Baghlan Province

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Baghlan
بغلان
Afghan National Army in Baghlan province, 2010
Afghan National Army in Baghlan province, 2010
Map of Afghanistan with Baghlan highlighted
Map of Afghanistan with Baghlan highlighted
Coordinates (Capital): 36°N 69°E / 36°N 69°E / 36; 69Coordinates: 36°N 69°E / 36°N 69°E / 36; 69
CountryIslamic Emirate of Afghanistan Afghanistan
CapitalPuli Khumri
Government
 • GovernorQari Bakhtiar[1]
 • Deputy GovernorMohammad Idris[1]
 • Police ChiefSafiullah [1]
Area
 • Total21,118 km2 (8,154 sq mi)
Population
 (2021)[2]
 • Total1,033,760
 • Density49/km2 (130/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+4:30 (Afghanistan Time)
ISO 3166 codeAF-BGL
Main languagesDari (Dari-Persian)
Pashto

Baghlan (Dari/Pashto: بغلان Baġlān) is one of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan. It is in the north of the country. As of 2020, the province has a population of about 1,014,634.[3]

Its capital is Puli Khumri, but its name comes from the other major town in the province, Baghlan. The ruins of a Zoroastrian fire temple, the Surkh Kotal, are located in Baghlan. The lead nation of the local Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) was Hungary, which operated from 2006 to 2015.

History[edit]

Early history[edit]

The name Baghlan is derived from Bagolango or "image-temple", inscribed on the temple of Surkh Kotal during the reign of the Kushan emperor, Kanishka in the early 2nd century CE. The Chinese Buddhist monk Xuanzang traveled through Baghlan in the mid-7th century CE, and referred to it as the "kingdom of Fo-kia-lang".[4]

In the 13th century CE, a permanent garrison of Mongol troops was quartered in the Kunduz-Baghlan area, and in 1253 fell under the jurisdiction of Sali Noyan Tatar, appointed there by Möngke Khan. Sali Noyan's position was later inherited by his son Uladu, and grandson Baktut.[5] These Turco-Mongol garrison troops (tamma) formed the Qara'unas faction, and by the 14th Century had allied with the Chaghataite Khanate. Under the rule of Temür the Qara'unas were given to Chekü Barlas, and then to his son Jahānshāh. Forbes Manz notes that these Kunduz-Baghlan forces appear to have remained cohesive and influential throughout the Timurid period, though under different leaders and different names, up until the Uzbek invasion.[when?][6] By the Islamic year 900 (1494–1495 CE), the area was noted in the Baburnama as ruled by a Qipchaq emir.[7]

20th century[edit]

In the mid-20th century, as Afghanistan became the target of international development from both the Western and Soviet world, agricultural-industrial projects were initiated in Baghlan. These included factories for the production of sugar from sugar beets (initiated by Czech experts in the 1940s[8]) and for vegetable oil.[9] Czech expertise also figured heavily into the development of Baghlans' coal-mining industry,[10] centred at Baghlan's Karkar Valley, the only coal mine in Afghanistan to remain operational up through 1992.[11]

The modern Baghlan Province was created out of the former Qataghan Province in 1964.[12]

During the Soviet–Afghan War, the Soviets in 1982 established the Kayan military zone in southern Baghlan. The area was defended by 10,000 Ismaili militiamen, increasing to 18,000 by 1992, who sided with the Soviets due to differences with the Islamist opposition.[13] Afghan Ismailis overall were inclined to support the Communists, though a local Ismaili leader, Sayed Manuchehr, lead a partisan movement against the Communists until Ismaili leader Sayed Mansur Naderi accepted Soviet support.[14]

Large portions of Baghlan and neighbouring Samangan Province were under the sway of the Soviet-aligned Naderi clan, the hereditary Ismaili Sayeds (spiritual leaders) of Kayan. Under their jurisdiction, was largely quiet and societally functional throughout the 1980s, with hospitals, schools, and administrative services, funded by the communist central government. Despite the Naderi's alliance with the Communists, they also maintained positive relations with the Mujahideen as well, permitting them to move through the area provided they refrained from attacks.[15]

One of the Soviets' three primary bases in Afghanistan, Kiligai, was located in Baghlan Province, and served as the "largest military supply and armoury centre of the Soviet troops in Afghanistan."[16]

Recent history[edit]

As the 2001 Afghan War commenced, Ismaili leader Sayed Mansoor Naderi attempted to retake Baghlan from the Taliban. Naderi was aligned with Uzbek warlord Abdul Rashid Dostum and his Jumbesh-e Milli party, and the competing Tajik-dominated Jamiat-e Islami party was also keen to seize control of Baghlan as Taliban power eroded. The Jamiat were able to seize the capital of Pul-i Khumri before Naderi, who despite his strong backing among the Afghan Ismailis and Shia Hazaras, was unable to rally enough supporters to control the province. Naderi failed to retake the capital in 2001 and 2003, in the latter event he negotiated a power-sharing agreement with the dominant Andarabi militias and made the Ismaili bastion of the Kayan Valley his base.[17]

On 13 June 2012, two earthquakes hit Afghanistan and there was a major landslide in Burka District of Baghlan Province. The village of Sayi Hazara was buried under up to 30 meters of rock, killing an estimated 71 people.

