Zabul Province

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For the Iranian city, see Zabol.
An aircraft flies past the Spin Ghar mountains on approach for a routine supply drop in Shah Joy district
An aircraft flies past the Spin Ghar mountains on approach for a routine supply drop in Shah Joy district
Map of Afghanistan with Zabul highlighted
Map of Afghanistan with Zabul highlighted
Coordinates: 32°06′N 67°06′E / 32.1°N 67.1°E / 32.1; 67.1Coordinates: 32°06′N 67°06′E / 32.1°N 67.1°E / 32.1; 67.1
Country  Afghanistan
Capital Qalat
 • Governor Mohammad Ashraf Nasari
 • Total 17,343 km2 (6,696 sq mi)
Population [3]
 • Total 289,300
 • Density 17/km2 (43/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+4:30
ISO 3166 code AF-ZAB
Main languages Pashto

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,[3] 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.


Further information: Geography of Afghanistan
Almond trees in Zabul Province

Zabul borders Oruzgan in the north, Kandahar in the west and in the south, Ghazni and Paktika in the east. It shares a border with Balochistan, Pakistan, in the south.

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.[4]


Districts of Zabul Province
District Capital Population Area Notes
Argahandab Sub-divided in 2005
Atghar 13,973
Kakar Created in 2005 within Argahandab District
Mizan 21,162
Naw Bahar 21,144 Created in 2005 from parts of Shamulzayi and Shinkay Districts
Qalat 36,560
Shah Joy 71,348
Shamulzayi 33,351
Shinkay 28,344
Tarnak Aw Jaldak 19,017

Politics and governance[edit]

Further information: List of governors of Zabul
US soldiers fire mortars into the mountains.

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 32°07′47″N 066°55′41″E / 32.12972°N 66.92806°E / 32.12972; 66.92806 (PRT at Qalat), when it was joined by a UNAMA & USAID/DAI branch.


Further information: Transport in Afghanistan

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.[5] The ANA Chief in Zabul is Major General Jamaluddin Sayed[6]


The percentage of households with clean drinking water increased from 0% in 2005 to 32% in 2011.[7] The percentage of births attended to by a skilled birth attendant increased from 1% in 2005 to 5% in 2011.[7]


The overall literacy rate (6+ years of age) increased from 1% in 2005 to 19% in 2011.[7] The overall net enrolment rate (6–13 years of age) fell from 31.3% in 2005 to 5% in 2011.[7]


Further information: Demography of Afghanistan
Afghan children of Zabul province
Districts of Zabul province

The total population of the province is about 289,300, which is mostly a rural tribal society.[3] 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.

Pashto is the dominant language in the area. The people of Zabul are overwhelmingly Sunni Muslim. Primary occupations within Zabul are agriculture and animal husbandry.[8]


Further information: Sport in Afghanistan

The province is represented in Afghan domestic cricket by the Zabul Province cricket team.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Provinces of Afghanistan on Statoids.
  2. ^ Afghanistan's Provinces – Zabul at USAID
  3. ^ a b c "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. 
  4. ^ World Wildlife Fund (2001). "Central Afghan Mountains xeric woodlands". WildWorld Ecoregion Profile. National Geographic Society. Archived from the original on 2010-03-08. 
  5. ^ First Airstrip in Zabul Province, USAID
  6. ^
  7. ^ a b c d Archive, Civil Military Fusion Centre,
  8. ^ "Zabul Province". Program for Culture & Conflict Studies. Naval Postgraduate School. Retrieved 2013-06-16. 

External links[edit]