Ataullah Mengal (Baluchi: سردار عطااللہ خان مینگل), popularly known as Sardar Ataullah Mengal, (24 March 1929 – 2 September 2021) was a veteran politician and feudal figure in Pakistan, hailing from Balochistan. He was the head of the Mengal tribe until he nominated one of his grandsons Sardar Asad Ullah Mengal as his tribal successor. He was also the first Chief Minister of Balochistan during Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s premiership from 1 May 1972 to 13 February 1973. In 2009, Sardar Ataullah Khan Mengal was one of many candidates considered for the position of President of Pakistan after the resignation of Pervez Musharraf. He died on 2 September 2021 in Karachi, Sindh.
Ataullah Mengal was born on 24 March 1929 in Wadh Tehsil and spent most of his childhood in Lasbela before moving to Karachi, Sindh. He was declared the chief (sardar) of the Mengal tribe in 1954.
Career in politics
Mengal was introduced to politics by Mir Ghaus Baksh Bizenjo. Bizenjo ran the election campaign of Mengal and Mengal was later elected to the West Pakistan provincial assembly in 1962. In May 1972, Mengal became the first chief minister of Balochistan and he remained in that position until he was dismissed by the then Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in February 1973. During the era of General Zia-ul-Haq, Mengal chose to go into a self-exile in London.
On 31 March 1985, Ataullah Mengal participated in the founding of Sindhi Baloch Pushtoon Front in London.
In 1990s, he returned to Pakistan and formed the Balochistan National Party (BNP). Mengal also remained the head of Pakistan Oppressed Nations Movement (Ponm).
Mengal died in Karachi, Sindh on 2 September 2021 due to cardiac arrest. He was suffering from cardiovascular disease. Balochistan National Party (BNP) spokesman confirmed his death and announced that Mengal will be buried in his ancestral graveyard in Wadh, Khuzdar District. Many Pakistani politicians including President of Pakistan, Arif Alvi, and Chief Minister of Balochistan, Jam Kamal Khan, expressed their condolences over the death of veteran Pakistani politician. Chief Minister of Sindh, Murad Ali Shah, and Speaker of Balochistan assembly, Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo, also expressed their condolences over the death of Mengal.
Mengal’s son, Akhtar Mengal, is the current head of Balochistan National Party. In April 2006, Akhtar Mengal was involved in a standoff with Pakistani police at his Karachi house after his bodyguards kidnapped three government employees who he accused of attempting to kidnap his children. The kidnapped men were later released and the standoff ended after a week.
- Top contenders for office of president Archived 16 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine
- Ghalib Nihad. BNP founder and first Balochistan CM Sardar Ataullah Mengal passes away in Karachi. Dawn News. 2 September 2021.
- Christophe Jaffrelot (15 July 2015). The Pakistan Paradox: Instability and Resilience. Oxford University Press. pp. 113–. ISBN 978-0-19-061330-3.
- Former CM Balochistan Sardar Attaullah Mengal passes away in Karachi. Business Recorder. 2 September 2021.
- “Balochistan’s first Chief Minister, Sardar Ataullah Mengal, has passed away”. Daily Pakistan (newspaper) (in Urdu). 2 September 2021.
- Senior Baloch leader Sardar Ataullah Mengal passes away. Ary News. 2 September 2021.
- Veteran Baloch leader Sardar Attaullah Mengal passes away. The Correspondent Pakistan. 2 September 2021.
- Speaker Balochsitan Quddus Expresses Grief On Demise Of Sardar Attaullah Mengal. Urdu Point. 2 September 2021.
- Schmidle, Nicholas. To Live of Perish Forever, 2009, pg. 81–82.
- High drama grips DHA as Mengal’s house besieged Archived 14 April 2008 at the Wayback Machine