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Meaning of Beluchisan


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Belu`chistan (200 to 400), a desert plateau lying between Persia and India, Afghanistan and the Arabian Sea; is crossed by many mountain ranges, the Suliman, in the N., rising to 12,000 ft. Rivers in the NE. are subject to great floods. The centre and W. is a sandy desert exposed to bitter winds in winter and sand-storms in summer. Fierce extremes of temperature prevail. There are few cattle, but sheep are numerous; the camel is the draught animal. Where there is water the soil is fertile, and crops of rice, cotton, indigo, sugar, and tobacco are raised; in the higher parts, wheat, maize, and pulse. Both precious and useful metals are found; petroleum wells were discovered in the N. in 1887. The population comprises Beluchis, robber nomads of Aryan stock, in the E. and W., and Mongolian Brahuis in the centre. All are Mohammedan. Kelat is the capital; its position commands all the caravan routes. Quetta, in the N., is a British stronghold and health resort. The Khan of Kelat is the ruler of the country and a vassal of the Queen.
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