Khanate of Kalat

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Khanate of Kalat
کلاتءِ ھانات ، خانات کلات
Flag of Kalat
Khanate of Kalat (dark green) in Baluchistan Agency (1931)
Khanate of Kalat (dark green) in Baluchistan Agency (1931)
Common languagesPersian (administration)[1]
• Established
• Disestablished
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Principality of Kalmat
Balochistan States Union
Today part ofPakistan

The Khanate of Kalat was a Khanate[5] that existed from 1512 to 1955 in the centre of the modern-day province of Balochistan, Pakistan. Prior to that they were subjects of Mughal King Akbar.[6][3] Mehrab Khan II Ahmedzai ruled the state independently until 1839, when he was killed by the British and Kalat became a self-governing state in a subsidiary alliance with British India. After the signature of the Treaty of Kalat by the Khan of Kalat and the Baloch Sardars in 1875, the supervision of Kalat was the task of the Baluchistan Agency.[7] Kalat was briefly independent again from 12 August 1947 until 27 March 1948, when its ruler Ahmad Yar Khan acceded to Pakistan, making it one of the Princely states of Pakistan.

Khanate of Kalat failed to survive through the colonial era and did not lead to the standardization of the Baloch language.[8]


The Khans of Kalat were Brahuis.[9][10][11][12]



The State of Kalat as recognised by Pakistan (in red)

The Khanate of Kalat had no imperial interests and was an economically poor state, but was however, quite formidable. In 12th century, Minhaj-i-Siraj mentions of the area in the eastern part of Seistan, which bore the name, Gumbaz-i-Baluch (Dome of the Baluch). This dome was the border of the Kalat-emirs (Tabakat-i-Nasiri).[13] The Paratarajas Kingdom was founded here before the Islamic era. According to Tarikh-i Harat and Tarikh-i Sistan, a major uprising of the Baloch tribes took place in south Afghanistan, which was destroyed by the Abbasid Caliph al-Mahdi.[14]

In the 12th and 13th century, Tarikh-i-Masumi records the presence of Balochis during the reign of Muhammad Tughlaq (1326–1327).[15] According to Ta'rikh-i Ihya' al-Muluk, at the end of the 16th century, the Kalat region (former Turan) was under the control of the Safavids. But at the beginning of the 17th century, the Baluch tribe of Lashari stood up against the Sistan Khan and the Kermanian Beglar-Begi, and took control of Turan and Makran, until the Kalat Khanate appeared.[16]


The Khanate of Kalat was founded in 1666 by Mir Ahmad Khan. Soon after, a Mughal force fled Kandahar and occupied Quetta, Mastung, and Mangocher. In 1667, this force was decisively defeated in the Quetta valley and the khanate managed to regain the occupied districts along with Chagai. Samandar Khan was summoned to Multan by the Mughals and Kerman by the Safavids. The Mughal prince paid tribute to Samandar Khan whereas Safavid Beglar Begi presented Samandar Khan with a robe of gold, and paid tribute.[17] The Khanate reached its peak during the reign of Khan Mir Noori Naseer Khan in 1758, who had unified the Kalat region.[18] During this period, the Kalat was under the Suzerainty of the Durrani Empire, and did not achieve Independence until 1818.[19]

Leasing of territories to the British[edit]

Palace of Mir Khudadad, Khan of Kalat.

The territories controlled by the state fluctuated over the centuries, but eventually were established by treaties with the British Agent Robert Sandeman in the late 19th century. Parts of the state to the north and northeast were leased or ceded to form the province of British Baluchistan, which later gained the status of a Chief Commissioners province.


Mir Nasir Khan Baloch II with son of Gul Mohammad Daroga, Wali Mohammad Shah Ghasi and a Chief of the Khan's Household.

The Khanate of Kalat covered the area of 139,850 km2 (53,995 sq mi).[20]

With the withdrawal of the British from the Indian subcontinent in 1947, the Indian Independence Act provided that the princely states which had existed alongside but outside British India were released from all their subsidiary alliances and other treaty obligations. The rulers were left to decide whether to accede to one of the newly independent states of India or Pakistan (both formed initially from the British possessions) or to remain independent outside both.[21] As stated by Sardar Patel, "On the lapse of Paramountcy every Indian State became a separate independent entity."[22]

The Instruments of Accession made available for the rulers to sign transferred only limited powers, namely external relations, defence, and communications.

