Balochistan-Zhob

Introduction

Zhob district is located between 67° 48′ 41″ to 69° 44′ 43″ east longitudes, and 30° 26′ 54″ to 31° 57′ 8″ north latitudes. It is bounded on the north by Afghanistan and south Waziristan Agency (FATA), on the east by the tribal area adjoining Dera Ismail Khan (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) and Musakhel districts, and on the south and southwest by Loralai and Killa Saifullah districts.

The district derives its name from the River Zhob which first rises to the east of Pishin Valley, and then flows near Zhob town before joining the Gomal River at Khajuri Kach. Zhob is a Pushto word meaning “oozing water” which is most likely a reference to the spring which is the source of the Zhob River. The town acquired the name Zhob in 1975, before which it was known as Fort Sandeman, in deference to Sir Robert Sandeman, the Agent to the Governor General in Balochistan during the British Colonial period.

District at a Glance

Name of District Zhob District
Headquarters Zhob Town
Population[1] 310,544 persons
Area 15,497 km2
Population Density[2]  persons/ km2
Growth Rate[3] 2.5%
Male Population[4] 54.2%
Female Population[5] 45.8%
Urban Population[6] 14.9%
Tehsils/ Talukas 02 Tehsils:

1.    Zhob Tehsil

2.    Kakar Khurasan Tehsil

Main Towns Islamyar, Zhob, Nasirabad, Ganj Mohallah, Sheikhan, Apozai, Mina Bazar, Babar, Qamardin, Shaghalo, and Mughalkot
Literacy Rate[7] 43.0%
Male Literacy Rate[8] 64.0%
Female Literacy Rate[9] 18.0%
Major Economic Activity[10] Community, Social & Personal Services 32.3%
Agriculture with its Allied Livestock Breeding, Fishing 30.3%
Construction 13.3%
Wholesale, Retail, Hotel/Restaurant 9.6%
Electricity, Gas & Water 8.4%
Transport, Communication & Storage 4.5%
Others 1.6%
Main Crops Wheat, barley, rapeseed & mustard, jowar, maize, moong, maash, cumin, tobacco, and fodder
Major Fruits Apples, almonds, apricots, grapes, peach, pomegranate, plums, watermelon, musk melon, sarda, and garma
Major Vegetables Onions, potatoes, tomatoes, okra, tinda, radish, spinach, turnip, cabbage, carrot, pumpkin, cauliflower, peas, brinjal, chilies, and garlic
Forest Area[11] 5,698 HA[12]
Black Topped Roads[13] 627.0
Shingle Roads[14] 916.0
Electricity[15] 1 Grid Station with a capacity of 132 KV; most electricity is supplied by Quetta Electric Supply Company (QESCO)
Telephone Exchanges[16] 01 telephone exchange providing 450 landlines, 691 wireless phones and 359 broadband connections
Industrial Zones[17] No Industrial Estate and no Industry
Major Industry[18] None
Household Size[19] 8 persons per house
Houses with Piped Water[20] 18.1%
Houses with Electricity[21] 34.8%

Table 1.1 Zhob District at a Glance

[1] 2017 Census

[2] 1998 Census; Area of Sherani tehsil has been deducted.

[3] 2017 Census

[4] 2017 Census

[5] 2017 Census

[6] 2017 Census

[7] Pakistan Social & Living Measurement Survey 2014-15 (PSLM); Latest availabl

[8] PSLM

[9] PSLM

[10] 1998 Census; 2017 Census data has not been released yet.

[11] Balochistan Development Statistics, 2018-19

[12] Land Utilization Statistics report 6,734 HA under forests.

[13] Balochistan Development Statistics, 2018-19; includes data for Sherani District also

[14] Balochistan Development Statistics, 2018-19; includes data for Sherani District also

[15] Balochistan Development Statistics, 2018-19

[16] Balochistan Development Statistics, 2018-19

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

[18] Zhob District Development Profile 2011, P&D GoB, with UNICEF

[19] 1998 Census; 2017 Census data has not been released yet.

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

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

Brief HistoryGovernmental StructureAdministrative DivisionsHeritage Sites/ Tourist Attractions

Brief History of the District

Zhob is historically significant[1] as the cradle of the Afghan race. Qais Abdul Rashid, who is believed to be the progenitor of the Pashtoons or the Afghans, is said to have lived around the vicinity of the Suleiman Mountains near Zhob. He was born in 575 AD and died in 661 AD. He is buried near Takht-e-Suleiman (the highest peak of the Suleiman Mountains), and the area is locally known as “Da Kase Ghar” (the mountain of Qais).

