The Afghanistan Flag

The Afghanistan Flag
Afghanistan's flag is made from three colors: Black, Red and Green and has the Logo of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Bamyan Province

Bamyan Province (Persian: بامیان) is one of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan. It is in the centre of the country. Its capital is also called Bamyan. Bamyan is the largest town in the Hazarajat region of Afghanistan, and is the cultural capital of the Hazara ethnic group that predominates in the area.
In antiquity, central Afghanistan was strategically placed to thrive from the Silk Road caravans which criss-crossed the region trading between the Roman Empire, China, Central and South Asia. Bamyan was a stopping off point for many travellers. It was here where elements of Greek, Persian and Buddhist art were combined into a unique classical style, known as Greco-Buddhist art.

Bamyan was the site of an early Buddhist monastery from which Bamyan takes its name <>

Bamyan is also known for its natural beauty. The Band-e Amir lakes in western Bamyan province continue to be a tourist destination for Afghans.

Bamyan is currently the base of operations for the New Zealand peace keeping force, a Provincial Reconstruction Team codenamed Task Group Crib, which is part of the network of Provincial Reconstruction Teams throughout Afghanistan. It is recognised as one of the safest provinces in the country which has allowed for much concerntration on civil rebuilding[2]
There are currently 122 New Zealand Defence Force personnel in Bamyan. To date they have helped with reconstruction work including building bridges and schools as well as maintaining security in the region.
The New Zealand Police are also working in the region to help train the Afghan National Police (ANP). In July 2006 three Afghan women signed to join the ANP in Bamyan, the first time women have joined a police force in Afghanistan.

The current governor of the province is Habiba Sarabi, Afghanistan's first female governor. She was appointed in 2005.

Bamyan (Capital - 61,863)
Kahmard (17,643)
Panjab (47,099)
Sayghan (18,001)
Shibar (25,177)
Waras (81,787)
Yakawlang (65,573)

Logar Province

Logar (Persian: لوگر) is one of the 34 provinces of Afghanistan. It is located in the eastern zone, southeast of Kabul, and the geography of the province centers on the large Logar River which enters the province through the west and leaves to the north. Its capital is Pul-i-Alam. Logar is home to Tajiks Pashtuns and small minority of Hazaras. The exact percentage of demography is unknown as there has been no census for decades. But out of 7 districts Azra, Kharwar and Mohammad Agha District has Pashtun Majority While Baraki Barak, Khushi and Charkh district have Tajik majority. The provincial capital Pul-i-Alam has a mix population of Tajiks Pashutns and small minority of hazaras

Logar is a generally religiously conservative province, although not to the extent of its southern neighbours. The province's political history is a microcosm of Afghanistan's recent turbulent past, with portions of the province controlled by both the Taliban and the Northern Alliance previous to the American invasion of 2001. During the Jihad against Soviet occupation in the 1980s, Baraki Barak, Khushi, Charkh and Pule Alam districts were controlled by Jamiat e-Islami. Logar was known among Afghans as 'Bab al-Jihad', or 'the Gates of Jihad' because it became a fierce theatre of war between mujahideen groups and the Soviet army.
The province also was home to several Al-Qaeda training bases during that time, although the residents of the province were reportedly unfriendly to the foreign fighters. Mohamad Agha district has long been a stronghold of the Hezb-i-Islami political party, which won seats in the 2005 parliamentary election[2], although the parliamentarians are not officially affiliated with the fugitive leader of Hezb-i-Islami, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. Additionally, the Northern Alliance-affiliated Jamiat-i-Islami was in control of the province for several years after the fall of the Taliban government.
The Governor of the province was Abdullah Wardak until he was assassinated by car bomb on 13 September 2008.


The main river valley in the Khoshi district of Logar, Afghanistan. Extensive irrigation and canal works, known as karez, provide water for the majority of the agriculture in southeastern Afghanistan.
Logar can be generally described as a relatively flat river valley in the north and central regions, surrounded by rugged mountains to the east, south, and southwest. The district of Azra, in the east, consists almost entirely of mountains, while travel to the Paktia province to the south is limited to the Tera Pass, a 2896m high road that was recently completed as part of the international reconstruction effort in Afghanistan.
Although the government of Afghanistan recognizes the Azra district as being in Logar, many widely-accepted maps include it in the Paktia province to the south.

