Balochistan-Pishin

Introduction

Pishin district is located between 66° 46′ 01” to 67° 49′ 19” east longitudes, and 30° 44′ 02” to 31° 14′ 02” north latitudes. The district shares its boundaries in the northeast with Afghanistan, Killa Saifullah in the east, Killa Abdullah on the west, and Quetta and Ziarat districts in the south.

The name Pishin is the modern version of its original name Pushang, which is a Persian rendering of the Arabic Fushang.

 District at a Glance

Name of District Pishin District
District Headquarter Pishin Town
Population[1] 736,481 persons
Area[2] 7,819 km2
Population Density[3] 149.4 persons/ km2
Population Growth Rate[4] 3.58%
Male Population[5] 51.5%
Female Population[6] 48.5%
Urban Population[7] 19.4%
Tehsils/Talukas 04 Tehsils:

1.    Pishin Tehsil

2.    Karezat Tehsil

3.    Barshore Tehsil

4.    Huramzai Tehsil

Main Towns Huramzai, Pishin, Khanozai, Qila Haji Khan, Behram Khan, Karezat, Barshore, Karbala,[8] Walma, Bazar-e-Kona, Yaro, and Saranan
Literacy Rate[9] 49.0%
Male Literacy Rate[10] 70.0%
Female Literacy Rate[11] 25.0%
Major Economic Activity[12] Agriculture, Forestry, Hunting, Fishing 52.2%
Community, Social & Personal Services 16.4%
Construction 13.5%
Wholesale, Retail & Restaurant/Hotels 12.7%
Transport, Storage & Communication 3.6%
Others 1.8%
Main Crops Wheat, maize, barley, tobacco, and cumin
Major Fruits Almonds, apples, apricots, grapes, peach, plum, pomegranate, cherry, pistachios, figs, watermelon, musk melon, sarda, and garma
Major Vegetables Carrots, peas, radish, turnip, spinach, okra, tinda, brinjal, bitter gourd, bottle gourd, pumpkin, tomatoes, potatoes, chilies, and cucumbers
Forests (Area)[13] 194,440[14] HA
Black Topped Road[15] 1,326.0 km
Shingle Roads[16] 648.0 km
No Of Grid Stations[17] Electricity supplied by WAPDA and managed by Quetta Electric Supply Company (QESCO) with 4 Grid Stations located at Pishin, Yaro, Alizai and Khanozai
No. Of Tel. Exchanges[18] 07 telephone exchanges providing 983 landlines, 1,027 wireless phones and 864 broadband connections
Industry Government of Balochistan is planning to set up an Industrial Estate: Bostan Industrial Estate[19] in Pishin Town There is a Carpet Center in the district which provides training facilities
Major Industry[20] Flour Mills 12 Units
Tobacco 18 Units
Reinforced Cement Concrete (RCC) 3 Units
Ice Factories 3 Units
Household Size[21] 6.8 persons per house
Houses with Piped Water[22] 50.4%
Houses with Electricity[23] 75.6%

Table 1.1 Pishin District at a Glance

[1] 2017 Census

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

[3] 2017 Census

[4] 2017 Census

[5] 2017 Census

[6] 2017 Census

[7] 2017 Census

[8] This spelling is used in the 1998 district Census Report. Some maps and government documents also use the spelling “Kerbala”

[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 25,865 HA under forests.

[15] Balochistan Development Statistics 2018-19

[16] Balochistan Development Statistics 2018-19

[17] Pishin District Development Profile 2011, by P&D, GoB with UNICEF

[18] Balochistan Development Statistics 2018-19

[19] As of 2017, the planning is complete, and construction has begun

[20] Pishin District Development Profile 2011, by P&D, GoB with UNICEF

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

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

[23] 1998 Census; 2017 Census Data has not been released yet.

