Ghazni Province

Last updated
Ghazni

غزنى
Snow covered mountains in Ghazni.jpg
Snow-covered mountains in Ghazni province
Ghazni in Afghanistan.svg
Map of Afghanistan with Ghazni province highlighted
Coordinates(Capital): 33°30′N68°00′E / 33.5°N 68°E / 33.5; 68 Coordinates: 33°30′N68°00′E / 33.5°N 68°E / 33.5; 68
CountryFlag of Afghanistan.svg  Afghanistan
Capital Ghazni
Government
  Governor Sayed Omar Noristani [1]
Area
  Total22,460 km2 (8,670 sq mi)
Population
 (2021) [2]
  Total1,386,764
  Density62/km2 (160/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+4:30 (Afghanistan Time)
ISO 3166 code AF-GHA
Main languages Hazaragi and Dari
Pashto

Ghazni (Dari: غزنی; Pashto: غزني) is one of the 34 provinces of Afghanistan, located in southeastern Afghanistan. [3] The province contains 19 districts, encompassing over a thousand villages and roughly 1.3 million people, [4] making it the 5th most populous province. The city of Ghazni serves as the capital. It lies on the important Kabul–Kandahar Highway, and has historically functioned as an important trade center. The Ghazni Airport is located next to the city of Ghazni and provides limited domestic flights to Afghanistan's capital, Kabul.

Contents

Ghazni borders the provinces of Maidan Wardak, Logar, Paktia, Paktika, Zabul, Uruzgan, Daykundi and Bamyan.

Etymology

The province was known as Ghazna in the 10th century, during and after the Ghaznavid era.

History

Ghazni was a thriving Buddhist center before and during the 7th century AD. Excavations have revealed religious artifacts of both Hindu and Buddhist traditions.

"The two other great Buddhist centers, Fondukistan and Tepe-e-sardar (Ghazni) in its later phase are a very different matter and display another phase of influences coming from India from the seventh to eighth century. The representations show themes from Mahayana iconography and even in the case of the latter site assume Tantric aspects which had already established themselves in the large Indian monasteries like Nalanda." [5]

"Another important site is that of Tepe Sardar (better known as Tepe-yi Nagara, Tepe of the kettledrum) near Ghazni, which was occupied until perhaps the eighth century AD. From this period dates a huge statue of the Parinirvana Buddha (Buddha lying down at the end of his cycle of rebirths) of unbaked clay. A very similar statue has been found just north of Afghanistan, at the site of Adzhina tepe in Tajikistan. Yet what is most interesting was the find at the same site of a statue of the Hindu deity Dpurga Mahishasura-mardini." [6]

In 644 AD, the Chinese pilgrim Xuanzang visited the city of Jaguda (probably Ghazni), while returning from Varnu (modern Bannu, Pakistan) [7] [8]

Islamization

In 683 AD, armies from the Umayyad Caliphate brought Islam to the area and attempted to conquer the capital of Ghazni but the local tribes fiercely resisted. Its resistance was so famed that Yaqub Saffari (840-879) from Zaranj made an example of Ghazni when he ranged the vast region conquering in the name of Islam. The city was completely destroyed by the Saffarids in 869. [9] A substantial portion of the local population including Hindus and Buddhists were converted to Islam by Mahmud of Ghazni [10] [ better source needed ]

View of the Old Ghazni City Ghazni province in April 2010.jpg
View of the Old Ghazni City
The minaret of Ghazni, built by Bahram Shah during the Ghaznavid Empire. Ghazni-Minaret.jpg
The minaret of Ghazni, built by Bahram Shah during the Ghaznavid Empire.

"There is no evidence that Ghazna had previously formed part of the Samanid kingdom. It had been previously overrun with the whole of Zabulistan and Kabul by the Saffaris by 260 (873) but it is doubtful how far their power was permanent and even when the Samanids became paramount there is no evidence that Kabul or Ghazna were under them. The ruler of Ghazna is described as Padshah and was allied to the Hindushahis of Kabul. These titles were not as yet used by the Muhammadan rulers. The Padshah Lavik was probably a Hindu chief even though some passages in the Tabakth i Nisiri give him the name of Abu Bakr or Abu Ali." [11]

After the rebuilding of the city by Yaqub's brother, it became the dazzling capital of the Ghaznavids from 994 to 1160, encompassing much of North India, Persia and Central Asia. Many iconoclastic campaigns were launched from Ghazni into India. The Ghaznavids took Islam to India and returned with fabulous riches taken from both prince and temple god. Contemporary visitors and residents at Ghazni write with wonder of the ornateness of the buildings, the great libraries, the sumptuousness of the court ceremonies and of the wealth of precious objects owned by Ghazni's citizens.

