CONSTITUTIONAL POSITION OF BALUCHISTAN
Reply to the Address presented by a Deputation of the members of the Quetta Parsi Community on 13th June, 1948
I am very pleased indeed to meet you all and have an opportunity of hearing your well-considered views about Baluchistan, and I have no doubt in your sincerity and loyalty to Pakistan. Your community is really very well organised and I am happy–and I always say so–that it is better equipped than any other community that I know of in the sub-continent. You, therefore, although small in number, can make very great contribution to the welfare and progress of Pakistan and particularly Baluchistan.
Now coming nearer to Baluchistan, I know that people have not yet fully realised what present constitution is–that is true of even of well-informed and well-educated people. The establishment of Pakistan was catastrophic change and thus came so suddenly that people have not yet fully realised what it is. I dwelt on this point in my Sibi speech and may I, therefore, request you to read that speech if you can get a copy of it. I cannot go into all the details but I think as citizens you ought to know what is the real position. Under the present constitution it is the Governor-General who is vested with all authority–executive, administrative and legislative–in Baluchistan. I am, therefore, directly responsible for all executive, administrative and legislative measures that may be necessary to be adopted in Baluchistan. Rightly or wrongly the burden is placed on my shoulders. Now, you must have realised that Baluchistan has been the most neglected part of this sub-continent all these years. In some respects it is criminal negligence on the part of those who were responsible for the welfare of Baluchistan. You have got a deep-rooted ancient century–old system which is in vogue here and your administration has been stagnant for nearly a century. This is a problem that I am faced with as the Executive Head of Baluchistan. Now you cannot change these things overnight together sincerely, honestly and selflessly and as servants of Baluchistan.
In the very nature of things it will take eighteen months to two years before the new constitution of Pakistan is ready but we cannot wait until that work is completed and, therefore, I have made a small beginning, as I have said but a very important one and if as they say small beginning, but a very important one, after consulting various interests in Baluchistan, namely, I have decided to set up Governor-General’s Advisory Council. I am at it and perhaps very shortly the constitution, rules and procedure of that body will be announced. That is of course, a small beginning as I have said but a very important one and if as they say small things lead to very great things and if you handle it and manage it properly I am sure it will result in great progress and development of Baluchistan. But as I have said, it will depend on how the people of Baluchistan will handle the Governor General’s Advisory Council. This Council will enable people to associate themselves, no doubt as an advisory body, with administration–its executive and legislative side. That is the first step that I have taken because I cannot wait until we have a final constitution of Pakistan ready.
As regards your points regarding shortage of water supply and communications they are already under examination and with the help of our people and with their co-operation and advice we may be able to make some headway in both these matters.
As regards potentialities of Baluchistan you are right. I have a great deal of information about it. That question is under our examination and I think there is a great future for Baluchistan’s development of its mineral wealth, agricultural resources, water supply, communication etc.
Finally, Gentlemen, I am sure, though small in number you may be in Baluchistan and in Pakistan as a whole, you will not lag behind in making your full contribution as true selfless Pakistanis. Although you have not struck any note of your needs and requirements as a community but you know that it is the policy of my Government and myself that every member of every community irrespective of caste, colour, creed or race shall be fully protected with regard to his life, property and honour and that there should-be peace in Pakistan and law and order should be maintained at-any cost. I reiterate that you, like any other minorities, will be treated as equal citizens with all your rights and obligations so long as you are loyal to Pakistan. I am glad and it is very refreshing that you have not gone on with the same old rut and the hackneyed phrases which are echoed in various quarters about the grievances and requests of minorities, but I must tell you that these assurances have been given and they are going to be implemented.
Minority communities must not by mere words but by actions show this that they are truly loyal and they must make majority community feel that they are true citizens of Pakistan.
Then you will help me and you will facilitate my task in carrying out the policy which we have laid down. You know you must dispel suspicion and distrust. It is now up to minorities to show by actions and deeds that they are true Pakistanis and dispel suspicion and distrust that has been created by deplorable and disgraceful events that have taken place.
In the end, I thank you and I am very pleased to meet you all. Let us put our heads together and work together and make Pakistan what it really and truly deserves to be.