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Provincial capital
Jinnah Road, Quetta.JPG
Chiltan Mountain.jpg
Bolan mosque.jpg Quetta Railway Station - 40311.jpg
Quetta at night 2.jpg
Clockwise from top: Jinnah Road, Mount Chiltan, Quetta railway station, a view of Quetta City at night, Bolan Mosque
Official logo of Quetta
Quetta is located in Balochistan, Pakistan
Quetta is located in Pakistan
Location in Pakistan
Coordinates: 30°11′N 67°00′E / 30.183°N 67.000°E / 30.183; 67.000Coordinates: 30°11′N 67°00′E / 30.183°N 67.000°E / 30.183; 67.000
Country Pakistan Pakistan
Region Balochistan, Pakistan Balochistan
District Quetta
 • Type Municipal Corporation[1]
 • Mayor of Quetta Dr Kalimullah Khan [2]
 • Deputy Mayor of Quetta Younus Baloch
 • Provincial capital 2,656 km2 (1,025 sq mi)
Elevation 1,680 m (5,510 ft)
Population (2017)[3]
 • Provincial capital 1,001,205
 • Rank 1st, Balochistan
10th, Pakistan
 • Density 380/km2 (980/sq mi)
 • Metro 2,275,699
  Quetta urban agglomeration
Time zone PKT (UTC+5)
Area code(s) +9281

Quetta (Pashto: کوټه‎; Balochi: کویته‎‎; Urdu: کوئٹہ‎; About this sound pronunciation ) is the provincial capital and largest city of Balochistan, Pakistan.[4] It has a population of 1,001,205 according to the 2017 census,[5] while Quetta District has a population of 2,275,699.[6] The city is known as the fruit garden of Pakistan, due to the numerous fruit orchards in and around it, and the large variety of fruits and dry fruits produced there. [7] The immediate area has long been one of pastures and mountains, with varied plants and animals relative to the dry plains to the west. Quetta is at an average elevation of 1,680 meters (5,510 feet) above sea level,[8] making it Pakistan's only high-altitude major city.

Located in northwestern Balochistan near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, Quetta is a trade and communication centre between the two countries. The city lies on the Bolan Pass route which was once one of the major gateways from Central Asia to South Asia. Quetta played an important role militarily for the Pakistani Armed Forces in the intermittent Afghanistan conflict.


Quetta is also spelled Kuwatah, which is a variation of Kot, a Pashto word meaning "fortress".[9] It is believed that it relates to the four imposing hills (Zarghun Ghar, Chiltan, Takatu, and Murdaar) that surround the city and form a natural bulwark.


In 1876 Quetta was incorporated into British controlled territories of the subcontinent. British Troops constructed the infrastructure for their establishment as it was a strategic location. By the time of the earthquake on 31 May 1935 Quetta had developed into a bustling city with a number of multistory buildings and was known as "Little Paris" because of that. The epicenter of the earthquake was close to the city and destroyed most of the city’s infrastructure and killed an estimated 40,000 people.[10]


Climate data for Quetta, Pakistan
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 23.6
Average high °C (°F) 10.8
Daily mean °C (°F) 3.7
Average low °C (°F) −3.4
Record low °C (°F) −18.3
Average precipitation mm (inches) 56.7
Mean monthly sunshine hours 220.1 209.05 232.5 273 334.8 327 313.1 313.1 294 306.9 279 238.7 3,341.25
Source #1: Hong Kong Observatory (altitude: 1589 m)[11]
Source #2: PMD[12]

