Khanate of Kalat
کلاتءِ ھانات ، خانات کلات
|Spoken languages||Brahui (dynastic), Balochi, Jatki, Dehwari|
|Historical era||Early Modern Period|
|1835||560,000 km2 (220,000 sq mi)|
|1940||139,850 km2 (54,000 sq mi)|
|Today part of||Pakistan|
|This article is part of the series|
|Former administrative units of Pakistan|
The Khanate of Kalat was a Brahui Khanate that originated from the Kalat region of Pakistan. Formed in 1666 due to the threat of Mughal expansion in the region, it controlled the wider Balochistan at its greatest extent in the mid-18th century, extending from Kerman in the west to Sindh in the east and from Helmand river in the north to the Arabian sea in the south. Khanate of Kalat lost considerable area to Qajar Iran and Emirate of Afghanistan in the early 19th century, and the city of Kalat was itself sacked by the British in 1839. Kalat became a self-governing state in a subsidiary alliance with British Raj after the signature of the Treaty of Kalat by the Khan of Kalat and the Baloch Sardars in 1875, and the supervision of Kalat became task of the Baluchistan Agency. Kalat was briefly independent from 12 August 1947 until 27 March 1948, when its ruler Ahmad Yar Khan acceded to Pakistan, making it one of the Princely states of Pakistan.
The Khanate of Kalat was the first unified polity to emerge in the history of Balochistan. It took birth from the confederacy of nomadic Brahui tribes native to the central Balochistan in 1666 which under Mir Ahmad Khan I declared independence from the Mughal suzerainty and slowly absorbed the Baloch principalities in the region. It was ruled over by the Brahui Ahmadzai dynasty till 1948.
The Baloch tribes had founded a Baloch confederacy under Mir Jalal Khan, the eponymous ancestor of Baloch people, in the 12th century. A second Baloch confederacy was established under Mir Chakar Rind with Sibi as its capital in 1487. However, the 30 year Rind-Lashari War (1482–1512) destroyed the power of the Baloch tribes, and Mir Chakar Rind was forced to migrate with his tribe towards Indus valley. This allowed the previously oppressed Brahuis to obtain political power, who eventually formed the Khanate of Kalat by ousting the Mughal governor.
The Khanate of Kalat was founded in 1666 by Mir Ahmad Khan. Soon after, a Mughal force invaded from Kandahar and occupied Quetta, Mastung, and Mangocher. In 1667, this force was decisively defeated in the Quetta valley and the khanate managed to regain the occupied districts along with Chagai. Samandar Khan was summoned to Multan by the Mughals and Kerman by the Safavids. The Mughal prince paid tribute to Samandar Khan whereas Safavid Beglar Begi presented Samandar Khan with a robe of gold, and paid tribute. Under Mir Abdullah Khan I (r.1713–34), the state expanded from Upper Sindh to Persia till the port of Bandar Abbas. The Khanate reached its peak during the reign of Nasir Khan I (r.1749–94), who had unified the Kalat region and conquered cities of Khash, Bampur, Qasr-e Qand and Zahedan in the Iranian Balochistan. Since 1748, Kalat was a vassal state of Durrani Empire, and assisted in the campaigns of Ahmad Shah such as in the Durrani Campaign to Khorasan. However, in 1758 Mir Nasir Khan I revolted against Ahmad Shah. The Afghans were dispatched under Shah Wali Khan to Kalat, but were defeated. As a result, Ahmad Shah marched himself with an army and defeated the Baluch armies in battle. Ahmad Shah laid siege to Kalat for over 40 days, and attempted to storm it, however it was unsuccessful. In the ensuing 1758 treaty of Kalat, the exact agreements are disputed. Some sources state that the Khanate of Kalat attained a sovereign status. According to some other accounts, Mir Nasir Khan had recognized suzerainty of Ahmad Shah, who guaranteed non-interference in the matters of Kalat. Nevertheless, Kalat did not pay any tribute to Durrani Empire thereafter, and provided military contingents in exchange of money only. Following the collapse of the Durranis, any trace of Afghan influence over Kalat ended after the death of Sher Dil Khan, the ruler of the Principality of Qandahar, in 1826.
