Kalmati

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For the village in Iran, see Kalmati, Iran.


Kalmati is a Baloch clan in Balochistan, Pakistan. The clan's name comes from the small city of Kalmat, situated between Iran and Pakistan. They are part of the Hooth Tribe, claiming descent from Hooth, a son of Jalal Khan. When the Hooths were ruling Kech Makran, a few members of the tribe settled in Kalmat, near the Port of Pasni, in the coastal area of Balochistan. In the 12th century, the Kalmati had spread from Tehs Bandar in the western part of Balochistan to Shah Bandar in Sindh. Today, the Kalmati tribes live throughout the districts and towns of Balochistan and Shindh.

Kalmatis mostly work in cultivation and business. The famous graveyard called Chokandi, situated in Karachi, is associated with this tribe.[1]

History[edit]

The Portuguese[edit]

In the 15th century, the Portuguese captured many parts of India and Oman, and planned to proceed with annexation of the coastal area of Makran. The Portuguese attacked Makran under the leadership of Vasco de Gama, but were repulsed by forces under the command of Mir Ismaheel. The Portuguese looted and set coastal villages on fire, but failed to capture the area of Makran. Cannons of the Portuguese army were found abandoned, lying near the central jail of Gwadar.[2] Ishaheel's grave is situated near the Mountain of Batal Gwadar, constructed by Ismaheel during his life. He died in 1468.

After Ismaheel's regime, his nephew Hammal, son of Jihand Khan, became the ruler of Makran. During his rule, the Portuguese initiated several attacks under the command of Lowess Dee Almia, but they were repelled each time, eventually agreeing to a truce wherein the Portuguese agreed not to attack the Makran coastal area. However, when Hammal was at sea with some companions, the Portuguese attacked his ship and too Hammal captive. A statue Hammal resides in a museum on the island of Goha in India, constructed by the Portuguese.

During this time, the Portuguese also attacked Tehs Bandar, which was under the command of Kareem Dad, who died in the attack along with 44 of his soldiers.

Resistance in Sindh[edit]

In the Mughal Empire, the Kalmati tribe had a broad power base Hub to Keti Bandar in the Sindh province. After the Mughal defeat of the Portuguese from Ran Kach, the Mughals decided that the Kalmati had become a threat to their empire. Their king, Akbar, plotted with local Sardars (Chiefs) to overthrow the local Kalmati chiefs. However, both being Baloch peoples, as well as a Kalmati force consisting of approximately 20,000 troops, foiled Akbar's plan. His defeat led him to cede a large tract of agricultural land in Chachkan to the Kalmati, in 1654. When his successor, Orangzaib also failed in his attempt to break the power of the Kalmati, he ceded even more land to the Kalmati (this time in Sakro), in exchange for them not becoming rebels against the empire. During this period the Kalmati made alliances with other Baloch tribes, creating a Baloch confederacy. Mughal traders used the roads and sea routes in Hindustan, and the Kalmati Sardar charged Rs. 9,600 per year as taxes from the Mughal rulers.

Attacks of Arghoons[edit]

When Saleh Baig became Mirza, he began a policy of persecution towards the Kalmati. As part of that persecution, Baig had the family of a person named Mureed executed. Mureed vowed to not wear the traditional turban (Pagree) until he had avenged them by killing Baig. One day in Thatta, Mureed saw Baig patrolling in the city with his protocol staff. Mureed assassinated Baig, and was in turn killed by Baig's protocol staff. This was a difficult period for all the Baloch tribes.

War with Kalhoros[edit]

In the regime of Mia Yar, the Kalmati were the only tribe to refuse to pay taxes to the government in Kalhora. The tax consisted of 50 camels or their equivalent value. In response, Muhammad Kalhoro attacked Malir with 18,000 troops. The Kalmati became aware of the impending attack, and they relocated their cattle, women and children to a place called Lat Koh (Lat Mountain), situated between Gadap and Kon Kor. In the ensuing battle, the government troops defeated the Kalmati tribe, with the remnants fleeing to Lat Koh. These Kalmati were called the Lati or Lateeg.

War with British soldiers[edit]

On 2 February 1839, two British military ships, the H.M.S. Hina and Wales, arrived in (Manora), Karachi. They called on the Kalmatis to evacuate the port and surrender their arms. The tribe's commander refused to surrender, and replied, according to legend, "I am a Baloch and would prefer to be a martyr than to surrender."

Due to the power of the British forces, the Baloch began a guerilla war. After capturing Karachi, the British had built a military stronghold in Ram Bagh.

References[edit]

  1. ^ ” A Study of Stone Craved Graves" written by Kaleem Lashari
  2. ^ Baluchistan (Pakistan) (1907). Baluchistan district gazetteer series. printed at Bombay Education Society's Press. p. 46. Retrieved 28 June 2011. 
  • Lashari, Kaleem (1996). A study of stone carved graves. Karachi, Pakistan: Kaleem Lashari for Sindh Exploration and Adventure Society. OCLC: 36891967. 
  • Hughes Buller, Ralph. Makran Kalmatis. 
  • Baloch, Nabi Bux Khan. Jang Namo. 
  • Baig, Mirza Qalich. Qadeem Sindh. 
  • Hameeduddin, Dr. History of Islam.