Kandahar Province

Kandahar Province

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Encyclopedia
Kandahar or Qandahar is one of the largest 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 southern 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 Helmand, Oruzgan
Oruzgan Province
Orūzgān or Urōzgān , also spelled Uruzgan or Rōzgān , is one of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan. It is in the center of the country, though the area is culturally and tribally linked to Kandahar in the south. Its capital is Tarin Kowt...

 and Zabul
Zabul Province
Zabul is a historic province of Afghanistan. Zabul became an independent province from neighbouring Kandahar in 1963, with Qalat being named the provincial capital. It should not be confused with the city Zabol, on the Iranian side of the border with Afghanistan.- Political and security situation...

 provinces. Its capital is the city of Kandahar
Kandahar
Kandahar is the second largest city in Afghanistan, with a population of about 512,200 as of 2011. It is the capital of Kandahar Province, located in the south of the country at about 1,005 m above sea level...

, which is located on the Arghandab River
Arghandab River
Arghandab is a river in Afghanistan, about in length. It rises in the Hazarajat country north-west of Ghazni, and flows south-west falls into the Helmand below Girishk. In its lower course it is much used for irrigation, and the valley is cultivated and populous; yet the water is said to be...

. The province has a population of nearly 913,000, with over 800,000 living in its capital city. The main inhabitants of Kandahar province are the Pashtuns
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...

. The United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 is currently fighting the Taliban in this area, the Canadian Forces
Canadian Forces
The Canadian Forces , officially the Canadian Armed Forces , are the unified armed forces of Canada, as constituted by the National Defence Act, which states: "The Canadian Forces are the armed forces of Her Majesty raised by Canada and consist of one Service called the Canadian Armed Forces."...

 were significantly involved in the area from 2006 to 2011. In spring 2010, the province as well as its capital city that are called "the birthplace and spiritual home of the Taliban" also became a target of American operations following Operation Moshtarak
Operation Moshtarak
Operation Moshtarak was an ISAF pacification offensive in the area that is described as the "poppy-growing belt" of Helmand Province in southern Afghanistan. The combat operations started on February 13, 2010, and focuses on the Nad Ali District and Lashkar Gah district...

in the neighbouring Helmand province
Helmand Province
Helmand is one of the 34 provinces of Afghanistan. It is in the southwest of the country. Its capital is Lashkar Gah. The Helmand River flows through the mainly desert region, providing water for irrigation....

.

Name


There is speculation about the origin of the name "Kandahar". It is believed that Kandahar bears Alexander's name, and derives from the Pashto rendering of Iskandariya or Alexandria
Alexandria in Arachosia
Alexandria in Arachosia was a city in ancient times that is now called Kandahar in Afghanistan. It was one of the seventy-plus cities founded or renamed by Alexander the Great. Arachosia is the Greek name of an ancient province of the Achaemenid, Seleucid and Parthian empires...

. A temple to the deified Alexander as well as an inscription in Greek
Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek is the stage of the Greek language in the periods spanning the times c. 9th–6th centuries BC, , c. 5th–4th centuries BC , and the c. 3rd century BC – 6th century AD of ancient Greece and the ancient world; being predated in the 2nd millennium BC by Mycenaean Greek...

 and Aramaic by the emperor Ashoka
Ashoka
Ashok Maurya or Ashoka , popularly known as Ashoka the Great, was an Indian emperor of the Maurya Dynasty who ruled almost all of the Indian subcontinent from ca. 269 BC to 232 BC. One of India's greatest emperors, Ashoka reigned over most of present-day India after a number of military conquests...

, who lived a few decades later, have been discovered in the old citadel. Alternatively, it is believed that "Kandahar" may derive its name from Gandhara
Gandhara
Gandhāra , is the name of an ancient kingdom , located in northern Pakistan and eastern Afghanistan. Gandhara was located mainly in the vale of Peshawar, the Potohar plateau and on the Kabul River...