The Khanate of Kalat declined in the early 19th century, losing much of its territory to Qajar Iran and Emirate of Afghanistan. The internal weakness of the state forced Khan of Kalat to sign the Treaty of Kalat (1876) with the British Agent Robert Sandeman in the late 19th century. Parts of the state to the north and northeast were leased or ceded to form the province of British Baluchistan, which later gained the status of a Chief Commissioners province. The Iran–Kalat Border was demarcated in 1896, and the former territories of Kalat Khanate now form part of Iranian province of Sistan and Balochistan.
With the withdrawal of the British from the Indian subcontinent in 1947, the Indian Independence Act provided that the princely states which had existed alongside but outside British India were released from all their subsidiary alliances and other treaty obligations. The rulers were left to decide whether to accede to one of the newly independent states of India or Pakistan (both formed initially from the British possessions) or to remain independent outside both. As stated by Sardar Patel, "On the lapse of Paramountcy every Indian State became a separate independent entity."
The Instruments of Accession made available for the rulers to sign transferred only limited powers, namely external relations, defence, and communications. The Shahi Jirga of Baluchistan and the non-official members of the Quetta Municipality, according to Pervaiz Iqbal Cheema, stated their wish to join Pakistan on 29 June 1947; however, according to the political scientist Rafi Sheikh, the Shahi Jirga was stripped of its members from the Kalat State prior to the vote.
Kalat remained fully independent from 15 August 1947 until 27 March 1948, when its ruler, Ahmad Yar Khan (1904–1979), finally acceded to Pakistan, becoming the last of the rulers to do so. Show elections were held during this period and a bicameral parliament was established. On the night of 27 March, All India Radio carried a story about Yar Khan approaching India with an unsuccessful request for accession in around February. The next morning, Yar Khan put out a public broadcast rejecting its veracity and declaring an immediate accession to Pakistan — all remaining differences were to be placed before Jinnah, whose decision would be binding.
Dushka H Saiyid emphasizes that Yar Khan lost all of his bargaining chips with the accession of Kharan, Las Bela, and Mekran leaving Kalat as an island. Salman Rafi Sheikh largely concurs with Saiyid's assessment: multiple other Kalat sardars were preparing to accede to Pakistan and Yar Khan would have hardly any territory left, if he did not accede.:
On 3 October 1952, the state of Kalat entered into the Baluchistan States Union with three neighbouring states, Kharan, Las Bela, and Makran, with Yar Khan of Kalat at the head of the Union with the title of Khan-e-Azam. The Khanate came to an end on 14 October 1955, when it was incorporated into West Pakistan.
Khanate of Kalat failed to survive through the colonial era and did not lead to the standardization of the Baloch language.
The Khanate of Kalat covered the area of 139,850 km2 (53,995 sq mi). The territories of the Khanate of Kalat flactuated throughout its history. At the time of death of Mir Nasir Khan I in 1794, it comprised the Iranian province of Sistan and Balochistan, Pakistani province of Balochistan, parts of Sindh and Afghan Balochistan till the Helmand river. Significantly reduced in the late 19th century, the princely state of Kalat occupied the central part of the territory of modern-day Balochistan province in Pakistan. To the north was the Baluchistan (Chief Commissioner's Province).