Quetta has a semi-arid climate (Köppen BSk) with a significant variation between summer and winter temperatures. Summer starts about late May and goes on until early September with average temperatures ranging from 24–26 °C (75–79 °F). The highest temperature in Quetta is 42 °C (108 °F) which was recorded on 10 July 1998.[13] Autumn starts in late September and continues until mid-November with average temperatures in the 12–18 °C (54–64 °F) range. Winter starts in late November and ends in late March, with average temperatures near 4–5 °C (39–41 °F). The lowest temperature in Quetta is −18.3 °C (−0.9 °F) which was recorded on 8 January 1970.[13] Spring starts in early April and ends in late May, with average temperatures close to 15 °C (59 °F). Unlike more easterly parts of Pakistan, Quetta does not have a monsoon season of heavy rainfall. Highest rainfall during 24 hours in Quetta is 113 millimetres (4.4 in) which was recorded on 17 December 2000,[13] Highest monthly rainfall is 232.4 millimetres (9.15 in) which was recorded in March, 1982, also the year of the highest annual rainfall, at 949.8 millimetres (37.39 in).[13] In the winter, snowfall has become quite erratic (December, January and February).

The city saw a severe drought from 1999 to 2001, during which the city did not receive snowfall and below normal rains. In 2003 the city received snowfall after a hiatus of five years. In 2004, and 2005 the city received normal rains after three years without snowfall while in 2006, 2007 and 2009 the city received no snow except in 2008 when Quetta received a snowfall of 10 centimetres (4 in) in four hours on 29 January 2008.[14] On 2 February it further received 25.4 centimetres (10 in) in 10 hours[15] which was the heaviest snowfall for the city in the last ten years. During the winter of 2010 it received no snow and saw below normal rains due to the presence of El-Nino over Pakistan.[13]


At the local government level, the city is governed by a municipal corporation consisting of 66 ward members which elects a mayor and a deputy mayor.[1]


Quetta is on the western side of Pakistan and is connected to the rest of the country by a network of roads, railways and its international airport close to its center.

At an altitude of 1,605 metres (5,266 feet) above sea level, Quetta Airport is the second highest airport in Pakistan.[16] Pakistan International Airlines has regular flights to and from the other major cities of Pakistan including Islamabad, Gwadar, Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar.

Quetta Railway Station is one of the highest railway stations in Pakistan at 1,676 metres (5,499 feet) above sea level. The railway track was laid in the 1890s during the British era to link Quetta with rest of the country. The extensive network of Pakistan Railways connects Quetta to Karachi in the south, by a 863 km (536 mi) track, Lahore in the northeast (1,170 km or 727 miles) and Peshawar further northeast (1,587 km or 986 miles). A metalled road runs alongside the railway that connects Quetta to Karachi via the nearby town of Sibi to Jacobabad and Rohri in the plain of the River Indus.


Hanna Lake, which nestles in the hills ten kilometres (six miles) east of the city, is a turquoise body of water that contrasts markedly with the bare surrounding hills. It is an attractive destination for vacationers, with facilities for boat hire. A lakeside restaurant is crowded with hikers and campers during holiday periods. At one end there is an irrigation dam, while on the eastern shore there is Hayat Durrani Water Sports Academy, the only water sports training center in Balochistan. The Hanna Lake Development Authority, the Hayat Durrani Water Sports Academy and Merck Marker have planted a range of trees in the Hanna Lake Mountains both for beautification and the protection of the environment.[17] [18]


Quetta serves as the learning center for the Balochistan province. The city has a number of government and private colleges, including the following:


The population of the city is around one million. In 2016, it was estimated at 1,140,000.[3] This makes it the largest city in Balochistan province and one of the major cities of Pakistan. The scholars disagree about the demographics of the city. According to some, the city has a Pashtun plurality followed by Baloch / Brahui, other indigenous people of Balochistan and lastly the settlers from other areas of Pakistan.[20] Others think, the city has a Pashtun majority followed by Brahui, Baloch, Hazaras , Punjabis and Muhajir people .[21] [22][23]Urdu being national language is used and understood by all the residents and serves as lingua franca.


Cricket and football are the two most popular sports among the people of Quetta. However, a number of other sports are also played. This includes, hockey, taekwondo, boxing, squash, mountaineering, and bodybuilding.

Askari Park
A sport complex under construction

Football teams from Quetta include Quetta Zorawar, Muslim FC, Hazara Green Football, Baluch Football and Quetta Bazigars Club. The Shaheed Nauoroz Stadium is the largest stadium in the city. The city also has Ayub National Stadium, a multipurpose stadium used for football and cricket and Bugti Stadium used only for cricket.

