Balkh is one of the 34 provinces of Afghanistan, located in the north of the country. It is divided into 15 districts and has a population of about 1,245,100, multi-ethnic and a Persian-speaking society; the city of Mazar-i-Sharif serves as the capital of the province. The Mazar-e Sharif International Airport and Camp Marmal sit on the eastern edge of Mazar-i-Sharif; the name of the province is derived from the ancient city near the modern town. The city of Mazar-e-Sharif has been an important stop on the trade routes from the Far East to the Middle East, the Mediterranean and Europe. Home to the famous blue mosque, it was once destroyed by Genghis Khan but rebuilt by Timur; the city of Balkh and the area of Balkh Province was considered a part of various historical regions in history including Ariana and Greater Khorasan. It serves today as Afghanistan's second but main gateway to Central Asia, the other being Sherkhan Bandar in the Kunduz Province. Balkh Province is situated in the northern part of Afghanistan, bordering Turkmenistan in the north-west, bordering Uzbekistan in the north, Tajikistan in the north-east, Kunduz Province in the east, Samangan Province in the south-east, Sar-e Pol Province in the south-west and Jowzjan Province in the west.
The province covers an area of 16,840 km2. Nearly half of the province is mountainous or semi-mountainous terrain while half of the area is made up of flat land; the Bactria-Margiana Archaeological Complex is the modern archaeological designation for a Bronze Age culture of Central Asia, dated to ca. 2200–1700 BCE, located in present-day Turkmenistan, northern Afghanistan, southern Uzbekistan and western Tajikistan, centered on the upper Amu Darya, in area covering ancient Bactria. Its sites were named by the Soviet archaeologist Viktor Sarianidi. Bactria was the Greek name for the area of Bakhlo, in what is now northern Afghanistan, Margiana was the Greek name for the Persian satrapy of Margu, the capital of, Merv, in today's Turkmenistan; the early Greek historian Ctesias c. 400 BCE alleged that the legendary Assyrian king Ninus had defeated a Bactrian king named Oxyartes in ca. 2140 BC, or some 1000 years before the Trojan War. Since the discovery of cuneiform enabled actual Assyrian records to be deciphered in the 19th century, historians have ascribed little value to the Greek account.
According to some writers, Bactria was the homeland of Indo-European tribes who moved south-west into what is today Iran and into the north-western Indian Subcontinent around 2500–2000 BCE. It became the northern province of the Achaemenid Empire, it was in these regions, where the fertile soil of the mountainous country is surrounded by the Turanian desert, that the prophet Zoroaster was said to have been born and gained his first adherents. Avestan, the language of the oldest portions of the Zoroastrian Avesta, was one of the old Iranian languages, is the oldest attested member of the Eastern Iranian branch of the Iranian language family, it is suggested by E. Herzfeld, it was annexed by the Achaemenid Persians in the 6th century BCE and together with Margiana it formed the twelfth satrapy of the Achaemenids. After Darius III of Persia was defeated by Alexander the Great and killed in the ensuing chaos, his murderer Bessus, the satrap of Bactria, tried to organize a national resistance based on his satrapie but was captured by other warlords and delivered to Alexander.
He was tortured and killed. Alexander the Great conquered Persia. However, in the south, beyond the Oxus, he met strong resistance. After two years of war Bactria was occupied by the Macedonians, but Alexander never subdued the people. After Alexander's death, the Macedonian Empire was divided up between several generals in Alexander's army. Bactria became part of the founder of the Seleucid Empire. "The famed Bactrian Empire of a thousand cities, wallowing in wealth" The many difficulties against which the Seleucid kings had to fight and the attacks of Ptolemy II of Egypt gave Diodotus, satrap of Bactria, the opportunity to declare independence and conquer Sogdiana. He was the founder of the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom. Diodotus and his successors were able to maintain themselves against the attacks of the Seleucids—particularly from Antiochus III the Great, defeated by the Romans; the Greco-Bactrians were so powerful that they were able to expand their territory as far as India: "As for Bactria, a part of it lies alongside Aria towards the north, though most of it lies above Aria and to the east of it.
