Makran coast is Balochistan's southern strip and stretches for
754 kms. Long sandy beaches, rugged promontories and tidal creeks
characterize the coast-line. There ranges of hills, rising to
over 1500 meters (5000feet), run parallel to the coast:
the Coastal Makran Range, 30 kms inland; the Central Makran
Range, 130 kms inland; and the Siahan Range, 200 kms away from
the sea. There is very little rain in the Makran region; the
few villages and towns along the coast and between the hills
are sustained by spring water.
of the Makran people are dark-skinned and have African features.
They are probably descended from slaves brought by Arab merchants
to the subcontinent. They subsist on fishing, date farming and
camel breeding. Most of the men work part-time in the gulf state
and Oman, and send money home to their families.
the great marched half his army home along the inhospitable
Makran coast in 325 BC, and Muhammad bin Qasim came from Baghdad
to Sindh through Makran in 711 AD. The Makranis stood firm against
the Mughals, but bowed nominally to the British Raj. It is only
since 1971 that some effort has been made to develop the region.
There is no road along the coast, but daily flights connect
the four main coastal towns of Ormara, Pasni, Gwadar and Jiwani
with Karachi, and there are flights to Quetta three times a
week, Gwadar and Jiwani, both picturesque towns flanked by cliffs
and beeches, belonged t o Oman for about 200 years. The Khan
of Kallat gave them as a present to the sultan in the 18th century,
and in 1958 they were sold back to Pakistan. Ormara is currently
being developed as a major port.
the divisional headquarters for Makran, is a small inland town
near the hills, with little to recommend it but its 300 varieties
of dates. Turbat is accessible by a rough road from Lasbela,
and by daily flights from Karachi and Quetta. Panjgur, the principal
date-growing area further north, can also be reached by air.
The track from Khuzdar to Panjgur is very rough.