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|— Province of Pakistan —|
|Established||1 July 1972|
|• Chief Minister|
|• Legislature||Unicameral (?* seats)|
|• Total||347,190 km2 (134,050 sq mi)|
|Time zone||PST (UTC+05:00)|
|Official languages||Balochii · English|
Balochistan (Urdu: بلوچستان، پاکستان) 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 48% of Pakistani territory; in terms of area the province of Balochistan is greater in area than Republic of the Congo but smaller than Germany. In 1947 the Khan of Kalat joined Pakistan; tribal gathering and municipality of Quetta declared for Pakistan.
In common with the other provinces of Pakistan, Balochistan has a parliamentary form 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:
|Provincial bird||Houbara bustard|
|Provincial tree||Date Palm|
|Provincial flower||Ephedra distachya|
Balochistan is situated in the south-west of Pakistan and covers an area of 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 located in a densely populated portion of the Sulaiman Mountains in the north-east of the province. It is situated 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.
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.
- "Districts". Government of Balochistan. http://www.balochistan.gov.pk/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=32&Itemid=49. Retrieved 2010-08-13.
- Bolan Pass – Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition