Kunar is one of the 34 provinces of Afghanistan, located in the northeastern part of the country. Its capital is Asadabad, it has a population of about 428,800. It is one of the four "N2KL" provinces. N2KL is the designation used by the US and Coalition Forces in Afghanistan for the rugged and violent region along the Durand Line border opposite Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Kunar is the center of the N2KL region. Kunar is the birthplace of an influential Muslim scholar and philosopher. Kunar province is located in the northeast of Afghanistan, it borders with Nangarhar Province to the south, Nuristan Province to the north, Laghman Province to the west and has a border with Pakistan in the east. The province covers an area of 4339 km2. Nearly nine tenths of the province is mountainous or semi mountainous terrain while one eighth of the area is made up of flat land; the primary geographic features of the province are the lower Hindu Kush mountains which are cut by the Kunar River to form the Kunar Valley.
The river flows south and southwest from its source in the Pamir area and is part of the Indus River watershed via the Kabul River which it meets at Jalalabad. The Kunar is a primary draining conduit for the Hindu Kush basin and several tributaries, including the Pech, which form distinct and significant valleys in the area; the mountains, narrow valleys with steep walls, rivers present formidable natural obstacles and have constrained all movement through the province. In the early 21st century, movement on foot, with pack animals, or with motorized vehicles is limited and channeled due to the significant geographic restrictions; the region has been part of many empires in the past, from the Seleucid Empire to the latest Afghan Durrani Empire. Many famous historical figures are believed to have visited the area, including Alexander the Great, Mahmud Ghaznavi, Ibn Battuta, others. Archaeologists have dated to AD 800-1000 a fortification system overlooking a Muslim cemetery at Chaga Serai. Babur wrote about Kunar in Baburnama.
He claimed that there was a shrine in Kunar of a preacher and poet Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadani, said to have died there in 1384 AD. He describes agricultural products: citron, coriander, strong yellow wines, a burial custom wherein a woman whose corpse moved was considered to have done good things in life, he mentions Chaghan-Sarai as a small town, describes the towns folk as Muslims who mixed with the Kafirs of nearby Kafiristan and followed some of their customs. He claims to have captured the town as the Pech river Kafirs tried to help the Chaghan Sarai residents repel his attack. Walter Hamilton's writing in 1828 mentions that the padishah of Cooner was joined in alliance with the neighboring Kafirs of Nuristan in battles against Muslim invaders; the Kafirs were forcibly converted by Abdur Rahman Khan in the 1890s. Some British sources from the Great Game period go into more detail about Kunar. For example, one from 1881 describes the various Kunar Chiefs and their internecine wars, the conflict with Dost Mohammad Khan, their relations with the British, etc.
Names vary with Kunar sometimes being called Kama, or Kashkote, the capital being listed as "Pashoot", not on modern maps. An 1891 book described the Kunar region as split between the lower river area, controlled by Afghan chiefs, the upstream area, where the Kunar river was referred to as the Chitral river; the major town of Chitral was the base of a badshah, who ruled under the Maharajah of Kashmir According to a US Army paper, the Pashtuns of Kunar and the Kafirs of Kunar/Nuristan joined together in the 20th century. Fundamentalist religion came to the region in the 1950s but the heavy unification happened during the Soviet–Afghan War; some of the first anti-government forces rose in the Kunar region. Kerala, a town near Asadabad, was the site of the 1979 Kerala Massacre, where the male population of a village was murdered by the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan and its Soviet advisors. Over ten-thousand Soviet and Afghan communist troops invaded the region, resulting in a massive refugee flow of the populace into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.
There were Spetsnaz units based in Asadabad, in Jalalabad, other towns. The major mujahideen groups had representation in the area, were successful enough to confine the Communist troops for the most part to their fortifications in the major towns of the Kunar valley. One of the Mujahideen leaders, Jamil al-Rahman, formed a movement that had a strict interpretation of Islam, along the lines of Wahhabism and/or Salafism, he was supported by elements in Saudi Arabia, attracted many Saudis and Egyptians who had come to Afghanistan to fight Jihad. When the Soviets left in 1988, the leader of the Mujahideen group Hizb-i-Islami, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, began to fight with Jamil al-Rahman over control of the area. Hekmatyar was victorious and his troops sacked Asadabad. By 1996 however, Mullah Omar's Taliban had driven out Hekmatyar. After the September 11 attacks of 2001, Afghanistan was invaded by United States and other NATO countries provided direct support to the Northern Alliance forces fighting the Taliban regime, toppled and fled to remote areas.
It was part of the War on Terror and to assist the new government, led by Hamid Karzai
Nuristan spelled Nurestan or Nooristan, is one of the 34 provinces of Afghanistan, located in the eastern part of the country. It is divided into seven districts and has a population of about 140,900. Parun serves as the provincial capital, it was known as Kafiristan until the inhabitants were forcibly converted from an animist religion a form of ancient Hinduism infused with local variations, to Islam in 1895, thence the region has become known as Nuristan. The region was located in an area surrounded by Buddhist civilizations which were taken over by Muslims; the origins of the Nuristani has been disputed, ranging from being the indigenous inhabitants forced to flee to this region after refusing to surrender to Muslim invaders, to being linked to various ancient groups of people and the Turk Shahi kings. The primary occupations are agriculture, animal husbandry, day labor. Located on the southern slopes of the Hindu Kush mountains in the northeastern part of the country, Nuristan spans the basins of the Alingar, Landai Sin, Kunar rivers.
Nuristan is bordered on the south by Laghman and Kunar provinces, on the north by Badakhshan province, on the west by Panjshir province, on the east by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. The surrounding area fell to Alexander the Great in 330 BC, it fell to Chandragupta Maurya. The Mauryas introduced Buddhism to the region, were attempting to expand their empire to Central Asia until they faced local Greco-Bactrian forces. Seleucus is said to have reached a peace treaty with Chandragupta by giving control of the territory south of the Hindu Kush to the Mauryas upon intermarriage and 500 elephants. Before their conversion to Islam, the Nuristanis or Kafir people practiced a form of ancient Hinduism infused with locally developed accretions, they were called "kafirs" due to their enduring paganism while other regions around them became Muslim. However, the influence from district names in Kafiristan of Katwar or Kator and the ethnic name Kati has been suggested; the area extending from modern Nuristan to Kashmir was known as "Peristan", a vast area containing host of "Kafir" cultures and Indo-European languages that became Islamized over a long period.
Earlier, it was surrounded by Buddhist areas. The Islamization of the nearby Badakhshan began in the 8th century and Peristan was surrounded by Muslim states in the 16th century with Islamization of Baltistan; the Buddhist states temporarily brought state rule into the region. The decline of Buddhism resulted in it becoming isolated. There have been varying theories about the origins of Kafirs including the Arab tribe of Quraish, or Gabars of Persia, the Greek soldiers of Alexander as well as the Indians of eastern Afghanistan. George Scott Robertson considered them to be part of the old Indian population of Eastern Afghanistan and stated they fled to the mountains after the Muslim invasion in the 10th century, he added they found other races there whom they killed off and enslaved or amalgamated with them. Oral traditions of some of the Nuristanis place themselves to be at the confluence of Kabul River and Kunar River a millennium ago; these traditions state they were driven off from Kandahar to Kabul to Kapisa to Kama with the Muslim invasion.
They identify themselves as late arrivals in Nuristan, being driven by Mahmud of Ghazni who after establishing his empire forced the unsubmissive population to flee. The name Kator was used by last king of the Turk Shahi. Due to its usage by the last Turk-Shahi ruler, it was adopted as a title by the ruler of the north-west region of the Indian subcontinent, comprising Chitral and Kafiristan; the title "Shah Kator" was assumed by Chitral's ruler Mohtaram Shah who assumed it upon being impressed by the majesty of the erstwhile pagan rulers of Chitral. The theory of Kators being related to Turki Shahis is based on the information of Jami- ut-Tawarikh and Tarikh-i-Binakiti; the region was named after its ruling elite. The royal usage may be the origin behind the name of Kator; the high god of the pre-Islamic Nuristani religion was the god Imra, derived from the Hindu god Yama, was called Mara. Another god was Indr, derived from Indra, he was seen as the brother of the goddess Dishani. There were many other minor gods worshiped in the region.