Kalat state was divided into following sub-divisions:
The rulers of Kalat at first held the title of Wali but in 1739 also took the title of (Begler Begi Khan), usually shortened to Khan. The last Khan of Kalat (Balochi: خان قلات) had the privilege of being the President of the Council of Rulers for the Baluchistan States Union. They also had the title of beylerbey.
|Tenure||Khan of Kalat |
|1512–1530||Mir Bijar Khan Mirwani|
|1530–1535||Mir Zagar Khan Mirwani|
|1535–1547||Mir Ibrahim Khan Qambrani (Changed his Royal family name from Mirwani to Qambrani )|
|1547–1549||Mir Gwahram Khan Qambrani|
|1549–1569||Mir Hassan Khan Qambrani|
|1569–1581||Mir Sanjar Khan Qambrani|
|1581–1590||Mir Malook Khan Qambrani|
|1590–1601||Mir Qambar Sani Khan Qambrani|
|1601–1610||Mir Ahmad Khan Qambrani I|
|1610–1618||Mir Suri Khan Qambrani|
|1618–1629||Mir Qaisar Khan Qambrani|
|1629–1637||Mir Ahmad Sani Khan Qambrani II|
|1637–1647||Mir Altaz Khan Qambrani I|
|1647–1656||Mir Kachi Khan Qambrani|
|1656–1666||Mir Altaz Sani Khan Qambrani II|
|1666–1695||Mir Ahmad I Khan Qambrani III (Changed his Royal family name from Qambrani to Ahmadzai )|
|1695–1697||Mir Mehrab Khan Ahmadzai I|
|1697–1714||Mir Samandar Khan Ahmadzai|
|1714–1716||Mir Ahmad II Khan Ahmadzai|
|1716–1731||Mir Abdullah Khan Ahmadzai|
|1731–1749||Mir Muhabbat Khan Ahmadzai|
|1749–1794||Mir Muhammad Nasir Khan I Ahmadzai|
|1794–1817||Mir Mahmud Khan I Ahmadzai|
|1817–1839||Mir Mehrab Khan Ahmadzai II|
|1839–1841||Mir Shah Nawaz Khan Ahmadzai|
|1841–1857||Mir Nasir Khan II Ahmadzai|
|1857–1863||Khudadad Khan Ahmadzai (1st time)|
|1863–1864||Mir Sherdil Khan Ahmadzai (usurped throne)|
|1864–1893||Mir Khudadad Khan (2nd time)|
|1893–1931||Mir Mahmud Khan II Ahmadzai|
|1931–1933||Mir Mohammad Azam Jan Khan Ahmadzai|
|1933–1955||Mir Ahmad Yar Khan Ahmadzai (1st time);|
declared independent on 12 August 1947; agreed to accede to Pakistan on 27 March 1948
|14 October 1955||State of Kalat merged into One Unit of West Pakistan|
|1958–1979||Mir Ahmad Yar Khan Ahmadzai (Ahmad of Kalat)|
|1979–1998||Mir Dawood Jan Ahmadzai|
|1998–2006||Mir Agha Sulaiman Jan Ahmadzai|
|2006–present||Prince Mir Mohammad Khan Ahmadzai|
The medium of administration in this state, which became known as the Khanate of Kalat, was Persian, as was customary down to the 19th century throughout south and central Asia and beyond (see Spooner, this volume).
The Brahui Khans of Qalat were dominant from the 17th century onwards until the arrival of the British in the 19th century.
The Brahui Khanate of Kalat sits at the apex of...
Mir Suleman is the 35th Khan of Kalat. The Brahvi-speaking Khan is said to have received his initial education in Lahore and Quetta.
Because Aḥmad Shah needed Naṣīr's support elsewhere, the new treaty was more equal. The khanate no longer paid tribute or maintained a force at Qandahār. Instead, Kalat provided a fighting force only when the Afghans fought outside their kingdom, and then the khan would be provided with money and ammunition. The new treaty was sealed by a pledge of loyalty to Qandahār and the marriage of the khan's niece to Aḥmad Shah Abdālī's son. In the settlement with Qandahār the final accommodation was that the shah gave Naṣīr the title of beglarbegī while the khan recognized him as suzerain.
However, the Afghan attitude towards the Khan provoked Mir Nasir Khan to declare the complete independence of Kalat in 1758. As a result, the Afghan forces under the command of Ahmad Shah himself invaded Balochistan and besieged the Kalat fortress for forty days. Ultimately they came to an amicable agreement and the Afghan troops were withdrawn. The agreement known as the "Treaty of Kalat" (1758), recognised the sovereign status of Balochistan.
