Did Nehru reject Baloch ruler's accession request?

Free Karma

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Did Nehru reject Baloch ruler's accession request?

To many readers, these words that appeared in the Pakistan press this week, may seem right: "From whatever angle we look at the present government of Pakistan, we will see nothing but Punjabi fascism. The people have no say in it. It is the Army and arms that rule."

As fresh as it may seem, this statement was made nearly 67 years ago by the first hero of the Baloch uprising against Pakistan, Prince Abdul Karim, while he was in exile in Afghanistan. The Balochi had used these words in a letter to his elder brother - the "King" or Khan of Kalat Mir Ahmadyar Khan - and they were later cited in The Politics of Ethnicity in Pakistan, by Farhan Hanif Siddiqi.

Not many people know that after the British left India, Kalat was independent for nearly seven-and-half months until the Pakistani military occupation of March 27, 1948. There are reports that Kalat was trying to strike a deal with India to avoid Pakistani occupation, but failed. March 27 has great significance for Kalat, and by extension for Balochistan, and perhaps India too. The past Friday was marked by Baloch nationalists as a black day since it is said that it is on this day that Balochistan lost its short-lived independence to Pakistan.

The Balochi resentment against the military occupation is so deep-rooted across the "France-sized" Balochistan that pictures posted on social media on Friday showed many Baloch towns wearing a haunted look.

Historians have, to this day, wondered if India lost Kalat state to Pakistan because of the political myopia of the founding fathers of India? And they may be right in raising the question. Pawan Durani, a journalist and blogger from Srinagar, who now lives in Delhi, tweeted on October 26, 2012: "In 1947, the King of Kalat [ #Balochistan ] acceded 2 #India. Unfortunately Nehru rejected that. Rest is history. Baloch cont 2 suffer."

London-based think-tank The Foreign Policy Center, FPC, concurs that the Baloch were let down not only by the British but also by the founding fathers of India. The story goes thus. The Baloch sovereign Khan of Kalat Mir Ahmadyar Khan, whose most tragic blunder was to have Muhammad Ali Jinnah as his lawyer in his legal dealings with the British Raj, was said to be very fond of listening to the All India Radio (AIR) broadcast in the evenings. On March 27, 1948, what he had heard left the Khan shell-shocked. The FPC cites an AIR broadcast from that day, which reported a press conference by VP Menon, the secretary in the Ministry of States: "Menon revealed that the Khan of Kalat was pressing India to accept Kalat's accession, but added that India would have nothing to do with it."

Hakim Baloch, a former chief secretary of Balochistan, author and historian, who has written several books on Balochistan, agrees that AIR did indeed broadcast Menon's statement - the very next day, Sardar Patel issued a contradiction that no such request from the Khan of Kalat was ever received by India. Again on March 30, 1948, Nehru went to great lengths to deny what Menon had said. The Khan of Kalat too denied the report, but by this time, the Pakistani guns were at his temple.

While Indian leaders were busy issuing contradictory statements, Pakistan acted swiftly. According to human rights defender Waseem Altaf in Viewpoint: "On orders emanating from Mr Jinnah, Balochistan was forcibly annexed to Pakistan on 28th March 1948 when on 27th March 1948, Lt Colonel Gulzar of the 7th Baluch Regiment under GOC Major General Mohammad Akbar Khan invaded the Khanate of Kalat. General Akbar escorted the Khan of Kalat to Karachi and forced him to sign on the instrument of accession while Pakistan Navy's destroyers reached Pasni and Jiwani."

As India's founding fathers closed their eyes on Kalat, Pakistan was already working overtime to occupy the Baloch territory. For example, on March 22, 1948 Pakistan prime minister Nawabzada Liaquat Ali Khan presided over a meeting of the three services chief to oversee the military invasion of Kalat and Mekran. "He was briefed by the army, air force and navy chiefs about the steps these armed services have taken in a number of Balochistan cities, such as Turbat, Pasni," says Quetta-based Baloch scholar Surat Khan Marri.

It is a fact that the then Khan of Kalat tried his best to retain the independent status of his state. "The Khan of Kalat had tried for an arrangement with both Iran and Afghanistan as well," said Hakim Baloch. "He had also wanted a deal with London on the lines that the UK had with Oman," he added.

