Mir Ghaus Bakhsh Bizenjo (Politician)
Mir Ghaus Bakhsh Bizenjo, also known as “Baba-e-Balochistan” was born in Nall Khuzdar, Balochistan on December 1917 and died on 19 August 1989. He was the Mir of Bizenjo tribe and was a prestigious Baloch politician. He was the son of Safar Khan, one of the founding members of the National Awami Party.
Mir had his high school education from Quetta Sandeman High School and later got admission in Sindh Madrasatul Islam in Karachi. Later, he completed his formal education from Aligarh University, Aligarh.
Ghaus Bakhsh Bizenjo started his political career from his college life when he was a member of Indian Communist Party and was engaged in the war of Independence against the British rulers in the undivided India.
After his four years in Aligarh University in 1938, Mir Ghaus Bakhsh affiliated himself with the Baloch League which was a party based in Karachi back then. He represented the party in 1939 Annual Convention held by the Kalat State National Party. He was a leader of the house in the House of Commons in Balochistan prior the province to be the part of Pakistan. After Balochistan joined Pakistan, he joined the Muslim League as his mainstream affiliation.
In 1972, Mir has served as the twelfth Governor of Balochistan and was a key signatory of the Third Amendment of the Constitution of Pakistan.
Mir Ghaus Bakhsh Bizenjo was an outstanding political leader who has served people beyond discrimination, he was a state’s man who wanted to present Balochistan on a progressive line in the days when little attention was given to the region. He has been the man on the front row fighting for Human Rights in Pakistan.
RUBINA IRFAN (Politician)
Mrs. Rubina Irfan is an eminent female Pakistani politician basically from Balochistan. Rubina Irfan was born on August 5, 1965 in district Quetta and belongs to the Baloch tribe, Zehri. She is the daughter of Prince Agha Irfan Karim Ahmedzai, daughter-in-law of the Khan of Kalat while her husband Agha Irfan Karim, is the nephew of the Khan of Kalat. Her husband has also served as a provincial MPA and minister. Renowned female football players Raheela Zarmeen and Late Shahlyla Baloch are daughters of Mrs. Rubina Irfan. Her formal education is from the University of Balochistan where she completed her master’s in Business Administration (MBA) in 1998.
Rubina Irfan was elected to the Provincial Assembly of Balochistan in 2002 on women’s reserved seat w-55 affiliated with Pakistan Muslim League (Q). She is currently the President of the party’s women’s wing also. She has served as a Senator of Pakistan from 2012 – 2018.
Senator Rubina Irfan is a committee member of; Marginalized Segments of Society, Defense Production, Energy, Maritime Affairs, Government Assurances (Balochistan Assembly) and Committee for problems of Less Developed Areas. Most recently in December 2017 she has been selected as Chairperson of President’s Primary HealthCare Initiative (PPHI) Balochistan Board of Directors (BoD).
She holds a bunch of contributions for the women’s football in Pakistan. She supported the launch and development of the Pakistan women’s national football team and has served as the president of the Pakistan Football Federation’s women’s department since its formation in 2005.
Rubina Irfan also holds the credit of founding the female football club ‘Balochistan United W.F.C’ in 2004 which eventually entered the Pakistani women’s football championship. This club has continued to encourage a lot of young females of Balochistan to opt for football as a rising sport, since its inception
Raheela Hameed Durrani (Politician)
Born on 17th February 1968 in Quetta, Pakistan. Raheela Durrani is the FIRST female Speaker of the Provincial Assembly of Balochistan. She was honored with a medal of excellence ‘Tamgha-e-Imtiaz’ for her devotion and numerous achievements for Pakistan. She is a lawyer and a politician by occupation. She belongs from the house of Popalzai, a sub-branch of Durrani caste.
She is Balochistan’s FIRST female athlete medal winner in canoeing sports at a national level competition. She is a patron of Chiltan Adventurers Association Balochistan and Pakistan Canoe and Kayak Federation. She has actively participated in many seminars, workshops and courses across Pakistan as well as abroad like Thailand, Egypt, China etc.
