Badghis Province

Badghis Province

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Bādghīs is one of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan
Provinces of Afghanistan
The provinces of Afghanistan are the primary administrative divisions of Afghanistan. As of 2004, there are thirty-four provinces in the country. Each province is further divided into smaller districts....

. It is located in northwestern Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

, between the Murghab and Hari rivers, extending as far northward as the edge of the desert of Sarakhs
Sarakhs
Sarakhs is a city in and capital of Sarakhs County, Razavi Khorasan Province, Iran. Sarakhs was once a stopping point along the Silk Road, and in its 11th century heyday had many libraries and a famous school of architects. Much of the original city site is now just across the border at Saraghs...

. It includes the Chul formations through which the Turkmen
Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan , formerly also known as Turkmenia is one of the Turkic states in Central Asia. Until 1991, it was a constituent republic of the Soviet Union, the Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic . Turkmenistan is one of the six independent Turkic states...

-Afghan boundary runs. The province was carved out of portions of Herat Province
Herat Province
Herat is one the 34 provinces of Afghanistan; together with Badghis, Farah, and Ghor provinces, it makes up the South-western region of the country...

 and Meymaneh Province
Meymaneh Province
Meymaneh Province was a former province of Afghanistan, which in 1964 was divided, creating Badghis Province and Faryab Province.-Source:*...

 in 1964 and has a total area of 20,591 km2. Its name is from Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

 word Bādkhīz (بادخیز) meaning "where the winds arise" or "home of the winds".

History


The name "Badghis" is from the Persian word Bādghezz (باد غیس) meaning "lap of wind" or "home of the winds". The province was one of the last captured by the Taliban in their military offensive before the American invasion in 2001. Even after their official takeover of the province, the largely Tajik population of the province never welcomed the Pashtun
Pashtun people
Pashtuns or Pathans , also known as ethnic Afghans , are an Eastern Iranic ethnic group with populations primarily between the Hindu Kush mountains in Afghanistan and the Indus River in Pakistan...

 Taliban. The province was quickly retaken by Northern Alliance forces as the United States initiated hostilities, which was followed by a brutal cleansing of the Pashtun minority in the province.

Various influential warlords have traded control of the province in recent years, including: Abdul Malik, Rashid Dostum, Juma Khan
Juma Khan
Haji Juma Khan, an ethnic Baluch from Afghanistan’s Nimroz Province, is a drug lord with links to the Taliban. The title Haji indicates that he has completed the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca....

 and Ismail Khan
Ismail Khan
Ismail Khan is a politician and former mujahideen commander from Afghanistan. Born in the western Afghan city of Herat, he rose to become a powerful rebel commander during in the Soviet War in Afghanistan, and then a key member of the Northern Alliance until finally becoming the Governor of Herat...

. During the fight against the Taliban, the Northern Alliance commanders received military aid from Shia Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, fearful of the Sunni Taliban. In one notable incident, Malik temporarily switched his allegiances from Dostum, allowing the Taliban to gain control of the province.

Geography


Badghis Province is located in the isolated hills of northwestern Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 and shares its borders with Herat
Herat
Herāt is the capital of Herat province in Afghanistan. It is the third largest city of Afghanistan, with a population of about 397,456 as of 2006. It is situated in the valley of the Hari River, which flows from the mountains of central Afghanistan to the Karakum Desert in Turkmenistan...

, Ghor, and Faryab provinces as well as Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan , formerly also known as Turkmenia is one of the Turkic states in Central Asia. Until 1991, it was a constituent republic of the Soviet Union, the Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic . Turkmenistan is one of the six independent Turkic states...

. The province is dominated by the Murghab
Murghab
Murghab may refer to:*Murghob District, a district in the Tajikistani province of Gorno-Badakhshan*Murghab, Tajikistan*Murghab District in Badghis Province, Afghanistan*Murghab, Afghanistan...

 River in the north and the Hari-Rud River in the south.

Demography


Like in the rest of Afghanistan, no exact population numbers are available. The Afghan Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation & Development (MRRD) along with UNHCR and Central Statistics Office (CSO) of Afghanistan estimates the population of the province to be around 499,393. According to the same sources, Tajiks make up around 56% of the total population, followed by 40% Pashtuns and 4% Uzbeks
Uzbeks
The Uzbeks are a Turkic ethnic group in Central Asia. They comprise the majority population of Uzbekistan, and large populations can also be found in Afghanistan, Tajikstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Pakistan, Mongolia and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China...

, Turkmens
Turkmen people
The Turkmen are a Turkic people located primarily in the Central Asian states of Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, and northeastern Iran. They speak the Turkmen language, which is classified as a part of the Western Oghuz branch of the Turkic languages family together with Turkish, Azerbaijani, Qashqai,...

, Balochs
Baloch people
The Baloch or Baluch are an ethnic group that belong to the larger Iranian peoples. Baluch people mainly inhabit the Balochistan region and Sistan and Baluchestan Province in the southeast corner of the Iranian plateau in Western Asia....

 and other minorities. According to AIMS and NPS, the population of Badghis consists of 62% Tajik, 28% Pashtun, 5% Uzbek, 3% Turkmen, and 2% Baloch. It is counted as one of the most underdeveloped of the country's 34 provinces. Qala i Naw
Qala i Naw, Afghanistan
Qala i Naw is a town in Qala i Naw District and the capital of Badghis Province, of north-west Afghanistan. Its population is estimated 9,000 in 2006.It has a small airport, Qala i Naw Airport....

, a small town half-way between Sheberghan
Sheberghan
Sheberghān or Shaburghān , also spelled Shebirghan and Shibarghan, is the capital city of the Jowzjan Province in northern Afghanistan.-Location:...

 and Herat
Herat
Herāt is the capital of Herat province in Afghanistan. It is the third largest city of Afghanistan, with a population of about 397,456 as of 2006. It is situated in the valley of the Hari River, which flows from the mountains of central Afghanistan to the Karakum Desert in Turkmenistan...

 serves as the provincial center.

Politics


The current Governor
Governor
A governor is a governing official, usually the executive of a non-sovereign level of government, ranking under the head of state...

 of the province is Delbar Jan Arman.

At the province is a Provincial Reconstruction Team
Provincial reconstruction team
A Provincial Reconstruction Team is a unit introduced by the United States government, consisting of military officers, diplomats, and reconstruction subject matter experts, working to support reconstruction efforts in unstable states. PRTs were first established in Afghanistan in late 2001 or...

, which is led by Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

.

Economy


Agriculture
Agriculture
Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...

 is the main source of people's income and the existence of Murghab and Hari rivers makes the available land suitable for cultivation. The province faced severe drought during the late 1990s and early 2000s, causing tens of thousands of residents to flee to refugee camps outside Herat. The situation has since improved. Badghis is the leading province in Afghanistan in pistachio
Pistachio
The pistachio, Pistacia vera in the Anacardiaceae family, is a small tree originally from Persia , which now can also be found in regions of Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, Greece, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, India, Pakistan, Egypt, Sicily and possibly Afghanistan , as well as in the United States,...

 production. It is also one of the carpet-making capitals of the country.

Transportation


Badghis Province suffers from a lack of adequate transportation. A single airport exists at the provincial seat--Qala i Naw Airport
Qala i Naw Airport
Qala i Naw Airport is an airport serving the city of Qala i Naw in Badghis Province, Afghanistan.It is also known as Qala Nau Airport. It has scheduled services with Pamir Airways. This airport is unique in the fact that the runway is actually a highway that is utilized when there is no air traffic...

 (QAQN), which is capable of handling light aircraft.

External links