, an ancient kingdom along the modern Kashmir
Kashmir
Kashmir is the northwestern region of the Indian subcontinent. Until the mid-19th century, the term Kashmir geographically denoted only the valley between the Great Himalayas and the Pir Panjal mountain range...

 and Afghanistan border, and former satrapy of the Persian Empire. It is suggested that people of Gandhara migrated south to Arachosia
Arachosia
Arachosia is the Latinized form of the Greek name of an Achaemenid and Seleucid governorate in the eastern part of their respective empires, around modern-day southern Afghanistan. The Greek term "Arachosia" corresponds to the Iranian land of Harauti which was between Kandahar in Afghanistan and...

 and transferred the name with them.

History


For a more comprehensive history of Kandahar Province, see Kandahar City
Kandahar
Kandahar is the second largest city in Afghanistan, with a population of about 512,200 as of 2011. It is the capital of Kandahar Province, located in the south of the country at about 1,005 m above sea level...

.


Kandahar, the city
City
A city is a relatively large and permanent settlement. Although there is no agreement on how a city is distinguished from a town within general English language meanings, many cities have a particular administrative, legal, or historical status based on local law.For example, in the U.S...

 and province
Province
A province is a territorial unit, almost always an administrative division, within a country or state.-Etymology:The English word "province" is attested since about 1330 and derives from the 13th-century Old French "province," which itself comes from the Latin word "provincia," which referred to...

, dates back to the time of the Mahabharata
Mahabharata
The Mahabharata is one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India and Nepal, the other being the Ramayana. The epic is part of itihasa....

 One of the important personalities in Mahabharat, is Shakuni who hails from this so called Ghandar/Kandhar as per the Mahabharat Documentation., which dates back to 3120 BC Indo-Aryan
Indo-Aryans
Indo-Aryan is an ethno-linguistic term referring to the wide collection of peoples united as native speakers of the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-Iranian family of Indo-European languages...

 era. The city has been a frequent target for conquest because of its strategic location in Asia
Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

, which connects Southern
South Asia
South Asia, also known as Southern Asia, is the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan countries and, for some authorities , also includes the adjoining countries to the west and the east...

, Central
Central Asia
Central Asia is a core region of the Asian continent from the Caspian Sea in the west, China in the east, Afghanistan in the south, and Russia in the north...

 and Southwest Asia
Southwest Asia
Western Asia, West Asia, Southwest Asia or Southwestern Asia are terms that describe the westernmost portion of Asia. The terms are partly coterminous with the Middle East, which describes a geographical position in relation to Western Europe rather than its location within Asia...

. It was part of the Persian Achaemenid empire before the Greek invasion in 330 B.C. It came under the influence of the India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

n emperor Ashoka
Ashoka
Ashok Maurya or Ashoka , popularly known as Ashoka the Great, was an Indian emperor of the Maurya Dynasty who ruled almost all of the Indian subcontinent from ca. 269 BC to 232 BC. One of India's greatest emperors, Ashoka reigned over most of present-day India after a number of military conquests...

 who erected a pillar there with a bilingual inscription in Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

 and Aramaic.
Under the Abbasids and later Turkic
Turkic peoples
The Turkic peoples are peoples residing in northern, central and western Asia, southern Siberia and northwestern China and parts of eastern Europe. They speak languages belonging to the Turkic language family. They share, to varying degrees, certain cultural traits and historical backgrounds...

 invaders, Kandahar converted to Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

. Kandahar would go on to be conquered by the Arabs in the 7th century, Turkic Ghaznavids in the 10th century, and Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan , born Temujin and occasionally known by his temple name Taizu , was the founder and Great Khan of the Mongol Empire, which became the largest contiguous empire in history after his death....

 in the 13th century. Ahmad Shah Durrani
Ahmad Shah Durrani
Ahmad Shah Durrani , also known as Ahmad Shāh Abdālī and born as Ahmad Khān, was the founder of the Durrani Empire in 1747 and is regarded by many to be the founder of the modern state of Afghanistan.Ahmad Khan enlisted as a young soldier in the military of the Afsharid kingdom and quickly rose...