Raheela Durrani holds a Master of Arts in Law and did L.L.B from University of Balochistan. Furthermore, she has qualifications in leadership, environment and sustainable development. She is currently an active member of many international and national organizations like Public Safety Commission Balochistan, National Commission on Status of Women and Balochistan Olympics Association.
Her role in social work has proven to be a powerhouse of significant betterment for the community at ground level. She was the FIRST female from Balochistan representing Pakistan at United Nations as a member of the commission for ‘The Status of Women’.
Her massive role in fighting for justice, education, human rights and women rights earns her respect worldwide and stirs a sense of awe and inspiration amongst females of the province. She is a notable philanthropist from Balochistan, donating generously to education and health causes. Many memorials are built after her as an acknowledgment and various hospitals like Combined Military Hospital Quetta are the recipient of substantial donations from her. She is a valuable figure of Balochistan.
MIR ZAFARULLAH KHAN JAMALI (Politician)
Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali is the former Prime Minister of Pakistan and a former Chief Minister of Balochitan. He was born on January 1, 1944 in Dera Murad Jamali in District Nasirabad of Balochistan.
Jamali is an alumnus of Lawrence College, Murree and Aitchison College, Lahore. He has his bachelor’s from Government College, Lahore and holds a master’s degree in political science from University of the Punjab (1965).
Jamali belongs to a well-educated family which had been under the influence of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan. His forefathers were close associates of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and had contributed to the Pakistan movement aswell.
Jamali began his political career in 1970 with PPP. In 1977 he was elected as MPA in Balochistan assembly to serve as Minister of Food, Information and Parliamentary Affairs. Later in 1980, he joined the national Cabinet of General Zia-ul-Haq which brought him to national prominence leading towards contesting for prime minister in 1985.
He joined the Islamic Democratic Alliance (IDA), and was appointed as the Chief Minister of Balochistan in 1988 with this affiliation. In 1996, with the support of JUI-F, Jamali was again appointed as care-taker chief minister of Balochistan. Jamali went on to join PML Q in 2002 due to ideological differences with PML N. Jamali participated in 2002 general elections and secured his parliamentary seat. He contested for the prime minister again in 2002 and became the first ever Prime Minister of Pakistan who emerges from Balochistan. Jamali has remained a Chief Minister of Balochistan twice during his extensive political career (1988 and 1996).
During his college days, he had represented Pakistan as a hockey player at international level and in 1984 he was the Chief-de-Mission of the Pakistan Olympic contingent to the Los Angeles games where the Pakistan Hockey team won the Gold Medal. Later in his career, he was the Chief Selector of the Pakistan Hockey team for 20 years after which he resigned. Currently, Jamali is a member of the National Assembly of Pakistan.
AKHTAR CHANAL ZAHRI (Musician)
In 1964, Akhtar Chanal had received his professional music training from Ustaad Sadiq Ali Khan. Later, Balochi Radio Station discovered him and gave him his first break in 1973. In the coming years Balochi Folk received national attention and Chanal’s songs started being aired on national television. Chanal soon became an international star with his successful music tours to USA, Europe and many other countries around the world.
His distinctive style and music lead him towards receiving the Pride of Performance award by the Government of Pakistan in 1998.
Some of his rejoiced songs included Daanah Pah Daanah, Washmallay, Bhit Ja Bhittai, Da Sande Zehri, Jee Aoo Patari, Afghan Jalebi (Doumbek Version) from Bollywood film ‘Phantom’.
Most recently, Chanal has received overwhelming success in music with his affiliation with Coke Studio. He has appeared in Coke Studio season 4 and season 7, both of which proved Akhtar Chanal as a versatile artist.
Akhtar Chanal was offered to work in Bollywood for the big hit song called Afghan Jalebi in 2015. After discussions about the song, some lyrics of the song were changed on the emphasis of Akhtar Chanal but no official deal could be made. Surprisingly, the trail version of the song in Akhtar’s voice was put to use and released without Akhtar being informed or paid for the song. The controversy is yet to be resolved between Pritam Chakraborty and Akhtar Chanal. However, Chanal feels proud that his first ever song in Bollywood became a huge success.
