Quetta (Pashto: کوټه, Balochi: کوئٹہ) is a district in the north-west of Balochistan province of Pakistan.It was part of Quetta Division until the year 2000 when divisions were abolished. The district is famous for its agriculture produce, most notably fruit orchards but also including apples and grapes. The Hanna Valley is an area where almonds are grown. The population in 2008 was estimated to be 1.14 million
The ancient name of Quetta was Shalkot, a term by which it is still known among the people of the country, the District was held in turns by the Ghaznavids, Ghurids, and Mongols, and towards the end of the fifteenth century was conferred by the ruler of Herat on Shah Beg Arghun, who, however, had shortly to give way before the rising power of the Mughals. The Ain-e-Akbari mentions both Shal and Pishin as supplying military service and revenue to Akbar, however these areas passed with Kandahar to the Safavids. On the rise of the Ghilzai power in Kandahar at the beginning of the eighteenth century, simultaneously with that of the Brahuis in Kalat, Quetta and Pishin became the battle-ground between Afghan and Brahui, until Nadir Shah handed Quetta over to the Brahuis about 1740. The Durranis and their successors continued to hold possession of Pishin and Shorarud till the final transfer of these places to the British in 1879.
On the advance of the British Army of the Indus in 1839, Captain Bean was appointed the first Political Agent in ShalKot, and the country was managed by him on behalf of Shah Shuja-ul-mulk. After Sir Robert Sandeman's mission to Kalat in 1876, the Quetta Fort was occupied by his escort and the country was managed on behalf of the Khan of Kalat up to 1883, when it was leased to the British Government for an annual rent of Rs. 25,000 through a treaty between Khan and the British Empire. It was formed, with Pishin and Shorarud, into a single administrative charge in 1883. Up to 1888 Old Chaman was the most advanced post on the frontier; but, on the extension of the railroad across the Khwaja Amran, the terminus was fixed at its present site, 7 miles (11 km) from that place. The boundary with Afghanistan was finally demarcated in 1895-6.
The city area of Shalkot was inhabited by the Kasi Tribe. Being on the outskirts of Kandahar, it was not much developed. With the arrival of British troops, doors of development were opened. Very soon people saw roads, trains and schools in the area. The British made the largely Pashtun area part of Baluchistan Agency - which was resented by many of the Pashtun tribes. In April 1883 it was combined with Pishin into a single administrative unit.