The Khan of Kalat's sending his emissaries to India was a matter of great suspicion in the eyes of the nascent Pakistani defense establishment who were waging a war in Kashmir. Hindustan Times, in a report on the issue, said that the Khan of Kalat in March 1946 deputed Samad Khan - a member of the All India Congress Commitee (AICC) - to plead Kalat's case with the Congress leadership. Other top leaders, including Mir Ghaus Baksh Bizenjo, who later became the governor of Balochistan and went to Delhi in his capacity as president of the Kalat State National Party, met Congress president Maulana Abul Kalam Azad to seek India's support for an independent Balochistan.

Bizenjo confirmed to this scribe many decades later that Azad refused to support a free Balochistan. "Maulana Azad believed that Balochistan would not be a stable state," says Hakim Baloch. Azad ruled out any help to Balochistan as he believed an independent Balochistan, serving as a British base, would undermine the independence of the subcontinent.

In hindsight, the analysis of the issue by Congress leaders, including Azad, was proven to be flawed. Vikram Sood, former Research & Analysis Wing (RAW) chief, points out to the visits of Balochi leaders to India, including the Khan of Kalat. "They wanted to draw attention to the fact that their state was different and wanted to be treated on par with Nepal," Sood wrote in an article in February 2006, when Baloch statesman Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti was still alive. The former RAW official regrets that the new rulers in New Delhi were too engrossed with Kashmir and Hyderabad to see the strategic significance of a sovereign Balochistan.

While the Pakistan Army occupied Kalat, according to another Indian scholar Deepak Basu, "India stood by silently. Lord Mountbatten, Mahatma Gandhi, Nehru or Maulana Azad, then the president of India's Congress Party, said nothing about the rape of Balochistan."

Imagine a lawyer one had hired to negotiate the deed of a new house becoming the owner of the house himself. This was exactly the case with the Kalat state and Pakistan founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah, who broke all his promises. However, this was made possible due to the miscalculations of the Congress leadership and their lack of statesmanship, particularly, if viewed in the backdrop of their launch of jihad in Kashmir.

Kalat, historical accounts say, was once called Kalat-e-Sewa (Sewa's Fort), after Sewa, a legendary Hindu hero of the Brahui-speaking Baloch people. On August 15, when Jinnah recognised it as a free state, Kalat had a foreign minister named Douglas Yates Fell, while an uncle of this writer was the state's ambassador to Pakistan. The national flag of Kalat flew over the family home in Karachi's Garden district from August 15, 1947 to March 28, 1948.
 

roma

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this is yet another example of the total lack of strategic thinking of our first batch of
leaders ......... even today that is still our main problem or should we say opportunity ?

no country had prefect leadership but "our" Nehru sure takes the cake !!
 

warriorextreme

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If its true then I must say that it was a good decision...We could not have managed to support a territory that was not connected directly to mainland and having an enemy territory in between....also what happened in that region in the past & what is happening currently would have drawn us into unimaginable conflicts...a good subject for alternate history enthusiasts may be?
 

Razor

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If its true then I must say that it was a good decision...We could not have managed to support a territory that was not connected directly to mainland and having an enemy territory in between....also what happened in that region in the past & what is happening currently would have drawn us into unimaginable conflicts...a good subject for alternate history enthusiasts may be?
Isn't the NE connected to India by land that is barely 100km wide?
Also BD was part of pak so essentially NE was surrounded by enemy territory and even now BD isn't trust-worthy.

Add to that the Chinese are pretty close by (thrust from tri-junction of Bhutan-India-China) and cut-off access to NE.
And finally there is no sea access to NE.

Balocistan probably wouldn't have been part of India but a separate state maybe.
 
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tarunraju

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Isn't the NE connected to India by land that is barely 100km wide?
That 100 km width is sufficient for us to pass 6-lane highways, twin-electrified broad-gauge railway lines, electric pylons that connect NE to the national grid, fiber-optic cables, gas pipelines, and the convenience of not having to set foot on foreign soil/airspace to get to NE.

But unlike the East-West Pakistan situation, where Pakis had to pole-vault India by air or sail around the peninsula, holding Balochistan would have been easy for India. We could have sailed across from Gujarat coast to Balochistan in lower time than going over land, and our Navy would have secured a shipping route that would have choked Pakistan.

The reason I think Nehru declined Balochi request is because he had by then probably agreed that Balochistan would be Pakistan, to the British.
 
