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Balochistan




Balochis mud houses of Balochistan

Balochi mud houses.

From the Makran region of southern Balochistan, Iran

From the Makran region of southern Balochistan, Iran.

Region in southeastern Iran, near the borders to Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Large regions of southern Pakistan belong to larger Balochistan, and represented with the westernmost province of the country. As of yet, this is beyond the geographical limits of this encyclopaedia. Contents deals with Iranian Balochistan.
Iranian Balochistan is part of the province of Sistan va Baluchestan, the Sistan region representing the northern part of the province.
The region is named after the Balochis, the dominant population. While many living here do not speak Balochi, they are still considered ethnic Balochis.
The region is dominated by barren, rugged mountains, with scattered valleys of fertile land. The southern part is dominated by the Makran desert.
Balochistan is the most underdeveloped and poorest region of Iran. New programs to develop the region have been launched, most noteworthy is the Chabahar Free Trade-Industrial Zone.

History
The oldest known inhabitants of Balochistan were a people speaking a form of Munda language, or related to Munda languages. The most ancient name of the region was Moka.
Around 4000 BCE: Migration of Dravidians from the Iranian plateau, into Balochistan and the Indus Valley (Pakistan).
540 BCE: Incorporated into the Persian Empire, ruled by the Achaemenid dynasty.
326: Conquered by Alexander the Great.
1st century CE: Ruled by the Parataraja dynasty.
11th century: The peoples that today are called Balochis settle in the region, escaping the Seljuq Turks who had taken control of Kerman region.
19th century: Western Balochistan is conquered by Persia.
1872: Borders are fixed, corresponding with modern-day borders.




By Tore Kjeilen