Balochistan, the largest province of Pakistan in terms of area, has a rich and varied history, much of which has been shaped by the individuals who have held the governor’s office. From military officers to seasoned politicians, each governor has brought their own unique perspective and vision to the province to improve the lives of its people and maintain peace and stability.
In this blog, Graana.com shares the illustrious list of governors of Balochistan that made an impact on the province and its people.
The Role of the Governor of Balochistan
The office of the governor of Balochistan was established on July 1st, 1970, following the dissolution of the West Pakistan province and the end of the One Unit system.
The governor serves as a ceremonial symbol of the federation, appointed by the central government, while the elected Chief Minister of Balochistan serves as the head of the provincial government.
However, there have been instances in the past where the governor has held significant power during periods of martial law or the governor’s rule in the absence of a chief minister. Balochistan has seen a number of governors throughout its history, with Riaz Hussain being the first to hold the office. The longest-serving governor was Rahimuddin Khan, who served from 1978 to 1984.
As of November 2022, Mir Jan Muhammad Khan Jamali is serving as the acting governor following the resignation of Syed Zahoor Ahmad Agha on April 13th, 2022.
List of Governors of Balochistan
Individuals who have previously held the governor’s office in Balochistan are as follows.
|Serial#||Name||Took Office||Left Office||Affiliation|
|1||Riaz Hussain||1 July 1970||25 December 1971||Military|
|2||Ghous Bakhsh Raisani||26 December 1971||29 April 1972||Pakistan People’s Party|
|3||Ghaus Bakhsh Bizenjo||30 April 1972||14 February 1973||National Awami Party|
|4||Akbar Bugti||15 February 1973||31 December 1973||Jamhoori Watan Party|
|5||Ahmad Yar Khan (Khan of Kalat)||1 January 1974||5 July 1977||Independent|
|6||Khuda Bakhsh Marri||6 July 1977||18 September 1978||Independent|
|7||Rahimuddin Khan||19 September 1978||21 March 1984||Military|
|8||F. S. Lodhi||22 March 1984||7 July 1984||Military|
|9||K. K. Afridi||18 November 1984||30 December 1985||Military|
|10||Musa Khan||30 December 1985||12 March 1991||Independent|
|11||Gul Mohammad Khan Jogezai||13 July 1991||18 July 1993||Independent|
|12||Sardar Abdur Rahim Durrani||19 July 1993||18 May 1994||Independent|
|13||Imran Ullah Khan||19 May 1994||10 April 1997||Pakistan People’s Party|
|14||Miangul Aurangzeb||22 April 1997||17 August 1999||Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz)|
|15||Sayed Muhammad Fazal Agha||18 August 1999||12 October 1999|
|16||Amir-ul-Mulk Mengal||25 October 1999||31 January 2003|
|17||Abdul Qadir Baloch||1 February 2003||10 August 2003|
|18||Owais Ahmed Ghani||11 August 2003||5 February 2008|
|19||Zulfikar Ali Magsi||28 February 2008||9 June 2013||Pakistan People’s Party|
|20||Muhammad Khan Achakzai||14 June 2013||9 October 2018||Pashtunkhwa Milli Awami Party|
|21||Amanullah Khan Yasinzai||4 October 2018||7 July 2021|
|22||Syed Zahoor Ahmad Agha||9 July 2021||13 April 2022||Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf|
|23||Mir Jan Muhammad Khan Jamali (Acting)||13 April 2022||Present|
Riaz Hussain was a prominent figure in the Pakistan Army, serving as a lieutenant general. He held the prestigious position of Director-General of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) from 1959 to 1966.
After his tenure at ISI, he made history by becoming the first-ever governor of the Balochistan province, serving from July 1, 1970 to December 25, 1971.
Ghous Bakhsh Raisani
Nawab Mir Ghous Bakhsh Khan Raisani, born on September 6, 1924, in Kanak, Balochistan, was a notable Pakistani politician. He was the son of the late Nawab Sir Asadullah Khan Raisani, and had received his education at the prestigious Col.Brown Cambridge School in Dehradun.
