Balochistan (بلوچستان Urdu, Baloch. Balocistán) is a Pakistani province in eastern Balochistan. Located in the west of the country on the border with Iran. Has access to the Indian Ocean. Population 7 million. Ethnic composition: Baluchis and Pashtuns. The dominant religion: Islam. The area is 347,190 km². The administrative center is the city of Quetta. In the southwest, on the shores of the Arabian Sea, there is the region's largest seaport, Gwadar.
Geography and Climate
Baluchistan is located on the southeastern edge of the Iranian Highlands. It is the largest province of Pakistan with an area of 347,190 km², which is about 44% of the total area of the country. The population density is extremely low due to the mountainous terrain and lack of water. In the north of the province, the Suleiman Mountains are located, which are the border between the Iranian Highlands and the Indian subcontinent and prevent the penetration of moist air masses from the Indian Ocean, which forms an arid climate in southern Afghanistan.
The administrative center of Baluchistan - Quetta, is located in the north of the province, near the border with Afghanistan, on the road to Kandahar. The region south of Quetta is semi-desert, with settlements located only along streams.
Winters are cold, especially in the upper part of the highlands, closer to the ocean coast and on the plains - milder. Summers are hot and dry, with temperatures reaching 50 ° C. Temperature record: 53 ° C, was recorded in Sibi on May 26, 2010.
According to the 1989 census, the population of Baluchistan was 6.6 million (about 5% of Pakistan's population). According to official estimates for 2005, it is 7.8 million people. For 54.8% of residents, the native language is Baloch, for 29.6% - Pashto. Other languages include: Brawi, Sindhi, Punjabi, and Shiraiki. The Baloch-speaking population is concentrated in the west, south and east of the province, Bragui-speaking in the central regions, Pashto-speaking in the north. The province is home to a large number of Afghan refugees.
Baluchistan has the lowest literacy rate in Pakistan, only around 50%, and in some districts below 35%.
The armed conflict in Baluchistan began in 1948 and continues to this day. Government