Paktia Province

Paktia Province

Overview
Paktia , 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....

, in the east of the country. Its capital is Gardez
Gardez, Afghanistan
-History:According to the Encyclopaedia Iranica, Gardēz is a city "belonging to a network of old isolated Tājīk settlements in southern Afghanistan that are remnants of a time when Pashto had not yet reached the area."...

. The population is predominantly 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...

.

Paktia is basically Pashtia (پښتیا). Some Pashtun scholars are claiming that the word Pashtu has been stemmed from Pashtia (پښتو = پښتیا). Paktia used to be a unified province with Khost
Khost
Khost or Khowst is a city in eastern Afghanistan. It is the capital of Khost province, which is a mountainous region near Afghanistan's border with Pakistan...

 and Paktika, these three provinces are now referred to as Loya Paktia, meaning "Greater Paktia".
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Encyclopedia
Paktia , 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....

, in the east of the country. Its capital is Gardez
Gardez, Afghanistan
-History:According to the Encyclopaedia Iranica, Gardēz is a city "belonging to a network of old isolated Tājīk settlements in southern Afghanistan that are remnants of a time when Pashto had not yet reached the area."...

. The population is predominantly 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...

.

History


Paktia is basically Pashtia (پښتیا). Some Pashtun scholars are claiming that the word Pashtu has been stemmed from Pashtia (پښتو = پښتیا). Paktia used to be a unified province with Khost
Khost
Khost or Khowst is a city in eastern Afghanistan. It is the capital of Khost province, which is a mountainous region near Afghanistan's border with Pakistan...

 and Paktika, these three provinces are now referred to as Loya Paktia, meaning "Greater Paktia". Paktia came to prominence during the 1980s, when a significant portion of Afghanistan's leadership originated from the province. Some of the more notable leaders include: Najibullah Ahmadzai, a former President of Afghanistan
President of Afghanistan
Afghanistan has only been a republic between 1973 and 1992 and from 2001 onwards. Before 1973, it was a monarchy that was governed by a variety of kings, emirs or shahs...

, Mohammad Aslam Watanjar
Mohammad Aslam Watanjar
Mohammad Aslam Watanjar was an Afghan General and Politician. ] He started the "Saur Revolution".Watanjar later became a member of the politburo in the Soviet-backed Democratic Republic of Afghanistan, playing prominent roles in the communist coup as well as the coup that overthrew the...

, Shahnawaz Tanai
Shahnawaz Tanai
Lieutenant General Shahnawaz Tanai is a former communist general. He was chief of Afghanistan's army under the russians-backed Republic of Afghanistan...

, and Sayed Muhammad Gulabzoi.

More recently, Paktia was the site of heavy fighting between Taliban and NATO forces following the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan. Paktia was one of the last redoubts of organized Taliban resistance; much of Operation Anaconda
Operation Anaconda
Operation Anaconda took place in early March 2002 in which the United States military and CIA Paramilitary Officers, working with allied Afghan military forces, and other North Atlantic Treaty Organization and non NATO forces attempted to destroy al-Qaeda and Taliban forces in the Shahi-Kot...

 took place in Zurmat
Zurmat District
Zurmat is a district in Paktia Province, Afghanistan.-Demographics & population:Like in the rest of Afghanistan, no exact population numbers are available...

, one of Paktia's larger districts.

Governance


The uncertain security situation and remoteness of the province has led to many provincial Governors being appointed in the short time since the fall of the Taliban. After the assassination of Hakim Taniwal
Hakim Taniwal
Hakim Taniwal was the Governor of Paktia province in Afghanistan until he was killed by a suicide bomber on 10 September 2006, at the age of 63...

 in September 2006, Rahmatullah Rahmat
Rahmatullah Rahmat
Rahmatullah Rahmat is an Afghan politician. He served as the Governor of Paktia province, Afghanistan from 2006 to 2007. He was appointed to the position after the assassination of Hakim Taniwal. Rahmat was previously an official of the UNAMA mission in the east of the country.-References:...

 was appointed as provincial Governor. Rahmat was replaced by Juma Khan Hamdard
Juma Khan Hamdard
Juma Khan Hamdard is the current governor of Paktia Province, Afghanistan. He formerly served as governor of Baghlan and later Jowzjan.-Biography:...

 in January 2008.

