Balochistan-Kharan

Introduction

Kharan district is located between 64° 41′ 46″ to 66° 09′ 47″ east longitudes and 27° 59′ 17″ to 29° 20′ 59″ north latitudes. The district shares its boundaries in the southwest with Washuk, in the east with Kalat, in the southeast with Khuzdar and in the northwest with Chaghai and Nushki districts. The ancient name of Kharan was Karan or Qaran. Kharan District Development Profile, by P&D department (2011), Government of Balochistan (GoB) with UNICEF asserts that, “According to the historian Istakhari, its name was Qaran after the name of the Qaran or Barfen mountains. The Koh-i-Kharan is also mentioned in Kitab-i-Masalik-o-Mumalik[1]” (pg. 3).

Figure 1.3 A View of Kharan City

District at a Glance

Name of District Kharan District
Headquarters Kharan Town
Population[2] 156,152 persons
Area[3] 14,958 km2
Population Density[4] 14.6 persons/ km2
Population Growth Rate[5] 2.5%
Male Population[6] 51.7%
Female Population[7] 48.3%
Urban Population[8] 28.6%
Tehsils/ Talukas 02 Tehsils:

  1. Kharan Tehsil
  2. Sur Kharan
Main Towns Kharan, Raskoh, Dasht, Jamak, Nauroz Kalat, Garruk, Nag, Aetak village, Jhalwar village, and Kona Kalat
Literacy Rate[9] 44%
Male Literacy Rate[10] 60%
Female Literacy Rate[11] 27%
Major Economic Activity[12] Agriculture with its allied livestock breeding and fishing/ hunting 62.8%

 

Community, Social And Personal Services 19.4%
Construction 9.3%
Wholesale, Retail, Restaurant And Hotel 3.8%
Electricity, Gas & Water 2.1%
Transport, Storage & Communication 1.3%
Others 1.3%
Main Crops Wheat, barley, rapeseed & mustard, cumin, masoor, jowar, bajra, maize, moong, maash, cotton, sunflower, canola, and fodder
Major Fruits Almonds, apples, apricots, grapes, peach, pomegranate, dates, watermelon, and musk melon
Major Vegetables Onions, chilies, tomatoes, okra, tinda, radish, spinach, turnip, broad beans, carrots, bottle gourd, pumpkin, peas, brinjal, luffa, and cucumber
Forest Area[13] 127,371 HA[14]
Black Topped Roads[15] 1,131.0 km
Shingle Roads[16] 1,326.0 km
Electricity[17] Supplied by Quetta Electric Supply Company (QESCO)
Telephone Exchanges[18] 02 telephone exchanges with 456 landlines, 1,345 wireless phones, and 344 broadband connections
Industrial Zones[19] No Industry in the district
Major Industry None
Household Size[20] 5.8 persons per house
Houses with Piped Water[21] 9.4%
Houses with Electricity[22] 3.5%

Table 1.1 Kharan District at a Glance

[1] Translated as Book of Roads and Kingdoms or Book of Highways and Kingdoms, the Arabic Kitab-i-Masalik-o-Mumalik is the name of an 11th century geography text by Abu Abdullah al-Bakri. The book described a number of regions including the Atlantic Ocean, the Sahara, and Central Africa, but now exists only in fragmentary form.

[2] 2017 Census

[3] 1998 Census; the area for Washuk district has been subtracted

[4] 1998 Census

[5] 1998 Census

[6] 2017 Census

[7] 2017 Census

[8] 2017 Census

[9] Pakistan Social & Living Measurement Survey 2014-15 (PSLM); Latest available.

[10] PSLM

[11] PSLM

[12] 1998 Census; 2017 Census Data has not been released yet.

[13] Balochistan Development Statistics 2018-19

[14] Land Utilization Statistics report 32,658 HA under Forests

[15] Balochistan Development Statistics 2018-19; includes Washuk District also

[16] Balochistan Development Statistics 2018-19; includes Washuk District also

[17] Balochistan Development Statistics 2018-19

[18] Balochistan Development Statistics 2018-19

[19] Kharan District Development Profile, 2011 by P&D Department, GoB, with UNICEF

[20] 1998 Census; 2017 Census Data has not been released yet.

[21] 1998 Census; 2017 Census Data has not been released yet.

[22] 1998 Census; 2017 Census Data has not been released yet.

