On Saturday, January 7, 2012, IWP founder and president John Lenczowski and board member Paul Behrends joined a Congressional delegation to meet with the 35th (and current) Khan of Kalat, H.H. Amir Ahmed Suleman Daud. The Khan is the titular leader of the people of Baluchistan, one of the largest nations in the world that does not have its own state. The Baluch people, of which there approximately are 35 million, live among three countries: Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran. Their territory includes about 1,200 kilometers of coastline along the Arabian sea. The Baluch people historically enjoyed a certain level of “national” sovereignty as recently as the late 1800s, at which time, they came via treaty to be under British suzerainty.
Just as the United States has neglected strong relations with the tribal leaders of north, central, and western Afghanistan, it has also largely neglected relations with the Baluch, who have often chafed under Pakistani and Iranian rule. Improvement of these relations could contribute to denying strategic space to Islamist extremists, who have attempted to congregate particularly in Pakistani Baluchistan, and specifically in the major regional city of Quetta.
The delegation, which convened in Berlin, Germany, discussed these and other relevant issues.