The Shahi Jirga of Baluchistan and the non-official members of the Quetta Municipality, according to Pervaiz Iqbal Cheema, stated their wish to join Pakistan on 29 June 1947;[23] however, according to the political scientist Rafi Sheikh, the Shahi Jirga was stripped of its members from the Kalat State prior to the vote.[24]

Kalat remained fully independent from 15 August 1947 until 27 March 1948, when its ruler, Ahmad Yar Khan (1904–1979), finally acceded to Pakistan, becoming the last of the rulers to do so.[25] Show elections were held during this period and a bicameral parliament was established.[26][27]

On the night of 27 March, All India Radio carried a story about Yar Khan approaching India with an unsuccessful request for accession in around February.[28][a] The next morning, Yar Khan put out a public broadcast rejecting its veracity and declaring an immediate accession to Pakistan — all remaining differences were to be placed before Jinnah, whose decision would be binding.[28]


Territory of Kalat state under Mehrab Khan II

The Khanate of Kalat occupied the central part of the territory of modern-day Balochistan province in Pakistan. To the north was Baluchistan (Chief Commissioner's Province).

The principal mountains are the Central Baloch, Kirthar, Pab, Siahan, Central Makran and Makran Coast Ranges, which descend in elevation from about 10,000 to 1,200 feet (370 m). The drainage of the country is almost all carried off to the south by the Nari, Mula, Hab, Porali, Hingol and Dasht rivers. The only large river draining northwards is the Rakhshan. The coast line includes Gawadar, Pasni, Sonmiani and Geewani, modern-day Pakistani Balochistan.


  • Jhalawan, an ethnic Brahui subdivision, headed by the chief nawab of the Zarakzai tribe, known as Chief of Jhalawan
  • Kacchi, an ethnic Sindhi subdivision, in which various tribes had their own tribal lands under the Khan of Kalat
  • Sarawan, an ethnic Baloch subdivision, headed by chief nawab of Raisani tribe, called chief of Sarawan[29]
A Sherdil Khan with Balochs warriors

Dushka H Saiyid emphasizes that Yar Khan lost all of his bargaining chips with the accession of Kharan, Las Bela, and Mekran leaving Kalat as an island.[28] Salman Rafi Sheikh largely concurs with Saiyid's assessment: multiple other Kalat sardars were preparing to accede to Pakistan and Yar Khan would have hardly any territory left, if he did not accede.[24]: 80

On 3 October 1952, the state of Kalat entered into the Baluchistan States Union with three neighbouring states, Kharan, Las Bela, and Makran, with Yar Khan of Kalat at the head of the Union with the title of Khan-e-Azam. The Khanate came to an end on 14 October 1955, when it was incorporated into West Pakistan.[25]

Rulers of Kalat[edit]

The rulers of Kalat at first held the title of Wali but in 1739 also took the title of (Begler Begi Khan), usually shortened to Khan. The last Khan of Kalat (Balochi: خان قلات) had the privilege of being the President of the Council of Rulers for the Baluchistan States Union. They also had the title of beylerbey.