Brief HistoryGovernmental StructureAdministrative DivisionsHeritage Sites/ Tourist Attractions

Brief History

Kharan was an autonomous Princely State in a subsidiary alliance with British India until August 1947. It was a quasi-independent tribal area of Kalat State, ruled by the Nawab of Kharan (who belonged to the Nausherwani tribe). It remained autonomous until March 1948, when its ruler signed an Instrument of Accession to Pakistan, but still retained the State’s internal self-government structure. In 1955,[1] Kharan was incorporated into Pakistan. Strategically, Kharan district is very important since it dominates the Moola (Mula) Pass.

The Imperial Gazetteer of India recounts the history of Kharan as follows:

Little is known of the history of the country previous to the end of the 17th century when Ibrahim Khan, the Nausherwani Chief of Kharan, served the Chilzai Dynasty of Kandahar, except that it formed part of the Persian Province of Kirman. The Nausherwani Chiefs, round whom the local history centers, claim descent from the Kianian Maliks, and have always been a race of strong-willed, bold and adventurous men, taking full advantage of their desert protected country for organizing raiding expeditions against their neighbors and professing a fitful allegiance to Persia, to Kalat and to Afghanistan in turn. (v. 15, p 248)

The early history of Kharan is, thus, obscure. Most of the records indicate fights and feuds between chiefs and inhabitants. The area itself was mostly poor and barren, and did not tempt any of the conquering nations from the north which, from time to time, conquered other territories. The area was more connected to Persia and Afghanistan than with India from which it is separated by the mountains of Sarawan and Jhalawan countries.[2]

Most of the historical records are based on the personal knowledge of the Mutabirs.[3] Accordingly, it is known that the Nausherwani tribe came to Kharan from Iran sometime during the 14th century AD. They grew in power in the Northeast of Iran, but they were expelled from Iran on charges of assisting traitors to the rulers of Iran. They were, thus, compelled to migrate towards Sistan, bordering the present-day Kharan district under the leadership of Mir Abbas Khan. The Nausherwanis spread over the entire area and selected Rakhshan (now Basima, Washuk district) as their area for settlement. Before the arrival of the Nausherwanis, the Rakhshan area was dominated by the Peerakzai tribe. Mir Abbas married into this tribe and thus, gained control over the Peerakzai tribe. He succeeded the Peerakzai Chief as the new chief of the area.

The State of Kharan was established in about 1697 AD as a vassal State of Kalat, a status which remained in place until 1940. The rulers of Kharan State held the title of Mir, and from 1921 they were also styled as Sardar Bahadur or Nawab.

There are no other authentic records of the rule of the Nausherwanis until the 18th century, when Purdil Khan, the Chief of the Nausherwani tribe was the ruler. Nadir Shah, on his way to conquer Afghanistan (1730 AD), sent for Purdil Khan, but according to tradition, the summons were sent through the Khan of Kalat who delayed in obeying it, with the result that Nadir Shah sent 2 expeditions—one in 1734 and the second in 1736—against Purdil Khan. Purdil Khan was defeated both times; this resulted in his retreating to the Persian-controlled Makran area, leaving his family in Kharan. In 1740 Purdil Khan officially surrendered to Nadir Shah who bestowed on him the districts of Kolwa and Pidark in Makran, and also directed him to collect a force to accompany him to Bokhara. Purdil Khan died the same year.[4]

After Nadir Shah’s death in 1747 and the disintegration of his kingdom in Afghanistan, Kharan came under the rule of Ahmad Shah Durrani. By 1751 Nasir Khan I had succeeded to the throne/masnad of Kalat and had established his powers over Makran, Persian Balochistan, and Kharan, among other areas. Areas belonging to Kharan remained, to some extent, independent, as Mir Nasir Khan’s hold over the region was not very strong. Most of the historical accounts of the area up to 1831, then, recount tribal warfare, and of the consolidation of Nausherwani power in Kharan. Azad Khan succeeded his father Abbas III,[5] between 1831 and 1838 (the exact date is not known). In the early years of his rule, Azad Khan was occupied in making his position secure, and in quelling internal feuds. Up until 1884 Azad Khan tried to achieve full independence of Kharan from Kalat. In 1839 Mir Mehrab Khan of Kalat asked Azad Khan for assistance against the British by offering him half of the village of Khudabadan in Panjgur in return for the assistance. Azad Khan accepted the village but denied assistance which led to bitter disputes between the kingdoms.

