My dear friends, colleagues, brothers, sisters: Assalamo-Alaikum,
I began the tour of your province on the 26th of last month. It has been an extensive tour. I have addressed three Party conventions during this period. One of these was held in Sibi, the other in Khuzdar and the last one in Quetta on the 3rd and 4th of this month. However, I did not come here only to take part in my Party conventions. This fortnight's tour has not been undertaken only for the organization of my Party. My primary objective was to review the present political situation in Baluchistan. 1 held talks with the local Government concerning important matters that could not be ignored.
At the first convention in Sibi, some important points were raised relating to the administration of the Province. To consider these, the Governor his Advisers and senior Government officials got together in a meeting with me. Thus at least as much time was devoted to the conduct of public business as to the convention. This is what took place in Sibi. Likewise, in Khuzdar, my dear friends, along with Party work we devoted ourselves to your problems in consultation with the administration. Many important decisions were taken, most of them of a fundamental nature. On the 6th, we discussed the Party problems, on the one side, and the problems of administration and the political conditions of Baluchistan and the rest of the country on the other. We exchanged views on international matters, defence matters and all aspects of development and progress of the area.
The talks in Quetta lasted from morning till evening and those who took part in the talks included the Governor, his Advisers, Federal Ministers and Ministers of State, Federal Officials and provincial Government officials. All the conclusions that emerged from this fortnight's assessment of facts, exchange of views, Party conventions, talks with the administration and all the important and special meetings and interviews were considered.
Now I am here to talk to you about them. I am here to tell you about my views on matters relating to Baluchistan. I thank you very much for being here. I know you have taken a lot of trouble to attend this meeting and to make it great success.
My dear friends: Since our Government came into power, I have toured this province many times. I come to Baluchistan several times every year. But this was my longest stay with you. Friends and comrades: what have I seen in Baluchistan? What is happening in Baluchistan? What developments have taken place in the past? What is going on now and what are our hopes for the future? I want to talk to you about all these questions.
Comrades, dear friends, brothers and sisters: the first point which we must remember is that we are all passing through a change. Herein Pakistan, especially in Baluchistan, we are passing through a delicate transition. The past is dying out, the past which persisted ever since the time of the Mughals, through British rule and during the 28-year old history of independent Pakistan. That past has suffered a terrific jolt. The legal tender of two hundred years or more has become valueless. You cannot ignore the fact that the old pattern is now being transformed into a new one. Though the picture of the new pattern has not yet emerged clearly, there is no doubt that the old shape of things, the status quo, is now breaking up. The old centers of power are fading out. They are weakening. Yet, there is still some life in them, though full of sickness and pain.
We are all looking forward to a new order. This means that the power and rights of the privileged class are to be transferred to the common people. Those privileged are not yet entirely within the people's grasp. But as the result of the struggle of the youth, of the toiling masses, of the poor and the disadvantaged, the privileges which had been usurped by a particular section of capitalists, feudalists, sardars and princes who were exploiting the people, are now being wrested away from their hand. But, as I said, they are not yet in the hands of common people. This is a transitional phase. In fact, this is our struggle; this is our revolution.
When the roots of a system which is exploitative and anti-people are shaken, the spirit of revolution is born. When the status quo is challenged, the vested interests summon the power of the past in an effort to maintain their existence. This happens everywhere. But an outworn system pitted against the people can be only on its last legs. Always, the masses gradually overcome the enemy. There was a time when the people had no power and no strength. When it was so, it seemed that nobody could shake the vested interests, no one could alter the status quo. The people were helpless, voiceless. The masses appeared to have no courage. They had no heart, no leadership. Therefore, they were crushed. Warrants were issued against them and it was declared that the powers of the privileged classes would continue in perpetuity. They claimed the mountains and the valleys to be theirs. They thought that their masters could not be shaken by any one, much less changed by these oppressed people in tattered clothes, the worker, the farmer, the poor, the illiterate, the disorganized, those whose children lacked education. “How can these people fight us?”, the privileged one asked. Their power overshadowed the whole countryside. Nobody could challenge them. Nobody could raise a finger against them. All that power was united, the power of the reactionaries, the Sardars and the Nawabs. The other power, the power of the majority, the power of the people, could not be felt; it was hidden from view. It had not been organised. It was without a voice. Being unseen and unfelt, it was no power at all. To mobilize the inherent strength of the people, to bring it to surface, to install self-confidence in them required time.