Ferishta records attacks by Muhammad of Ghor: "at the same time most of the infidels who inhabited the mountains between Ghazni and the Indus were also converted, some by force and others by persuasion." [12] [ non-primary source needed ] Ghazni's eponymous capital was razed in 1151 by the Ghorid Alauddin. It again flourished but only to be permanently devastated, this time in 1221 by Genghis Khan and his Mongol armies after 6 years of Khwarezmid rule. Ghazni's strategic position, both economically and militarily, assured its revival initially under the Qarlughids, albeit without its dazzling former grandeur.

Ghazni is famous for its minarets built on a stellar plan. They date from the middle of the twelfth century and are the surviving element of the mosque of Bahramshah. Their sides are decorated with geometric patterns. Upper sections of the minarets have been damaged or destroyed. The most important mausoleum located in Ghazni is that of Sultan Mahmud's. Others include the tombs of poets and scientists, for example Al-Biruni and Sanai. The only ruins in Old Ghazni retaining a semblance of architectural form are two towers, about 43 m (140 ft) high and some 365 m (1,200 ft) apart. According to inscriptions, the towers were constructed by Mahmud of Ghazni and his son.

Ibn Battuta noted "The greater part of the town is in ruins, with nothing but a fraction of it still standing, although it was formerly a great city." [13]

Babur records in his memoirs that Ghazni was part of Zabulistan. [14] The area was controlled by the Mughals until Nader Shah and his Persian forces invaded it in 1738. Ahmad Shah Durrani conquered Ghazni in 1747 and made it part of the Durrani Empire. During the First Anglo-Afghan War, the capital of Ghazni province was destroyed by the British-led Indian forces in the Battle of Ghazni.

In the 1960s a 15-meter female Buddha was discovered lying on its back and surrounded by empty pillars that once held rows of smaller male Buddhas. Parts of the female Buddha have been stolen. In the 1980s a mud brick shelter was created to protect the sculpture, but the wood supports were stolen for firewood and the shelter partially collapsed.

Recent history

Polish forces in Rashidan district during "Operation Passage" in April 2009. Operacja Passage Afganistan.jpg
Polish forces in Rashidan district during "Operation Passage" in April 2009.
U.S. paratroopers and Afghan soldiers move into a village during a combined patrol in 2012. Defense.gov photo essay 120428-A-3108M-007.jpg
U.S. paratroopers and Afghan soldiers move into a village during a combined patrol in 2012.

Since the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001, there has been a Provincial reconstruction base and a NATO forces base. These western forces (mostly Polish Armed Forces) are hunting Taliban and al-Qaida militants, who are still active in the area.

Like many southern Afghan provinces, Ghazni has a precarious security situation. The Taliban insurgents are found in the rural areas outside of the capital, and are involved in attacks on provincial schools and government infrastructure. The province has avoided the outright warfare seen in other provinces of Afghanistan such as Helmand and Kandahar, but that is due more to political expediency and the tactical plans of the NATO-led ISAF force than the existence of a stable security situation in the province. Ex-Governor Taj Mohammad was killed by insurgents in 2006 after being appointed police chief of the province with a mandate to quell the power of the Taliban. On the same day there was an unsuccessful attempt on the life of the governor at the time, Sher Alam Ibrahimi. [15] There is a Polish and American Provincial Reconstruction Team base located in Ghazni.

Politics and governance

The current governor of the province is Sayed Omar Noristani. The city of Ghazni serves as the capital of the province. All law enforcement activities throughout the province are controlled by the Afghan National Police (ANP) along with the Afghan Local Police (ALP). 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.