The ancient history of the district is mostly obscure. Zhob is situated on one of the routes of trade between India and Afghanistan, which means that the area played an important part in the early history of the subcontinent. The Chinese pilgrim, Hiuen Tsang who visited India in 629 AD, describes the Afghans as then living in Zhob. It is known that it was from this area that the Afghans emerged to seek riches and to establish an empire in India. In 1030 AD Albiruni, the famous Iranian historian, chronologist, and linguist spoke of the Afghans as living in this area. A number of mounds, ruins, and caves dot the expanse of the district; they have historical and archeological importance. The general consensus among most experts is that they belong to the Mughal Period. Paryan-o-Ghundi (Hill of Fairies) is the archeological site located 3 km to the west of Zhob town. It was excavated by Sir Aural Stien in 1924. It used to resemble the ancient monuments of Harappa, but the mound has been completely destroyed over time, and can no longer be excavated.

Rana Ghundi is another archeological site with mounds depicting a culture similar to the 3500 BC Hisar Culture of northeast Iran. Specifically, the red pottery recovered from the site is believed to be older than the Indus Valley Civilization (District Development Plan Zhob, 2011, by GoB and UNICEF).

In the 10th century, the Zhob Valley became a part of the Ghaznavid Empire (977-1186 AD). Early in the 13th century, Zhob, along with other parts of Balochistan, was raided by Changez Khan, the Mongol. In 1398 AD, Amir Timur Lang’s (Tamerlane) grandson and his successor, Pir Muhammad, led an expedition against the Afghans of the area. After this, historical records are silent about Zhob, and no authentic information exists as to any foreign occupation of the lands, even though many forts, mounds, and karezes have been found in the region, the construction of which is attributed by the people to the Mughals. These forts and karezes are scattered throughout the region.

The area is known to have been ruled by Nadir Shah (1736 to 1747) and then Ahmed Shah Abdali (1747 to 1773). Both these rulers extended their powers through Balochistan and thenceforth, Zhob remained under nominal suzerainty of the Durranis and Barakzais.[2] Amir Abdur Rehman Khan[3] (the Amir of Afghanistan from 1880-1901), after being defeated in the Hazara Hills at the hands of Sher Ali[4] (Amir of Afghanistan from 1826-39 and 1842-63), is known to have passed through Zhob on his way to Seistan.

The Zhob and Bori valleys, along with other areas like Kech and Kowas (both in Ziarat district), were ruled by the Jogazai family (this family is descended from a man called Jogi). In the middle of the 18th century, Ahmed Shah Abdali/ Durrani granted a sanad (certificate) to Bekar Nika, fourth in descent from Jogi and the head of the Jogazai family, conferring upon him the title and position of Badshah or Ruler of Zhob. Shah Jahan was one of the most notable of the Jogazai rulers.

After the beginning of the Second Anglo-Afghan War in 1878, the British focused their attention on Zhob since the Kakars of Zhob, under the command of various Sardars[5] resisted British authority and tried to disrupt their lines of communication.

Shah Jahan Jogezai attacked the British forces on their retreat towards India in 1879, but was defeated, and fled. However, he continued his attacks on the British till they organized an expedition against him in 1884. The British Force attacked the Killas/forts of both Saifullah Khan and Shah Jahan, which were both conquered. Shah Jahan fled into the hills. Most of the Kakar Sardars/chiefs tendered their submission to the British, including Shahbaz Khan, Shah Jahan’s cousin. Shahbaz Khan was nominated by the British as the ruler of Zhob. The agreement with Shahbaz Khan was that the British (as Government of India) would be at liberty to station troops in Zhob and Bori. Bori valley was occupied by the British on the pretext of constructing a frontier road from Dera Ghazi Khan to Pishin.

The Kakars of Zhob continued to fight the British till, in 1888, Sir Robert Sandeman marched up to Mina Bazar, after which he visited Apozai at the invitation of the Chief of the Mando Khel tribe, where the Mando Khels offered to pay revenue in exchange for British protection (presumably from the Kakars or other tribes with whom they were at war). Later, Shah Jahan also made the same offer, and in 1889, a small force was garrisoned at Fort Sandeman, and the Zhob area was declared a Political Agency.

