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Mir Ghaus Bakhsh Bizenjo

Mir Ghaus Bakhsh Bizenjo was a prominent Balochi politician of Balochistan, Pakistan. He was born in Nal in either December 1917 His father's name was Safar Khan. One of the founding members of the National Awami Party, he served as the Governor of Balochistan from 1972 to 1973 and was a key signatory to Pakistans first constitution.

Mir Ghaus Bakhsh Bizenjo obtained his high school education up to the 8th Grade from Sandeman High School Quetta. After the 1935 earthquake, he got admission in Sindh Madrasa tul Islam, Karachi.

Then, for further education, Mir Ghaus Bakhsh enrolled into Aligarh University where he studied for four years thus completing his formal education. Mir Ghaus Bakhsh was a good football player and throughout his student career he had the reputation of being good at sports. 

Entry into politics
In 1938, after returning from Aligarh, Mir Ghaus Bakhsh joined the Baloch League, a party based in Karachi which was formed by some Baloch intellectuals.

In 1939 the Kalat State National Party (KSNP) arranged its annual convention in Mastung. The Baloch League sent Mir Ghaus Bakhsh Bizenjo as a representative to attend the convention. On July 6, 1939 an armed tribal force was sent by the Sardars of Balochistan to disrupt the annual rally of the KSNP. This tribal force opened fire on the participants of the rally but police and Levies Force interfered in time and a potential bloodbath was averted. After this incident many of the KSNP workers and leaders were either arrested or exiled from Kalat. Abdul Rahim Khwaaja Khel, Babu Abdul Karim Shorish and others who were at Government Posts resigned. Mir Gul Khan Nasir who was the Secretary Judicial Affairs, Mir Hammal Khan who was the Custom Officer, Mir Mohammad Faazal Khan Mohammad Shahi who was Education Minister and Faiz Mohammad Yousafzai who was Assistant Collector also tendered in their resignations though it is believed that the resignations of Mir Gul Khan and Mir Hammal Khan were accepted in 1941.  After this incident Mir Ghaus Bakhsh Bizenjo joined the KSNP.  In fact, the resignations of Mir Gul Khan Nasir, Mir Abdul Aziz Kurd and Mir Hammal Khan are believed to have been tendered in as a result of Mir Ghaus Bakhsh's efforts.Initially he was against partition.

Speech in Kalat State's Parliament

On August 12, 1947 (two days before the partition of Pakistan) Kalat State announced its independence. On 12 December 1947 the first session of the Kalat State Parliament was held in Kalat in which all members of the Parliament took oath. When the matter of annexation of Kalat into Pakistan, Mir Ghaus Bakhsh emphasized on the point that just sharing a common religion wasn't grounds enough for Kalat to join Pakistan. He delivered the historic speech in the house of common in Kalat parliament and refused to be a part of Pakistan. He argued that if we have to join Pakistan on the basis of religion than Afghanistan and Iran should also merge with Pakistan. The resolution of not emerging with Pakistan was passed in the House. After Balochistan was merged into Pakistan in March 1948, Mir Ghaus Bakhsh was arrested and put into Khuzdar Jail. 

Muslim League
After Balochistan became a part of Pakistan, the Khan of Kalat Mir Ahmedyar Khan decided to join the Muslim League. He sent Mir Ajmal Khan to go and persuade Mir Ghaus Bakhsh and Gul Khan Nasir to join the party with him. Both Mir Ghaus Bakhsh and Mir Gul Khan thought this would be a good opportunity to further their political cause so, even though being a Muslim Leaguer was considered to be quite a dishonour for a Baloch, they joined the party. Mir Ghaus Bakhsh also persuaded Abdullah Jan Jamaldini, Ghulam Mohammad and Bahadur Khan to join Muslim League. But after sometime these Baloch leaders realized that the Muslim League could never help them get the platform they wanted to raise their voice for Balochistan's rights so they bade adieu to Muslim League never to turn back to it. 

Usthman Gal
In 1955 all of West Pakistan's provinces and princely states were merged into one unit. This wasn't acceptable to the Baloch nationalists. So, on 14 July 1955 Ghaus Bakhsh Bizenjo, Prince Abdul Karim, Mir Gul Khan Nasir, Mohammad Hussain Anqa and Qadir Bakhsh Nizamani formed the Usthman Gal which means "The People's Party". 

Pakistan National Party
In 1956 Usthman Gal and Warur Pashtun from Balochistan, Khudai Khidmatgar from North-West Frontier Province, Azad Pakistan Party from Punjab, Sindh Mahaaz and Sindh Haari Committee from Sindh merged to form the Pakistan National Party. PNP was an umbrella for progressive people from all walks of life. It was composed solely of ethnic nationalists, socialists and communists.

National Awami Party
In 1957 Maulana Bhashani broke off from Awami League and joined the PNP, thus, the National Awami Party came into being. This became the biggest party of Pakistan containing within its folds, some of the most prominent progressive politicians of that era.

Ayub's martial law
In 1958 Field Marshal Ayub Khan imposed martial law in Pakistan. One day Mir Ghaus Bakhsh bought some shot gun cartridges from an ammunition store. One of the notes that he used to pay for the cartridges had an inscription "Down With One Unit" on it.[7] When the Government found out about this, Mir Ghaus Bakhsh Bizenjo was arrested and sent to the "Quli Camp" which was quite a notorious and infamous torture camp located in Quetta Cantt. Other Baloch leaders like Mir Gul Khan Nasir and Faiz Mohammad Yousafzai were also imprisoned and put in the "Quli Camp". Here they were subjected to inhumane torture an abuse. Ataullah Mengal quotes Mir Gul Khan Nasir as saying:

"They kept Mir Ghaus Bakhsh Bizenjo separate from us and tortured him so much that when he was brought back I didn't recognize him. He used to shave but now the guards were bringing an old man with a beard." 

