Commissioner Quetta Records

Commissioner Quetta Division Records

Quetta is the headquarters of Balochistan Province and the principal city in the province. It was a small outpost of Kalat State in the pre-colonial period. During the colonial period 1839-47, it steadily grew in importance and became the main bulwark of British defense of the Northwest Frontier of India. In this context, The Political Agent, Quetta-Pishin was a key pillar of the colonial administration in Balochistan Agency. This district was subsequently elevated to the status of a Commissioner's Division. Thearchives cover the activities of the Commissioner, Quetta Division from the end of the 19th century to the 1970s. They, therefore, cover the period under the British colonial rule as well as post-independence period of Pakistan. These records date back to the 1880s when the colonial authority first created the Quetta-Pishin District. The records can be roughly divided into Revenue, Judicial, General, and Political & Secret headings. These records have suffered from neglect, especially during the District Government System of 2002-2008, and some records have been damaged permanently. Many files are incomplete and others have not been systematically organized. The first systematic survey of these records was undertaken by a team of Italian researchers, namely, Drs. Beatrice Nicolini and Ricardo Redaelli in the 1990s. The results of their survey were published in an article titled "Quetta: History and Archives- Notes of a Survey of the Archives of Quetta" in the August 1994 issue of the research journal NuovaRivistaStorica. Balochistan Archives has recently taken the initiative to acquire and systematically catalog the contents of the Commissioner, Quetta Division Records with the support and cooperation of Commissioner's Office. As of now, one fourth (25%) of the Commissioner's Office records have been catalogued and accessioned.