This was a rebellious period in the history of Zhob, one that led the region to be dubbed as “Yaghistan” or the land of the rebels.

Even after becoming a Political Agency, the tribesmen of Zhob continued to pose difficulties for the British Government. In 1924, the British Political Agent to Zhob was murdered by tribesmen, and during World Wars I and II, military posts in the area were under continuous threat of attack by the locals.

The Zhob district was divided into 3 tehsils by the British: Fort Sandeman, Hindu Bagh (now Muslim Bagh in Killa Saifullah) and Killa Saifullah. The Fort Sandeman Tehsil was given this name (in 1889) after Sir Robert Sandeman accepted the submission of various Sardars/Chiefs who had been resisting the British Government; the areas of Mina Bazar, Appozai and Bargha Sherani (lands belonging to the Sheranis living in the Upper Highlands) were included in it. The only town of the Tehsil was named Fort Sandeman, as was the Tehsil.

The name of Fort Sandeman town was changed to Zhob on July 30, 1976 by the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. The handwritten remarks inserted by him into the visitor’s book, preserved at the Zhob Militia Mess, reads “Today we have taken a decision to eliminate the last vestige of colonialism in this historical place by changing the name to Zhob instead of Sandeman; [sic] the British conqueror and oppressor of Pathan and Baloch people and of the country.” Traditionally, Fort Sandeman was called Appozai, named after a village situated 2 km away.

[1] The following historical account has been extracted from 2 sources: Zhob District Gazetteer and 1998 District Profule Zhob by GoPakistan..

[2] Barakzai tribe was granted fiefs of land as their jagir in exchange for providing military services.

[3] Amir Abdur Rehman was a grandson of Dost Muhammad, Amir of Afghanistan from 1826-39 and then from 1869-79. After the Second Anglo-Afghan War, he re-established the writ of Afghan Government; he was known as the Iron Man

[4] Sher Ali was the third grandson of Dost Muhammad who had been appointed his successor by him, but this was disliked by his elder brothers who rebelled. This rebellion was led by Abdur Rehman.

[5] The important ones of these sardars include Shahjahan Jogezai, Shahbaz Khan (Shahjahan’s cousin) Dost Muhammad and Bangul Khan

Governmental Structure

At the Federal level, Zhob 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, Zhob district has 1 District Council with 24 Union Councils. It has 1 Municipal Committee as follows:

  • Zhob

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 Killa Saifullah and Sherani districts

Administrative Divisions

Zhob district covers an area of 17,587 km² and is subdivided into 2 Tehsils named after their major towns:

Zhob Tehsil 18 Union Councils
Kakar Khurasan Tehsil 03 Union Councils

Table 1.2 Zhob Administrative Divisions

Historical/Heritage Sites and Tourism/Picnic Spots

The following historical/heritage sites[1] are protected under the Government of Pakistan and Balochistan Laws:

  • Paryan-o-Ghundi (Hill of Fairies) is the archeological site located 3 km to the west of Zhob town. It was excavated by Sir Aural Syien in 1924. It used to bear resemblance to the ancient monuments of Harappa, but the mound has been plundered and mostly destroyed, making archeological excavations impossible
  • Rana Ghundi is an archeological site having mounds depicting culture similar to the 3500 BC Hisar Culture of northeast Iran. Specifically, red pottery uncovered at the site is believed to be older than that found at the Indus Valley

In addition to the above, there are a number of mausoleums/ shrines which have historical importance and need to be protected by Pakistan’s Laws. These are:

  • Shrine of Hazrat Nazar Nika, Zhob
  • Shrine of Hazrat Khustoo Baba
  • Shrine of Zakoo Nika
  • Shrine of Palwand Baba

Figure 1.6 Jamia Mosque near Zhob

Figure 1.7 Old Aerodrome, Fort Sandeman/ Zhob

Figure 1.8 Officer’s Club, (now called Jirga Hall) Zhob

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

Topography

Topographically, the district is covered with mountains and hills; it is intersected on the south by the broad valley of River Zhob and its tributaries, and on the north by the smaller valley of River Kundar and its tributaries.