In 1856, on the beginning of war between British India and Persia, Azad Khan joined the Persians, but no authentic records of his part in the war are available,[6] leaving the outcome of the war obscure. During that time, Nasir Khan II of Kalat died and was succeeded by his half-brother Khudadad Khan in 1875. Between 1875 and the end of the Second Anglo Afghan war (1878-1880), Azad Khan launched a feud against Khudadad Khan (Khan of Kalat) by fomenting disagreements between him and other Brahvi (or Brahui) Chiefs. Azad Khan also dispatched a force to take part in the Anglo Afghan war in support of the Afghans, but it arrived too late to take any active part in the battle of Maiwind.

In 1883, a mission under Sir Robert Sandemon was sent to Kharan; this mission was welcomed warmly by Azad Khan, and during this visit he acknowledged the supremacy of the British which resolved all disputes between him, the Khan of Kalat, and other Chiefs. After his death, he was succeeded by his son Nauroz Khan, on whom, in 1888, Knight Commandership of the Indian Empire was conferred.

Even though the Persian-Kharan border was never fully established, a joint commission by the Governments of India and Persia was appointed in 1895 led by Colonel Sir T. Holdich and a delimitation was completed in 1896, which gave Balochistan its present shape.

On 17 March 1948, Kharan acceded to Pakistan, and on 3 October 1952 it joined the Balochistan States Union. The State was dissolved on 14 October 1955 under the One Unit policy, when most regions of the western wing of Pakistan were merged to form the province of West Pakistan. When that province was dissolved in 1970, the territory of the former State of Kharan was organized as Kharan district of the province of Balochistan.

The district’s administrative set up remained unchanged till 2007, when it was bifurcated into Washuk district and Kharan district. The Maskhel and Rakhshan subdivisions of the district became a part of the newly created Washuk district.

Figure 1.4 Army of Kharan State, c1943

[1] In 1954-55 the Government of Pakistan merged the four provinces of West Pakistan into one province and named it West Pakistan to bring it at par with East Pakistan (now Bangladesh)

[2] Balochistan District Gazetteers, Kharan 1907

[3] These are people who have true knowledge; true story-tellers

[4] Balochistan District Gazetteers, Kharan 1907

[5] The ruler of Kharan

[6] Balochistan District Gazetteers 1907, Kharan

Governmental Structure

At the Federal level, Kharan district is allocated a set number of representatives in both the National Assembly and the Provincial Assembly:

  • Number of seats in the National Assembly[1] 1
  • Number of seats in the Provincial Assembly 1

Under the Local Government Act 2010, Amended in 2011, Kharan district has 1 District Council with 8 Union Councils. It has 1 Municipal Committee as follows:

  • Kharan

Each Union Council is represented by 1 member in the District Council. In addition, there is special representation of women (33%), and of workers and peasants (5% each).

[1] This seat is shared by Kachhi district

Administrative Divisions

Kharan district has a total area of 14,958 km2 and is divided into 2 tehsils and 07 Union Councils as follows:

Kharan Tehsil 05 Union Councils
Sur Kharan Tehsil 02 Union Councils

Table 1.2 Kharan Administrative Divisions

Heritage Sites/ Tourist Attractions

Zoroastrian dams or Gabarbands, and dombed Mausolea or gumbals, are important historical sites which need to be given the status of “protected” by the GoB.

Protected heritage sites of the district include

  • Fort wall of Jalawar Pass, Jalawar, Kharan
  • Kharan Fort/Fort of Azad Khan, Kharan Town
  • Pally Kalat, Washbohi, Kharan
  • Nauroz Fort, Noroz, Kharan
  • Ancient Tomb, Jhalawar, Kharan
  • Har-o-Goke, Garuk, Kharan

The gumbals or dombed Mausolea are Persian tombs; each is a square chamber surmounted by a dome. There are several gumbals in the district; Malik Nausherwani’s Gumbad in Mashkel and Gumbad Shahri in Mashkel are the more famous ones.

The Gabarbands or Zoroastrian dams are found in the Raskoh, Gorr, and Siahan Ranges. These dams are terraced fields and were built to contain rainwater in the terraced plots as well as the deposits of fertile alluvium on the otherwise rocky soil.

