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Showing posts from February 18, 2010

BOOK REVIEW: The taming of Kalat

A.G. NOORANIA fascinating study of a sub-nationalism in which tragedy and farce are closely intertwined.
KALAT was Pakistan’s Hyderabad. Both princely states refused to accede to the Union of the country to which they properly belonged. Both received Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s legal advice that on the lapse of British paramountcy on August 15, 1947, they become independent sovereign states. There were standstill agreements in both cases. Hyderabad had to be brought into the Indian Union by armed action on September 13, 1948.The British were dismayed at Jinnah’s legal advice to Kalat. It was never independent, nor was Hyderabad. The Khan of Kalat acceded to Pakistan only on March 20, 1948, when his intrigues with New Delhi and Kabul were exposed. However, in mid-July the Khan’s brother returned from Afghanistan where he had fled with a lashkar (army). Pakistan’s army had to engage them. Unfortunately, successive governments neglected Balochistan and its sensitive part, Kalat, fuelling Baloch…