Dushi district is located in the central part of Baghlan Province, Afghanistan. It lies on the major Kabul-Kunduz highway; the population of the district was estimated to be around 57,160 in 2004. Hazaras are around 88% of the population and make up the majority in the district, followed by small minorities of Tajiks and Pashtuns The centre of the district is Dushi. Dushi is home to an overhead power line carrying imported electricity from Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan; the 300 MegaWatt supply was the subject of a grant for expansion in 2013 from the Asian Development Bank. The line supplies the capital, Kabul. On April 13, 2018, Taliban insurgents used explosives to destroy a pylon, disrupting power supplies to the region. Districts of Afghanistan Map of Settlements United Nations, AIMS, May 2002
Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk
The Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk is a four-bladed, twin-engine, medium-lift utility helicopter manufactured by Sikorsky Aircraft. Sikorsky submitted the S-70 design for the United States Army's Utility Tactical Transport Aircraft System competition in 1972; the Army designated the prototype as the YUH-60A and selected the Black Hawk as the winner of the program in 1976, after a fly-off competition with the Boeing Vertol YUH-61. Named after the Native American war leader Black Hawk, the UH-60A entered service with the U. S. Army in 1979, to replace the Bell UH-1 Iroquois as the Army's tactical transport helicopter; this was followed by the fielding of electronic warfare and special operations variants of the Black Hawk. Improved UH-60L and UH-60M utility variants have been developed. Modified versions have been developed for the U. S. Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard. In addition to U. S. Army use, the UH-60 family has been exported to several nations. Black Hawks have served in combat during conflicts in Grenada, Iraq, the Balkans and other areas in the Middle East.
In the late 1960s, the United States Army began forming requirements for a helicopter to replace the UH-1 Iroquois, designated the program as the Utility Tactical Transport Aircraft System. The Army initiated the development of a new, common turbine engine for its helicopters that would become the General Electric T700. Based on experience in Vietnam, the Army required significant performance and reliability improvements from both UTTAS and the new powerplant; the Army released its UTTAS request for proposals in January 1972. The RFP included air transport requirements. Transport within the C-130 limited length; the UTTAS requirements for improved reliability and lower life-cycle costs resulted in features such as dual-engines with improved hot and high altitude performance, a modular design. Four prototypes were constructed, with the first YUH-60A flying on 17 October 1974. Prior to delivery of the prototypes to the US Army, a preliminary evaluation was conducted in November 1975 to ensure the aircraft could be operated safely during all testing.
Three of the prototypes were delivered to the Army in March 1976, for evaluation against the rival Boeing-Vertol design, the YUH-61A, one was kept by Sikorsky for internal research. The Army selected the UH-60 for production in December 1976. Deliveries of the UH-60A to the Army began in October 1978 and the helicopter entered service in June 1979. After entering service, the helicopter was modified for new missions and roles, including mine laying and medical evacuation. An EH-60 variant was developed to conduct electronic warfare and special operations aviation developed the MH-60 variant to support its missions. Due to weight increases from the addition of mission equipment and other changes, the Army ordered the improved UH-60L in 1987; the new model incorporated all of the modifications made to the UH-60A fleet as standard design features. The UH-60L featured more power and lifting capability with upgraded T700-GE-701C engines and an improved gearbox, both from the SH-60B Seahawk, its external lift capacity increased by 1,000 lb up to 9,000 lb.
The UH-60L incorporated the SH-60B's automatic flight control system for better flight control with the more powerful engines. Production of the L-model began in 1989. Development of the next improved variant, the UH-60M, was approved in 2001, to extend the service life of the UH-60 design into the 2020s; the UH-60M incorporates upgraded T700-GE-701D engines, improved rotor blades, state of the art electronic instrumentation, flight controls and aircraft navigation control. After the U. S. DoD approved low-rate initial production of the new variant, manufacturing began in 2006, with the first of 22 new UH-60Ms delivered in July 2006. After an initial operational evaluation, the Army approved full-rate production and a five-year contract for 1,227 helicopters in December 2007. By March 2009, 100 UH-60M helicopters had been delivered to the Army. In November 2014, US military ordered 102 aircraft of various H-60 types, worth $1.3 billion. Following an operation in May 2011, it emerged that the 160th SOAR used a secret version of the UH-60 modified with low-observable technology which enabled it to evade Pakistani radar.
