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The province of Balochistan is unique in its geo-political significance. It forms 44% of Pakistan’s land mass and has a 770 km long coast line. It consists of arid basins and various hill ranges, sharply marked off from the Indus plain by the kirther and sulaiman ramparts. It exhibits a great variety of physical features, consisting of vast rocky desert with extremes of climate and very low rainfall. In the northeast, the Zhob –Loralai basin is surrounded by mountains on all sides. The Quetta basin is also surrounded by mountains , namely Zarghun, Takatu, Khilafat, Chiltan and Murdar Ghar. In the north and northwest, the lobe is bordered by the Toba Kakar Range.
The general terrain of north –western Balochistan comprises a series of low-lying plateaus, some of which are separated by mountain ranges. The Ras Koh range in the east runs north east- southwest. The Chagai hills form the border with Afghanistan. This region is a true desert, an area of inland drainage and playas known as Hamuns, the largest of which is Hamun-I-Mashkel. Southern Balochistan includes the Sarawan area in the north and a vast wilderness of ranges in the south.

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The Balochistan plateau is extends westward, average 263 m. high, with many ridges running across it from northeast to southwest. It is separated from the Indus plain by the Sulaiman and Kirther ranges. It consists of dry valleys, saline lakes and a vast area of desert with dry hills, generally running across the plateau from the northeast to southwest. The Chagai-raskoh range is a chain of relatively low hills. Hamun-I-Mashkel and Hamun-I-Lora are large playa basins, which are evaporating lakes or saline marshes most time of the year. The plateau is an extremely arid country. The Toba Kakar and Chagai ranges in the north separate this plateau from Afghanistan. The brahvi extinct volcano, koh-I-sultan is situated about 500 km. west of Quetta.

Economically, its vast rangelands, large numbers of livestock, rich mineral and gas deposits, and good quality deciduous fruits are of significant value although there is relatively little industrialization in the province. Balochistan’s arid but diverse climatic zones have contributed to a rich animal and plants biodiversity while building a definitive culture heritage that allowed survival in this rugged and harsh landscape.


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