The book launching ceremony of ‘The Baloch and Balochistan’ was held in the London University on December, 1 2012. The event was organized by Baloch Human Rights Council (UK), World Sindhi Congress and Sindhi-Baloch Forum.
Various speakers termed the book by Dr. Naseer Dashti as the most comprehensive and objective piece of work on the history of the Baloch and Balochistan. Prominent among the speakers who deliberated on various aspects of the Baoch history mentioned in the book included Waja Akber Barakzai, Dr. Lakhu Luhana , Dr. Mustafa Baloch, Samad Baloch, Mehrab Baloch, Faisal Baloch, Abdullah Baloch, Ghulam Raza Hossainbhor , Hassan Hamdam, Rahim Bandvoi , Ismael Amiri, and Ms Negar Hossainbor.
Ms Ambreen Hisbani of World Sindhi Congress moderated the proceedings of the event and there was also a question answer session in which the author Dr. Naseer Dashti replied to various queries from the audience.
The book was termed as the first serious attempt to trace the origin of the Baloch and their long and arduous journey from the Caucasus, through the vast stretches of Iranian plateau to the present day Balochistan, dealing with all aspects of their history beginning from Aryan migrations to the occupation of their state by Pakistan in 1948. The speakers observed that the author has made some important historical discoveries during his ventures into the foggy maze of ancient Baloch history. Discovery of Balashakan as the original homeland of the Baloch and present Baloch being the Blaschik of ancient Balashakan was observed as the most significant discoveries of the research work. It was also observed that the book is invaluable in clarifying certain legends regarding the perception of some of the Baloch tribes coming from Syria. It was also pointed out that the book deals objectively with the causes of the Baloch state on two occasions, firstly by the British in 1939 and the subsequent division of the Baloch land and secondly by Pakistan in 1948.
Three thousand years ago, a group of Indo-Iranic tribes (called Balaschik at that time) settled in the northwestern Caspian region of Balashagan. Circumstances forced them to disperse and migrate towards south and eastern parts of Iranian plateau. In medieval times, they finally settled in present Balochistan where they became known as the Baloch. During their long and tortuous journey from Balashagan to Balochistan, the Baloch faced persecutions, deportations, and genocidal acts of various Persian, Arab and other regional powers. During 17th century, after dominating Balochistan culturally and politically, the Baloch carved out a nation state (the Khanate of Kalat). In 1839, the British occupied Balochistan and subsequently it was divided into various parts. In the wake of the British withdrawal from India in 1947, Balochistan regained its sovereignty but soon Pakistan occupied it in 1948. The historical account of the Baloch is the story of a pastoralist nomadic people from ancient times to mid-twentieth century. The author outlines the origin of the Baloch state and its variegated history of survival against powerful neighbors such as the Persians, the British and finally, Pakistan. This fascinating research work discovers the background of the long drawn-out conflict between the Baloch and Pakistan and Iranian states.
Dr. Naseer Dashti, a graduate in Medicine, obtained his master’s degree in public health from the University of Leeds (UK) in 2000 and a PhD research degree in anthropology from the University of Greenwich (London) in 2007.
Dr. Dashti fled Pakistan to escape persecution and became a refugee in the United Kingdom in 2008. He had published three books (two of them were banned by Pakistani authorities) on socio-political issues facing the Baloch in particular and south-central Asia in general. He is affiliated with Balochi Academy and Asaap Group of Publications, Quetta.
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Courtesy: Baloch Human Rights Council