Zerok District

Last updated
Children waving for photographer Zerok children.jpg
Children waving for photographer
Afghanistan adm location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Location in Afghanistan
Coordinates: 33°09′35″N69°19′11″E / 33.15972°N 69.31972°E / 33.15972; 69.31972 Coordinates: 33°09′35″N69°19′11″E / 33.15972°N 69.31972°E / 33.15972; 69.31972
CountryFlag of Afghanistan.svg  Afghanistan
Province Paktika
Capital Zerok
Time zone UTC+4:30
Main languages Pashto
Accent Zadran
Zerok shown on the top of map Paktika districts.png
Zerok shown on the top of map
Zerok's basin with green trees Green mountains of zerok.jpg
Zerok's basin with green trees

Zerok District (Pashto : زېړوک ولسوالۍ), also spelled Zirok, is a district of Paktika Province that once was a part of Paktia, Afghanistan. The main town is Zerok located on the main Khost-Urgun road.


Zerok is a remote district of Paktika province bordered to the east by Spera District of Khost province, to the southwest by Nika District, to the west by Urgun District and to the north by Waziristan. The district has a population of roughly 43,190. [1]

The district is within the heartland of the Zadran tribe of Pashtuns. [2] The people speak Pashto with Zadran accent.


(پوځي شخیصت)Brigadier general Dawlat khan Zadran is they famous military person, whose is they chief of police in paktika provenance. Other elders (مشران) of Zerok are Abdul Manan, Gharanai, Haj and Saib Gul. The former top elder Abdu Rehman was also valued by tribes outside Zerok for his ability to resolve complicated issues. Mathiullah (famous with Gul Baz) was a former Jihadi commander. Noorullah Zadran was a former vice representative for the Taliban at the United Nations. Mawlawi Sangin was a Taliban Commander. Assistant Professor Saminullah Sameem Zadran teaches at Shaikh Zayed University [3] (Pashto : شیخ زاید پوهنتون).


Tribally, the people of Zerok are anikhon Khail, but there are some sub-tribes including:

Dabb is the capital (district centre) of Zerok district. It hosts the District Governor's office, the police headquarters, and a US Forward Operating Base (FOB). Some people live outside the villages near the corner of Zerok's basin. These dwellings are called Kasski (Pashto : کهاڅکی). 'Soorgul Kaskai' is located in the west of Zerok and belongs to the Schawzi tribe. The people are united and lesson to their elder. Generosity and hospitality are the other characteristics that are found in Zerok society.

zerok mountains
Zerok's mountains Zerok green site.jpg
zerok mountains Azz (2).jpg
zerok mountains
Zerok's mountains


Zerok is known for its interest in modern education. Zerok also has a high number of graduates. The level of education and the percentage of educated people is not higher to compare to other districts such as Urgun. There is only one higher school in the whole district. The teachers teach in the school are not professional nor highly qualified. Students are gathered in gardens for learning. The school has its own building but is nearby a US base. Students and teachers left their school building because of a possible Taliban mortar missile.


The economy of Zerok is mainly based on mountains and cultivation. Zerok's mountains contain pine fruit which is comparatively expensive dry fruit. The area of Zerok's mountains is large and enough part is received by each family. When the pine crop is ripe, the elders prepare to divide it according to the number of male persons. In this area, mountains belong to common people not to the government. Each year the pine crops are divided among people. Each person receives a dadai, a certain area or a certain amount of pine trees. This is calculated according to male persons. Women are not calculated for achieving any dadai. Once divided, people go to mountains group by group for harvesting or collecting the pine fruit. It takes 15–30 days to collect the fruit. During this time people live in tents. After harvesting, the cones of pine trees are then put in sunlight in order to prepare for releasing the seeds (fruit). The fruit is then put in sacks and sold in markets. Other crops such as wheat, beans, maize, peas and vegetables such as spinach, carrots, tomatoes, and potatoes are also grown. Other sources for the economy outside of agriculture are truck driving, trade and cattle keeping.

Green pine tree carrying cones Pine Tree with Cones in Paktika.jpg
Green pine tree carrying cones
Maize crop in Zerok District Maize crop in Zerok District.jpg
Maize crop in Zerok District

Village life

The life of the people is very simple. People wake up early in the morning and usually at least one person per family go to mountains to bring wood for burning and oak branches for cattle.

Zerok's tall mountains are covered with trees and birds. In winter, the mountains are completely covered by snow. Homes are made of mud and stone and due to lack of land, they are built in two and three stories. The villagers sit on the way (piles of small stones) (وړۍ) near shops and have green tea with sweets in their free time. They wear traditional clothes, waist-coats, turbans (لونګۍ) and boots. Wedding and marriage ceremonies are also performed according to tradition. Women sing songs, while men dance with local Attan (Pashto : اتڼ).


As the people living here belong to Loya Paktia, very old traditions are still alive in this society. We can mention the following for examples: [4]

Wedding واده: According to the local elder Sahib Gul, the ceremony performed in weddings is of very old traditions. A boy and girl are not allowed to have any type of relations before the wedding. Neither boys nor girls are allowed to perform any kind of action for their engagement. The engagement decision is in their parent's hands. Usually, the mother of a boy goes any home to ask for the relation of any girl to her son. Once the girl engaged to a boy after sometime marriage ceremony is performed. On the day of marriage, women sing songs while men perform their local Attan. Guns are also fired into the air at some weddings. The bride is decorated by her girlfriends in her home. After her decoration, she is woken up by her brother-in-law usually. The dowry is loaded in trucks and brought to the bridegroom's home along with the people singing on the way. The bridegroom is decorated with confetti and well suited as well. As in European and other countries, there is no honeymoon in Zerok and in all Zadran tribe. Once the bride has reached the bridegroom's home, women sing songs and the men dance to drum with the local Attan. The people (Pashto : وریڅي) are served food (dinner or lunch).

A rose in Ziruk morning Rose in ziruk morning.jpg
A rose in Ziruk morning

Akhtar or Eid اختر: As in other Pashtun tribes, people in Ziruk also celebrate Akhtar or Eid (Pashto : اختر) with great preparations. Children are mostly involved in this regard. There are two Eids in a year; Eidul Adha (Pashto : لوی اختر) and Eidul Fitar (Pashto : کوچنی اختر). Children make early preparations for celebrating Akhtar. They collect wood, used tires etc. (Pashto : اورګن) for burning fire on the Akhtar night. Women and children decorate hands with henna (Pashto : نکریزې). They collect money from neighbors on the Akhtar night. In the morning (on the first day of Akhtar) they collect sweets (Pashto : خوانی) and money from their relatives. Adults pray the Akhtar prayer on the first day of Akhtar. People walk home to eat lunch. Zerok's famous dish 'rice with peas' (Pashto : کونډېل) is mostly welcomed on this day. Youths play by hitting eggs with each other. Akhtar is celebrated for three days.

Funeral ceremony د جنازې مراسم: The people are very supportive during death ceremonies. If someone dies, the owner announces the death to the villagers through the mosques' loudspeakers. For three days the owner of the dead is not allowed to cook anything in their home. Dinner, lunch and breakfast are given by neighbours. The government does not support. The relatives of the dead are noticed and as soon as they reach and see their dead relative, start to cry. The dead are buried after the deceased is seen by almost all of their relatives and friends. After the burial, a suitable amount of money is divided among people as the charity for the dead.

Pagara پګړه یا اشر:

When someone needs to do any hard task and he or she can not do it alone or want to do it in short time, or if there is a public work such as constructing a mosque, road, water canal etc. then people are collected in a group shape called Pagara (Pashto : پګړه یا اشر). With the help of Pagara, a very hard task is completed in a short time.

Narkh نرخ: Narkh is the local law made by the elders of the whole Zadran region. When there is a dispute between two persons or tribes then the issue or dispute is solved according to Narkh. If the Narkhchyan (The people who solve issues and know about Narkh) blame someone or any side, they have two options- to accept or reject. In case of acceptance, the issue is solved while in case of rejection the opponents find other Narkhchyan and want to challenge the former Narkhchi.

Narkhchi نرخ ویونکی:

The people who know more about Narkh and can solve issues. An amount of money called Bedona is given to them. The plural for Narkhchi is Narkhchyan.

Bedona بدونا:

The amount of money given to Narkhchi is called Bedona. Amount of Bedona is selected by Narkhchyan.

Nanawathy ننوتي:

If any conflict occurs between two persons or tribes e.g. one person or tribe kill anybody from another, then a ram or bull is brought and slaughtered by the murderer to the murdered relatives' home for rehabilitation. If it is accepted by the relatives of the murdered then the dispute is peacefully solved otherwise Badi is caused between them.

Badi بدي:

Badi is the enmity between two opponents.

