Article

Classical Period of Baluchistan History: Gaps And Breaking Links Of Thirty-Year War

Arif Azam

Abstract:

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the breaking links of the classical period of Baluchistan history at the late 15th century.
Furthermore, the classical period of Baluchistan history keeps various aspects within it.

But the attention-catching area of that period is a thirty-year war which had been as a result of Rind and Lashari chronic rivalry culminated into a long war which turned the land of Baluchistan as a theater of destructive war for thirty years.

It is certain the problem appeared right after the demise of Shayakh Rind the father of Chakar Rind afterwards Chakar claimed as the chieftain.

On the other hand, Guhram was very powerful and it was an offensive humiliation for the honor of Guhram to accept Chakar as a chieftain. Additionally, accepting Chakar as a chieftain would surely reduce Guhram in the inferior status.

However, it is clear that Guhram did not accept Chakar as a chief while Chakar knew that the defiant attitude of Guhram would turn the situation into a destructive war, and Chakar as well knew it was very arduous to vanquish Guhram in that war since his tribe was equally powerful as the Rind tribe. Chakar experienced the power of Lashari in the first battle of Nali where Lashari defeated the Rind.

Further, if one is reading the classical period of Baluchistan history should not ignore the neighboring powers of that time which were surrounding Baluchistan as Iran, Afghanistan, and Sindh etc.


Further, those powers of the time might not want Baluchistan becoming another power among them. So, firstly they wanted to break the unity of Baloch by provoking both leaders towards a long war. The powers wanted to create the situation of the point of no return in which the defeat of the one tribe would be the survival of the other tribe.

Here describing of two powers are very necessary: the Samma dynasty of Sindh and the Argun dynasty of Afghanistan. Additionally, Chakar requested the king of Herat: Sultan Husain Mirza, while Guhram asked Samma dynasty of Sindh for the help. Emboldened with the mighty assistance of King of Herat Chakar decimated the every sign of Lashari tribe as hard as it was possible resultantly which threw away the existence of Guhram Lashari from the pages of classical period of Baluchistan history after the devastating war.

The war decreased the power of Chakar. On the other hnd, war destroyed the unity of Baloch. Consequently, the venal king seized the complete opportunity of the trying circumstances of Chakar Rind. Thus, from here it is clear that Chakar and Guhram had kept diplomatic relations with other countries which is yet not touched by the writers on Baluchistan history particularly classical period of Baluchistan history.

Moreover, the lack of evidence puts the causes of war in vague in the history of Baluchistan. Many story-writers rather than historians provide the immediate cause of the war attacking the camels of Gohar by Lashari as she was under the protection of Chakar after fleeing to the area of Guhram when Guhram wanted to marry her forcefully.

Further, there are other causes of the war but today they are unknown in the pages of Baluchistan history particularly the classical period of Baluchistan history. So, this work is a little try to throw light in the gaps which are left by story-writers due to lack of historians in Baloch nation.
Further, this piece of writing also raises questions towards an area that is mostly ignored which is the regional powers of that time whose active involvement can clearly be seen in that Baloch infighting of thirty years.
And the strong grip of those regional powers over the main characters of the war might have provided the fuel to the fire because of their own advantages behind the Baloch civil war.
Otherwise that war for the small reason could have not continued for long thirty years.

This paper as well demands the investigation of the consequences of that war on Baloch nation in 21st century.
Lastly, this paper enquires researching the economic, demographical and cultural consequences of that war on Baloch nation.

Introduction:

How strong the future of a nation and what was its past is shown by the history of that nation. No doubt, history is studied on the basis of evidence therefore no evidence means no history while weak evidence makes the history weak. Thus, it is correct to say that history is the history of literate nation since they left their written accounts behind them to be researched and studied.

However, Baloch of the classical period of Baluchistan history were an illiterate nation. They had, therefore, left no written evidence of their time behind them, and the stories of the classical period passed heart by heart as a result there can be seen obvious changes and editing in those stories which are originally in shape of epic poems. However, the only surviving sources of the classical period are the pieces of poetry and poems and whose authenticity itself is in question with a big question mark surrounding it.

