BALOCHISTAN Balochistan is one of the four provinces of Pakistan. It isthe largest province by area, 44% of Pakistans total landmass. Smallest in terms of population. Balochistan is bordered by Afghanistan to the north andnorth-west, Iran to the south-west, the Arabian Sea to the south,Punjab and Sindh to the east. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Federally Administered TribalAreas to the north-east. Quetta is the capital and largest city ofBalochistan
A number of tribes constitute to make people of Balochistan.Three major tribes are Baloch (Baloch & Brahvi) and Pashtoon. Each tribe is further sub-dividedinto various branches The tribal chief is called Sardar whilehead of sub-tribe is known as Malik, Takari or Mir. Sardars andMaliks are members of district and other local Jirgas accordingto their status.
The Baloch, believed to have originally come from Arabia or Asia minor,can be divided in to two branches: the Sulemani and Mekrani . Most of the people in the cities and towns understand and speak Inadddition to Balochi, Pashtoo and Brahvi, the majority of the populationunderstand and speak Urdu, the national language. In Kachhi and Sibi districts, people speak Seraiki and Sindhi In Quetta city people also speak Punjabi.
Quetta, the capital of Balochistan province The boundaries of Iran and Afghanistan meet here, and theBolan Pass lies on important lines of communications. Quetta derives its name from the Balochi "Kuwatta", whichmeans a fort The earliest mention of Quetta in the history is around the11th century when it was captured by Mahmood of Ghazni onone of his invasions of the subcontinent.
Though people speak different languages, there is a similarity in theirliterature, beliefs, moral order and customs. Brahvi, Balochi and Pashtoon tribes are known for their hospitality. Better off people even slaughter sheep or goat for their guest.Sometimes, it so happens that where there are more houses, theguest is assumed to be the guest of the whole village.
Another adorable feature of Balochistan culture is faithfulnessand sincerity in all relationships. There is no place or respectfor unfaithful people in prevalent moral order.
Marriages are solemnized in presence of Mullah andwitnesses. Life partners are commonly selected within thefamily or tribe.Except a negligible fraction of lovemarriages, all marriages are arranged. Divorce rate is very low.
A lot of marriage rituals are celebrated in different tribes. In sometribes, the takings of “Valver”, a sum of money paid by the groom to his to bewife’s family, also exist. But this custom is now gradually dying out since ithas given rise to many social problems. The birth of a male child is taken asa source of pride since he is though t to be the defender of this family andtribe.
Turban is the common headwear of the men.Wide loose shalwar and knee-long shirts areworn by all.
The dress of the woman consists of the typical shirt havinga big pocket in front. The shirt normally has embroiderywork with embedded small round mirror pieces. Big‘Dopatta’ or ‘Chaddar’, a long rectangular piece of clothcascading down the shoulders and used to cover head, areused by the women.
There are religious and social festivals celebrated by thepeople of Balochistan. Two major religious festivals are Eid-ul-Azha Eid-ul-Fiter. Eid-Meladun-Nabi
Sibi festival that traces its roots to Mehergar, It isattended by common folks, ministers and othergovernment officials. Folk musicperformance, cultural dances, handicraftsstalls, cattle shows and a number of other amusingactivities are held.
Buzkashi is a peculiar festival showingvalour of Balochistan people. It is celebratedon horse-back by two teams that use their skillsto snatch a goat from the each other.
Handicraft of beautiful and intricate craftsmanship areproduces in Balochistan. Mirror work embroidery fine quality precious stoneand marbla work are common in Balochistan.
This small but well-kept Archaeological Museum of Balochistan,also known as Quetta Museum, is tucked away just east ofMizan Chowk. The galleries display figurines from Mohenjo-Daroin Sindh province, pottery pieces from sites in Balochistan, andStone Age implements from the Zhob, Quetta and Kalat Valleys.
Quetta To Sibi,In 1878, after an earlier assault on the town in 1841,the British captured Sibi and renamed it Sandemanabad, for RobertSandeman. The most imposing of the extant buildings from the Britishera is the 1903 Queen Victoria Memorial Hall, now named Jirga Hall.It is so named because it was the assembly chamber for the Britishand the leading tribal notables during the annual jirga (council of tribalelders) held during the Sibi Mela.
Pilgrims come here to visit the Ziarat (shrine) of the famousMuslim saint Mian Abdul Hakim (who is also known asKharwari Baba), who fled here from Kandahar inAfghanistan. The shrine is 3km from the Quaid-i-AzamResidence.
The British werent the only ones to appreciate Ziarat - so too didMohammed Ali Jinnah, the Quaid-i-Azam (Great Leader). Jinnahspent his last days here in 1948, suffering from the cancer that killedhim. The Quaid-i-Azam Residence is the former residency of theagent to the governor general, built in 1882. The furniture is left justas it was when Jinnah stayed here before returning to Karachi to die.
The 15th-century ruins of Mir Chakars Fort lie on the outskirts ofSibi. Theres also an old caravanserai (traditionalaccommodation for camel caravans), the SohbatSerai, constructed by tribal chief Sadar Sohbat Khan.
This beautiful rock pool is fed by a cascade and is surroundedand enclosed by cliffs and trees. Theres another pool withcalmer waters slightly downstream. Near the pool is a smallshrine to a saint. Foreigners need a special permit to come toboth the shrine and Pir Gheib - for the latest details ask at thePTDC office in Quetta.
It is in the hills overlooking Quetta, approximately 10km from the city and very close to the Urak. where benches and pavilions on terraces have beenprovided. Golden fish in the lake come swimming right up to theedge. The turquoise water of lake is a stark contrast to thebrownish-green hills that surround the area.
Balochi music refers to music performed by the Balochpeople in Balochistan, southern Oman, some partsofAfghanistan and Middle East. Baluchi music is very richand played with varieties of traditional instruments. Due totheir demographics and strong cultural values, the Baluchpeople have been able to keep the their rich traditionalheritage alive. The art of playing double flute is traditionalto Baluch and can be seen in many parts of present-dayBaluch geography. One of the most famous Balochi artistisRostam Mirlashari who is known as the "prince of Balochimusic"
Do-Chapi An ancient Persian dance mostly performed by forming a circleby a group of people, dancing and clapping. Do-Chapi almostalways includes Surna and Dohol Lewa Lewa is also a Baluchi dance of Sheedi origin, performedmostly by a group of people in a circle with hand movements.Lewa almost always includes a Surna and Dohol.
During his second year in Islamia College, a piece of coal wentinto Mir Gul Khan’s eye due to which he had to discontinue hiseducation and return to Quetta. Lahore, at that time, was thehub of knowledge and political and social activities. Thepolitical, cultural, social and literary movements in Lahore madequite an impression on Mir Gul Khan Nasir. When he returnedto Quetta Balochistan was split into several parts namely TheChief Commissioners Province and The Balochistani princelystates. The province of Balochistan was under direct British rulewhile the Baluchistan States was indirectly controlled by theBritish through the Tribal Chiefs (sardars) and rulers,whom theyhad bought. Because of these conditions Mir Gul Khan Nasirstepped into politics in order to join the other leaders who werefighting to liberate the people of Balochistan from theImperialist powers.