By: Dr.Dipak Basu
October 12, 2006
expressed here are author’s own and not of this website. Full disclaimer
is at the bottom.
(The author is a Professor in International Economics in Nagasaki
The events in Baluchistan
have little or no impacts on the world and India in particular. India
government as usual failed to utilize the events to dramatize the cause
for the liberation of Balochistan. The reason is that for the last 60
years, Baluchistan is forgotten. Although India’s politicians particularly
those who are called ‘the left’, are very much eager to express their
solidarity to the people of Lebanon or Nicaragua, they do not care about
what is going on in India’s immediate neighbourhood. Invasion and
occupations of Tibet and Eastern Turkistan by China, Balochistan,
North-West Frontier Province by Pakistan, mass murder of the Hindus in
Kashmir, Bangladesh and Sri-Lanka cannot draw the attention of so-called
progressive people of India. Very few people even know that Balochistan
was not a part of Pakistan in 1947, but it was invaded in 1948 by Pakistan
who is occupying it ever since without any protest from India or any other
countries of the world. The role of India, Britain and the world community
are the most shameful regarding both Balochistan and the North West
Frontier Province (N.W.F.P) of what is now Pakistan.
The government of Pakistan claims that the Baloch leader Nawab Akbar Khan
Bugti was killed recently by mistake recently. Nawab Bugti was not an
ordinary individual; he symbolized Baloch nationalism. The main Baloch
grievance is political in nature that, except for the short duration of
Ataullah Mengal"s government in the early 1970s, the Baluchistan
governments have comprised simple and crude nominees of Pakistani rulers.
So much of natural gas is taken out from Balochistan and consumed in other
provinces but the royalties are measly and have no relationship with the
value of the goods shipped out. No central government of Pakistan has ever
cared for the development of this vast and arid province; it is still the
most underdeveloped area of Pakistan.
Durand Line: the line of Evil
Balochistan, along with the North West Frontier Province (N.W.F.P) are the
victims of an imaginary line, called Durand Line, which was described by
Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president as the “line of Evil”. In deed that
line signifies both the British and Pakistani imperialism that have
subjugated the Baluchs and the Pushtuns.
In 1893, the Afghan and British governments agreed to demark a
2,450-kilometer (1,519 miles) long border dividing British India and
Afghanistan. The signatory of the document, known as The Durand Line
Agreement, were Amir Abdur Rahman Khan, ruler of Afghanistan, and Sir
Henry Mortimer Durand, the foreign secretary of the British Indian
government. After a series of battles and false treaties signed by the
British, ‘The Durand Line Agreement’ of 1893 divides boundaries between
three sovereign countries, namely Afghanistan, Balochistan and British
India. According to that agreement Britain had taken a lease of the area
in N.W.F.P and Balochistan, without the knowledge of Balochistan. Sir
Durand gave verbal assurance to Afghanistan that the lease will lat until
1993, but in the written agreement there is no mention of it. Otherwise
just like Hong Kong, N.W.F.P would have gone back to Afghanistan in 1993.
The Durand Line Agreement should be a trilateral agreement and it legally
required the participation and signatures of all three countries. However,
the clever British drawn the agreement bilaterally between Afghanistan and
British India only, and it intentionally excluded Balochistan. Thus,
Balochistan has never accepted the validity of the Durand Line. The
British, under false pretenses, assured the Afghan rulers that Balochistan
was part of British India, and therefore, they were not required to have
the consent of anyone from Balochistan to agree on demarking borders.
Meanwhile, the British kept the Baloch rulers in the dark about the Durand
Line Agreement to avoid any complications. According to International Law,
all affected parties are required to agree to any changes in demarking
their common borders. Hence, under the rules of demarking boundaries of
the International Law, the Agreement of Durand Line was in error, and
thus, it was null and void as soon as it was signed.
Also, International Law states that boundary changes must be made among
all concerned parties; and a unilateral declaration by one party has no
effect. However, the British government disregarding the objection of
Afghanistan gave away the N.W.F.P to Pakistan after a fraud plebscite.
However, it never gave Baluchistan to Pakistan in the same way the British
never gave away Jammu & Kashmir to India.
