Bursting the bubble of ‘Balochi Nationalism’

If all the Kuchi wandering clans, who sought refuge from their persecutors, having a history of not very distant past, today stake a claim on carving for themselves part of the Indus Basin civilization, on one fallacious myth or the other, let them be well adviced to kindly study their wanderings or the trails which led them here with the reasons why the crafty British created a geographic entity tittled Balochistan, affiliated to their present generic calling.
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THE MYTH OF BALOCHI NATIONALISM

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by Naveed Tajammal

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If all the Kuchi wandering clans, who sought refuge from their persecutors, having a history of not very distant past, today stake a claim on carving for themselves part of the Indus Basin civilization, on one fallacious myth or the other, let them be well adviced to kindly study their wanderings or the trails which led them here with the reasons why the crafty British created a geographic entity tittled Balochistan, affiliated to their present generic calling.

It is not that the records do not exist, but it is the twisting of the facts, by a certain class of writers, who are bent upon to balkanise Pakistan by foul means. On the tune of the players, who are playing the game and funding them with free hands, they are also using the present progeny of the British created Elite, of this generic entity, as the pawns in the game. The reason why this new class of Sardars and Nawabs, were created only a little over a hundred years (titles such as Nawab were bestowed in Jan 1890), was to break the rule over them by their actual mentors, the Barrohi’s, the sons of the soil,  and who were not willing to play to the British tunes as required.

The Khans of Kalat, like the Kalhora of lower sindh were the wardens of the western marches of the Mughal Empire, Each had been assigned his own area of watch. However,  the fall of the Mughal Empire in 1739 AD at the hands of Nadir Shah Afshar the Turk, changed the geopolitics of the region. The Kalhora, after the fall of Qandhar, had refused the passage to Nadir Shah towards Multan, and so came the wrath of Nadir Shah upon him. Later, when the trans-Indus lands, were re-assigned to the Khan of Kalat, for the services rendered, as a rivalry between Kalhora and Kalat had existed for long, even in the Mughal era.

The Qandhar province of the Mughal Empire had been lost to the Iranians in 1649 AD. However, a line of weak, Safavid rulers, with their grasp weaker on the eastern frontier, and aggressive Warden of watches of the Mughals, had created boundaries, more or less the same as were drawn later in the Durand line. In reality the boundary had been further to west, but the British always wanted long desolate regions in between their boundaries, hence natural obstacles like mountain ranges/deserts were chosen, as the boundary lines dividing Afghanistan and Iran from the British imperial India and so Afghanistan & Iran, being the buffers between two great powers of the time, other being the Mother Russia.

The old Khurrassan had been named, by the British, as Afghanistan. This was to be the main front line state, between Russia and British India, and hence the award of the corridor of Wakhan, which had been part of British India to Afghanistan.

In order to meet their future needs of ever loyal men, in the newly created Balluchistan entity post 1877, a need arose to end the Barrohi or the Khan of Kalat’s power. Therefore in 1893, the last of able Khans of Kalat, Khudadad khan was arrested by treachery at Belpat, as he had held all of the tribes of Barrohi and Balluchi Confederacy in a grip, the capture of Khudadad Barrohi and later imprisonment till his death in the Loralai prison in 1909 was the death blow to the Barrohi prestige and power. Hence arises the Myth of the Balluchi Nationalism.

The subsequent history till 1947 is well recorded, but the fact remains that, the Barrohi represent a heritage immersed in time, Mehrgarh goes back to 7500BC, and the language of the Barrohi is a living example of this past, through-out the vicissitudes of time.

Yes, indeed the Balluchi have a claim to a Nationhood, but they should lay it before the Governments of Tehran and Kabul, who have usurped, their lands.

Here they came in trickles, from the west in wandering nomadic clans, perhaps their old masters the Kiani rulers of old Seistan, should be re-activated to take charge once again of them and guide them as they had for times gone by. The travelogue of the Balluchi wanderings are well documented, and their settlements as well. The grave of their acclaimed leader (Chakkar Rind) lies in Satghara in Sahiwal district of Punjab. The author of the ‘Popular poetry of the Balluchi’ M. Longworth Dames, 1907 AD, states, that, ’It is difficult to say how far any part of chakkar’s adventures are historical” and gives a date of the first Balluchi entry towards the Indus-river, as around 1520 AD.

But then a similar presentation of history too can be seen in  Griffin’s ‘Punjab Chief’s’- here it would be pertinent to note,t hat as was case in Balluchistan here too, the Punjab Government had requested the newly created chief’s to send accounts of their Ancestors and Descent of their tribes, the results can be seen in the book before mentioned, but it can be easily imagined how these new chiefs drew the long bow & what glowing accounts they gave and what noble or royal descent they gave upon themselves and to that of their tribes.

In fact it had been Mirza Shah Hussain Arghun the son of Shah Beg Khan, the Conqueror of Lower Sindh ,who had pushed these Balluchi clans/tribes, to the East with a force of just 1000 (one thousand) Cavalry alone ! In the early 16th century.

Later Chakkar Khan Rind, as an individual, was indeed a fief holder under the Suri rule, and Chakkar remained subordinate to Haibat Khan Niazi, the Governor of Multan and Lahore provinces, who had been awarded the tittle by the Suri of Masnad-i-Ala, Azam Humayun. 1543/44 AD.

The jews after wandering over two thousand years did come back to their old homelands, where they now rule. The Balluchi too should go back to theirs, The Balyus, and wrest it from Iran and Afghanistan, because one of the required pre-requisites, for nationalism is a claim on the territorial land, secondly Balluchi is a language from the Iranian family, so are the Irani and Afghani languages; custom and culture too are akin.

Myths are indeed created for new generations, to believe in that they have existed for thousands of years. This is done by their respective ‘wise’, however, what must be kept in mind is, when the nomads are on move, with their scanty belongings mostly on foot and a few camels and goats, when their very survival is at stake, they have no option but to merge like a chameleon with the surroundings, these stories, emerge with food in stomach and a sheltered life, and safety or peace in the surrounding areas.

Lastly the Indus Valley basin has been home of egalitarian societies, disliked by the people to our East, the present Indians, as we had republics, whereas they were ruled by Kings and Brahmans.

A glimpse of the Barrohi social order based on the past can be seen, in the rule of Naseer l, the Khan of Kalat. In fact it was this Khan of Kalat who actually settled these present Balluchi clans in the regions, by expelling, from almost the whole region awarded to him by Nadir Shah of all the old Sind valley local tribes i.e. The Kaachhi Plains and present Marri-Bugti areas, as they were loyal to the Kalhora’s. It were these, newly assigned lands which these Balluchi claim to be of their abode of old, that being not very old i.e. post 1740 AD, and hence, some of Balluchi clans, moved in this migration further across the Roh i Sulaiman range towards the Indus River. Here it should be kept in mind that a very old trade route had existed between Multan, Sanghar pass, Chachar, Choti Aila, Tal, Duki and onward to Pisheen, and hence to Qandhar or Herat.

For related articles by the author, kindly refer to the following link:.

1. The Imposters that now threaten Balluchistan 2. http://pakpotopourri2.wordpress/2012/02/20/the-sardars-of-balluchistan-are-they-balluch/ 3. http://pakpotpourri2.wordpress.com/2012/02/29/barrohistan-or-balluchistan/
The writer Naveed Tajammal, is a Lahore based, Pakistani historian who has over 26 years of experience in investigative historical research and has many research papers on historical research to his credit. 
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