Balochistan (Pakistan)

Balochistan (Pakistan)

Pakistan infobox
region = Balochistan

capital = Quetta
latd = 30.12
longd = 67.01
pop_year = 2008
population = 10,247,362 (Estimate)
density_km2 = 20.64
area_km2 = 347190
languages = Balochi (official)
Urdu (national)
status = Province
districts = 27
towns =
unions =
established = 1st July 1970
governor = Zulfikar Ali Magsi
minister = Aslam Raisani
legislature = Provincial Assembly
seats = 65
website =
website_title = Provincial Government of Balochistan
footnotes =

Balochistan, or Baluchistan, Pashto, (Balochi, Hazara,Brahui, Sindhi, Urdu: بلوچستان) is a province in Pakistan, the largest in the country by geographical area; it is slightly smaller than Norway. It contains most of the historical region of Balochistan and is named after the Baloch people. Its neighbouring regions are Iranian Balochistan to the west, Afghanistan and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas to the north and Punjab and Sindh to the east. To the south is the Arabian Sea. The principal languages in the province are Baluchi, Brahui,Sindhi and Pashto. The capital and largest city is Quetta. Balochistan is believed to be rich in mineral resources. It is the second major, after Sindh, supplier of natural gas to the country.


Balochistan is located at the eastern edge of the Iranian plateau and in the border region between Southwest, Central, and South Asia. It is geographically the largest of the four provinces at 347,190 km² or (134,051 square miles) of Pakistani territory; and composes 48% of the total land area of Pakistan. The population density is very low due to the mountainous terrain and scarcity of water. The southern region is known as Makran. The central region is known as Kalat.

The Sulaiman Mountains dominate the northeast corner and the Bolan Pass is a natural route into Afghanistan towards Kandahar and was used as a route during the British campaigns to Afghanistan [Bolan Pass - Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition] . Much of the province south of the Quetta region is sparse desert terrain with pockets of towns mostly near rivers and streams.

The capital city is Quetta, located in the most densely populated district in the northeast of the province. Quetta is situated in a river valley near the border with Afghanistan, with a road to Kandahar in the northwest.

At Gwadar on the coast the Pakistani government is currently undertaking a large project with Chinese help to build a large port. This is being done partially to provide the Pakistan Navy with another base, and to reduce Pakistan's reliance on Karachi and Port Qasim, which are currently the only major ports [ [ China's pearl in Pakistan's waters] ]


Very cold winters and hot summers characterise the climate of the upper highlands. Winters of the lower highlands vary from extremely cold in the northern districts to mild conditions closer to the Makran coast. Summers are hot and dry, especially the arid zones of Chaghai and Kharan districts. The plain areas are also very hot in summer with temperatures rising as high as 120 °F (50 °C). Winters are mild on the plains with the temperature never falling below the freezing point. The desert climate is characterised by hot and very arid conditions. Occasionally strong windstorms make these areas very inhospitable.



The economy of the province is largely based upon the production of natural gas, coal and minerals. Outside Quetta, the infrastructure of the province is gradually developing but still lags far behind other parts of Pakistan. Tourism remains limited but has increased due to the exotic appeal of the province. Limited farming in the east as well as fishing along the Arabian Sea coastline are other forms of income and sustenance for the local populations. Due to the tribal lifestyle of many Baluch and Brahui, animal husbandry is important as are trading bazaars found throughout the province.

Though the province remains largely underdeveloped, there are currently several major development projects in progress in Balochistan, including the construction of a new deep sea port at the strategically important town of Gwadar.cite web| url= |title=Gawader |accessdate=2006-11-19 |format=HTML |work=Pakistan Board of Investment] The port is projected to be the hub of an energy and trade corridor to and from China and the Central Asian republics. There is considerable Chinese involvement in the project, leading some to consider Gwadar it as the Chinese outpost on the Arabian Sea.cite web| url= |title=Gwadar: China's Naval Outpost on the Indian Ocean |accessdate=2006-11-19 |format=HTML |work=Association for Asian Research] The total cost of the project is estimated at more than US$2 billion. China has also invested in a coastal highway to link Gwadar with Pakistan's largest city, Karachi.cite web| url= |title=China's pearl in Pakistan's waters |accessdate=2006-11-19 |format=HTML |work=Asia Times Online]

Further west is the Mirani Damcite web| url= |title=Mirani Dam Project |accessdate=2006-11-19 |format=HTML |work=National Engineering Services Pakistan] multipurpose project, on the River Dasht, 50 kilometres west of Turbat in the Makran Division. It will provide dependable irrigation supplies for the development of agriculture and add more than 35,000 km² of arable land. There is also Chinese involvement in the nearby Saindak gold and copper mining project.


There are five main public universities in Balochistan, as well as several private institutions.

* Balochistan University of Engineering and Technology
* Balochistan University of Information Technology and Management Sciences
* Command and Staff College
* Sardar Bahadur Khan Women University
* University of Balochistan

This is a chart of the education market of Balochistan (Pakistan) [ estimated] by the government in 1998. Also see []

onmiani test range

Sonmiani in south-eastern Balochistan is the site of a space launch centre for suborbital rockets operated by Pakistan's national space agency.

Baluchistan PlateauThe Baluchistan Plateau is situated in the north-west part of the province of Baluchistan. It lies mainly about 1000 meters above sea-level.

Famous people

There are many famous people from Balochistan including the following:

;Historical Personalities
* Mir Chakar Khan Rind
* Mir Sher Muhammad Talpur
* Mir Ali Murad Talpur
* Mir Tharo Khan Talpur

;Pre-Independence (pre-1947)
* Ghaus Bakhsh Bizenjo
* Jam Ghulam Qadir Khan
* Yousaf Aziz Magsi
* Abdul Samad Achakzai
* Shahbaz Khan Nosherwani
* Ghaus Bakhsh Raisani

Post-Independence (post-1947)
* Ghaus Bakhsh Bizenjo
* Allah Bakhsh Gabol
* Prince Karim Khan
* Prince Jam Kamal Khan
* Zafarullah Khan Jamali
* Nawab Nowroz Khan
* Attaullah Mengal
* Akbar Bugti
* Mir Murad Abro
* Khair Bakhsh Marri
* Sherbaz Khan Mazari
* Jam Mohammad Yousaf
* Zulfikar Ali Magsi
* General Rahimuddin Khan
* General Musa Khan
* Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry Chief Justice of Pakistan
* Mahmood Khan Achakzai
* Mohammad Aslam Bhutani
* Israr Ullah Zehri

* Raaj Kumar
* Sikander Baloch

ee also

* Baloch
* Baloch Students Organization
* Quetta
* Gawadar
* Marri and Bugti Country
* Las Bela
* Balochistan (region)
* Balochistan (Iran)
* Pashtuns
* Brahui
* List of cities in Balochistan
* Chief Minister of Balochistan
* Government of Balochistan
* Baluchistan honor killings


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External links

*coord|30.12|67.01|region:PK_type:adm1st|display=inline,titleFact|date=August 2008 Geo-Links for Balochistan (Pakistan)
* [ Government of Balochistan]
* [ WTF- Baloch Liberation; from whom?]
* []
* []

Further reading

*Johnson, E.A., et al. (1999). "Lithofacies, depositional environments, and regional stratigraphy of the lower Eocene Ghazij Formation, Balochistan, Pakistan" [U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1599). Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey.

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