Balochistan, the largest of the four provinces of Pakistan, spreads over an area of 347,190 Sq, Kms., forming 43.6 per cent of the total area of Pakistan. It has clustered population and is smallest in proportion as compared to that of other provinces. Its population, according to 1998 census, is xx million, having a low density per square kilometer. Physically, Balochistan is an extensive plateau of rough terrain divided into basins by ranges of sufficient heights and ruggedness. Broadly, Balochistan geographic area can be divided in to four distinct zones: Upper high lands, lower high lands, plains, and deserts.
The upper highlands, known locally as Khorasan, rise as high as 3,700 meters, with valley floors about 1,500 meters above sea levels. The highlands include Makran, Kharan and Chaghi ranges in the West and Sulaiman, Pab, Kirther in the east. The Upper High Lands fall mainly in districts Zhob, Killa Saifullah, Pishin, Quetta, Ziarat and Kalat. It comprises a number of ranges such as Sulaiman, TobakKakari, Murdar, Zarghoon, Takatu, and Chiltan ranges.
The Lower High Lands have an altitude ranging from 1970 to 3940 ft (600 to 1200 M). They are located in the south-eastern Balochistan, except eastern part of Kachi, the southern end of Dera Bugti and Nasirabad districts. Some are extension of lower high lands that exist at boundaries of Gwadar, Turbat, Panjgur, Kharan and Chaghi districts.
The climate of the upper highlands is characterized by very cold winters and warm summers. Winters of the lower highlands vary from extremely cold in the northern districts to mild conditions closer to the Makran coast. Summers are hot and dry. The arid zones of Chaghi and Kharan districts are extremely hot in summer. The plain areas are also very hot in summer with temperatures rising as high as 120 degrees F (50 degrees C). Winters are mild on the plains with the temperature, never falling below the freezing point. The desert climate is characterized by hot and very arid conditions. Occasionally strong windstorms make these areas very inhospitable.
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