However, in 1758 Nasir I Khan of Kalat proclaimed his independence from the Afghani rulers.
Baloch separatism, for example, can be traced back to 1758, when Nasir Khan of Kalat won sovereign status from the Afghan empire...
Once he had established his army on a solid basis, however, Nasir Khan took on the Afghans militarily, fighting Ahmad Shah Durrani's forces to a standstill in 1758. Thereafter, Kalat enjoyed sovereign status until the arrival of the British...
Following the loss of the Punjab, Nasir Khan, beglar begi of Kalat, convinced that these defeats marked the beginning of the end of Durrani power, declared independence. Sardar Shah Wali Khan was sent to put down the revolt, but when he was defeated Ahmad Shah set out in person to deal with the troublesome governor. He eventually defeated the Baluch army but was unable to take Kalat by storm. Instead, he agreed to allow Nasir Khan to remain as governor of Kalat in return for his resubmission to Durrani sovereignty
The Afghan army besieged the Qalat fort and the siege lasted for forty days. The Afghans failed to capture it. Ultimately through the good offices of the Wazir Shah Wali Khan a peace treaty was concluded. Mir Nasir Khan came to Ahmad Shah and apologized for his misdeeds. According to the treaty Mir Nasir Khan accepted the suzerainty of the Afghan king. Ahmad Shah agreed that Mir Nasir Khan should pay no tribute, but should furnish, when called upon a contingent of troops sending them at his own cost to the royal camp.
Nasir Khan had accompanied Ahmad Shah in three campaigns in India and is said to have performed his duties well and loyally. But in 1758, on hearing the Marathas had conquered Punjab and ousted the Afghans from that province, he declared his independence. In the summer of 1758, Ahmad Shah advanced into Baluchistan. He met considerable resistance. According to a local chronicle, the small fortress of Kalat detained the Shah for 40 days. Ultimately, Nasir Khan was forced to submit. He was allowed his domains on condition he acknowledged the shah's sovereignty and furnished contingents for his campaigns. The Baluch chief was exempted from the annual tax and tribute.
However, in 1758, he declared independence which caused the Afghan-Baloch war. Though the Baloch were successful in the inital stages of the conflict, Ahmad Shah Abdali and his forces were able to subdue the Khan by invading Kalat.
The political convulsions of the last years of the 18th century and the first quarter of the 19th century had led to the empire's dismemberment. A Qajar offensive resulted in the loss of western Khorasan (1209/1795) and a direct threat to Herat, which was besieged in 1249/1833 and in 1253/1837. To the north of the Hindu Kush, various Uzbek principalities entered the orbit of khanate of Bokhara. In the south, the khanate of Kalāt became independent.
Pakistani leaders summarily rejected this declaration [of independence], touching off a nine-month diplomatic tug of war that came to a climax in the forcible annexation of Kalat... But it is clear that Baluch leaders, including the Khan, were bitterly opposed to what happened... Moreover, the Pakistani version of the accession debate is discredited by a study of the discussion of the Kalat Assembly on the accession issue and by interviews with a variety of Baluch leaders that confirm the authenticity of the official assembly proceedings.
Seven months later, on 27 March 1948, Kalat acceded to Pakistan. Whether it was a willing accession or a coerced one is a disputed matter, with pro-state historians arguing that the Khan willingly made the decision to accede, and nationalist scholars maintaining that Balochistan was annexed. However, what is certain is that it was an unpopular decision, and sparked the first revolt led by the Khan of Kalat's brother (see also the next section in this chapter). The Pakistan Army, which had already been sent in to Kalat, put down the rebellion.
Although a Baloch state was established at Kalat (located now in Pakistan) in 1638 (cf. Spooner 1984, 1989), under a dynastic Khan, this political centralization did not survive through the colonial period and did not lead to standardization of the [Baloch] language.