Dari Persian: استان بدخشان
|— Province —|
|• Governor||Shah Waliullah Adeeb|
|• Total||44,059 km2 (17,011 sq mi)|
|• Density||21/km2 ( 53/sq mi)|
|Main languages||Dari, Uzbek, Pashto, Kyrgyz, Shughni, Munji, Ishkashimi, Wakhi|
Badakhshan Province (Dari Persian: استان بدخشان) is one of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan, located in the northeastern part of the country between the Hindu Kush mountains and the Amu Darya River. It is part of a broader historical Badakhshan region. The province contains 22 to 28 districts, over 1,200 villages, and approximately 904,700 people. Feyzabad serves as the provincial capital.
Badakhshan is primarily bordered by Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province and Khatlon Province in Tajikistan to the north and east. In the east of the province a long spur called the Wakhan Corridor extends above northern Pakistan's Chitral and Northern Areas to a border with China. The province has a total area of 44,059 km², most of which is occupied by the Hindu Kush and Pamir mountain ranges.
According to the World Wildlife Fund, Badakhshan contains temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands, as well as Gissaro-Alai open woodlands along the Pamir River. Common plants found in these areas include pistachio, almond, walnut, apple, juniper, and sagebrush.
Montane Grasslands and Shrublands are also existent in the province, with the Hindu Kush alpine meadow located in the high mountains in the northern and southwestern regions.
South of Fayzabad the terrain becomes dominated by deserts and xeric shrublands. Common vegetation includes thorny bushes, zizyphus, acacia, and Amygdatus. Paropamisus xeric woodlands can be found in the province's northwestern and central areas. Common vegetation includes almond, pistachio, willows, and sea-buckthorn.
|History of Afghanistan|
Badakhshan etymologically derives from the Sassanid word badaxš, an official title. The suffix of the name, -ān, means the region belonged to someone with the title badaxš. This Sassanid naming convention is seen in other Central Asian locations, including Azerbaijan, Isfahan, and Tehran.
The territory was ruled by the Khanate of Bukhara between the early 16th century and the mid-18th century. It was given to Ahmad Shah Durrani by Murad Beg of Bukhara after a treaty of friendship was reached in or about 1750, and became part of the Durrani Empire. It was ruled by the Durranis followed by the Barakzai dynasty, and was untouched by the British during the three Anglo-Afghan wars that were fought in the 19th and 20th centuries. It remained peaceful for about one hundred years until the 1980s Soviet war in Afghanistan at which point the Mujahideen began a rebellion against the central Afghan government, which was backed by the Soviet Union.
During the 1990s, much of the area was controlled by forces loyal to Burhanuddin Rabbani and Ahmad Shah Massoud. Badakhshan was the only province that the Taliban did not get to conquer during their rule from 1996 to 2001. However, during the course of the wars a non-Taliban Islamic emirate was established in Badakhshan by Mawlawi Shariqi, paralleling the Islamic Revolutionary State of Afghanistan in neighboring Nuristan. Burhanuddin Rabbani, a Badakhshan native, and Ahmad Shah Massoud were the last remnants of the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance during the peak of Taliban control in 2001.
The current Governor of the province is Shah Waliullah Adeeb. His predecessors were Munshi Abdul Majid and Baz Mohammad Ahmadi. The borders with neighboring Tajikistan, China, and Pakistan are monitored by the Afghan Border Police (ABP). All law enforcement activities throughout the province are handled by the Afghan National Police (ANP). A provincial Police Chief is assigned to lead both the ANP and the ABP. The Police Chief represents the Ministry of the Interior in Kabull. The ANP is backed by the military, including the NATO-led forces.
Fayzabad, the capital of Badakhshan province, sits on the Kokcha River and has an approximate population of 50,000. The chief commercial and administrative center of northeast Afghanistan and the Pamir region, Fayzabad also has rice and flour mills. During the winter the city is sometimes isolated by deep snow.
The population of the province is about 904,700, which is a multi-ethnic rural society. Persian-speaking Tajiks make up the majority followed by Uzbeks, Pashtuns, Hazaras, Baloch, Kyrgyz, Qizilbash, Russians and others. There are also speakers of the following Pamiri languages: Shughni, Munji, Ishkashimi, and Wakhi.
Historical population estimates for Badakhshan Province are as follows:
|District||Capital||Population||Area||Number of villages and ethnic groups|
|Argo||83,999||1,032 km2||145 villages. 60% Uzbek and 40% Tajik.|
|Baharak||Baharak||33,012||328 km2||51 villages. 60% Tajik, 35% Uzbek, and 5% Pashtun.|
|Darayim||72,000||570 km2||101 villages. 80% Tajik, 15% Uzbek and 5% Hazara.|
|Darwaz||Nassai||31,195||4,589 km2||16 villages. Tajik.|
|Fayzabad||Fayzabad||96,826||514 km2||175 villages. 97% Tajik and 3% others.|
|Ishkashim||Ishkashim||12,566||1,123 km2||43 villages.|
|Jurm||51,714||1286 km2||75 villages. 95% Tajik and 5% Uzbek.|
|Khash||15,436||264 km2||21 villages. 70% Tajik, 20% Uzbek, and 10% Mughol and Baloch.|
|Khwahan||Khwahan||27,000||80 km2||46 villages. Tajik.|
|Kishim||71,262||264 km2||100 villages. 60% Tajik, 37% Uzbek, 10% Baluch, 1% Hazara and 1% Bayat.|
|Keran wa Menjan||Keran wa Menjan||8,084||1,588 km2||42 villages. 100% Tajik.|
|Shahri Buzurg||Shahri Buzurg||80,000||956 km2||74 villages.|
|Sheghnan||27,750||3528 km2||28 villages. Tajik and Qizilbash.|
|Shiki||27,000||1,700 km2||38 villages. Tajik and etc.|
|Shuhada||26,430||1,521 km2||62 villages. 99% Tajik and 1% others.|
|Tishkan||26,850||812 km2||57 villages. 70% Tajik, 20% Hazara and 10% Uzbek.|
|Wakhan||11,657||10,953 km2||110 villages. Tajik, Kuchi people during winter.|
|Warduj||16,609||929 km2||45 villages. 90% Tajik and 10% Uzbek.|
|Yaftali Sufla||60,000||605 km2||93 villages. 60% Tajik and 40% Uzbek.|
|Yamgan||30,000||1,779 km2||39 villages. 100% Tajik|
|Zebak||Zebak||26,430||1,521 km2||62 villages. 99% Tajik and 1% others.|
Despite massive mineral reserves, Badakhshan is one of the most destitute areas in the world. Opium poppy growing is the only real source of income in the province and Badakhshan has one of the highest rates of maternal mortality in the world, due to the complete lack of health infrastructure, inaccessible locations, and bitter winters of the province.
Lapis lazuli has been mined in the Sar-e-Sang mines, located in the Kuran wa Munjan District of Badakhshan, for over 6,000 years. The mines were the largest and most well-known source in ancient times. Most recent mining activity has focused on lapis lazuli, with the proceeds from the lapis mines being used to fund Northern Alliance troops, and before that, anti-Soviet Mujahideen fighters. Recent geological surveys have indicated the location of other gemstone deposits, in particular rubies and emeralds. Exploitation of this mineral wealth could be key to the region's prosperity.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Badakhshan Province|
||Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province, Tajikistan|
|Takhar Province||Xinjiang, China|
|Panjshir Province||Nuristan Province||Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan
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