Brief HistoryGovernmental StructureAdministrative DivisionsTourist/ Picnic/ Archaeological Areas

Brief History

The earliest mention of Pishin is in the Avesta[1] in which Pishinanha is described as a valley (vara) in an elevated part of the country, containing a barren level plain (dasht).[2]

As indicated earlier, Pishin is a modernized form of the word Pushang, which is the ancient Persian rendering of the Arabic word Fushang. Myths attribute the origin of the name to one of the sons of the Emperor Afrasiab;[3] Fushang was the spelling used in the records of the Afghan government.

At the time of the Partition of Pakistan, Pishin district was part of the Quetta-Pishin district of the British Raj. Before the annexation of Quetta-Pishin by the British, the area was ruled by the Brahvi rulers of Kalat State. Earlier, it was a part of the Kandahar province of Afghanistan and hence, its early history is the same as that of Kandahar.

According to the Quetta-Pishin District Gazetteer 1907, little is known of the history of Pishin up to the 13th century AD. It is known that it formed part of the Ghaznavid Empire, surmised from the fact that the Ghaznavid Kings made expeditions as far as Khuzdar. From the Ghaznavids, it is assumed that the area passed on to the Ghorids.

In 1221 AD, Kandahar and its dependencies passed into the hands of the Mongols. Amir Timur (Tamerlane) who ruled from 1370-1405 conferred the area to his grandson Pir Muhammad. During the first half of the 15th century, the area was ruled by the successors of Timur, and it was probably at this time that the Tarins emigrated from their original homes in the Takht-e-Suleiman (the highest peak of the Suleiman Mountain range, east of Quetta) and made their way into Pishin.[4]

In 1470 Sultan Hussain Mirza of Herat rose to power. He conferred the territories of Pushang (Pishin), Sibi, and Shal (Quetta) on Amir Shuja-ud-din Zunun, the Arghun. After Zunun’s death, the country passed on to his son, Shah Beg Arghun. He was overthrown by Babar, who later ascended the throne of Delhi in 1526, becoming the first Mughal Emperor of India.

Between 1530 and 1545, the province of Kandahar was in the possession of Mirza Kamran, the brother of the Mughal Emperor Humayun. In 1543 Mughal Emperor Humayun came to Quetta while retreating from Delhi after being defeated by Sher Shah Suri. After 2 years, Kandahar (which included Pishin) again passed into Humayun’s rule and continued under the Mughals till 1559.

After Humayun’s death in 1556, his son Akbar ascended the throne of Delhi and in 1559 he ordered Kandahar and its dependent territories to be restored to the Safavid Kings of Persia; the territories remained under Persia until 1595, when they were again acquired by the Mughals. According to the Ain-i-Akbari, Shal (ancient name of Quetta) and Pushang (Pishin) were included in the eastern division of the Kandahar Sarkar. The Safavid monarch, Shah Abbas, gained possession of Kandahar in 1622, and conferred the government of Pishin and adjacent tribal areas upon Sher Khan, the Tarin leader.

Sher Khan Tarin, the Governor of Pishin and its tribal areas, started gaining independence, and on the death of Shah Abbas, refused to pay homage to Ali Mardan, the Governor of Kandahar. Ali Mardan attacked the region, and Sher Khan was defeated, being forced to retire towards Thal Chotiali.

The end of the 17th century witnessed the rise to prominence of Brahvi/ Brahui power, and Quetta and Pishin both fell into the hands of the Brahvis during the time of Mir Ahmed Khan I (Brahvi)[5] who ruled Kalat from 1666 to 1696.

Brahvi history relates that around 1725, Pishin was annexed to Kalat Khanate by Mir Abdullah Khan Ahmadzai Baloch (ruler of Kalat from 1716-1731). However, in 1733, Shah Hussain Ghilzai/ Khilji attacked the fort of Pishin; after conquering it, he garrisoned it, and then crossed the Ghaza Bund. After conquering Quetta, Shah Hussain advanced towards Mastung where the Brahvis submitted and the area was brought under the control of the Ghilzai/ Khilji power. Quetta remained under Kandahar rulers till the area was conquered by Nader Shah of Persia in 1738 AD. Nader Shah’s successor Ahmad Shah Durrani conferred the Quetta areas to the Brahvis as a fief in lieu of their support.