On 13 April 2021, an official in Baghlan Province said a group of Taliban militants attacked a checkpoint in the province that day and killed six security personnel.[18][better source needed]

Claiming that the Taliban had not acted in the spirit of amnesty, the Public's Resistance Forces under Khair Muhammad Andarabi reportedly attacked Taliban fighters 20 August 2021 in several parts of Baghlan province, inflicting up to 60 Taliban killed or wounded. They claim to have captured Puli Hisar, Dih Salah and Banu districts, and are advancing on other Taliban-held districts.[19]


Politics and governance[edit]

The town of Puli Khumri serves as the capital of the province. All law enforcement activities throughout the province are handled by the Afghan National Police (ANP). 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 NATO-led forces. Taj Mohammad Jahid has been the governor of the province since July 2020.[20]

Demographics[edit]

According to the National Statistics Agency of Afghanistan, as of 2021, Tajiks and Hazaras make up the majority of the population, followed by Pashtuns and Uzbeks.[2] In addition, a significant number of Hazaras are also counted as part of the Persian-speaking people which makes Persian the overwhelmingly spoken language. Persian-speakers are followed by Pashtuns who make up the majority ethnic group in Baghlani Jadid district, and by Uzbeks and some Tatars.[21]

Baghlan is also home to a small community of Ismaili Muslims of Hazara background, led by the Sayeds of Kayan.

Healthcare[edit]

The percentage of households with clean drinking water increased from 19% in 2005 to 25% in 2011.[22] The percentage of births attended to by a skilled birth attendant increased from 5.5% in 2005 to 22% in 2011.[22]

Education[edit]

The overall literacy rate (6+ years of age) increased from 21% in 2005 to 24% in 2011.[22] The overall net enrolment rate (6–13 years of age) increased from 29% in 2005 to 62% in 2011.[22]

Economy[edit]

Agriculture[edit]

Baghlan's primary crops (as of 1974) were cotton and sugar beets, industrial sugar production having begun under Czech supervision in the 1940s. The area also produced grapes, pistachios, and pomegranates. The primary livestock is Karakul sheep.[8]

Other products[edit]

The province also produces silk, and coal is mined in the Karkar Valley.[8][11]

Districts[edit]

