QUETTA: The self-exiled Baloch leader, Khan of Kalat Mir Suleman Dawood Jan, has agreed to meet a delegation of Balochistan government despite having reservations about its mandate and prevailing situation in the province.
However, before meeting the delegation he would consult with the members of the Grand Baloch Jirga who had sent him aboard in connection with restoration of Kalat State.
Prince Mohyuddin Baloch, the son of late Khan of Kalat Mir Ahmed Yar Khan, confirmed while talking to Dawn from London that Khan of Kalat had given his consent for meeting the proposed delegation.
Meanwhile, there are reports about looting of historical items from the Khan of Kalat’s palace in Kalat town. Reports suggest that a group of armed men entered the palace between the night of Thursday and Friday after breaking its main gate and took away armours, swords, a throne used by late Khan of Kalat Mir Ahmed Yar Khan Ahmedzai as head of Kalat State, gems and ornaments of great historical value, two carpets and other items with them after loading them on their vehicles.
Official sources did not confirm it but local people said the incident did take place. “Yes, the historical and very precious items were taken away by armed men from Kalat Palace,” a senior member of the royal family told Dawn.
The chief of Jhalawan, Nawab Sanaullah Zehri, who is senior minister in the provincial government, also confirmed the incident and termed it a violation of Balochi traditions. He talked by telephone to Mir Suleman Dawood Jan in London and discussed the issue with him.
“I talked to Khan of Kalat and expressed my dismay over the looting of historical and valuables items from the Kalat Palace,” he said. “Khan of Kalat said that you are successor to us,” Nawab Zehri said.
Armed men take away historic items from Kalat Palace; Prince Mohammad says armours, throne, etc., preserved with his parents’ consent
Prince Mohammad, the son of Khan of Kalat, issued a statement on Sunday which suggested that the historical items were taken from Kalat Palace with the consent of his parents. “No incident of theft took place in royal Kalat Palace and there is no truth in rumours in this regard,” he said. “With the consent of my parents, I preserved some precious items of Kalat Palace,” he added.
Meeting with delegation
“Khan Sahib has agreed to have a meeting with the Balochistan government delegation,” Prince Mohyuddin Baloch said, adding that he had succeeded in convincing the Khan of Kalat to hold a dialogue with the delegation despite having many reservations regarding authority and mandate.
The Khan of Kalat had expressed concerns over the theft of precious items from the palace in Kalat and reports about the move to install his son Mohammad as the Khan of Kalat in his place, the prince said.
“These are not good reports and could affect reconciliatory efforts,” he said.
Prince Mohyuddin is in London for the last few weeks because he wants to convince the Khan of Kalat to return home. The Khan had gone abroad after a grand jirga was held in Kalat in September 2006 after the death of Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti in a military operation.
The jirga had held that the International Court of Justice should be approached to restore the status of Kalat State as an independent state.
Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch and some tribal chieftains in the Balochistan government had approached Prince Mohyuddin for holing negotiations with the Khan of Kalat to persuade him to return to the country. A meeting between the Khan of Kalat and a delegation of members of Balochistan Assembly in London has been proposed in this regard.
Prince Mohyuddin, who remained a federal minister and heads the Baloch Rabta Ittifaq Tehreek, had a series of meetings with Mir Suleman Dawood Jan and discussed with him the Balochistan situation and tried to convince him to return home for playing his important role for resolving the issue of Balochistan and to protect the province from further disaster.
“I discussed the situation in the province with the Khan of Kalat and told him about the desire of the Balochistan government for negotiations with him,” Prince Mohyuddin said, adding that the Khan had many reservations in this regard.
He said that Mir Suleman Dawood Jan expressed his reservations over the credibility of the civilian government saying that it had no authority to take any decision. He also has strong reservations about the ongoing military operation in different areas of Balochistan, target killings, dumping of bodies and missing persons.
However, he has given his consent for negotiations with the delegation. The Khan, however, clarified that he would consult members of the Grand Baloch Jirga.
Prince Mohyuddin, however, said that as far as Khan of Kalat’s returning to the country was concerned it needed more efforts. He said that the looting of Khan’s belongings and other historical items from Kalat Palace and move to make his son the Khan of Kalat in his absence could create hurdles in the efforts aimed at bringing him back to Pakistan.
“My role is conciliatory and I am playing it for the sake of the country,” Prince Mohyuddin said, adding that if things moved in the right direction and the right environment was created then the situation would be improved and he would be able to bring Khan of Kalat back to the country.
“I am not being made Khan of Kalat in the absence of my father,” Prince Mohammad said. He said that he respected his father.
“I am an obedient son of my father and I love him,” he said adding that he wanted his father to return from London to Pakistan. He further said that his father should play his due role for restoration of peace in Balochistan.
However, rumours are doing rounds in political circles that Prince Mohammad is being made the Khan of Kalat by the state in the absence of his father. But the tribal chieftains close to Khan of Kalat and Ahmedzai family of Kalat told Dawn that they would not violate tribal traditions by making new Khan of Kalat in place of the existing Khan of Kalat, Mir Suleman Dawood Jan.
Published in Dawn, June 29th, 2015