Located in the northwest of Balochistan province, 47 km away from capital city Quetta lies the beautiful district, Mastung. It has an area of 5896 sq. km and lies at a height of 1701 m above sea level. The word Mastung, according to the locals, is composed of two words ‘Mas’ and ‘Tang’ derived from Brahui langauge. Mas Means Mountain and Tang means a hole. The entrance of the city is a view where one feels like entering a hole, hence, the city got famous as ‘Mastung’. Another name ‘Khudabad’ which was given to the city by Ahmedzai Khan, gained less popularity among locals. Mastung holds a population of 266,461. Most of the population is Baloch or Brahui with a minority of Pashtuns and Punjabis. Mastung has always shared a peaceful environment with its religious minorities that include a large number of Hindus and Christians. The local language of Mastung is called Dehvari which is an amalgam of Persian, Brahui, and Urdu.

There are many notable ethnic groups in the city including the Brahui tribes; Shahwani, Raisani, Bagulzai, Lehri, and Kurd; Dehwar tribes including Khwajakhail, Alizai, Mandozai and Pashtoon tribes including Babri, Tareen, and Yousafzai.

Administratively, until 1991, Mastung was a sub-divison of Kalat District. On 18 February 1992, Mastung was honored with the status of a separate district. Currently, it is divided into three tehsils: Dasht, Kardigap, and Mastung. Within these, there are 13 union councils: Khadkocha, Ghulam Parenz, Karez Noth, Mastung-1, Mastung-2, Sorgaz, Dasht, Isplinji, Kanak, Shaikh Wasil, Kardigap, Soro, and Alizai.

The education facilities provided by the government to the locals of Mastung include 297 primary, 32 middle, and 18 high schools according to BEMIS 2009-10. The literacy rate is found to be 33% in the population above 15 years of age (PSLM 2008-9).

Mastung has always served as a valuable institution for progressive Baloch politics, literature, political movements and journalism and has nurtured many notable figures in its lap. Some famous personalities from Mastung include Nawab Aslam Raisani (Ex-CM Balchistan), Nawab Ghaus Baksh Raisani, Nawab Abdul Qadir Shahwani, Sardar Bahardur Khan Bangulzai, Malik Saeed Dehwar, Mir Yousaf Aziz Kurd and Abdul Raheem Khwajakhail.

Like most of the other areas of Balochistan, Mastung holds a dry and hot climate in summers and mild to very cool winters. Winters are usually marked with snowfalls in the valleys of Mastung and Dasht. The land area of Mastung is barren, however, small saffron gardens and orchids are a usual site in the city. Almond, Apple, Apricot, Grapes, Peach, Cherry, and Pistachio are grown in abundance. Few mineral deposits found in the locale include coal, building stone and lime stone. Small scale industries and livestock are basically the main sources of income among the locals.

Mastung lies among many unexplored regions of Balochistan, however, some highlights of the city that attract the tourists are defiantly worth experiencing. The most visited attraction in Mastung is the valley of Mastung, full of beautiful flowers and high, rocky mountains with famous picnic points such as Koi Amach, Dasht Khumbaila, and Dasht-e-Umer Door. Alongside, in the mountains, is an area called Pringabad where visitors enjoy exploring old caves. The Mastung bazaar is also a famous site for visitors most specifically for its distinctive Balochi handicrafts. Additionally, when entering the city, one finds the famous shrine of Baba Sheikh Taqi which holds a spiritual status for the people of Mastung.

Apart from the above mentioned sites, two sites that are also significantly worthy of visiting include The Hazaar Ganji Chiltan National Park – One of the five National Parks in Pakistan and The legendary Mastung Cadet College. The Hazaar Ganji National Park lies in the Sulaiman Mountains, with desert and forest habitats It is located about 20 kilometres southwest of the city of Quetta, easily accessible by road. It covers the vast land of 325,000 acres. Inside the park are remarkable flora and fauna of the region along with a museum, rest house and numerous picnic spots. Spring season when flowers and gardens are blooming with freshness, is the best time to visit this park.

Mastung Cadet College is a military school in Mastung. It was recognized in 1976, to offer equal opportunities to the talented and brighter students of Balochistan. The institute covers an area of 120 acres and is located on the RCD Highway, 54 km away from Quetta. The in-campus facilities include hospital, library, mosque, shooting range, cafeteria, gymnasium, auditorium and beautiful gardens. It is known for training the best cadets in Pakistan.

Moreover, if you are a tea lover, then Mastung has the best cakes to offer you, making your tea time more enjoyable. It is called the Haji Nazir cake named after the maker of the cake, who was a local Punjabi baker in Mastung. It is a pound cake rich in nuts and dried fruits topped with simplicity and glazed with love.

Like most other regions of Balochistan, Mastung remains a hidden gem that needs to be extracted, polished and cherished. The city holds the potential to be developed further to mark itself as a famous spot to explore in Pakistan.



About Author

Zara Arshad is a medical undergrad student from Quetta, Balochistan. She has an experience of around 2 years in blog writing. Her areas of interest are health journalism, women empowerment, education and health for all.

Leave A Reply