Analysis of the tail section, the only remaining part of the aircraft which crashed during the operation, revealed extra blades on the tail rotor and other noise reduction measures, making the craft much quieter than conventional UH-60s. The aircraft appeared to include features like special high-tech materials, harsh angles, flat surfaces found only in stealth jets. Low observable versions of the Black Hawk have been studied as far back as the mid-1970s. In September 2012, Sikorsky was awarded a Combat Tempered Platform Demonstration contract to further improve the Black Hawk's durability and survivability; the company is to develop new technologies such as a zero-vibration system, adaptive flight control laws, advanced fire management, a more durable main rotor, full-spectrum crashworthiness, damage tolerant airframe. Improvements to the Black Hawk are to continue until the Future Vertical Lift program is ready to replace it. In December 2014, the 101st Airborne Division began testing new resupply equipment called t
The Pashtuns known as ethnic Afghans and Pathans, are an Iranian ethnic group who live in Pakistan and Afghanistan in South-Central Asia. They speak the Pashto language and adhere to Pashtunwali, a traditional set of ethics guiding individual and communal conduct; the ethnogenesis of the Pashtun ethnic group is unclear but historians have come across references to various ancient peoples called Pakthas between the 2nd and the 1st millennium BC, who may be their early ancestors. Their history is spread amongst the present-day countries of Afghanistan and Pakistan, centred on their traditional seat of power in that region. Globally, the Pashtuns are estimated to number around 50 million, but an accurate count remains elusive due to the lack of an official census in Afghanistan since 1979; the majority of the Pashtuns live in the region regarded as Pashtunistan, split between the two countries since the Durand Line border was formed after the Second Anglo-Afghan War. There are significant Pashtun diaspora communities in the provinces of Sindh and Punjab in Pakistan, in particular in the cities of Karachi and Lahore.
A recent Pashtun diaspora has developed in the Arab states of the Persian Gulf in the United Arab Emirates. The Pashtuns are a significant minority group in Pakistan, where they constitute the second-largest ethnic group or about 15% of the population; as the largest ethnic group in Afghanistan, Pashtuns have been the dominant ethno-linguistic group for over 300 years. During the Delhi Sultanate era, the 15th–16th century Lodi dynasty replaced the preexisting rulers in North India until Babur deposed the Lodi dynasty. Other Pashtuns fought the Safavids and Mughals before obtaining an independent state in the early 18th century, which began with a successful revolution by Mirwais Hotak followed by conquests of Ahmad Shah Durrani; the Barakzai dynasty played a vital role during the Great Game from the 19th century to the 20th century as they were caught between the imperialist designs of the British and Russian empires. The Pashtuns are the world's largest segmentary lineage ethnic group. Estimates of the number of Pashtun tribes and clans range from about 350 to over 400.
There have been many notable Pashtun people throughout history: Ahmad Shah Durrani is regarded as the founder of the modern state of Afghanistan, while Bacha Khan was a Pashtun independence activist against the rule of the British Raj. Some others include Malala Yousafzai, Shah Rukh Khan, Zarine Khan, Imran Khan, Farhad Darya, Abdul Ahad Mohmand, Ahmad Zahir, Zakir Husain, Hamid Karzai, Ashraf Ghani, Mullah Mohammed Omar; the vast majority of the Pashtuns are found in the traditional Pashtun homeland, located in an area south of the Amu Darya in Afghanistan and west of the Indus River in Pakistan, which includes Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the northern part of Balochistan. Additional Pashtun communities are located in Western and Northern Afghanistan, the Gilgit–Baltistan and Kashmir regions and northwestern Punjab province, Pakistan. There are sizeable Muslim communities in India, which are of Pashtun ancestry. Throughout the Indian subcontinent, they are referred to as Pathans. Smaller Pashtun communities are found in the countries of the Middle East, such as in the Khorasan Province of Iran, the Arabian Peninsula, North America and Australia.
Important metropolitan centres of Pashtun culture include Peshawar, Quetta, Mardan and Jalalabad. In Pakistan, the city of Karachi in Sindh province has the largest Pashtun diaspora communities in the world, with as much as 7 million Pashtuns living in Karachi according to some estimates. Several cities in Pakistan's Punjab province have sizeable Pashtun populations, in particular Lahore. About 15% of Pakistan's nearly 200 million population is Pashtun. In Afghanistan, they are the largest ethnic group and make up between 42–60% of the 32.5 million population. The exact figure remains uncertain in Afghanistan, affected by the 1.3 million or more Afghan refugees that remain in Pakistan, a majority of which are Pashtuns. Another one million or more Afghans live in Iran. A cumulative population assessment suggests a total of around 49 million individuals all across the world. A prominent institution of the Pashtun people is the intricate system of tribes; the Pashtuns remain a predominantly tribal people, but the trend of urbanisation has begun to alter Pashtun society as cities such as Kandahar, Peshawar and Kabul have grown due to the influx of rural Pashtuns.
