Province (pop., 2003 est.: 7,450,000), southwestern Pakistan. Its capital is Quetta (pop., 1998: 560,307). Its landscape includes mountains, notably the Sulaiman and Kithar ranges; barren, flat plains; arid desert; and marshy swamps. In ancient times, it was part of Gedrosia. Alexander the Great traversed it in 325 BC. It was included in the Bactrian kingdom, then was ruled by Arabs from the 7th to the 10th century AD. It was ruled by Persia for centuries, with the exception of a period when it belonged to the Mughal Empire (1594–1638). It became a British dependency in 1876 and a British province of India in 1887. It was made part of Pakistan in 1947–48 and was designated a separate province in 1970. Wheat, sorghum, and rice are staple crops; manufactures include cotton and woolen goods.
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