Throughout his career, he held several important positions, including the second governor of Balochistan from December 26, 1971, to April 29, 1972. He died tragically in 1987 when he was assassinated along with his four bodyguards in the Mehrgarh region of Kachhi District.
Ghaus Bakhsh Bizenjo
Nawab Mir Ghous Bakhsh Khan Raisani was born in Nall Khuzdar, Balochistan, in either December 1917 or 1919 (the exact date is not clear). He was a prominent figure in Pakistani politics, being one of the founding members of the National Awami Party.
He served as the Governor of Balochistan from 1972 to 1973 and was also a significant contributor to Pakistan’s political landscape, being one of the key signatories to the Constitution of Pakistan of 1973.
Nawab Akbar Shahbaz Khan Bugti, born on July 12, 1927, was a respected Pakistani politician and the head of the Bugti tribe of the Baloch people. Throughout his career, he held several significant positions, including the Minister of State for Interior, the Governor of Balochistan, and even the Minister of State for Defense in the cabinet of Feroz Khan Noon. He served as the governor from 15 February 1973 to 22 November 1974.
However, the government of Pakistan accused him of maintaining a private militia and leading a guerrilla war against the state. Tragically, Nawab Akbar Shahbaz Khan Bugti’s life came to an end on August 26, 2006, when the cave where he was hiding was bombed and collapsed in Kohlu.
Despite his controversial beliefs and actions, he remains a celebrated figure in Balochistan and will always be remembered as a strong leader who fought for the rights of the people.
Ahmad Yar Khan (Khan of Kalat)
Khan Mir Ahmad Yar Khan Ahmedzai, who was commonly known as “Yar Khan”, was a significant figure in the history of British India.
He served as the last Khan of Kalat from September 10, 1933, to October 14, 1955 and was known for his leadership and the important role he played in shaping the political landscape of the region. He held office from January 1, 1974 to July 5, 1977.
Mir Khuda Bakhsh Marri
Justice Mir Khuda Bakhsh Marri (1926-2006) was a notable figure in the political landscape of Balochistan. He served as the Governor of Balochistan from July 5, 1977 to September 18, 1978. Before his appointment as governor, he was the Chief Justice of Sindh and Balochistan in 1976. In 1989, he also served as the acting Chief Minister of Balochistan.
Justice Marri hailed from the remote district of Kohlu in Balochistan and received his bar-at-law degree from Lincoln’s Inn in London. He was also an accomplished author.
His eldest son, Mir Shahnawaz Khan Marri, was appointed for several important roles, including Director General of Coal and Minerals Balochistan, Provincial Secretary, and Minister of Sports, Culture, and Youth Affairs. Justice Marri passed away in Switzerland on May 14, 2006 at the age of 80.
Rahimuddin Khan (1926-2022) was a well-known figure in Pakistan’s military and politics. He served as a general in the Pakistan Army and held several high-ranking positions, including the 4th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee from 1984 to 1987 and the 7th governor of Balochistan from 1978 to 1984. He also served as the 16th governor of Sindh in 1988.
Rahimuddin was also the first cadet to enrol in the Pakistan Military Academy. Throughout his military career, he participated in various military actions and held various commanding positions, including 111 Brigade in Rawalpindi and II Corps in Multan. As Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, he rejected a proposed military plan for the Kargil Conflict.
During his tenure as Governor of Balochistan, Rahimuddin Khan established a reputation for honesty and leadership. He declared a general amnesty, ending all military operations in the province and oversaw a period of widespread development, including the opening of Sui gas fields, the construction of nuclear test sites in Chagai, and the resolution of the Baloch insurgency.
While his tenure was largely seen as positive, he was criticised for suppressing the entry of mujahideen into the province during the Soviet war in Afghanistan. Regardless of the controversies, Rahimuddin Khan will always be remembered as one of Balochistan’s longest-serving governors and a significant figure in the province’s history.
General Muhammad Musa Khan was a highly regarded figure in the Pakistan Army and, later, in national politics. He served as the 4th Commander-in-Chief of the Pakistan Army from 1958 to 1966, and as the Governor of West Pakistan from 1966 to 1969, followed by his appointment as the Governor of Balochistan in 1985 until his passing in 1991.
