Quetta کوئٹہ
General Information
Country Flag of Pakistan Pakistan
Province Balochistan
District Quetta District
Coordinates 30°21′36″N 67°01′12″E / 30.36°N 67.02°E / 30.36; 67.02
Calling code 081
Time zone PST (UTC+5)
Population 965,137(1998)
Estimate 1859,894 (2006)
Nazim (Mayor) Mir Maqbool Ahmed Lehri
Councils 66
Quetta  کوئٹہ is located in Pakistan
Quetta  کوئٹہ
Quetta کوئٹہ
Quetta کوئٹہ (Pakistan)


Quetta is the largest city and the provincial capital of the Balochistan Province of Pakistan. It is an important marketing and communications centre for Pakistan with neighbouring Iran and Afghanistan.Situated at an elevation from 1676 to 1900 meters above sea level, Quetta is also known as the fruit basket of Pakistan

Quetta (Urdu: کوئٹہ) (Pashto: کوټه ), also spelled Kuwatah, is a variation of kuatta, a Pashto word meaning "fort".


Bruce Street, Quetta, before the devastation of the earthquake of 1935
Quetta is derived from kuatta, meaning "fort" in the Pashto language. The city is a natural fort, surrounded by imposing hills on all sides. The hills are called Chiltan, Takatu, Mehrdar (so called because of its beauty, but now Better known as Murdar), and Zarghun.
It is not known when Quetta was first inhabited, but most likely it was settled during the 6th century. The region remained part of the Sassanid Persian Empire and was later annexed by the Rashidun Caliphate during the 7th century Islamic conquest. It remained part of the Umayyad and Abassid Empires. However, the first detailed account of Quetta was in the 11th century when it was captured by Mahmud of Ghazni during one of his invasions of the Indian subcontinent. In 1543 the Mughal emperor Humayun rested in Quetta on his retreat to Persia, leaving his one-year-old son Akbar in the city until his return two years later. The Mughals ruled Quetta until 1556, when the Persians conquered the city, only to have it retaken by Akbar in 1595. The powerful Khans of Kalat held the fort from 1730.

The British era
Quetta cantonment, 1889.

In 1828 the first westerner to visit Quetta described it as a mud-walled fort surrounded by 300 mud houses. Although occupied briefly by the British during the First Afghan War in 1839, it was not until 1876 that Quetta came under permanent British control with Robert Sandeman being made the political agent in Baluchistan. Since Partition the population of Quetta has increased dramatically.


Quetta in Winter

Quetta city consists of a valley and is a natural fort, surrounded as it is by imposing hills on all sides. The encircling hills have the resounding names of Chiltan, Takatoo, Murdar and Zarghun. surrounded by three different mountain ranges. It is north west of Karachi and south west of Islamabad.


Climate chart for Quetta
average temperatures in °C precipitation totals in mm source: Weatherbase

Quetta has a continental arid climate with high variations between summer and winter temperatures. Summer high's can reach 40 o C (105 o F) while winter temperatures can drop to -19 o C (-3 o F).

Summers start in late May and go on till early September with average temperatures ranging from 24-26 o C (75-78 o F). Autumn starts in late September and goes on till mid-November with average temperatures in the 12-18 o C (55-65 o F) range. Winters start in late November and end in late March, with average temperatures near 4-5 o C (39-42 o F) and snowfall in the months of January and February. Spring starts in early April and ends in late May, with average temperatures close to 15 o C (60 o F).

Unlike most of Pakistan, Quetta does not have a monsoon season of sustained, heavy rainfall. The snowfall in the winter months is the principle mode of precipitation.


According to the 1998 census Quetta was the ninth biggest city of Pakistan with a population of 565,137 (however, according to non-governmental censuses the population of Quetta, including Afghan immigrants, is over 1,500,000). The city in general is dominated by a Pashtun majority,[6] a Balochi and Hazara minority with an eclectic smattering of smaller groups. The city is also home to thousands of Afghan refugees. Pushto is the main language spoken throughout the city. Other languages include Urdu, Balochi, Persian (Hazaragi dialect), Brahui, Sindhi, and Punjabi.

