Map of Afghanistan with Nangarhar highlighted
|Coordinates (Capital): Coordinates:|
|• Governor||Mulawee Attaullah ludin|
|• Total||7,727 km2 (2,983 sq mi)|
|• Density||180/km2 (460/sq mi)|
|ISO 3166 code||AF-NAN|
Nangarhar (Pashto: ننګرهار and Persian: ننگرهار ; Nangarhār) is one of the 34 provinces of Afghanistan in the east of the country. Its capital is the city of Jalalabad. The population of the province is 1,383,900, consisting of ethnic Pashtuns, Arabs, Pashais, Tajiks and others. Wahara means place of prayers and worship which is present in the name of a number of cities as a suffix such as Kandahar, Nangarhar, Binhar, etc. it comes from the Buddhist term for Vihara.
Song Yun, a Chinese monk visited Nangarhar in 520 A.D. The people were Buddhists. Song Yun saw in Nangarhar (Na-lka-lo-hu) the temple containing the skull of Buddha in Hadda, and the monastery of Kekalam (probably the Mehterlam of Laghman) where 13 pieces of the cloak of Buddha and his 18 feet long mast were preserved. In the city of Naki, a tooth and hair of Buddha were preserved and in the Kupala cave Buddha’s shadow reflected close to which he saw a stone tablet which was at that time considered to be related to Buddha[vi] (probably the stone tablet of Ashoka in Darunta). The region was slowly Islamised by preachings and conquests.
Geopolitical and military situation
Nangarhar shares a border with neighboring Khyber Pakhtunkhwa problematic area between Pakistan and Afghanistan , and the two regions share very close ties, with significant travel and commerce in both directions.
The United States armed forces and the multi-national coalition forces, ISAF, are active in the area. The Shinwar district of Nangarhar was the site of the 2007 Shinwar shootings and the Dih Bala district was the site of the Deh Bala wedding party bombing.
This is the province where Osama bin Laden had strong position and was leading fighting against US and other coalition, in the 2001 Tora Bora campaign. He ultimately escaped to Abottabad, Pakistan, where he was killed by members of the United States Navy SEALs in 2011.
On March 4, 2007, F platoon of the US Marine Corps Special Operations Company killed as many as 19 civilians, and injured as many as 50, while fleeing the site of a bombing. Haji Ihsanullah, a member of Hezb-e Islami Khalis, initially drove a minivan laden with explosives into one of the five vehicles making up a US convoy, which included three, or six, humvees, wounding one Marine. Sources differ on whether or not hidden gunmen then also opened fire on the convoy. US forces then fled the scene of the ambush, opening fire on some vehicles for 6–16 miles while driving along the Afghan street. According to several witnesses and the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission, US Marines responded to the attack with excessive force, firing indiscriminately at civilians passing by on the busy highway, killing elderly men, women, and children. Akhtyar Gul, a local reporter who witnessed the shooting, claimed that the Marines sprayed civilians with machine gun fire even though the Marines were not under attack. Associated Press and Afghan journalists claimed that US soldiers confiscated photos and videos of the killings and their aftermath.
The killings were followed by widespread protests across Afghanistan and drew sharp criticism from President Hamid Karzai. The Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission contends that, "In failing to distinguish between civilians and legitimate military targets, the U.S. Marine Corps Special Forces employed indiscriminate force," the report said. "Their actions thus constitute a serious violation of international humanitarian standards.
Deh Bala Shinwari wedding party bombing
On 6 July 2008, the United States military bombed a wedding in the Dih Bala district of Nangarhar province, killing 47 civilians. On July 6, 2008, a large number of Afghan civilians were walking the bride of a wedding ceremony to the groom's village in an area called Kamala in Dih Bala district of the eastern province of Nangarhar. When the group stopped for a rest, it was hit in succession by three bombs from United States military aircraft. The first bomb hit a group of children who were ahead of the main procession, killing them instantly. A few minutes later, the aircraft returned and dropped a second bomb in the center of the group, killing a large number of women. The bride and two girls survived the second bomb, but were killed by a third bomb while trying to escape from the area. Hajj Khan, one of four elderly men who were escorting the party, stated that his grandson was killed and that there were body parts everywhere. Relatives from the groom's village stated it was not possible to identify the remains, and buried the 47 victims in 28 graves. An investigation ordered by President Karzai and led by a nine-man commission of the senate found that 47 civilians including the bride had been killed. Burhanullah Shinwari, a member of the commission, told the BBC that there were 39 women and children among those killed, and that eight of those who died were between the ages of 14 and 18. Another nine people were wounded in the attack. On July 16, 2008, President Hamid Karzai visited the site where the US-led strikes hit the wedding. Rock band The Airborne Toxic Event recorded a track protesting the bombing entitled "Welcome to Your Wedding Day" on their second album All at Once.
