Academic journal article Journal of Political Studies

Land of Balochistan: A Historical Perspective

Academic journal article Journal of Political Studies

Land of Balochistan: A Historical Perspective

Article excerpt


Balochistan covers 347,190 square kilometers, which is about 43 percent of Pakistan's land area. According to 1998 census, Balochistan's population was roughly 6.5million. According to this census 54.7 percent were Baloch and 29.0 percent were Pashtun in Balochistan. (Government of Pakistan, 1998). The province of Balochistan was established on 1 July 1970. On the occasion of formation of One Unit on 14th October 1955, the region of Balochistan was divided into four types of areas such as:

a. Tribal

b. Leased

c. British Balochistan

d. Kalat state

The kalat state used to be ruled by Khan of Kalat, Khran and Makran by Nawabs and LasBela by James. On 17th March 1948, through instrument of accession the states, Khran, Makran and LasBela decided to accede to Pakistan. Khan of Kalat did same on 27th March 1948. Before formation of Balochistan State Union in 1951, the above mentioned states used to enjoy independent status. Balochistan State Union continued to perform its function till the formation process of One Unit of West Pakistan (Azad, 2003:1). Tribal areas of Balochistan used to be managed by Agent to the Governor General (AGG). The affairs of British Balochistan used to be run by Chief Commissioner, this Chief Commissioner was responsible to manage not only political affairs but also economic and judicial affairs of British Balochistan. Leased areas used to be controlled by Resident while princely Kalat states used to be managed by lord. The interesting thing was that affairs of all these areas used to be managed by one person with four different portfolios.

History of Balochistan

The valley between Tigris and Aleppo was the ancient abode of Baloch. Baloch migrated from this valley and settled in Iran and around the border of Caspian Sea. Historical evidences show that Kurds and Baloch were two key units of one tribe who used to live in Aleppo valley. These two groups often used to come into conflict with each other due to certain reasons. Their rivalry and search of new fresh pastures-land and water for their sheep and cattle led these groups to migrate (Baloch, 1975: 2).

The name Baloch and Balochistan can be found in literature and various documents as old as 2,000 years. In Old Persian literature Macka or Mecka, Machiya and Mackiyan refers to Balochistan. Greeks used to call it Gedrosia or Gedrozia. According to French archeologists Mehergarh in Balochistan is one of the earliest civilizations in the world (PIPS, 2009:13). In Burhan-Katih-a Persian Dictionary, the word Baloch has been defined as Clock's comb, Crest or the name of certain barbarian people who inhabit the mountains on the border of Kirman. It is stated that they are descended from the Arabs of Hijaz. Their employment is fighting and shedding blood. Russian professor Yu.V Gankovsky states;That Baloch had belonged to areas adjacent to the southern coast of the Caspian Sea. In the words of Encyclopedia of Islam;The Baloch were from Kirman, Iran (Ahmad, 1992:.34,38). In Farhangi-Sarwari Dictionary; Baloch are the people who inhabit the desert and plunder the caravans; and for the great part are war like and good archers; they are also styled as Koch and Baloch. In Francis Johnson English, Arabic and Persian Dictionary; The word Baloch has been defined as name of a wild tribe on the bank of Indus. Sir Burton States; Appearance of a Baloch bears little resemblance to that of Ishmael's descendants. Eye is full black, expressive, Persian, not the small, restless, fiery Arab again; the other features are peculiarly high, regular and Iranian. In the words of Mr. Menedy; Baloch are descendants of Sakas. Who gave name to the ancient province of Sakastan or Sijjistan. Mr. Risely states; That Baloch and Brohis are a fusion of Turkish and Persian element (Baloch, 1974: 1,5,6,7).

According to various Archaeological and Geological findings, present day Balochistan was covered with water. It used to be green, fertile and rich in different kinds of animals. …

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