|Shah Joy district|
|• Governor||Mohammad Ashraf Nasari|
|• Total||17,343 km2 (6,696 sq mi)|
|• Density||17/km2 (43/sq mi)|
|ISO 3166 code||AF-ZAB|
Zabul (Persian and Pashto: زابل) is one of the 34 provinces of Afghanistan, located in the south of the country. It has a population of about 289,300, which is mostly a rural tribal society. Zabul became an independent province from neighbouring Kandahar in 1963. Historically, it was part of the Zabulistan region. Qalat serves as the capital of the province.
The province covers an area of 17293 km2. Two-fifths of the province is mountainous or semi mountainous terrain (41%) while more than one quarter of the area is made up of flat land (28%).
The primary ecoregion of the province is the central Afghan mountains xeric woodlands. Common vegetation is listed as dry shrub-land and pistachio. The high mountains of the northern portion of the province are in the Ghor-Hazarajat alpine meadow ecoregion, which is characterized by meadows, willows, and sea buckthorn.
Politics and governance
The current governor of the province is Mohammad Ashraf Nasari. The city of Qalat is the capital of the province. All law enforcement activities throughout the province are controlled by the Afghan National Police (ANP). Zabul's border with neighboring Balochistan province of Pakistan is under the control of the Afghan Border Police (ABP). The border area in this province is used by Taliban insurgents entering from Pakistan. Plans are underway to construct new border stations in the near future. The provincial police chief represents the Ministry of the Interior in Kabul. The ANP is backed by other Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF), including the National Directorate of Security (NDS) and NATO-led forces.
The province has especially struggled with retaining NGO's and teachers in the face of Taliban attacks and threats. Until 2006, the only major international presence was an American Provincial Reconstruction Team Zabul (PRT) based in Qalat District , when it was joined by a UNAMA & USAID/DAI branch.
The total population of the province is about 289,300, which is mostly a rural tribal society. According to the Naval Postgraduate School, the population is primarily Pashtun, sprinkled throughout around 2,500 remote villages. Major tribal groups include the Tokhi and Hotaki Ghilzai and the Noorzai and Panjpai Durrani.
|Argahandab||Sub-divided in 2005|
|Kakar||Created in 2005 within Argahandab District|
|Naw Bahar||21,144||Created in 2005 from parts of Shamulzayi and Shinkay Districts|
|Tarnak Aw Jaldak||19,017|
In 2006, the province's first airstrip was opened near Qalat, to be operated by the Afghan National Army, but also for use by commercial aviation. Twice weekly service was scheduled by PRT Air between Qalat and Kabul. The airstrip is not paved. The ANA Chief in Zabul is Major General Jamaluddin Sayed
Sgt. Johnny Hoyos patrolling the area around a bridge on the Kabul–Kandahar Highway during a quality assurance, quality control visit in 2010.
U.S. soldiers drinking tea at an Afghan National Army outpost
- Provinces of Afghanistan on Statoids.
- Afghanistan's Provinces – Zabul at USAID
- "Settled Population of Zabul province by Civil Division, Urban, Rural and Sex-2012-13". Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Central Statistics Organization. Retrieved 2013-06-22.
- World Wildlife Fund (2001). "Central Afghan Mountains xeric woodlands". WildWorld Ecoregion Profile. National Geographic Society. Archived from the original on 2010-03-08.
- "Zabul Province". Program for Culture & Conflict Studies. Naval Postgraduate School. Retrieved 2013-06-16.
- First Airstrip in Zabul Province, USAID
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Zabul Province.|
||Urozgan Province||Ghazni Province|
|Kandahar Province||Balochistan, Pakistan|