Districts

Ghazni District Map Ghazni Map (399 set).svg
Ghazni District Map
Districts of Ghazni Province
DistrictCapitalPopulation (2013) [19]
Ab Band Haji Khel 26,700
Ajristan Sangar 28,000
Andar Miray 181,300
Deh Yak Ramak 47,500
Gelan Janda 56,200
Ghazni Ghazni 157,600
Giro Pana 35,500
Jaghori Sang-e-Masha 3500,000
Jaghatū Gulbawri 32,265
Khogyani Khogyani 19,600
Khwaja Umari Kwaja Umari 18,400
Malestan Mir Adina 179,800
Muqur Muqur 48,900
Nawa Nawa 28,900
Nawur Du Abi 91,900
Qarabagh Qarabagh 150,000
Rashidan Rashidan17,500
Waghaz Waghaz 37,500
Zana Khan Dado 12,200

Healthcare

The percentage of households with clean drinking water fell from 35% in 2005 to 18% in 2011. [20] The percentage of births attended to by a skilled birth attendant increased from 7% in 2005 to 11% in 2011. [20]

Education

The overall literacy rate (6+ years of age) fell from 35% in 2005 to 31% in 2011. [20] The overall net enrolment rate (6–13 years of age) increased from 39% in 2005 to 54% in 2011. [20]

Demographics

Schoolgirls in Ghazni province Afghan girls from Ghazni province.jpg
Schoolgirls in Ghazni province

As of 2020, the total population of the province is about 1,362,504, [4] which is multi-ethnic and mostly a tribal society. According to the Institute for the Study of War, "Ghazni has nineteen districts and is one of the most ethnically diverse provinces in Afghanistan. According to the Naval Postgraduate School, of the population estimated the ethnic composition of the province are as follows: 48.9% Pashtuns, 45.9% Hazaras, 4.7% Tajiks, and less than 1% Hindus. [21] Agriculture and animal husbandry are the primary occupation of the citizens of Ghazni. Wheat, alfalfa, melons, and almonds are among the largest crops produced.

Infrastructure

U.S. Army paratroopers and Afghan Army soldiers move along a riverbed during a foot patrol in Afghanistan's southern Ghazni province. Defense.gov photo essay 120508-A-3108M-015.jpg
U.S. Army paratroopers and Afghan Army soldiers move along a riverbed during a foot patrol in Afghanistan's southern Ghazni province.

The Sardeh Band Dam is located in Andar District near the border with Paktika Province. It creates a large water reservoir that is critical to the irrigation of the Kahnjoor farming zone. The dam itself and the canal system it feeds both need repairs and maintenance.

Governor Musa Khan Akbarzada stated that key development projects would be launched in southern Ghazni in 2012 ahead of the Asian capital of the Islamic civilization for 2013. The projects include the construction of a proposed Islamic cultural centre, a mosque, a covered bazaar, a gymnasium, a guesthouse, an airport, a five-star hotel and two 27 story-buildings and others. More than 2,000 people would find work opportunities on the $30 million projects; $10 million would be provided by the central government, $7 million by the Polish provincial reconstruction team (PRT) and $3 million by the US. A 40-kilometre road would be asphalted by the end of the 2012.

Ghazni province is to be connected to the national electrical distribution system via North-east Power System (NEPS). The construction of transmission line would begin from east Chimtala to Ghazni using high voltage transmission network (2 x 220kV transmission lines and power substations). The project is to be implemented by USFOR-A and USAID costing $101 million. However the Asian Development Bank agreed to complete the transmission line from Chimtala to Dast-i-Barchi; hence reducing Project scope to begin from Dast-i-Barchi instead of Chimtala. The implemention of this project was delayed due to USACE being unable to award a contract because bids received for the project were more than double estimated costs, due largely to security concerns resulting from the risks associated with implementing firm-fixed-price contracts in a kinetic environment, poor cost estimates, and unrealistic periods of performance. USACE is re-procuring both projects and plans to award contracts in June or July 2012, which will delay the project's execution schedules between 6 and 15 months. Furthermore, the delays in transferring funds contributed to delays in project execution. This line is a key part of a planned NEPS to SEPS connection to transport power to Kandaharto replace the expensive diesel-fueled power plants

Transportation

The Kabul–Kandahar Highway runs through the province.