The Toba Kakar Range[1] covers the northwestern half of the district, extending from the boundary of Afghanistan up to the Zhob River. The Suleiman Range, locally called Da Kase Ghar, lies on the eastern boundary of the district. The famous Takht-e-Suleiman or Solomon’s Throne (3,441 m) is the highest peak of this range, and is located just outside the current boundary of the district.

Other subsidiary mountain ranges of the Suleiman Mountain Range are the Shinghar (its highest peak is also called Shinghar, and is 2,826 m), Torghar (highest peak is called Charkundai, and is 2,291 m high), and Surghar ranges, all of which are situated in the eastern side of the district.

The subsidiary hill ranges of the Toba Kakar Range are the Speraghar (highest peak is called Tswarlas-guna and is 2,673 m high) and Zhweghar (highest peak is Shintsak at 2,482 m). The general elevation of the district is 1,500 to 3,000 m.

The two mountainous regions are of different characteristics. On the south of Zhob Valley, a succession of parallel ridges running from northeast to southwest divide the drainage of the Zhob Valley from that of the Bori Valley in the Loralai district.

The valley of the River Zhob is an alluvial plain, extending from Chari Mehtarzai, the watershed between the Zhob and Pishin valleys in the form of a crescent, to the Gomal River. Numerous small valleys skirt it on either side, the most important of these being Haiderzai and Ismailzai. Among the hills lie numerous minor valleys, affording room for some scant cultivation. Occasionally, wide open plains occur, such as that of Girdao.

Rivers, Streams, and Lakes

The 2 principal drainage channels of the district are the Zhob and Kundar Rivers, both of which flow into the Gomal River. The Zhob River has a total length of about 410 km and is the only river in the country that follows a northeastern course. It springs from the Kan Mehtarzai Range (Tsari Mehtarazai Pass), passes about 4 km from Zhob City, and flows into the Gomal River near Khajuri Kach. The broad plain of the Zhob River is occupied by alluvial formations. The Kundar River rises from the central and highest point of Toba Kakar Range, a few kilometers northeast of the Sakir. It constitutes a boundary between Pakistan and Afghanistan territories for about 112 km or 70 miles.

The other subsidiary rivers or streams in the area are Baskan, Chukhan, Sri Toi, Sawar, and Surab (Zhob District Profile 1998, by GoPakistan).

A large number of streams originate from the mountains; some of these are Wali Murgha, Narai Tirkha, and Bahlol Khwar.

Figure 1.3 River Zhob

Forests

The district contains Sub Tropical Broad Leaved Evergreen Scrub Forests of olive and phulai (acacia modesta) forests. The district has a considerable area under forest, and a negligible area has also been conserved as State Forest. There are 2 Notified Forests in the district: Bahlol and Majawar Shmbozai with total forest area of 6,734 HA. The remaining forest area is community-owned, and these forests are not under any scientific management regimes.[2]

The main species are olive (Olea ferrugenea), shina or Bombay mastix (Pistacia khinjuk), uzhgai or Bombay mastic (Pistacia cabulica), gurgura (Reptonia buxifolia), shang/ wild ash (Fraxinus xanthoxyloides) and wild almond (Prunus eburnean). Shrubs and herbs include barara or milk broom (Periploca aphylla), anang or sour cherry (Prunus cerasus), arghuch or viper’s grass (Scorzonera mollis), datura or devil’s trumpet (Datura fastuosa), gandarae or oleander (Nerium odorum), gangu (Othonnopsis intermedia), ghuzera or dwarf sophora (Sophora grifithii), injaora or round headed leek/garlic (Allium sphaerocephalon), maurai or blue mint bush (Zizyphora clinopodioides), nal or reed (Phragmites communis), khamazurgae or Indian rennet (Withania coagulans), khatol or African mustard (Malcolmia africana), makhi or joint pine (Caragana ambigua), shezgae or lily (Eremurus aucheriana), shkanpara or desert Indian wheat (Plantago ovata), shorae or saxaul (Haloxylon grifithii), tarkha or sea wormwood (Artimesia meritima), urgalama or harmal (Rhazya stricta), mazri or dwarf palm (Nannorrhops ritchiana; also known as dwarf palm), and sanatha (Dodonea viscose). The ground cover is constituted mainly by feather grass (Stipa pennata), fountain grass (Pennisetum orientalis), aucher’s grass (Chrysopogon aucheri), barau or Johnson’s grass (Sorghum halepense), barwaza or spear grass (Heteropogon contortus), margha or blue grass (Poa bulbosa), bushkae or hoary cress (Lepidium draba), lukha or bulrush (Typha angustifolia), and sargarae or lemongrass (Cymbopogon jwarancusa).