Nonetheless, Akhtar Chanal is making Balochistan proud around the globe by showing the positive side of the region through his unique voice and music.
Mir Chakar Rind (1468-1565)
Mir Chakar Khan Rind was a prominent figure from the era of the Mughals. Born in 1468 in the whereabouts of the area today known as Sibi, Balochistan. He belonged from a noble family of tribal chiefs. Back in the days, Rinds ruled over Lasharis and he became the chieftain of the Rind tribe at the juvenile age of 18, succeeding after the demise of his father, Mir Shehaq Khan Rind.
To the people of Balochistan, Chakar The Great, was a hero and true legend who brought prosperity and discovered a symbol of prestige for the Baloch identity as one of the earliest leaders in history. His bravery was unparalleled and he desired to empower the Baloch as a powerful nation. An archaic epic poetry was written after him, called “Hani and Sheh Mureed”.
Soon after acquiring the title of tribal head, he could not stay as the chief for too long. A brutal civil war broke out between the perpetual rivals; Lasharis and Rinds. Stories of this ferocious war made history, it lasted over 30 years. At the end, the war had drowned out and Rinds were proclaimed triumphant. Mir Chakar Rind left Balochistan and settled in Punjab in 1518.
Amongst several achievements, he is primarily remembered for is his fight in the conquest to reclaim sub-continent along with the famous Mughal Emperor, Humayun. One of the gifted warriors of Mir Chakar’s army was Mir Malagh Khan, whose sword weighed more than lead, no one could haul it, but himself.
He had two grandsons who were incredible fighters. The districts Dera Ismail Khan and Dera Ghazi Khan, named after them. He built around 100 houses for his tribesmen in a desert called Sanghar, today known as Sokar. It is the hometown to people from the Baloch tribe of Malghani.
He ruled over a vast territory and won all his wars. He was a gallant and successful Baloch ruler who died in 1556 by natural causes.
Yousaf Aziz Magsi (1908-1935)
Nawab Yousaf Aziz Magsi was born in Jhal Magsi, Balochistan, in 1908 during the years before the partition of subcontinent. He belonged directly from a ruling Baloch tribe, house of Magsi. His great leadership spirit derived from a family of Nawabs or tribal chiefs. He was the duke of his tribe and was the progeny of Kaiser Ali Khan Magsi.
He appeared to be a well-groomed and a qualified individual who learnt everything out of pure interest at home and mastered three languages in writing as well as speaking; Arabic, Persian and Urdu. He was keen on getting further education, hence went to Lahore where he learnt English for two years under the mentorship of a Hindu tutor Kannia Lala.
During British rule, several Baloch tribes like the rest of the Muslim majority populations suffered and their integrity was at jeopardy. It seemed impossible to raise voice against the dominating monarchs. Realization took the better of Yousaf Aziz Magsi, he decided to stand up for his people and become a beacon of hope and wrote a powerful article in 1929 that jolted with sentiments across the world and created a whirlpool of activism amongst the ruled natives of sub-continent both in Hindu and Muslim communities. “Faryaad-e-Balochistan” was published in the weekly magazine called Hamdard that was printed and published from Lahore.
Although, soon after it came out, he was arrested and sent off to jail in Mastung for writing a piece that only screamed the bitter truth. His father sent him books to read during his imprisonment time. Somewhere along the way, his message reached English rulers in Britain and stroke touched a soft corner for the oppressed people of subcontinent.
He organized the first ever ‘’All India Baloch Conference” in 1932 in Jacobabad, Balochistan. This was a key initiative that aimed at bringing the people under one flag to secure their rights together against the common enemy. It was attended my many notables all over sub-continent.
He formed an organization with like-minded companions knwon as “Anyuma-e-Ittehad Balochan”. It served as a body to protect the civil rights of Baloch community. He struggled inexhaustibly to lay a strong footing for his people and succeeded in doing so. He is still remembered with pride and love for his dedication and work as a pioneer of political influence for the Baloch population and uniting all houses under the same ideology and inspired millions to fight for their identity and place as a nation.
