31 January 2013

Speech delivered by the Khan of Kalat in September 1949

The historic speech below was delivered by the Khan of Kalat, Mir Ahmad Yar Khan, in Kalat to Sardars of the former Kalat State in September 1949. He explained to them that the Kalat State's delay in acceding to Pakistan had been "due to some misunderstanding." He continued:

"I was sure at that time, and I am also sure even now, that there is no such person in the whole of the Kalat State and the Baloch tribe, who cherishes any ill-will against the Pakistan Government. As my tribe is uneducated and ignorant, it could not make a decision about accession early. At that time, the Pakistan Government faced hardships and dangers on all sides and wished that there should be no hardships except of Kashmir to stand in its way. The Pakistan Government had no evil designs against you at that time or now. But the circumstances which confronted them were so much intricate that they had no other alternative but to take possession of some parts of the State [of Kalat]...After that, you were naturally disappointed and the circumstances reached such a stage that I was left with no alternative but to ask the Pakistan Government to take the administration of the Kalat State into their hands...I had impressed upon the minds of some of the elders among you that there was no other better course for the Kalat State except to accede to Pakistan, but at that time you adhered to your previous decision, and having reduced your decision to writing gave it to the Wazir-e-Azam...The result of this has been that when the incident of Abdul Karim cropped up, I was compelled to ask the Pakistan Government to take the administration of the Kalat State in their own hands...

"My brother had taken quite an unwise step. He turned against the Pakistan Government and fled to Afghanistan where some person joined him and intended to do something. Acting statesmanly, I sent my uncle and teacher to him to tell him that in case he did not return, he should consider himself to be no more from me. I am glad he acted on my advice and returned here. But as he did not obey my instructions (instructions of an elder), he was sent to jail...

"In the meantime, the Quaid-e-Azam died. It was our duty to serve him when he was alive. After his death, it is our duty to serve Pakistan...Now that we have joined ourselves with Pakistan, we should work for it. If we did not do so, its bad effect will not only be confined to us alone, but will also affect Pakistan...At present I cannot use both the Houses as Parliament because...we have acceded to Pakistan...If I did not use you as Parliament, do not be disappointed...The question now before us is the maintenance of Pakistan. If Pakistan exists, we can lead an honourable life...Hence, we should always be prepared to serve Pakistan. Our economic condition is not sound. We are not united. Thus, we are a burden for Pakistan.

"If we act upon the Qur’an, we shall certainly achieve our object. I repeat it on behalf of the Pakistan Government. If an Islamic Government is set up in Pakistan, it will be the strongest Government. If the Islamic Government is disregarded, there will be democracy or communism. I oppose communism...because it has no religion. Democracy requires education and training. The example of the Punjab Government which lacked education and training is before you...Kalat is even more in a backward position. Democracy requires education so that we may take charge of the Government. Keep all things before you and consult each other.

"As regards myself, it is my duty to serve you...It is not a trifling matter to raise a backward tribe like yours. I am grateful to you for assisting me. Be united now. Consult each other and do such acts as may be advantageous to you and to Pakistan as well."
Source: Balochistan Secretariat’s Records, Basta 27.1.367-S/49.1949, Balochistan Secretariat, Quetta, Balochistan, Pakistan

27 January 2013

Saffron Terror: India's Admission of Hindu Terrorism

Truth took time to surface but finally it did.

On 20 January 2013, India's Home Minister, Sushil Kumar Shinde, stated, "We have got an investigation report that be it RSS [Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh] or BJP [Bharatiya Janata Party], their training camps are promoting Hindu terrorism. We are keeping a strict vigil on all this." He went on to add that, "Whether it is Samjhauta blast or Mecca Masjid blast or Malegaon blast, they plant bombs and blame it on the minorities."

...or Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

A couple of days later, on 22 January 2013, India's Home Secretary, R.K. Singh, backed Shinde's remarks and confirmed that at least 10 people, who were allegedly involved in a spate of terror attacks in different parts of the country, had links with the ultra-nationalist Hindu RSS or its affiliated organisations. "During investigation of Samjhauta Express, Mecca Masjid and (Ajmer) Dargah Sharif blasts, we have found at least 10 names who have been associated with the RSS at some point or the other," Singh said.