The following table shows the types of forests and their area in the district[3]:

Total Forest Area 54,230 A Scrub Forests 37,590 A
Rangelands 14,080 A Coniferous Forests 2,560 A
Irrigated Plantations – A Riverine Forests – A
Coastal/Mangrove Forests

Table 1.3 Zhob Forests

Figure 1.4 Kapip Olive Forest

Soils

The soils of the Zhob Valley are loamy, deep, and strongly calcareous, whereas the mountains have shallow soil.

Figure 1.5 IUCN GIS Map Zhob District

Climate

The climate of the district is hot in summer and cold in winter. Summer is from May to September. June is the hottest month with mean maximum and minimum temperatures recorded at 37 °C and 23 °C respectively. January is the coldest month, with mean maximum and minimum temperatures ranging between 13 °C and ‑1 °C. Dust storms occur in the summer from July to September, some of which are accompanied by thunderstorms. In the winters, the wind blows from the west and is very cold. Winds from the southwest and the east are also common, and these often bring rain. Winds from the north occasionally blow in September to April and bring drought and damage most standing crops.

Rainfall is scanty, and varies with altitude. Most of the rainfall is received during the winter months. Mean annual rainfall of the district is 285 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] The names and heights of hills have been drawn from Zhob District Gazetteer 1908

[2] Zhob District Development Profile 2011, GoB with UNICEF

[3] Balochistan Development Statistics 2018-19

Population

The following table shows the population of the district according to 2017 Census:

District/Tehsil Area

km2

Population Male% Female% Urban % Growth Rate %
Zhob District 17,587 310,544 54.2 45.8 14.9 2.52
Kakar Khurasan Tehsil 1,067 270,721
Zhob Tehsil 16,520 39,823

Table 1.4 Zhob Population Statistics

Religions[1]

Muslims 99.3%
Christians 0.3%
Hindus 0.1%
Ahmadis 0.3%
Scheduled Castes Negligible %
Others Negligible %

Table 1.5 Zhob Religions

Languages[2]

Urdu 0.4%
Punjabi 1.8%
Sindhi 0.1%
Pushto 95.6%
Balochi 0.2%
Seraiki 1.8%
Others[3] 0.2%

Table 1.6 Zhob Languages

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

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

[3] Includes Brahui etc

Economic ActivityEconomic Infrastructure

Economic Activity

The main economic occupations of the district include[1]:

  • Community, Social & Personal Services (32.3%)
  • Agriculture with its Allied Livestock Breeding, Fishing (30.3%)
  • Construction (13.3%)
  • Wholesale, Retail, Hotel/Restaurant (9.6%)
  • Electricity, Gas & Water (8.4%)
  • Transport, Communication & Storage (4.5%)

Land Use

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

Total Area 1,749,700 HA Reported Area 227,341 HA
Total Cultivated Area 60,841 HA Net Sown 16,284 HA
Current Fallow 44,197 HA Total Uncultivated Area 166,860 HA
Culturable Waste 72,514 HA Forest Area 6,734 HA

Table 1.7 Zhob Land Use Statistics

Agriculture

The district is included in the Western Dry Mountain Agro-Ecological Zone of Pakistan; farming is mostly irrigated and/ or barani or rain fed/ torrent fed. The crops of the district include wheat, barley, rapeseed & mustard, jowar, maize, moong, maash, cumin, tobacco, and fodder.

The fruits grown in the district are apples, almonds, apricots, grapes, peach, pomegranate, plums, watermelon, musk melon, sarda, and garma.

The vegetable produce of the district include onions, potatoes, tomatoes, okra, tinda, radish, spinach, turnip, cabbage, carrot, pumpkin, cauliflower, peas, brinjal, chilies, and garlic.

