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ABOUT BALOCHISTAN

History

From the 1st century to the 3rd century CE, the region was ruled by the Pāratarājas (lit. "Pārata Kings"), a dynasty of Indo-Scythian or Indo-Parthian kings. The dynasty of the Pāratas is thought to be identical with the Pāradas of the Mahabharata, the Puranas and other vedic and Iranian sources. The Parata kings are essentially known through their coins, which typically exhibit the bust of the ruler on the obverse (with long hair within a headband), and a swastika within a circular legend on the reverse in Brahmi (usually silver coins) or Kharoshthi (copper coins). These coins are mainly found in Loralai in today's western Pakistan.
 
Herodotus in 450 BCE, describes the Paraitakenoi as a tribe ruled by Deiokes, a Persian king, in northwestern Persia (History I.101).
 
Arrian describes how Alexander the Great encountered the Pareitakai in Bactria and Sogdiana, and had them conquered by Craterus (Anabasis Alexandrou IV). The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea (1st century CE) describes the territory of the Paradon beyond the Ommanitic region, on the coast of modern Balochistan.
 
The region was fully Islamized by the 9th century and became part of the Saffarids of Zaranj followed by the Ghaznavids, Ghorids Timurids, and Hotaki until Ahmad Shah Durrani made it part of the Afghan Empire in the mid-18th century. And became part of Afghanistan. The Western Balochistan was invaded and taken by Iran in the 19th century, and its boundary was fixed in 1871. Omani influence waned in the east and Oman's last possession, Gwadar, was bought by Pakistan in 1958.
 
Like other nowadays south asian ethnic groups with "Middle Eastern" roots, the Baloch claim Arabian extraction and assert that they are descended from Amir Hamza, a paternal uncle of the Islamic Prophet Muhammadand from a fairy (Pari). They consistently place their first settlement in Aleppo, where they remained until they sided with the sons of Ali, took part in the Battle of Karbala and were expelled by Yazid, the second Umayyad Caliph, in 680 A.D. They went to Kerman, and eventually to Sistan where they were hospitably received by Shams-ud-Din, ruler of that country. According to Mansel Longworth Dames there was a Shams-ud-Din, an independent Malik of Sistan, who died in 1164 A.D. (559 A.H.), almost 500 years after the Baloch migration from Aleppo. Shams-ud-Din claimed to be descent from the Saffarids of Persia. His successor, Badr-ud-Din, appears to be unknown to history, demanded a bride from each of the 44 bolaks or clans of the Baloch. But the Baloch race had never yet been tribute in this form to any ruler, and they sent 44 boys dressed in girls' clothes and fled before the deception could be discovered. Badr-ud-Din sent the boys back but pursued the Baloch, who had fled south-eastwards into Kech-Makran where they defeated him. During this period Mir Jalal Khan, son of Mir Jiand Khan, was the ruler of the Baloch. He left four sons, Rind, Lashar, Hooth, and Korai, and a daughter Jato, who married his nephew Murad. These five are the eponymous founders of the five great divisions of the tribe, the Rinds, Lasharis, Hooths, Korais, and Jatois. Balochistan occupies the southeastern most portion of the Iranian Plateau, the site of the earliest known farming settlements in the pre-Indus Valley Civilization era, the earliest of which was Mehrgarh dated at 7000 BC. Balochistan was one of the first places Zoroaster travelled to from Sistan in search of converts to his religion. Some of the first proselytes of his religion lived here before Zoroastrianism spread into western portions of the Iranian plateau. Makran and other parts of Balochistan used to be parts of Maurya, Kushan, Guptas, partly of the empire of Harsha Vardhana and other dynasties of northern India before the advent of Turkic invaders.
 
However, another theory says that the Baloch have Medes origin. According to that theory, they were a Kurdish group that has absorbed Dravidian genes and cultural traits, primarily from Brahui people. The northern point of Balochistan known in Pashto as Dzaranga was known as Drangiana to the Greeks and came to be known to the Persians as Saka. The Persian epic of Shahnama does record the Baloch in the Qazvin-Zanjanregion of old Iran in the 6th century AD, when they were engaged in battle by the Persian king Chosroes I Anoshirvan, The Shahnama also records its heroes, Rustom and Sohrab, as being Saka and not Persians, making Sistan or the old Sakistan their origin. With time, Baloch tribes linguistically absorbed all the local people in Makran, southern Sistan and the Brahui country, becoming a sizeable group to rival in size the other Iranic group in the region.
 
In the 7th century, the region was divided into two parts; the south was part of the Kermān Province of the Persian Empire and the north became part of the Persian province Sistan. In early 644, the Islamic Caliph Umar sent Suhail ibn Adi from Busra to conquer the Kerman region of Iran. He was then made governor of that region. From Kerman, he conquered the western Balochistan region, near the Persian frontiers. In the same year, south-western Balochistan was conquered during the campaign in Sistan. In 652 during the reign of Caliph Uthman, Balochistan was reconquered during the counter-revolt in Kerman under the command of Majasha Ibn Masood. This was the first time western Balochistan was directly controlled by the Caliphate and paid taxes on agriculture. Western Balochistan was included in the dominion of Kerman. In 654, Abdulrehman ibn Samrah, governor of Sistan, sent an Islamic army to crush a revolt in Zaranj, which is now in southern Afghanistan. After conquering Zaranj, a column of the army pushed north, conquering Kabul and Ghazni, in the Hindu Kush mountain range, while another column moved through Quetta District in north-western Balochistan and conquered the area up to the ancient cities of Dawar and Qandabil (Bolan). By 654, the whole of what is now Balochistan was controlled by the Rashidun Caliphate, except for the well-defended mountain town of QaiQan which is now Kalat. However, this town was later conquered during the reign of Caliph Ali. Abdulrehman ibn Samrah made Zaranj his provincial capital and remained governor of these conquered areas from 654 to 656, until Uthman was murdered.
 
During the Caliphate of Ali, a region of Balochistan, Makran again revolted. Due to civil war in the Rashidun Caliphate, Ali was unable to deal with these areas until 660, when he sent a large force, under the command of Haris ibn Marah Abdi, towards Makran and Sind. Haris ibn Marah Abdi arrived in Makran and conquered it by force, and then moved northward to north-eastern Balochistan and reconquered Qandabil (Bolan). Finally, he moved south and conquered Kalat after a fierce battle. In 663, during the reign of Umayyad Caliph Muawiyah I, Muslims lost control of north-eastern Balochistan and Kalat when Haris ibn Marah and large part of his army died in battle against a revolt in Kalat. Muslim forces later regained control of the area during the Umayyad reign. It also remained a part of the Abbasid Caliphate.
 
In the 15th century, Mir Chakar Khan Rind became the first king of Balochistan, after which the region was dominated by the Timurids, who controlled large most of Central Asia, and west Asia. The Mughal Empire also controlled some parts of the area. When Nadir Shah won the allegiance of the rulers of Balochistan, he ceded Kalhora, one of the Sindh territories of Sibi-Kachi to the Khan of Kalat. Ahmad Shah Durrani, founder of the Afghan Empire, also won the allegiance of that area's rulers. Most of the area would eventually revert to local Baloch control.
 

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