, the founder of Afghanistan, gained control of the city and province in 1747 and made it the capital of his new Afghan Kingdom. In the 1770s, the capital was transferred to Kabul. Ahmad Shah Durrani's mausoleum
Mausoleum
A mausoleum is an external free-standing building constructed as a monument enclosing the interment space or burial chamber of a deceased person or persons. A monument without the interment is a cenotaph. A mausoleum may be considered a type of tomb or the tomb may be considered to be within the...

 is located somewhere in the center of the city.

British-Indians forces occupied the province during the First Anglo-Afghan War
First Anglo-Afghan War
The First Anglo-Afghan War was fought between British India and Afghanistan from 1839 to 1842. It was one of the first major conflicts during the Great Game, the 19th century competition for power and influence in Central Asia between the United Kingdom and Russia, and also marked one of the worst...

 from 1832 to 1842. They also occupied the city during the Second Anglo-Afghan War
Second Anglo-Afghan War
The Second Anglo-Afghan War was fought between the United Kingdom and Afghanistan from 1878 to 1880, when the nation was ruled by Sher Ali Khan of the Barakzai dynasty, the son of former Emir Dost Mohammad Khan. This was the second time British India invaded Afghanistan. The war ended in a manner...

 from 1878 to 1880. It remained peaceful for about 100 years until the late 1970s.

During the Soviet occupation
Soviet war in Afghanistan
The Soviet war in Afghanistan was a nine-year conflict involving the Soviet Union, supporting the Marxist-Leninist government of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan against the Afghan Mujahideen and foreign "Arab–Afghan" volunteers...

 of 1979 to 1989, Kandahar province witnessed many fights between Soviet and local Mujahideen
Mujahideen
Mujahideen are Muslims who struggle in the path of God. The word is from the same Arabic triliteral as jihad .Mujahideen is also transliterated from Arabic as mujahedin, mujahedeen, mudžahedin, mudžahidin, mujahidīn, mujaheddīn and more.-Origin of the concept:The beginnings of Jihad are traced...

 rebels. After the Soviet withdrawal the city fell to Gul Agha Sherzai
Gul Agha Sherzai
Gul Agha Sherzai is the current Governor of Nangarhar province in Afghanistan.He previously served as Governor of Kandahar province, in the early 1990s and from 2001 until 2003.-Biography:...

, who became a powerful warlord and controlled the province.

At the end of 1994, the Taliban emerged from the area and set out to conquer the rest of the country. Since the removal of the Taliban in late 2001, Kandahar again came under the control of Gul Agha Sherzai. He was replaced in 2003 by Yousef Pashtun followed by Asadullah Khalid taking the post in 2005. The province is currently occupied by NATO forces.

Demographics


The population of 913,000 people is primarily 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...

, and the main Pashtun tribes are:
  • Durrani
    Durrani
    Durrani or Abdali is the name of a chief Pashtun tribal confederation in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Originally known by their ancient name Abdali later as Durrani they have been called Durrani since the beginning of the Durrani Empire in 1747. The number of Durranis are estimated to be roughly 16%...

     (Abdali)
    • Zirak
      Zirak
      The Zirak are a tribal confederation of Durrani Pashtuns, found in Afghanistan and Pakistan....

      • Achakzai
        Achakzai
        Achakzai are Durrani primarily found in southern Afghanistan and northern regions of Balochistan Province, Pakistan.-Demographics:Achakzais of Afghanistan are mainly located in Spin Boldak, Reg, Kandahar, Helmand, Oruzgan and Herat...

         (Gujanzai and Badinzai)
      • Barakzai
        Barakzai
        - History :Barakzai is a common ethnic name among the Pashtuns of Afghanistan/Pakistan and it means . Barakzai is also a Pashtun tribe in Pakistan, and more predominantly, in Afghanistan...

         (Mohammadzai)
      • Popalzai
        Popalzai
        Popalzai or Popalzay are Durrani Pashtuns.-Origin:According to Hyat Khan's history of Afghanistan, from their progenitor Bor Tareen, otherwise known as Abdal, are descended two main divisions: the Zirak and the Panjpai...

