Balochistan, Pakistan

province of Islamic Republic of Pakistan

Balochistan (Urdu: صوبہ بلوچستان) is a province in Pakistan. The capital of Balochistan is Quetta. Balochistan has a population of about 10 million people and an area of 134,051 mi2 or (347,190 km2). It covers 45% of Pakistani territory; in terms of area the province of Balochistan is greater in area than Republic of the Congo but smaller than Germany.

A Balochi woman traveling with her camel
A Balochi woman traveling with her camel
Official seal of Balochistan
Location of Balochistan in Pakistan
Location of Balochistan in Pakistan
Map of Balochistan
Map of Balochistan
Coordinates: 27°42′N 65°42′E / 27.7°N 65.7°E / 27.7; 65.7
Established1 July 1972
 • LegislatureUnicameral (?* 65 seats)
 • Total347,190 km2 (134,050 sq mi)
 • Total7,914,000
Time zoneUTC+05:00 (PST)
Official languagesBalochii · English

Baluchistan (Chief commissioners province) - seceded from British India and became part of Pakistan in 1947. On the 30th of June in 1947 the Khan of Kalat joined Pakistan; tribal gathering and municipality of Quetta also declared for Pakistan. Baluchistan States Union - The BSU was formed after the formal Accession of four individual princely states into the new Dominion of Pakistan on the 31st of March in 1948, apart from the enclave of Gwadar that was in cessation from Oman to Pakistan on the 8th of September in 1958. Both CCP & BSU became the New Province of Balochistan on the 1st of July in 1970, after the dissolution of the former West Pakistan and is an “Integral Part of Pakistan”.

In common with the other provinces of Pakistan, Balochistan has a parliamentary system of government. The ceremonial head of the province is the Governor, who is appointed by the President of Pakistan on the advice of the provincial Chief Minister. The chief executive of the province is the Chief Minister who is normally the leader of the largest party or alliance in the provincial assembly. The unicameral Provincial Assembly of Balochistan comprises 65 seats of which 4% are reserved for non-Muslims and 16% for women only. The judicial branch of government is carried out by the Balochistan High Court, based in Quetta, and headed by a Chief Justice. For administrative purposes, the province is subdivided into 30 districts:[1]

Etymology change

The Baloch people once referred to their land as Moka or Maka, a word which later became Makran. Moka might have been an adaptation of Mahi-khoran, Persian for "fish eaters", an appellation used by the Persians of the west for the people of coastal Balochistan. Arrian, in his Anabasis Alexandri, referred to the people of the region as the ichythophagi, a Greek translation of Mahi-khoran.

Balochistan is referred to in Pashto as Gwadar or Godar (also Godar-khwa, i.e., the land by water). The Greeks, who derived the names of Iranian lands from the Bactrian language, Hellenised it to Gedrosia.

In an eleventh-century Sanskrit compilation of Jataka tales (Avadānakalpalatā) by Kshemendra of Kashmir, the land is called Baloksh (बलोक्ष). From Baloksh, the name evolved and was Persianised to Balochistan. The area is named after the numerous Baloch (or Baluch, Balouch, Balooch, Balush, Balosh, Baloosh, Baloush) tribes, an Iranian people, who moved into the area from the west around 1000 A.D. The name Balochistan means "the land of the Baloch" in many regional languages.

Language change

The Balochi, Pashto and Brahui languages are spoken in the balochistan province, Sindhi language is also spoken by indigenous Sindhi people of Balochistan since ancient times, the Jadgali, Lasi, Siraiki & Khetrani are few major dialects of Sindhi language which are spoken in south and eastern parts of balochistan.[2] The southern part of Balochistan is known as Makran. There are also relatively smaller communities of Iranian Baloch, Hazaras, Dehwars and other settlers, including Punjabis, Uzbeks, and Turkmens.

Geography change

Astola Island

Balochistan is in south-west Pakistan. The area is 347,190 square kilometres (134,050 sq mi). It is Pakistan's largest province by area constituting 44% of Pakistan's total land mass. The province is bordered by Afghanistan to the north and north-west, Iran to the south-west, Punjab and Sindh, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas to the north-east. To the south lies the Arabian Sea. Balochistan is located on the south-eastern part of the Iranian plateau. It borders the geopolitical regions of the Greater Middle East and Southwest Asia, Central Asia and South-central Asia. Balochistan lies at the mouth of the Strait of Hormuz and provides the shortest route from seaports to Central Asia. Its geographical location has placed the otherwise desolate region in the scopes of competing global interests like Afghanistan for all of recorded history.

The capital city Quetta is in a densely populated portion of the Sulaiman Mountains in the north-east of the province. It is situaed in a river valley near the Bolan Pass which has been used as the route of choice from the coast to Central Asia, entering through Afghanistan's Kandahar region. The British and other historic empires have crossed the region to invade Afghanistan by this route.[3]

Balochistan is rich in exhaustible and renewable resources; it is the second major supplier of natural gas in Pakistan. The province's renewable and human resource potential has not been systematically measured nor exploited due to pressures from within and without Pakistan. Local inhabitants have chosen to live in towns and have relied on sustainable water sources for thousands of years.

Provincial symbols of Balochistan (unofficial)
Provincial flag Flag of Balochistan  
Provincial seal Emblem of Balochistan  
Provincial animal Camel  
Provincial bird MacQueen's bustard  
Provincial fish Rohu  
Provincial insect Tamarisk leaf beetle  
Provincial tree Silver date Palm  
Provincial flower Wild tulip  
Provincial fruit Peach  
Provincial dish Sajji  
Provincial dance Jhumar
Provincial instrument Suroz
Provincial sport Tent pegging

Related pages change

References change

  1. "Districts". Government of Balochistan. Archived from the original on 2010-08-07. Retrieved 2010-08-13.
  2. "Linguistic Survey of India". Retrieved 2023-11-30.
  3. Bolan Pass – Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition