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Major ethnic groups in Pakistan and surrounding areas, in 1980. The Baloch are shown in pink.

Balochistan (Balochi: بلوچستان) or Baluchistan is an arid, mountainous region in the Iranian plateau in Southwest Asia and South Asia; it includes part of southeastern Iran, western Pakistan, and southwestern Afghanistan. The area is named after the numerous Baloch tribes, Iranian peoples who moved into the area from the west around A.D. 1000. All natives are considered Balochi even if they do not speak the Balochi language; Pashto, Persian, Hazaragi, and Brahui languages are also spoken in the region. The southern part of Balochistan is known as Makran.

Contents

Landscape

Balochistan's landscape is composed of barren, rugged mountains and fertile land. During the summer, some regions of Balochistan are the hottest. Most of the land is barren, particurarly in the Iranian and Afghan side of the region, and it is generally sparsely populated. In the south (Makran) lies the desert through which Alexander the Great passed with great difficulty.

History

From the 1st century to the 3rd century AD, the region was ruled by the Pāratarājas (lit. "Pārata Kings"), a dynasty of Indo-Scythian or Indo-Parthian kings. The dynasty of the Pāratas is thought to be identical with the Pāradas of the Mahabharata, the Puranas and other Indian sources.[1]

They are essentially known through their coins, which typically exhibit the bust of the ruler on the obverse, with long hair within a headband), and a swastika within a Brahmi legend on the reverse (usually silver coins) or Kharoshthi (usually copper coins). The coins can mainly be found in the Loralai area of modern Pakistan.

Herodotus in 650 BC describes the Paraitakenoi as a tribe ruled by Deiokes, a Persian king, in northwestern Persia (History I.101). Arrian describes how Alexander the Great encountered the Pareitakai in Bactria and Sogdiana, and had them conquered by Craterus (Anabasis Alexandrou IV). The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea (1st century AD) describes the territory of the Paradon beyond the Ommanitic region, on the coast of modern Baluchistan.[2]

During the Arab conquest of the Persian empire in the 8th century, Muslim technocrats, bureaucrats, soldiers, traders, scientists, architects, teachers, theologians and sufis flocked from the rest of the Muslim world and many settled in Baluchistan and its tributary state until the rise of the Mughals. Numerous Baloch tribes, an Iranian people, moved into the area from the west in the 11th century to escape the Seljuk Turks. Western Baluchistan was conquered by Iran in the 19th century, and its boundary was fixed in 1872. Omani influence waned in the east and Oman's last possession, Gwadar, was bought by Pakistan in 1958. In 1998, Pakistan conducted nuclear tests in the Pakistani province of Baluchistan.

Famous people of Balochistan

Historical personalities

Eastern Balochistan

Western Balochistan

Northern Balochistan

Baluchistan autonomous movements

Regional

Eastern Balochistan

Western Balochistan

Northern Balochistan

Baluchistan political parties

See also

References

  1. ^ "New light on the Paratarajas" p11
  2. ^ "New light on the Paratarajas" p29-30
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Simple English

File:Major ethnic groups of Pakistan in
Major ethnic groups in Pakistan and surrounding areas, in 1980. The Baloch are shown in pink.


Balochistan or Baluchistan is an arid region located on the Iranian Plateau. The plateau lies in Southwest Asia and South Asia, between Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan. The area is named after the numerous Baloch tribes. The Baloch are an Iranian people who moved into the area from the west around A.D. 1000. All natives are considered Balochi even if they do not speak the Balochi language; Pashto, Persian, Hazaragi, and Brahui languages are also spoken in the region. The southern part of Balochistan is known as Makran. Now it is recognised by UNPO as an Unrepresented Nation.

Landscape

Balochistan's landscape is made of barren, rugged mountains and fertile land. During the summer, some regions of Balochistan are the hottest. Most of the land is barren, particularly the Iranian and Afghan side of the region. Relatively few people live there. In the south (Makran) lies the desert through which Alexander the Great passed with great difficulty.


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