By Badel Baloch
The coastal city of Baluchistan, Pasni has its own interesting history due to its unique geographic position. It’s located on the Makran Coast on the Arabian Sea around 450 KM from Karachi. Pasni is a small fishing town and a tehsil of Gwadar district. Yet Pasni’s history has not been appreciated and remains underestimated.
Pasni has been a gateway to South Asia for several adventurers and colonial powers as many expeditions passed through Pasni. Whether you speak of Alexander the Great’s expedition in 326 BC along with his admiral Nearchus or talk about attacks by Arab Pirates in the 15th century, or Portuguese attack of the 16th century or the colonial invasion of the English in the 19th century, all of these invaders passed through Pasni.
The recently discovered ancient graves clearly bear traces of foreign culture and civilizations. Some of these graves lie to the southwest of the city. These are very different from the local Muslim graves and are located at considerable distance from the local graveyard.
To explore more about these graves, Pak Voices interviewed a historian and conversed with the local senior citizen who is aware of archaeology. Baluchi Poet and a historian, Akram Khan opined about these graves, “It is possible that some of these graves are of the Kalmatians who died resisting the 16th century Portuguese’s invasion of Baluchistan’.
He added, “When we closely observed the grave stones, it seemed that these were brought from the Zarain hill located near the coast.” According to Akram Khan, these stones might have been transported here by camels or boats.
Kareem Bakhsh, 75, a local of Pasni with interest in archeology, has a different point of view about the graves. “The Baloch fighters who fought against the colonial advance of English Empire are buried here in these graves,” he said.
He explained, “When we cleaned and polished these stones, we could clearly see Islamic Kalimas and names inscribed in Persian.” It may be noted here that a vast majority of Balochs migrated from ancient Persia and settled in Makran. They used to speak both the Persian and Baluchi languages.
More graves have been discovered to the east of the city. It is said that these graves are of Bedouins (nomadic Arabs of the desert) and Portuguese who were killed in a combat against Balochs.
The writer is working with Pak Voices as a citizen journalist from Pasni, Gwadar.
All photos by the author
Translated by Tariq Mehmood