Lasbela District

Report on the Archival Records of Lasbela District

Lasbela is a coastal district of Balochistan province of Pakistan. It became a separate district in Kalat Division on 30 June 1954. Bela is the district headquarters. The area of the district is 12,574 km2 , and its population is 312,917 in 2005 estimates. It is bounded with Khuzdar,Awaran,Karachi and the Arabian sea.

Historical Background:

When the British advancement extended beyond Sindh and to the states of Kalat and Lasbela, Jam Mir Khan II was exercising powerful political control over the affairs of these areas. On the occasion of the 3rd rebellion in 1869, when the Jam was marching on to Kalat with a large force, a clash was averted by the intervention of the British Political Officer. The negotiations were however abortive and Jam Mir Khan refused to pay allegiance to the Khan and was banned to British India.

In December 1876 an agreement was signed between Sir Robert Sandeman and Mir KhudadadKhan, the Khan of Kalat, and Jam Ali Khan who represented his father, Jam Mir Khan, the Jam of Bela. In consequence of this agreement Jam Mir Khan was released from his confinement in British India in the spring of 1877, after accepting the conditions that he acknowledged the Khan’s sovereignty, in accordance with the ancient usage.

Jam Mir Khan at first inclined to let his son Jam Ali Khan carry on the government, but ultimately took the administration in his own hands. Jam Mir Khan died in January 1888, leaving three sons. His eldest son Haji Jam Ali Khan was installed at Bela in January 1889 by Sir Robert Sandeman, the British Agent to the Governor General in Balochistan. Sir Robert died in January 29th, 1892 in Bela, his tomb is in Bela garden.

Haji Jam Ali Khan died in 1894 and was succeeded by his son Jam Mir Kamal Khan, who subsequently ruled over the state for 50 years. His successors, first his son, Jam Mir Ghulam Muhammad Khan, and later his grandson Jam Ghulam Qadir Khan continued to hold the post Masnad under the same conditions and without any significant event until Pakistan came into existence on 14th August, 1947. At this time Lasbela along with Kharan and Kalat states acceded to Pakistan and later became part of the Balochistan Province.

Arrangement of the Archival Record:

The Balochistan Archives team visited the Deputy Commissioner Kharan Office on ??-??-2013.The whole record in Lasbela District is kept under the auspices of Assistant Commissioner Lasbela. The record is kept by a Record Keeper who is an official of the Assistant Commissioner and assisted by a Peon. The original MehfoozKhana, created by Jam of Lasbela was adjacent to Jirga Hall. But heavy rain-fall and other climatic conditions have severely affected the records having historical and archival importance (lying in the MahfoozKhana). Due to sever damages in the MehfoozKhana, Assistant Commissioner had to shift the records lying there.

Almost all the records are in a poor condition and have been mixed up due to shifting and damage of original MehfoozKhana. The record consists of two major parts i.e Urdu and Farsi. Almost all the record is hand written. There is no any Book, Magazine, Digest, Newspaper and Bibliography but only documents (in pages) related to former Lasbela 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 are kept in Bastas without any catalog or file.

The records have not been maintained since long. All the documents are in clothed bundles and kept like waste papers. The record keeper of the MahfoozKhana is an active person and tried his level best to keep the record properly, but the negligence of higher authorities have demoralized him. He tried his level best to make the records of former Lasbela State accessible and public.

All the record of former Lasbela state is in the shape of Bastas and every mouza has its own basta. Mouzas are not kept alphabetically. The documents have been mixed up due to the damage of original MahfoozKhana. There is no any catalog present to sort out the records. Bastas are in poor condition and record lifter cleans the room on weekly basis.

There is no English section in Lasbela District. All the records are either in Urdu or Farsi. Major heads are related to Revenue, Administration, Lands, Maps, etc. Almost all the records are post-partition.

The records lying in the office of Additional Deputy Commissioner (Revenue) are mostly related to Revenue matters which includes revenue cases since 1964 dealt by the Deputy Collector (Revenue). In addition to this patwaris kept the Maps and maintained their own records. The detail of Bastas lying in the MahfoozKhana of District Lasbela is attached herewith. Contact person for any further information of old record in District Lasbela is Mr: Asghar Ali In charge MehfoozKhana. Mr. Mohammad Hashim, Superintendent, D.C Office Uthal and Mr: Ahmed Khan Reader ADC (R) &In charge MehfoozKhanaUthal.

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