KARACHI: A high-level delegation of Balochistan government ministers and notables, which met the Khan of Kalat, Mir Ahmed Suleman Daud Khan, in London has failed to persuade him to end his self-imposed exile and return to Pakistan.

The delegation, comprising Nawab Mohammed Khan Shahwani, Sardar Kamal Khan Bangulzai, Mir Kabir Mohammadshahi and Mir Khalid Lango and others, was sent by the provincial government with the mandate to request Mir Suleman Khan to return to the country and play his role in ending the ongoing insurgency and for the development of Balochistan.

A statement issued by the Khan of Kalat in London, and emailed to Dawn, said that according to the Balochi custom the delegation reported the situation in the insurgency-stricken Balochistan. They told the Khan that “the political, security, and economical conditions in Balochistan have gone from bad to worse”, and that “there is no end to violence” there. According to the statement, the delegation further said “there is a power vacuum in Balochistan”, and there is a risk of tribal and communal conflicts” in addition to the ongoing insurgency. At the same time, the delegation requested the Khan to return to Balochistan to play his role in improving the situation in the province.

A statement issued by the Khan describes Balochistan as ‘my country’ and says ‘I can return whenever I want’

The Khan of Kalat has been living in self-exile in London since 2007. He had left the country when a grand Balochi Jirga of tribal nawabs, sardars and other notables, held in Kalat after the killing of Nawab Akbar Bugti, in 2006, asked him to leave the country, and “struggle for the rights of Balochistan and its people” from abroad.

The London statement, giving some details of the interaction, said the delegation appealed to the Khan to return to Balochistan. The Khan described Balochistan as “my country, and I can return whenever I want”. However, as per the statement, the Khan said he was “sent (to London) by the Grand Balochi Jirga to seek justice for the Baloch nation and (to) internationalise the Baloch cause, which I have been doing with quite a success”.

According to the statement, the Khan of Kalat told the delegates that they were the governing part in Balochistan and since they had the authority to take corrective measures, they should stop, what he called, “kill and dump of Baloch youth and intellectuals, and bring the Baloch missing persons wherever they are in detention”. He further stated that if these people have committed any crimes, they should be tried by the court of law. According to him, the federal government and the security establishment “are not in a conflict resolution mode in Baloch”. Otherwise, he said, “The state should stop atrocities against the Baloch without any pre-condition”.

Lately there had been lot of speculations whether or not the Khan of Kalat would at all meet the delegation sent by the Balochistan government. Finally the meeting did take place last week. But interestingly, the statement issued in London quoted the Khan of Kalat as having told the delegation, “I met you as fellow Baloch tribal chiefs and notable according to the Baloch custom, but not as ministers”.

Published in Dawn, July 21st, 2015

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