Pishin, meanwhile, remained under the Durranis/Abdalis. Ahmed Shah is said to have given Pishin as a jagir with the condition of the supply of military services, to Pakar Khan Batezai (the Tarin leader). From the Durranis, Pishin passed into the hands of the Barakzais, keeping Pishin as a part of Kandahar.

Quetta was taken over by the British in 1839, during the First Anglo-Afghan war (1839-1842). After the British defeat in the war in 1842, Pishin and Shorarud (west of Quetta) were occupied by the Afghans, but Quetta was taken over by the Khans of Kalat, and remained under them till its occupation by the British in 1876.

In May 1879 the treaty of Gandamak was signed between the government of Afghanistan and the British according to which, the districts of Pishin and Kurram were to be ceded to the British Government. In 1882 final orders were given for the permanent retention of Pishin, and British authority was also extended over the valley of Shorarud.

When Quetta was handed over to the British Government in April 1883, it was combined with Pishin to form a single administrative unit and Sir H.S. Barnes was appointed the first Political Agent. From then onward, Quetta-Pishin district remained under a single Political Agent, the Deputy Commissioner.

Till 1975 Quetta-Pishin remained a single administrative unit. In 1975 Pishin was separated from Quetta, and was given the status of a district. In 1993 Pishin was further bifurcated; one part became Pishin district while the Killa Abdullah tehsil was upgraded to a district level.

[1] The Avesta is the primary collection of religious texts of the Zoroastrian religion.

[2] Quetta-Pishin District Gazetteer 1907

[3] Emperor Afrasiab, according to Shahnama Firdousi is the legendary king and hero of Turan and an archenemy of Iran. In Iranian mythology, Afrasiab is considered to be by far the most prominent of all Turanian kings; he is characterized as a formidable warrior, a skilful general, and an agent of Ahriman, who is endowed with magical powers of deception to destroy Iranian civilization. According to Middle Persian and Islamic sources, Afrasiab was a descendant of Tūr (Avestan: Tūriya), one of the three sons of the Iranian mythical King Fereydun.

[4] Quetta-Pishin District Gazetteer 1907

[5] Ahmadzai is his eponym.

Governmental Structure

At the Federal level, Pishin 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 3

Under the Local Government Act 2010, Amended in 2011, Pishin district has 1 District Council with 53 Union Councils. It has 1 Municipal Corporation as follows:

  • Pishin

The district has 3 Municipal Committees as follows:

  • Huramzai
  • Khanozai
  • Saranan

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 Ziarat district

Administrative Divisions

The district has a total area of 7,819 km2 and is divided into 4 Tehsils as follows:

Pishin Tehsil 12 Union Councils
Huramzai Tehsil[1] 05 Union Councils
Karezat Tehsil 09 Union Councils
Barshore Tehsil 12 Union Councils

Table 1.2 Pishin Administrative Divisions

[1] This tehsil is only partially functional

Tourist/ Picnic/ Archaeological Areas

Following are some tourist attractions in Pishin district:

  • Lake Khushdil Khan: This is a Notified Protected Wildlife Game Reserve which provides a very good picnic area, and a license-only hunting area for ducks
  • Pishin Valley: The valley has very fertile land, and is renowned for its fruit orchards. There is a market town as well in the valley
  • The artificial irrigation channels called karez, made by boring holes into rocks to bring the deep water to the surface provide good picnic grounds
  • Sara/Sra Qila: This is a fort near Malezai, in Huramzai Tehsil. It was originally built by the Sassanians, and then later repaired by the Safavids and Afghans, and used by them until 1700. This needs to be protected under Pakistani Laws
  • DC Rest House: This is also called the Pishin Rest House. It has been the location of social and political activities pre- and post-Independence
  • Shrine of Khwaja Amran, Chaman Tehsil: Khwaja Amran was a Tajik saint
  • Shrine of Mulla Usman Akhund: This shrine is located in Saranan village
  • Shrine of Pir Haider
  • Shrine of Ismailzai Agha
  • Shrine of Nau Ghazee Baba
  • Shrine of Khanai Baba