    • Panjpai
      Panjpai
      The Panjpai are a Durrani Pashtun tribal confederation found primarily in southern Afghanistan.The confederation's five tribes are generally given as the Alizai, Ishakzai, Noorzai, Maku, and Khogyani....

      • Alizai (Jalozai and Hasanzai)
      • Noorzai
        Noorzai
        SHARIEF KHAN NOORZAI IS ONE OF THE MOST POWERFULL PASHTONS LEADER IN THE WHOLE AFGHANISTAN AND HE IS FROM THE THE TRIBE 'Noorzai or Nurzai and are one of the biggest tribes of the Pushtoon, with a population of roughly 4.5 million in Afghanistan. They are an influential tribe in southern and...

    • Barech
      Barech
      Bareach are a Durrani Pashtun tribe found almost exclusively in the district of Shorawak in southern Kandahar province. There appears to be little ethnographic literature on the Bareach beyond the observations of some 19th and early 20th century British civil and military personnel...

    • Kiral
      Kiral
      The Kiral are a very small Durrani Pashtun tribe located in Maruf district, Kandahar province. Affiliation with larger tribe or tribal confederation unknown.-Sources:*, Center for Culture and Conflict Studies, US Naval Postgraduate School....

  • Ghilzai
    Ghilzai
    Ghilzai are the largest Pashtun tribal confederacy found in Afghanistan and Pakistan. They are also known historically as Ghilji, Khilji, Ghalji, Ghilzye, and possibly Gharzai...

    • Hotak
      Hotak
      Hotak is an Afghan royal family name among the Pashtun people.The Hotaki started long ago as a rich and well known political family. The first king to take power in Kandahar, Afghanistan, was Mirwais Hotak . After his death many different Hotakis took the power of the throne, such as Mahmud...

    • Tarakai
      Tarakai
      The Tarakai are a Ghilzai Pashtun tribe; many are found in Ghazni and Zabol provinces of Afghanistan. They are divided into six khels: the Firoz, Suhail, Gurbuz, Badin, Saki, and Na....

  • Kakar
    Kakar
    The Kakar are a Pashtun tribe, with members living in Afghanistan and Pakistan.-Kakar :Kakar Afghan was one of the grandsons of Qais Abdur Rashid. Kakar's father's name was Dani, son of Gharghasht, who was the son of Qais in the Afghan appendix of tribes. According to Afghan and Muslim historians,...

  • Tareen
    Tareen
    The Tareen are a prominent Sarbanri Pashtun tribe residing in Afghanistan and in Pakistan. They are one of the largest Pashtun tribes.-History:...


There are also Baloch
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....

 Tribes living in southern and desert parts of Kandahar province are:
  • Baloch
    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....

    • Brahui
      Brahui people
      The Brahui or Brohi are ethnic Baloch group of about 2.2 million people with the majority found in Kalat, Baluchistan, Pakistan, but they are also found in smaller numbers in neighboring Afghanistan and Iran. The Brahuis are almost entirely Sunni Muslims.-Origins:The ethnonym "Brahui" is a very...

    • Sumalani
    • Sanjrani
      Sanjrani
      Sanjrani is a Baloch tribe settled in Balochistan and Sindh provinces of Pakistan and also in Afghanistan and Iran.Sanjrani tribe living in Sindh speak Sindhi, Seraikis and Balochi....

    • Muhammed Hasni
    • Mengal
      Mengal
      Mengal is a Brahui / Baloch tribe in Balochistan, Pakistan- Demographics :The Mengal tribe is one of the largest Baloch tribe. Mengal people speak Brahui, a Dravidian language that has been heavily influenced by other Iranian languages spoken in the area, especially Balochi...

    • Badini
      Badini
      Badini is a Baloch tribe in the Balochistan region of Iran, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Russia , and Pakistan. Jeeandzai tribe is the Sardar Khail of Badini Rakhshani tribe. The Badini tribe is settled in the Nushki Sindh Muzafargarh and Ali Pur in Punjab. Another group of Rakshani Badini is...

