Page:Statesman's Year-Book 1899 American Edition.djvu/512

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168 THE BRITISH EMPIRE .'—INDIA AND DEPENDENCIES

British control ; and more recently British authority has been established in the country between the Zhob Valley and the Gumal Pass.

The principal towns are Ivhelat (the capital), Quetta, which is already much larger than Khelat, Mastang, Kozdar, Bela, Kej, Bagh, Gandava, Dadar, Sonmiani. The religion is Muhammadan. The only Hindus are shopkeepers and those who have come to Quetta for trade, labour, &c.

There is no standing army, with the exception of about 1,200 men kept up by the Khan ; His Highness could perhaps assemble, at an emergency, 10,000 irregular tribal levies, indifferently armed. The fortifications recently erected by the Indian Government lie within the territory under British administration. The numerous forts scattered about independent Baluchis- tan could offer no resistance against artillery.

The Khan of Khelat's revenue consists of his subsidy from the Indian Government of 100,000 rupees a year, his quit-rent of 25,000 rupees for the Quetta district, and a share in the agricultural produce taken from the inferior cultivators in Independent Baluchistan. The last source of revenue varies considerably. In a good year it might be worth 500,000 rupees.

The agricultural produce of Baluchistan is limited, owing to the scanty and uncertain rainfall ; but most of the crops grown in India may be found in the country. Coal has also been found in several places. At Khost, on the Sind-Pishin Railway, it has been successfully worked for some years past. Baluchistan is an immense camel-grazing country. Steps have been taken to improve the breed of horses in Baluchistan by the importation of thoroughbreds, Norfolk trotters, and Arab stallions. Local manufactures are unimportant, being confined to a few matchlocks and other weapons. The nomad tribes make for themselves rough blankets and rugs. The chief exports are wood, hides, madder, dried fruit, bdellium, tobacco, and dates. The following table shows, as nearly as can be estimated, the imports and exports of British India from and to Baluchistan for the past three years. The trade over the Sind-Pishin Railway, very little of which goes beyond British territory, is excluded : —

Lu3 Bela Khelat .

Imports

Exports

1896

1897

1898

1896

1897

1898

Rx.

66,848 75,800

Rx.

71,259 67,084

Rx.

96,713 87,076 )

Rx.

23,310

42,680

Rx.

28,603 40,789

Rx.

41,241 41,424

1

The country through which the Bolan and Sind-Pishin Railways run is under British administration. Elsewhere camels serve as the chief means of transport. Surveys have recently been made for a line of railway from Karachi to Quetta vid Las Bela, Kharan, and Khelat. There is a line of telegraph to Khelat, and the submarine cable from Karachi to the Persian Gulf touches at Gwadar.

The Aflininistration Report of the Baluchistan Agency for 1894-95. Calcutta, 1895. Floyer (E. A.), Unexplored Baluchi.stan. London, 1882. Huyhis{A. W.), The Country of Baluchistan. London, 1S77. Mac Grfj/or (Sir C), Wanderin;,'S in Baluchi.stan. London, 1882.

MacJUahonlA. H.) and ifoIdtcA (T. H.), Papers on the North- Western Bordtrlands-of Baluchistan in ' Geographical Journal. Vol. ix. pp. 392-416. London, 18t'7.