Additionally, no one can ignore the clear fact that poetry is based on the feelings which can absolve the characters of blames and wrongdoing while the real world is completely different from the world of feelings and history is based on facts rather than feelings. It is awful that the Rind tribe kept their own adherents, so did the Lashari tribe. This is understandable that those poets were playing the role of court historians so as to extol their own tribe via their feelings, but the correct facts and emotion are not juxtapose in history. Unfortunately, those pieces of poetry were not in written shape, thus, those pieces of poetry are not able enough to be considered as incontrovertible evidence of that period.
Speaking honestly, Baloch nation lacks historians and the heavy absence of historians created a gap which was filled by non Baloch historians.

So, this has become the cause for which today the history of Baluchistan seems the story of Baluchistan more than the less of history of Baluchistan. Additionally, the good intentions of those writers who do not have that much forte as historians do, have brought unsatisfactory effects to the history of Baluchistan especially for the classical period particularly thirty-year war. As, they are not historians resultantly they just wrote the figments of their imagination which have nothing to do with the correct facts of history.

Further, for all the lamentations, many gaps and breaking links in the history of Baluchistan are the counterproductive of those writers, and it does not stop here, further, the inadequate unavailability of historians in Baloch nation sank many historical facts related to history of Baluchistan remarkably the classical period into obscurity.

What do the authors say about thirty-year war?

There is no point quibbling over Baloch is a deprived nation of historians especially when talk about classical period of Baluchistan history. The danger lies in the fact that the only primary source of classical period are oral epic poems and for the thirty-year war between Rind and Lashari is the elegy of Mullah Shullan is the famous poem about the war namely ‘the camels of Gohar’ (Gohar a hirani shehr).
Faqeer Shad collected the oral poems shaped them into a book namely Meraas.
Faqeer Shad commences that there had been total 1500 lines in that poem, but very few lines of that poem are extant in present history of Baluchistan.(1)

Consequently, this stays the main cause why classical period of Baluchistan history seems too circuitous and the ramification of all these are many breaking links and gaps which are inadvertent in the classical period of Baluchistan history. On the other hand when writers in Baluchistan history particularly about classical period will interpret the primary source in their own ways and fill the gaps with empirical evidence which might not be true in turn further deteriorates the history of that period.

However, it is very pensive that to this day the writers in history of Baluchistan especially the classical period are unable to decide the correct date for the war, story of migration of Gohar, accurate reasons of the war and most importantly the consequences of that war on Baloch nation in 21st century. Further, different writers in history of Baluchistan provide distinct reasons for the war.

However, two obvious gaps creep the classical period: first one is the diplomatic relations of Chakar Rind and Guhahram Lashari with other regional powers. No writers in history of Baluchistan, so far, have discussed about this area and indeed this area needs to be brought into the light. And the second ignored area of the war is the insurmountable consequences of that war on Baloch in 21st century as they were mostly living in Sindh and Punjab in the aftermath of that war.

However, due to lack of historians many historical facts related to classical period particularly the thirty-year war are to this day uncertain. Faqeer Shad writes about the date war that the English writers consider the starting date of the war 1580. (2) While Ghafoor Shad notes that the English historians start the date of war from 1540, but that war actually took place in 1480. (3) Whereas, Kamran Azum utters that the English historians count the date of the war 1540, but Mir Raheem Dad Mulai Shedai judges it 1480 and in reality the last battle of that war took place in 1485.(4)

Moreover, Mazhar Ali Khan Lashari expresses that Chakar Rind and Guharam Lashari along with other Baloch tribes said goodbye to Makran in 1485 (5) and no doubt the same date is mentioned by Dr. Shah Muhammad Marri in his book.(6) But in the same book Mazhar Ali Khan Lashari says that the thirty-year war broke between Rind and Lashari from 1484 to 1504. (7) It means the war had been started before one year when they left Makran.

As from the other secondary sources along with the primary source it is clearly reported that the war broke after leaving Makran. On the other hand, if the war continued from 1484 to 1504 then the war perpetuated for 20 years rather than 30 year.

Further, Mazhar Ali Khan Lashari in the same book inscribes that Chakar Rind went to Qandahar in 1505 for the help to defeat Lashari tribe. (8) As in previous page he wrote the war ended in 1504, so it means Chakar Rind went to Qandahar after one year of the war to get support ao that Rind teaches the Lashari tribe a hard lesson in a sharp way.

No doubt, Faqeer Shad (9), Hameed Baloch (10), Khursheed Negwari (11), Shah Mohammad Marri (12) and Shah Mohammad Marri (13) all demonstrate that Chakar went to Qandhar for the assistance and the venal king of Qandhar was firstly bribed by Guhram not to aid Chakar against Lashari tribe in the civil war.
Although, here gaps creep that firstly the date is not mentioned when Chakar proceeded towards Qandhar and secondly the diplomatic relations of Chakar and Guhram with other power are not discussed about yet.

