The September 2013 Mw7.7 Balochistan earthquake ruptured a ∼200-km-long segment of the curved Hoshab fault in southern Pakistan with 10±0.2 m of peak sinistral and ∼1.7±0.8 m of dip slip. This rupture is unusual because the fault dips 60±15° towards the focus of a small circle centered in northwest Pakistan, and, despite a 30° increase in obliquity along strike, the ratios of strike and dip slip remain relatively uniform. Surface displacements and geodetic and teleseismic source inversions quantify a bilateral rupture that propagated rapidly at shallow depths from a transtensional jog near the northern end of the rupture. Static friction prior to rupture was unusually weak (μ<0.05), and friction may have approached zero during dynamic rupture. Here we show that the inward-dipping Hoshab fault defines the northern rim of a structural unit in southeast Makran that rotates – akin to a 2-D ball-and-socket joint – counter-clockwise in response to India's penetration into the Eurasian plate. This rotation accounts for complexity in the Chaman fault system and, in principle, reduces seismic potential near Karachi; nonetheless, these findings highlight deficiencies in strong ground motion equations and tectonic models that invoke Anderson–Byerlee faulting predictions.