Also on 22 January 2013, India's External Affairs Minister, Salman Khurshid, agreeing with Shinde's statement on Hindu terrorism, stated that it was based "entirely on facts." Khurshid said, "Let me just say this to you very clearly that our stated position, that is shared fully by the home minister and past home minister, is based entirely on facts as the investigative agencies have made available to the government."

Therefore, the reality of Hindu terrorism as well as the existence of Hindu terrorist training camps on India's soil has been admitted officially by three high-ranking Indian government officials - the Indian Home Minister, the Indian Home Secretary and the Indian External Affairs Minister.

This is not the first time that the Indian government has admitted the existence of Hindu terrorism. On 25 August 2010, then Indian Home Minister P. Chidambaram "cautioned the chiefs of State police forces, security and intelligence officials against...the recently uncovered phenomenon of ‘saffron terrorism’."

It has now been established that Hindu terrorist organizations were responsible for, among others, the following major terrorist incidents in India, most of which were originally blamed either on the ISI or the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT):
(i) 2002 Godhra train burning (59 killed) - a false flag terrorist incident to justify the 2002 Gujarat massacre
(ii) 2002 Gujarat massacre (genocide of over 2,000 Muslims)
(iii) 2006 Malegaon blasts (37 Muslims killed)
(iv) 2007 Samjhauta Express attack (68 killed, mostly Pakistanis)
(v) 2007 Ajmer Sharif Dargah blast (3 Muslims killed)
(vi) 2007 Mecca Masjid bombing (16 Muslims killed)
(vii) 2008 Malegaon and Modasa blasts (8 Muslims killed)
In the immediate aftermath of the Samjhauta Express terrorist attack on 18 February 2007 near the Indian city of Panipat in which 68 passengers were killed, mostly Pakistanis, both the Indian government and media had blamed the ISI and LeT for the attacks. Now the Indian government is admitting that, in fact, Hindu terrorists were responsible for those terrorist attacks. One wonders how many other "false flag" terrorist attacks in India, carried out by Hindu terrorists, were blamed on the ISI or LeT? Invariably, every terrorist incident in India is habitually blamed on either the ISI or the LeT in knee-jerk fashion, even before any investigation has begun. The result is that Hindu terrorists carry out terrorism on Indian soil with impunity, safe in the knowledge that the ISI or LeT would be blamed by the Indian government, the Indian media and the Indian people.

It may be pertinent to mention that no political party in Pakistan has been proven to be linked to terrorism. Yet India's second largest party, the BJP, has been proven to be linked to terrorism, as admitted by India's government. This shows that, unlike Pakistan, terrorist organizations have acquired political power in India, especially in the Indian State of Gujarat (see "The Gujarat massacre - New India's blood rite").

Let it also not be forgotten that the assassinations of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi were carried out by either Hindus or Sikhs, and not by the ISI, Pakistanis or Muslims. So India should stop blaming Pakistan and the ISI for every terrorist incident that takes place on its soil and awaken to the reality of its homegrown Hindu terrorists.

Now that India is in a mea culpa moment and in the mood of admitting hard facts, which it has previously denied, it should also admit that it is exporting terrorism to Pakistan directly, and indirectly through Afghanistan, where the Indian Embassy in Kabul and Indian Consulates in Kandahar and Jalalabad are planning, sponsoring, financing, training and supplying weapons and explosives to terrorist organizations such as the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) to carry out terrorist attacks and targetted killings in Pakistan.

12 January 2013

Who is killing the Hazaras in Balochistan Province?

As an ethnic group, the approximately 500,000 Hazaras in Balochistan Province, apart from being Shia, are also extremely patriotic Pakistanis. In the last five years, approximately 1,100 Hazaras have lost their lives to terrorism in Balochistan. Are they being targetted because they're Shia or because they're pro-Pakistan? Are they being punished for their faith or for their loyalty to the Pakistani State? Or both? While Lashkar-e-Jhangvi is the usual suspect, the Balochistan Liberation Army and other separatist terrorist groups (as well as their foreign sponsors) should not be ruled out.

Irrespective of the motive of those who are doing the killing, it is the duty of the Pakistani State to protect the Hazaras and bring the perpetrators of these crimes to swift and exemplary justice.

The inept, corrupt and bloated current civilian government in Balochistan (51 members out of the 64-member Balochistan Provincial Assembly are either government ministers or advisors) has failed miserably to protect the lives and properties of Balochistan's residents, including the Hazaras. The only solution is Governor's Rule and a province-wide military operation against all terrorist organizations, including Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and the Balochistan Liberation Army.

