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Across Coveted Lands by Arnold Henry Savage Landor

Constant risings took place during the rule of Khudadad


British troops might occupy, if necessary, any position they thought advisable in the Kelat territory, and British subjects and merchants from Sindh or the coast to Afghanistan were to be protected against outrage, plunder and exactions. A transit duty, however, was to be imposed at the rate of six rupees on each camel-load from the coast to the northern frontier, and 5 rupees from Shikarpur to the same frontier.

To aid Nasir Khan, his heirs and successors, in the fulfilment of these obligations, and on condition of faithful performance of them, the British Government bound itself to pay to Mir Nasir Khan, his heirs and successors, an annual subsidy of 50,000 Company's rupees. If, however, the conditions required were not fulfilled year by year the Government would stop the payment of the annual subsidy.

When Nasir Khan died in 1857, his brother, his son, and his half-brother claimed the succession, and the latter, Khudadad Khan, a boy of ten, was elected by the chiefs; but had it not been for the support given him by the British Government, who for four successive years paid him an additional 50,000 rupees besides the 50,000 stipulated in the agreement, in order to help him to suppress the rebellious Marris tribe, he could not have maintained his position.

The leading Kelat chiefs, dissatisfied with their ruler, elected Sherdil Khan, Khudadad's cousin, as Khan of Kelat, but he was murdered the following year, 1864, and the banished ruler reinstated in his former position. Previous to his banishment, in 1862, a proper agreement was signed defining the boundary line between British India and the Khan's territory, but it was not till 1887 that matters regarding it were absolutely settled.

One thing may be said for the Beluch, and that is that, barring a few squabbles, they have in the main been friendly and faithful towards the British.

On February 20th and March 23rd, 1863, a convention was entered into with the Khan containing an additional clause for the extension of a telegraph line through such of his dominions as lie between the western boundary of the province of Mekran under the feudatory rule of the Jam of Beyla and the eastern boundary of the territory of Gwadur, for the protection (only) of which line, and those employed upon it, the Khan was to receive an annual payment of 5,000 rupees, the whole sum to be expended among the chiefs and people through whose country the line passed. It was particularly stipulated that the sites on which British Government buildings were to be erected should remain the property of the Khan.

Constant risings took place during the rule of Khudadad, and the Brahui chiefs combined in an open rebellion in 1871. The Khan, being unable to suppress the rising, demanded aid of the British. A mediation took place in Jacobabad, their confiscated lands were restored to the Sardars, the allowances which they customarily received in the time of Mir Nasir Khan the younger were again granted, and the Sardars on their side had to return all the property plundered.


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