Quetta was at the outskirts of the Kandahar state until it was captured by the British in Second Afghan war. Most of the Balochis in Quetta arrived after 1970, when a new province with the name of Balochistan was created, following the abolishment of the so called one unit system in Pakistan. Quetta was made the capital city of Balochistan.


The city in general is dominated by the Pashtuns. Others include Baloch, Brahuis, Hazaras and Punjabis. During the summer season, the main bazaars are full of people from all over Pakistan. The merchants are mainly Pushtun people. Some Hazarass immigrated from Afghanistan before the partition. The people of Quetta are known for their friendliness and hospitality and making visitors comfortable is an integral part of their local traditions. The tribes include the Kakar, the Durrani, the Kansi, the Ghalzai, the Tareen, the Ghilzai, the Sherani, the Looni and the Nasar. The main bazaar on Jinnah Road is full of Pashtun traders, most of them wearing turbans, Hazara traders sitting in their shops with their distinct facial features, Baloch hawkers with red embroidered caps, and full-skirted nomad women carrying bundles of imported cloth for sale.


Football is popular in Quetta, which has produced more renowned players then any other part of Pakistan. Sadiq Shaheed Footbal Ground is the best-known football ground. Teams in Quetta include Afghan football, Hazara green football and Baluch football clubs and Quetta Bazigars. Among the famous footballers of Quetta are Taj Senior, Taj Junior, Qayyum Changezi, Agha Gul, Abdul Wahid Durrani (Wahido) Mohammad Younas Changezi, Mohammad Ismaeel Durrani (famous goal keepr) in the Indian subcontinent and his son Dawood Durrani of PIA football team, Kazim Ali Sheralyat (Former Capt of Pakistan Football Team), master siddique and Sher Ali. Sher ali is now training young sportsmen at PakTurk International schools and Colleges Quetta. shoaib Khan of Quetta hass represented Pakistan Cricket Team. In hockey Quetta has produced Zeeshan Ashraf and Shakeel Abbasi who are still represnting National Team as Captain as well. in Mountain climbing and caving adventure sports Hayatullah Khan Durrani (Pride-of-Performance) the Famous Mountaineer and Caver of International repute and Chief Executive of Hayat Durrani Water Sports Academy at Hana Lake Quetta, in Kayaking , Muhammad Abubakar Durrani, Farhanullah Kakar Pakistan National Junior Gold Medalists,In body building Shoukat Ali Changezi, Mr.Norway, Din Mohammad Brohvi Mr. Pakistan, Noorullah Khan Durrani Mr. Pakistan Runner-up. in squash Hiddy Jahan Khan is a squash player who was ranked among the top-6 players in the world from 1970 through to 1986. In recent years, an other bartish open champion Qamer Zaman is also belongs to Quetta.other famous players are Zarak Jahan Khan ,Abdul Wali Khan Khilji, Hamayoon Khan Khilji,Zubair Jahan Khan,Shams ul Islam Khan Kakar, Tariq Rahim Khan Kakar , Shaied Zaman Khan . In boxing Olympian are Abdul Salam Khan Kakar , Syed Ibrar Ali Shah, Asghar Ali Changezi, and Haider Ali Changezi. Other famous players are Faizudin Kakar. In weight lifting Mohammad Alam Khan Kakar , Dilawer Khan Kilje are the famous wight lifters.

Educational institutions

Quetta has many higher education institutions. The prestigious military Command and Staff College, which was founded by the British, recently celebrated its hundredth anniversary. University of Balochistan was established in 1974. The Balochistan University of Information Technology, Engineering and Management Sciences is also located in Quetta.