Chigha چیغه: When something dangerous or illegal has happened to one of the villagers, e.g. other villagers have beaten or killed someone. In such cases, the people collectively come out of their homes and try to catch the criminals. Chigha is formed in extreme emergency situations.


The people of Zerok are religious. They accept those as saints who seem sinless in the society. They believe saints are close to Allah and when they pray, Allah accepts it soon. When such people die, their graves are made as tombs and people go there and alongside pray to Allah when they want something special. They believe Allah accepts the demands of those better who begin shrines. There are many shrines in Zerok but the famous one is Kari shrine (Pashto : قاري زیارت).


The people of Zerok have interesting beliefs, music, oral poetry, jokes and stories.


Eye blinking: Eye blinking is supposed as remembering of someones by others. When someone's eye start to blink he/she says someone remembers me. People think they are praised somewhere.

Crow's caw: When a crow caws on the top of someone's home or on a tree near the home, they think someone has come home. The caw is believed as a message of any guest coming.

Sport and hobby

There are different plays played by residents according to season. The most famous hobbies are volleyball, football, cricket, hunting, wrestling (Pashto : غېږ نیونه), Andai (Pashto : انډۍ), marbles (Pashto : مړدکۍ), and checkers (Pashto : خطکی).

Those who do not play pass their time in tea shops. They order black and green tea along with sweets and sit down in circles. They share the daily news and joke with each other.

Related Research Articles

Khost City in Khost Province, Afghanistan

Khōst is the capital city of Khost Province, Afghanistan. It is the largest city in the southeastern part of the country, and also the largest in the region of Loya Paktia. To the south and east of Khost lie Waziristan and Kurram in Pakistan. Khost is the home of Shaikh Zayed University. Khost Airport serves the city as well as the larger region surrounding the city.

This index list around 14% of all Afghanistan-related articles on Wikipedia.

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 15 districts and has a population of roughly 623,000, 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.

Paktika Province Province of Afghanistan

Paktika 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 789,000, mostly ethnic Pashtuns. The town of Sharana serves as the provincial capital, while the most populous city is Urgun.

The Mohmand or Momand tribe is one of the most prominent Pashtun tribes. They are descended from the 1st Son of Daulatyar and 2nd son, Daudzai, according to Pashtun historical literature. They are based primarily in the eastern districts of Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan, and the Mohmand district of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province of Pakistan, bordering Nangarhar to the east.

The Bangash or Bungish are a tribe of ethnic Pashtuns. Their traditional homeland, historically known as "Bangash district," stretches from Kohat to Tall and Spīn Ghar in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan, as well as smaller parts of Paktia, Afghanistan. The Bangash are also settled in large numbers in Uttar Pradesh, India, especially in the city of Farrukhabad, which was founded in 1714 by Nawab Muhammad Khan Bangash.

The Kharoti are a Pashtun tribe of Ghilji origin, originating in the central part of Paktika Province, Afghanistan, but can be also found in other parts of the country. The Kharoti settled in Kharotabad in Quetta, British India around 1945.

Shkin Place in Paktika Province, Afghanistan

Shkin is a town that is the capital of Gomal District, Paktika Province, Afghanistan, located about a kilometer west of the newer town and bazaar of Angur Ada in the Barmal District of Paktika. As with the area immediately to the north, the Barmal Valley, the Gomal region is primarily populated by ethnic Pashtuns who share many of the same characteristics of their neighbors in the South Waziristan Tribal Agency of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan.

Eid Mubarak Muslim annual festival greeting

Eid Mubarak or is an Arabic term that means “Blessed feast/festival'”. The term is used by Arab Muslims, as well as Muslims all over the world. Internationally Muslims use it as a greeting for use on the feast. In the social sense, people usually celebrate Eid al-Fitr after Ramadan and Eid al-Adha in the month of Dhul Hijjah. Some state that this exchange of greetings is a cultural tradition and not part of any religious obligation.

Torghar District District in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan

Torghar District, Hindko: کالا ڈهاکه‎, English Black Mountain formerly also known as Kala Dhaka is the smallest district in Pakistan of Hazara Division in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. It was officially separated from Mansehra District in 2011 under Article 246 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. According to the 1998 census, the Mansehra subdivision then known as Kala Dhaka had a population of 174,700, of which 96% had Pashto as their first language.

