(Cross posted from Mureed Bizenjo Blog. A leadership belonging from humble and educated background of Balochistan province of Pakistan. When we think of Balochistan the first thing in mind of common people is that in Balochistan only Nawabs or Feudal Sardars make the decision and are followed but middle class never had chance. Mir Ghaus Bakhsh Bizenjo life sheds the opposite side of this belief of ours)
Mir Ghaus bakhsh Bizenjo was born in 1917 at Shanak, a beautiful village of sub-tehsil Jhal Jahu about 120 miles from Nal in the house of Mir Saffar Khan Bizenjo. Mir Bizenjo was one year of age when his father passed away, He started his journey of life as a fatherless child.
Despite of belonging to Sardar Khel (the ruling family) Mir Bizenjo had views to dechain the commoners from from the orthodox tribal rivalries and sardari system.
Mir Bizenjo graduated from Ali Ghar University and started to develop ideological coherence with the nationalists and the Congress school of thought. After the academic career of Mir Bizenjo he entered in practical politics with young spirit and thoughts to to get rid of British occupations for the liberation of his motherland Balochistan.
Mir Bizenjo represented the Baloch League in the sessions of Kalat National State national party, which was established on 5th February 1937 at Sibi, during such representation Mir Bizenjo took active part in the movement of Liberation of Baloch homeland from British rule, Mir Bizenjo’s struggle and the movement gained momentum during this struggle the vibrant allies of Mir Bizenjo were Mir Hamal Khan, Mir Abdul Aziz and Mir Gul Khan Naseer, their efforts were fruitful On August 12, 1947 (two days before the partition of Pakistan) Kalat State announced its independence. On 12 December 1947 the first session of the Kalat State Parliament was held in Kalat in which Mir Bizenjo was elected as the leader of “House of Comons” He in his first speech opposed the annexation of kalat with Pakistan, Mir Bizenjo stood by saying “We have a distinct civilization, we have a distinct culture like that of Afghanistand and Iran, we are muslims but it is not necessary that by virtue of being muslims we should loose our freedom and merge with others if that mere fact Muslims requires us to join Pakistan then Afghanistan and and Iran both muslim countries should also amalgamate with Pakistan, this merger is subjugation of baloch homeland“
On 27th march 1948 (mid-night) Khan of Kalat (Mir Ahmed Yar Khan) under pressure declared accession of Kalat state with Pakistan unconditionally and Mir Bizenjo came under dark clouds yet again. Mir Bizenjo and his other colleagues were arrested sent to Hyderabad jail and Government of Pakistan imposed a ban on National party in June 1948.
After the Release of Mir Bizenjo another political party emerged on scene “Ustaman Gall” meaning people’s party, Mir Bizenjo despite of being one of the founding members stepped down from the presidentship and handed it over to Prince Abdul karim, the party played a significant role in the internal politics of Balochistan and opposing the One Unit ideology which was proposed by Federal Government of Pakistan. Due to one unit scheme the first decade of Pakistan politics included disappointment and desperation of Baloch nationalists who were engaged in regional politics only.
Under such depressing conditions the leftists strongly needed a platform to be united and strong enough to play a significant role in the National Politics of Pakistan and establish eloquent stance for the preservation of regional customs for the Baloch and Pashtoons. This feeling brought some like minded people together and gave brith to Pakistan National Party, commonly known as P.N.P. It became a starting point of a new political struggle. Mir Ghaus Bakhsh Bizenjo became more active during the epoch and very soon established himself as a politician of very high calibre and of National approach. Pakistan National Party started growing and a delegation of P.N.P met Maulana Abdul Hameed Khan Beshani a Bengali nationalist leader in July 1957 and invited him to join P.N.P, he agreed on the proposal and insisted on inclusion of the word “Awami” to the party, the proposal was readily accepted Hence P.N.P became N.A.P (National Awami Party)
After gaining immense popularity Mir Bizenjo with the help of Mir Gul Khan naseer’s poems did political teachings and made the students conscious aware of the political struggle needed to achieve and preserve nationalist rights. Mir Ghaus bakhsh Bizenjo established Baloch students educational society in 1960 which ultimately resulted in establishment of Baloch students Organization on 26th November 1967, Mir Bizenjo reffered to Baloch youth as the successors of his Politics and also said that he was proud to leave behind a youth which could serve the nation in even a better way.
The Nationalist struggle of Mir Bizenjo annoyed the government, Mir Bizenjo and Khuda Bakhsh Marri were on a political visit to East pakistan, on the arrival they were both arrested from Karachi airpoart, Suharwardy was also present on the event and said “Mir Bizenjo is a symbol of Baloch politics, He takes the jail as his house, He is a Baloch alas” The words of Suharwardy were a tribute to Mir Bizenjo but even less for a person who was struggling for his people.