Figure 1.5 Picnic Area, Bund Khushdil Khan

Figure 1.6 Lawns of DC or Pishin Rest House, Pishin

Figure 1.7 Pishin Bazaar

Topography

The district belongs to the Upper Highlands or Khorasan section of Balochistan, and comprises of a series of valleys with ground elevation ranging from 1,370 to 1,680 m above mean sea level; these valleys are enclosed by Toba Kakar Range in the north.

The Toba Hills are fairly uniform in character, consisting of long central ridges from which frequent spurs descend, varying in elevation from 1,800 to 2,800 m above sea level. The southwestern part of the district is a plain area known as Pishin Valley.

The district consists of a flat plain with alluvial soil in the center, with pebbly slopes of varying length on either side of the surrounding hills. It is from these pebbly beds that the supply of irrigation waters is chiefly derived through karezes.

Rivers, Streams, and Lakes

According to the 1998 District profile Pishin by GoPakistan, the drainage of the district in its upper section is towards the north and northeast, while in the lower part, the drainage is to the southwest. The Pishin Lora River is the principal river, and flows in the southwestern part of the district, from Barshore in the northeast into Shorarud valley near Burg Aziz Khan to the southwest. The Surkhab River enters the district from the eastern side and flows westward, joining the Pishin Lora River. The Barshore Lora flows towards the west and also joins the Pishin Lora River. Muchka from the northwest, as well as Kakar Lora also join the Pishin Lora. The Kurram River rises in the Toba Kakar Range and enters the district on the northwestern corner, flowing towards the north into Pishin River and forming the boundary with Afghanistan. The Pishin Lora flows up to Bund Khushdil Khan Lake, from where it flows into Afghanistan.

The Khushdil Khan Lake is a man-made lake in the north of Pishin city. A feeder cut from the Barshore River forms the chief source of water supply to the Khush Dil Khan reservoir.

Figure 1.3 Lake Khushdil Khan

Forests

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

Total Forest Area 180,471 A Scrub Forests 138,971 A
Rangelands – A Coniferous Forests 41,500 A
Irrigated Plantations – A Riverine Forests – A
Coastal/Mangrove Forests – A

Table 1.3 Pishin Forest Statistics

There are 2 types of forests in the district: Balochistan Dry Temperate Scrub (Steppe) and Coniferous Forests. Major tree species are shina or wild pistachios (Pistacia khinjjak) and obusht or Turkistan juniper (Juniperus excelsa polycarpos). In the valleys, ghaz or salt cedar (Tamarix spp.) is found in streambeds.

There are 7 Notified Reserved Forests in the district:

  • Popalzai (614 HA)
  • Bund Khushdil Khan (475 HA)
  • Gawal (1,166 HA)
  • Takatu North (4,943 HA)
  • Surghund (3,441 HA)
  • Umai (648 HA)
  • Sarwat (417 HA)
  • Surkhab (1,426 HA)
  • Targhatu (13,360 HA)

In addition to the above Notified Reserved Forests, there are 3 Notified Wildlife Protected Areas:

  • Maslakh Wildlife Sanctuary (46,575 HA)
  • Bund Khushdil Khan Game Reserve (1,296 HA)
  • Zawar Khan Game Reserve (1,061 HA)

Figure 1.4 Pishin District GIS Map, IUCN

Soils

There are 4 types of soils in the district: piedmont plains, piedmont basins (playas), gravelly piedmont fans, and aprons bordering the mountains and loess plains. The soils are differentiated by their respective colours, which reflect differences of parent material. Piedmont plain areas have the potential for livestock grazing, due to its loose material. This land enhances the recharging capacity of ground water. Since this type of soil is situated in the middle of the valley, it has high potential for irrigation as well. The piedmont fans are not suitable for cultivation. The Bostan and Gowal soils are examples of such soils and are suitable for grazing. The soils of the loess plains are traditionally used for agriculture and grazing. Soil erosion takes place in the vicinity of Karbala (also spelled Kerbala), Batezai, Jlogir, and the areas near Pishin Lora.

