08 November 2012

Glimpse into the History - Part 1

I recently finished reading autobiography of former politician Sardar Sherbaz Mazari, A journey to disillusionment. Its a very useful and informative book and can be considered as a chronological political history of Pakistan from 1947 to 1988. Apart from many other subjects this book also has historical information about Balochistan and Baloch tribes. During the course of reading this book, I found out two issues of paramount importance related to Balochistan that I want to share in this article. One is about Mughal emperor Humayun in Balochistan and second is the story of how Dera Ghazi Khan  and Rajanpur were acceded to Punjab rather than Balochistan.

Mughal Emperor Humayun in Balochistan:  

Humayun was the second Mughal emperor. He became the ruler of India in 1530 and after 10 years Sher Shah Suri defeated him and Humayun had to fled Delhi, capital of India, to save his life and fight back to retake his throne. In 1543, Humayun was wandering on different places in search of sanctuary and protection form his enemy Sher Shah Suri. He established his camp in a place which is Jhal Magsi area of present day Balochistan.

Magsi tribesmen soon identified him as a stranger and arrested him. Humayun asked them to let him go because He was former ruler of India. They didn't let him go and waited for the arrival of their chief who had gone out of Jhal Magsi. When the Magsi tribal chief returned He was informed about the arrest of a stranger who claims to be former ruler of India. When ruler of Kandhar who happened to be brother of Humayun came to know about this, He offered Magsi chief huge amount of wealth in return for delivering Humayun to him. Humayun's brother was hostile to Humayun and was thirsty for his blood. So the Magsi chief was in a position to earn a fortune by handing over his prisoner, Humayun.

Magsi chief being a Baloch followed Baloch code of honor which stated that anyone who seeks asylum in one's area must be protected at all costs. He told Humayun that you are my guest and I am bound by Tribal traditions to protect you and safely escort you out of my area whenever you wish to go. Much to the dismay of Ruler of Kandhar, Magsi chief let Humayun go out of his area safely. Later in 1556, Humayun managed to defeat Sher Shah Suri and took back his throne . He was followed by successive Mughal emperors  till 1857, when British attained absolute control of India.

If Magsi chief had not abide by Baloch code of honor and had handed over Humayun for Material gains then history of present day Indo-Pak would have been different altogether. This is an interesting historical incident which is unknown to most of the people.

Accession of Dera Ghazi Khan and Rajanpur: 

Historically D.G Khan and Rajanpur districts of present day south Punjab were a part of Kalat state. These areas inhibit Baloch tribes, such as Mazarai, Leghari, Khosa, Dreshak, Qaisrani etc. When British brought Kalat under their control, they demarcated its borders, Rajanpur and  D. G Khan were made part of Punjab.

In 1946, Sardar Jamal Khan Leghari (Grandfather of President Farooq Leghari) along with Marri and Bugti tribal chiefs, wrote a letter to viceroy of India, demanding that these areas should be made a part of Kalat state. The volatile situation leading to partition didn't allow their demands to meet with success.

In 1948, Balakh Sher Mazari was appointed head of Inter Provincial tribal Jirga. Bureaucracy of Punjab manipulated him to demand for inclusion of D.G Khan and Rajanpur in Punjab. As other tribes were in favor of accession with Kalat state, so a mini-referendum was held to determine the future of these areas. Punjab's bureaucracy backed Balakh Sher Mazari with its full force of state machinery and his opponent Sardar Jamal Leghari didn't have such backing. Despite all the government support, by a narrow margin decision of referendum went in favor of accession with Punjab. In 1949, an official ceremony was held to mark the accession of these areas with Pakistan and its province Punjab.

This is also an hidden part of History which many people are unaware about because of their lack of interest in history. If the bureaucracy of Punjab had not struck its nose in that mini-referendum then D.G Khan and Rajanpur would have been parts of Balochistan today.


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