Figure 1.10 Kharan Fort

Figure 1.11 Nauroz Fort, Noroz, Kharan

Figure 1.12 Kharan Mosque, Kharan City

Topography

The general elevation of the district is 692 m above mean sea level, and it can be divided into 2 parts:

  • Hilly Areas
  • Central Desert Plains

The Hilly Areas

The major hilly areas of the district are in the north, east, and south. In the north, the notable hills are a part of the Raskoh Range, which is, in turn, an extension of the Khwaja Amran off-shoot of Toba Kakar Range. The Raskoh Range runs mostly along the boundary of Kharan Tehsil as well as Nushki and Dalbandin Tehsils of Chagai district. This range forms the boundary of the district, separating it from the Gidar, Surab, Rodenjo and Dasht-i-Goran Valleys in district Kalat, and Besima of Washuk district. The general elevation of this range is 1,200-2,500 m above mean sea level. The highest peak in the Raskoh Range is also known as Raskoh or Ispedar and is 3,003 m above mean sea level. It gets snow in the winter. There are a number of peaks at varying heights as well: Sheikh Hussain (2,095.5 m), Dur Maliki Dhik (2,089.7 m), Kambar (2,648.7 m), Kambran (2,596 m), and Ziro (2,234 m).[1]

According to folklore, Ras Koh was the name of a Malik Saint whose shrine, Langar-i-Malik Ras Koh, is situated at the top of the peak.

In the east, the notable hill range is the Garr Range or Western Jhalawan Range. It separates the Kharan district from Kalat and Awaran districts. The general elevation of this hill system is from 1,500 to 2,000 m above sea level. The highest point is 2,233 m near Sodagir in the northeast of Kharan Tehsil.

In the south of Kharan district is the Siahan Range, separating it from the Rakhshan Valley (Washuk district) and the Panjgur district. The general elevation of this range varies from 1,200 to 1,500 m. The highest peak is 2,064 m above mean sea level.

Figure 1.5 A Hill in Kharan

Central Desert Plain

The central part of the district, from Hamun-i-Mashkel in the west to Garr Hills in the east, is a desert plain. This plain extends for about 300 km in length in an east-west direction and is about 50 to 125 km in breadth. The local name of the plains is registan or lut, meaning desert. It varies in elevation from 750 m in the northeast, to about 600 m in the southwest. The plain is a sandy desert formed by windborne sand dunes in large masses, which are formed into crescent shapes. The deepest sand of the plains is between Humagai and Washuk, making this section of the district almost impassable.

The central plain forms several basins into which the waters of the rivers and streams flowing from the surrounding hilly areas drain. The water finds no outlet, and is absorbed in the sand. The surplus waters of large floods escape either to large depressions called hamuns or smaller basins along sandhills known as nawars. The Hamun-i-Mashkel is the largest of such depressions. The desert area is bisected in the center by the line of the Boddo River as well as chains of nawars at its extremity.

Along the hilly areas, gravel plains are found, which are subject to occasional heavy showers in the hills, causing floods, and carrying many of the boulders in to the plains below. These floods spread pebbles over large areas of the desert.

Figure 1.6 Kharan Desert

Rivers, Streams, and Lakes

A few rivers and a large number of mountain torrents/streams flow from the surrounding hills into the central plain; this water is used for cultivation. The two small rivers of the district are Baddo River, with its tributaries in the northeast, and Mashkel River in the southwest. In its upper reaches, River Baddo is known as Pahrod. Important tributaries of this river are Chiringi and Gori-Barat. Other smaller tributaries are Bundalo, Gwarighan, Kullan, Kirakan, and Sharp. The Mashkel River rises in Iran whence it runs from north to east till its junction with the principal confluent, the Rakhshan, at Gwarag in Panjgur district. From here, the Mashkel River flows into Kharan district, to join the Hamun-i-Mashkel in Washuk district. Important tributaries of this river are Kaman Kaur, Bibi Lori, and Barshonki; these have their source in the Siahan Range.

Several hill torrents flow down the mountains, the waters of which are used for cultivation. Some of these torrents/streams draining to the south are Tufui, Kullan Bunap Kallag, Tatagar, Rasani, and the Hurmagai. Other smaller hill torrents include Razak Kaur, Chahsil Kaur, Zard Kaur, Soro Kaur, and Lijji Rud.