National Awami Party government
In the General Elections of 1970, the NAP came out as a majority party in North-West Frontier Province and Balochistan. In 1972 NAP formed its governments in both the provinces. In Balochistan Mir Ghaus Bakhsh Bizenjo became the Governor of Balochistan and Sardar Ataullah Khan Mengal became the first Chief Minister of Balochistan. Mir Gul Khan Nasir was a Senior Minister in this Government and held the portfolios of Education and Health. Nawab Khair Bakhsh Marri, Sardar Ahmed Nawaz Bugti and Sardar Abdul Rehman Baloch of KECH were other Members of the Provincial Assembly from NAP. Dr. Abdul Hai Baloch was a member of the National Assembly of Pakistan.  

Constitutional Committee
Pakistan ran under the remnant of Martial Law LFO (Legal Framework Order) without any proper constitution. It was obligatory on the Legislature to frame a new constitution for a country, so it appointed a 25 member Constitutional committee composed of all the political parties represented in the parliament according to their strength on 17 April 1972, to prepare a draft of the permanent Constitution of Pakistan.

Khan Amirzadah Khan and Mir Ghous Bux Bizenjo were representing National Awami Party. This Constitutional Committee headed Abdul Hafiz Pirzada of Pakistan Peoples Party work day and night for many months and framed a draft constitution which was presented in the parliament and adopted as the well known 1973 constitution.

Khan Amirzadah Khan deliberated and delivered his famous speech of 5 hours and 35 minutes on this constitution,this speech is still holding the record of the longest extempore speech of the National Assembly.

According to this constitution no person could hold membership of more than 1 Assembly at a time.Hence, Khan Abdul Wali Khan resigned from the membership of NWFP assembly and retained the seat of National Assembly of Pakistan.On the advice of the party leadership Khan Amirzadah Khan resigned from the National Assembly and retained the membership of NWFP assembly seat.Where Khan Amirzadah Khan was elected as leader of the opposition which he retained till the end of the tenure of the assembly. / 

Dismissal of NAP government and arrest
In 1973 the Bhutto regime citing Nawab Akbar Bugti's claim that the NAP Leaders were trying to disintegrate Pakistan as a basis, dismissed the NAP Government. Mir Ghaus Bakhsh resigned in protest. Mir Gul Khan Nasir and Sardar Abdul Rehman were arrested. A few days later Ghaus Bakhsh Bizenjo, Ataullah Mengal, Khair Bakhsh Marri, Mir Ghaus Bakhsh's son Bizen and Colonel (R) Sultan Mohammad Khan (the head of Balochistan Reserve Police) were arrested. They spent more than four years in jail.

Hyderabad tribunal
Later, a commission known as Hyderabad tribunal, was set up and Mir Ghaus Bakhsh Bizenjo, Sardar Ataullah Mengal, Mir Gul Khan Nasir, Khair Bakhsh Marri, Khan Abdul Wali Khan, Khan Amirzadah Khan, Syed Kaswar Gardezi, Habib Jalib and many others had to defend themselves in a treason case in front of the tribunal.

After the ouster of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto's government by General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, negotiations for the winding up of the Hyderabad tribunal and the release of all detainees was initiated leading to their eventual release in 1979.

After their release Khair Bakhsh Marri and Sherof Marri decided to opt out of Parliamentary politics while Mir Ghaus Bakhsh, Mir Gul Khan Nasir and Ataullah Mengal joined Wali Khan's National Democratic Party or NDP. But after the Saur Revolution, Mir Ghaus Bakhsh and Wali Khan developed differences and Mir Ghaus Bakhsh along with Mir Gul Khan formed the PNP while Ataullah Mengal went into exile in London.

After some time Mir Ghaus Bakhsh and Mir Gul Khan Nasir had a falling out due to which Gul Khan (who was the President of PNP Balochistan) resigned from his post in the party.

In 1988 Mir Ghaus Bakhsh Bizenjo took part in the elections but lost. This was Mir Bizenjo's last election.

Mir Ghaus Bakhsh Bizenjo died on 11 August 1989. His sons remain active in Baloch politics. After the death of Mir Ghaus Bakhsh, his son Mir Bizen Bizenjo took over the political faction of his father. But after sometime Ghaus Bakhsh's younger son Mir Hasil Bizenjo rose to prominence while Bizen Bizenjo faded into the background.

Mir Ghaus Bakhsh Bizenjo along with Nawab Yousaf Aziz Magsi, Abdul Aziz Kurd, Mir Gul Khan Nasir and Faiz Mohammad Yousafzai is considered to be one of the founders of democratic politics in Balochistan and is, to this day, remembered as "Baba i Balochistan" or "The Father of Balochistan" by Baloch nationalists.

Some of Mir Bizenjo's critics  say that he was always a little "too ready" for talks and dialogue and that because of this he greatly hurt the Baloch separatist movement. Some separatists even went as far as to call him "Baba i Muzaakraath" meaning "Father of Dialogue" (it was meant in a derogatory sense) and even worse, a traitor.

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