Security situation
While more stable than some of its neighbouring provinces in the country, Logar sees a constant high level of anti-government activity, primarily in the form of car bombs and rocket attacks on government, military and civil targets. Unlike portions of southwest Afghanistan, poppy production is nearly non-existent, due to terrain and weather conditions. Tribal land disputes are a source of unrest, as is the case across much of the country.


Pul-i-Alam, the capital of Logar. The main road running through the city can be seen here. The mountains in the far background are the Azra district and portions of northwest Paktia.
Logar's capital is the city of Pul-i-Alam, located in the district of the same name. It sits on the main road running from Kabul south to Gardez and Khowst province, which borders Pakistan.
Pul-i-Alam has seen a significant amount of reconstruction since the fall of the Taliban. The main road to Kabul was completed in 2006, significantly reducing travel time to the national capital. Additional projects include numerous schools, radio stations, government facilities, and a major Afghan National Police base situated just south of the city.
Like most Afghan cities, there is little municipal planning or services. Electricity is provided by diesel generators, and wells are the primary source of drinking water.


Districts of Logar.
Azra District
Baraki Barak District
Charkh District
Kharwar District
Khoshi District
Mohammad Agha District

Wardak Province

Wardak (in Pashto ‎وردګ; also spelled: Wardag, Vardag, or Vardak) is one of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan. It is in the centre of the country. Its capital is Meydan Shahr.
The population, about 70,000, is a mixture of 50% Pashtuns, 40% Hazaras and 10% others.

Chaki Wardak
Day Mirdad
Hisa-I-Awali Bihsud
Da Bihsud Markaz
Maydan Shahr

Ghōr Province

Ghōr (Persian: غور), also spelled Ghowr or Ghur, is today one of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan. It is located in central Afghanistan, towards the north-west. The capital of Ghor is Chaghcharan.

Remains of the oldest settlements discovered by the Lithuanian archaeologists in 2007 and 2008 in Ghor date back to 5000 BC[1]. Ruins of a few castles and other defense fortifications were also discovered in the environs of Chaghcharan. A Buddhist monastery hand-carved in the bluff of the River Harirud existed in the first centuries of our era during the prevalence of Buddhism. The artificial caves revealed testimony of daily life of the Buddhist monks[2].
Ghor, which was part of Persia for many centuries in the past, was one of the regions which participated in the Persian Cultural Revival after the Arab invasion of Persia.


' The region had previously been conquered by Mahmud of Ghazni, and the population converted to Islam.

Attack by Ghazny

'In the following year AH 401 (AD 1010), Mahmood led his army towards Ghoor. The native prince of the country, Mahomed, of the Afghan tribe of Soor (the same race which gave birth to the dynasty that eventually succeeded in subverting the family of Sebüktigin), occupied an entrinched camp with 10000 men. Mahmood was repulsed in repeated assults which he made from morning till noon. Finding that the troops of Ghoor defended their entrenchments with such obstinacy, he caused his army to retreat in apparent confusion, in order to allure the enemy out of his fortified position. The Ghoorians, deceived by the stratagem, pursued the army of Ghizny; when the king, facing about, attacked and defeated them with great slaughter. Mahommed Soor, being made prisoner was brought to the king, but having taken poison, which he always kept under his ring, he died in a few hours; his country was annexed to the dominions of Ghizny. The author of the Towareekh Yumny affirms, that neither the sovereigns of Ghoor nor its inhabitants were Mahomedans till after this victory; whilst the author of the Tubkat-Nasiry, and Fukhr -ood -Deen Moobarik Shah Lody, the latter of whom wrote a history of the Kings of Ghoor in verse, both affirm, that they were converted many years before, even so early as the time of Ally

Ghor was also the centre of the Ghurid dynasty in the 12th and 13th century. The remains of their capital Firuzkuh, including UNESCO World Heritage site the Minaret of Jam, are located in the province.