We spent 28 years in thinking how to put on its feet this power of the people and to deploy it against the power of the reactionaries. It was for this purpose that the People's Party was established to mobilize the power of the people. We proclaimed that the sources of all power are the people. We drew up a new manifesto so that we could go to the people, awaken them and give them strength. When this new power grew, the struggle began.
Baluchistan today is passing through a perilous transitional phase. The power of the worker and the cultivator has risen against the old vested interests. A veritable front has been organised against the Sardars, the feudalists, the Waderas and the landlords. The struggle has begun. If a system can persist for two hundred years, it is but natural that the period of change should also last for sometime, may be three or four years. During this period the people have to make sacrifices, acquire new strength and spread the awakening.
What arc we doing? We are struggling against this reactionary system of the past. One phase of the struggle is over and you have seen it yourselves. It was the struggle that took place before the elections and continued for sometime afterwards.
Now, the situation in Baluchistan is that the two elements of power are clashing with each other. On the one side, there are the reactionary elements, the capitalists, fedudalists and Sardais. On the other, it is the people, their strength, and the Government, which is supporting them. This then is the primary fact.
Now the question is: How shall we build on what we have achieved? It is true that eventually you will triumph. But the urge we feel is to accelerate your victorious march. This only can be achieved through the economic progress of Baluchistan. I do not want to go into details of the efforts which have been made for allocations for your development, for your roads, for your hospitals, for your schools, for your colleges, for your water supply, for tube-wells, for electricity and for factories.
My friends, the people of Baluchistan will recall that until 1970 the budget allocations of the Province were equivalent to the allocation to one Division say Sargodha, only about 20 million. But now you are receiving larger funds. The area of Baluchistan is vast, 140 thousand square miles. We are giving our full attention to its progress and the development programme is making rapid progress. We are also concerned paying with your social order. The old order wanted to keep you backward. That order was anachronistic. But we want it changed. In the last four years, 11 colleges have been opened here. Communications are being opened in the areas of Bugti, Jhalawan and Sarawan. Roads are being constructed and other development facilities provided. Mosques are being built, hospitals set up, water resources located. So, we are trying to take you forward towards your goal. In this struggle we are not only paying attention to your economic development but also to awakening a new social consciousness. To achieve freedom for the people, to break their shackles, to end their exploitation, we have also called upon the women of Baluchistan to come forward and work and take part in this struggle.
My friends, along with all this we are doing our best for democracy. We believe in democracy. We cherish democracy. We know we have struggled a lot for the autonomy of Baluchistan. You know that, in the past, Baluchistan enjoyed no autonomy. There is no autonomy before Pakistan was established. Even after the establishment of Pakistan, no autonomy was allowed to this Province for 24 to 25 years. Now is the first time in the history of Baluchistan that it is an autonomous province. It was not so during the period of Ayub Khan, nor during the Yahya Regime; not during the time of Ghulam Mohammad or Mohammad Ali Bogra or of Suhrawardy. Autonomy has been granted to Baluchistan only under the government of the People's Party.
This autonomy is for you, for the representatives of this area, for the residents of this region. We have made all efforts to give effect to this autonomy, to sustain democracy and to maintain it successfully in Baluchistan. It was for this purpose, that we installed in power the NAP government. We gave the NAP both the Government and the Chief Ministership. They did not have a majority. If they had, why would they form a government in coalition with JUL Having no single party majority, they had to coalesce with the JUL Still we let them do so. We treated them correctly. Their Governor was given the powers of Martial Law.