During the reign of Yahya Khan Mir Bizenjo became the only vibrant politician in Balochistan, his speeches in the National assembly of Pakistan gave a new horizon to the voice of Balochistan. In an answer to a Question from Rajindar Sareen Mir Bizenjo said “so far as the case of People of Balochistan is concerned, they do not want scession, but they desire their rights as federal unit of Pakistan be protected, they never like the idea of secession“
Mir Bizenjo was arrested again in a “Note Case” where on “One Unit Murdabad” was written and awarded with an imprisonment of 14 years, on the ocassion Mir Bizenjo said said “are you sure he (Ayub Khan) will remain in power for the next 14 years?” the prediction became true and people of Pakistan over threw Ayub Khan in March 1969 and Mir Bizenjo was released several years later.
During the elections of 1970 the political position of N.A.P strengthened by speeches of Mir Bizenjo and colleagues, N.A.P got eight seats and became the biggest party in the Provincial assembly. Mir Bizenjo’s success was the success of people of Balochistan for the land of Balochistan and also for those who believed in Justice, rule of law and equality.
Mir Bizenjo continued his struggle for the rights of people of Balochistan in March 1972 a meeting with bhutto was arranged at Rawalpindi where a 12 point accord was drawn up as a result of this accord Bhutto agreed to give due recognition to the representatives of majority in Balochistan consequently on 29th April 1972 Mir Bizenjo was appointed as Governor of Balochistan after the succesful breakage of one unit. When he went to Quetta on 30th April 1972 as a Governor he said “Today we are building a new Balochistan of our own, we miss our companions who passed away” The people of Balochistan started to get the reward for their struggle of due representation.
Federal Government started to intervene in the Provincial boundries of Balochistan, and the resistant attitude of Mir Bizenjo was not liked by Bhutto, army stepped in, Mir Bizenjo was dismissed and Nawab Akbar Bugti was sworn as governor Balochistan, the people were disappointed on his dismissal as it was followed by military operation which brought sufferings and miseries to the people of balochistan.
Mir Bizenjo was also among the leaders of United Democratic Front who were to address 23rd March protest at Liaqat Bagh rawalpindi, Bhutto adiministration did not want it as a result uniformed police, federal security force opened fire to disperse people, it caused casualites. Mir Bizenjo criticised the brutal act of Bhutto and called it continuation of his undemocratic policies. The intentions of Zulfiqar Ali bhutto were very clear He took another step on 15th August 1973 arrested Mir Bizenjo and collueages including Nawab Khair bakhsh Marri and Sardar Attaullah Mengal, certain false allegations were put on N.A.P and a full bench of court heard the case for about 44 days and as a judgement had the party (NAP) dissolved. Mir Bizenjo was later bailed during Gen Zia’s regime.
Last days of Mir Ghaus Bakhsh Bizenjo
Mir Bizenjo a well determined strong man never laid arms before any power during April 1989 he felt some unusual developments and pain in his body on a check up in Agha Khan hospital there were some indications of Liver cancer he was referred to London Royal medicine adembra wherefrom he got a unanimous advice that the disease was incurable hence he insisted on coming back to Pakistan where he was received warmly by his friends and he stayed at Masti Lodge in Karachi where he usually used to stay, He was well determined in showing no weakness to his disease, during his unsatisfactory health conditions he in an interview to a newspaper expressed his dissatisfaction over national and international policies of Pakisatn People’s party. On 19th July adresssing to a group of Baloch youth he emphasised that they should continue his mission of the furtherance of their National interest. On 9th August Mir Bizenjo’s health went down very fastly, his liver, kidneys, and other vital organs had failed and two days later on 11th August 3:25AM Mir Bizenjo fainted and left as all alone. Champion in cause of deprivation in general and Baloch in particular left this mortal world physically but his is still alive as his teachings and messages are still with his followers he was burried at Nal his native place. All the leading politicians and friends including Nawab Akber Bugti, Sardar Attaullah Mengal, Khan of Kalat mir Daud Khan, Nawab Aslam Raisani, Prince Mohi-uddin Baloch, Sardar Mohammed Arif jan Mohammand hasni, Sardar Mohammed Khan barozai, Sardar Yousaf Khan sasoli, Sardar Sannaullah Zehri, Mir Gohar Khan zarakzai, Justice Amir-ul-Mulk Mengal, Mir Amanullah Gichki, Mir Maqbool ahmed lehri, Mairaj Mohammed Khan, Fateh Ayub Ali Khan, Mir Abdul hameed Jatao, Mir Aijaz Ali Khan talpur, Syed Imdad Mohammed Shah (Son of Gm Syed) Agha Zaffarullah Shaheen, Qamar-uz-Zaman Shah, Mir Yousaf Mustikhan, Gul Muhammed Hoat, Tribal leaders and notables and thousands of his followers attended the burrial ceremonies.
Many International Leaders sent messages to condole his death and political parties passed the codolence resolutions. May His soul may rest in peace in heaven.
(The writer is student of Chartered Accountancy and work with Chartered Accountant firm in Karachi. Holds a wide view on current issues related to Balochistan province of Pakistan. He tweets @MureedBizenjo and maintains blog of Mureed Bizenjo)