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Across Coveted Lands by Arnold Henry Savage Landor

But the Brahui with whom I came in contact


The

theory that the Brahui--the most numerous class in Beluchistan--are Tartar mountaineers is, to my mind, incorrect. They believe themselves to be the aboriginal people of Beluchistan, and this, I think, is more likely the case. Their language is quite different from any of the Nharui dialects. The Nharui tribes are much given to raids and warfare, and even last year, when I was going through Beluchistan, a small war had just been settled by a British force, sent to suppress the rebels, in conjunction with a Persian force from Kerman on the other side.

I cannot speak of the southern tribes as I did not visit them, but the Brahui with whom I came in contact, although very fond of a life of adventure, I invariably found extremely gentlemanly, hospitable and dignified in every way. They were men of a splendid type who, combined determined bravery with the quietest, softest, most considerate and graceful manner.

The Khan of Kelat is the most powerful ruler, and with him we have several important treaties. From the time of Abdullah Khan, in the eighteenth century, Kelat had been a state independent of the Delhi Empire, and had incorporated several provinces. To understand fully the evolution of Beluchistan into its present condition I will give a hasty historical review of the most important occurrences.

The political connection of the British Government with Kelat commenced during

the time of the grandson of Nasir Khan, Mehrab Khan, a weak ruler who became Khan in 1819. He was disliked by the chiefs of the various tribes for being under the influence of a man of low extraction called Daud Mahommed, for whom Fateh Mahommed, the hereditary Minister, was sacrificed. Fateh's son, Naib Mulla Mahommed Hasan, however, murdered the intruder and was himself placed in the position his father should have occupied, but his hatred for the Khan never ceased to crave for revenge. In 1838 this treacherous Minister, in the Khan's name, but without his knowledge, incited the tribes to rise and harm the British troops in their march to restore Shah Shujia to his dominions.

Sir Alexander Burns had to be deputed to Kalat to prevent hostility and attempt to negotiate a treaty. The treaty contained the following stipulations.[7]

"(Art. 1.) The descendants of Nasir Khan, as well as his tribe and sons, shall continue in future to be masters of the country of Kelat, Kachki, Khorstan, Makran, Kej, Bela and the port of Soumiani, as in the time of the lamented Ahmad Shah Durani.

"(Art. 2.) The English Government will never interfere between the Khan, his dependants and subjects, and particularly lend no assistance to Shah Nawaz Fateh Khan, and the descendants of the Mahabbatzai branch of the family, but always exert itself to put away evil from his house. In case of H. M. the Shah's displeasure with the Khan of Kelat, the English Government will exert itself to the utmost to remove the same in a manner which may be agreeable to the Shah and according to the rights of the Khan.


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