His political role towards a separate nation for Muslims was monumental. Unfortunately, he passed away in the terrible calamity of Quetta Earthquake-1935 where hundreds of thousands fell victims to the worst natural disaster in the history of the region so far.
Atta Shad (Poet)
Atta Shad was a famous poet who was born on November 1939 in Singani Sar, Kech District, near Turbat in Balochistan. He departed from the world on 13 February 1997 in Quetta Balochistan Pakistan. Atta Shad belonged to a Baloch tribe. He was a Poet, Critic, Researcher, Academic and Intellectual. His popular poems were in Urdu initially but later he wrote in Balochi aswell marking himself as the Architect of Modern symbolic Balochi poetry.
He started Urdu poetry under the guidance of Faiz Ahmad Faiz but very soon he extended his poems in his own style. In the literature field, he acquired a prominent place due to his unique style.
During his lifetime, Atta Shad had published two collections of Urdu poetry most of which highlighted the true Balochi culture and landscape of Balochistan. He versified many local Balochi folk lore, romantic sagas and maxims in his poetic flavor. Some of his poems in Balochi like ‘Mahnaz’, ‘Shah Mureed aur Haani’, Wafa and ‘lori’ display the unique aspect of Balochi culture and trace the spirit of the typical Baloch society. His short poem ‘Wafa’ (Oath of Allegiance) read as:
“On My Motherland A bowel of water Worth eternal allegiance Let us quench our thirst And Submit ourselves to the eternal bond”.
Atta shad was immensely influenced by Western Romantic Poets as ‘Coleridge’, ‘Shelley’ and ‘T.S Eliot’ which is why he developed his own style in Balochi Romantic Poetry. His first poem named “Shepaank” (a person who look after sheep in Balochi), was also published in “Ols Magazine”. Another famous poem by Atta Shad called “Sah Kandan” also attracted enormous amount of attention and is still widely popular.
His vision in poetry was different from the two prominent poetry groups during his time – Progressives and Purists hence, he joined none of those groups instead he convinced a poetic diction inclusive of words from all the dialects of Balochi language. This new diction allowed for him a wider spectrum for his exemplary poetic expression. In a broader sense, Atta shad’s poetry has and will continue to serve as a bond between Urdu poetry and Balochi poetry.
Mir Gul Khan Nasir (Poet)
Mir Gul Khan Nasir was a poet hailing from Balochistan. He was born on 14 May 1914 in Noshki Balochistan, Pakistan and died on 6 December 1983 in Karachi, Pakistan. Mir Gul Khan Nasir was titled as “Malek-o-Sho’ara Balochistan”. Mir belonged to Paindzai family of the Zagar Mengal, which is a sub-branch of the Mengal tribe. His father’s name was Mir Habib Khan.
Mir Gul Khan Nasir’s poems were not limited to one language, he efficiently wrote in English, Urdu, Balochi, Brahui and Persian language. However, most of his poems are in Balochi language.
Mir was an intellectual and hence, his poetry was filled with revolutionary themes that reflected his progressive nature, socialist ideas. His poetry also indicated towards his dislike for the chauvinistic behavior of the rich towards the poor in his times. His major contribution to literature was the detailed ‘History of Balochistan’ books that is composed of 2 volumes of well researched information about Balochistan. Moreover, his first collection of Balochi Poetry ‘Gul Baang’ (1951) is a very famous piece of Balochi literature.
Mir Gul Khan Nasir had his basic education in Noshki but later he went to Quetta for better opportunities. He got his admission in Government Sandeman High School. After passing matriculation, he moved to Lahore for higher education in Islamia College, Lahore. Lahore was considered the center of knowledge, politics and social activities, which left quite an impression on Mir Gul Khan Nasir. When Mir saw the rulers of Balochistan are not doing enough for the progress the region and its people, he moved forward into politics and joined other leaders struggling to give freedom for the people of Balochistan from the power of imperialism in undivided India. He joined mainstream politics soon and marked as the first education minister of Balochistan in 1972.