And much of it produces everything except oil. The Greeks who caused Bactria to revolt grew so powerful on account of the fertility of the country that they became masters, not only of Bactria and beyond, but of India, as Apollodorus of Artemita says: and more tribes were subdued by them than by Alexander...."The Greco-Bactrians used Greek language for administrative purposes, the local Bactrian language was Hellenized, as suggested by its adoption of the Greek alphabet and Greek loanwords. In turn, some of these words were borrowed by modern Pashto, the language of Afghanistan; the weakness of the Greco-Bactrians was shown by its sudden and complete overthrow, first by the Sakas, by the Yuezhi, who had conquered Bactria by the time of the visit of the Chinese envoy Zhang Qian, sent by the Han emperor to investigate land
Khwahan District, is one of the 28 districts of Badakhshan Province, located in northeastern Afghanistan. The district capital is Khwahan; the population of the district is 27,000. The district borders Raghistan to the southwest, Kuf Ab in the northeast, the Panj River in the northwest, Shuro-obod district, Khatlon Province, of Tajikistan. Kuh-e kallat List of villages and places, of Khwahan District in alphabetical order Darwaz Map at the Afghanistan Information Management Services Its coordinates are 37°53'19" N and 70°13'10" E in DMS or 37.8886 and 70.2194. Its UTM position is XG09 and its Joint Operation Graphics reference is NJ42-11khwahan
Baghlan is one of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan. It is in the north of the country; as of 2013, the province has a population of about 910,700. Its capital is Puli Khumri; the ruins of a Zoroastrian fire temple, the Surkh Kotal, are located in Baghlan. The lead nation of the local Provincial Reconstruction Team was Hungary, which operated from 2006 to 2015; the name Baghlan is derived from Bagolango or "image-temple", inscribed on the temple of Surkh Kotal during the reign of the Kushan emperor, Kanishka in the early 2nd century CE. The Chinese Buddhist monk Xuanzang traveled through Baghlan in the mid-7th Century CE, referred to it as the "kingdom of Fo-kia-lang". In the 13th Century CE, a permanent garrison of Mongol troops was quartered in the Kunduz-Baghlan area, in 1253 fell under the jurisdiction of Sali Noyan Tatar, appointed there by Möngke Khan. Sali Noyan's position was inherited by his son Uladu, grandson Baktut; these Turco-Mongol garrison troops formed the Qara'unas faction, by the 14th Century had allied with the Chaghataite Khanate.
Under the rule of Temür the Qara'unas were given to Chekü Barlas, to his son Jahānshāh. Forbes Manz notes that these Kunduz-Baghlan forces appear to have remained cohesive and influential throughout the Timurid period, though under different leaders and different names, up until the Uzbek invasion. By the Islamic year 900, the area was noted in the Baburnama. In the mid-20th Century, as Afghanistan became the target of international development from both the Western and Soviet world, agricultural-industrial projects were initiated in Baghlan; these included factories for the production of sugar for vegetable oil. Czech expertise figured into the development of Baghlans' coal-mining industry, centred at Baghlan's Karkar Valley, the only coal mine in Afghanistan to remain operational up through 1992; the modern Baghlan Province was created out of the former Qataghan Province in 1964. During the Soviet–Afghan War, the Soviets in 1982 established the Kayan military zone in southern Baghlan; the area was defended by 10,000 Ismaili militiamen, increasing to 18,000 by 1992, who sided with the Soviets due to differences with the Islamist opposition.
Afghan Ismailis overall were inclined to support the Communists, though a local Ismaili leader, Sayed Manuchehr, lead a partisan movement against the Communists until Ismaili leader Sayed Mansur Naderi accepted Soviet support. Large portions of Baghlan and neighbouring Samangan Province were under the sway of the Soviet-aligned Naderi clan, the hereditary Ismaili Sayeds of Kayan. Under their jurisdiction, was quiet and societally functional throughout the 1980s, with hospitals and administrative services, funded by the communist central government. Despite the Naderi's alliance with the Communists, they maintained positive relations with the Mujahideen as well, permitting them to move through the area provided they refrained from attacks. One of the Soviets' three primary bases in Afghanistan, was located in Baghlan Province, served as the "largest military supply and armoury centre of the Soviet troops in Afghanistan." As the 2001 Afghan War commenced, Ismaili leader Sayed Mansoor Naderi attempted to retake Baghlan from the Taliban.
Naderi was aligned with Uzbek warlord Abdul Rashid Dostum and his Jumbesh-e Milli party, the competing Tajik-dominated Jamiat-e Islami party was keen to seize control of Baghlan as Taliban power eroded. The Jamiat were able to seize the capital of Pul-i Khumri before Naderi, who despite his strong backing among the Afghan Ismailis and Shia Hazaras, was unable to rally enough supporters to control the province. Naderi failed to retake the capital in 2001 and 2003, in the latter event he negotiated a power-sharing agreement with the dominant Andarabi militias and made the Ismaili bastion of the Kayan Valley his base. On 13 June 2012, two earthquakes hit Afghanistan and there was a major landslide in Burka District of Baghlan Province; the village of Sayi Hazara was buried under up to 30 meters of rock. The town of Puli Khumri serves as the capital of the province. All law enforcement activities throughout the province are handled by the Afghan National Police; the provincial police chief represents the Ministry of the Interior in Kabul.
The ANP is backed including the NATO-led forces. Abdul Sattar Bariz has been the governor of the province since October 2015; the population of Baghlan province was reported at 863,700 in the year 2013. Tajiks make up 50% of the population, followed by 20% Pashtuns, 5% Turkmens, 20% Hazaras, 5% Uzbeks, others. Most of the population speak Persian, followed by Pashto-speaking Pashtuns and some Tatars. Baghlan is home to a small community of Ismaili Muslims led by the Sayeds of Kayan; the percentage of households with clean drinking water increased from 19% in 2005 to 25% in 2011. The percentage of births attended to by a skilled birth attendant increased from 5.5% in 2005 to 22% in 2011. The overall literacy rate increased from 21% in 2005 to 24% in 2011; the overall net enrolment rate increased from 29% in 2005 to 62% in 2011. Baghlan's primary crops were cotton and sugar beets, industrial sugar production having begun under Czech supervision in the 1940s; the area produced grapes and pomegranates.