Livestock

Livestock breeding is also a very important sector of the economy. It is the main source of income for nomadic families. The following table[2] shows the position of the livestock population according to the 2006 Census of Livestock (qtd. in Balochistan Development Statistics 2018-19) in the district:

Cattle 178,658 Heads Buffaloes 5,524 Heads Sheep 1,174,735 Heads
Goats 875,922 Heads Camels 1,010 Heads Horses 370 Heads
Mules 168 Heads Asses 18,351 Heads

Table 1.8 Zhob Livestock Statistics

The livestock breeds of the region are kohi (camel); Koh-i-Suleimani or lohani (cattle); shinghari and sperki or pidie (donkey); Balochi (horse); kakari, musakhaili, kajjale and bibrik (sheep); and Koh-i-Suleimani (goat).

Poultry

No data is available on the number of poultry farms in the district.

Fishing

Fisheries are not present in the district, and people do not fish in general, but fish like Rohu, Morki, Thella, and Mali are found in cold and mild-cold areas of Zhob. Trout have high fishing potential as well. The fisheries sector can be developed at the Subakzai Dam.

Bee Keeping

Bee keeping is not an economic activity in the district. Most people collect honey from wastelands and forest areas for personal use only.

Irrigation

Zhob district belongs to the Western Dry Mountains Agro-Ecological Zone of Pakistan. It mostly comprises of barren mountains with steep slopes, and is mostly barani and rain fed. The following table shows the mode of irrigation and area being irrigated by the mode (Balochistan Development Statistics 2018-19):

Total Irrigated Area 18,349 HA Government Canals 4,060 HA
Private Canals 13,060 HA Wells 146 HA
Tube Wells 145 HA Karez/Spring/Others 120 HA

Table 1.10 Zhob Irrigation Statistics

Irrigation canals off-taking from Sabakzai Dam on Sawar Rud (a tributary of River Zhob) and the river itself are the main canals/river irrigating the district. There are no karezes in the district, but some springs provide irrigation waters.

Dabar Delay Action Dam[3] is being built in Zhob district.

Minerals and Mining

At present, chromite, coal, and granite are being mined in the district. Occurrences of copper, calcite, feldspar, fluorite, glass sand, limestone, ocher, phosphate rocks, soapstone, laterite, and manganese have been reported in the district.

Industry

There are no industrial sites or zones in the district. 2 flour mills are operating in the district (Zhob Early Childhood Education Plan 2011-2015 by Education Department, Balochistan).

Handicrafts

The main handicrafts of the district are embroidery on clothes as well as sandals/shoe making, and embroidery of leather, all of which are mostly done by women.

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

[2] includes data for Sherani district also

 

Economic Infrastructure

The road infrastructure of the district is not very developed. Most of the roads connecting Zhob town to other parts of the district are shingle roads. Zhob is linked by air with major cities of the country. The district was linked by rail through a narrow gauge railway line between Bostan and Zhob, but this line was closed in 1986, once narrow gauge railway lines became obsolete.

Figure 1.9 Zhob Bazaar

Roads

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

Total Roads 1,544.0 km
High Type Roads/black topped 627.0 km
Low Type Roads/Shingle 916.0 km

Table 1.9 Zhob Road Statistics

Some of the important roads of the district include

  • National Highway N-50 (connecting Kuchlak-Dera Ismail Khan) passes through the district
  • Zhob-Wana Road, linking N-50 with Wana

The district headquarters is linked with the Tehsil headquarters through shingle roads.

Figure 1.10 Quetta Road Passing through Zhob

Rail and Airways

The district was linked through a narrow gauge railway line with Quetta, and then to Iran with the highest Asian Railway Station at Kan Mehtarzai enroute. This railway line has not been in use since 1986, as narrow gauge railway lines are now obsolete.

There is a commercial airport in the district, called Zhob Airport.

Radio and Television

There is 1 radio station and a TV booster in the District and TV can also be viewed through cable. Radio is a major source of entertainment, especially in the rural areas.

Telecommunications

The district is connected to other parts of the country through telephone and telegraph. There is 1 telephone exchange which provides 450 landlines, 691 wireless phones, and 359 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 are 08 post offices in the entire district (Balochistan Development Statistics 2018-19). Courier companies provide services in the district as well.

Banking/ Financial Institutions

The following banks[2] all have their branches in the district:

  • Allied Bank Ltd.
  • Bank Islami Pakistan
  • Habib Bank Ltd.
  • Muslim Commercial Bank Ltd.
  • National Bank of Pakistan
  • United Bank Ltd.
  • Zarai Taraqiati Bank Ltd.

