Thursday, May 27, 2010
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Inayatullah Baloch writes in his book, The Problem of Greater Balochistan, that the British ignored all evidence of certain areas coming under the jurisdiction or influence of the Khan of Kalat and gifted them away to either Iran or Afghanistan, in a bid to placate the rulers in these two countries and befriend them in apprehension of an attack from the Russian side. This was the Great Game of those times and the Baloch had to pay dearly for the selfish motives of the colonial rulers. In fact, a secret diary prepared by the British representative at Kalat on April 20,1872, to the British Government of India suggested that Sardar Ibrahim Khan Sanjrani of Chakansur (Outer Seistan) acted as a vassal of the Khanate. Sir Robert Sandeman, in the letters to Lord Curzon dated November 22, 1891 and January 12, 1892, also described the western limits of the Khanate as Hassanabad Q (Irani-Seistan) and the Helmand river near Rudbar in Afghanistan. The final demarcation of Seistan took place in 1904 by the British Commissioner, Sir Henry McMahon, but the historical right of the Khanate and the principle of the right to self-determination were ignored. Sanjrani, chief of Chakansur, refused to acknowledge the Afghan rule under Amir Abdul Rahman. Nonetheless, the Kabul policy of British India encouraged Abdul Rahman to occupy the country. Nothing was known about the reaction of Mir Khudadad Khan, the then ruler of Balochistan.
The Baloch-Afghan or McMahon Line covers an area from New Chaman to the Perso-Baloch border. The boundary was demarcated by the Indo-Afghan Boundary Commission headed by Capt. (later Sir) A. Henry McMahon in 1896. The boundary runs through the Baloch country, dividing one family from another and one tribe from another, according to Inayatullah Baloch. As the Khan was not consulted by the British in the demarcation of the Perso-Baloch Frontier, the validity of the line was seen as doubtful by the Balochis. The partition of Balochistan took place without taking into consideration the 4 factors of geography, culture,history, and the will of the people. The final outcome of the boundary settlements imposed on the Baloch was:
· Seistan and Western Makran, Sarhad, etc. became part of Iran.
· Outer Seistan and Registan came under the control of Afghanistan.
· Jacobabad, Derajat and Sibi were included in British India.
· The Khanate of Balochistan was recognised as an independent state with the status of a protectorate.
During the process of demarcation of the frontier, several areas of the Khanate of Balochistan were surrendered by the British authorities to Iran and Afghanistan. The change in the British approach was visible in the way the Khan was treated during the negotiations. In 1871, the Khan was allowed to participate and the commission was called The Perso-Baloch Boundary Commission, but in 1896, it was called The Anglo-Persian Joint Boundary Commission. The Balochis had for all practical purposes lost their independence and autonomy.
By 1905, the demarcation of the boundary between British India and Iran on the one hand and between British India and Afghanistan on the other had quite effectively and unalterably divided the Balochis among three states British India, Afghanistan and Iran. The Khanate lost its previous glory. Even inside Balochistan, direct British rule was imposed on certain strategic areas like Derajati, Jacobabad and Sibi while the rest of the Balochi territory was under the control of the Khan of Kalat, whose Khanate was a mere protectorate of the British government. In order to further delimit Khans influence, the British encouraged the vassals of the Khanate in Makran and Las Bela to emerge as separate protectorates and thus there was a practical administrative trifurcation of the Khanate even within British India, i.e., the British Balochistan, the Khanate and Independent princely states of Makran, Kharan and Las Bela, and the tribal territories.
Nevertheless, Baloch tribes in the 19th century and at the beginning of the 20th century showed their hatred of the unnatural and unjust partition through their revolts against British and Persian rule. Gul Khan, a nationalist writer, wrote: Due to the decisions of (boundary) Commissions more than half of the territory of Balochistan came under the possession of Iran and less than half of it was given to Afghanistan.
The factor for the division of a lordless Balochistan was to please and control the Iran and Afghanistan governments against Russia2 in favour of Britain.
In 1932, the Baloch Conference of Jacobabad voiced itself against the Iranian occupation of Western Balochistan. In 1933, Mir Abdul Aziz Kurd, a prominent national leader of Balochistan, showed his opposition to the partition and division of Balochistan by publishing the first map of Greater Balochistan. In 1934, Magsi, the head of the Baloch national movement, suggested an armed struggle for the liberation and unification of Balochistan. However, it was a difficult task because of its division into several parts, each part with a different constitutional and political status.
As a border area, the British were more interested in keeping the area calm and quiet. Through the principalities and the tribal sardars, the British had astutely created a system of collaborative administration of the area and its people, which proved effective. The Khanate of Kalat was completely subdued and with the emasculation of the predominant seat of power in Balochistan, the British had ensured perpetuation of their rule in the entire region. The British system had, in fact, developed a curious sense of centripetality about it too. The moment Pakistan emerged as the heir to the British in 1947, the Shahi Jirga, a remnant of the British system of patronage, consisting of collaborative sardars and feudal overlords, immediately veered around Pakistan and supported Balochistan's accession to Pakistan. The rulers of Kharan and Makran were also too timid to support the Khan.
Baloch people are also known as Balochi, Balochee, Baluchee, Beloochi but they all mean the same. In this paper one or more of these expressions have been used but they all refer to the same Baluchi/Balochi people.
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Ahead of the Tablighi Jamaat’s annual congregation in Raiwind near Lahore — one of the largest congregations of Islamic world attended by at least one and half million Muslims — there has been a day-long meeting of at least 50 former officers of Pakistan’s armed forces in Raiwind to discuss the future agenda of the rapidly-expanding movement.