Nevertheless, not only the date of the war but also the accurate reasons of the war are to date debatable. Faqeer Shad provides two causes for the thirty-year war: the first reason was that the mother of Chakar was not an original Rind.
So, when Chakar became the chieftain after the demise of his father, Guharam Lashari considered it the violation of his honor and accepting Chakar as a chieftain would be tantamount for Guhram to accept for himself as the subordinate status. (14)
But Kamran Azum and Mazhar Ali Khan Lashari record that the mother of Chakar was a Phuz Rind which is considered a special Rind among Rinds.(15) (16)
In addition, Dr. Shah Mohammad Marri articulates that two sisters of Chakar married in Lashari tribe namely Mrs. Mazzi and Mrs. Banadi to Mir Abdullah Khan and Mir Hudy Khan respectively. (17) So, if it had been the reason how two sisters of Chakar married in Lashari tribe? However, the second reason puts forward by Faqeer Shad that Gohar had migrated to Persian Baluchistan along her herd of camels and started living an area which was under Guhram Lashari.

Further, when Guharam wanted to tax the land being used by Gohar, she went to Chakar and stayed under his protection in Sibi with her herd of camels. (18) In addition, Dr. Shah Mohammad Marri writes that Guhram wanted to make surreptitious unfair relation with Gohar which is why she left the area of Guhram. (19)
While Khursheed Negwari and Muhammad Sardar Khan Baloch signify that Guhram wanted to marry Gohar forcefully which is why Gohar went under the protection of Chakar. (20) (21)

Moreover, for the immediate reason of the war almost all writers put forward the same reason which is related to a horse race between Rehan Rind and Raameen Lashari. As after the horse race Lashari attacked the camels of Gohar which were under the protection of Chakar Rind, thus that inflammatory event got the thirty-year war started between Rind and Lashari tribe. As Kamran Azum illustrates that both tribes Rind and Lashari got themselves along with other Baloch tribes as 67 Baloch tribes in favor of Rind and 39 in support of Lashari tribe embroiled in a civil war for thirty years. (22)

Faqeer Shad pens down that Guhram wanted to bring Gohar back so for that purpose Guhram sent his people. When Guhaam’s people went to Sibi they could not find the situation suitable for the war so they successfully dissembled the idea of war and ostensibly had made an excuse for a horse race.

It is believed that the horse race took place between Rehan Rind and Raameen Lashari.
As that time there had been no trophy in place of that it was decided a rim of the cobbler would be awarded to the one who would stay victorious in the horse race. It is astonishingly lucid that Raameen stayed the winner, but the place was the Rind’s area and the judges were from Rind which is why the arbiters were far from justice and awarded Rehan.

Presumably, that favoritism offended Raameen as a result when he was going back he ambushed the camels of Gohar on the way.
So it began a thirty-year war between Rind and Lashari tribes along with other Baloch tribes for their support. (23)

However, Mohammad Sardar Khan Baloch unfolds the story another way. He writes that Mir Rehan Rind and Raameen Lashari were devoted friends of their time and both of them fall in love with a wife of a cobbler afterwards both agreed to get the problem solved through a horse race then the prizeman would have that woman as a prize. To decide the victor two judges were appointed from Rind as that had been the area of the Rinds. It is mentioned that both Rehan Rind and Raameen Lashari remained equal in the horse race, but the judges who were Rind awarded Rehan as a winner in the horse race.

Resultantly, Raameen stayed filled with chagrin when he countered that injustice therefore he attacked the camels of Gohar which were under the defense of Chakar Rind in turn that insufferable event culminated a war of thirty-year between Rind and Lashari tribes.(24)
However, the author is silent and even the complete history of classical period is kept quiet who that wife of the cobbler was and what happened with that woman after the derby.
The woman was a wife of someone whether Balochi tradition permits biting a married woman since it is an illicit activity in Baloch culture.
Unfortunately, there is not presence of such story in primary source (epic poem) related the wife of any cobbler.