There are no lakes in the district.

Forests

The district, being an extension of Raskoh as well as portions of the Garr and Siahan Ranges, has scanty vegetation cover. Almost the entire area of the district is covered by Tropical Thorn Forest and Sand Dune Desert Forest type, with date palm being the most common tree species. A majority of the species are xerophytes. A negligible part of the district, as compared to its total area, has been conserved as State Forest or Wildlife Protected Area.

The overall natural vegetation, including shrubs, bushes, and grasses, can be defined as rangelands which are contributing to the ecological stability of important ecosystems in the district. The tree species include: black saxual or taghaz (Haloxylon ammodendron), African/Syrian rue or harmala (Peganum harmala), camel thorn or kander (Alhagi camelorum), aak (Calotropice procera), sihar or harmal (Rhazya stricta), alonj (generic name not known), cudweed or burako (Filago arvensis), a salsolaceous plant/bush (Apo), milk broom or barara (Periploca aphylla), karir (Caparis aphylla), abal or phog (Calligonum comosum), blue mint bush or purchink (Ziziphora clinopodioides), fodder eaten by sheep (Shirakah and Simsur), and sohrpul (Gaillonia eriantha), are generally found almost throughout the entire district. Similarly, ghaz or frash or athel pine (Tamarix articulata), date palm (Phoenix dactylifera), and shina/khanjak/Bombay mastix (Pistacia khinjuk) can be grouped into major tree species.[2]

The following table shows the types of forests and the area in the district (Balochistan Development Statistics 2018-19):

Total Forest Area 314,740 A Scrub Forests 289,720 A
Rangelands – A Coniferous Forests – A
Irrigated Plantations – A Riverine Forests 25,020 A
Coastal/Mangrove Forests – A

Table 1.3 Kharan Forests

According to the Kharan District Development Profile 2011, by P & D Department, GoB, in collaboration with UNICEF, there are a total of 127,374 HA of forest land in the district. According to the same report, the notified forest areas are:

  • Taghap (9,000 HA)
  • Gurrak (3,000 HA)
  • Bajak (8,000 HA)
  • Shamsi Lora (9,000 HA)
  • Jalawar (52,000 HA)
  • Dilkusha Gurhill (2,000 HA)
  • Rasskoh (100,000 HA)
  • Ragh-e-Rakhshan (125,000 HA)

Raskoh and Ragh-e-Rakhshan are notified and protected wildlife sanctuaries of the district.

Figure 1.7 IUCN GIS Map, Kharan district

Soils

The hills of the district are bare, with little to no soil cover. Small patches contain soils that shallow or very shallow, strongly calcareous, gravely, and stony loams. The rock outcrop only has water catchment value.

The soils of the desert area are sandy and form an alluvial fan (deposits of sediment built up by streams).

Climate

The climate of the district is hot and dry; in the summer season, the day temperatures are very high, but the nights are cooler. July is the hottest month, with mean maximum and minimum temperatures at 42 °C and 26 °C. January is the coldest month, with mean maximum and minimum temperatures of 17 °C and 1 °C respectively. The dust storms occur throughout the year, but are severe between June and September, when they are locally known as Livar. They are, at times, severe enough to kill animals and vegetation. Rainfall is scanty, and is mostly received from January to March.

Snowfalls occur on the peaks of Raskoh Hills.

Since there is no meteorological station at Kharan, the 30 year record at Dalbandin (the nearest station) has been taken. This record shows annual precipitation of 81 mm.

Seismic Activity

The district belongs to Zone 3 of the Seismic Zone Map of Pakistan, which means moderate to severe damage due to earthquakes.