The region was invaded by forces of Afghan Amir Abdur Rahman Khan in 1896 and most of the people were converted either by force or did so to avoid the jizya: In the end, Kafiristan was subdued, most of its residents either by force or for economic reason - namely to avoid the jizya poll tax - were converted to Islam and the region became known as Nuristan. The region was renamed Nuristan, meaning Land of the enlightened, a reflection of the "enlightening" of the pagan Nuristani by the "light-giving" of Islam. Nuristan was once thought to have been a region through which Alexander the Great passed with a detachment of his army. Abdul Wakil Khan Nuristani is one of the most prominent figures in Nuristan's history, he fought against the British-led Punjabi army and drove them out of the eastern provinces of Afghanistan. He is buried on the same plateau. Since the creation of Pakistan in 1947, Afghan politicians have been focusing on re-annexing Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of what is now Pakistan.
This has led to militancy on both sides of the Durand Line. In the meantime, Pakistani politicians have been focusing on connecting what is now Tajikistan with
Wakhan District is one of the 28 districts of Badakhshan Province in eastern Afghanistan. The total population for the district is about 13,000 residents; the district has three international borders: Tajikistan to the north, Pakistan to the south, Afghanistan's only border with China to the east. The capital of the district is the village of Khandud, which has a population of 1,244. Wakhan Wakhan Corridor Map at the Afghanistan Information Management Services
Nangarhār called Nangrahar or Ningrahar, is one of the 34 provinces of Afghanistan, located in the eastern part of the country. It is divided into twenty-two districts and has a population of about 1,436,000; the city of Jalalabad is the capital of Nangarhar province. Henry George Raverty theorized that the word Nangarhar is derived from the Pashto term nang-nahlr, which appears in some Dari language chronicles; the term refers to nine streams originating from Safed Koh. However, according to S. H. Hodivala, the name of the province derives from the Sanskrit term Nagarahara, which appears in a 9th century inscription discovered at Ghosrawa in present-day Bihar, India. Nang-go-lo-ho, the Chinese transcription of this term, appears in the annals of the Song dynasty of China. Henry Walter Bellew derived the name from the Sanskrit nava-vihara, meaning "nine viharas"; the province was part of the Achaemenid Empire, in the Gandhara satrapy. The Nangarhar province territory and the Eastern Iranian peoples there fell to the Maurya Empire, led by Chandragupta Maurya.
The Mauryas introduced Buddhism to the region. Seleucus is said to have reached a peace treaty with Chandragupta by giving control of the territory south of the Hindu Kush to the Mauryas upon intermarriage and 500 elephants. Song Yun, a Chinese monk visited Nangarhar in 520 AD, claimed that the people in the area were Buddhists. Yun came across a vihara in Nangarhar containing the skull of Buddha, another of Kekalam where 13 pieces of the cloak of Buddha and his 18 feet long mast were preserved. In the city of Naki, a tooth and hair of Buddha were preserved and in the Kupala cave Buddha's shadow reflected close to which he saw a stone tablet, at that time considered to be related to Buddha; the region fell to the Ghaznavids after defeating Jayapala in the late 10th century. It fell to the Ghorids followed by the Khaljis and the Moghuals, until becoming part of Ahmad Shah Durrani's Afghan Empire in 1747. During the First Anglo-Afghan War, the invading British-led Indian forces were defeated on their way to Rawalpindi in 1842.
British-led Indian forces retreated a couple of years later. Some fighting took place during the 1919 Third Anglo-Afghan War between the Afghan army that were led by King Amanullah Khan and British-Indians near the Durand Line border areas; the province remained calm until the 1980s Soviet–Afghan War. Nangarhar was used by pro-Pakistani mujahideen fighting against the Soviet-backed Democratic Republic of Afghanistan; the Pakistani-trained mujahideen received funding from the United States and Saudi Arabia. Many Arab fighters from the Arab World had been fighting against the government forces of Mohammad Najibullah, who defeated them near Jalalabad. In April 1992, Najibullah resigned as President and the various mujahideen took control over the country; when the 1992 Peshawar Accord failed, the mujahideen turned guns on each other and started a nationwide civil war. This was followed by the Taliban take-over in 1996 and the establishment of al-Qaeda training camps in Nangarhar province. Osama bin Laden held a strong position in Nangarhar during the late 1990s.
He led a fight against US-led forces in the 2001 Tora Bora campaign. He escaped to Abottabad, where he was killed in a night raid by members of SEAL Team Six in 2011. After the removal of the Taliban government and the formation of the Karzai administration in late 2001, U. S.-led Afghan National Security Forces established authority across the province. Despite this, Taliban insurgents continue to stage attacks against Afghan government forces; the Haqqani Network and militants loyal to Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant – Khorasan Province are blamed for the attacks, which sometimes include major suicide bombings. Several incursions by Pakistani military forces have been reported in the districts next to the Durand Line border; the focus of the conflict is on the Kunar rivers, which run through Nangarhar. On April 13, 2017, U. S. President Donald Trump ordered a targeted strike on ISIL-KP by use of the second largest non-nuclear bomb in the U. S. arsenal at the time. The bomb was a 21,000 lb. weapon called the Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb.