Climate

The climate of the Pishin district can be categorized as temperate, with summers being pleasant, and winters dry, and bitterly cold. It is located outside the Monsoon currents. July is the hottest month, with mean maximum and minimum temperatures of about 36 °C and 20 °C respectively. The winter season is long. Snowfalls occur during the month of January and February, and January is the coldest month with mean maximum and minimum temperatures of 11 °C and ‑3 °C respectively. The district experiences storms in the winter season, and gets rain mostly during the months of December, January, February, March, and April. The mean annual rainfall in the district is 260 mm.

Seismic Activity

Pishin district belongs to Zone 4 of the Seismic Zone Map of Pakistan which means high damage due to earthquakes.

Population

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

District Area

km2

Population Male% Female% Urban

%

Growth Rate %
Pishin District 7,819 736,481 51.5 48.5 19.4 3.58
Barshore Tehsil NA 103,606
Karezat Tehsil NA 138,280
Pishin Tehsil NA 362,427
Huramzai Tehsil NA 132,168

Table 1.4 Pishin Population Statistics

Religions[1]

Muslims 99.5%
Christians 0.1%
Hindus Negligible %
Ahmadis 0.4%
Schedule Castes Negligible %
Others Negligible %

Table 1.5 Pishin Religions

Languages[2]

Urdu 0.3%
Punjabi 0.2%
Sindhi Negligible %
Pushto 99.2%
Balochi 0.2%
Seraiki 0.1%
Others[3] 0.1%

Table 1.6 Pishin Languages

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

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

[3] These include Brahui etc.

Economic ActivityEconomic Infrastructure

Economic Activity

The major employment sectors of Pishin include[1]:

  • Agriculture, Forestry, Hunting, Fishing (52.2%)
  • Community, Social & Personal Services (16.4%)
  • Construction (13.5%)
  • Wholesale, Retail & Restaurant/Hotels (12.7%)
  • Transport, Storage & Communication (3.6%)
  • Others (1.8%)

Land Use

The following table shows the land use statistics of Pishin district (Balochistan Development Statistics 2018-19):

Total Area 787,400 HA Reported Area 293,868 HA
Total Cultivated Area 157,182 HA Net Sown 24,538 HA
Current Fallow 132,644 HA Uncultivated Area 136,686 HA
Culturable Waste 28,671 HA Forest Area 25,865 HA

Table 1.7 Pishin Land Use Statistics

Agriculture

Pishin falls in the Tropical Agro-Ecological Zone and the Western Dry Mountains Agro-Agriculture Zone of Pakistan, which is composed of barren hills with steep slopes.

The crops of the district include wheat, maize, barley, tobacco, and cumin. The fruits of the district include almonds, apples, apricots, grapes, peach, plum, pomegranate, cherry, pistachios, figs, watermelon, musk melon, sarda, and garma.

The vegetables grown in the district include carrots, peas, radish, turnip, spinach, okra, tinda, brinjal, bitter gourd, bottle gourd, pumpkin, tomatoes, potatoes, chilies, and cucumbers.

Livestock Breeding

Livestock plays an important role in the economy of Pakistan. It provides job opportunities to a majority of the rural population. The following table shows the statistics of livestock for Pishin district according to the 2006 Census of Livestock (qtd. in Balochistan Development Statistics 2018-19):

Cattle 91,433 Heads Buffaloes 994 Heads Sheep 837,233 Heads
Goats 504,510 Heads Camels 745 Heads Horses 3,343 Heads
Mules 467 Heads Asses 21,220 Heads

Table 1.8 Pishin Livestock Statistics

The main livestock breeds of the district include raigi (camel); Koh-i-Suleimani (cattle); shinghari, and sperki or pidie (donkey); kakari, dumeri or hernai, gosalli or kajalle (sheep); and khurasani, and Koh-i-Suleimani (goat).