Though party sympathizers term the meeting as ‘routine’, insiders claim these retired officers had travelled from across the country to attend this special meeting of “Halqa-e-Khawas” (group of special people) and were well-taken care of and hosted by the Ameer of TJ, Maulana Abdul Wahab. It may be interesting to note that Maulana Abdul Wahab is no seminary student but an ordinary landlord.
The annual congregation of TJ, which is considered a non-resistant and non-political Islamic revivalist movement, is scheduled from Nov 5-8, 2009.
The meeting, convened under the driving force of this group in Pakistan armed forces, Lt Gen (r) Javed Nasir, former director general Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), was attended by at least 50 former high-rank officers of the military including many generals, brigadiers and admirals and even top police officers etc. Apart from Lt Gen (r) Nasir, there were Lt Gen (r) Agha Masood Hasan, former naval chief Admiral (r) Karamat Rehman Niazi, Lt Gen (r) Aftab Ahmed and others.
The objective of this meeting was to discuss the possibility of politicizing its agenda. Many retired army officers were convinced that the TJ now should have a political manifesto. Maulana Abdul Wahab, the head of TJ, reportedly related the first phase of the party to Prophet Muhammad’s time in Mecca where he tolerated all violence and criticism by infidels and patiently focused on preaching Islam. Maulana Abdul Wahab, who believes that one day the rule of Allah must be set up in the world, however, asked these retired army men that being the main force of this party, they should start planning about the direction this gathering of millions gathering should take.
“There are thousands of serving army men who have joined this party and no force disallows the soldiers from practicing their religion,” said a former army officers who was privy to this particular meeting. “If you want to know the depth of this party, you have to jump into it.”
The Jamaat is extending its influence throughout the world, especially South Asia. In Pakistan it has impressed people from all walks of life including soldiers, rulers, political leaders, scientists, businessmen, sportsman, showbiz people, singers, doctors, engineers, students and many other important professions.
TJ has a loose structure and a non-charismatic leadership. The leadership is so non-charismatic that the party has no official name. The name “Tablighi Jamaat” has been publicly adopted following their motives and the way their groups have been preaching street to street.
Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Kandhalawi [1885-1944], a student of Dar-ul-Aloom Deoband conceived this unmanned group, which later emerged as Tablighi Jamaat in Mewat (India) in mid-1920s. After completing his education at Deoband, Maulana Ilyas took up a teaching position at seminary Mazaharul Uloom in Saharanpur. He also prepared a team of young madrassa graduates from Deoband and Saharanpur and sent them to Mewat to establish a network of mosques and Islamic schools throughout the region.
According to historical accounts, the first Tablighi conference held in November 1941 in Mewat was attended by 25,000 people. Many of them had walked on foot for ten to fifteen miles to attend the congregation.
In Pakistan, the family of political leaders like Nawaz Sharif are also great sponsors of Tablighi Jamaat. Mian Sharif, his father, is believed to be a prominent member and financier. He also managed to make his Tablighi friend Muhammad Rafiq Tarar president of Pakistan when Nawaz Sharif was the prime minister. In 1995, the military officers who hatched a conspiracy against the then Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto were associated with Tablighi Jamaat. A coup was thwarted against many high-ranking military officers and civilians, all of whom were members of the Tablighi Jamaat.
An investigative report published in The News on Feb 13, 1995 discussed the connection between the Tablighi Jamaat and Harakat ul-Mujahideen, founded in 1980 and “their clandestine role in supporting Islamic extremist movements in different countries.”
Westerns press reports term this Jamaat as having a great potential for jihad. After more than 80 years of this ‘quiet revolution’, voices have started rising that this Jamaat should do more to purge the world of infidelity, predicting another storm.
The Mysterious Activities of Tablighi Jamaat in Balochistan.
After reading the Background and Intentions of the TJ, if one analyzes their activities in Baloch, the agenda reveals many conspiracies in form of Preaching of Islam during a period when Baloch Nation is at war. We find a sudden increase in the TJ activities in Balochistan, specifically in areas where the resistance movement is stronger and the Baloch Resistance Fighters got more sympathizers. Every year only one Tabligi Ijtimah is organized in Each Province of Pakistan that is one in Sindh, One in Punjab and one in Kyber Pakthunkwa, but in Baloch the number exceeds dozens. It’s strange that the Pashtoon Parts of Balochistan is completely neglected when venue for the Ijthimah is selected. Some parts of Balochistan where the notorious act of killing women, burying them alive and worshiping the graves is common like Naseerabad, Jaffarabad etc we never see these Tabligi Jummat people arranging Ijthimahs or other events. All events are organized in the areas where Baloch resistance is higher and where raising the flag of Pakistan is not possible due to the sentiments of the Baloch People.
May be the TJ administrators consider the Balochs as Infidals and Non muslims specifically those who are fighting for the independence of Balochistan from Punjabi occupation.
In April 2009 when Shaheed Ghulam Muhammad Baloch and his companions were martyred by the Pakistani army in Kech Makuran after kidnapping them from their lawyers office in front of dozens of witnesses. Violent protests started throughout Balochistan, and suddenly Mr Tariq Jameel started a long Tabligi Campaign in the most disturbed areas of Balochistan, where he declared the Punjabi murderers as oppressed and the murdered Balochs as the oppressors, and he preached the love for the slavery Punjab rather than love for Islamic teachings and Values.
Religion depends on one’s personal believes and faith and should not be associated with politics. Indulging religion with politics creates catastrophic effects, we have examples like the Indo-Pakistan Partitiion which resulted in the massacre of hundreds and thousands of innocent human beings (both hindus and muslims), similar results we saw in World War 2 when Hitler ordered the genocide of Jews. The history is full of such incidents when religion was used as a tool to oppress others and Tabligi Jummat is no Exception that Punjab is using this as a tool to suppress Baloch Nation.