In my speeches in Jhalawan, Khuzdar and here also I explained the grounds on which differences developed with them. We had installed them in the Government: they were running the administration. During the 25 years of Pakistan, they had never done so. They had been put in jails during the time of the Quaid-i-Azam, the Quaid-i-Millat, Ch. Mohammad Ali, Suhrawardy, Bogra, Ghulam Mohammad, Iskander Mirza and Ayub Khan. In our time, we released them. We removed all restrictions from them. We handed them over the government, not only here but in the Frontier, both the Governorship and the Chief Ministership. Then why did they quarrel with us? Had we been treacherous to them? Were we faithless with them? We treated them in a manner in which they had never been treated in the past. Then why did they try to defy us? It was because their quarrel was not with me personally. Their fight, the NAP's fight, was not with my Party. Their conflict was not with my government. Their fight was against Pakistan.
They were against Pakistan from the outset. They belonged to the Indian National Congress. After the establishment of Pakistan, they set up a new Party, gave it a new name: NAP. The name could be changed but the attitudes did not. The deep-rooted characteristics could not be changed, the mentality did not change the heart did not.
They were opposed to Pakistan. They were opposed not to me, nor to my group, nor to my Party. They were opposed to our State from the very beginning. I can assure you that if they would support Pakistan and bear loyalty and unstinted allegiance to it, they would be running the government even today. No one would have wished to remove them. But they had a fundamentally different orientation.
I have stated in my speeches that politics can be interpreted in terms of the laws of economics provided your political analysis takes into account the historical dimension. Their effort and their campaign had two aspects. Their political viewpoint was that they opposed to Pakistan and do not wish it to survive. This was their political thinking and that is why they had fought the establishment of Pakistan. That is why they continued to subvert Pakistan even after its establishment. And when they were given power in Pakistan's largest Province, they still continued to work against Pakistan's interests. They continued to remain agents of foreign interests. They did not view things from the national angle but from a foreign one. They used to say, “We are struggling for a free Baluchistan.” They were not struggling for a free Baluchistan, or for an autonomous Baluchistan. As I told you before all they wanted to do was to safeguard their own system and keep their own reactionary organization intact. They wanted to maintain this reactionary, capitalistic, feudalistic and Sardari system in its place. It was for this reason that they struggled against Pakistan. In Pakistan the power of the people was increasing, the people's power was ready to offer them battle. The main device they could employ was to raise deceptive slogans. How could Baluchistan be free if they were conspiring to push it into the slavery of some other country? Could Baluchistan be free that way? How could it be free if a neighbor’s suzerainty was established over it or some other country was to exercise its domination over Baluchistan? Can Baluchistan be free if it is dominated by Afghanistan? (Shouts; No, No.). If Baluchistan comes under the domination of any other country, can it be free? I ask again, No, never. They wanted to drag Baluchistan back into slavery, the same way as they did when these Sardars led the British from Kashmore, Kundkot and Dera Ghazi Khan to Sandeman.
Why had they brought the British to Baluchistan? Because the British had promised them that they would maintain their Sardari system. So they entered into treaties with the British and crushed the people of Baluchistan. They allowed the people to be suppressed by colonial rule. The colonial power oppressed the common people and ruled over Baluchistan. But it maintained these Sardars as the local rulers in their respective areas. The British did not touch their local administration. When the British went away, these people began looking for a new patron and protector, a new supporter, a new power that would let them continue their Sardari system and crush the common people. They wondered whether India could provide them with such a safeguard, or would it be Afghanistan, that could give them security and safety or would it be some other country. So, nothing in their searching was for a free Baluchistan.
An independent Baluchistan cannot exist. It lacks the essential strength for maintaining independence. Do they wish to gain independence through the help of some bigger power? Pakistan is strong enough to defeat this conspiracy. But why this talk of independence when you are free and full participants of the independence and sovereignty of Pakistan. These people who have been shouting for an independent Baluchistan want to maintain their own system and their freedom to treat the common people of Baluchistan as their slaves just as they did during the days of the British.