Economy and poppy production
Once Nangrahar was major center of opium poppy production in Afghanistan, the province had reportedly decreased its production of poppy by up to 95% in 2005, one of the success stories of the Afghan eradication program. However, the eradication program has often left peasant farmers destitute and, in 2006, farmers were reported to have surrendered their children to opium dealers in payment on their debts.
The illicit poppy cultivation takes place in Khogiani, Ghanikhil, Chaparhar, Sherzad, Toorghar, Shenwari and other remote districts. The farmers cite the lack of water and also poverty as the reasons for poppy cultivation. Poppy was also cultivated in Goshta District, Lalpura which borders Pakistan; but now the people just cultivate wheat and other legal crops.
Nangarhar province is administratively subdivided into 22 districts, these are:
|Dih Bala||33,294||100% Pashtun,|
|Bihsud||118,934||80% Pahtun, 20% Arab|
|Dara-I-Nur||98,202||30% pashtun, 70% Pashias|
|Dur Baba||13,479||100 % Pashtun|
|Jalalabad||205,423||Pashtun, Tajik, Arab, Pashias|
|Kama||52,527||100 % pashtun|
|Kot||52,154||Created in 2005 within Rodat District|
|Kuz Kunar||42,823||80% Pashtun, 15% Pashias|
|Pachir Aw Agam||40,141|
|Rodat||63,357||Sub-divided in 2005|
|Surkh Rod||91,548||95% pashtun, 5% Tajik|
The province is represented in domestic cricket competitions by the Nangarhar province cricket team. National team member Hamid Hasan was born in the province and he currently represents Afghanistan in international cricket.
The Ghazi Amanullah Khan International Cricket Stadium is the first international standard cricket stadium in Afghanistan. It is located in the Ghazi Amanullah Khan Township, about 15 kilometres outside the city of Jalalabad in Nangarhar Province. Construction on the stadium began in March 2010 when the foundation stone was laid by Minister of Finance and president of the Afghanistan Cricket Board, Omar Zakhilwal. The project, which was developed on 30 acres of land donated by the developer constructing the Ghazi Amanullah Khan Township, cost up the first phase of construction $1.8 million. The first phase, which took one year to complete, included the completion of the stadium itself. The remainder of the phases will see the construction of a pavilion, accommodation for players and administrative buildings. The stadium, which has a capacity of 14,000, was completed before the national team and under-19 team left for Canada and the Under-19 Cricket World Cup Qualifier in Ireland respectively. The two sides inaugurated the stadium in a Twenty20 match. It is hoped that the stadium will be able to attract international teams to play Afghanistan, who currently have One Day International status until at least 2013.
- Afghanistan Statistical Yearbook 2010/11 (PDF), Central Statistics Office Afghanistan
- "Cultural and Conflict Studies, Nangarhar Province". Nps.edu. Retrieved 2013-03-13.
- Chinese Travelers in Afghanistan. Alamahabibi.com. Retrieved on 2013-07-12.
- [dead link]
- Stars and Stripes, Mideast edition, Friday, March 9, 2007
- "MRRD Provincial profile for Nangarhar Province". Mrrd.gov.af. 2013-02-28. Retrieved 2013-03-13.
- Andrew Ross. "Afghanistan Geographic & Thematic Layers". Fao.org. Retrieved 2013-03-13.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Nangarhar Province.|
- Map of Nangarhar province (PDF)
- Nangarhar Province - (US) Naval Postgraduate School
- Nangarhar Provincial Profile, Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development
- Nangahar Aerial Pictures
||Laghman Province||Kunar Province|
|Logar Province||Federally Administered Tribal Areas, Pakistan|