Badghis Province

Last updated


Badghis in Afghanistan.svg
Qala i Naw, Badghis
Badghis districts.png
Districts prior to 2005
Coordinates(Capital): 35°0′N63°45′E / 35.000°N 63.750°E / 35.000; 63.750 Coordinates: 35°0′N63°45′E / 35.000°N 63.750°E / 35.000; 63.750
CountryFlag of Afghanistan.svg  Afghanistan
Capital Qala i Naw
Largest city Bala Murghab
   Governor Hamssamuddin Shams
  Total23,000 km2 (9,000 sq mi)
  Water0 km2 (0 sq mi)
 (2020) [1]
  Density24/km2 (62/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+4:30 (Afghanistan Time)
ISO 3166 code AF-BDG
Main languages Dari

Bādghīs (Dari/Pashto: بادغیس) is one of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan, located in the northwest of the country, on the border with Turkmenistan. It is considered to be one of the country's most underdeveloped provinces. The capital is Qala i Naw, while the most populous city and district is Bala Murghab. The ruins of the medieval city of Marw al-Rudh, the historical capital of the medieval region of Gharjistan, are located in the province near the modern city of Bala Murghab.



Badghis Province is located in the isolated hills of northwestern Afghanistan and shares its borders with Herat, Ghor, and Faryab provinces as well as Turkmenistan. The province has a total area of 20,591 km2. [2] Hydrologically, the province is dominated by the Murghab River which is used for irrigation. [3] It contains some mountains but is predominantly characterized by rolling hills divided by ravines. [4]

The province is very windy; the name "Badghis" is a corruption of the Persian compound "bâd-khiz", meaning "wind source", referring to the steppe winds that blow into the province from the north and northwest. Its northern border extends to the edge of the part of the Karakum desert known as the Sarakhs desert. Northern Badghis includes the loess and other aeolian formations, known locally as the "chul", [5] through which the Turkmen-Afghan boundary runs. [6] Across the border in Turkmenistan is the Badhyz State Nature Reserve in the Badkhiz-Karabil semi-desert. [7]


Prior to the Arab conquest, the province was the center of the Kingdom of Badghis, whose king Tarkhan Tirek resisted an Umayyad invasion in 709 AD. After the Arab conquest the province was rebellious and it served as a haven for religious dissenters until about 1000 AD. [4] Badghis' excellent grasslands were used as summer pastures by the Timurid dynasty in the fifteenth century. By the late 19th century, the province was devastated by Turkmen raids. [4] In 1964, the province was carved out of portions of Herat Province and Meymaneh Province.

The province was one of the last captured by the Taliban in their military offensive before the American invasion in 2001. The province was quickly retaken by Northern Alliance forces as the United States initiated hostilities.[ citation needed ]


Like in the rest of Afghanistan, no exact population numbers are available. The Afghan Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation & Development (MRRD) along with UNHCR and National Statistics and Information Authority (NSIA) of Afghanistan estimates the population of the province to be around 549,583 in 2020. [1] [8] Tajiks are the majority, making around 62% of the province's population. The other 38% is made up of mostly Pashtuns (28%) and smaller Hazara, Uzbek, Turkmen, and Baluch. [9]


The current Governor of the province is Jamaluddin Ishaq.

The major political parties are: [10]

At the province was a Provincial Reconstruction Team, which was led by Spain. [10] In January 2019 a US service member from Texas, serving with the 75th Ranger Regiment, was fatally wounded during a combat operation in the province. [11]


Badghis is counted as one of the most underdeveloped of the country's thirty-four provinces. [12] Not only does it have little infrastructure, and poor roads, it has a chronic shortage of water. [12] [13] Agriculture is the main source of people's income and the existence of the Murghab River makes the available land suitable for cultivation. The province has suffered from severe drought beginning in the late 1990s and continuing. It has caused tens of thousands of residents to flee to refugee camps outside Herat. [14] The drought has been exacerbated by excessive cutting of forests since 2001. [13] Badghis is the leading province in Afghanistan in pistachio production. It is also one of the carpet-making areas of the country. The province produced Karakul sheep until the late 1970s. [4]


Badghis Province suffers from a lack of adequate transportation. A single airport exists at the provincial seat--Qala i Naw Airport (QAQN), which is capable of handling light aircraft. [15] Work on a 233 km section of the Afghan ring road started up again in 2012. [16] This section would connect Bala Murghab with Herat in the southwest, and Maymana and Mazar-i Sharif in the northeast.