The freedom I want for Baluchistan as elsewhere is the freedom of the common man.
This is the difference, the diametric opposition. They talk of a free Baluchistan which will preserve and perpetuate slavery and which will be dominated by other countries. But I envision a Baluchistan in which the poor Baluch is free and in which he is not exploited. I say that the system of exploitation—the reactionary system which has kept the poor Baluch backward and in chains should be brought to an end. I want you to be free. This is our struggle, our aim that you should enjoy the fullness of freedom within Pakistan, that the shackles of these Sardars and these Jagirdars in Pakistan should be broken by us. We should remove the fetters, destroy the chains and make you free. I want the common man to be free. They want the common man to remain in bondage.
They are shouting for the freedom of the region. But regions do not get freedom: it is the people who do so, the poor who achieve liberty. It is not the clay or the dust or the trees or water that gains liberty. Freedom is achieved by men. Men who have a soul, who have aspirations, who can strive for a better life. I want this liberty to be yours. I want that the Baluchs, Brohis and the Pathans should be free. I am fighting for your freedom. They were fighting for your slavery. I am talking of Pakistan. They are talking of a supposedly free Baluchistan, but they dread the freedom of the men and women who make Baluchistan. They realize it full well that an independent Baluchistan cannot exist. But to maintain their own system, they are prepared to pawn the people and the land to some other big country or neighbours. Is this not destroying the roots of democracy? Is it not revolting to our pride? Does it not offend our self-respect as a free nation that we call upon some other government—a foreign government--to come and rule our country? The problems are our own, internal ones, and we will solve them within our own sovereignty. We abhor what they want. Our Government, our people will never allow the sway of the foreigner over an inch of our land or a microscopic segment of our affairs. I pledge to you: Never, Never, never! Under no condition will this be allowed to happen. Let any powers join against us, this will never be permitted! Never.
I will never allow Baluchistan to be destroyed, the people of Baluchistan to be crushed. This is my crusade; this is our struggle against these Sardars, against these Jagirdars, against these capitalists and feudal lords.
My dear friends and comrades, I have told you now what is the situation in Baluchistan during this transitional phase. Briefly, they are fighting for themselves, for their own system; they are struggling to maintain the status quo. They are prepared to accept the domination of external powers in the same way as they accepted the British bondage. The British have gone away, but other foreign states are there. To them they direct their aspirations. But with the heap of God Almighty, and with the help of the Pathans, Baluchs and the Brohis, who live here, with the help of you all, with your courage and your coop ration, we will defeat their conspiracy, wholly and completely. We shall crush their underhand activities.
This is what our political struggle is all about and nothing else. Political struggles, I repeat, are usually linked up with economic problems. To maintain their economic domination, Sardars prefer political slavery. Their politics is the politics of bondage.
Let me give you some proofs. When the NAP government was formed, I asked them to abolish Shishak. They said, “What are you saying?” I said to them, “I want Shishak to be abolished”. They said, “Why should we abolish. Shishak?” They refused to abolish it. Then I said, “In the manifesto of the NAP, you have stated that you have a right to take your share (batai) from the crop, a share from the poor toiling, sweating farmer who ploughs his land from morning till night, works 24 hours and struggles to increase his production. You perform no labour, yet you claim a share of the crop. Over and above that Shishak is demanded and dominance is sought to be imposed! Do you want to continue the tyranny and maintain the old feudal ways also. In your manifesto you stated that you would abolish Shishak.” The NAP government, at that time, told me, “Our manifesto is not the manifesto of the People's Party; it is the manifesto of the NAP and if the NAP wants to go against its own manifesto, there is nothing you can do about it!” I told them, “It is my responsibility, because I am the Chief Executive of the country”—(at that time I was the President), and I have to do justice to the whole country! That is why it is my affair.” They said, “We are not prepared to abolish Shishak in any case.” They had promised to abolish. Shishak in their manifesto because it was different from Batai. But their Government told me, “Do whatever you like, but we are not prepared to abolish Shishak!” I said, “This is rebellion against the Federal Government and this is also against morality and your own manifesto.” They said, “This is our affair, and that of the people of Baluchistan.”