When in 1949, Afghanistan’s “Loya Jirga” (Grand Council) declared the
Durand Line Agreement invalid and also raised objections in the United
Nations against the creation of Pakistan and its boundary decalared by the
British alone, the so-called world body had ignored the plea of a small
Pakistani Invasion of Indepent Baluchistan, 1948:
On August 11, 1947, the British acceded control of Balochistan to the
ruler of Balochistan, Mir Ahmad Yar Khan - the Khan of Kalat. The Khan
immediately declared the independence of Balochistan, and Mohammad Ali
Jinnah signed the proclamation of Balochistan’s sovereignty under the
The New York Times reported on August 12, 1947: “Under the agreement,
Pakistan recognizes Kalat as an independent sovereign state with a status
different from that of the Indian States. An announcement from New Delhi
said that Kalat, Moslem State in Baluchistan, has reached an agreement
with Pakistan for free flow of communications and commerce, and would
negotiate for decisions on defense, external affairs and communications.”
The next day, the NY Times even printed a map of the world showing
Balochistan as a fully independent country.
On August 15, 1947 the Khan of Kalat addressed a large gathering in Kalat
and formally declared the full independence of Balochistan, and proclaimed
the 15th day of August a day of celebration. The Khan formed the lower and
upper house of Kalat Assembly, and during the first meeting of the Lower
House in early September 1947, the Assembly confirmed the independence of
Balochistan. Jinnah tried to persuade the Khan to join Pakistan, but the
Khan and both Houses of the Kalat Assembly refused. The Pakistani army
then invaded Balochistan on April 15th, 1948, and imprisoned all members
of the Kalat Assembly. 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 Baluchistan or later of N.W.F.P.
Throughout the period of British rule of India, the British never occupied
Baluchistan. There were treaties and lease agreements between the two
sovereign states, but neither state invaded the other. Although the
treaties signed between British India and Balochistan provided many
concessions to the British, but none of the treaties permitted the British
to demark the boundaries of Baluchistan without the consent of the Baluch
rulers. Once Balochistan was secured through invasion, the Pakistanis
deceptively used the law of uti possidetis juris to their advantage and
continued occupation of territories belonging to Afghanistan, the N.W.F.P
with the full approval of the British Army in India and their supreme
As Pakistan is in illegal occupation of territories belonging to
Afghanistan and Balochistan under false pretenses, it is in Pakistan’s
interest to have a weak and destabilized government in Afghanistan so
there is no one to challenge the authenticity of the Durand Line
That was the reason Pakistan has joined the conspiracy of President Carter
and his national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski (as described in the
interview given by Brzezinshi to the French newspaper Le Nouvel
Observateur on 15-21 January 1998) to destabilize the Afghan government of
Noor Mohammed Taraki in 1978 by using Pakistani army and destroy it
completely through the invasions of the Muzzahideens in 1992 and Talibans
later in 1995 with the approval of President Clinton who has sent his
special adviser Robin Rafael to Kandahar to congratulate the Talibans. In
the same way Clinton administration has sent 10,000 strong Mujahideen
army, composed of Arabs, to Bosnia in 1991 to murder the Christian Serbs.
Even after 2001, Pakistani intelligence agencies have provided shelter for
members of Al-Qaeada and Taliban who are committing acts of terrorism
within Afghanistan to destabilize the democratically elected government of
President Hamid Karzai. Pakistan has waged a proxy war against the United
States through Taliban, and continues to terrorize the Afghan nation in
hopes to frustrate the US to leave Afghanistan and weaken the Afghan
government.Meanwhile, the Baloch have launched their “War of Independence”
in Iran and Pakistan.
Liberation Movement in Balochistan:
Mir Azaad Khan Baloch, the General Secretary, The Government of
Balochistan in Exile in Jerusalem decalared recently, “Afghanistan and
Baluchistan should form a legal team to challenge the illegal occupation
of Afghan territories and Baluchistan by Pakistan in the International
Court of Justice. Once the Durand Line Agreement is declared illegal, it
will result in the return of Pakistan-occupied territories back to
Afghanistan. Also, Baluchistan will be declared a country that was
forcibly invaded through use of force by the Pakistanis; and with
international assistance, Baluchistan can regain its independence.”
The Baloch freedom movement is not new but failed to draw the attention of
the world. A very serious crisis lasted from September 1961 to June 1963,
when diplomatic, trade, transit, and consular relations between
Baluchistan and Pakistan were suspended. Another insurgency erupted in
Balochistan in 1973 into an insurgency that lasted four years and became
increasingly bitter. The insurgency was put down by the Pakistan Army,
which employed brutal methods and equipment, including helicopter gunship,
provided by Iran and flown by Iranian pilots. The shah of Iran, who feared
a spread of the insurrection among the Iranian Baloch, generously gave
external assistance to Bhutto. By early 1974, an armed revolt was underway
in Baluchistan. By 2004 Baluchistan was up in arms against the federal
government, with the Baluchistan Liberation Army (BLA), Balochistan
Liberation Front, and People's Liberation Army conducting operations.