The Quetta Bears are a domestic cricket team represented the city in the List A and Twenty 20 tournaments.

Quetta Gladiators (Urdu: کوئٹہ گلیڈئیٹرز) is a Pakistani professional Twenty20 cricket team that competes in Pakistan Super League (PSL).

In hockey, Quetta has produced Zeeshan Ashraf and Shakeel Abbasi, who are members of the Pakistan national hockey team.


Local facilities were created in the city for mountain climbing and caving as well as water sports. Hayatullah Khan Durrani (Pride of Performance) is the chief executive of Hayat Durrani Water Sports Academy at Hanna Lake. In kayaking, Muhammad Abubakar Durrani, National Junior Champion was selected for the world Junior Canoeing Championship in 2009 in Moscow.[24][25]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Government Organization – Government of Balochistan". balochistan.gov.pk. Retrieved 6 September 2016. 
  2. ^ "PkMAP candidate nominated for Quetta mayor". 
  3. ^ a b http://www.demographia.com/db-worldua.pdf
  4. ^ http://www.pbs.gov.pk/sites/default/files//tables/POPULATION%20SIZE%20AND%20GROWTH%20OF%20MAJOR%20CITIES.pdf
  5. ^ "Pakistan's 10 most populous cities revealed". Samaa TV. 
  6. ^ "DISTRICT WISE CENSUS RESULTS CENSUS 2017" (PDF). www.pbscensus.gov.pk. 
  7. ^ "The Fruit Garden of Pakistan – Quetta". asadasif.com. 4 February 2008. Retrieved 10 January 2017. 
  8. ^ "Mongabay -environmental science and conservation news". 
  9. ^ ""History of Quetta" Government of Quetta". quetta.gov.pk. Retrieved 26 June 2016. 
  10. ^ ڈان اردو. "پاکستانی شہروں کی تاریخ". dawnnews.tv. Retrieved 26 February 2016. 
  11. ^ "Climatological Normals of Quetta". Hong Kong Observatory. Retrieved 2014-01-27. 
  12. ^ "Extremes of Quetta". Pakistan Meteorological Department. Retrieved February 3, 2015. 
  13. ^ a b c d e [1] Archived 13 June 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
  14. ^ [2] Archived 4 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  15. ^ "Leading News Resource of Pakistan". Daily Times. 4 February 2008. Retrieved 8 May 2012. 
  16. ^ Quetta Airport Archived 29 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine. CAA Pakistan, Accessed 24 June 2009
  17. ^ Dawn News Daily|http://www.dawn.com/news/1096332.
  18. ^ Pakistan Times|http://news.pakistantimes.com/2014/08/15/abubakar-durrani-wins-independence-day-canoeing-championship-2014-320236.
  19. ^ Dr. Javed Haider Sayed (2008). "The Balochistan Muslim League". National Institute of Historical & Cultural Research – Pakistan. Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad. Retrieved 6 March 2016. 
  20. ^ Jonah Blank, Christopher Clary & Brian Nichiporuk 2014.
  21. ^ "Pakistan and the Karakoram Highway by Sarina Singh  — Pashtun Make The Majority". 
  22. ^ "The Crowded-Out Conflict  by Ann Wilkens  — Pashtun form the Majority". 
  23. ^ "The Pashtun Question  by Abubakar Siddique  — Quetta has a Pashtun Majority". 
  24. ^ Pakistan Players for Moscow[dead link]
  25. ^ "GEO TV Report Pakistan Players for Moscow >". Geo.tv. 28 July 2009. Archived from the original on 25 December 2014. Retrieved 21 January 2014. 


  • Jonah Blank; Christopher Clary; Brian Nichiporuk (30 October 2014), Drivers of Long-Term Insecurity and Instability in Pakistan: Urbanization, Rand Corporation, p. 29, ISBN 978-0-83-308751-5 

External links

  • Balochistan Board
  • Official webpage on Balochistan.gov.pk
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