Now you know how many people were arrested by them in Nal and Wadh and Quetta. You are the people of Quetta. Do you know how many Baluchs, poor Baluchs and Brohis were arrested by them who refused to give Shishak. These were the people who said that NAP had made promises in its manifesto and in its election speeches and now its government should not ask for Shishak. Ninety persons were arrested only in Nal, about 120 were arrested in Wadh. There were young men, students, children of the farmers among those arrested. Were they not Baluchs? Were they not poor? NAP leaders did not remember Baluchism at that time. The poor man is neither a Baluch nor a Pathan nor a Punjabi nor Sindhi; it meant just nothing to them. But when there is a question of deriving benefit, then they remember religion and Punjabism and all that kind of thing. When the question comes up of setting up factories and making profit, then all those things come to mind. But they are forgotten when they arrest Baluchs and exact Shishak from them. This is where our attitude differs totally from theirs.
We abolished Shishak. We also abolished “Ushr” in the Frontier Province. After that came agricultural reforms. Everybody's land holdings were cut up because the extent of ownership of land was reduced. All over the country, people filed their declarations. Not so the Sardars of Baluchistan. They ignored these reforms. What arrogance! What disregard for law. Law is there for the whole country. But the Sardars do not think that there is any law for them. They said, “We won't fill up the forms. There shall be no agricultural reforms in this land”.
But for whom were these reforms enacted? I was not taking away their lands; my friends were not taking their lands. The land was for distribution among the poor, among the Baluchs and Pathans and Brohis. Twenty-two Sardars have not even yet filed their declarations. How can they maintain this refusal? The whole country has come under the purview of the Reforms but they think that they have a birthright to be exempt. Are the Sardars so much above the law, are they so big, so high and mighty that the law can apply to you and to me and the whole world but it cannot apply to these Brahmans? Land Reforms shall be implemented, let them twirl their moustaches as much as they like. Land Reforms shall be enforced in every area. They are being implemented and God willing they will be implemented in the whole of Baluchistan also. From the land surrendered, neither I nor my companions will get any. It will be given to the workers, the laboring haris and farmers.
Now about the Pat Feeder land. These people wanted to grab land around the Pat Feeder. They wanted to evict the poor people and so in Pat Feeder area they produced counterfeit documents. They had no rights. We examined the record. It is not their land. It is the land of the Imranis, of poor people. Where did these people pop up from? They come from Dera Bugti, from the Marri area and the Zahri etc., etc. They came to claim the lands in the Pat Feeder Area under false documents bearing the thumb impression of the Khan of Kalat. Well, we can all present a thumb impression and say this is the thumb impression of the Khan (applause). That was not the Khan's thumb impression. That was not the seal of the Khan. The Sardars are now at loggerheads with the Khan. Now they are producing the certificate of the Khan dating from the time of Sandeman. That was the quarrel about the Pat Feeder lands.
Then there was the question of land settlement. They did not want settlement first as they did not want any land reforms. They thwarted survey of land. They refused clearance of arrears. Do you know why? They said this is a different type of area. But how is this area different? You can have survey here. There can be Patwaris here. They made the pretext that this was mountainous area and dangerous. The simple fact is they did not want settlement because they were opposed to land reforms.