[1] Names and heights of the peaks have been taken from Balochistan District Gazetteers Kharan 1907

[2] Kharan District Development Plan 2011, by GoB and UNICEF

Population

The following table shows the population of Kharan district as per the 2017 Census:

District/ Taluka Area

km2

Population Male% Female % Urban % Growth Rate %
Kharan District 14,958 156,152 51.7 48.3 28.6 2.54
Kharan Tehsil NA 73,982
Sur Kharan Tehsil NA 82,170

Table 1.4 Kharan Population Statistics

Religions[1]

Muslims 99.2%
Christians 0.1%
Hindus 0.4%
Ahmadis 0.1%
Scheduled Castes 0.1%
Others 0.1%

Table 1.5 Kharan Religions

Languages[2]

Urdu 0.1%
Punjabi 0.2%
Sindhi 0.1%
Pushto 0.2%
Balochi 98.5%
Seraiki 0.6%
Others[3] 0.3%

Table 1.6 Kharan Languages

Land Use

The following table shows the main land use statistics of the district as per Balochistan Development Statistics 2018-19:

Total Area 1,495,800 HA Reported Area 3,593,379 HA
Total Cultivated Area 167,739 HA Net Sown 19,609 HA
Current Fallow 148,130 HA Total Uncultivated Area 3,425,640 HA
Culturable Waste 755,077 HA Forest Area 32,658 HA

Table 1.7 Kharan Land Use Statistics

[1] 1998 Census; 2017 Census Data has not been released yet.

[2] 1998 Census; 2017 Census Data has not been released yet.

[3] includes Brahvi language

Economic ActivityEconomic Infrastructure

Economic Activity

The main occupations of the district are[1]:

  • Agriculture with its allied livestock breeding and fishing/hunting (62.8%)
  • Community, Social & Personal Services (19.4%)
  • Construction (9.3%)
  • Wholesale, Retail, Restaurant & Hotel (3.8%)
  • Electricity, Gas & Water (2.1%)
  • Transport, Storage and Communication (1.3%)
  • Others (1.3%)

Land Use

The following table shows the main land use statistics of the district as per Balochistan Development Statistics 2018-19:

Total Area 1,495,800 HA Reported Area 3,593,379 HA
Total Cultivated Area 167,739 HA Net Sown 19,609 HA
Current Fallow 148,130 HA Total Uncultivated Area 3,425,640 HA
Culturable Waste 755,077 HA Forest Area 32,658 HA

Table 1.7 Kharan Land Use Statistics

Agriculture

The district is mainly a mountainous area with inter-mountain basins and plateaus that are steep and rugged with narrow valleys between them, and hence, belongs to the Dry Western Plateau Agro-Ecological Zone of Pakistan.

The crops of the district include wheat, barley, rapeseed & mustard, cumin, masoor, jowar, bajra, maize, moong, maash, cotton, sunflower, canola, and fodder.

The fruits grown include almonds, apples, apricots, grapes, peach, pomegranate, dates, watermelon, and musk melon.

The vegetable produce of the district includes onions, chilies, tomatoes, okra, tinda, radish, spinach, turnip, broad beans, carrots, bottle gourd, pumpkin, peas, brinjal, luffa, and cucumber.

Livestock Breeding

Livestock breeding is the second most important sector of the economy. It is the main source of income for nomadic families. The following table shows the position of the livestock population according to the 2006 Census of Livestock[2] (qtd. in Balochistan Development Statistics 2013-14):

Cattle 14,854 Heads Buffalo 118 Heads Sheep 665,903 Heads
Goats 635,731 Heads Camels 76,069 Heads Horses 138 Heads
Mules 8 Heads Asses 11,862 Heads

Table 1.8 Kharan Livestock Statistics

Indigenous livestock breeds of the district include kharani camel, khurasani and morak goat, and rakhshani sheep.

Poultry

There are 11 poultry farms in the district, according to Table 17 (Number of Commercial Poultry Farms and Number of Birds by Size of Flock).

Bee Keeping

Bee keeping is not a viable economic activity in the district.

Fisheries

There are no fisheries in the district. Some fishing activity occurs in River Baddo and River Mashkel as well as their tributaries, but these fish are mostly for local use and not an economic activity in the district.

Irrigation

The main sources of irrigation in the district are karezes and springs, followed by tube wells. The following table shows the mode of irrigation and area being irrigated by the mode (Balochistan Development Statistics 2018-19):

Total Irrigated Area 21,548 HA Government Canals – HA
Private Canals – HA Wells 8,388 HA
Tube Wells 13,160 HA Karezes/Spring/Others – HA

Table 1.10 Kharan Irrigation Statistics

In all, there are 13 karezes[3] in Kharan district, some of which include Pattak Karez, Lundo Karez, Noroz Karez, Laggi Karez, and Amir Laggi Karez.

Garruk Dam on River Garruk is a small dam proposed to be built in the district. This dam will have a power house with a capacity to produce 300 KW of electricity.