Moreover, Kamran Azum puts another story forward which got the war started. He writes that Raameen Lashari had blocked a canal which brought water for the land of Rinds, so this action of Raameen proliferated the anger of Chakar and Chakar started a war which protracted for thirty years. (25)

Further, Lala Hatu Ram portrays the story completely in a discrete way which is too vague to be acceptable in classical period of Baluchistan history. He writes that Raameen Lashari went for hunting in forest, but he was unable to find anything to hunt so it remained too mortifying for Raameen to come empty-handed. Meanwhile, Raameen saw the camels of Banadi the daughter of Chakar, grazing in the same woodland, so he hunted one of her camels. As a result Banadi became indignant and went to her father: Chakar Rind, thus a thirty-year war ensued between Rind and Lashari tribes.
Hatu Ram, further continues that in the mid of the war Guhram along some other Lashari went to Banadi in order to get the war stopped.
Apparently, Banadi had welcomed them, but she offered virulent food to Guhram along his colleagues which took their lives at the spot.
But the war continued by the sons of Guhram: Bakhar Lashari and Raameen Lashari against Rind tribe. (26)

However, Lala Hatu Ram was very ambiguous, no idea used which source for that story as it is neither in primary nor in secondary sources so the truth of Hatu Ram’s story is uncertain which is why this story looks spurious in classical period of Baluchistan history. On the other hand, from the primary alon the secondary sources it is very limpid that Banadi was not the daughter of Chakar Rind rather she was the sister of Chakar Rind.

Further, it is an axiom that Guhram did not expire in the mid of the war as the physical appearance of Guhram actively can be seen at the end of the war as he ran away towards Sindh. Thus, it is certain that the war expatriated Guhram from the scenario and his grave is an oscillating question mark on the indistinct pages of classical period of Baluchistan history particularly the thirty-year war.

Further, Dr. Shah Mohammad Marri somewhat touches the accurate reasons of the war which are somehow in the proximity of the truth, but not in depth as he just defines them in the brevity of three or four lines. He jots down that there were two original causes of the war and other are only stories. The first cause, continues Marri, that there had been very few grazing areas while Rind and Lashari tribes kept too many camels, sheep, rims, goats and so on. Second reason was two neighboring powers like Qandhar and Sindh surrounding Baluchistan. (27) Thus, it can be seen many gaps and breaking links in the classical period of Baluchistan particularly about the thirty-year war which is said to be the crux of the classical period of Baluchistan history.

Concluding Remarks:

a. The effect of the war on Baloch nation

It is very arduous to deny the deep effects of thirty-year war on Baloch nation as in the present Baloch nation is dealing with the severe consequences of that war. Firstly, the thirty-year civil war destroyed the every chance of national unity among Baloch nation.
In addition, if that civil infighting had not broken between Baloch, the Baloch nation would have been an inordinate power in present era and would have kept political identity as well.

Secondly, that war created demographic effects on Baloch nation which was a serious destruction to the historical demography of Baluchistan. Undoubtedly, Baloch were dispersed in the aftermath of the war, thus, the inevitable corollary of hapless destitution were going to be written in shape of possible contingencies in the success of those Baloch.

So, there is no escaping the fact that the war abated the population of Baloch accordingly. Today they are numerically very few. On the other hand, many of whom are scattered in other provinces particularly in Sindh and Punjab.
The war culturally proved abysmal for Baloch nation as the cultural ascendancy of those areas put behind the feeble culture of those migrant Baloch. For example the war obliged them to roam around Sindh and Punjab and the culture of those areas were dominant over the displaced Baloch.

However, if the culture of those areas had not been predominant over those migrant Baloch for time being, but it neither had good omens for the upcoming generations of migrant Baloch on those areas? Remarkably, it is really hurting to see today the Baloch of those areas have abandoned their native culture for a long time even they cannot speak in Balochi and have merged into the culture of those areas where they live. Thus, the ramification of thirty-year civil war has left insurmountable effects on Baloch natio and as a result, Baloch nation is undergoing the horrendous consequences of that war.

b. Some questions to be answered:

• What were the original causes of the war for which the war continued for thirty years?
• What were the role of other foreign powers in Baloch civil war and what were their main aims behind their involvement in the war?
• Could the war have been continued for thirty years if there would have not been the involvement of other powers?
• What are the economic, demographical, cultural and political consequences of that war in 21st century with which Baloch are heavily dealing?
• What were the main aims of those tribal poets by creating epic poems so as to praise their own tribe?
• Are those epic poems able to be considered the primary sources of that thirty-year war?
• How and why the causes and the date of the thirty-year war differ from writers to writers in history of Baluchistan?

c. Some realities:

