Nushki (Balochi: بلوچ ) is a town and district in Balochistan, Pakistan. It lies southwest of Quetta, and is situated in a plain at the base of the Quetta plateau, 2900 ft above sea level. From Nushki, the flat Balochistan desert stretches away northward and westward to the Helmand River.
Nushki district is one of the districts of Balochistan province.Mengal Baloch are the real Owner Of Nushki. Khan of Kalat Mir Noori Naseer Khan Baloch certified Mir Gul Khan Naseer as the Prince of Nushki in 1750. Nushki’s history goes back to 2-3 hundred years, but it became famous when the great Noori Naseer Khan, along with Afghan Emperor Ahmed Shah Durani crossed for Afghanistan.He gave the name Nosh-Kah to this town which later named as Noshkay and later on Nushki in British era. Nushki was a starting off point for the British exploration of Central Asia. The British, concerned that their colonies in India would be attacked overland by either Napoleon or the Russians, sent two British officers, Captain Charles Christie and Lieutenant Henry Pottinger, to explore the regions between Balochistan and Persia, which was then allied with the British. Christie and Pottinger traveled from the coast to Kelat (now Kalat) and separated at Nushki on March 22, 1810, with Christie going northwest to Herat and Pottinger traveling west across the deserts. It was unlikely that either of the two men would be accepted by the locals, and they concealed their identities by posing as horse-traders or holy men during their respective journeys. They were reunited in Isfahan on June 30, 1810, with Christie haven ridden 2,250 miles and Pottinger having ridden 2,412 miles. Later, it was taken from khan of kallat by Indian government in 1899. In 1902, a railway of 150kilometer was sanctioned from Quetta to Nushki and it was completed in 1905. This railway made Nushki the starting-point of the caravan route to Siesta. Nushki is a historic gateway between Afghanistan and Iran.
Nushki district is a part of Quetta zone. It is 148 km away from Quetta. It is situated in the south-west side of Quetta district. It was separated from Chaghi in April 2004. It is approximately 2 hours distance from Quetta to nushki by road. Areas that come between Quetta to Nushki are Hazar Gangi, Mastung, Dhringar, Panjpai and Ghir Ghazab.Nushki comprises hilly as well as plain areas. “Rakho”is one of the desert and “Koh-e-Botak” one of the mountain of Nushki.
Nushki is near Afghan and Iran border. ”Chagi district“ is the neighboring place of Nushki where atomic bomb experiment was done. It is also very close to a railway track that was built in British era and a lake named “Zangi Nawar Lake”. Quetta, Mastung, Kharan, kallat, and Dalbandin are the neighboring areas of Nushki.
Climate of nushki is very hot in summers that go to 45 centigrade. In winter, nushki is very cold as it is deserted area.
Nushki is famous because of its nine mills on Nushki stream and a rest house which was built in British era that still stands in nushki town. Nushki is quite famous due to the tomb of a famous Sufi “Sher Jan Agha” in Nushki.
Some state that nushki’s population is approximately 3 to 4 laces. Majority of the people in nushki are educated. Majority of the people live in cemented house while rest live in mud houses.
Some of the tribes that live in nushki are Mengal, Shahwani, Badini, Pikrani, and Jamaldani.
Majority of the people in Nushki speak balochi and rest speak brohi.
Source of Earning
Most of the people are employed in offices while some have their own shops. Green marble and melons are supplied from nushki to whole Pakistan. Some people have agriculture as a business and own orchards as well. Illegal import and export to Afghanistan is made especially of animals (sheep, Camels, Ewe and Lambs).
Majority of the people are Muslims while some are minorities (Christian, Hindus).
Nushki compromises of balochi culture. Men wear special hats “Balochi Pagri” with bugti shalwar kameez as a dress and balochi chawat (shoes). Females wear special hand made designs dresses and sandels.They wear hand made strips on head and hands. They have special dance called “Balochi Chap” in local language.
People of nushki are very hospitable. They cook special dishes. Some of them are Saggi, Qurat, Khadda Saggi and Khaddi kabbab.They store water in hand made leather bottles called “Mashk” in local language. Nushki is very famous for its special quality of “melon” which is very juicy and delicious.
National game of nushki is dog fighting. Cricket and football is also famous in nushki and “Baba-e-Nushki” cricket stadium is also built in nushki. Hunting is also famous in nushki and there is a special hunting point named “Khakori hunting point”.
Majority of nushki use vehicles,Motorcycles, cycles while rest use bull carts. For trade purposes, heavy trucks are used as roads are made in nushki.
- Peter Hopkirk, The Great Game (1994), pp. 38-55.