From the People
“In the creation of this Council, as you will observe, special care has been taken to ensure that power and authority is derived as far as possible from the people. At the same time, the setting up of the Advisory Council will not in any way detract from the status of these areas, nor from the freedom of the inhabitants of these areas to mould their future constitution and to form the administration in accordance with their own customs and traditions. The setting up of the Council will in no way affect that measure of independence which is already enjoyed by the people of the Tribal areas nor can it change the present status of the leased areas. On the other hand, this new measure is intended to bring about a harmony of ideas between the Government and the people in the various areas of Balochistan and to make the Government machinery efficient and responsive to the people.”
- Mr. Jinnah / Quaid-e-Azam
- Speech: New Era of Progress for Baluchistan
- Context: Speech at Sibi Durbar
British colonization acquired legitimacy from the brutal use of force that subjugated the human will to slavery and retained absolute power of initiative, direction, and decision in the hands of a few British individuals. The colonization also brought the Indian mind through a widespread system of Western education, into contact with the thought and ideals of the West, and contributed to the birth of a great and living movement for the intellectual and moral regeneration of the people.
The aspiration of the Indian Muslims to recover their birthright, direct their own affairs and govern themselves evolved over many decades and culminated into Mr. Jinnah’s historic freedom struggle, which demonstrated the shallowness of political maxims that asserted that Indians were unfit to govern themselves and the only form of government suitable to India was autocracy, tempered by European efficiency and character. Ill-conceived ideas had taken form because of economic benefits of the Indian exploitation, colonizers were willing to degrade human nature by refusing to any man the right to be a man.
The Indian Muslim adopted a new identity of a Pakistani which awakened the feeling of freedom in their hearts and they collectively claimed that nothing promotes the ripeness for freedom so much as freedom itself. Pakistanis knew that no one could arrive at the maturity for freedom without having already acquired it.
The guardians of the Baloch cause
The journey towards Muslim freedom in India was marred by obstacles on all fronts. Mr. Nehru had created a committee report that demanded “Dominion Status” for India. Separate electorates were refused and the reservation of seats for the Muslims of Bengal and Punjab was rejected. The “Nehru report” rejected every single demand of the Muslim League.
In response, Mr. Jinnah authorized his “14 points” to safeguard the rights of the Muslims, which included:
A uniform measure of autonomy shall be guaranteed to all provinces.
Reforms should be introduced in the NWFP and Balochistan on the same footings as in the other provinces.
The Constitution should embody adequate safeguards for the protection of Muslim culture, education, language, religion and personal laws, as well as for Muslim charitable institutions.
Preserving Baloch Freedom Post-Independence
The legal, administrative and political arrangements between the Government of Pakistan and the people of Balochistan were established via democratic referendum. Mr. Jinnah won over the people of Balochistan who by their own free will and democratic choice voted in favor of joining the state of Pakistan and sending their elected representatives to the Pakistan Constituent Assembly. As a Governor-General of Pakistan, Mr. Jinnah derived his authority from the unmistakable will of the people of Balochistan.
To begin and accelerate the work of maximizing Balochistan’s real political autonomy, Mr. Jinnah had set up an Advisory Council which directly and closely collaborated with the premier of the country. No other province enjoyed this level of direct and intimate contact with the leading authority of the nation. This council consisted of acknowledged representatives of Balochistan and the council had real powers of reviewing and scrutinizing existing policies and recommending its own proposals for the welfare of the people of Balochistan.
These structural changes and new institutions were created by Mr. Jinnah to achieve a balance between the Tribal areas retaining their autonomy and independence and, also improving the lives of Baloch people. Under British rule, the tribes retained independence but experienced minimal progress in political, social, economic and educational uplift of the Baloch people.
The purpose, spirit and intent to build effective organizational machinery that brings the people of Balochistan closer to the Government of Pakistan is to provide legitimate avenues to vocalize dissent, make the Baloch people feel that their voices are heard in the councils of national institutions and generate meaningful progress in the lives of the common Baloch people.
Any form of repression by military force is no better than the pre-independence era, and it is our national will to follow Mr. Jinnah’s model which maximizes Baloch freedom in consonance with the customs and traditions of the Baloch people and march forward with resolute steps towards it’s economic and social progress from consultation and discussions.
Citizens of Pakistan have high morale and are working with strong spirit and enthusiasm to build up Balochistan into a prosperous province befitting the wealth of nature Providence has bestowed the proud land of Baloch people, who we honor and recognize as the integral part of our body-politic.
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