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Book Review: The Baloch and Balochistan

By: Jahangir Jameel

The Baloch and Balochistan take you back to ‘Balashgan’ where the history of Baloch begins. It starts the history of Balochistan 3000 years ago during the period of the Achaemenid Empire. The book holds the historical account from the beginning to the fall of the Baloch State. It is the work of Naseer Dashti, a Baloch historian.

The book is written chapter-wise. It is segmented by comprising it into 24 chapters. Chapters are arranged chronologically according to the happenings faced by the Baloch in the three thousand years journey from Balashgan to the present-day abode of Balochistan and from Balaschik to Baloch.

The book is much interesting and discusses almost every minuscule and gigantic event of Baloch history. It is a compilation of different historians’ works including their references. In elaborating on each event, it gives references of other many historians from which one can rely on the authenticity of discussed stories.

In starting three chapters, the writer endeavors to trace the history of Baloch. It begins from ‘Balashgan’ with ‘Balaschik’. Balaschik is believed to be the old name of Baloch which has evolved with the passage of time. But it is not known that due to Balaschik the place was called Balashgan or due to Balashgan the people were called Balaschik. Starting chapters as well give a light to major powers of that period. Chapter four elucidates how and why Baloch leave their original abode, Balashgan. After leaving Balashgan where does it head towards. Chapter five thrives to put forward Arab conquest of Iran and the relations of Baloch with Arab after the fall of Sassanid Empire. It was the time when Hazrat Khalid Bin Waleed conquered Sassanid Empire in Iran and during the time Baloch nation was also wondering and struggling in the regions of Iran. Chapters six illustrates the relation, conflicts and wars of Baloch with Dynasties of Iran and Mongol. After having lots of suppression from the Dynasties in Iran it migrates from Iranian regions to present day Balochistan: Sistan, Makran and Turan. Whole of the migration and the causes are discussed in chapter seven. Chapter eight puts a light of cultural values of Baloch during the time when Baloch was in the Iranian region and how it adapts to different cultures when it migrates en masse to Balochistan. Chapter nine and onward are all about the Baloch state; how it forms, expands, unifies, faces clashes internally from Sardars of different region and externally from British and Kandahar. The pages in these chapters also discuss Naseer Khan 1 that how he becomes the Khan of Baloch state and how he becomes successful in stretching the borders of Baloch state. The whole history of Baloch State is explained and almost the periods of all Khans are presented. It holds the painful history of 1839 when British becomes dominant over Baloch state. And lastly, the fall of Baloch state.

The pages also discuss the disputes of different tribes internally. It as well puts light on Balochi Language; how it evolves, relates to Persian. And how it becomes the lingua franca in Balochistan. Brahui, on the other hand, is also discussed. Both the Brahui language and tribes are discussed. The book explains the origin of Brahui; how it relates to Dravadian, Balochi and Turkish.

The book is overall much helpful in understanding the history of Baloch. If one seeks to learn about Baloch history then ‘The Baloch and Balochistan’ is a good choice. When you reach the last section of the book you will get in the thought that Baloch has always been in a struggle, clashes, wars, and suppression. The same is the situation till the present day.

The writer can be reached at [email protected] 

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