t own any land so what they did? They confiscated the whole Hazarganji Park in the area, built their make-shift houses and killed all the wild goats from the park and started extortions from the local people. They are untrustworthy and Mr. Nawaz Sharif should keep this recent past history in mind before going for any deal with the Marri Sardars.

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  • Arshad Zehri
    May 28, 2013 - 4:38AM

    @Riaz Ahmad:

    It is not the Baloch Sardars who put that country into this mess, The country is run by Punjabi Establishment for last 60 years, your naive assessment of our people is misguided and one sided.

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  • John Jahalawan Baloch US Forces
    May 28, 2013 - 4:45AM

    All Resources belongs to KHAN’S SARDAR’S,MIR’S & CHAUDRIES in that area just like PRIVATIZATION these assets belongs to them That is called CAPITOLIST free and fair no questions…. It is not a NATIONAL ASSETS SOME crooks sells the REKDIK GOLD to Barrick and Baloch got nothing person who sold it lives in USA not even a baloch ????This is called
    swift hand day light robbery…SHAME to MUSHARAAF AND SHAUKET AZIZ

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  • Ahmad
    May 28, 2013 - 7:47AM

    @John Jahalawan Baloch US Forces:
    @Arshad Zehri:

    I agree but one modification— the Nawabs, Sardars, Khans and the the establishment are one party against the common people of Balochistan.

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  • BetelQ8
    May 28, 2013 - 2:00PM

    Better to lead the luxuious life of whereever you are. Good for either side.

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  • Balochistan
    May 28, 2013 - 3:59PM

    May Allah bless you and success you metion in independence with your other brothers… We need our freedom we don’t believe of Pakistan

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  • Maryam
    May 28, 2013 - 4:37PM

    @all non Baloch. I agree with you all.
    Our Sardars and Nawabs and Shehzadas have led us no where. All infrastructure was put in place by the Federal government and patriotic Pakistanis, and Baloch people destroyed it all themselves. I completely agree.

    But

    We don’t want your opinion into our life. They are all OUR feudals and dictators. NOT yours.
    Stay out of how we live our life or rule our lands. If you don’t like us that much, we don’t care.

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  • Baluchistan - My Land
    May 28, 2013 - 7:32PM

    @Baluch:

    So you are telling me that your Khan lives a lavish life in UK and you think he is supporting your cause? His grandfather made a mistake but his father in-law enjoyed nine years being a federal minister of the federation they are now against? Who they are kidding? Baluchistan people are just being played!

    When your khan is given some good compensation, he will return. The separation may be the cause for you. But it is a highly liquid bargaining chip for the Khans!

    Open your eyes!

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  • Baloch Fighter
    May 28, 2013 - 10:17PM

    I suppose , ET couln’t even digest the words shared by an oppressed Baloch…Well, my words can’t appear showing the partiality by other side

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  • Linchpin
    May 30, 2013 - 1:40PM

    @Maryam:
    There are more Baluch in Punjab and Sindh than in Baluchistan – What do you propose we do with them? Ask them not to have opinions? Also don’t think Baluchistan is only inhabited by Baluch tribes. Your feudals as you put it also make life difficult for scores of other people all around the country and unfortunately they are everywhere. Unless you are a feudal yourself …alas you have no lands to claim. To take your arguments further I also refuse to witness injustice against women, children, the poor, minorities anywhere in Pakistan or even the world even when people clain they are “our” women or children. I won’t accept the argument that they are our women so we have a right to sell them, rape them, kill them for our honour etc no matter who comes with such sordid arguments.

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