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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