Manufacturing/Industry

No significant industrial or manufacturing activities have been reported in the Kharan district. The GoB has set up a carpet training center and 3 embroidery training centers in the district, which will add a viable source of income.

Mining

Major minerals of the district are chromite and manganese.

Oil and gas is being explored in the district.

Handicrafts

The district is known for its intricate needlework which involves stitchwork in different colors, and may include the use of mirrors as well. Embroidered caps, purses, shoes, and belts are common. Table tops, ash-trays, and other decoration pieces made of marble, as well as carpets and wall-hangings, pottery and ornaments (especially items made with silver), are other important handicrafts of the district. Furniture-making and the manufacture of other items of wood is also common.

[1] 1998 Census; 2017 Census Data has not been released yet. (includes data for Washuk District also)

[2] Includes data for Washuk District also.

 

Economic Infrastructure

District Kharan has road links to other districts, but no railway or airport. Though Kharan is one of the oldest districts of Balochistan, it has remained underdeveloped because of an inadequate economic infrastructure and a lack of communication facilities. A National Highway passes through the district, linking Khuzdar with Kharan. Provincial roads and shingle roads have been constructed in the district.

Roads

According to Balochistan Development Statistics 2018-19, the road statistics of the district[1] are as follows:

Total Roads 2,457.0 km
High Type Roads/Black Topped 1,131.0 km
Low Type Roads/Shingle 1,326.0 km

Table 1.9 Kharan Road Statistics

Some of the important roads of the district are:

  • The National Highway N-85 passes through the district (N-85 is the highway connecting Hoshab in Turbat with Surab in Quetta)
  • Basima-Panjgur Road
  • Link Road connecting Kharan with National Highway N-30
  • Link Road linking RCD Highway with Kharan
  • Link Road to Dalbandin

Figure 1.13 Rekoh-Kharan Road

Rail and Airways

No railway or airway services exist in the district. The nearest railway station to Kharan is in Chagai. There is a private airport owned by Sheikh Khalifa–Bin Zayed at Shimshi.

Radio and Television

Kharan has no radio or TV stations or even a TV booster, but TV can be viewed through cable.

Telecommunications

The district is connected to other parts of the country through telephone and telegraph. There are 02 telephone exchanges in Kharan district which provide 456 landlines, 1,345 wireless phones and 334 broadband connections in the district (Balochistan Development Statistics 2018-19). Cellular phone companies also provide their services in the district.

Post Offices/ Courier Services

There is only 01 post office[2] in the district. Courier services are not available.

Banking/Financial Institutions

The following banks have their banking facilities in the district:

  • Habib Bank Ltd.
  • National Bank of Pakistan
  • Zarai Taraqiati Bank Ltd.

According to the “List of Reporting Bank Branches 2019” by State Bank of Pakistan there are 05 branches of various conventional banks in the District.

Electricity and Gas

Quetta Electric Supply Company (QESCO) looks after the supply of electricity in Kharan district.

Education

The following table shows the number of primary, middle, secondary, and mosque schools in the district as per Balochistan Development Statistics 2018-19:

Institution Boys/Girls Institution Boys/Girls
Primary Schools 143/43 Middle Schools 24/10
High Schools 13/07 Community Schools 48
Higher Secondary 01/01 Degree Colleges 01/-
Universities Mosque Schools[4]
Vocational Training Schools Private Schools[5] 01

Table 1.11 Kharan Educational Institutions

Health

The following table shows the Government Health Care Institutions in Kharan district as per Balochistan Development Statistics 2018-19:

Institution No./beds Institution No./beds
Teaching Hospitals Hospitals 01/90
Rural Health Centers 06/100 Basic Health Units 15/-
Dispensaries 30/- Mother Child Health Centers 02/-
TB/Leprosy Clinics etc. 01/- Private Hospitals 01/14
Private Dispensaries -/-

Table 1.12 Kharan Health Institutions

Policing

For the purpose of administration and policing, the district is divided into two areas: “A” and “B”. The urban area of Kharan comes under “A” area and the rest of the area of the district falls in “B” area. “A” area is policed by a regular police force headed by the Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP). This DSP is assisted by a Station House Officer (SHO), Inspector Police, and other staff. The “B” area is controlled by a levies force. Levies are a conventional force to maintain law and order. In levies, men of different tribes are employed. The levies force comes under the direct control of the Deputy Commissioner (DC). Generally, the levies force is well equipped to deal with the law and order situation in the district.

