Quetta (help·info) (Pashto: کوټه Urdu: کوئٹہ) is the largest city and the provincial capital of the Balochistan Province of Pakistan. It is known as the "Fruit Garden of Pakistan", due to the diversity of its plant and animal wildlife. Situated at an average elevation of 1,654 metres (5,429 feet) above sea level. the city is a major stronghold along the western frontier of the country. The city is also home to the Hazarganji Chiltan National Park, which contains some of the rarest species of wildlife in the world and to a research institute, the Geological Survey of Pakistan.
Quetta sits near the Durand Line border with Afganistan and is an important trade and communications centre between the two countries as well as an important military location occupying a vital strategic position for the Pakistan Armed Forces. The city lies on the Bolan Pass route which was once the only gateway to and from South Asia. The city was the closest city to the 1935 and the 2008 earthquakes both of which resulted in a great deal of damage to the city and significant loss of life.