The Mahsud or Mehsud, also spelled Maseed, is a Karlani Pashtun tribe inhabiting mostly the South Waziristan Agency in Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. A minor number of Maseed lineages are settled in the Logar Province of Afghanistan, especially in Charkh District, Baraki barak and Muhammad Agha, but also in Wardak, Ghazni and Kunduz Provinces. The Maseeds inhabit the center and north of South Waziristan valley, surrounded on three sides by the Darweshkhel Wazirs, and being shut off by the Bettanis on the east from the Derajat and Bannu districts. Two Pashtun tribes, the Ahmadzai Wazirs and the Maseeds, inhabit and dominate South Waziristan. Within the heart of Maseed territory in South Waziristan lies the influential Ormur (Burki) tribe's stronghold of Kaniguram. The Ormurs are considered by other tribes of South Waziristan to be close brethren of the Maseeds due to marital and other ties and the fact that the Ormurs have lived in and controlled Kaniguram for over a thousand years. There are also some Maseeds living in the UAE, Germany and the United Kingdom.

Pashtun culture is based on Pashtunwali, which is an ancient way of life, as well as speaking of the Pashto language and wearing Pashtun dress. Pashtun culture is native to the land of Northwestern Pakistan and Southern Afghanistan.


The Bettani, also spelled Baittani or Bhittani, is a Pashtun tribe located mostly in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The Bettani are named after Shaykh Beṭ, their legendary ancestor who is said to be the second son of Qais Abdur Rashid. The Bettani's are Sunni Muslims of Hanafi sect. The Bettani confederacy includes the tribes of Bettanis, and Matti tribes progeny of BiBi Mattu daughter of Sheikh Bettan. These include Lodi also known as Lohani, as well as the tribes of Marwat, and Niazi while Shirani has also been mentioned as part of Bettanis.

Pashto music

Pashto music or Pəx̌tó ṭang-ṭakór is commonly performed in Afghanistan and Pakistan among Pashtun people.

Dila District, Afghanistan District in Paktika, Afghanistan

Dila District is a district of Paktika Province, Afghanistan. The district is within the heartland of the Sulaimankhel tribe of Ghilji Pashtuns.

Urgun District District in Paktika, Afghanistan

Urgun is a district of the remote Paktika Province in Afghanistan.

Sherani District District in Balochistan, Pakistan

Shirani or Sherani is a district in the Zhob divisions of the Balochistan province of Pakistan. The population was 153,116 as of the 2017 census. Sherani Subdistrict is entirely rural, but there are six villages of note: Ahmadi Dirga, Karama, Zarkai Landawar,Shinghar, Tsappar Kili and Manikhawa. The subdistrict lies within the Sulaiman mountain range, and its highest point is Takht-e-Sulaiman.

Beka, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa town and Union Council in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan

Beka is a town and Union Council of Swabi District in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa of Pakistan. It is part of Lahor Tehsil.

Loya Paktia

Lōya Paktiā is a historical and cultural region of Afghanistan, comprising the modern Afghan provinces of Khost, Paktia, and Paktika, as well as parts of Logar and parts of Kurram and Waziristan in Pakistan. Loya Paktia is vaguely defined by a common culture and history that is connected to the local indigenous tribes that reside in the region. Particular styles of clothing, articles of clothing, turban styles, turban cloth colors, dialects of Pashto language, etc. may sometimes be associated with specific tribes indigenous to Loya Paktia and thus integrate themselves into regional culture. For instance, a Pashtun tribesman from Loy Kandahar may quickly recognize a Pashtun from Loya Paktia based upon his turban style and color. Likewise, a Pashtun from Loya Paktia may recognize someone from Loy Kandahar based upon his unique style of collarless kameez (shirt) with specific embroidered patterns on the front. There are many subtle and intricate cultural indicators of this type that are not recorded in any known written history but simply known and observed by the tribesmen of the various Pashtun regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Akhtar Mansour Former leader of the Taliban (c. 1968–2016)

Akhtar Mohammad Mansour, also addressed with the honorific Mullah, was the supreme leader of the Taliban, an Islamic fundamentalist political movement in Afghanistan, from 29 July 2015 to 21 May 2016. He was the second leader of the Taliban, succeeding the founding leader, Mohammed Omar. Mansour was killed in a US drone strike after crossing into Pakistan from Iran.


  1. "Population of the Districts", Paktika Province [ full citation needed ]
  2. Paktika Province Tribal Map (Page 11). Naval Postgraduate School.
  3. "Lecturers Biography", Faculty of Computer Science, Shaikh Zayed University.[ full citation needed ]
  4. "Interview script of Sahib Gul, 02.11.2013", Ziruk District