Khan began his military career as a Second Lieutenant in the British Indian Army, where he distinguished himself in the Burma and North African campaigns of World War II. After the partition of India, he opted for Pakistan and transferred his military service.
He played a crucial role in the first Kashmir War in 1947-1948 and was in command of the Pakistan Army during the 1965 second Kashmir War with India.
Retiring from the military after the 1965 war, Khan ventured into national politics and became a prominent figure in the country. His appointment as the Governor of West Pakistan and Balochistan later marked the peak of his career in public service.
Imran Ullah Khan
Retired Lieutenant General Imran Ullah Khan served as the Governor of Balochistan from May 1994 to May 1997, during the PPP-led government. Imran Ullah Khan, a retired Pakistan Army General, served in various high-ranking positions during his military career. He commanded an infantry brigade on the Line of Control and held the appointment as Director of Military Training in the Pakistan Army.
He was also appointed as the commandant of the prestigious Pakistan Military Academy Kakul for four years and later served as General Officer, commanding the 10th Infantry Division in Lahore.
After a 36-year career in the Pakistan Army, General Imran retired in May 1991. In May 1994, he was selected by Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto to serve as the Governor of Balochistan. However, he resigned from the position for personal reasons in May 1997.
Owais Ahmed Ghani
Owais Ahmed Ghani started his political journey as a founding member of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf in 1996 and later joined the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa provincial cabinet as the Minister for Industry from 1999 to 2002. In 2002, he was appointed as the Federal Minister for Environment, following which he was named the Governor of Balochistan.
Throughout his time, Ghani faced numerous controversies, particularly regarding the law and order situation in Quetta and the murder of Nawab Akbar Bugti. However, he also gained a reputation for his tough stance on militants and his efforts to tackle the drug problem in the region due to instability in neighbouring Afghanistan.
In January 2008, Ghani was appointed as the Governor of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa after the former governor stepped down. He holds the unique distinction of being one of the three men in the history of Pakistan to have served as the governor of two different provinces, the other two being Rahimuddin Khan and Miangul Aurangzeb.
Zulfikar Ali Magsi
Nawab Zulfiqar Ali Magsi is a senior politician, former Chief Minister of Balochistan and Governor of Balochistan. He held the position from 2008 to 2013 and was also appointed as the Chief Executive of Balochistan in 2013.
He completed his education at Aitchison College, Lahore and entered politics in 1977 by winning a seat in the provincial assembly as an independent candidate. Throughout his political career, he has served in several provincial ministries, including the Home Ministry in the 1990s.
Nawab Zulfiqar Ali Magsi resigned from his position as Governor of Balochistan when Prime Minister-elect Nawaz Sharif announced plans to appoint the next governor from Mehmood Khan Achakzai’s Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP), a decision that was accepted by the President on June 9, 2013.
Muhammad Khan Achakzai
Muhammad Khan Achakzai is a seasoned Pakistani politician who served as the Governor of Balochistan. He hails from the well-known Achakzai political family and is affiliated with the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party. With a background in education, he holds degrees from the University of Punjab, the University of Strathclyde, and Harvard Kennedy School.
Achakzai is the son of Abdul Samad Achakzai and the elder brother of prominent politicians, Mahmood Khan Achakzai and Hamid Khan Achakzai. He was appointed as the Governor of Balochistan in June 2013 and held the position until September 2018, when he resigned.
Syed Zahoor Ahmad Agha
Syed Zahoor Ahmad Agha was the Governor of Balochistan, serving from July 9, 2021, to April 13, 2022. He received his master’s degree in Animal Science from the University of Uganda. Agha has been a member of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party since 2011.
He ran for the Provincial Assembly of Balochistan as a PTI candidate in the 2013 elections but did not win. On July 7, 2021, he was appointed as Governor of Balochistan by Prime Minister Imran Khan after the resignation of Amanullah Khan Yasinzai. He took the oath of office on July 9, 2021, at the Governor’s House in Quetta.
The role of the governor of Balochistan has been crucial in ensuring stability and development in the province. All these leaders have played a significant role in shaping the political landscape of Balochistan.
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