The percentage of households with clean drinking water fell from 11.6% in 2005 to 1% in 2011. [17] The percentage of births attended to by a skilled birth attendant increased from 15% in 2005 to 17% in 2011. [17] Official government figures for 2007 indicated that 17% of the Badghis population had access to safe drinking water, while only 1% of births were attended by a skilled person. [18]


According to information of education department, there are 457 schools with 75 high and the rests are primary and secondary schools. There are as many as 120,000 students, with 35% of them being female students. There is one vocational high school of agriculture and one midwife training Institute in the province as well. However, as of 2007 the overall literacy rate was only 9.5%. [18]


Badghis province is divided into seven districts. [19]

See also

Notes and references

  1. 1 2 "Estimated Population of Afghanistan 2020-21" (PDF). Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, National Statistics and Information Authority. Retrieved 6 June 2021.
  2. Bosworth, C. E.; Balland, D. "BAÚD¨GÚÈS". In Yarshater, Ehsan (ed.). Encyclopædia Iranica . United States: Columbia University. Archived from the original on 2 January 2009.
  3. Shroder, John F. (2016). "Hari Rud – Murghab River Basin". Transboundary Water Resources in Afghanistan: Climate Change and Land-Use Implications. Saint Louis: Elsevier. pp. 410–412. ISBN   978-0-12-801861-3.
  4. 1 2 3 4 Paul, Jürgen (2010). "Bādghīs" . Encyclopaedia of Islam . 2010–1 (3rd ed.). Brill Publishers. ISBN   9789004183902 . Retrieved 10 June 2021.
  5. Wily, Liz Alden (2004). "Glossary". Looking for Peace on the Pastures: Rural Land Relations in Afghanistan (PDF). Kabul, Afghanistan: Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit. p. ii. Archived (PDF) from the original on 12 July 2018.
  6. Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Badghis"  . Encyclopædia Britannica . 3 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
  7. "Badkhiz-Karabil semi-desert (PA1306)". National Geographic. Archived from the original on 8 March 2010.
  8. "Project Development Plan: Badghis Provincial Profile" (PDF). =Afghanistan Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 December 2010.
  9. "Badghis - Program for Culture and Conflict Studies - Naval Postgraduate School". Retrieved 11 May 2020.
  10. 1 2 "Badghis Provincial Overview". United States: Naval Postgraduate School. Archived from the original on 12 July 2018.
  11. US soldier from Texas dies of wounds from attack in Afghanistan Archived 26 January 2019 at the Wayback Machine , Jan 18, 2019
  12. 1 2 "Background profile of Badghis province". Pajhwok Afghan News. 2014. Archived from the original on 2 March 2014.
  13. 1 2 "Provincial profile for Badghis Province" (PDF). Regional Rural Economic Regeneration Strategies (RRERS). United States: Naval Postgraduate School. Archived (PDF) from the original on 12 July 2018.
  14. Sarwar, Mustafa (5 June 2018). "Almost Two-Thirds Of Afghanistan Hit By Drought". Gandhara.
  15. "Qala-i-Naw Airport". Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007.
  16. "Ring Road Construction Restarts After Five Years". Tolo News. 27 August 2012. Archived from the original on 30 September 2013.
  17. 1 2 "Badghis Province". Civil-Military Fusion Centre. Archived from the original on 31 May 2014.
  18. 1 2 "Badghis Province In A Glance" (PDF). Afghanistan Provincial Health Profile: Situational Analysis of Provincial Health Services. MoPH HMIS Department. p. 3. Archived (PDF) from the original on 12 July 2018.
  19. "Province of Badghis: A Socio-Economic and Demographic Profile" (PDF). UNFPA. 2003. Archived (PDF) from the original on 12 July 2018.

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