The intended target was ISIL militants hiding inside tunnels, most of whom came "from Bangladesh, Tajikistan, Russia and other countries." Mohammad Radmanish, spokesman for the Afghan Ministry of Defense stated: "Most militants killed in the attack were from Pakistan, India and Bangladesh." It was the first time. The current governor of the province is Hayatullah Hayat, his predecessor was Mohammad Gulab Mangal. His predecessor was Saleem Khan Kunduzi who resigned on 22 October 2016. Gul Agha Sherzai served as the governor since 2004 but left in order to run in the 2014 Afghan presidential election; the city of Jalalabad serves as the capital of the province. All law enforcement activities throughout the province are controlled by the Afghan National Police along with the Afghan Local Police; the border with neighboring Pakistan is monitored by the Afghan Border Police. A provincial police chief is assigned to lead both the ANP and the ABP; the Police Chief represents the Ministry of the Interior in Kabul.
The ANP and ABP are backed by the Afghan Armed Forces, including the NATO-led forces. Nangarhar shares a border with the neighboring Federally Administered Tribal Areas and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Kuran wa Munjan District
Kuran wa Munjan District is one of the 28 districts of Badakhshan Province in eastern Afghanistan. Located in the Hindu Kush mountains, the district is home to 8,000 residents; the district administrative center is Kuran wa Munjan. The district is in the southwest corner of the province, is bordered on its northeast side by the Jurm and Zebak Districts. Most of the district's boundaries are adjacent to other Afghan provinces, but a small section on the eastern edge of the district lies on the international border between Afghanistan and Pakistan; the epicenter of the October 26 2015 Hindu Kush earthquake was 45 km north of here. Map at the Afghanistan Information Management Services
Pashayi or Pashai are a Dardic ethno-linguistic group living in eastern Afghanistan. They have been isolated until recent times, their total population is estimated to be 9500. They are one of the oldest living foreigners in Afghanistan, they are concentrated in the northern parts of Laghman and Nangarhar parts of Kunar, Parwan, a bit of Panjshir. Some believe the Pashai are descendants of ancient Gāndhārī. Many Pashai consider themselves Pashtuns speaking a special language, many are bilingual in Pashto. Pashai communities can be found in the Chitral district of northwestern Pakistan; the Pashayi people practiced Buddhism and Hinduism, along with tribal religions. Today, the majority of Pashai are Sunni Muslims, are referred to as Kohistani, while a minority are Nizari Ismaili Muslims. Per Tabakat-i-Akbari of Nizamuddin Ahmad, Mughal Emperor Akbar had dispatched his younger brother Mirza Muhammad Hakim, a staunch adherent of the missionary-minded Naqshbandi Sufi order, against the infidels of Katwar in 1582.
Hakim was a semi-independent governor of Kabul. The Sifat-nama-yi Darviš Muhammad Hān-i Ğāzī of Kadi Muhammad Salim who accompanied the expedition mentions its details; the Sifat-nama gives Muhammad Hakim the epithet of Darviš Khan Gazi. Muhammad Darvish's invasion fought its way from Lamghan to Alishang, is stated to have conquered and converted 66 valleys to Islam. After conquering Tajau and Nijrau valleys in Panjshir area, the crusaders established a fort at Islamabad at confluence of Alishang and Alingar rivers, they continued the raid up to Alishang and made their last effort against the non-Muslims of Alingar, fighting up to Mangu, the modern border between Pashai and Ashkun-speaking areas. Northern Alliance commander Hazrat Ali Pashayi languages Dardic languages Media related to Pashai people at Wikimedia Commons
Laghman is one of the 34 provinces of Afghanistan, located in the eastern part of the country. It has a population of about 445,600, multi-ethnic and 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". Located at the Kabul Museum are Aramaic inscriptions that were found in Laghman which indicated an ancient trade route from India to Palmyra. Aramaic was the bureaucratic script language of the Achaemenids whose influence had extended toward Laghman. During the invasions of Alexander the Great, the area was known as Lampaka. Inscriptions in Aramaic dating from the Mauryan Dynasty were found in Laghman which discussed the conversion of Ashoka to Buddhism; the inscription mentions that the distance to Palmyra is yojana. The Mahamayuri Tantra dated to between 1-3rd century mentions a number of popular Yaksha shrines, it mentions Yaksh Kalahapriya being worshipped in Lampaka. In the seventh century, the Chinese pilgrim Xuanzang visited Laghman, which he called "Lan-p'o" and considered part of India.
