Speech against the Tribal System on the floor of The Provincial Assembly of Balochistan on June 8th 1972

BACKGROUND:
It is not widely known nowadays but in 1972 a resolution was moved in the Balochistan Assembly demanding that the Federal Government abolish the Sardari, the Jirga System and the Tribal System since the Provincial Assembly did not have the authority to do so. The Federal Government took no action in this regard and about eight months later, on 14th Feburary, 1972 the National Awami Party (which was responsible for presenting the resolution in the Assembly) Government was overthrown and a military operation was launched in Balochistan. On 8th June, 1972 Miss Fazila Aaliyani moved a motion demanding "The eradication of the wrongs spread due to the presence of exploitationary institutions such as the Sardari, the Jirga System and the Tribal System so that the Province of Balochistan may progress socially and economically." This was followed by speeches made by: 1- The Education Minister Gul Khan Nasir (NAP) (in support of the resolution). 2- Maulvi Shams-ud-din (JUI) (in support of the resolution) 3- Maulvi Mohammad Hassan (JUI) (asked to impose shariat to replace the sardari system) 4- Abdus Samad Khan Achakzai (NAP Pukhtunkhwa) (against the resolution) (objected on the wording used in the motion) 5- Leader of the Opposition Jam Mir Ghulam Qadir (Ind) (against the resolution) 6- Mir Shahnawaz Khan Shaaliyani (Ind) (against the resolution) 7- Mian Saifullah Khan Paracha (PPP) (against the resolution) 8- Provincial President of NAP Sardar Khair Bakhsh Marri (in favour of the resolution). (End of Session).

On 21st June, 1972 Leader of the House Sardar Ataullah Mengal presented a resolution: "Now, that the Tribal System has lost its advantages keeping it instated is going to act as a hurdle in the development of the people of these tribes. And the large amounts of annual allowances being given to the royal families (of the states which merged with Pakistan) and the Sardars are putting undue pressure on the country's economy. Therefore, the Sardari system should be abolished in all parts of Pakistan (in whichever form it exists) and the annual allowances to

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former royal families be discontinued. And all the responsibilities of the Sardars be transferred to other institution just like in the other parts of the country." The resolution was followed by speeches by: 1- Leader of the House Sardar Ataullah Mengal (NAP) 2- Khan Abdus Samad Khan Achakzai (NAP-P) (opposed the resolution) 3- Leader of Opposition Jam Ghulam Qadir (Ind) (opposed and asked if shariath would be imposed instead of the Sardari System like Maulvi Mohammad Hassan Shah had suggested)) 4- Senior Minister Balochistan Government Gul Khan Nasir (NAP) (supported the resolution and said that after abolition of sardari system there is no need for imposition of shariath) 5- Mian Saifullah Khan Paracha (PPP) (opposed) 6- Mir Shahnawaz Shaaliyani (Ind) (Opposed) 7- Sardar Ataullah Mengal (Used his right to reply as the mover of the resolution) --------------------------------------------Resolution Passed 11 - 4 (15 members of the total 2 --------------------------------------------THOSE IN FAVOUR:1- Mir Ahmed Nawaz Bugti 2- Sardar Ataullah Mengal 3- Sardar Abdur Rehman Baloch 4- Mir Chakar Khan Domki 5- Mir Dost Mohammad Khan Baloch 6- Fazila Aaliyani 7- Mir Gul Khan Nasir 8- Sardar Khair Bakhsh Marri 9- Maulvi Mohammad Hassan Shah 10- Maulvi Saleh Mohammad 11- Nawabzada Sher Ali Khan Nosheerwani THOSE AGAINST:1- Jam Mir Ghulam Qadir 2- Mohammad Anwar Jan Kethran 3- Mian Saifullah Khan Paracha 4- Mir Shahnawaz Shaaliyani

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--------------------------------------------------------------The June 8th speech of Gul Khan Nasir is given below, translated from its original Urdu into English.