The Ghazni Airport began operations in April 2012 but does not have any commercial flights as of August, 2018. Residents in neighbouring provinces, such as Logar, Paktika, Maidan Shahr and Zabul, would also benefit from the airport.

Natural resources

Recent geologic surveys have indicated Ghazni may have one of the world's richest deposits of lithium. Gold and copper were also found in the Zarkashan Mine of Ghazni province with an estimated value of US$30 billion. Whilst lithium deposits valued at around US$60 billion, were discovered in four eastern and western provinces of Afghanistan, together with other newly (2010) discovered mineral deposits, the total value estimate of US$3 trillion is based on a survey of 30 percent of the country's land mass. [22]

Notable people

See also

Related Research Articles

History of Afghanistan Historical development of Afghanistan

The history of Afghanistan as a state began in 1880 with its establishment following the end of the Second Anglo-Afghan War. The written recorded history of the land presently constituting Afghanistan can be traced back to around 500 BCE when the area was under the Achaemenid Empire, although evidence indicates that an advanced degree of urbanized culture has existed in the land since between 3000 and 2000 BCE. Bactria dates back to 2500 BC. The Indus Valley Civilisation stretched up to large parts of Afghanistan in the north. Alexander the Great and his Macedonian army arrived at what is now Afghanistan in 330 BCE after the fall of the Achaemenid Empire during the Battle of Gaugamela. Since then, many empires have risen from Afghanistan, including the Greco-Bactrians, Kushans, Hephthalites, Saffarids, Samanids, Ghaznavids, Ghorids, Khaljis, Timurids, Mughals, Hotakis and Durranis.

Gardez City in Paktia Province, Afghanistan

Gardez is the capital of the Paktia Province of Afghanistan. The population of the city was estimated to be ca. 10,000 in the 1979 census and was estimated to be 70,000 in 2008. The majority of the city's native population is Tajik. But recently, with the migration of Pashtun tribes from different parts of Paktia to this city, Pashtuns have taken over the majority of the population of this city. The city of Gardez is located at the junction between two important roads that cut through a huge alpine valley. Surrounded by the mountains and deserts of the Hindu Kush, which boil up from the valley floor to the north, east and west, it is the axis of commerce for a huge area of eastern Afghanistan and has been a strategic location for armies throughout the country's long history of conflict. Observation posts built by Alexander the Great are still crumbling on the hilltops just outside the city limits. The city of Gardez has a population of 70,641. It has 13 districts and a total land area of 6,174 hectares (23.84 sq mi). The total number of dwellings in this city is 7,849.

Zabul Province Province of Afghanistan

Zabul is one of the 34 provinces of Afghanistan, located in the south of the country. It has a mostly rural population of about 384,349. 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.

Ghazni City in Ghazni Province, Afghanistan

Ghazni, historically known as Ghaznin (غزنين) or Ghazna (غزنه) and also transliterated as Ghuznee, is a city in southeastern Afghanistan with a population of around 190,000 people. The city is strategically located along Highway 1, which has served as the main road between Kabul and Kandahar for thousands of years. Situated on a plateau at 2,219 metres (7,280 ft) above sea level, the city is 150 km south of Kabul and is the capital of Ghazni Province.

Bamyan Province Province of Afghanistan

Bamyan Province is one of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan, located in the central highlands of the country. Its terrain is mountainous or semi-mountainous, at the western end of the Hindu Kush mountains concurrent with the Himalayas. The province is divided into eight districts, with the town of Bamyan serving as its capital. The province has a population of about 495,557 and borders Samangan to the north, Baghlan, Parwan and Wardak to the east, Ghazni and Daykundi to the south, and Ghor and Sar-e Pol to the west. It is the largest province in the Hazarajat region of Afghanistan, and is the cultural capital of the Hazara ethnic group that predominates in the area.

Ghor Province Province of Afghanistan

Ghōr, also spelled Ghowr or Ghur, is one of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan. It is located in Hazarajat region in central Afghanistan, towards the north-west. The province contains eleven districts, encompassing hundreds of villages, and approximately 764,472 settled people. Firuzkoh, serves as the capital of the province.