Tenure Khan of Kalat [18]
1512–1530 Mir Bijar Khan Mirwani
1530–1535 Mir Zagar Khan Mirwani
1535–1547 Mir Ibrahim Khan Qambrani (Changed his Royal family name from Mirwani to Qambrani )
1547–1549 Mir Gwahram Khan Qambrani
1549–1569 Mir Hassan Khan Qambrani
1569–1581 Mir Sanjar Khan Qambrani
1581–1590 Mir Malook Khan Qambrani
1590–1601 Mir Qambar Sani Khan Qambrani
1601–1610 Mir Ahmad Khan Qambrani I
1610–1618 Mir Suri Khan Qambrani
1618–1629 Mir Qaisar Khan Qambrani
1629–1637 Mir Ahmad Sani Khan Qambrani II
1637–1647 Mir Altaz Khan Qambrani I
1647–1656 Mir Kachi Khan Qambrani
1656–1666 Mir Altaz Sani Khan Qambrani II
1666–1695 Mir Ahmad I Khan Qambrani III (Changed his Royal family name from Qambrani to Ahmadzai )
1695–1697 Mir Mehrab Khan Ahmadzai I
1697–1714 Mir Samandar Khan Ahmadzai (Amir al-Umara Amir of Amirs)
1714–1716 Mir Ahmad II Khan Ahmadzai
1716–1731 Mir Abdullah Khan Ahmadzai (Eagle of the Mountain and The Greatest )
1731–1749 Mir Muhabbat Khan Ahmadzai (Beglar Begi )
1749–1794 Mir Muhammad Nasir Khan I Ahmadzai (Noori, Ghazi, Wali and The Great )
1794–1817 Mir Mahmud Khan I Ahmadzai
1817 – 13 November 1839 Mir Mehrab Khan Ahmadzai II
1839–1841 Mir Shah Nawaz Khan Ahmadzai
1841–1857 Mir Nasir Khan II Ahmadzai
1857 – March 1863 Mir Khudadad Khan Ahmadzai (1st time); during his rule, there were seven major and many minor rebellions.
March 1863 – May 1864 Mir Sherdil Khan Ahmadzai (usurped throne)
May 1864 – 15 August 1893 Mir Khudadad Khan (2nd time)
10 November 1893 – 3 November 1931 Mir Mahmud Khan II Ahmadzai
3 November 1931 – 10 September 1933 Mir Mohammad Azam Jan Khan Ahmadzai
10 September 1933 – 14 October 1955 Mir Ahmad Yar Khan Ahmadzai (1st time);
declared independent on 12 August 1947; agreed to accede to Pakistan on 27 March 1948
14 October 1955 State of Kalat merged into One Unit of West Pakistan[30]
20 June 1958 – 1979 Mir Ahmad Yar Khan Ahmadzai
1979–1998 Mir Dawood Jan Ahmadzai
1998–2006 Mir Agha Sulaiman Jan Ahmadzai[dubious ]
2006–present Prince Mir Mohammad Khan Ahmadzai[dubious ]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jawaharlal Nehru, then Prime Minister of India, went on to categorically reject the report in the floors of the Parliament. However, there are not any reasons to believe that Yar Khan was not negotiating with India.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Spooner, Brian (2011). "10. Balochi: Towards a Biography of the Language". In Schiffman, Harold F. (ed.). Language Policy and Language Conflict in Afghanistan and Its Neighbors. Brill. p. 320. ISBN 978-9004201453. The medium of administration in this state, which became known as the Khanate of Kalat, was Persian, as was customary down to the 19th century throughout south and central Asia and beyond (see Spooner, this volume).
  2. ^ Treaty of Kalat between Balochistan and Afghanistan in 1758
  3. ^ a b "Baluchistan" Imperial Gazetteer of India Vol. 6, p. 277, from the Digital South Asia Library, accessed 15 January 2009
  4. ^[bare URL PDF]
  5. ^ Axmann, Martin (2 August 2012). Back to the Future: The Khanate of Kalat and the Genesis of Baluch Nationalism, 1915–1955. The study portrays the decline and disintegration of the Baluch Khanate of Kalat during the last decades of British rule and investigates the genesis of Baluch nationalism during the first half of the XX century.: OUP Pakistan. ISBN 978-0-19-906592-9.
  6. ^ "Treaty of Kalat between Balochistan and Afghanistan in 1758" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 29 December 2015.
  7. ^ "Balochistan Archives – Records of the Agent to the Governor General in Balochistan". Archived from the original on 9 July 2015. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
  8. ^ Spooner, Brian (2011). "10. Balochi: Towards a Biography of the Language". In Schiffman, Harold F. (ed.). Language Policy and Language Conflict in Afghanistan and Its Neighbors. Brill. p. 320. ISBN 978-9004201453. Although a Baloch state was established at Kalat (located now in Pakistan) in 1638 (cf. Spooner 1984, 1989), under a dynastic Khan, this political centralization did not survive through the colonial period and did not lead to standardization of the [Baloch] language.
  9. ^ "Profile: Khan of Kalat — king without a crown". Dawn. 1 July 2015. Retrieved 1 May 2021. Mir Suleman is the 35th Khan of Kalat. The Brahvi-speaking Khan is said to have received his initial education in Lahore and Quetta.
  10. ^ "Mastung > History of district". Retrieved 28 June 2021. The Brahui Khans of Qalat were dominant from the 17th century onwards until the arrival of the British in the 19th century.
