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Across Coveted Lands by Arnold Henry Savage Landor

The affairs of British Beluchistan Pishin


Further

developments necessitated a fresh agreement signed on June 8th, 1883, by which the Khan of Kelat made over the entire management of the Quetta district and Niabat absolutely, and with all the rights and privileges, as well as full revenue, civil and criminal jurisdiction, and all other powers of administration, to the British Government, the agreement to take effect from April 1st, 1883, on condition that, in lieu of the annual surplus of revenue hitherto paid to the Khan, the British Government should from March 31st, 1884, pay a fixed annual rent of Rs.25,000, without deductions for cost of administration.

The Khan transferred all his rights to levy dues or tolls on the trade in either direction through the Bolan Pass, as well as from Kachi to Khorassan, and to and from British India and the districts of Sibi, Quetta and Pishin.

For the latter concession the British Government paid the Khan the annual sum of Rs.30,000 net, plus a fixed yearly sum to be paid by the Viceroy of India to the Sarawan and Kurd Sardars for their services in the Pass. The full civil, criminal jurisdiction, and all other powers of administration within the limits of the said Pass, and within the land purchased by the British, were also ceded to the British Government.

The population of the State of Kelat, including Kharan and Makran, was estimated by Aitchison at about 220,500 souls--the area at 106,000

square miles.

The Chiefship of Kharan lies along the northern border of the State of Kelat, roughly from near Nushki, west-south-west to Panjur. The principal tribes are the Naushirwanis, and their Chiefs have at various epochs acknowledged the suzerainty of the Khan of Kelat, and the rulers of Persia and Afghanistan respectively. In 1884 Sardar Azad Khan acknowledged allegiance to the Khan of Kelat, and in 1885 a settlement was made with him by which he undertook to do certain tribal services in consideration of an annual payment of Rs.6,000. Besides Kharan the Sardar holds lands in Panjgur, and lays claim to Jalk, Dizak, and Kohak, the two first being within the Persian boundary.

We have other important agreements, such as the one (1861) with the Chief of Las Bela for the protection of the telegraph, for which he receives a subsidy of Rs.8,400 a year; and a number of agreements with the various chiefs of Makran, mostly relating also to the protection of the telegraph line with subsidies or allowances to each chief.

To the troublesome Marris, a tribe occupying the country from the Nari river and the outskirts of the Bolan as far as the plain of Sham near the Punjab boundary to the east, allowances are paid directly for tribal services and for good behaviour. These people have given considerable trouble on several occasions, but are now friendly.

A petroleum concession was ceded by Sardar Mehrulla Khan to the British Government for an annual cash payment.

The affairs of British Beluchistan (Pishin, Sibi and dependencies) are too well known for me to refer to them again beyond what I have already mentioned in these pages. Till 1878 British Beluchistan formed part of the territories of Afghanistan, and was occupied by British troops during the Afghan war. By the treaty of Gandamak its administration was put into the hands of British officers, but the surplus revenue was paid to the Amir at Cabul. The control of the Khyber and Michui Passes was also retained. In 1887, however, the district was incorporated with British India, and is now known as the province of British Beluchistan.


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