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Kalat (Baluchistan) - Indian Princely State

Last modified: 2011-06-10 by ian macdonald
Keywords: india | pakistan | baluchistan | kalat | kelat | crescent: points up |
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[Kelat] image by Jaume Ollé

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Some facts

The largest of the three states of Baluchistan (Ed Haynes' data show a population in 1931 of 342.000 in an area of 73,278 sq. miles), occupied the southwest, central and northeast areas of the Agency, except the area of Gwadar. There are several cities or towns in this area, so I can't speculate on a capital. Flag unknown to me.

Jorge Candeias, 3 May 1998

The khanate of Kelat had a flag green over red. In the center occupying the red part and a little part of the green, a large white crescent pointed upwards and a white star (the star exactly in the center of the two stripes). Within the star and crescent an Islamic inscription.

Jaume Ollé, 4 May 1998

Baluchistan Province, States of Baluchistan
19 Gun Salute
Area: 141,673

Traversed by the armies of Alexander the Great, occupied by the Arabs, Afghans and Persians, conducting its foreign trade through Omani-held port of Gwadar, Kalat, together with its vassal states of Kharan, Makran and Lasbela entered the modern era by the way of contacts with Britishers of various quality. The political connection of the British with Kalat commences from the outbreak of the First Afghan War in 1839, when this area was traversed by a British army from Sind and afterwards occupied. In the British attack on Kalat in 1840, Mir Mehrak Khan, the ruler, was killed. His son, Mir Nasir Khan II was later raised to the masnad by the tribesmen and regained possession of Kalat. In 1842, consequent upon the British withdrawal from Afghanistan, the occupied districts were returned to the Khan of Kalat. The British negotiated with the Kalat State in 1854 and according to the terms of the treaty, British political agents were deputed to Kalat during the next twenty years. In 1874 Sir Robert Sandeman was sent to Baluchistan whose policy was one of conciliatory intervention, tempered with lucrative employment and light taxation. Shortly afterwards he was able to conclude with Khan Khudardad Khan of Kalat the treaty of 1876, which brought Kalat under the British sovereignty and provided stronger political control. To consolidate the territorial extension already made, Baluchistan was made a separate agency under an agent to the Governor General. At the end of the Second Afghan War by the treaty of Gandamak (May,1879), Oishin, Sibi, Harani and Thal-Chotiali were ceded by Amir Yaqub Khan of Kabul to the British Government. During the succeeding years, expeditions were led against the Lalars of Zhob and Bori and the chiefs of Sirhani and those areas were occupied. In 1887, all these areas were declared to be the British territory. In 1883, the Quetta Niabat (presently Quetta Tehsil) and the Bolan Pass were permanently taken on lease by the British from Kalat State. In 1899, Nushki and in 1903, the area irrigated by the Sind canals, known as the Nasirabad Subdivision was similarly acquired from the Kalat State on a perpetual lease. In 1940, the relation between the Kalat Khanate and the Chiefdom of Kharan became strained there were clashes between them in Warjak and Khudabadam villages. The British authorities intervened and the settlement was affected under which Kharan, Makran and Lasbela were recognized as a separate minor states under the direct control of the British Political Agent. In 1948, Kalat State formally ( but not entirely voluntarily) acceded to Pakistan and became part of the Baluchistan States Union. Two days before Pakistan declaration of statehood, the Khan (Beglar Begi Mir Sir Ahmad Yar Khan) declared the independence of Kalat, but offered to negotiate a special relationship with Pakistan. Other Baluchi chiefs (sardars) also expressed their preference for a separate identity. Pakistan took military action against them and the Khan, and brought about their accession by force. For many years afterwards the resistance continue under the leadership  of the last khan's brother, Mir Abdul Karim.

The flag:

[Kelat] image by Chrystian Kretowicz

According to Filcher (1984), the excellent image at the top of this page of Kalat's flag (by Jaume) is an old flag. The new one is of an odd shape and contains additional symbols -two daggers and two disks with the inscriptions which Filcher doesn't translate. On the star there is a maxim: "God is Great" and on the crescent moon the inscription says: "There is no God but God and Mohammed is His Prophet".  All of this is placed on the horizontal bicolor of green over red. These are colors to which Muslim Baluchis assign great significance.

Chrystian Kretowicz, 16 January 2002