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Makran is the southern region of Balochistan, in Iran and Pakistan along the coast of the Arabian Sea and Gulf of Oman.

The area is mountainous and has very low rainfall. Generally it's sparsely inhabited. Along the coast are small ports, e.g., in Pakistan from west to east: Jiwani, Gawadar (or Gwadar), Pasni, Ormara. There are also smaller fishing villages. The coastline from Karachi (just east of Makran) to the Pakistan-Iran border is about 800km [2].

The Pakistan government is developing Ormara as a naval port and constructing a road along the coast from Karachi [2].

One of the earliest historical references to the area is the crossing by the army of Alexander the Great during their return from India, as recorded in the journals of Nearchos. According to Nearchos, Alexander had wanted to surpass the achievements of Queen Semiramis and Kyros[?], whos attempts to cross the desert with armies had ended in disaster. However [3] suggests it was necessary to take this route to travel in support of the Greek fleet. According to Plutarch, only one quarter of the Alexander's army survived the journey.

External links and references

[1] Balochistan and Makran, Pakistan - http://www.transpakistan.com.pk/balochistan.htm

[2] Makran Coastal Highway Project - http://www.defencejournal.com/globe/2001/september/makran.htm

[3] Alexander and the Makran Desert - http://www.pothos.co.uk/alexander.asp?ParaID=49

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