• The primary sources of the war which are in shape of oral epic poems are not authentic otherwise there would be no breaking links in the event of the thirty-year war.
• If the foreign powers had not been involved in the war, it would have not continued for long thirty years.
• If the war had not continued for thirty years, it would have less consequences on Baloch nation in 21st century.
• If Chakar had kept political sense, the thirty-year war would have not taken place.
• If Chakar had acted on the suggestion of Beebarg in which he forbade Chakar for the war, there would have been no war between Rind and Lashari tribes.
• If Chakar Rind and Guharam Lashari were united they could coalesce into a powerful force for the change in the classical period of Baluchistan history which in turn made it the golden era of Baluchistan history.
• Today, the demographical, economical and political conditions of Baluchistan would be better if that war did not last for thirty years,
• If the war did not take place, today Baloch would be living in their own province and they would be following their native culture which in turn would unite them.
• If Baluchistan did not lack historians, today the history of Baluchistan especially the classical period particularly the thirty-year war would be on the right direction.

References

  1. Shad, Faqeer, Meras, (Baluchistan Academy, Quetta), June, 2008, P.35
  2. Ibid
  3. Shad. Ghafoor, Shahdeen Balochi, (Zemal Shengkar, Kech), 2010, P.92
  4. Azum, Kamran, Bugti qabeela, ( Taqleqat, Lahore), 2008, P. 72
  5. Lashari, Mazhar Ali Khan, Baloch tareekh key ayeny main, (Elm o Erfan Publisher, Lahore), June 2001, P.61
  6. Marri, Dr. Shah Muhammad, Baloch qaum qadeem ehd se asr a hazer tak, ( Taqleqat, Lahore), 2005, P. 98
  7. Op.cit, P. 70
  8. Ibid, P. 80
  9. Shad, Faqeer, Meras, (Baluchistan Academy, Quetta), June, 2008, P. 43
  10. Baloch, Hameed, Makran ehd qadeem se ehd jaded tak, (City book point, Karachi), 2009, Pp. 191, 203
  11. Negwari, Khursheed, Baloch raji adenk, (Baluchistan Academy, Kech), 2010, P. 108
  12. Marri, Dr. Shah Muhammad, Baloch qaum qadeem ehd se asr a hazer tak, ( Taqleqat, Lahore), 2005, P. 103
  13. Marri, Dr. Shah Muhammad, Balochi: mukhtaser tarekh zuban wa adab, (Muqtaqdra qumi zuban, Islamabad), P. 156
  14. Shad, Faqeer, Meras, (Baluchistan Academy, Quetta), June, 2008, P. 36
  15. Azum, Kamran, Bugti qabeela, ( Taqleqat, Lahore), 2008, P. 61
  16. Lashari, Mazhar Ali Khan, Baloch tareekh key ayeny main, (Elm o Erfan Publisher, Lahore), June 2001, Pp. 59, 60
  17. Marri, Dr. Shah Muhammad, Baloch qaum qadeem ehd se asr a hazer tak, ( Taqleqat, Lahore), 2005, P. 99
  18. Shad, Faqeer, Meras, (Baluchistan Academy, Quetta), June, 2008, P. 38
  19. Marri, Dr. Shah Muhammad, Balochi: mukhtaser tarekh zuban wa adab, (Muqtaqdra qumi zuban, Islamabad), P. 91
  20. Negwari, Khursheed, Baloch raji adenk, (Baluchistan Academy, Kech), 2010, P. 104
  21. Baloch, Muhammad Sardar Khan, Literary history of the Balochis V1, ( Balochi Academy Quetta), 1977, P. 91
  22. Azum, Kamran, Bugti qabeela, ( Taqleqat, Lahore), 2008, P. 71
  23. Shad, Faqeer, Meras, (Baluchistan Academy, Quetta), June, 2008, Pp. 40,41,42
  24. Baloch, Muhammad Sardar Khan, Literary history of the Balochis V1, ( Balochi Academy Quetta), 1977, Pp. 91,92
  25. Azum, Kamran, Bugti qabeela, ( Taqleqat, Lahore), 2008, P. 72
  26. Ram, Lala Hattu, Tareekh Baluchistan, ( Gusha a adab, Quetta), 1998, Pp. 74,75
  27. Marri, Dr. Shah Muhammad, Baloch qaum qadeem ehd se asr a hazer tak, ( Taqleqat, Lahore), 2005, Pp. 101,102
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