Despite this, many people still identify themselves with various clans. The tribal system has several levels of organisation: the tribe, tabar, is divided into kinship groups called khels, in turn divided into smaller groups, each consisting of several extended families called kahols. Pashtun tribes are divided into four'greater' tribal groups: the Sarbani, the Bettani, the Gharghashti, the Karlani. Excavations of prehistoric sites suggest that early humans were living in what is now Afghanistan at least 50,000 years ago. Since the 2nd millennium BC, cities in the region now inhabited by Pashtuns have seen invasions and migrations, including by Ancient Indian peoples, Ancient Iranian peoples, the Medes and Ancient Macedonians in antiquity, Hephthalites, Turks and others. In recent times, people of the Western world have explored the area as well. Most historians acknowledge that the origin of the Pashtuns is some
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
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
Darwaz-e Bala District
Darwaz-e Bala known as Nusay, is a district in Badakhshan Province, Afghanistan. It was created in 2005 from part of Darwaz District, it is home to 11,000 residents. This district borders the Shekay, Kuf Ab, Maimay districts, along with districts in Darvoz, Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province, Tajikistan; the district was part of the Darvaz principality, a semi-independent statelet ruled by a mir. Badakhshan Province Map – United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Badakhshan Province is one of the 34 provinces of Afghanistan, located in the farthest northeastern part of the country between Tajikistan and northern Pakistan. It shares a 56.5-mile border with China. It is part of a broader historical Badakhshan region; the province contains 22 to 28 districts, over 1,200 villages, 904,700 people. Feyzabad serves as the provincial capital. Badakhshan is 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 square kilometres, most of, occupied by the Hindu Kush and Pamir mountain ranges. Badakhshan was a stopover on the ancient Silk Road trading path, China has shown great interest in the province after the fall of the Taliban, helping to reconstruct roads and infrastructure. According to the World Wildlife Fund, Badakhshan contains temperate grasslands and shrublands, as well as Gissaro-Alai open woodlands along the Pamir River.
Common plants found in these areas include pistachio, walnut, apple and sagebrush. Montane grasslands and shrublands are existent in the province, with the Hindu Kush alpine meadow in the high mountains in the northern and southwestern regions; the Wakhan corridor contains two montane grassland and shrubland regions: the Karakoram-West Tibetan Plateau alpine steppe and in the Pamir Mountains and Kuh-e Safed Khers in Darwaz region. South of Fayzabad the terrain becomes dominated by xeric shrublands. Common vegetation includes thorny bushes, zizyphus and Amygdatus. Paropamisus xeric woodlands can be found in central areas. Common vegetation includes almond, pistachio and sea-buckthorn; the area has a long history like the rest of Afghanistan, dating to its conquering by the Achaemenid Empire and beyond. Badakhshan etymologically derives from an official title; the suffix of the name, -ān, means the region belonged to someone with the title badaxš. The territory was ruled by the Uzbek 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, 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 100 years until the 1980s Soviet–Afghan War at which point the Mujahideen began a rebellion against the central Afghan government. During the 1990s, much of the area was controlled by forces loyal to Burhanuddin Rabbani and Ahmad Shah Massoud, who were de facto the national government until 1996. Badakhshan was the only province that the Taliban did not 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. Rabbani, a Badakhshan native, Massoud, were the last remnants of the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance during the peak of Taliban control in 2001.
Badakhshan was thus one of the few provinces of the country that witnessed little insurgency in the Afghan wars - however during the 2010s Taliban insurgents managed to attack and take control of several districts in the province. On 26 October 2015, the 7.5 Mw Hindu Kush earthquake shook northern Afghanistan with a maximum Mercalli intensity of VIII. This earthquake destroyed 30,000 homes, left several hundred dead, more than 1,700 injured; the current Governor of the province is Shah Waliullah Adeeb. His predecessors were Baz Mohammad Ahmadi; the borders with neighboring Tajikistan and Pakistan are monitored by the Afghan Border Police. All law enforcement activities throughout the province are handled by the Afghan National 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 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 has rice and flour mills. Fayzabad Airport serves the province with regular direct flights to Kabul; the percentage of households with clean drinking water increased from 13% in 2005 to 21% in 2011. The percentage of births attended to by a skilled birth attendant increased from 1.5% in 2003 to 2% in 2011. The overall literacy rate fell from 31% in 2005 to 26% in 2011; the overall net enrolment rate increased from 46% in 2005 to 68% in 2011. 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, bitter winters of the province. BORNA Institute of Higher Education being the first private university located on the bank of Kokcha river. 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