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Simple_Guy

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Pakistan had no land link with Junagadh and Hyderabad and yet they intervened.

We could have accepted Kalat's accession just to have leverage over Pakis.

India does not have a land link with Lakshadweep or Andaman Nicobar Islands.
 

Simple_Guy

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Talking about land link, both Amarkot and Khairpur in Sindh, had a land link with Rajasthan, but Nehru did nothing to get them.

Possibilities of Amarkot to merge in Jodhpur State:​

In 1928, when there was talk of separation of Sindh from Bombay, Jodhpur State had laid claim to the Amarkot (Umarkot) area of Tharparkar district. Jodhpur's case was that Amarkot had traditionally been part of its Marwar area. The Britishers had taken the area from Jodhpur temporarily for defence purposes.

However, the Sindh Congress had opposed the move. Property of my ancestors was in Amarkot District in Samero taluka. The demand of Amarkot was from Jodhpur state, if demand was accepted the Amarkot district of Sindh could have merged in India.

Possibilities of Kharpur to merge in Jodhpur State:​

Another area India could have got was the native Khairpur state as big as any district. For years the Mir of Khairpur had been kept confined to a house in Pune. In the Nineteen Forties the Khairpur Dewan was Aijaz Ali of U.P. The Number two man was Mangharam Wadhwani, Treasury Officer. Aijaz Ali had ousted Mangharam.When the transfer of power was approaching, Mangharam met the Mir in Pune and promised to have him restored to his throne --- on condition that he removed Aijaz Ali and acceded to India. The Mir agreed. Mangharam met Mountbatten and SardarPatel. The Mir was duly restored to his state; Aijaz Ali was sent away. The Mir wa snow prepared to accede to India. But Pandit Nehru declined the offer --- even as he had returned the accession papers of theKalat state in Baluchistan
http://www.lightforcenetwork.com/indus-my-home-deepak-ramchandani.pdf
 

anoop_mig25

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Pakistan had no land link with Junagadh and Hyderabad and yet they intervened.

We could have accepted Kalat's accession just to have leverage over Pakis.

India does not have a land link with Lakshadweep or Andaman Nicobar Islands.
And what could pak do in both the cases ??????? sit silently and saw the action on ground :rofl:


about Lakshadweep pak navy visited their to claim as at time there was muslim population there but then indain navy had allready docked there ship and prevented any claim by paks
 

mayfair

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The point is that unlike a vast 1000 mile distance between West and East Pakistan, the land and sea distances are much lesser between Western India and Balochistan.

Any move towards Indian balochistan would swiftly see Indian armed forces moving swiftly to threaten Karachi (which was then the capital of Pakistan) and Lahore. It would also have provided solid leverage for India to force the Pakis to pull back from Kashmir in 1948.

Just imagine, having the ability to cutoff Paki access to coast with SWIFT, simple, coordinated maneuvres from East and West. Pakjab would be a landlocked country in no time.
 

Simple_Guy

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And what could pak do in both the cases ?
caused delay, bloodshed (mostly Hindu), and both military and monetary costs. Junagadh Nawab fled with most of the state treasures, legitimately belonging to India and worth thousands of crores in todays money. Hyderabad lavished crores in aid to pakis, all state treasures belonging to the people.

What about Amarkot and Khairpur?
 
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smestarz

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this is yet another example of the total lack of strategic thinking of our first batch of
leaders ......... even today that is still our main problem or should we say opportunity ?

no country had prefect leadership but "our" Nehru sure takes the cake !!
He made it and his family is still eating it
 

Ray

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I do not think indian leadership at time could support balochistian, as it isn't physically connected to indian border
Even Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan did not want to join Pakistan and wanted to be with India.

Now check this map



Could they not be like East Pakistan where India was coming in between?

There would have been no Kashmir issue either, since the NWFP tribal were mustered to assist Pak Army to attack K.ashmir.

Nehru has no vision and he was to enamoured in himself!

Narcissist.
 
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Sambha ka Boss

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The reason I think Nehru declined Balochi request is because he had by then probably agreed that Balochistan would be Pakistan, to the British.
Balochs are Iranian people, they don't think themselves culturally/racially connected even to Punjabi-Sindhi Muslims of Pakistan. It was good, not to accede it to India.
 

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