  • Ideal English Language and Computer Academy Quetta
  • Sardar Bahadur Khan Women University
  • Islamia Girls High School
  • ALi model high school
  • Madina tul-ilm model high school
  • Islamia Public School
  • Islamia Model High School
  • Islamia Girls College.
  • Balochistan University of Information Technology Engineering and Management Sciences| (BUITEMS)
  • PakTurk International schools and Colleges, Quarry Road.
  • Government College of Commerce, Quarry Road, Since 1959.
  • Bolan college of business management and computer science,qwari road ,[mustafa kasi]
  • St Francis Grammar School, Quetta. 1946
  • St Joseph Convent School Quetta
  • Pearl Institute Quetta
  • Wilderness School Quetta
  • Legend hall school & collage quetta (jinnah town, board office)
  • Bolan Institute of Technology
  • DAR-E-ARQAM School Of Islam & Modern Sciences
  • Command and Staff College
  • University of Quetta]
  • Iqra University
  • St. Mary's YMCA High School Quetta Cantt.
  • Beaconhouse School System, Quetta Branch.
  • F.G Degree College Quetta Cantt.
  • Model Public School & college
  • Tameer-i-Nau public college
  • Cambride secondry school,jan muhammad road quetta,
  • Government College of Technology Balochistan
  • Army public school and college
  • Bolan Medical College Quetta
  • General Musa Inter College Quetta
  • Iqra Huffaz (Boys/girls) Secondary School, Railway Housing Society, Quetta.
  • Garrison Public School
  • The City School , Quetta Campus
  • Muslimabad High School Quetta
  • Kotwal High School Quetta
  • Nasran High School Quetta
  • Helper's public school Quetta
  • OPF Public School, Arbab Karam Khan road, Quetta
  • Babar English Model High School, Quetta


Quetta is on the western edge of Pakistan and is well connected with the country by a wide network of roads, railways and airways.

Air Transport

At an altitude of 1605 meters above sea level, Quetta Airport is the second highest airport of Pakistan. Pakistan International Airlines, Shaheen Air International and Airblue all have regular flights between Quetta and the other major cities of Pakistan including Islamabad, Gwadar, Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar. Pakistan International Airlines operates direct flights to Manchester, Dubai, New York and other major international airports from Quetta.
Quetta Railway Station is one of the highest railway station of Pakistan, at the height of 1676 meters above sea level. The railway track was lined in 1890s during the British era to link Quetta with rest of the country. The extensive network of Pakistan Railways connects Quetta to Karachi in south, by a 863 km (536 miles) track, Lahore in northeast (1,170 km or 727 miles) and Peshawar further northeast (1587 km or 986 miles). A metalled road is also present along the railroad that connects Quetta to Karachi via Sibi, Jacobabad and Rohri. A track from the Iranian city of Zahedan links to Quetta via Taftan, but the train service was temporarily disabled in 2006 due to unrest in Balochistan.

Recently a new project has been proposed for constructing a railway track that will link Gawadar to China, this will also link Gawadar with Quetta via Kalat. Even though the linear distance from Quetta to Lahore is merely 700 kms, there is no direct railroad track on this route because of the Sulaiman Range that lies in the east of Quetta. So all northeast-bound trains for Punjab or the North-West Frontier Province must go 350+ km south down to Rohri, Sindh (near Sukkur) first, before continuing north to Punjab and/or NWFP. Recently Railway is under attack by the Balochs specially in the Bolan Pass area. Some innocent passengers have been killed and wounded. This has created a great sence of insecurity amongst the travellers.


Quetta is well connected by roads to the rest of the country. A recently built road connects it with Karachi through Mastung, Kalat, Khuzdar and Lasbela. Another road connecting Quetta to Karachi follows the Sibi, Jacobabad, Sukkur and Hyderabad route. Quetta and Lahore are also connected through two routes. The older route is the Sibi, Sukkur, Rahim Yar Khan, Bahawalpur and Multan route. Another route is via Khanozai,muslimbaghLoralai, Fort Mondro , Dera Ghazi Khan and Multan. Quetta is also connected with Afghanistan through Chaman and to Iran through the Mastung, Nushki, Dalbandin and Taftan route.


PTCL (Pakistan Telecommunication Corporation Limited) provides the main network of landline telephone. Many Internet Service Providers and all major mobile phone companies operating in Pakistan provide service in Quetta.

Tourist Attractions

St. Mary's church during winter. From a 1910 photograph.
Hanna Lake In Winter
Quetta At Night

