A tale of Congress betrayal: Bizenjo speech for freedom of Balochistan — December 12, 1947

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Not many Indians know but it was the Congress party that led to the bloody enslavement of Balochistan.

On this date December 12, 1947 a chapter in what later became the blood-checkered history of Balochistan’s struggle was written in the town of Dhadhar in France-sized Balochistan. It was a Friday.

Here Mir Ghous Bakhsh Bizenjo, leader of the Kalat State National Party, who later became governor of Balochistan, made a case for the independence of Balochistan in the lower house of Balochistan parliament, called Darul Awam. After his speech, the Darul Awam unanimously rejected the idea of any merger with what what was then less than four-month-old Pakistan.

Here is Bizenjo’s speech:

We have a distinct civilization, we have a separate culture like that of Iran and Afghanistan.

We are Muslims but it is not necessary that by virtue of our being Muslims we should loose our freedom and merge with others. If the mere fact that we are Muslims requires us to join Pakistan then Afghanistan and Iran both Muslim countries should also amalgamate with Pakistan . . . 

The British conquered Asia through the force of the sword. They also subjugated the Baloch homeland. We never accepted their authority. We resisted their rule but being oppressive and cruel they deprived us of our freedom.

We were a separate entity. We were never part of India before the British over-lordship.

Pakistan’s unpleasant and loathsome desire that our national homeland, Balochistan, should merge with it is impossible to concede. 

It is unimaginable to agree to such a demand . . . It is no secret that before the creation of Pakistan, our Khan had patronized the Muslim League. Our homes, bungalows and transport were at their disposal. 

Under the Khan’s guidance many Baloch helped the League through every possible means.

What was our attitude towards Pakistan and what is its behaviour towards us ?

Lasbela and Kharan, two constituent units of Balochistan are being snatched away.

Kalat’s sovereignty over those areas has been accepted by the British. 

We never want to subjugate them. That is not our intention. They are our brethern in blood and have been part of Kalat in that capacity.

Pakistan has even refused talks and is making any discussion on the subject conditional on the repentance of the Baloch government and its prostration.

Before them……we are ready to have friendship with that country on the basis of sovereign equality but by no means ready to merge with Pakistan.

We cannot humiliate the Baloch nation and amalgamate it with others. 

How can we sign the national death warrant of fifteen million Asian Baloch?

That is inconceivable. That is impossible.

We cannot be party to such a grave mistake . . . We cannot commit such a great crime . . . 

We are told that we Baloch cannot defend ourselves in that atomic age. 

Well, are Afghanistan, Iran and even Pakistan capable of defending themselves?

Today if Russia and America so desire, they can wipe out many such states from the world map. If we cannot defend ourselves, a lot of others cannot do so either . . . 

As regards the question of statehood, let me emphasize that no Asian country including Pakistan fulfils the criteria of a modern state in true sense . . .

They say we must join Pakistan for economic reasons.

That is also absurd. We may not have hard currency but we have numerous means of income. We have minerals, we have petroleum, we have ports.

We should not be made slaves on the pretext of economic viability.  We can survive without Pakistan.

We can prosper outside Pakistan. But the question is what Pakistan would be without us?

I do not propose to create hurdles for the newly created Pakistan in matters of defense and external communication.

But we want an honorable relationship, not a humiliating one.

If Pakistan wants to treat us as a sovereign people, we are ready to extend the hand of friendship and cooperation.

If Pakistan does not agree to do so, flying in the face of democratic principles, such an attitude will be totally unacceptable to us, and if we are forced to accept this fate then every Baloch son will sacrifice his life in defense of his national freedom.

At the time, Balochistan also had a Darul Khas (House of Lords). Despite the rejection of the idea of merger with Pakistan– the rejection subsequently also endorsed by the Darul Khas –, India’s betrayal led to the enslavement of Balochistan. Pakistan was able to merge Balochistan at the point of gun as Maulana Abul Kalam, president of Indian National Congress, refused to side with Balochistan’s freedom. Bizenjo, who was fondly called Baba-i-Balochistan, told this writer more than 40 years later that a delegation of Kalat State National Party met Maulana Azad prior to partition to seek India’s support. Azad, however, told the delegation that raising the issue will give the British an excuse to delay their departure from India. Azad said the freedom of India could not be held hostage just because of the question of Balochistan. (Late Bizenjo was a family friend of this writer and as per his will his last rites began at Mustikhan Lodge, Karachi).

In fact, according to the Daily Mail Pakistan action followed an AIR broadcast on March 27, 1948, which reported a press conference by VP Menon, a civil servant who played a key role during India’s Partition, saying the Khan “was pressing India to accept Kalat’s accession”, but “India would have nothing to do with it”.