Pakistan's most prominent Hazara, General Muhammad Musa, Commander-in-Chief of the Pakistan Army (1 April 1957 - 17 September 1966); Governor of West Pakistan (18 September 1966 – 20 March 1969); and Governor of Balochistan (17 December 1985 - 12 March 1991)

The photograph below, taken on 13 January 2013, shows Hazaras on a peaceful vigil in the freezing cold of Quetta, with the coffin of their dead draped in the Pakistani flag. Even in the depths of despair, this is a poignant patriotic moment, evidencing an act of supreme faith in Pakistan.

10 January 2013

Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah's Passport: Setting the Record Straight

Self-exiled MQM leader, Altaf Hussain, in a telephonic address to his party workers from London on 10 January 2013, tried to justify his British nationality and passport by claiming that Pakistan's founder, Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, also had a British passport.

This is factually incorrect since Quaid-e-Azam had a British Indian passport, not a British passport. There's a difference: a British passport denotes British nationality whereas a British Indian passport denoted that the holder was a subject (as opposed to national) of the British Indian Empire. Quaid-e-Azam's British Indian passport was issued at Karachi in 1946 when Pakistan did not exist and Karachi was part of the British Indian Empire. Before the independence of Pakistan and India in August 1947, all citizens of British India were considered British Indian subjects and were issued British Indian passports for travel purposes.

Also, Quaid-e-Azam did not have the option of choosing his nationality in 1946, whereas post-1947, Pakistani politicians do have a choice. Quaid-e-Azam was born a British Indian subject, like all others born in British India at that time, whereas Altaf Hussain was born a Pakistani national and voluntarily applied for and acquired British nationality. On page 1B of Quaid-e-Azam's British Indian passport, under the "National Status/Nationality" section (see below), it clearly reads "British Subject by Birth" (not "British National"), as he was born in Karachi, which was then part of the British Indian Empire), whereas Altaf Hussain is a British national by choice.

Furthermore, even after Pakistan's independence, Pakistani nationals continued to use British Indian passports until Pakistan began printing its own passports, which was not until the early-1950s. Indeed, there was no such thing as a "Pakistani passport" from the time of Pakistan's independence on 14 August 1947 until Quaid-e-Azam's death on 11 September 1948. It may be pertinent to mention that Pakistan was a Dominion under the British Crown until 23 March 1956, when it adopted its first Constitution and became the "Islamic Republic of Pakistan." In fact, the Islamic scholar and Austrian Jewish convert to Islam, Muhammad Asad (formerly Leopold Weiss), who was not a British Indian citizen, became the first Pakistani passport holder in 1951 when he was issued with a travel document by the Government of Pakistan marked "Citizen of Pakistan" to enable him to tour the Middle East in his capacity as the Pakistani Foreign Ministry's Deputy Secretary in charge of the Middle East Division.

Finally, in the same manner in which he gave up wearing his Savile Row suits in favour of the achkan and sherwani after Pakistan's independence, Quaid-e-Azam never used his British Indian passport after Pakistan came into being on 14 August 1947.

Therefore, Altaf Hussain's comparison of his acquired British passport with Quaid-e-Azam's historical British Indian passport, apart from being unwarranted and inappropriate, is misplaced and misleading.

Quaid-e-Azam's last passport, issued by the Passport Office, Government of Sind, at Karachi, British India, on 28 November 1946, is reproduced below:

05 January 2013

Gwadar's Accession to Pakistan

Gwadar is a hammerhead-shaped peninsula protruding into the Arabian Sea from the westernmost coastline of Pakistan in Balochistan province. It is situated at the apex of the Arabian Sea and at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, approximately 460 km (290 mi) west of Karachi, 75 km (47 mi) east of Pakistan's border with Iran and 380 km (240 mi) km northeast of the nearest point in Oman across the Arabian Sea. It is a natural and strategic location for a warm-water, deep-sea port.

Before 1784, Gwadar was under the suzerainty of the Kalat State (also known as the "Khanate of Kalat"), a princely state that always remained under the paramountcy of various overarching empires at different periods of its history. In 1784, the Khan of Kalat, Mir Muhammad Naseer Khan I, of the Brahui Ahmadzai clan, granted suzerainty over the Gwadar peninsula and its hinterland to Sultan bin Ahmad of the Al Said dynasty of Muscat who, due to an internal power struggle with his brother, Said bin Ahmad, had escaped to Gwadar from Muscat in 1784. Upon returning to Muscat in 1792 and capturing power, Sultan bin Ahmad maintained his possession of Gwadar by appointing a wali (governor) and ordering a fort to be built there. Sultan bin Ahmad also ordered his governor to attack and annex the nearby Persian port of Chahbahar.