'The rise to power of the Ghurids at Ghur , a small isolated area located in the mountain fastness between the ghaznavid empire and the Seljukids , was an unusual and unexpected development . The area was so remote that till the 11th century , it had remained a pagan enclave surrounded by Muslim principalities . It was converted to Islam in the early part of the 12th century after Mahmud raided it , and left teachers to instruct the Ghurids in the pricipts of Islam . Even then it is believed that paganism , ie . a variety of Mahayana Buddhism persisted in the area till the end of the century .[5]

In the 19th century, American adventurer Josiah Harlan claimed the title Prince of Ghor for himself and his descendants in perpetuity, in exchange for military aid during local factional fighting. As a result, American actor Scott Reiniger is (only theoretically) the current Prince.[6]
On June 17, 2004, hundreds of troops of Abdul Salaam Khan, who had rejected the Afghan government's plan to disarm regional militias, attacked Chaghcharan and took over the city in an afternoon-long siege. Eighteen people were killed or wounded in the fighting and province governor Mohammed Ibrahim fled. Three days later the Afghan government announced that it would not retake Chaghcharan. However, Khan and Ibrahim began negotiations soon after, but reached no agreements. Khan's troops left Chaghcharan on June 23, a day ahead of the arrival of an Afghan National Army battalion, led by Lieutenant-General Aminullah Paktiyanai, arrived with the support of about twenty U.S. soldiers.
In his 2004 travel book, The Places in Between, Rory Stewart travels by foot from Herat to Kabul and on his way, he provides a riveting portrait of Ghor Province as well as much historical information about the region.

The population of Ghor was, and is even today, predominately Tajik.

Geography & Weather
Ghor occupies the end of the Hindu Kush mountains. Ghor is 2,500m above sea level and heavy snowfalls often block many of its rugged passes from November to April. It is also a drought-prone area in the summer.


Districts of Ghor.
Chaghcharan (Capital)
Dawlat Yar
Du Layna
Lal Wa Sarjangal

The current Governor of the province is Baz Mohammad Ahmadi. A Lithuanian contingent of the ISAF force is stationed in the province.

Khost Province

Khost (Pashto: خوست) is one of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan. It is in the east of the country. Its capital is the town also called Khost. Khost province used to be part of Paktia province in the past.
The province is mountainous and borders Pakistan on the east. Khost was the first city to be liberated from communist rule during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

The current Governor of the Province is Arsala Jamal. In August 2007, he narrowly escaped a suicide car bomb attack in Khost City that killed several of his bodyguards. The August attack was the fourth suicide attack Jamal has faced in his tenure in the volatile province.

Districts of Khost.
Bak District
Gurbuz District
Jaji Maydan District
Khost (Matun) District
Mando Zayi District
Musa Khel District
Nadir Shah Kot District
Qalandar District
Sabari District
Shamal District
Spera District
Tani District
Tere Zayi District

Paktia Province

Paktia (Pashto: پکتيا) is one of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan, in the east of the country. Its capital is Gardez.

Najibullah Ahmadzai, the former president of Afghanistan, was from Paktia province, in particular the Melan Valley area. Paktia used to be a unified province with Khost and Paktika, these three provinces are now referred to as Loya Paktia which means The Greater Paktia. Paktia came to prominence during the 1980s where a significant portion of the leftist communists came from Paktia, some of the more notable of them include: Najibullah Ahmadzai; Mohammad Aslam Watanjar; Shahnawaz Tanai; and Gulabzoy.

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 in September 2006, Rahmatullah Rahmat was appointed as provincial Governor.
Paktia has a strong Pashtun tribal identity, and Pashtun nationalists in the province have expressed a desire to reunite the province with Khost Province and Paktika province, forming an ethnic Pashtunistan.
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 [1]. The first American Provincial Reconstruction Team base was established in Gardez to supply security and reconstruction, and has funded several successful projects.

Security Situation
In September 2006, Governor Hakim Taniwal was killed by a Taliban suicide bomber as he left his office in Gardez [2]. At the time, Taniwal was the highest-ranking post-Taliban official to be killed by insurgent forces in the country.
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 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 fighters gave occupying U.S. troops some of their heaviest losses in the cave complexes south of Gardez [3].
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.