Poultry

There is 01 poultry farm[2] in Pishin district.

Fishing

Bund Khushdil Khan Reservoir provides a good source of fishing. Small amounts of fish are also found in other rivers/streams, and are caught for local consumption only. Fishing trade, thus, is not an economically significant activity.

Bee Keeping

Though Pishin district is one of the most important horticultural areas of Balochistan, bee keeping is not exercised as an economic activity in the district due to cold weather.

Irrigation

Major irrigation sources include tube wells, wells and dug karezes/spring. The following table shows the mode of irrigation and the area irrigated by each mode as per Balochistan Development Statistics 2018-19:

Total Irrigated Area 23,860 HA Private Canal Irrigated – HA
Government Canals – HA Wells 305 HA
Tube Wells 22,690 HA Karezes/Springs etc 865 HA

Table 1.11 Pishin Irrigation Statistics

There are 123 karezes in Pishin district, some of which are New Karez Balozai, Kona Karez, Churmian Karez, Gawal Karez, and Yousaf Kach Kooz Karez.[4]

Mining

There are large deposits of chromite and iron ore in the district; other minerals include limestone, marble, granite, mica, coal, and quartz/ quartzite. Exploration for oil and gas is being undertaken by OGDCL in the Bostan Block.

Industry and Manufacturing

At present, there is no Industrial Estate in the district, but the Government of Balochistan (GoB) is planning to set up an Industrial Estate, called the Bostan Industrial Estate in the district (the planning stages of which are complete). In addition, the Directorate of Small Industries has set up a Carpet Center, where it provides training to both men and women. The trainees are given a stipend during the training. Likewise, the Social Welfare Department has also initiated a training program in traditional handicrafts/ embroidery for women. The following table shows the type and number of manufacturing units as per Pishin District Development Profile 2011, by P&D Department, GoB with UNICEF:

Manufacturing Unit Number Manufacturing Unit Number
Flour 12 Tobacco 18
RCC 03 Ice Factories 03

Table 1.9 Pishin Industries

Trade

There is no large scale or economically significant trade in the district.

Handicrafts

In Pishin district, traditional handicrafts[3] like embroidery work on dresses (kameez and shalwar) of children and women, on caps, and on bed and pillow covers are common. Women and girls do most of the embroidery work at their homes. Sheep’s wool articles like sweaters, caps, coats, and waistcoats as well as rugs are also common.

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

[2] Table 17, Number of Commercial Poultry Farms and Number of Birds by Size of Flock

[3] Pishin District Development Profile, 2011 by P&D Department GoB with UNICEF

Economic Infrastructure

Roads are the most important means of transport, and form the backbone of the district’s economy. District Pishin is well-linked by roads, rail, and telephone with other parts of the country, through Kuchlak and Quetta. All parts of the district are accessible by roads. The Quetta-Pishin Road was first developed by the British during the late 19th century for geo-strategic reasons.

Roads

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

Total Roads 1,974.0 km
High Type Roads 1,326.0 km
Low Type Roads 648.0 km

Table 1.10 Pishin Road Statistics

Some of the important roads of the district include:

  • RCD Highway or National Highway N-25, which connects Pishin with Karachi and Kila Saifullah
  • National Highway N-50 linking Kuchlak to Dera Ismail Khan which passes through the district near Khanozai
  • Pishin-Yaru-Quetta Road
  • Pishin-Saranan-Chaman Road
  • Pishin-Surkhab-Khanozai Road
  • Dub-Khanozai-Kila Abdullah Road

Figure 1.8 Karbala Road Pishin District

Rail and Airways

The district is linked with Karachi and other parts of Pakistan through a railway line. There are 3 railway stations in the district: Bostan, Yaro, and Saranan.

There is no commercial airport in the district. The nearest commercial airport is at the International Airport at Quetta.

