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Accession or Annexation?

Lord Mountbatten was advised that Kalat or Balochistan's location made it too risky for independence.

india Updated: Aug 28, 2006 19:00 IST

• Pre-1947, most of Balochistan was the State of Kalat, as already discussed in "The State of Kalat".

The British entered in 1839, and in 1876, had a treaty to station troops there, pledging to "respect the sovereignty and independence of Kalat".

They delinked principalities like Las Bela, Kharan and Makran and created British Balochistan.

The sardars of the principalities were given powers and the Khan of Kalat ignored. Pakistan adopted the same rule of autonomy.

• Unlike the 560-odd princely states, which were in category 'A' under the political department, Kalat was, along with Bhutan and Sikkim, under the External Affairs department and in category 'B'.

So the Khan of Kalat never joined the Chamber of Princes in Delhi. And when it was decided to partition India, the last ruler of Kalat, Mir Ahmad Yar Khan, sought independence.

• In March 1946, the Khan gave a memorandum to the British Cabinet Mission saying Kalat would retain the independence it had prior to 1876; the Baloch principalities which had been its tributaries would revert back to it; and the new post-partition governments would inherit treaty relation ships with colonial India, not those with Whitehall.

Mohammed Ali Jinnah with the Khan of Kalat, Ahmed Yar Khan

• On August 15, 1947, a day after Pakistan came into being, the Khan declared Kalat's independence.

But he offered to negotiate a relationship with Pakistan for Defence, Foreign Affairs and Communications.

(Pakistani historians say he was not representative of Baloch sentiments).

First Published: Feb 09, 2006 21:18 IST