When Pakistan gained independence in 1947, Gwadar was still under Omani rule. With the independence of Pakistan and accession of all Baloch states to Pakistan, including the Chief Commissioner's Province of British Baluchistan on 15 August 1947 (under Section 2(2)(b) of the Indian Independence Act, 1947); the States of Kharan, Makran and Lasbela on 17 March 1948; and the Kalat State on 27 March 1948, the residents of Gwadar began raising the demand to join Pakistan.

In 1954, Pakistan engaged the United States Geological Survey (USGS) to conduct a survey of its coastline. The USGS deputed the surveyor, Worth Condrick, for the survey, who identified the hammerhead-shaped peninsula of Gwadar as a natural and suitable site for a new deep-sea port. This finding, coupled with the rising demands of the residents of Gwadar to join Pakistan, prompted Pakistan to make a formal request to the Sultan of Muscat and Oman, Said bin Taimur, for the transfer of Gwadar to Pakistan. On 7 September 1958, after four years of negotiations, including six months of intense negotiations, Pakistan purchased the Gwadar enclave from the Sultanate of Muscat and Oman for USD $3 million. Gwadar formally became part of Pakistan on 8 December 1958, after 174 years of Omani rule.

As Prime Minister Malik Feroze Khan Noon addressed the nation on Radio Pakistan on 7 September 1958 to break the news of Gwadar's accession to Pakistan, celebrations broke out in Gwadar, Balochistan and the rest of Pakistan. Below is the transcript of the Prime Minister's radio address:

"The Government of Pakistan has issued a communiqué stating that the administration of the Port of Gwadar and its hinterland, which had been in the possession of His Highness the Sultan of Muscat and Oman since 1784, was today taken over by Pakistan with full sovereign rights. The people of Gwadar have joined the people of Pakistan and the whole of Gwadar now forms part of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. I know that the people all over Pakistan, including those residing in Gwadar, have received this announcement with feelings of great joy. I welcome the residents of Gwadar into the Republic of Pakistan and I would like to assure them that they will enjoy equal rights and privileges along with all other Pakistan nationals irrespective of considerations of religion, caste or creed. They will have their full share in the glory and prosperity of the Republic to which they now belong. The residents of Gwadar, most of whom are members of the brave Baloch community, have close racial and cultural links with the people of Pakistan and joining the Republic of Pakistan represents the natural culmination of their political aspirations. I should like to take this opportunity to thank, on behalf of the people and Government of Pakistan, Her Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom for their assistance and help in bringing to a successful conclusion our negotiations with His Highness the Sultan of Muscat and Oman for the transfer of his rights in Gwadar. The negotiations were pursued with great vigour during the last six months and at every stage we received valuable advice from Her Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom. I should like to congratulate and thank his Highness the Sultan of Muscat and Oman on his wise and statesmanlike decision, which has endeared him to the people of Pakistan. The success of these negotiations and the return of Gwadar to Pakistan should help to illustrate that international disputes can be resolved in a peaceful and satisfactory manner provided that the parties to a dispute are prepared to approach the problem in a spirit of fairness and justice without allowing their emotions or prejudices to get the better of their judgment. I’ve been advocating this course during the last six months and I’m happy that the present Government has been able to establish the validity and effectiveness of this policy. Gwadar is the first fruit of this policy of goodwill and cooperation. I fervently hope and pray that it will be possible for us to resolve our other international disputes in an equally peaceful and reasonable manner. Pakistan Zindabad."
At the time, Gwadar was a small and underdeveloped fishing village with a population of a few thousand. Soon after its accession to Pakistan in 1958, the Government of Pakistan made Gwadar into a Tehsil (Sub-District) of Makran District in the erstwhile West Pakistan Province (after its accession to Pakistan in 1948, Makran had been made one of the districts of West Pakistan Province in October 1955). On 1 July 1970, when West Pakistan Province was dissolved into four separate provinces, Makran was declared one of the eight districts of the newly created Balochistan Province. On 1 July 1977, Makran was declared a Division and Gwadar was declared one of its three districts.