Districts of Paktia.
Paktia borders the Pakistani-ruled tribal areas of North Waziristan and Kurram. Like most of the traditional Pashtun eastern areas of Afghanistan, the Durand Line that marks the border with Pakistan is "drawn on water", and residents move freely between the two countries.
Major tribes in the province include the Totakhil, Zazi, Mangal, Zadran, Wazir, Ahmadzai, Gurbaz, Niazi, Tanoli, and Kurram.
Paktia is made up of 12 district (District Centers are given in parentheses):
Ahmadzai District (Ahmadaba)
Chamkani District
Dand-A-Patan (Ghondai)
Gardez District (Gardez, Afghanistan)
Jani Khel District (Jani Khel)
Lazha Mangal District (Lazha)
Sayed Karam District (Seyyed Karam)
Shwak District (Shwak)
Garda Serai District
Zadran District (Waza)
Zazi (Ali Khel)
Zurmat District (Zarmal)
Important Villages of Center Gardez:
Malak Khel
Koji khel
Sar e Sang
Shakar Khel
Dawlat Zai

Improtant Villages of Chamkani District:
Star Kalai
Babo Khail
Mada Khail

Important geographical features
Shah-i-Kot Valley
Important valley Srengor valley chamkani district paktia province Mangyar Valley chamkani district paktia province Hassan Khail valley Ahmad Khail District Paktia Province this information by Himmat

Ghazni Province

Ghazni (Pashto غزنی) is one of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan. It is in the east of the country. Its capital is Ghazni City. The province lies on the important Kabul to Kandahar road, and has historically functioned as an important trade center between those two


Buddhism and Indian Influence
Ghazni was a thriving Buddhist center before and during the 7th century AD.

The two other great Buddhist centers , Fondukistan and Tepe-e-sardar (Ghazni) in its later phase are a very different matter and display another phase of influences coming from India from the seventh to eighth century . The representations show themes from Mahayana iconography and even in the case of the latter site assume Tantric aspects which had already established themselves in the large Indian monasteries like Nalanda.[1]

In 683 AD, Arab armies brought Islam to the area and attempted to conquer the capital of Ghazni but the local tribes fiercely resisted. Its resistance was so famed that Yaqub Saffari (840-879) from Zaranj made an example of Ghazni when he ranged the vast region conquering in the name of Islam. The city was completely destroyed by the Saffarids in 869.[2] A substantial portion of the local population including Hindus and Buddhists were converted to Islam by Mahmud of Ghazni

'The region had previously been conquered by Mahumad of Ghazni and the population converted to Islam.

The minaret of Ghazni, built by Bahram Shah during the Ghaznavid Empire.
After the rebuilding of the city by Yaqub’s brother, it became the dazzling capital of the Ghaznavid Empire from 994 to 1160, encompassing much of northern India, Persia and Central Asia. Many iconoclastic campaigns were launched from Ghazni into India. The Ghaznavids took Islam to India and returned with fabulous riches taken from both prince and temple god. Contemporary visitors and residents at Ghazni write with wonder of the ornateness of the buildings, the great libraries, the sumptuousness of the court ceremonies and of the wealth of precious objects owned by Ghazni’s citizens.

Attack by Mahomed Ghory
Ferishta records attacks by Mahomed Ghoory .

'at the same time most of the infidels who inhabited the mountains between Ghizny and the Indus were also converted , some by force and others by persuasion

