Map of Balochistan with Loralai District highlighted
|• MNA||Hazrath Molana Ameer Zaman|
|• MPA||Ubid ullah jan babt lala|
|Time zone||PST (UTC+5)|
|Number of Tehsils||3 (Mekhtar, Bori, Duki)|
Loralai is a district in the centre of Balochistan province of Pakistan. Loralai district was created on October, 1903. Loralai town is the district headquarters. Loralai was further divided in 1992 when Musakhel and Barkhan were given the status of separate administrative districts.
In 1545 Duki, a dependency of the Kandahar province, was conferred upon Mir Sayyid Ali by the Mughal Emperor Humayun. The province of Kandahar continued under Mughals until the year 1559 when it passed into the hands of the Safavids Kings of Persia and remained under their control until 1595. In 1595 it was recaptured by Emperor Akbar the Great, during Akbar's reign the territory of Duki which was generally garrisoned, formed an eastern dependency of the Kandahar Province and provided a contingent of 500 horses and 1000 soldiers. In 1622 Kandahar again passed under the Safavids.
In 1653 Emperor Shah Jahan sent a large expedition under his eldest son, Dara Shikoh, to regain Kandahar but in vain. This was the last attempt on the part of the Mughals to regain Kandahar which was now lost to them for ever. Mir Wais Ghilzai or Khilji established Ghilzai/Khilji power in Kandahar around 1709. After 30 years of supremacy the Ghilzai/Khilji power gave way to Nadir Shah who captured after a severe struggle in 1737. However in 1747 Nadir Shah was assassinated and Ahmad Shah Durrani took over the reign and Government. The Durranis were followed in about 1826 by the Barakzai under Dost Mohammad Khan. Almost the whole of Loralai District remained under this dynasty till 1879, in 1879 Duki and the Thal Chotiali country with other parts of Balochistan passed into the hands of the British.
In 1879 at the close of the first phase of Afghan war a British contingent while returning from Kandahar was opposed by a large body of tribesmen from the Zhob and Bori valley at Baghao under command of Shah Jahan (chief of Zhob). However tribal lashkar was defeated completely. In 1881 Thal Chotiali (Sibi) which included Duki was made Sub district of the Harnai political Agency. In 1881 inhabitants of Sanjavi were brought under British subjugation. In 1883 it was decided to build cantt at Duki and the Garrison of Thal Chotiali (Sibi) leaving a detachment at Gumbaz. In October 1884 a force comprising 4800 men moved into Bori (Loralai) valley and the mission was completely successful. In the following years it was decided that a frontier road should be constructed from Dera Ghazi Khan to Pishin through Loralai. The cantt from Duki was accordingly moved forward in 1886 to Loralai and Mil posts were stationed at Sanjavi, Mekhtar and Kingri. The headquarters of Assistant Political Agent at Duki was also changed to Loralai. In Nov 1887 Duki and Thal Chotiali (Sibi) were declared parts of British India and for the purpose of administration, the designation of the Political Agent was changed to that of Deputy Commissioner. In 1888 Sir Robert Sandeman proceeded with a small force through Musa Khel to Southern Zhob. Ultimately this led to the occupation of the Zhob valley in 1889. Loralai town and cantt remained under the Thal Chotiali Dist until 1894 when it was made over to the Zhob Agency.
