Qalat or kalat (Urdu: قلات), (Brahui: Kalát,قلات) is a historical town located in Kalat District, Balochistan, Pakistan. Kalat is the capital of Kalat District and is known locally as Kalat-i-Baloch and Kalat-i-Sewa.
The population is mostly Muslim, with a Hindu population of two percent. In addition, there are some Hindu Hindkowan merchants who have settled in Kalat. As such, there is a Hindu mandir below citadel of the city, dedicated to the Kali; this mandir dates to the pre-Islamic era of South Asia.
It has been known in earlier times as Kalat-i-Seva (from a legendary Hindu king) and Kalat-i Nicari which connects it with the Brahoi tribe of Nicari , which is generally accepted as belonging to the oldest branch of the indigenous Brahois
The origins of the Brahui speaking tribes are uncertain, but their language indicates they are a northern Dravidian people, who may have migrated from central India circa 1000 AD, whose language has been modified by residence in the proximity of largely Iranian peoples, most notably the Baloch with whom the Brahui have been greatly mixed. The Brahui people arrived in the Qalat area nearly same time as the Balochi speaking tribes arrived from the west. The Balochis established a large kingdom in the 15th century, but it soon declined and the region fell to Afghan and Iranian. The Brahui Khans of Qalat were dominant from the 17th century onwards until the arrival of the British in the 19th century. A treaty was signed in 1876 to make Qalat part of the British Empire.
The Khan of Kalat in March 1946 deputed Samad Khan - a member of the All India Congress Committee (AICC) - to plead Kalat's (the then Balochistan's) case with the Congress leadership.
In 1947, the Khan of Kalat reportedly acceded to the dominion of India. But his accession papers were returned by Jawaharlal Nehru, the Prime Minister of India. Afterwards, Ghaus Baksh Bizenjo, President of the Kalat State National Party, went to Delhi and met Congress President Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. Azad argued that Kalat would never be able to survive as a sovereign, independent state and would have to ask for British protection. Such a demand, Azad said, would render the sovereignty of the subcontinent meaningless. This was why Indian help for Kalat was ruled out.
Later, an All India Radio (AIR) broadcast of March 27, 1948, reported a press conference by VP Menon, Secretary in the Ministry of States. Menon revealed that the Khan of Kalat was pressing India to accept Kalat's accession, but added that India would have nothing to do with it. This was rejected by the Khan of Kalat who, upset by the claim, issued a communiqué: "On the night of March 27, All India Radio, Delhi announced that two months ago Kalat State had approached the Indian Union to accept its accession to India and that the Indian Union had rejected the request…It had never been my intention to accede to India…It is, therefore, declared that from 9 pm on March 27th – the time when I heard the false news over the air, I forthwith decide to accede to Pakistan, and that whatever differences now exist between Kalat and Pakistan be placed in writing before Mr Jinnah, the Governor-General of Pakistan, whose decision I shall accept". He reportedly told Pakistan's President Muhammad Ali Jinnah to begin negotiations for Kalat's treaty of accession to Pakistan.
In 1948, the Khan of Qalat, Mir Ahmad Yar Khan, decided to join Pakistan on request of Muhammad Ali Jinnah (founder of Pakistan), and decision was made that defence, currency, foreign office and finance will be controlled by federal govt. rest the province will control by itself. but later, after death of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, formation of one unit changed this situation and it was merged into Pakistan like other areas.
In 1948, Qalat became part of Pakistan when the British withdrew. The last Khan of Qalat was formally removed from power in 1955, but the title is still claimed by his descendents. The current Khan of Qalat is Mir Suleman Dawood Khan.
- Viking fund publications in anthropology, Issue 43. Viking Fund. Retrieved 2008-08-17. "Below the citadel lies a Hindu temple of Kāli, probably of pre-Muhammadan date."
- Encyclopædia Britannica: a new survey of universal knowledge, Volume 3. Encyclopœdia Britannica. Retrieved 2008-08-17. "Almost all the people are Muslim ; the largest Hindu minorities are in the Sibi (9%) and Kalat (2%) districts."
- The social organization of the Marri Baluch. Indus Publications. Retrieved 2008-08-17. "...is in the hands of a small caste of Hindu merchants. These Hindus are Hindko-speaking and regard Kalat as their homeland, where they generally keep their families and go for some months every year to visit and to obtain supplies. While in the Marri area, they must be under the protection of a local Marri chief or the sardar himself."
- E.J. Brill's first encyclopaedia of Islam, 1913-1936, Volume 4 By M. Th. Houtsma, Martijn Theodoor Houtsma Page 678
- Mainstream 28 (32-52). N. Chakravartty. p. 9. 1990.
- Rajinder Puri (1992). Recovery of India. Har-Anand Publications. p. 74.
- Strategic Studies, Volume 26. Islamabad: Institute of Strategic Studies. 2006. p. 44.
- THE ACCESSION OF KALAT: MYTH AND REALITY