    • Jamaldini
      Jamaldini
      Jamaldini is a tribe of Balochistan, Pakistan, particularly inhabitants of Nushki, Dalbandin, Kharan, Quetta, Chagai, Khuzdar areas.The name of this tribe is derived from Jamaldin son of Haroon Baloch, a notable person living on the bank of Rakhshan River, which was flown from the center of...

    • Notezai
    • Sarparah
    • Rodeni


There are also some Hazaras and Tajiks
Tajiks
Tajik is a general designation for a wide range of Persian-speaking people of Iranic origin, with traditional homelands in present-day Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan...

.

Governors



Gul Agha Sherzai
Gul Agha Sherzai
Gul Agha Sherzai is the current Governor of Nangarhar province in Afghanistan.He previously served as Governor of Kandahar province, in the early 1990s and from 2001 until 2003.-Biography:...

 was 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 before and after the Taliban regime, until early 2004, when mounting criticism of his efforts led President Hamid Karzai
Hamid Karzai
Hamid Karzai, GCMG is the 12th and current President of Afghanistan, taking office on 7 December 2004. He became a dominant political figure after the removal of the Taliban regime in late 2001...

 to remove him from the post. He was replaced by Asadullah Khalid, who governed the province until the appointment of Rahmatullah Raufi
Rahmatullah Raufi
Major General Rahmatullah Raufi is a former governor of Kandahar from August 2008 until he was sacked on December 4, 2008. Before that he was a senior military commander of the Afghan National Army presently commanding the 205th Corps, which is responsible for Afghanistan's restive southern provinces...

 in August 2008. For the last 250 years, mostly Pashtuns have been ruling Afghanistan. History shows that many Afghan rulers were from Kandahar, such as Ahmad Shah Durrani
Ahmad Shah Durrani
Ahmad Shah Durrani , also known as Ahmad Shāh Abdālī and born as Ahmad Khān, was the founder of the Durrani Empire in 1747 and is regarded by many to be the founder of the modern state of Afghanistan.Ahmad Khan enlisted as a young soldier in the military of the Afsharid kingdom and quickly rose...

, Abdur Rahman Khan
Abdur Rahman Khan
Abdur Rahman Khan was Emir of Afghanistan from 1880 to 1901.The third son of Mohammad Afzal Khan, and grandson of Dost Mohammad Khan, Abdur Rahman Khan was considered a strong ruler who re-established the writ of the Afghan government in Kabul after the disarray that followed the second...

, Nadir Khan, Zahir Shah, Hamid Karzai, etc. Kandahar province is made up of 17 districts, and each district has its own Chief. 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 Kandahar Province is Tooryalai Wesa
Tooryalai Wesa
Tooryalai Wesa is the current Governor of Kandahar Province, after replacing General Rahmatullah Raufi in December 2008. Tooryalai Wesa was born in village Kohak in District Arghandab and grew up in Kandahar...

, appointed in December 2008. He is an Afghan Canadian with roots in Arghandab district.

Districts


The following is a list of the districts of Kandahar Province:

align=center style="background:#BFD7FF"| Districts of Kandahar Province
District Capital Population Area Notes
Arghandab
Arghandab District
Arghandab is a district in the central part of Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. It borders Panjwai and Khakrez districts to the west, Shah Wali Kot District to the north and east and Kandahar District to the east and south....

 
51,600
Arghistan
Arghistan District
The Arghistan District is a district situated in the northeastern part of Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. It borders Spin Boldak District to the south and west, Daman District to the west, Zabul Province to the north, Maruf District to the east and Pakistan to the east and south. The population is...

 
28,900
Daman
Daman District, Afghanistan
Daman district is situated in the central part of the Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. It borders Panjwai and Kandahar districts to the west, Shah Wali Kot District to the north, Zabul Province to the northeast, Arghistan and Spin Boldak districts to the east and Reg District to the south. The...

