Quetta is the largest city in, and the provincial capital of, the Balochistan province of Pakistan. Known as the Fruit Garden of Balochistan due to the diversity of its plant and animal wildlife, Quetta is situated at an average elevation of 1,680 meters (5,500ft) above sea level, making it Pakistan's only high-altitude major city. Sitting in northern Balochistan near the Durand Line border with Afghanistan and close to Kandahar province, Quetta is a trade and communications center between the two countries as well as an important military location which occupies a strategic position for the Pakistani Armed Forces. The city lies on the Bolan Pass route which was once the only gateway to and from South Asia.
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