In all there are 13 branches of conventional banks and 05 branches of Islamic banks in the District (this includes data for Sherani District also).

Electricity and Gas

Quetta Electric Supply Company (QESCO) looks after the supply and transmission of electricity to the district. There is 1 grid station (capacity 132 KV) in the 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 248/53 Middle Schools 19/15
High Schools 20/05 Community Schools 20
Higher Secondary -/- Degree Colleges 01/01
Universities Mosque Schools[4]
Vocational Training Schools Private Schools[5] 14

Table 1.11 Zhob Educational Institutes

Figure 1.11 Government High School, Zhob

Health

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

Institution No./Beds Institution No./Beds
Teaching Hospitals Hospitals 01/104
Rural Health Centers 03/26 Basic Health Units 17/-
Dispensaries 17/- Mother Child Health Centers 02/-
TB/Leprosy Clinics 01/- Private Hospitals 01/10
Private Dispensaries

Table 1.12 Zhob Health Institutes

Policing

The larger part of Zhob district is bifurcated into an “A” and a “B” area. The “A” area, comprising towns and highways, has a police force while the law and order situations in the “B” area are dealt with by levies.

A 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 powers delegated to the assistant commissioners, and tehsildars, among others. Every district in Balochistan has its own levies, 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.

Policing of Zhob district is managed by the Regional Police Officer (RPO) Sibi. This RPO is assisted by one SubDivisional Police Officer (SDPO) stationed at Zhob. In all there, is 1 police station[6] in the district.

[1] this data includes data for Sherani district also

[2] List of Reporting Bank Branches 2019, provided by the State Bank of Pakistan

[3] As of 2020, the construction of the Dam has been delayed due to paucity of funds

[4] included in primary schools

[5] 2011 data

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

Environment and Biodiversity

The district is free from air pollution, as there is very little heavy traffic on roads, and no industry. Dust causes some pollution and potable water is a scarcity.

Flora and Fauna[1]

Flora

There are 3 vegetation zones in the district as follows:

  • Hills: These comprise of olive (Olea ferrugenea), blue pine (Pinus gerardiana), shina or wild pistachios (Pistacia khinjuk), uzhgai/wild pistachios (Pistacia cabulica), gurgura or ganger (Reptonia buxifolia), shang/ wild ash (Fraxinus xanthoxyloides), and wild almond (Prunus eburnean)
  • Foothills: These contain olive (Olea ferrugenea), phulai (Acacia modesta), sanatha (Dodonea viscose), kandiari (Gymnosporia spinosa), ber (Zizyphus nummularia), khamazurgae or vegetable rennet (Withania cougulans), khatol or African mustard (Malcolmia africana), makhi or joint pine (Caragana ambigua), shezgae or foxtail lily (Eremurus aucheriana), shkanpara or psyllum (Plantago ovata), shorae or dwarf gariffithii saxaul (Haloxylon griffithii), tarkha or sea wormwood (Artimesia meritima), urgalama, hisawarg or sihar (Rhazya stricta), zawala or yarrow (Achillea santolina), pamangi (Bouce rosia aucheriana), raghbolae or milk parsley (Peucedanum sp.), rakhpatti or bansi grass (Panicum colonum), sanda or kukar muna (Tulipa stellata), sandreza or garden lettuce (Lactuca sp.), malaghunae or olives (Daphne oleoides), and mazri palm (Nannorrhops ritchiana)
  • Plains and Streambeds: Plains and streambeds are commonly found in the entire district where Tamarix sp. and Saccharam sp. are common.

Fauna

Mammals found in the district include fox, Asiatic jackal, cape hare, stone marten, porcupines, Afghan hedgehog, Suleiman markhor, and urial.

Avifauna includes chakor, see-see partridge, magpie, houbara bustard, a number of sparrows, finches, buntings, seasonal/migratory waterfowls, hawks, and sand grouse. The area also provides a corridor to migratory bird species; the key species include the common crane and demoiselle crane.

Reptiles include Afghan tortoise, brown cobra, saw-scale viper, Levantine viper, and goh.

Protected Areas and Wildlife

There are no protected wildlife areas in the district.

[1] Flora and Fauna data has been extracted from Zhob District Development Plan; 2011 by GoBalochistan in collaboration with UNICEF