 
24,800
Ghorak
Ghorak District
Ghorak district is situated in the northwestern part of Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. It borders Helmand Province to the West, Oruzgan Province and Naish District to the North, Khakrez District to the East and Maywand District to the South. The population is 8,600 . The district center is the...

 
8,000
Kandahar
Kandahar District
Kandahar District is situated in the central part of Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, surrounding the city of Kandahar. It borders with Panjwai District to the west, Arghandab District to the north, Shah Wali Kot District to the northeast and Daman District to the east and south. The population is...

 
468,200
Khakrez
Khakrez District
Khakrez District is situated in the northern part of Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. It borders Ghorak District to the west, Maywand and Panjwai districts to the south, Arghandab and Shah Wali Kot districts to the east and Naish District to the north. The population is 20,200...

 
19,200
Maruf
Maruf District
Maruf District is a district in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. It borders Arghistan District to the west, Zabul Province to the north and Pakistan to the east and south. The population is 29,300 . The district center is the town of Maruf, located in the northern part of the district...

 
27,700
Maywand
Maywand District
Maiwand District is situated in the western part of the Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. It borders Helmand Province to the west, Ghorak District to the north, Khakrez District to the northeast, Zhari District to the east, and Panjwai District to the south. The population is 51,900 . The district...

 
40,700
Miyan Nasheen
Miyannasheen District
Miyannasheen District is a new district of Kandahar District, Afghanistan, created in 2005. It was formerly in the northern part of Shah Wali Kot District. The population is 13,400 ....

 
12,600 Created in 2005 within Shah Wali Kot District
Shah Wali Kot District
Shah Wali Kot District is situated in the northern part of Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. It borders Khakrez District to the west, Naish District and Oruzgan Province to the north, Zabul Province to the east and Daman and Arghandab districts to the south. The population is 38,400 . The district...

Naish
Naish District
Naish is a mountainous district in the northern part of Kandahar Province, shifted from Oruzgan Province, Afghanistan. It borders Oruzgan Province to the west, north and east and Shah Wali Kot, Khakrez and Ghorak districts to the south. The population is 11,800 . The district center is the village...

 
11,300 Transferred from Oruzgan Province
Oruzgan Province
Orūzgān or Urōzgān , also spelled Uruzgan or Rōzgān , is one of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan. It is in the center of the country, though the area is culturally and tribally linked to Kandahar in the south. Its capital is Tarin Kowt...

 in 2005
Panjwaye
Panjwaye District
Panjwai is a district in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. It is known as the birthplace of the Taliban. It is located about west of Kandahar city...

 
82,800
Reg
Reg District (Kandahar)
Reg District is situated in the southern part of Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. It borders Helmand Province to the west, Panjwai and Daman districts to the north, Shorabak District to the east and Pakistan to the south. The population is 7,900...

 
1,600
Shah Wali Kot
Shah Wali Kot District
Shah Wali Kot District is situated in the northern part of Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. It borders Khakrez District to the west, Naish District and Oruzgan Province to the north, Zabul Province to the east and Daman and Arghandab districts to the south. The population is 38,400 . The district...

 
36,400 Sub-divided in 2005
Shorabak
Shorabak District
Shorabak District is a remote district situated in the southeastern part of Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, 110 km south and east of Kandahar. It borders Reg District to the west, Spin Boldak District to the north and Pakistan to the east and south. The population is 10,200 . The district center...

 
9,600
Spin Boldak
Spin Boldak District
Spin Boldak is a district in the eastern part of Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. It borders Daman District to the west, Arghistan District to the north, Qilla Abdullah District Pakistan to the east and Shorabak District to the south. The population was estimated at 100,400 in 2006...

 
41,000
Zhari
Zhari District
Zhari is a new district in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan.Alternate spellings include Zheley or Zharey. The district was created from territories taken from Maywand and Panjwai districts...