Kandahar Province Province of Afghanistan

Kandahār is one of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan, located in the southern part of the country, sharing a border with Balochistan, Pakistan to the south. It is surrounded by Helmand in the west, Uruzgan in the north and Zabul Province in the east. Its capital is the city of Kandahar, Afghanistan's second largest city, which is located on the Arghandab River. The greater region surrounding the province is called Loy Kandahar.

Laghman Province Province of Afghanistan

Laghman is one of the 34 provinces of Afghanistan, located in the eastern part of the country. It has a population of about 493,500, which is multi-ethnic and mostly a rural society. The city of Mihtarlam serves as the capital of the province. In some historical texts the name is written as "Lamghan" or as "Lamghanat".

Logar Province Province of Afghanistan

Logar is one of the 34 provinces of Afghanistan located in the eastern section of the country. It is divided into seven districts and contains hundreds of villages. Puli Alam is the capital of the province.

Nangarhar Province Province of Afghanistan

Nangarhār also called Nangrahar or Ningrahar, is one of the 34 provinces of Afghanistan, located in the eastern part of the country and bordering Logar, Kabul, Laghman and Kunar provinces as well as an international border with Pakistan. It is divided into twenty-two districts and has a population of about 1,701,698, the third highest of the country's 34 provinces. The city of Jalalabad is the capital of Nangarhar province.

Uruzgan Province Province of Afghanistan

Uruzgan, also spelled as Urozgan or Oruzgan, is one of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan. Uruzgan is located in the center of the country. The population is 436,079, and the province is mostly a tribal society. Tarinkot serves as the capital of the province.

Paktia Province Province of Afghanistan

Paktia is one of the 34 provinces of Afghanistan, located in the east of the country. Forming part of the larger Loya Paktia region, Paktia Province is divided into 13 districts and has a population of roughly 611,952, which is mostly a tribal society living in rural areas. Pashtuns make up the majority of the population but smaller number of Tajiks are also found. Gardez is the provincial capital.

Maidan Wardak Province Province of Afghanistan

Maidan Wardak Province, also called Maidan Wardag or Maidan, is one of the 34 provinces of Afghanistan, located in the central region of Afghanistan. It is divided into eight districts and has a population of approximately 660,258. The capital of the province is Maidan Shar, while the most populous district in the province is Saydabad District. The name of the province is called "Wardak" as stated by the Afghan constitution and IDLG approved documents.

Paktika Province Province of Afghanistan

Paktika(Pashto/Dari: پکتیکا) is one of the 34 provinces of Afghanistan, located in the eastern part of the country. Forming part of the larger Loya Paktia region, Paktika has a population of about 775,498, mostly ethnic Pashtuns. The town of Sharana serves as the provincial capital, while the most populous city is Urgun.

Ghaznavids Muslim Persianate dynasty of Turkic Mamluk origin

The Ghaznavid dynasty was a Persianate Muslim dynasty of Turkic mamluk origin, ruling, at its greatest extent, large parts of Iran, Afghanistan, much of Transoxiana and the northwest Indian subcontinent from 977 to 1186. The dynasty was founded by Sabuktigin upon his succession to the rule of Ghazna after the death of his father-in-law, Alp Tigin, who was an ex-general of the Samanid Empire from Balkh, north of the Hindu Kush in Greater Khorasan.

Sabuktigin

Abu Mansur Nasir al-Din Sabuktigin, also spelled as Sabuktagin, Sabuktakin, Sebüktegin and Sebük Tigin, was the founder of the Ghaznavid dynasty, ruling from 367 A.H/977 A.D to 387 A.H/997 A.D. In Turkic the name means beloved prince.

Chaghcharan City in Ghor Province, Afghanistan

Chaghcharān, also called Firozkoh, is a town and district in central Afghanistan, which serves as the capital of Ghor Province. It is located on the southern side of the Hari River, at an altitude of 2,230 m above sea level. Chaghcharan is linked by a 380 kilometres (240 mi) long highway with Herat to the west, and a 450 kilometres (280 mi) long highway with Kabul to the east. The town is served by Chaghcharan Airport.