Despite the many problems facing the province, it is one of the more stable in the southeast of the country and there has been a concerted effort to improve the civic infrastructure, giving Paktia a reasonable rate of reconstruction http://pajhwok.com/viewstory.asp?id=14501. The first American 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...

 base was established in Gardez to supply security and reconstruction, and has funded several successful projects.

Security situation


In September 2006, Governor Hakim Taniwal
Hakim Taniwal
Hakim Taniwal was the Governor of Paktia province in Afghanistan until he was killed by a suicide bomber on 10 September 2006, at the age of 63...

 was killed by a Taliban suicide
Suicide
Suicide is the act of intentionally causing one's own death. Suicide is often committed out of despair or attributed to some underlying mental disorder, such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, alcoholism, or drug abuse...

 bomber
Bomber
A bomber is a military aircraft designed to attack ground and sea targets, by dropping bombs on them, or – in recent years – by launching cruise missiles at them.-Classifications of bombers:...

 as he left his office in Gardez. At the time, Taniwal was the highest-ranking post-Taliban official to be killed by insurgent forces in the country
Country
A country is a region legally identified as a distinct entity in political geography. A country may be an independent sovereign state or one that is occupied by another state, as a non-sovereign or formerly sovereign political division, or a geographic region associated with a previously...

.

Paktia is one of the most politically complicated provinces in the country. Militia commanders are a strong presence in the province, and their shifting allegiances and violent tendencies make governance of the region problematic. The province also has the difficult mountainous and cavernous terrain typical of the Hindu Kush
Hindu Kush
The Hindu Kush is an mountain range that stretches between central Afghanistan and northern Pakistan. The highest point in the Hindu Kush is Tirich Mir in the Chitral region of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.It is the westernmost extension of the Pamir Mountains, the Karakoram Range, and is a...

 range, providing armed groups ample cover from which to conduct guerilla operations.

Immediately after the fall of the Taliban, Paktia was one of the most chaotic regions in the country, as a small civil war broke out between rival militia commanders for control of the province, and Taliban and Al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda is a global broad-based militant Islamist terrorist organization founded by Osama bin Laden sometime between August 1988 and late 1989. It operates as a network comprising both a multinational, stateless army and a radical Sunni Muslim movement calling for global Jihad...

 fighters gave occupying U.S. troops some of their heaviest losses in the cave complexes south of Gardez.

The security situation in Paktia has improved significantly in recent years, though isolated fighting by Taliban militants and persistent tribal conflicts in the eastern part of the province continue to challenge the government. The provincial capital, Gardez, is among the most secure in the southeastern part of the country, owing in part to a large presence by coalition and Afghan security forces.

Parts of Paktia are also believed to be a safe haven for militants from the Haqqani network
Haqqani network
The Haqqani Network is an insurgent group fighting against US-led NATO forces and the government of Afghanistan. Originating from Afghanistan during the mid-1970s, it was nurtured by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence during the 1980s Soviet war in...

, an anti-government combat organisation involved in the Taliban insurgency
Taliban insurgency
The Taliban insurgency took root shortly after the group's fall from power following the 2001 war in Afghanistan. The Taliban continue to attack Afghan, U.S., and other ISAF troops and many terrorist incidents attributable to them have been registered. The war has also spread over the southern and...

.

On February 12, 2010 five civilians including two pregnant women and a teenage girl were killed during a botched night raid by U.S. special forces who were later accused of attempting to cover up the incident, though the investigation was inconclusive due to lack of evidence.

Geography



Paktia borders the Pakistani-ruled tribal areas of North Waziristan
North Waziristan
North Waziristan is the northern part of Waziristan, a mountainous region of northwest Pakistan, bordering Afghanistan and covering . Waziristan comprises the area west and south-west of Peshawar between the Tochi river to the north and the Gomal river to the south, forming part of Pakistan's...

 and Kurram
Kurram
Kurram can refer to either:*Kurram River - a river on the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan*Kurram Valley - the valley of the Kurram River which runs from Afghanistan to the Indus River....

. Like most of the traditional Pashtun areas of Afghanistan, the Durand Line
Durand Line
The Durand Line refers to the porous international border between Pakistan and Afghanistan, which has divided the ethnic Pashtuns . This poorly marked line is approximately long...

 that marks the border with Pakistan is "drawn on water", and residents move freely between the two countries.

