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Explained: Baloch separatism and the coercive accession of the Khanate of Kalat to Pakistan

The Baluchistan region of British India, including the British Baluchistan province, the Khanate of Kalat and its subsidiary states.

When the Indian subcontinent became independent, a majority of the 500-odd princely states ended up with India and among the few that decided to accede to Pakistan, those comprising the province of Balochistan proved most complicated.

Baloch separatism has been an ongoing issue in Pakistan since the birth of the nation in 1947. The roots of the crisis go way back to the time when the Indian subcontinent became independent, and some 500-odd princely states had to be convinced to join either India or Pakistan. A majority of them ended up with India and among the few that decided to accede to Pakistan, those comprising the province of Balochistan proved most complicated. It is rumoured that the Khan of Kalat, territory at the heart of modern day Balochistan, had desired to join India, although there is no substantial evidence pointing to it. However, the province did remain an independent entity under the Khan of Kalat, well into March 1948, when the ruler, under much political pressure, signed the instrument of accession.

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