Zabulistan

Zabulistan, was a historical region in southern Afghanistan roughly corresponding to the modern provinces of Zabul and Ghazni. The inhabitants of Zabulistan were ethnically Iranian.

The history of Peshawar refers to the history of the city of Peshawar, Pakistan. Being among the most ancient cities of the region, Peshawar has for centuries been a center of trade between West Asia, Central Asia, and South Asia.

Mohammad Gulab Mangal is an Afghan politician. Since October 2016, he has been serving as the senior adviser minister of borders and tribal affairs for the president of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. He is also actively involved in the tribal conflict resolutions. On 23 October 2016, he was appointed as the senior adviser for the minister of borders, tribal affairs, and provincial governor of Nangarhar province until he resigned in April 2018. From 22 April 2015 to 23 October 2016, based on the presidential decree, he was appointed as the acting minister of Ministry of Borders and Tribal Affairs. In 2002, he was elected as the Representative of Paktia Province for Emergency Loya Jirga. From 2002 to 2004, he was the Head of Constitution office for the south east region(Paktia, Paktika, Khost and Ghazni provinces and also Head of Constitution Loya Jirga election office for the South East Region. From 2004 to 2006, he served as Governor of Paktika province. From 2006 to 2008, he served as the Governor of Laghman province. From March 2008 to September 2012, he served as provincial governor of Helmand province.

References

  1. "Ghazni Province" (in Persian). Retrieved 2021-05-20.
  2. "Estimated Population of Afghanistan 2021-22" (PDF). nsia.gov.af. National Statistic and Information Authority (NSIA). April 2021. Retrieved June 28, 2021.
  3. "ḠAZNĪ – Encyclopaedia Iranica". iranicaonline.org. Retrieved 2021-02-22.
  4. 1 2 "Estimated Population of Afghanistan 2020-21" (PDF). Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, National Statistics and Information Authority. Retrieved 6 June 2021.
  5. Simone Gaulier, Robert Jera-Bezard, Monique (1976). Buddhism in Afghanistan and Central Asia. p. 2. ISBN   9004047441 . Retrieved 2012-10-31.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  6. The Afghans By Willem Vogelsang Edition: illustrated Published by Blackwell Publishing, 2002 Page 185
  7. BA Litvinsky, Zhang Guand-Da, R. Shabani Samghabadi, History of civilizations of Central Asia, pg. 385
  8. Hui-li, 1959, p. 188
  9. Nancy Hatch Dupree - Chapter 9 (Ghazni), An Historical Guide to Afghanistan
  10. The Wonder that was India II by S A Rizvi; published by Picador India; page 16
  11. E.J. Brill's first encyclopaedia of Islam, 1913-1936, Volume 2 By Martijn Theodoor Houtsma; page 154
  12. Ferishta translated by John Briggs; p. 104.
  13. Battutah, Ibn (2002). The Travels of Ibn Battutah. London: Picador. pp. 146–147. ISBN   9780330418799.
  14. Babur-Nama Translated from the original Turki Text of Zahirud'd-din Muhammad BABUR padshah Ghazi by Annette Susannah Beveridge Vol1 and 11 Published by Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers, p. 217.
  15. "Afghanistan militants kill former governor". Ctv.ca. Archived from the original on 2007-06-11. Retrieved 2012-10-31.
  16. "Suicide bomb kills Afghan vice-governor". Reuters. September 28, 2010.
  17. http://www.rferl.org/content/taliban-fighters-storm-strategic-districts-in-ghazni-province/26607299.html
  18. Taliban seize strategic Afghan district in Ghazni province
  19. "Settled Population of Ghazni province by Civil Division, Urban, Rural and Sex-2012-13" (PDF). Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Central Statistics Organization. Retrieved 2013-06-16.
  20. 1 2 3 4 Archive, Civil Military Fusion Centre, "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-05-31. Retrieved 2014-05-30.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  21. "Ghazni Province" (PDF). Program for Culture & Conflict Studies. Naval Postgraduate School . Retrieved 2013-06-16.
  22. Najafizada, Eltaf (January 29, 2011). "U.S., Afghan Study Finds Mineral Deposits Worth $3 Trillion". Bloomberg.