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History

The Quetta district was held in turns by the Ghaznivids, Ghorids and Mongols and towards the end of the Fifteenth century was conferred by the ruler of Heart on Shah Brg Arghun, who, however, has shortly to give way before the rising power of the Mughals. The Ain-i-Akabri mentions shah as supplying Military service and revenue to Akbar. From the Mughals, Quetta passed with Qandahar to the safavids. On the rise of the ghilizai power in Qandhar at the beginning of the 18th century, simultaneously with that of the Brohuis in kalat, Quetta became the battle ground between Afghans and Brohuis, until Nadir Shah handed Quetta over to the Brohuis about 1740.

The Durranis and their successors continued to hold possession of Pishin and Shal (Quetta) till the final transfer of these placesto the british in 1879. On the advance of the army of the Indus in 1839, Captain Bean was appointed the first Political Agent in Shal and the country was managed by him on behalf of Shah Shuja -ul - Mulk.


Quetta was temporarily occupied by the British during the First Afghan War of 1839-42 but was later abandoned.

Its strategic importance, being at the head of Bolan Pass, was first recognized by General Jhon Jacob who urged the Governer-General of India, Lord Canning, in 1856 to garrison this important point of Vantage. But the proposal was rejected on the ground that quetta was an isolated place and surrounded by tribes.

In 1866, Sir Henry Green, political superintendent of Upper Sind again proposed that Quetta should be garrisoned and connected by rail with Karachi. The suggestion was again rejected. However, when the Russians occupied Khiva in Centeral Asia and were drawing nearer to the Afghan border, the Brirish made Quetta a military station. Under increased subsidy to the Khan of Kalat, railway and telegraphic lines were run through his territory and Quetta was connected with the cities of Sind.

During the second Afghan War of 1878-80 Quetta was freely used by British troops. After Sir Robert Sandeman's mission to Kalat in1876, the fort of Quetta was occupied by his escort and this region was managed on Behalf of the khan up to 1883, when it was leased to the British Government for an Annual rent of Rs. 25000.

When the arsenal at Quetta was being excavated in 1886,a bronze or copper statuette of Hercules was unearthed, which was 2 feet high and held in his left hand the skin of the Nemean Lion.

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