Quetta is a major tourist attraction for tourists from abroad. It is advertised as a thrilling location, full of adventure and enjoyment. Some prominent bazaars of Quetta are located on the roads Shahrah-e-Iqbal (the Kandahari Bazaar) and Shahrah-e-Liaquat (the Liaquat and Suraj Gang Bazaar, Alamdar road. Here, tourists can find colourful handicrafts, particularly Balochi mirror work and Pashtun embroidery which is admired all over the world. The Pashtun workers are prominently expert in making fine Afghan carpets, with their pleasing and intricate designs, fur coats, jackets, waist-coats, sandals and other creations of traditional Pashtun skills. local handicrafts, specially green marble products, mirror work and embroidered jackets, shirts, and hand bags, pillow covers, bed sheets, dry fruits, etc. Balochi carpets are made by the nomadic tribes of this area. They are generally not nearly as fine or expensive as the Persian city products, or even the Turkoman tribal rugs from further North, but they are generally authentic than the bad copies of Turkoman and Persian designs that the cities of Pakistan produce. They definitely have a charm of their own. They range from relatively crude rugs that can, with some bargaining, be had at very reasonable prices to quite fine and valuable pieces. Many are small enough to be fairly portable. For those interested in local cuisine, there are many sumptuous dishes to feast upon. The famous Pushtoon tribel cuisine “Roash” whch non local called “Namkin” is very famous in the city resturants also in interior areas. An other Pushtoon tribel dish is “Landhi” which is made of a whole lamb, “Landhi” is a whole lamb which is dried in cold winter shades and kept for the winters . Khadi Kebab a full lamb bar bq . The "Sajji" (leg of lamb) is said to be very good by locals., the best resturants are Green Hotel, Gulab Hotel, Lal Kabab, Tabaq, Usmania and Abasin Hotel. They serve Pakistani and Continental food, while Cafe China is one of the oldest and most reputable Chinese restaurant that specializes in Chinese cuisine. Some of the finest mutton in the country is raised around Quetta. It has a delicious smell which can be sampled in the "Pulao" that most of the eating houses offer. Small and clean hotels in Alamdar road provide real comfort for tourists in peaceful environments.

Pishin Valley:About 50 km, from Quetta is the valley of Pishin, which is surrounded by thousands of acres of vineyards and orchards, made by boring holes into rocks to bring to the surface the deep water. In Pishin district most of the farms are growin apples greaps water millions. The rich harvest of apples( Tor Kolo,Shin Kolo, Mashhadi, Kashmiri,Kaja, Amri, summer top, shakar sab), Cherries, Blue berries, grapes, plums, peaches and apricots, are the assets of the area. The most papular areas of Pishin is Bostan, Khanozai, Murghaki, tordaman Dilsora, Saranan,Niganda, Dup, Road mulazai, Yaru and Barshor. Saranan is famous for its veracities of water million and grapes .The areas are now road connected while the rail facility is urgently required to get better price of the fruits nationally and internationally

Hanna Lake:Hanna Lake nestles in the hills ten kilometres (six miles) east of Quetta, a startling turquoise pool within bare brown surroundings. There is a lakeside restaurant with picnic tables shaded by pine trees. At one end, the irrigation dam rises out of the depths like battlements of a fort. and on the eastern part the well known hdwsa the only Rowing , Canoeing , Kayaking and Sailing Training center in Balochistan Province. It is very attractive for holidaymakers, and is crowded with hikers and campers in holidays. You can hire a boat and paddle on the lake and round the island in the middle.the HLDA has planted some trees for the beautification and protection of environment.


Quetta Consists of Several Small Housing Areas. 1. Chilten Housing Scheam 2. Chaman Housing Scheam 3. Kakar Housing Scheam 4 Gulistan Town 5. Quetta Cantt (Primarily for Ex and Serving Armed forces Personnel) 6. Satellite town 7. Jinnah Town (On Main Samugli Road) 8. Samugli Housing Scheme 9. Hazara Town(Located near western bypass kirani resident are all hazara people) 10. Pushtoon Abad

Askari Park:Askari park is the biggest park of Quetta with a children's playground, toys and entertainment. It is located on Airport Road near Custom House Quetta. It is administered by the Army. Built in mid 1990s, Askari Park is equipped with modern rides with "Dragon" being the main attraction.

Hazarganji Chiltan National Park:In the Hazarganji Chiltan National Park, 20 km south-west of Quetta, Markhors have been given protection. The park is spread over 32500 acres, altitude ranging from 2021 to 3264 meters. Hazarganji literally means "Of a thousand treasures". In the folds of these mountains, legend has it, there are over a thousand treasures buried, reminders of the passage of great armies down the corridors of history. The Bactrains, Scythians, Muslims, Mongols passed this way.