Kech, the land of a romance legend, has always been a place of importance for its geographical location. It has been, and still is, the centre of Makran region; geographically, socially, and politically. Known history of the area ways back to the time of prophet Dawood, when people entombed themselves to avoid famine. The area is said to be possessed by Iranian King Kaus followed by Afrasiab of Turan and then by Kai Khusrau, again an Iranian. Then there is a long list of rulers, including Lehrasp, Gushtasp, Bahman, Huma and Darab, to the year 325 BC when an army contingent of Alexander the Great passed through Makran, then known as Gadrosia, on its way from India to Macedonia. Greek historian Arrian has commented on the land, environment and people of the area. He found the climate very hot, the soil sandy and the land inept for human settlement. Afterwards, the area was ruled by Seleukos Nikator, one of Alexander’s generals, who lost it to Chandragupta in 303 BC. Then the tract of history is lost in darkness for centuries and in the fifth century after the death of Christ, we find the area being given to Bahram-i-Gor as a part of dower of Shermah’s daughter. An ascertained account of the area is found in 643 AD, when Islamic army under the command of Abdullah conquered Makran and wrote to the caliph Umar about aridity of the land. Arabs ruled the land one after the other. All the Arab geographers of the era, like Ibn Haukal, Ibn Khurdadba, Al Istakhri and Al Idrisi, have described the country as “for the most part desert”. In the 10th century Ibn Haukal notices that the ruler of Makran was an Arab, Isa bin Madan, who had established his residence in the city of Kech which was half the size of Multan. According to a local legend, Muhammad bin Qasim also passed through the area on his way to Sind. Although many invaders, like the Deilamis, the Seljuks, the Ghaznivids, the Ghorids and the Mangols, conquered the land but mostly the local rulers, including Hoths, Rinds, Maliks, Buledais and Gichkis, exercised authority in the area as the conquerors had no intentions to stay here.
Two regimes of local rulers, of Buledais and Gichkis, are worth mentioning here. The Buledais gained power with the rise of the Zikri sect. These rulers are said to be connected with the rulers of Maskat and were called Buledais in reference to the valley of Buleda where they resided. The Buledais ruled the area for more than a century up to the year 1740. In the last years of their regime they embraced Islam. The Zikri folk joined hands with the Gichkis who also were Zikris by faith. After complete take-over of the area, the younger branch of Gichkis took hold of Kech and Gwadar. The family feuds and internal dissension between Gichkis resulted in nine, either partially or fully successful, expeditions by Mir Nasir Khan I. It is said that the main motive behind all these expeditions, made by Mir Nasir Khan I, was to eliminate the Zikris as he belonged to (anti-Zikri) Muslim faith. These expeditions resulted in division of revenues between the Khan and Gichkis. Mir Mehrab Khan, grand successor of Mir Nasir Khan I, appointed Faqir Muhammad Bizanjo as his naib (assistant) in Kech to keep a stronghold. This naib represented the Khan in this area for more than 40 years. Afterwards local influential were appointed as naibs of the Khan due to ineffectiveness of non-local naibs. Foreign support and fragmented local population of Balochs gave the Gichkis super-ordination and they became Hakims (rulers) of the area.
The first Afghan war (1838-39) directed the attention of the British to the area. Major Goldsmith visited the area in 1861 and an Assistant Political Agent was appointed at Gwadar in 1863. Kech remained under control of the Khan of Kalat, through his nazims, during the colonial era however the British rulers had influence in the affairs of the area.
After the division of the Indian subcontinent into two sovereign states, Makran joined the Balochistan States Union in early 1949 along with Kalat, Lasbela and Kharan. In October 1955, Makran was given the status of a district of former West Pakistan province after its accession to Pakistan. On 1st July 1970, when ‘One Unit” was dissolved and Balochistan gained the status of a province, Makran became one of its 8 districts. On 1st July 1977, Makran was declared a division and was divided into three districts, named Panjgur, Turbat (renamed Kech) and Gwadar. Turbat was notified as a district on July 1, 1977. In 1994-95, the name of Turbat district was changed to its old name, i.e., Kech. Now the name of the district is Kech while Turbat town is its headquarters.
Kech has been very much popular for a love story of Punnu and Sassi. Punnu was a Hoth prince remnant of whose miri (fort) can still be seen near Turbat, and Sassi was his beloved. Many folklore have been written about this legend in all the local languages.