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Wednesday, Oct 23, 2019

India and the State of Kalat

Congress President Maulana Abul Kalam Azad had argued that Kalat would never be able to survive as a sovereign, independent state.

india Updated: Aug 28, 2006 19:00 IST

• The Khan of Kalat in March 1946 deputed Samad Khan - a member of the All India Congress Commitee (AICC) - to plead Kalat's (the then Balochistan's) case with the Congress leadership.

• The interim Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru rejected Kalat's claims, presumably due to the party's general attitude to the princely states.

• Ghaus Baksh Bizenjo, president of the Kalat State National Party, went to Delhi and met Congress President Maulana Abul Kalam Azad.

• Azad argued that Kalat would never be able to survive as a sovereign, independent state and would have to ask for British protection.

• Such a demand, Azad said, would render the sovereignty of the subcontinent meaningless. This was why Indian help for Kalat was ruled out.

• Afterwards, an All India Radio (AIR) broadcast of March 27, 1948 reported a press conference by VP Menon, Secretary in the Ministry of States.

• Menon revealed that the Khan of Kalat was pressing India to accept Kalat's accession, but added that India would have nothing to do with it.

• The Khan was upset by this. He reportedly told Pakistan's President Muhammad Ali Jinnah to begin negotiations for Kalat's treaty of accession to Pakistan.

• The Cabinet minutes of that meeting, as well as Nehru's reply to a question on March 30, 1948, made it clear that Menon was misquoted. But the damage had already been done.

First Published: Feb 09, 2006 21:18 IST

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