Paktia is a largely mountainous province, with most of the population living in the central valley stretching from Ahmad Khel in the east down through Zormat and into neighboring Paktika province
Paktika Province
Paktika is one of the 34 provinces of Afghanistan. It is in the south-east of the country. Most of the population is Pashtun. Its capital is Sharan.-Political and military situation:...

. The eastern part of the province, particularly Chamkani and Dand wa Patan, is a second valley leading into Pakistan.

Jaji and Jani Khel districts are largely mountainous with much smaller inhabited valleys.

The Khost-Gardez Pass
Khost-Gardez Pass
DR KHALID KHAN ZADRANThe Khost-Gardez Pass, known locally as the Seti-Kandow Pass and frequently abbreviated as the K-G Pass, is the main land route connecting the Afghan province Khost and Gardez, the capital of Paktia province...

 area, to the south of Gardez, is mountainous with settlements limited to the main pass and smaller valleys.

As of 2005 Azra district is no longer a part of Paktya. It has been attached to Logar Province to the north, to which it is much more closely connected by roadways and people.

Demographics


The population of 415,000 is 91% 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...

, who are the majority in the 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...

, and around 9% people are Tajiks. The main Pashtun groups are:
  • Dawlatzai
    Dawlatzai
    Dawlatzai is a Pashtun sub-tribe of the jadoon tribe mainly found in eastern Afghanistan. There are many different and distinct tribes that have this name. Dawlatzis live in Logar, Samangan, Paktia, Paktika, Khost, Balkh and Faryab provinces of Afghanistan....

  • 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...

    • Boran
      • Sulaimankhel
      • Totakhil
      • Ahmadzai
        Ahmadzai
        Aḥmadzai is a Pashtun tribe. There are many separate and distinct clans, sub-clans, tribal fractions, large families etc. that trace their ancestry to different Aḥmads.-Afghanistan:...

    • Toran
      • Kharoti
        Kharoti
        Kharoti is a Pashtun tribe of Ghilzai origin. The tribe has an estimated population of about 2.5 million ....

    • Tsamkani
    • Andar
  • Karlanri
    • Zazi
      Zazi
      Zazi is a Karlanri Pashtun tribe. Zazi is the plural of Zazai, pronounced pronounced .Zazi is a sub-tribe of Khugyani which falls under the Karlanri tribe of the Pashtuns. They are primarily found in Paktia and Khost provinces of Afghanistan, but they have a big population in Kabul city and...

    • Mangal
      Mangal (tribe)
      The Mangal are one of the largest and perhaps the most powerful and influential Pashtun tribes, residing in Southeastern Paktia and adjacent Khost provinces of Afghanistan The Mangals are known for their independent nature, and have a long history of resisting British forces, central and provincial...

       (clans: Mirankhel, Khajuri, Gabar, Marghai and Kamalkhel)
    • Muqbel (clans: Torikhel, Marikhel, Musakhel, Sultak, Ahmadkhel, Hasankhel and Bobaki)
    • Zadran
    • Dzadzi
    • Wazir
      Wazir (tribe)
      Wazirs or Waziris are a Pashtun tribe settled in the North Waziristan and South Waziristan agencies of Pakistan as well in the urban cities of Tank, F.R Bannu,i.e Domel and adjacent villages, Karachi and Lahore. Across the border, they can also be found in Paktia, Khost and Paktika provinces of...

      • Utmanzai
  • Tanoli
    Tanoli
    The Tanoli are a Hazarewal tribe of the Tanawal valley, Hazara region of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. Although not usually acknowledged as Pashtuns, the Tanoli have to an extent assimilated many Pashtun cultural features and become Pashtunified. Tribally allied with the Pathans,. The...

     (clans:Khan Khel
    Khan Khel
    Khan Khel is a phrase used for the ruling family in Pashtun tribal set up. Khan means the chieftain while Khel stands for a family or descendents....

    , Tani Khel, Payenda Khel, Jahangir Khel, Nawab Khel, Mir Dad Khel

Districts


Paktia is made up of 14 district (District Centers are given in parentheses):
align=center style="background:#BFD7FF"| Districts of Paktia Province
District Capital Population Area Notes
Ahmadabad
Ahmadabad District
Ahmadabad is a district in Paktia Province, Afghanistan. It is located to the east of Gardez, the provincial capital of Paktia.-Security and Politics:...

