Zhob is a small town and district capital of Zhob District in Balochistan province of Pakistan at an elevation of 4,678 ft (1,426 m). Zhob is located on the banks of Zhob River. The city was originally named Apozai after a nearby village. During the colonial era it was named Fort Sandeman. It obtained its current name on the 30th of July 1976, when the then Prime Minister of Pakistan, had the name changed.
A Chinese pilgrim, Xuanzang, who visited the region in 629 AD mentioned Pashtuns living in Zhob.
Until the Zhob Valley expedition of 1884 the area was practically unknown to Europeans, and in 1889 the Zhob Valley and Gomal Pass were taken under the control of the British Government. In December 1889 the town of Zhob, then known as Apozai, was occupied by the British and named Fort Sandeman after Sir Robert Sandeman.
The district of Zhob was formed in 1890, with Fort Sandeman as the capital. The population was 3552, according to the 1901 census of India. The military garrison included a native cavalry and a native infantry regiment. It was also the headquarters of the Zhob Levy Corps. In 1894 a supply of water from the Saliaza valley was established, allowing irrigation and planting of fruits and trees and providing drinking water.
During the colonial era the Political Agent resided in a building known as "the Castle" that lay to the north of the town and 150 feet (46 m) above the surface of the plain. The military lines, bazaar, dispensaries, and school lay below. During this time the railway system was built.