Kalat District

Report on the Archival Records of Kalat District

Kalat got the status ofa district on March 1954 covering an area of 6,621 km2 and its population is 500,000 in 2002 estimates.It shares its boundary with Khuzdar,Noshki,Mastung,Bolan, and Kharan districts.

Historical Background:

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 Mehrab 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 nexttwenty years. In 1874 Sir Robert Sandeman was sent to Balochistan whose policy was one of conciliatory intervention, tempered with lucrative employment and light taxation. Shortly afterwards he was able to conclude with Khan Khudadad 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), Pishin, 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 Kakars of Zhob and Bori and the chiefs of Shirani and those areas were occupied. In 1887, all these areas were declared to be the British territory.

In 1883, the Quetta Niabat (comprising the present 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 Sub-Division 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 and there were clashes between them in Warjak and Khudabadan villages. The British authorities intervened and a settlement was effected under which Kharan was recognized as a separate minor state under the direct control of the British Political Agent.

Arrangement of Archival Records:

The Balochistan Archives team visited the Deputy Commissioner Kalat Office on ??-??-2014.The whole record in Kalat District is kept in the office of Deputy Commissioner in the “MehfoozKhana” which is a legacy of the former Kalat State where the Khan of Kalat had deputed an “AraizNawees” and a “Khatat”. They performed the duties to summarize the day to day routine matters of former Kalat State, whether Jirgas in the Court or the political affairs or the matters relating to accounts branch etc.

After the merger of States with Pakistan this MehfoozKhana was kept under the auspices of Deputy Commissioner. Currently the incharge of this MehfoozKhana is Mr. Abdul Qayum. The record is kept in two major parts i.e Urdu and Farsi. Mr. Abdul Qayum looks after the record with the help of NaibQasid. These records almost consist on the affair of judiciary and the Department of Vizarat-e-Uzma Kalat, and a chunk of record relating to Accounts Branch and the Department of Kalat Agency. Almost all the record is hand written. There is no printed material such as Book, Magazine, Digest, Newspaper and Bibliography but only documents (in pages) related to former Kalat State. These documents (pages) are not in proper shape, sequence and serial. So it is not possible to find out a specific file.

The records have not been maintained since long. Rainfall and other weather changes have severely affected the records having historical and Archival importance (lying in the MahfoozKhana). All the documents are in clothed bundles and kept like waste papers. The record keeper of the MahfoozKhana is totally unaware of catalogs, registers and records related to former Kalat State.

The record of former Kalat State lying in the MahfoozKhana is neither accessible nor public for scholars or researchers and treated like a part of history. There is no English section in Kalat. All the records are either in Urdu or Farsi. Major heads are Judiciary, Vizarat-e-Uzma, Accounts, Department of Kalat Agency, Revenue, Administration, Political, Military, Lands etc.

All the record is in shape of Bastas. Every Basta is related to the affairs of judiciary and the Department of Vizarat-e-Uzma Kalat, and a chunk of record relating to accounts branch and the Department of Kalat Agency.

The detail of Bastas (lying in the MahfoozKhana of District Kalat) is attached herewith. Contact person for any further information of old record is Mr. Abdul Qayum, Record Keeper (MahfoozKhana) D.C Office Kalat.

Detailed List of Important Files in the Archival Records of Kalat District