He indicated the presence of Mahayana Buddhists and numerous Hindus: "For several centuries the native dynasty had ceased to exist, great families fought for preeminence, the state had become a dependency of Kapis. The country produced upland rice and sugar-cane, it had much wood but little fruit. There were above a few Brethren the most of whom were Mahayanists; the non-Buddhists had a score or two of temples and they were numerous." The Hudud al-'alam, finished in 982 AD mentioned the presence of some idol worshipping temples in the area. The Kabul Shahis only retained Lamghan in the Kabul-Gandhara area by the time of Alp-tegin. According to Firishta, Sabuktigin had begun raiding Lamghan under Alp-tegin, he raided the territory of Jayapala. He plundered the forts in the outlying provinces of the Kabul Shahi and captured many cities, acquiring huge booty, he established Islam at many places. Jaipal in retaliation marched with a large force into the valley of Lamghan where he clashed with Sabuktigin and his son.
The battle stretched on several days until a snow storm affected Jaipala's strategies, forcing him to sue for peace. Jayapala returned to Waihind but broke the treaty and mistreated the amirs sent to collect the tribute. Sabuktigin launched another invasion in retaliation. According to al-Utbi, Sabuktigin attacked Lamghan, conquering it and burning the residences of the "infidels" while demolishing its idol-temples and establishing Islam, he advanced and butchered the idolaters, destroying the temples and plundering their shrines risking frostbite on their hands counting the large booty. To avenge the savage attack of Sabuktigin, who has earlier taken his envoys as hostage, decided to go to war again in revenge; the forces of Kabul Shahi were however routed and those still alive were killed in the forest or drowned in the river. Thks second battle that took place between Sabuktigin and Jayapala in 988 A. D. resulted in the former capturing territory between Peshawar. Al-Ubti states that the Afghans and Khaljis, living there as nomads, took the oath of allegiance to him and were recruited into his army.
Sabuktigin won one of his greatest battles in Laghman against Jayapala and his army numbering 100,000. The area fell to the Ghurids followed by the Khilis and Timurids. During the early years of the 16th century, the Mughal ruler Babur spent much time in Laghman, in Baburnama he expatiated on the beauty of forested hillsides and the fertility of the valley bottoms of the region. Laghman was recognized as a dependent district of Kabulistan in the Mughal era, according to Baburnama, "Greater Lamghanat" included the Muslim-settled part of the Kafiristan, including the easterly one of Kunar River. Laghman was the base for expeditions against the non-believers and was mentioned in accounts of jihads led by Mughal emperor Akbar's younger brother, Mohammad Hakim, the governor of Kabul. In 1747, Ahmad Shah Durrani made the territory part of the Durrani Empire. In the late nineteenth century, Amir Abdur Rahman Khan forced the remaining kafirs to accept Islam. During the Soviet-Afghan war and the battles that followed between the rivaling warlords, many homes and business establishments in the province were destroyed.
In addition, the Soviets are said to have employed a strategy that targeted and destroyed the agricultural infrastructure of Laghman. As of 2007, an International Security Assistance Force Provincial Reconstruction Team led by the United States is based at Mihtarlam; the current governor of the province is Fazlullah Mujadedi. The city of Mihtarlam is the capital of the province. All law enforcement activities throughout the province are controlled by the Afghan National Police; the provincial police chief represents the Ministry of the Interior in Kabul. The ANP is backed by other Afghan National Security Forces, including the National Directorate of Security and NATO-led forces; the percentage of households with clean drinking water fell from 39% in 2005 to 34% in 2011. The percentage of births attended to by a skilled birth attendant increased from 3% in 2005 to 36% in 2011; the overall literacy rate increased from 14% in 2005 to 26% in 2011. The overall net enrolment rate increased from 48% in 2005 to 52% in 2011.
The total population of the province is about 424,100, multi-ethnic and a rural society. According to the Naval Postgraduate