Districts of Baghlan Province before 2005, when Kahmard District was moved to Bamyan Province, and the districts of Andarab and Khost Wa Fereng were subdivided.
Districts of Baghlan Province
District Capital Population[23] Area Notes
Andarab 29,334 Sub-divided in 2005. Tajik dominated
Baghlani Jadid Baghlan 202,375 Pashtun 70%, Tajik 20%, Uzbek 10%[24]
Burka 60,561 Uzbek 60%, Tajik 20%, Hazara 10%, Pashtun 10%[25]
Dahana-I-Ghuri 67,796 80% Pashtun, 10% Hazara, Uzbek 10%
Dih Salah 31,100 Created in 2005 within Andarab District. Tajik dominated
Dushi 36,769 60% Hazara, 39% Tajik[26]
Farang Wa Gharu 19,060 Tajik dominated, created in 2005 within Khost Wa Fereng District
Guzargahi Nur 11,625 Tajik dominated, created in 2005 within Khost Wa Fereng District
Khinjan 35,011 85% Tajik, 5% Hazara, 5% Pashtun, 5% other[27]
Khost Wa Fereng 72,592 Tajik dominated, sub-divided in 2005
Khwaja Hijran 27,442 Tajik dominated, created in 2005 within Andarab District
Nahrin 79,847 Tajik 60%, Pashtun 35%, Uzbek 5%[28]
Puli Hisar 31,767 Tajik dominated, created in 2005 within Andarab District
Puli Khumri Puli Khumri 247,923 Tajik 30%, Hazara 20%, Pashtun 30%, Uzbek 10%[29]
Tala wa Barfak 34,741 Hazara 70%, Tajik 30%[30]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "د نږدې شلو ولایاتو لپاره نوي والیان او امنیې قوماندانان وټاکل شول". 7 November 2021.
  2. ^ a b "Estimated Population of Afghanistan 2021-22" (PDF). National Statistic and Information Authority (NSIA). April 2021. Retrieved 21 June 2021.
  3. ^ "Estimated Population of Afghanistan 2020-21" (PDF). Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, National Statistics and Information Authority. Retrieved 6 June 2021.
  4. ^ Xuanzang. Record of the Western Regions. translated by Samuel Beal (1884) in Buddhist Records of the Western World, London: Trubner & Co. Ltd., 1884
  5. ^ Manz, Beatrice Forbes (1999). The Rise and Rule of Tamerlane. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press. pp. 160–163. ISBN 9780521633840.
  6. ^ Manz 1999, p. 81
  7. ^ Manz 1999, p. 187
  8. ^ a b c Clements, Frank; Adamec, Ludwig W. (2003). "Baghlan Province". Conflict in Afghanistan: A Historical Encyclopedia. p. 38. ISBN 978-1-85109-402-8. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
  9. ^ "Asian Annual: The "Eastern World" Handbook". 1959. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
  10. ^ Rafferty, Kevin; Marsden, Peter (2002). "Afghanistan: Economy". The Far East and Australasia 2003. London: Europa Publications. pp. 79–86, page 85. ISBN 9781857431339.
  11. ^ a b Christensen, Asger (1995). Aiding Afghanistan: The Background and Prospects for Reconstruction in a Fragmented Society. Copenhagen, Denmark: NIAS Books. p. 42. ISBN 9788787062442.
  12. ^ Bivar, A. D. H.; Balland, D.; de Planhol, X. (2011). "Baḡlān". In Ehsan Yarshater (ed.). Encyclopædia Iranica. III. The Encyclopædia Iranica Foundation (EIF). pp. 416–418. Archived from the original on 11 August 2017.
  13. ^ Bhatia, Michael V.; Sedra, Mark (2008). Afghanistan, arms and conflict: armed groups, disarmament and security in a post-war society. Psychology Press. pp. 252ff. ISBN 978-0-415-45308-0.
  14. ^ Emadi, Hafizullah (2005). Culture and Customs of Afghanistan. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. p. 73. ISBN 978-0-313-33089-6.
  15. ^ Giustozzi, Antonio (2009). Empires of Mud: The Neo-Taliban Insurgency in Afghanistan 2002-2007. London: Hurst & Company. pp. 61–62. ISBN 978-1-85065-932-7.
  16. ^ "Summary of World Broadcasts: Far East". 11 May 2009. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
  17. ^ Giustozzi 2009, p. 118
  18. ^ "Afghan government forces killed 91 Taliban fighters". 13 April 2021. Archived from the original on 13 April 2021. Retrieved 13 April 2021.
  19. ^ India Today Web Desk (21 August 2021). "Resistance forces capture 3 districts in Afghanistan, several Taliban fighters killed: Report". India Today. New Delhi. Archived from the original on 18 October 2021. Retrieved 22 August 2021.
  20. ^ "Ghani appoints new governors for five provinces of Afghanistan". The Khaama Press News Agency. 7 July 2020. Archived from the original on 12 July 2020. Retrieved 12 July 2020.
  21. ^ "Provincial Development Plan, Baghlan: Provincial Profile" (PDF). Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development, Government of Afghanistan. 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 July 2009.
  22. ^ a b c d "Baghlan Province". NATO's Civil-Military Fusion Centre (CFC). Archived from the original on 31 May 2014.
  23. ^ "Estimated Population of Afghanistan 2021-22" (PDF). National Statistic and Information Authority (NSIA). April 2021. Retrieved 21 June 2021.
  24. ^ UNHCR Sub-Office Mazar-i-Sharif (9 April 2002). "District Profile: Baghlan Jadid" (PDF). Afghanistan Information Management Services. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 May 2005.
  25. ^ UNHCR Sub-Office Mazar-i-Sharif (9 April 2002). "District Profile: Burka" (PDF). Afghanistan Information Management Services. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 17 May 2021.
  26. ^ {{Cite webUNHCR Sub-Office Mazar-i-Sharif (10 April 2002). "District Profile: Dushi" (PDF). Afghanistan Information Management Services. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 October 2005.
  27. ^ {{Cite webUNHCR Sub-Office Mazar-i-Sharif (9 April 2002). "District Profile: Khinjan" (PDF). Afghanistan Information Management Services. Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 May 2011.
  28. ^ {{Cite webUNHCR Sub-Office Mazar-i-Sharif (9 April 2002). "District Profile: Nahrin" (PDF). Afghanistan Information Management Services. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 17 May 2021.
  29. ^ {{Cite webUNHCR Sub-Office Mazar-i-Sharif (9 April 2002). "District Profile: Pul-i-Khomri" (PDF). Afghanistan Information Management Services. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 17 May 2021.
  30. ^ {{Cite webUNHCR Sub-Office Mazar-i-Sharif (9 April 2002). "District Profile: Tala-wa-Barfak" (PDF). Afghanistan Information Management Services. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 17 May 2021.

External links[edit]