  11. ^ Minahan, James (2012). Ethnic Groups of South Asia and the Pacific: An Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-1-59884-659-1.
  12. ^ Siddiqi, Farhan Hanif (2012). The Politics of Ethnicity in Pakistan: The Baloch, Sindhi and Mohajir Ethnic Movements. Routledge. p. 53. ISBN 978-0-415-68614-3. The Brahui Khanate of Kalat sits at the apex of...
  13. ^ Jūzjānī, Minhāj Sirāj (1881). Ṭabaḳāt-i Nāṣirī: A General History of the Muḥammadan Dynasties of Asia, Including Hindūstān, from A.H. 194 (810 A.D.) to A.H. 658 (1260 A.D.) and the Irruption of the Infidel Mughals Into Islām. Gilbert & Rivington.
  14. ^ Crone, Patricia (28 June 2012). The Nativist Prophets of Early Islamic Iran: Rural Revolt and Local Zoroastrianism. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-1-139-51076-9.
  15. ^ Middle East: Journal of Area Study Centre. Area Study Centre for Middle East & Arab Countries, University of Baluchistan. 1995.
  16. ^ "Восточная Литература – библиотека текстов Средневековья". Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  17. ^ Society, Pakistan Historical (1991). Journal of the Pakistan Historical Society. Pakistan Historical Society.
  18. ^ a b Naseer Dashti (8 October 2012). The Baloch and Balochistan: A Historical Account from the Beginning to the Fall of the Baloch State. Trafford Publishing. p. 280. ISBN 978-1-4669-5897-5. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
  19. ^ "Welcome to Encyclopaedia Iranica".
  20. ^ Joseph Whitaker, Whitaker's Almanack 1951, vol. 83 (1951), p. 754: "the following States have also acceded to Pakistan : Kalat, area 53,995 square miles [139,850 square kilometres], pop. 253.305..."
  21. ^ Ishtiaq Ahmed, State, Nation and Ethnicity in Contemporary South Asia (London & New York, 1998), p. 99
  22. ^ R. P. Bhargava, The Chamber of Princes (Northern Book Centre, 1991) p. 313
  23. ^ Pervaiz I Cheema; Manuel Riemer (22 August 1990). Pakistan's Defence Policy 1947–58. Palgrave Macmillan UK. pp. 60–. ISBN 978-1-349-20942-2.
  24. ^ a b Sheikh, Salman Rafi (2018). The Genesis of Baloch Nationalism: Politics and Ethnicity in Pakistan, 1947–1977. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 978-1-351-02068-8.
  25. ^ a b Farhan Hanif Siddiqi, The Politics of Ethnicity in Pakistan: The Baloch, Sindhi and Mohajir Ethnic Movements (Routledge, 2012), pp. 58–62
  26. ^
    • Harrison, Selig S. (1981), In Afghanistan's Shadow: Baluch Nationalism and Soviet Temptations, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, p. 24, ISBN 978-0-87003-029-1, Pakistani leaders summarily rejected this declaration [of independence], touching off a nine-month diplomatic tug of war that came to a climax in the forcible annexation of Kalat... But it is clear that Baluch leaders, including the Khan, were bitterly opposed to what happened... Moreover, the Pakistani version of the accession debate is discredited by a study of the discussion of the Kalat Assembly on the accession issue and by interviews with a variety of Baluch leaders that confirm the authenticity of the official assembly proceedings.
  27. ^ Amirali, Alia (2015), "Balochistan: A Case Study of Pakistan's Peacemaking Praxis (Volume III)", in Rita Manchanda (ed.), SAGE Series in Human Rights Audits of Peace Processes, SAGE Publications, pp. 22–23, ISBN 978-93-5150-213-5, Seven months later, on 27 March 1948, Kalat acceded to Pakistan. Whether it was a willing accession or a coerced one is a disputed matter, with pro-state historians arguing that the Khan willingly made the decision to accede, and nationalist scholars maintaining that Balochistan was annexed. However, what is certain is that it was an unpopular decision, and sparked the first revolt led by the Khan of Kalat's brother (see also the next section in this chapter). The Pakistan Army, which had already been sent in to Kalat, put down the rebellion.
  28. ^ a b c Saiyid, Dushka H (2006). "The Accession of Kalat: Myth and Reality". Strategic Studies. 26 (3): 26–45. ISSN 1029-0990. JSTOR 45242356.
  29. ^ IDSA News Review on South Asia/Indian Ocean. Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses. 1987.
  30. ^ Siddiqi, Farhan Hanif (2012), The Politics of Ethnicity in Pakistan: The Baloch, Sindhi and Mohajir Ethnic Movements, Routledge, p. 62, ISBN 978-0-415-68614-3

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 29°01′33″N 66°35′24″E / 29.02583°N 66.59000°E / 29.02583; 66.59000