Thus there were differences on Shishak, on the Pat Feeder land, on Land Reforms and the carrying out of land settlement. In short they wanted to run the Government through fraud. We cannot permit it. They got a resolution passed in the Baluchistan Assembly that the Sardari system should be abolished. They know that it was only a resolution. It could not have the strength or effect of law. They just had the resolution passed. A Sardar is under the Federal Government as well as the Provincial Government. But they pretended that they had no power to implement the resolution. If they really wanted to abolish the Sardari system, they could do so by passing a law. Their intent was to mislead the people. They wanted to show that they wished to finish the Sardari system without actually doing so. How could the Sardari system be abolished through a resolution?
This Sardari system is a most cruel system. It is a system which exploits more than the landowner does; more than the Jagirdar, more than the Nawab, more than the Pirs and Makhdooms. You know the illiterate people say that they can take an oath on the Quran but they dare not do so in the name of Sardar! This is the limit of backwardness. To abolish this most reprehensible Sardari system, they just passed a resolution. But why did they not pass a law? They make an enactment concerning the Sardars in their Province if they wanted to abolish the system. They passed a resolution because they wanted to hoodwink the people into believing that they had fulfilled an election promise. They said many things. They said they were themselves Sardars, so how could they abolish the Sardari System?
When did the system begin? It was in existence even before the British. It prevailed during the Mughal times in the days of Babar and Humayun. It was there in the time of Ahmad Shah Abdali. But it was under the British that legal protection was first provided to the Sardari System. Before their time, during the days of Mughals and the Maratthas there was no legal sanction for them. The British provided it; they distributed the respective areas to the Sardars. They said they would not enter these areas nor would anybody else enter there. They concluded treaties with the Sardars and they charged them to protect the areas allotted to them; this Sardar was to protect Bolan and that one was to look after the areas of Jhalawan and Salwan, while that Sardar was to cover the Marri area and the Bugti area. In this way the British provided legal protection to them and increased the power of the Sardars. The British thus put a seal on the power which the Sardars derived from tribalism and backwardness. This seal was considered such that it could not be broken. So through the last 150 years, from the time of Sande-man, the British Government strengthened the roots of the Sardars and the Sardari system.
Comrades and friends: After the British, no one could even touch this Sardari System. After Pakistan came into being and the British departed, this Sardari System was not touched for 28 years. Nobody tried to abolish it. But I want to tell you that as long as the system is not abolished, as long as it is not crushed, as long as it dots not end, the freedom of Baluchistan, the freedom of common people, the freedom of the poor, can never be achieved. And so I declare that from today, legally, the Sardari System is ended.
From today onwards there is no Sardar in Pakistan. The System is finished in the whole of Pakistan. It has come to an end. The most cruel, the most tyrannical, the most autocratic system, which has existed for centuries has expired with this law. It has been destroyed, eradicated totally and completely. The Sardars of this place are no longer Sardars. They may be “Mister”, if not Mister then “Janab”. If they want Sardari, let them go to India and meet the Sardarjis there. If they want to be called Sardars, then they can go to Afghanistan and meet a great Sardar Sahib. But Sardari is liquidated in Pakistan.
By the grace of God, this is a big and bright day for us. Let us Salute this day! It is your day! It is the day on which you have achieved a great victory. Tomorrow there will be a holiday all over Pakistan, because this is the biggest reform that we have effected during the four years of our Government. There can be no bigger reform than this. I thank the Almighty Allah that this reform has been brought about during the period when this sinner is shouldering a responsibility that He has given me strength to see this day, and to take this step. What better service can I render to the poor people of Baluchistan, the proud and good people of Baluchistan, than that I should tear out the Sardari system from its very roots and destroy it by law. (Applause). So I congratulate you, I congratulate you all, and I extend the warmest congratulations to the Khan-i-Azam, the Khan of Kalat, that in his time, Sardari has come to an end. Congratulations. (Applause, Slogans). Khan-i-Azam is no longer Khan-i-Azam but Khadim-i-Azam. Let us pray that this tyrannical System is destroyed for ever and that there may prevail the rule of the people, the rule of the poor, that democracy should blossom and the sway of the Brahmans is a thing of the past. Amen! In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.