Much ink has been spilled about the history of Balochistan over the past several decades. What is more thrilling and compelling is that the sequence of carrying out research and exploration on Baloch history has tended to continue unabated till date. Undoubtedly, discovering the history and evolution of a nation, the metamorphosis of its culture, its origin of language, its renowned historical figures is a daunting process. It requires strenuous efforts and unending research struggles through the lens of unbiased and impartial historians.
Fortunately, some of our splendidly articulate and impartial historians are following this rough path beyond our imagination. No doubt Baloch history had been distorted by foreign historians who fostered their biased ideas. But the more our local historians research and write on our unexplored history, the more we discover and perceive our genuine story.
Given these promising developments, Professor Durdana Zahid’s recently published book Mir Chakar Khan Rind: The Greatest Ruler of Baloch History is a valuable and significant addition to discourse on the towering personalities of Baloch nation. The book compromises 260 pages encompassing the life and regime of Mir Chakar Khan Rind, an eminent and celebrated ruler of the Baloch nation.
Professor Durdana Zahid, the author of the book, is an assistant professor in history who has been delivering her educational services from Government Degree College Statelite Town Quetta since 2018. She wrote her Mphil thesis when she was a Ph.D student of history at the University of Balochistan. Dr. Zahid has also published numerous articles in different newspapers and magazines.
As she writes: “Each and every ingredient of the land of Balochistan invites curiosity but the ruthless storms of time have placed a thick layer in every picture of past because of which, recognizing the real face has become extremely difficult. The face of the past picture is so blurry that it has become very challenging to decide what was the truth and what was a lie? Who was an oppressor and who was an oppressed?”
She continues: “Local people have been failed to compile the history of Balochistan owing to dearth of adequate knowledge. Like the rest of other regions of the world, Balochistan is also endowed with its own history. But sadly, it has been in dark since ages on account of lack of authentic contents on Baloch society and history except some historical references.”
To give readers a general sense of the nature and scope of her work, a snippet from the preface should suffice:
“During the reign of Mir Chakar Khan Rind, administrative and political condition, military system, military equipments, military cantonment, military horses, justice and fair system, procedure of prevention of crimes, courtier language, relationship with neighbouring countries, artistic and educational situation, spur of poetry and literature, dance and music, courtier poets and their love tales such as love tales of Hani and Shaymureed, Beebagr and Granaaz are of utmost significance.”
In addition, she notes:
“To lead a prosperous life, agriculture and farming were introduced into the lives of Baloch people. The standard of industry, commercial circumstances as well as the long-lasting 30-years civil war between Rind and Lashar tribe had forced them to migrate from Balochistan. All conditions and incidents have been stated creatively.”
While commenting on the book, renowned historian and researcher Dr Farooq Baloch writes:
“Durdana Zahid’s book on the reign of Mir Chakar Khan Rind is a phenomenal research attempt which is a remarkable addition among the historical books of Balochistan. When I studied the draft of this book, I came to know that effective and comprehensive research-cum-writing has just began regarding various corners of the Baloch history because recent authentic research-based work of Durdana Zahid about a towering personality – Mir Chakar Khan Rind – is a glaring testament of it.”
The writer is a contributing columnist and an avid reader based in Quetta, Balochistan