Policing of Kharan district is managed by the Regional Police Officer (RPO) Kalat. The RPO is assisted by one SubDivisional Police Officer (SDPO) stationed at Kharan. There are 02 police station[6] in the district.

[1] The statistics include Washuk district also

[2] Balochistan Development Statistics 2018-19

[3] For more details please visit http://waterinfo.net.pk/?q=karez

[4] included in primary schools

[5] 2011 Data

[6] Table no. 19.7 (a) Number of Police Stations by Division/District; by Federal Bureau of Statistics.

Environment and Biodiversity

Environmental pollution, especially brown pollution, is almost negligible, as there is no industrial setup or heavy traffic in the district.

Flora and Fauna

Flora

Vegetation zones of the district mainly consist of the following categories:

  • Hills and steep slopes: Common flora includes gawan or Bombay mastix (Pistacia khinjuk) which is occasionally seen in this zone, mixed with grasses and fodder like barshonk (Pennisetum dichotomum), sorag (generic name not known), Kotor (Stocksia brahuica) and Eragrostis cynosuroides
  • Foothills: The plants occupying this zone are both Xerophytic and non-Xerophytic plants. Main plant species are anab (Tamarix macrocarpa), ghaz or farash or athel pine (Tamarix articulate), taghaz or black saxaul (Haloxylon ammodendron), milk broom or barara (Periploca aphylla), blue mint or purchink (Ziziphora clinopodioides), shirakah and simsur (fodder eaten by sheep), and sohrpul (Gaillonia eriantha). The dominant shrubs in the region include Zygophylum atripliciodes, kiri or French tamarisk (Tamarix gallica), abal or phog (Calligonum comosom), African or Syrian rue/harmal (Peganam harmala), sweet scented oleander or jaur (Nerium odorum), prickly glasswort (Salsola kali), sihar or harmal (Rhazya stricta), camelthorn (Alhagi camelorum), lani (Salsola foetida), and lana (Haloxylon salicornicum)
  • Piedmont Plains: Main flora of this zone includes date palm (Phoenix dactylifera) which is seen in groves almost in the entire district. In addition, anab (Tamarix macrocarpa), ghaz or farash or athel pine (Tamarix articulate), taghaz or black saxaul (Haloxylon ammodendron), milk broom or barara (Periploca aphylla), purchink or blue mint (Ziziphora clinopodioides), fodder eaten by sheep (Shirakah and Simsur) and sohrpul (Gaillonia eriantha) are associated with this zone
  • Dry Stream Beds: Anab (Tamarix macrocarpa), ghaz or farash or Athel pine (Tamarix articulata), and taghaz or black saxual (Haloxylon ammodendron) are commonly seen in this zone

Fauna

Mountain sheep, gazelle (deer) at the skirts of hills, and the Sindh ibex, which were all once found in fairly numerous numbers are now near to extinction due to over hunting. Other wildlife includes wolves, hyenas, foxes, jackals, hares, and honey badgers. Birds include chakor and see-see partridges. Among migratory birds, the more precious and most sought after by Arab dignitaries (who use the region for hunting) are houbara bustard, sand grouse, and migratory cranes, as well as a number of ducks. Leopards and bears, which were once reported to be present in the district, have not been spotted recently.

Reptiles include Turkestan rock gecko, sharp-tailed spider gecko, Lumsden gecko, whip-tailed sand gecko, Baloch spiny-tailed lizard, mountain dwarf gecko, short-toed sand swimmer, Easter dwarf skink, Indian desert monitor, reticulate desert Lacerta, Caspian desert Lacerta, Chagai desert Lacerta, dark-headed dwarf racer, Tartary sand boa, spotted desert racer, dark-headed gamma snake, Maynard’s awl-headed snake, Afghan tortoise, Indian cobra, leaf-nosed viper and lizards like agamura femoralis, and stenodactylus maynardi.

Protected Wildlife Areas and Fauna

The wildlife sanctuary, the Raskoh, is a protected wildlife area of Kharan district. This provides sanctuary to the urial, ibex, and other mammals, as well as birds and reptiles of the area.

Figure 1.8 Asian Ibex