Baluchistan, meaning "land of Baluchs," is a province in western Pakistan, bordered by Afghanistan on the northwest, the Arabian Sea on the south, and Iran on the west. The area, approximately 347,188 sq km(134,050 sq mi), is mainly mountainous with barren and rugged terrain. The mean annual temperature ranges from 37 degrees C (98 degrees F) in the inland deserts to 24 degrees C (76 degrees F) in the mountainous regions. Rainfall ranges from 100 to 400 mm (4 to 16 in) annually.
Primitive agriculture, nomadism, and karez (tunnel-type) irrigation are the main bases of economic life. Some coking coal is mined near Quetta, the capital. The most important food crops are wheat, rice, and millet. Most of the 4,908,000 (1985 est.) inhabitants are Muslim. Baluchistan was a part of the Indian Maurya Empire (3d century BC) and fell under the control of various Turk and Arab empires until it was annexed by the Mogul Empire in 1595. It came under British rule in 1879. Since 1947 it has been a part of independent Pakistan. In 1972, 55,000 Baluch tribesmen launched a revolt for autonomy, which was harshly suppressed.
Ashok K. Dutt
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History And Culture Of Baluch
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