Radio and Television

There are no TV or radio broadcasting stations in the district. The majority of the population listens to radio broadcasts from Radio Pakistan-Quetta. Television Broadcasts from PTV-Quetta can be seen in most part of the district.

Telecommunications

Pishin district is connected to other parts of Pakistan and the world via modern digital telephone exchanges. There are 07 telephone exchanges, which provide 983 landlines, 1,027 wireless phones, and 864 broadband connections in the district.[1] Cellular phone services, with considerable coverage in all major towns, are also available.

Post Offices

There are a total of 08 post offices[2] in the district. All the major courier companies provide their services in the district.

Energy Sources

Quetta Electric Supply Company (QESCO) looks after the supply and transmission of electricity to the district. There are 4 grid stations functioning in the district, one each at Pishin, Yaro, Ali Zai, and Khanozai. The facility of piped natural gas is available in Pishin city and some other parts of the district.[3]

Banking/ Financial Services

The following banks all have their branches[5] in the district:

  • Al Baraka Bank Pakistan, Ltd.
  • Allied Bank Pakistan Ltd.
  • Al Falah Bank
  • Bank Islami Pakistan
  • Habib Bank Ltd.
  • Muslim Commercial Bank Ltd.
  • National Bank of Pakistan Ltd.
  • United Bank Ltd.
  • Zarai Taraqiati Bank Ltd.

In all there are 12 branches of various conventional banks and 08 branches of different Islamic banks in the District.

Education

The following table shows the number of educational institutions in Pishin district as per Balochistan Development Statistics 2018-19:

Institution Boys/Girls Institution Boys/Girls
Primary Schools 629/207 Middle Schools 59/47
High Schools 39/17 Community Schools 14
Higher Secondary 03/- Degree Colleges 02/02
Universities[6] 01 Mosque Schools[7]
Vocational Training Schools[8] 02 Private Schools[9] 13

Table 1.12 Pishin Educational Institutes

There is one Cadet College in the district, called Cadet College Pishin.

Figure 1.9 Virtual University of Pakistan, Pishin Campus

Health

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

Institution No./beds Institution No./beds
Teaching Hospitals Hospitals 02/55
Rural health Centers 10/50 Basic Health Units 30/-
Dispensaries 10/- Mother Child Health Centers 04/-
TB/Leprosy Clinics etc. 01/- Private Hospitals 02/10
Private Dispensaries 01/-

Table 1.13 Pishin Healthcare Institutes

Policing

The larger part of Pishin district is bifurcated into an “A” and “B” areas. The “A” area, comprising mainly urban areas and highways, has a police force but “B” area does not; instead, all major law and order situations in the “B” area are dealt with by levies.

Levy is a conventional force for maintaining law and order. Installed during British rule, levy members are recruited along tribal or clan lines. The levies fall under the direct command of the Deputy Commissioner (DC), with the DC’s powers delegated to The Assistant Commissioners, and Tehsildars, among others. The levies in every district are classified as Sepoy, Hawaldar, Dafeedar, Jameedar, and Risaldar. Every district in Balochistan has its own levy, named after the district. Recently, at the initiation of the DC administration, a new levy force has been recruited on the district level, known as the Task Force. This Task Force is better trained and equipped with advanced weapons.

The policing of Pishin district is looked after by the Regional Police Officer (RPO) Quetta. This RPO is assisted by 1 SubDivisional Police Officer (SDPO) stationed at Pishin. In all, there are 02 police stations[10] in the district.

[1] Balochistan Development Statistics 2018-19

[2] Balochistan Development Statistics 2018-19

[3] Pishin District, Early Childhood Education Plan, Education Department, GoB.

[4] For names of all 123 karezes please visit http://waterinfo.net.pk/?q=karez

[5] List of Reporting Bank Branches 2019, provided by State Bank of Pakistan.

