Takhar Province

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This article is about the province in Afghanistan. For other uses, see Takhar (disambiguation).
Takhar
Persian: تخار
Pashto: تخار ولايت‎
Province
View from atop a hill in Khawajah Bahawuddin, Takhar Province, Afghanistan.
View from atop a hill in Khawajah Bahawuddin, Takhar Province, Afghanistan.
Map of Afghanistan with Takhar highlighted
Map of Afghanistan with Takhar highlighted
Coordinates (Capital): 36°42′N 69°48′E / 36.7°N 69.8°E / 36.7; 69.8Coordinates: 36°42′N 69°48′E / 36.7°N 69.8°E / 36.7; 69.8
Country Afghanistan
Capital Taloqan
Government
 • Governor Abdul Jabbar Taqwa
Area
 • Total 12,333 km2 (4,762 sq mi)
Population (2012)[1]
 • Total 933,700
 • Density 76/km2 (200/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+4:30
Main languages Dari, Uzbeki

Takhar (Persian: تخار‎; Pashto: تخار ولايت‎) is one of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan, located in the northeast of the country next to Tajikistan. It is surrounded by Badakhshan in the east, Panjshir in the south, and Baghlan and Kunduz in the west. The city of Taloqan serves as its capital.

The province contains about 17 districts, over 1,000 villages, and approximately 933,700 people,[1] which is multi-ethnic and mostly a rural society. The major ethnic groups in the province are Tajiks and Uzbeks followed by Pashtuns, Hazara, and others.[2]

History[edit]

Further information: History of Afghanistan

Between the early 16th century and the mid-18th century, the territory was ruled by the Khanate of Bukhara. It was given to Ahmad Shah Durrani by Murad Beg of Bukhara after a treaty of friendship was reached in or about 1750, and became part of the Durrani Empire. It was ruled by the Durranis followed by the Barakzai dynasty, and was untouched by the British during the three Anglo-Afghan wars that were fought in the 19th and 20th centuries. It remained peaceful for about one hundred years until the 1980s Soviet war in Afghanistan.

It was established in 1964 when Qataghan Province was divided into three provinces: Baghlan, Kunduz and Takhar. During the 1980s Soviet war in Afghanistan, the area fell under the influenced of Rabbani and Ahmad Shah Massoud. It was controlled by the Northern Alliance in the 1990s. It experienced some fighting between the Northern Alliance and the Taliban forces. Takhar holds notoriety as the location where Mujahideen Commander Ahmad Shah Massoud was assassinated on 9 September 2001 by suspected al-Qaeda agents.

Karzai administration and Taliban insurgency[edit]

International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) took over security responsibility of the area in the early 2000s, which was led by Germany. The province also began to see some developments and the establishment of Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF). In a small incident in July 2008, the Afghan National Police killed Mullah Usman when several armed Taliban militants under his command raided a police checkpoint in the Kalafgan district. This was the first time since the fall of Taliban regime in 2001 that the Taliban insurgents engaged police in this province. Mullah Usman was the most senior Taliban commander in the northeast region of Afghanistan, according to the Afghan Interior Ministry.[3]

In May 2009, Taliban insurgents fighting Afghan government attacked the Baharak district in Takhar province.[4] A bomb attack on 28 May 2011 killed Mohammed Daud Daud and injured Governor Taqwa. Several German soldiers and Afghans were also killed.[5]

In April 2012, the water supply at the Rostaq district's school for girls was poisoned by unknown insurgents, sickening at least 140 Afghan schoolgirls and teachers ranging in age from 14 to 30, causing them to be hospitalized and some to partially lose consciousness, though there have been no deaths so far.[6]

Politics and governance[edit]

The current governor is Abdul Jabbar Taqwa. The border with neighboring Tajikistan are monitored by the Afghan Border Police (ABP). All law enforcement activities throughout the province are handled by the Afghan National Police (ANP). A provincial Police Chief is assigned to lead both the ANP and the ABP. The Police Chief represents the Ministry of the Interior in Kabull. The ANP is backed by the military, including the NATO-led forces.

Demographics[edit]

Further information: Demography of Afghanistan
Districts of Takhar

The population of the province is about 933,700,[1] which is mostly tribal and a rural society. The main inhabitants of Takhar province are ethnic Tajiks which make almost 66% of population, followed by the second largest groups, the Uzbeks. The remainders are Pashtuns, Hazaras, Pashai, Gujjar and others. There are also a population of Kuchis (nomads) whose numbers vary in different seasons.

District information[edit]

Districts of Takhar Province
District Capital Population[7] Area Number of villages and ethnic groups
Baharak 40,902 231 km2 74 villages.[8]
Bangi 28,197 566 km2 59 villages.[9]
Chah Ab 64,151 764 km2 63 villages 65% Tajik.[10]
Chal 24,596 330.8 km2 58 villages. Uzbek, Tajik, Pashtun, Hazara, Pashai and Gujjar.[11]
Darqad 25,771 393 km2 34 villages 80% tajik.[12]
Dashti Qala 35,347 280 km2 49 villages. 60% Uzbek, 35% Tajik, 5% Pashtun.[13]
Farkhar 79,864 1,214 km2 75 villages 95% Tajik.[14]
Hazar Sumuch 9,774 309 km2 28 villages.[15]
Ishkamish 51,153 806 km2 103 villages. 50% Tajik, 40% Uzbek and 10% Pashtun.[16]
Kalafgan 28,122 479 km2 42 villages 85% Tajik.[17]
Khawajah Bahawodin 26,280 178.2 km2 25 villages. Uzbek, Tajik, Pashtun.[18]
Khwaja Ghar 44,909 402 km2 62 villages.[19]
Namak Ab 11,563 584 km2 28 villages.[20]
Rustaq 122,993 1,939 km2 179 villages. Uzbek, Tajik, Baloch.[21]
Taluqan Taluqan 194,471
Warsaj 33,506 2705.3 km2 94 villages. Uzbek, Tajik, Gujjar, Pashai and Hazara.[22]
Yangi Qala 39,398 247 km2 64 villages.[23]

Economy[edit]

Further information: Economy of Afghanistan

Agriculture and mining are the main industries of the province. Takhar has coal reserves of fairly good quality which are being exploited by hand in some villages and sold in the region. The local population considers gold the most relevant resource for the Province. Gold is being washed in Takhar River, and about 2kg are being transported to the specific weekly markets in the city of Taloqan. Also the city is a main source of construction materials like: loam, sand, and different types of stones. Takhar province is known for its salt mountains and you can find large deposits of fine salt in the region. The Takcha Khanna salt mine is one of the growing number of salt supplier, for the population of Takhar and northern Afghanistan. While the mines offer economic opportunities in the region, the availability of iodized salt considerably reduces the prevalence of health problems related to iodine deficiency.

Footnotes[edit]

External links[edit]