According to Pakistan’s investigative The Friday Times The issue was also raised in the Lok Sabha by Balkrishna Sharma to which Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru responded in detail that, “In view of the geographical position of Kalat state, the question did not arise at all.”

Mir Hasil Bizenjo-- Picture Courtesy Dawn
Pakistan ports and shipping minister Mir Hasil Bizenjo (second from right) with Iranian president Hassan Rouhani (center) at Chabahar port last week.

Unlike Bizenjo, his whiskey-loving son Pakistan ports and shipping minister Mir Hasil Bizenjo, president of the National Party– a close friend of Mani Shankar Aiyer– has reportedly sold out to the Deep State. He is playing a key role in handing over the Gwadar Port to the Chinese under the military’s bayonets. The younger Bizenjo has earned for himself the nickname of Khawaja Khairuddin, after the deceased East Pakistan politician who sided with Pakistan army in 1971.

3 thoughts on “A tale of Congress betrayal: Bizenjo speech for freedom of Balochistan — December 12, 1947

  1. The Myth of Occupied Balochistan

    Balochistan accession needs to be explained in detail by Islamabad. But in Pakistan nobody is concerned with proper research thus giving away the ground to Baloch separatists and Indian R&AW on the perceptions front.

    Balochistan consisted of 5 regions.  British Balochistan acceded to Pakistan on 30 June 1947 – 45 days before the transfer of power.

    Kharan, Lasbela and Makran acceded to Pakistan on 18th March 1948 – 9 days before 27th March 1948.  Kalat claimed ownership over these feudetories but the rulers of Kharan & Lasbela outrightly rejected any claims by Khan of Kalat. Habibullah Nosherwani of Kharan and Jam of Lasbela wrote letters to Jinnah to accept their respective principalities accession to Pakistan, and, under no circumstances they would accept the hegemony of Kalat over them. Kharan & Lasbela had a long history resisting the control from Kalat stretching back to the times of Naseer Khan Noori (Khan of Kalat from 1748-94). This was the same Naseer Khan who on many occasions ventured into Punjab and India with Abdali, including the historic battle of Panipat in 1761 against Marathas.

    Kalat wanted to remain Independent and Mir Ahmed Yar Khan had an ambition to be the king of all Balochistan.  However in the 4th August 1947 (10 days before transfer of power) agreement where Kalat had its independence recognised in article 1, but the article 4 of the same agreement states that Pakistan as a successor state will inherit all the treaties Kalat had with the British. That meant maintaining the status quo and Kalat’s foreign policy was in Pakistan’s control right from 14th August 1947. I think this information is important to use counter the Baloch separatists harping about illegal occupation of Balochistan on 27th March 1948.

    Martin Axmann in his book,  BACK TO THE FUTURE (Khanate of Kalat and genesis of Baloch nationalism 1915-55), has written extensively on this subject. The book was released in 2009

    Khanate of Kalat ceased to exist as a state in 1955, when Mir Ahmed Yar Khan accepted privy purse of 6 lakh rupees annaully. Kharan Lasbela & Makran rulers were treated separately with their own privy purses. Technically speaking Kalat is now a defunct principality.

    The current Khan of Kalat Mir Suleiman Dawood is grandson of Mir Ahmed Yar Khan. His claims extend not only to Iranian Balochistan but also to Derajat regions of Punjab, which became part of Punjab during the reign of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Dawood is unknown amongst separatist ideologues. Mehran Marri, Brahamdagh Bugti & Allah Nazar don’t recognise him. Late Khair Baksh Marri also had a dim view of this defunct titular head who has nothing in his hands. Malik Siraj Akbar, a journalist, has termed Dawood a “daydreamer”.

    The real agreement was signed on 4th Aug 1947 , and it had 5 articles it. Baloch separatists & Indian propagandists always latch on to article 1, they completely ignore the article 4 which exposes the true nature of the agreement between Kalat & Pakistan, and, the real status of Kalat. Dera ghazi Khan regions were given a choice by Pakistan in 1949 to choose between Kalat & Punjab, and they chose Punjab. Out of 7 heads 4 of them voted for Punjab.

  2. Bizenjo “We were never part of India before the British over-lordship”.

    The above quote is factually incorrect, Asoka’s empire included present day Balochistan. Baloch warlords and Balochistan have been under the suzerainty of the Mughal emperors Humayun, Akbar, Jehangir, Shah Jahan & Aurangzeb.

    Balochistan region has always been swapping hands between Indian and Persian Empires. In 1738 Kalat had acceoted to be the vassal state of Nadir Shah’s Empire.

    Naseer Khan Noori the Great, started off his reign, in 1748, by acknowledging Abdali as his suzerain & it continued until 1758 when Abdali and Naseer Khan Noori reached an agreement.

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