Baloch royal leader Khan of Kalat seeks asylum
by Mir Raza, firstname.lastname@example.org
London – 27 November 2008
His Highness Beglar Begi, Suleman Khan Ahmedzai, the Khan of Kalat, aged 45, will appeal for asylum in the UK on Friday, 28 November, at a tribunal in Newport, Wales. Regarded by many Baloch people as their monarch and head of state, he was refused asylum in October 2007. Fridays appeal hearing will take place at 10am at the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal Newport, Columbus House, Chepstow Road, Langstone, Newport , NP18 2LX (0845 600 0877). …
His asylum appeal is supported by human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell:
“The Khan is is seen by many Baloch people as their head of state. His treatment by the British government has been squalid and disrespectful,” said Mr Tatchell.
“Suleman Ahmedzai is the direct descendant of the Khan of Kalat, the monarch of the state of Kalat, who signed a Treaty with the British government in 1876, making what is now Balochistan a British Protectorate.
“His grandfather was head of state when Balochistan secured its brief period of independence in 1947, before it was invaded and annexed by Pakistan in 1948. He attended the Queen’s coronation in 1953, with other world leaders, as the honoured guest of the British government.
“Refusing Suleman Ahmedzai asylum is symptomatic of a pattern of harassment of Baloch refugees by the UK authorities. …
“Under threat of arrest and imprisonment, in 1948 Suleman Ahmedzai’s grandfather signed the treaty of accession which surrendered the independence of the Kalat state (Balochistan) and incorporated it into Pakistan. Both houses of the Kalat parliament – and Baloch public opinion – opposed the incorporation. The Baloch people have always been refused a vote on self-rule by successive Pakistani regimes. Ever since, for 60 years, Balochistan has been under .. occupation and its people crushed by five bloody wars launched by Islamabad,” said Mr Tatchell.