Conflict in Dera Bugti by Nizamuddin Nizamani
originally published in Dawn.com: http://www.dawn.com/2005/0
Background detail regarding underground resources in
All underground resources are supposed to be owned by Fedral
Government of Pakistan as Constitution 0f 1973.
12.5 percent Royalty on natural gas on the well head price
is paid to provincial government of Balochistan, not to any
Only rents of land and water charges are paid to the land
owners by the Pakistan Petrolium Limited
THIS has reference to Prof Anwar Syed’s article “Conflict
in Dera Bugti” (April 10). I appreciate his effort
for initiating a healthy debate on this issue. He has discussed
the overall scenario prevailing around Dera Bugti, proving
the demands by Nawab Akbar Bugti as illegal and illegitimate
in the light of Articles 24 and 172.
He has also held Nawab Akbar Bugti responsible for lawlessness,
supported the establishment and criticized those who support
a dialogue process. His views seem to be based on published
Balochistan was annexed to Pakistan through an instrument
of accession signed by the then Khan of Kalat, Ahmed Yar
Khan, dated March 27, 1948 (under debatable circumstances)
and accepted by Quadi-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, dated March
Since Mr Syed has questioned the Baloch people’s claims
on the their resources in the light of Articles 24 and 172
of the Constitution, it will not be out of place to bring
to light Article 6 of the Instrument of Accession which says: “Nothing
in this Instrument shall empower the Dominion Legislature
(Pakistan) to make any law for this state (Kalat or Balochistan),
authorizing the compulsory acquisition of land for any purpose,
but I hereby undertake that should the Dominion for the purpose
of a Dominion law which applies to this state deem it necessary
to acquire any land, I will at their request acquire the
land at their expense or if the land belongs to me transfer
it to them on such terms as may be agreed, or, in default
of agreement, determined by arbitrator to be appointed by
the Chief Justice of Pakistan.
“The terms of this my Instrument of Accession should
not be varied by any amendment unless such amendment is accepted
by me by instrument supplementary to this Instrument.”
Baloch nationalists claim that after exploration of the natural
gas at Sui in 1952, the Constitution was amended overnight
without their consent, wherein natural resources were taken
as federal government property.
Balochistan demanded the due share from the natural gas for
the development of local area according to the provisions
of the Indian Mining Act 1935 in vogue at that time, but
no one listened to them.
In addition, it is not an issue limited to Dera Bugti. It
is a sense of deprivation all over Balochistan that has caused
It is probably arrogance on our part that researchers, political
scientists, sociologists and strategists have adapted a sort
of a rock mentality and are not ready to see the other side
of the picture.
Balochistan deserves serious attention of scholars like Prof
Syed and others to diagnose the situation through in-depth
research. One-sided contention will only add insult to the
Writers response to my letter
‘Conflict in Dera Bugti’
MR Nizamuddin Nizamani (April 15) alleges that in my article, “Conflict
in Dera Bugti” (April 10) I have “questioned
the Baloch people’s claims to their resources in the
light of Articles 24 and 172 of the Constitution”.
I have done no such thing. I have instead argued that the
oil fields in the Dera Bugti area cannot be regarded as the
personal property of Akbar Bugti or as the collective property
of the Bugti tribe, and that they belong to the state.
The provinces are the constituent components of the state
of Pakistan, and the word “state” therefore
applies to them as well as to the federation. Article 172
says that any property which does not have a rightful owner
belongs to the government of the province where it is located.
It is my view that oil, gas, and other mineral resources
lying under the surface in Balochistan do, and should, belong
to the province of Balochistan, which is functionally the
same as the people of Balochistan.
Professor of Political Science
Herndon, VA, USA