After the defeat of Kakar Tribesman under the command of Ghazy Arsala Khan Utmankhel, Shah Jahan Jogezai in the Baghao areas near Duki, most of the people in the areas were depressed and were shocked of win of British forces. At the end of this war in 1881–82, the British forces were entered into Loralai city without any resistance and they occupied the mostly areas of Bori, Duki, Sanjavi and Mekhtar. In 1884, the British Forces have declared the mission completely successful and a Platoon of 4800 men were moved into Loralai city. The Cantt from Duki was accordingly moved into Bori (Loralai) and proper cantonment areas were defined. In the same time, many people like Zarak Khan Churmai, Amanullah Khan, Sherjan Khan, Thor Sawan had started guerrilla war against British invasion. There was no concept of political and democratic struggle in the tribal areas of Loralai, Zhob, Barkan etc. In 1936 Baran Khan Kudezai started a democratic movement against British Empire by the name of "Anjuman-i-Watan". The founder of this movement was Abdul Samad Khan Achakzai. This was first well organized democratic movement in the history of Loralai as well whole Zhob division. Baran established an office in Loralai city near Paharhi Muhallah (mountainous part in city). In 1937 the Tehreek was in more spirit and succeeded, a large number of people joined the Tehreek and they demanded a separate homeland for Pashtoons in Southern and western areas of NWFP. In western areas the Khudai Khidmat Gar (Red-Shirt) movement was on peak for independence from British emperor. Baran Khan invited the Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan in Loralai in 1938 and there held a huge public meeting in city with the help of Anjuman-i-Watan. Abdul Samad Khan Achakzai, the founder of Anjuman-i-Watan also participated in that meeting. At night Abdul Ghaffar Khan and Abdul Samad Khan took dinner in Zangiwal village at Baran Khan's hujra(Guestroom). Baran Khan remained very close with Abdul Samad Khan Achakzai and accompanied him on every visit of Loralai and Zhob. He was one of the rights hands of Bacha Khan in their political journey. In 1939, the Commissioner of Zhob Division started a crackdown against all the political leaders of Anjuman-i-Watan movement and arrested more than hundreds of the leaders. So, from that time, the people of Loralai are aware of democracy and political struggle. Majority parties of Pakistan have their offices and members. Main political leaders of the country have made several visits to Loralai during election campaigns and the district is having an important role in provincial and national politics from time to time. The famous political parties in the district are:
- Pashtunkhwa Milli Awami Party
- Jamat-i-Ulema Islam (F)
- Jamat-i-Ulema Islam (N)
- Pakistan Muslim League (N)
- Pakistan Muslim League (Q)
- Pakistan Peoples Party
The population of Loralai district was estimated to be over 300,000 in 2005. The vast majority of the population of Loralai district are Pashtun. The district offers a great blend of mixed tribes from all parts of Pakistan. Some major tribes of Loralai have migrated from the parts of Zhob like Batozai, Jogezai, Jalalzai and Musazai Sarprekarai and Thousands of Afghan refugees who have permanently settled in the region are Sulemankhail, Tarakai, Tokhai, Andar etc..
Loralai city has its own radio broadcasting station and mobile coverage of five operators. With the completion of the Loralai-Dera Ghazi Khan road, many people see a much more brighter and prosperous future for the district since the travel to D.G Khan is important in many ways like the transportation of cash crops and food crops and coal loaded trucks from Chamalang coal mines. The road is under construction between Wagum Rud and Khajuri for some time. Now a new contract has been awarded to FWO and fresh date for its completion is December 2008. All coal loaded trucks heading to Punjab and other areas travel on this road.
Mercy Corps stopped their operations in Loralai region due to their internal problems. Some other local NGOs are also working in the region like LAFAM,Association For Heath Development (A H D)which is working on malaria and has started its free medical camp in D H Q hospital Duki in collaboration with directorate of malaria control program and remained its camp open as long as malaria being controlled in the area.in 2010, the RAHA-RAA-UNDP also started their operations in Loralai region, the programme is mostly for refuges affected communities which is located in Kach UC, WRANGA Foundation is an implementing partner in the area with RAHH-RAA-UNDP. Wranga is a Pashto language word which means 'beam of light'. Now WRANGA is going to open and establish their offices in Kohlu, Barakan, Musakhail and Ziarat.
loralai district has well known educational institutes.some of Educational institutions in district include:
- University of Balochistan Sub-Campus Loralai
- Baluchistan Residential College (BRC), Loralai
- Govt Boys Degree College Loralai
- Govt Girls Degree College Loralai
- Balochistan Institute of IT and Management Sciences (BIITMS) Loralai
- Govt Inter Science College Duke
- Govt Inter Science College Makhter
- Pak-German Technical Training Center
- Govt. Elementary College Loralai
- Army public school and college system
- provincial assembly also approves medical college for the district.
Many kinds of fruits and vegetables are cultivated in this district. Loralai is especially famous for its almond and apple production. Loralai is also rich in marble and its marble tiles are gaining popularity throughout the country. A lot of marble trimming factories have been established in the district and it now provides marble tiles to various parts of the country. The major source of income for the common inhabitants is agriculture and farming.and also for marble industries . Nasrullah marble and mining co one of the company from area it is working since 1998.
The town, which is situated 4,700 ft (1,400 m) above the sea level in which the wealth of the inhabitants is derived from their herds of cattle and also other animals. The district is also popular in the business of items especially vehicles smuggled here through Afghan Transit Trade. All types of vehicles are smuggled to Loralai and then to the other parts of the country after being customed or duplicated in papers here. loralai is mainly a central place for business because of provincial border and strategic location.