Wednesday, December 24, 2008



The ancient name of Quetta was Shal, a term by which it is still known among the people of the country, the District was held in turns by the Ghaznavids, Ghurids, and Mongols, and towards the end of the fifteenth century was conferred by the ruler of Herat on Shah Beg Arghun, who, however, had shortly to give way before the rising power of the Mughals. The Ain-e-Akbari mentions both Shal and Pishin as supplying military service and revenue to Akbar, however these areas passed with Kandahar to the Safavids. On the rise of the Ghilzai power in Kandahar at the beginning of the eighteenth century, simultaneously with that of the Brahuis in Kalat, Quetta and Pishin became the battle-ground between Afghan and Brahui, until Nadir Shah handed Quetta over to the Brahuis about 1740. The Durranis and their successors continued to hold possession of Pishin and Shorarud till the final transfer of these places to the British in 1879.

British Era

During the 19th century Quetta was captured by the British troops during the Second Afghan War of 1879.

On the advance of the British Army of the Indus in 1839, Captain Bean was appointed the first Political Agent in Shal, and the country was managed by him on behalf of Shah Shuja-ul-mulk. After Sir Robert Sandeman's mission to Kalat in 1876, the fort at Quetta was occupied by his escort and the country was managed on behalf of the Khan up to 1883, when it was leased to the British Government for an annual rent of Rs. 25,000. It was formed, with Pishin and Shorarud, into a single administrative charge in 1883. Up to 1888 Old Chaman was the most advanced post on the frontier; but, on the extension of the railroad across the Khwaja Amran, the terminus was fixed at its present site, 7 miles (11 km) from that place. The boundary with Afghanistan was finally demarcated in 1895-6[1].

The area was inhabited by the Kansi (Pashtun) Tribe. Being on the outskirts of Kandahar, it was not mush developed. With the arrival of British troops, doors of development were opened. Very soon people saw roads, trains and Schools in the area. The British made the largely Pashtun area part of British Balochistan - which was resented by many of the Pashtun tribes. In April 1883 it was combined with Pishin into a single administrative unit.


Sub Divisions

In 1975, Quetta and Pishin were made separate districts. Quetta district today consists of two Towns: Zarghoon and Chiltan[2]. The district also comprises one Sub-Tehsil - Punjpai.


Quetta district is administratively subdivided into two Tehsils:

Provincial assembly

The district is represented in the provincial assembly by six constituencies


Over 90% of the people of the area are Muslims. The population of Quetta district was estimated to be over 850,000 in 2005. The Pashtun make up more than 52% and Hazaras covering 37% of the population of the capital district. A large Baloch tribes, Shahwani is the ancient one, which owns the rest 0f district lands, beside Shahwanis other Baloch tribes include the Bangulzai, Lehri and M.Shai. The Muhajir Urdu (settlers and their descendants from India) and Punjabi settlers also dwell in Quetta. The Population of Quetta saw two surges ie in 1970-71, when Quetta was made capital of newly formed province Balochistan. During this period large number of Balochs came to Quetta in search of jobs and settled due to the comparatively better infra structure and job situation. The second surge in population occurred in the 80s when a large number of Afghan refugees entered Quetta when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan.


Area 2.65 km²
Population (2005)
• /km²
Time zone PST (UTC+5)
• District Nazim
• District Naib Nazim
• District Council
• Number of Tehsils
April 1983
Mir Maqbool Ahmed Lehri
Manzoor Ahmed Kakar
• {{{seats}}} seats
• 2
Main language(s) Balochi, Pashtu, Persian, Brahui

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