Rocket attacks and bomb blasts have been a regular feature in the
provincial capital, particularly its cantonment areas, Kohlu and Sui town,
since 2000, and had claimed over 25 lives by mid-2004.
The Gwadar Port project employed close to 500 Chinese nationals by 2004.
On 03 May 2004, the BLA killed three Chinese engineers working on the
Port. Rockets attacked Gwadar airport at midnight on 21 May 2004. On 09
October 2004, two Chinese engineers were kidnapped in South Waziristan in
the northwest of Pakistan, one of whom was killed later on October 14 in a
botched rescue operation. Violence reached a crescendo in March of 2005
when the Pakistani government attempting to target Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti,
a seventy-year-old Sardar (tribal leader) who had fought against the
government for decades, shelled the town of Dera Bugti. The fighting that
erupted between the tribal militia and government soldiers resulted in the
deaths of 67 people. Ultimately Nawab Bugti also became a martyr in the
cause of the liberation of Balochistan.
The Durand Line and N.W.F.P
To this date, the relations between Afghanistan, Balochistan and Pakistan
are characterized by rivalry, suspicion and resentment. The primary cause
of this hostility rests in the debate about the validity of the Durand
Line Agreement. Dubbing Durand line as a line of hatred Afghan President
Hamid Karzai has said he does not accept this line as it has raised a wall
between the two brothers, and slices a part of Afghanistan from the
motherland. He said this on 26 January 2006 after offering condolence over
the death of Khan Abdul Wali Khan, the last surviving son of the ‘Frontier
Gandhi’ Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, who was betrayed by Mahatma Gandhi in
1947. Afghanistan always vigorously protested the inclusion of Pashtun and
Baluch areas within Pakistan without providing the inhabitants with an
opportunity for self-determination.
In the 19th century, Afghanistan served as a strategic buffer state
between czarist Russia and the British Empire in the subcontinent.
Afghanistan's relations with Moscow became more cordial after the
Bolshevik Revolution in 1917. The Soviet Union was the first country to
establish diplomatic relations with Afghanistan after the Third
Anglo-Afghan war and signed an Afghan-Soviet non-aggression pact in 1921,
which also provided for Afghan transit rights through the Soviet Union.
Early Soviet assistance included financial aid, aircraft and attendant
technical personnel, and telegraph operators.
British during their Empire in India were anxious to award N.W.F.P to the
Muslim League to minimize the importance of Afghanistan, a pro-Soviet
state. The most important party in the N.W.F.P was the Khudai Khidmatgars
who had formed the government there since 1935 in collaboration with the
Congress party of India. The opinion of the British governor Sir George
Cunningham was the same of that of the Muslim League that, since the
Hindus were not a people of the Book, and since the Khudai Khidmatgars of
Khan Abdul Gaffer Khan were working in concerned with the Hindu Congress
for national independence and freedom from British slavery, hence this
partnership was in fact a partnership with heathenish Kafirs.
The Muslim League always had been an ally of the British, and it was
wholly unsympathetic to all the Muslim organizations fighting the British
– to the righteous scholars and leaders of Deoband, whom it did no even
desist from abusing. It was not prepared to recognize the efforts of other
individual Muslims who were contributing to the national movement for
independence. On the contrary, it had kept pressing the British not to
recognize any other Muslim or Muslim organization except the Muslim League
as representative of the country’s entire Muslims, when it was very
unpopular party among the Muslims in Bengal, Sindh, and N.W.F.P, all
Muslim majority areas of the British India.
The British practically handed over the N.W.F.P to The Muslim League
through a referendum where the supporters of the Khudai Khidmatgars
abstained because of the absurd advice of Mahatma Gandhi. Khudai
Khidmatgars and the Congress Party of Gandhi used to have the political
power of the N.W.F.P since 1935. Gandhi gave them assurance that if they
abstain the referendum would be morally invalid and annulled. (Gandhi gave
the same absurd advice to the Hindus in the referendum in the Mayamansingh
district of East Bengal and as a result the whole of the district with
about with about half of the population as Hindus went to Pakistan). The
British had managed to persuade through bribing some members of the
legislative assembly to support the inclusion of N.W.F.P in Pakistan.
Immediately after 1947 Pakistan had started killing members of the Khudai
Khidmatgars and most Pushtun leaders, including Khan Abdul Gaffer Khan had
to take sanctuary in Afghanistan, then an anti-British and pro-Soviet
The Soviets began a major economic assistance program in Afghanistan in
the 1950s. Between 1954 and 1978, Afghanistan received more than $1
billion in Soviet aid, including substantial military assistance. In 1973,
the two countries announced a $200-million assistance agreement on gas and
oil development, trade, transport, irrigation, and factory construction.
Since 1978, the Soviet Union started providing large-scale military
assistance to Afghanistan to protect the country from the invasion
launched by Pakistan with the full encouragement of the CIA to destroy the
socialist government of Noor Mahamed Taraki. When it became obvious that
Afghanistan alone cannot resist the aggression of Pakistan, the Soviet
army came to Afghanistan in December 1979 to help maintain its
independence until 1992.
After 1979, the Soviets augmented their large aid commitments to shore up
the Afghan economy and rebuild the Afghan military. They provided the
Karmal regime an unprecedented $800 million. The Soviet Union supported
the Najibullah regime even after the withdrawal of Soviet troops in
February 1989. Russia has provided military assistance to the Northern
Alliance against the Pakistan backed Talibans. Osama Bin Laden started off
as a Mujahideen, against the Soviet backed socialist government of
Afghanistan. He was actively sponsored by the CIA and other Western
intelligence agencies and was felicitated in both the White House of
Washington and the White Hall of London.
A grand Pakhtoon-Baloch tribal convention was held in Pesawar on 11
February 2006 where prominent Pakhtoon and Baloch leaders endorsed a call
for the elimination of the infamous and imaginary British-made Durand Line
with the objective of creating a Greater Balochistan. Awami National Party
(ANP) leader Asfandyar Wali Khan said that the Pakhtoon nation was passing
through a critical phase of its history, and therefore, the ANP had
convened the tribal convention to devise a strategy to counter the ongoing
Pakistan military operations in Balochistan and the North West Frontier
Province (NWFP). The Pakhtoon Milli Wahdat revolves around the elimination
of the Durand Line, dividing Pakistan and Afghanistan, so that Pakhtoons
living in NWFP, Balochistan and tribal areas in Pakistan and Afghanistan
could form a state of their own.
A New Map for the Middle East:
Ralph Peter, in The Armed Forces Journal of the U.S, in June 2006,
suggested that there has to be a major changes in the map of the Middle
East, including Pakistan and Afghanistan to do justice to the ethnic
groups who were forced to live under alien governments because the British
and the French after the fall of the Ottoman Empire in 1918 have
arbitrarily divided up the Middle East without thinking about the
consequences of their actions on various nationalities who used to live
under the Turkish Empire. According to this “New Map of the Middle East”,
Iran, “a state with madcap boundaries”, would lose a great deal of
territory to Unified Azerbaijan, Free Kurdistan, the Arab Shia State and
Free Baluchistan, but would gain the provinces around Herat in today"s
Afghanistan — a region with a historical and linguistic affinity for Iran.
Iran would, in effect, become an ethnic Persian state again.
What Afghanistan would lose to Iran in the west, it would gain in the
east, as Pakistan"s Northwest Frontier tribes would be reunited with their
Afghan brethren. Pakistan, another unnatural state, would also lose its
Baluch territory to Free Baluchistan. The remaining "natural" Pakistan
would lie entirely east of the Indus, except for a westward spur near
Thus, even among the most conservative circle of the USA the support for
free Baluchistan and N.W.F.P is gaining ground due to the treacherous
character of Pakistan. While it is receiving massive amount of military
and civilian aid from the U.S, Pakistan is still giving sanctuary to both
Taliban and Al Queada, giving them free areas to roam in the N.W.F.P.
Pakistan no longer enjoys the unconditional support of the United States.
In a lightning visit to Afghanistan, India and Pakistan in March 2006, US
president George Bush did not conceal where his favour lay. He left India
having signed a much-coveted deal on nuclear energy, while his visit to
Pakistan left Musharraf with nothing.
India enjoys support in Kabul from not only Karzai and his cabinet but
many political elements that fought the Taliban, especially the Northern
Alliance that was supported by Iran, the U.S. and its allies and continues
to be friendly towards India. A strong, stable Afghanistan, bolstered by
American military and diplomatic support, and further strengthened by an
alliance with India, could on the other hand make Pakistan very
uncomfortable indeed. India should take advantage of this historic
opportunity to free both Baluchistan and N.W.F.P from Pakistan by giving
total support to the Baluch freedom fighters and to the Afghan government,
as Mrs. Indira Gandhi has changed the map of Pakistan in 1971. While
Pakistan is continuously drawing the attention of the world about India’s
so-called ‘injustice’ to Kashmir, which Pakistan has invaded in October
1947, there is no reason for India to conceal the fact that Pakistan has
occupied an independent country Balochistan in April 1948.
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