Mir Gul Khan Nasir (8th June, 1972)

Mr. Speaker! Four things have been pointed out as hurdles to the economic and social progress of Balochistan in this resolution. These are: Sardari, The Tribal System, The Jirga System and all other measures by means of which the people of Balochistan have been, and are still being, exploited. Mr. Speaker! As far as Sardari goes, there is no doubt that back when Balochistan was still in the tribal age, this (Sardari) might have been beneficial for the people but later, when the British came and decided to annex Balochistan as a part of their Empire, they realized that the only tool they could use to do so was the Sardar whose word was the law for his tribe. So they started to buy off the Sardars of the various tribes. And from that day onward, instead of seeing himself as a representative of his tribe elected to serve them the Sardar began viewing himself as their master and them as his slaves. As a result of this, the natural process of our national progress was impeded. The biggest obstacle presented by this situation was that the Sardar could never tolerate one of his tribesmen to get an education and to one day be able to sit alongside him and speak with him as an equal. Thus, in all those areas where the Sardari was strong the people remained illiterate, unable to get jobs and ignorant of their rights. The direct result of this was that they were forced to obey their Sardar’s every command whether right or wrong. Here I think it is worth mentioning that the very first movement against the Sardari sytem in Balochistan was instigated by the son of a sardar, Mr. Yousuf Ali Khan Magsi. He was the first person to realize the flaws of this institution so he highlighted them and did everything in his power to try and abolish this system. Today the Balochistan we see which is ripe with a widespread sense of political awareness is entirely due to the sacrifices made by him and his colleagues. Mr. Speaker! As I said before, Sardari in the beginning, wasn’t a parasitic institution but when the Sardars became the agents of an imperial power the integrity of this institution began deteriorating. With the passage of time, and a newfound sense of political awareness, some knights rose from within the ranks of the Sardars and tried to destroy this castle of oppression and succeeded in diminishing its influence. But despite this, we do not wish to keep this rusty skeleton of the Sardari system as a monument or memorial of the past because as long as this institution remains (even as a vestige) it will keep our

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nation divided into various tribes and sub tribes which will render it impossible for us to achieve economic progress. Therefore, the main objective of presenting this resolution is to completely eradicate from the face of this earth, the disease stricken Sardari system which is taking its last breaths. The second thing is the Jirga System which is paramount for Sardari. Without it the Sardari System cannot thrive and vice versa. Mr. Speaker! Today, there are many members sitting in this House who know first hand that the Jirga System just fifty years ago wasn’t as it is today. Back then it was like a naked sword ready to strike down those enlightened few who refused to be subordinate to the Sardars. And in those days subordination to the Sardars was infact, subordination to the British. If the Jirga indicted a rebellious person from a certain tribe for standing up against his tribe’s Sardar, the Sardars of the other tribes would aid and partake in the sentencing eagerly from fear that if they didn’t do so then their subjects might also rebel against them one day. The Jirga was therefore used by our Sardars to deny the people their rights. So, the Jirga without a doubt is a great obstacle in the way of the independence and progress of the Baloch people. Then there is the matter of the measures being taken to exploit the people of Balochistan. Mr. Speaker! The measures I am talking about are the award of most of the resources, businesses and jobs in Balochistan to non-locals. So while the local population of Balochs and Pashtuns remain unemployed a majority of the jobs are occupied by people who are not inhabitants of this region. And this process started a long time ago. e.g. I remember that up until 1937 almost 99% of the jobs in Balochistan were held by non-locals. At that time almost all the businesses here were owned by them (the non locals) and all the minerals being extracted from mines such as the Degari Coal Mines were profiting them. I, myself, had the opportunity to go there (DCM) while in service of the Princely State of Kalat, and saw that the around twenty mines which were located there, all were owned by non locals. So, all the wealth generated from the natural resources of Balochistan was being used to crush the Independence Movement in Kalat and the British Balochistan. Even today we see the fruit of the seeds that had been sown by the British being reaped by the Capitalist Class that has emerged in Balochistan. These Capitalists exploit the natural resources of Balochistan and utilize the revenue generated from them towards expanding their Mills and Factories. Most of these people are the descendants of those traitors who aided the British in enslaving the people of Balochistan and exploiting them. In conclusion Mr. Speaker! Let me say this: capital, be it of a Baloch, a Pashtun or an inhabitant of any other place is insidious to the progress of nations because the means employed to gain certain ends in the capitalist system benefit only certain individuals. Therefore, instead of a single individual benefiting from the resources of a region I think it would be more befitting if the nation as a whole benefited from them. Now, seeing as we don’t have much time, with these words I conclude my speech and support the resolution.
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SOURCE: PROVINCIAL ASSEMBLY OF BALUCHISTAN DEBATES VOLUME II (7th June to 4th July 1972). URL: www.gulkhannasir.tk

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