 
49,500 Created in 2005 from parts of Maywand
Maywand District
Maiwand District is situated in the western part of the Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. It borders Helmand Province to the west, Ghorak District to the north, Khakrez District to the northeast, Zhari District to the east, and Panjwai District to the south. The population is 51,900 . The district...

 and Panjwaye
Panjwaye District
Panjwai is a district in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. It is known as the birthplace of the Taliban. It is located about west of Kandahar city...

 Districts

Economy


Kandahar had well-irrigated gardens and orchards and was famous for its grapes, melons, and pomegranates, but these were made inaccessible by land mines or destroyed outright in the conflict between the Soviets and the mujahideen, Islamic guerrilla fighters during the Soviet occupation. The city is of significant strategic importance in the region due to the major airport built in the early 1970s with development funding from the United States. The main source of trade is to Pakistan, Iran, and the United States. Kandahar is an agricultural state.

Transportation


Kandahar International Airport serves the population of southern Afghanistan, especially the Kandahar region, as a method of traveling to other domestic cities by air or to a number of nearby countries. The airport was built in the 1960s with US financial and technical assistance under the United States Agency for International Development
United States Agency for International Development
The United States Agency for International Development is the United States federal government agency primarily responsible for administering civilian foreign aid. President John F. Kennedy created USAID in 1961 by executive order to implement development assistance programs in the areas...

 program. Kandahar International Airport has been used by the NATO forces to deliver troops and humanitarian supplies since late 2001. The airport was severely damaged during the Soviet attacks on the city during 1979-89 and again during the US raids in late 2001. Repairs and upgrades also occurred during that period; the airport re-opened for civilian use in late 2006.

Kandahar province has bus services to major towns or village headquarters. Its capital, Kandahar, has a public bus system that take commuters on daily routes to many destinations throughout the city. Besides the buses, there are yellow and white taxicabs that provides transportation service inside the city as well as throughout the province. Other traditional methods of ground transportation are also used. Private vehicles are on the rise in Kandahar, with large showrooms selling new or second-hand vehicles imported from the United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates, abbreviated as the UAE, or shortened to "the Emirates", is a state situated in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman, and Saudi Arabia, and sharing sea borders with Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and Iran.The UAE is a...

. More people are buying new cars as the roads and highways are being improved.

Education



Efforts to improve education in Afghanistan are severely hampered without books, which are in short supply. Lack of funding, and political will, has led to only small gains since the fall of the Taliban. Education has moved somewhat upward in the rest of the country, but southern states, like Kandahar, have seen slow to no progress because of the continued fighting and instability of the region. In 2006 alone, almost 150 educational institutes have closed in Kandahar province alone, according to the education ministry. Regionally more than 50 schools have been attacked this year. Over 60,000 students cannot attend school because of the risk of attack.

Kandahar University
Kandahar University
Kandahar University is a government funded higher learning institution in Kandahar, Afghanistan. It is one of two universities in southern Afghanistan. Kandahar University was established in 1990, at a time when the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan was in power under President Mohammad...

 is the largest college or university in the province. In partnership with the Asia Foundation
Asia Foundation
The Asia Foundation is a non-profit, non-governmental organization professing a commitment to "development of a peaceful, prosperous, just, and open Asia-Pacific region." The Foundation supports Asian initiatives to improve governance, law, and civil society; women’s empowerment; economic reform...

, Kandahar University conducted a pilot project that provided female high school graduates with a four-month refresher course to prepare for the college entrance examination. Kandahar University, for example, currently has an enrollment of six women and 1,094 men. All of the 24 women who sat for the exam passed and have been admitted to universities to study medicine, engineering, economics, law, and agriculture. The university is only one of two universities in Kandahar that serve all of southern Afghanistan. The conditions in the university are poor, with no water and limited power. The university is far behind the universities of the North because of the violence, the two universities in southern Afghanistan also receive very limited funding.

Further reading

  • Vogelsang, W. (1985). Early historical Arachosia in South-east Afghanistan; Meeting-place between East and West.
  • Dupree, Louis. (1973) Afghanistan. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
  • Rashid, Ahmed. (2000) Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil, and Fundamentalism in Central Asia. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

External links