 
Created in 2005 within Sayed Karam District
Sayed Karam District
Sayed Karam is a district in Paktia Province, Afghanistan.-Demographics & population:Like in the rest of Afghanistan, no exact population numbers are available. The Afghan Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation & Development along with UNHCR and Central Statistics Office of Afghanistan estimated the...

; includes the unofficial district Mirzaka.
Ahmad Khel 
Chamkani 
Dand Wa Patan
Dand Wa Patan District
Dand Wa Patan is a district of Paktia Province, Afghanistan, which borders the Kurram tribal region of Pakistan.-Security and Politics:On 19 August 2009 the Taliban attacked a border police check-post, killing one policeman....

 
Gardez
Gardez District
Gardez is a district in Paktia Province, Afghanistan. The center of the district which is also the capital of Paktia Province is Gardēz.-Demographics & population:Like in the rest of Afghanistan, no exact population numbers are available...

 
Includes the capital Gardez, which lies at the crossroads of the province's main north-south and east-west roads
Gerda Seray 
Jaji
Jaji District
Jaji is a district in Paktia Province, Afghanistan.-Demographics & population:Like in the rest of Afghanistan, no exact population numbers are available. The Afghan Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation & Development along with UNHCR and Central Statistics Office of Afghanistan estimated the...

 
People fleeing sectarian strife between Shiites and Sunnis in Pakistan occasionally take refuge in Jaji
Jani Khel
Jani Khel District
Jani Khel is a district in Paktika Province, in eastern Afghanistan. It was created in 2004 out of part of Zarghun Shahr District.-Demographics & population:Like in the rest of Afghanistan, no exact population numbers are available...

 
Lazha  Lija Mangal
Samkani
Samkani District
Samkani is a district in Paktia Province, Afghanistan.-Demographics & population:Like in the rest of Afghanistan, no exact population numbers are available. The Afghan Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation & Development along with UNHCR and Central Statistics Office of Afghanistan estimated the...

 
Includes the city of Samkani, the largest in the eastern half of Paktia and a major gateway to Pakistan
Sayed Karam
Sayed Karam District
Sayed Karam is a district in Paktia Province, Afghanistan.-Demographics & population:Like in the rest of Afghanistan, no exact population numbers are available. The Afghan Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation & Development along with UNHCR and Central Statistics Office of Afghanistan estimated the...

 
Sub-divided in 2005
Shwak
Shwak District
Shwak District is a district of Paktia Province, Afghanistan....

 
Wuza Zadran
Zadran District
Zadran District is a district of Paktia Province, Afghanistan. The soccer player Djelaludin Sharityar was born in Zadran....

 
Sub-divided in 2005 to create Gerda Serai
Zurmat
Zurmat District
Zurmat is a district in Paktia Province, Afghanistan.-Demographics & population:Like in the rest of Afghanistan, no exact population numbers are available...

 
Populous, relatively prosperous agricultural district. Unlike most other districts, Zurmat includes more than one tribal group, making it somewhat more fractious than other districts

Important geographical features

  • Shah-i-Kot Valley
    Shah-i-Kot Valley
    The Shah-i-Kot Valley is a valley located in Afghanistan's Paktia province, southeast of the town of Zormat. The terrain in and around the valley is notoriously rugged, located at a mean altitude of...

  • Tera Pass
    Tera Pass
    The Tera Pass is the primary route connecting Logar and Paktia provinces in Afghanistan. The pass was unimproved until 2006, when construction of a paved surface was completed as part of the ongoing international reconstruction effort.-History:...

    , the mountain pass linking Paktia with Logar Province to the north
  • Khowst-Gardez Pass, the mountain pass linking Paktia with Khowst Province to the south
  • Gardez, the geographic and cultural center of the province
  • Pakthas
    Pakthas
    For the present-day Afghan provinces of , see Paktia Province, Paktika Province and Khost Province.Pakthas are an ancient people, that find reference in Sanskrit and Greek sources and as a people living in the areas now in Afghanistan, as well as the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa of Pakistan...


External links