It's capital was razed in 1151 by the Ghorid Alauddin. It again flourished but only to be permanently devastated, this time in 1221 by Genghis Khan and his Mongol armies.
Ghazni is also famous for its minarets built on a stellar plan. They date from the middle of the twelfth century and are the surviving element of the mosque of Bahramshah. Their sides are decorated with geometric patterns. Upper sections of the minarets have been damaged or destroyed.
The most important mausoleum located in Ghazni is that of Sultan Mahmud's. Others include the tombs of poets and scientists, for example Al Biruni and Sanayee.
The only ruins in Old Ghazni retaining a semblance of architectural form are two towers, about 43 m (140 ft) high and some 365 m (1,200 ft) apart. According to inscriptions, the towers were constructed by Mahmud of Ghazni and his son.
In the 1960s a 15-meter female Buddha was discovered lying on its back and surrounded by empty pillars that once held rows of smaller male Buddhas. Parts of the female Buddha have been stolen. In the 1980s a mud brick shelter was created to protect the sculpture, but the wood supports were stolen for firewood and the shelter partially collapsed.
During the First Anglo-Afghan War, the Ghazni's capital city was stormed and taken over by the British forces on July 23, 1839 in the Battle of Ghazni. The Afghan Civil War and the continued conflict between the Taliban and the Afghan Northern Alliance during the 1990s put the relics of Ghazni in jeopardy. The Taliban placed Fazl Uddin in charge of protecting the artifacts.
Ghazni’s strategic position, both economically and militarily, assured its revival, albeit without its dazzling former grandeur. Through the centuries the city figures prominently as the all important key to the possession of Kabul.
Some Sikhs and Hindus also live in Ghazni province. During the Taliban regime they fled the country, but with the current administration they have returned to Ghazni city.
Since the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001, there has been a Provincial reconstruction base and a Nato forces base. These western forces are hunting Taliban militants and al-Qaida, who are still active in the area causing deaths to Afghan government employees and local civilian population of the province as well.

Political and Security Situation
Like many southern Afghan provinces, Ghazni has a precarious security situation caused by Taliban , who are reported to control most of the rural areas outside of the capital [1], and are heavily involved in attacks on provincial schools and government infrastructure. The province has avoided the outright warfare seen in other areas of Afghanistan such as Helmand Province and Kandahar Province, but that is due more to political expediency and the tactical plans of the NATO ISAF force than the existence of a stable security situation in the province. Ex-Governor Taj Mohammad was killed by terrorists in 2006 after being appointed police chief of the province with a mandate to quell the power of the Taliban. On the same day there was an unsuccessful attempt on the life of the governor at the time, Sher Alam Ibrahimi [2]. There is an American Provincial Reconstruction Team base located in Ghazni City.
In late April 2007, news agencies reported that Taliban fighters had taken control of Giro District in the province. The Taliban reportedly killed the district administrator, chief of police (who had been on the job for only one month) and three police officers. The Taliban withdrew from the district center one day later.
In July 2007, 23 South Korean volunteers were kidnapped in the Ghazni province by the Taliban. Two of them were killed and their bodies were dumped in various places. As of August 1st, security force was planned to be deployed to secure the release of those kidnapped.

Natural Disasters
In recent years, Ghazni has been beset by droughts, heavy snow, and flooding, all at different times [3]. During the periods of drought, many parts of the province, especially Ghazni City, saw heavy building in the flood plains of the province's rivers. Flooding caused by heavy rain and snow in recent years have taken heavy tolls in property in lives in these newly constructed areas

The current Governor of the province is Sher Khostai.

Demographics and geography
Ghazni is made up of 19 districts (district capitals are given in parentheses). Note: this is the old district map.

Ghazni is made up of 19 districts (district capitals are given in parentheses). Note: this is the old district map.

Districts of Ghazni.

District name - District Center Ethnical data(%)
Ab Band - Haji Khel 100% Pashtun
Ajristan - Sangar 97% Pashtun, 3% Hazara
Andar - Miray 100% Pashtun
Dih Yak - Ramak 89% Hazara, 11% Pashtun
Gelan - Janda 100% Pashtun
Ghazni city - Ghazni 50% Tajik, 25% Pashtun, 20% Hazara and 5 % Hindu
Giro - Pana 100% Pashtun
Jaghori - Sange-e-Masha 100% Hazara
Khugiani - Khugiani 99.9% Pashtun, 0.1% Hazara, Tajik and Uzbek
Khwaja Umari - Kwaja Umari 45% Hazara, 35% Tajik and 20% Pashtun
Malistan - Malistan 100% Hazara
Muqur - Muqur 99% Pashtun, 1% Hazara and Tajik
Nawa - Nawa 100% Pashtun
Nawur - Du Abi 100% Hazara
Qarabagh - Qarabagh 55% Pashtun, 45% Hazara
Rashidan - Rashidan 96% Pashtun, 4% Hazara
Waghaz - Waghaz Mostly Pashtun
Zana Khan - Dado 100% Pashtun

Malistan, Jaghuri, Nawur, parts of Qarabagh, Dih Yak and Jaghatu are part of the Hazara area known as the Hazarajat.