[6] Virtual University Campus

[7] Included in Primary schools

[8] Carpet Training Center and 1 VTC by Kuchlak Welfare Society

[9] 2011 data

[10] Table no. 19.7 (a) Number of Police Stations by Division/District 2019 by Federal Bureau of Statistics

Environment and Biodiversity

The district of Pishin is presently facing certain environmental problems, like deforestation, soil erosion, water pollution, vanishing of wildlife species, emerging slums in urban areas, excessive use of grazing land, and traffic congestion. The major reasons for this are population growth and an influx of Afghan Refugees which has placed a strain on available resources. Due to an absence of largescale industries, brown pollution is non-existent.

Flora and Fauna

Flora

The major tree species found[1] in the district are obusht or Turkistan juniper (Juniperus excelsa polycarpos), wild ash (Fraxinus xanthoxyloides), and shina or wild pistachios (Pistacia khinjjak), which occupy favorable sites. The main shrubs are wild almonds (Prunus spp.), sparae or cotoneaster (Cotoneaster spp.), tharkha or sea wormwood (Artemisia maritima), hawthorn (Crataegus spp.), kala zira (Carum bulbocastanum), Oman or joint fir (Ephedra nebrodensis and Ephedra intermedia), makhi or joint pine (Caragana ambigua), khakshir or flix seed (Sisymbrium sophia), zralg or berberry (Berberis lyceum), and surae or wild rose (Rosa spp.). The ground cover is constituted mainly by Stipa himalacia, Dichanthium annulatum, Chrysopogon aucheri, and Cymbopogon spp.

The vegetation zones of the district are as follows:

  • Uphill Steep Rocky Cliff: These include areas like Targhatu hills at the northern rim of Toba Kakari and Surghund, where Turkistan juniper (Juniperus Excelsa polycarpos) is the predominantly climax species associated with shina or wild pistachios (Pistacia khinjjuk), joint fir (Ephedra nebrodensis and Ephedra intermedia) and wild ash (Fraxinus xanthoxyloides). It comprises mostly of fertile deep soil plateaus like Toba Kakari and Kakar Khurasan range, and provides summer grazing land for both the local and nomadic graziers
  • Foothills: This area is dominated by a variety of shrubs like tharkha or sea wormwood (Artimesia meritima), wild almonds (Prunus ebernea), makhi or joint pine (Caragana ambigua), zralg or berberry (Berberis lyceum) and ghuzaira or dwarf graffithii (Sophora grifithii) associated with herbs and grasses
  • Piedmont Plains: The plains are mostly modified by the local community for agriculture and other land uses. The area consists of more or less flat to undulating plains. The wasteland contains mostly tharkha or sea wormwood (Artimesia meritima), and saxaul (Haloxylon griffithii) with a sporadic mixture of edible seasonal forage plants, and thus supports thousands of animals, both local and nomadic
  • Dry Streambeds: These are commonly found in the entire district where Tamarix Spp. is commonly seen

Fauna

Mammals of the district include wolf, hill fox, Asiatic jackal, striped hyena, cape hare, porcupine, Afghan hedgehog, Afghan pica, and stone marten.

Avifauna of the district includes chakor, see-see partridge, kestrel, magpie, golden eagle, a variety of finches, buntings, seasonal/ migratory water fowls, hawks, bustards, and sand grouse.

Reptiles include Afghan tortoise, Afghan agama, Indian cobra, saw-scale viper, dwarf dark-headed racer, and Levantine viper.

Bund Khushdil Khan Lake is a very important wintering ground for a number of ducks like spot-billed ducks, pukeko, black stork, common crane, and common coot.

Protected Areas and Endangered Fauna

There is 1 protected Wildlife Sanctuary and 2 protected Game Reserves in the district:

  • Maslakh Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Bund Khushdil Khan Game Reserve. This Game Reserve is on the Ramsar list of internationally important wetlands
  • Zawar Khan Game Reserve

These Wildlife Protected Areas and Game Reserves provide sanctuary to all endangered wildlife of the district.

[1] Pishin District Development Profile, 2011 by P&D Department GoB with UNICEF