The primary livestock is Karakul sheep. The province produces silk, coal is mined in the Karkar Valley. Baghlan 2007 Baghlan sugar factory bom
The Hazaras are an ethnic group native to the mountainous region of Hazarajat in central Afghanistan, speaking the Hazaragi variant of Dari, itself an eastern variety of Persian, one of the two official languages of Afghanistan. They are the third-largest ethnic group in Afghanistan, they make up a significant minority group in the neighboring Pakistan, with a population of over 650,000–900,000 living in the region of Quetta. Babur, founder of the Mughal Empire in the early 16th century, records the name Hazara in his autobiography, he referred to the populace of a region called Hazaristan, located west of the Kabulistan region, north of Ghazna, southwest of Ghor. The conventional theory is that the name Hazara derives from the Persian word for "thousand", it may be the translation of the Mongol word ming, a military unit of 1,000 soldiers at the time of Genghis Khan. With time, the term Hazar could have been substituted for the Mongol word and now stands for the group of people, while the Hazaras in their native language always call themselves and.
The origins of the Hazara have not been reconstructed. Significant inner Asian descent—in historical context and Mongol—is impossible to rule out because the Hazara's physical attributes, facial bone structures and parts of their culture and language resemble those of Mongolians and Central Asian Turks. Genetic analysis of the Hazara indicate partial Mongolian ancestry. Invading Mongols and Turco-Mongols mixed with the local Iranian population, forming a distinct group. For example, Nikudari Mongols settled in what is now Afghanistan and mixed with native populations who spoke Dari Persian. A second wave of Chagatai Mongols came from Central Asia and were followed by other Mongolic groups, associated with the Ilkhanate and the Timurids, all of whom settled in Hazarajat and mixed with the local Dari-speaking population, forming a distinct group; the Hazara identity in Afghanistan is believed by many to have originated in the aftermath of the 1221 Siege of Bamyan. The first mention of Hazara are made by Babur in the early 16th century and by the court historians of Shah Abbas of the Safavid dynasty.
It is reported that they embraced Shia Islam between the end of the 16th and the beginning of the 17th century, during the Safavid period. Hazara men along with tribes of other ethnic groups had been recruited and added to the army of Ahmad Shah Durrani in the 18th century; some claim that in the mid‑18th century Hazara were forced out of Helmand and the Arghandab District of Kandahar Province. During the second reign of Dost Mohammad Khan in the 19th century, Hazara from Hazarajat began to be taxed for the first time. However, for the most part they still managed to keep their regional autonomy until the subjugation of Abdur Rahman Khan began in the late 19th century; when the Treaty of Gandomak was signed and the Second Anglo-Afghan War ended in 1880, Abdur Rahman Khan set out a goal to bring Hazarajat and Kafiristan under his control. He launched several campaigns in Hazarajat due to resistance from the Hazara in which his forces committed atrocities; the southern part of Hazarajat was spared as they accepted his rule, while the other parts of Hazarajat rejected Abdur Rahman and instead supported his uncle, Sher Ali Khan.
In response to this Abdur Rahman waged a war against tribal leaders who rejected his policies and rule. Abdur Rahman arrested Syed Jafar, chief of the Sheikh Ali Hazara tribe, jailed him in Mazar-i-Sharif; the 1888–1893 Uprisings of Hazaras occurred when the Treaty of Gandomak was signed and the Second Anglo-Afghan War ended in 1880, causing Abdur Rahman Khan to set out on a goal to bring Hazarajat and Kafiristan under his control. He launched several campaigns in Hazarajat due to resistance from the Hazara in which his forces committed atrocities; the southern part of Hazarajat was spared as they accepted his rule, while the other parts of Hazarajat rejected Abdur Rahman and instead supported his uncle, Sher Ali Khan. In response to this Abdur Rahman waged a war against tribal leaders who rejected his policies and rule. Abdur Rahman arrested Syed Jafar, chief of the Sheikh Ali Hazara tribe, jailed him in Mazar-i-Sharif; these campaigns had a catastrophic impact on the demographics of Hazaras causing 60% of them to perish or become displaced.
In 1901, Habibullah Khan, Abdur Rahman's successor, granted amnesty to all people who were exiled by his predecessor. However, the division between the Afghan government and the Hazara people was made too deep under Abdur Rahman. Hazara continued to face severe social and political discrimination through most of the 20th century. In 1933 King Mohammed Nadir Khan was assassinated by Abdul Khaliq Hazara; the Afghan government captured and executed him along with several of his innocent family members. Mistrust of the central government by the Hazaras and local uprisings continued. In particular, in the 1940s, during Zahir Shah's rule, a revolt took place against new taxes that were imposed on the Hazara; the Kuchi nomads meanwhile not only were exempted from taxes, but received allowances from the Afghan government. The angry rebels began killing government officials. In response, the central government sent a force to subdue the region and removed the taxes. During the Soviet–Afghan War, the Hazarajat region did not see as much heavy fighting as other regions of Afghanistan.
However, rival Hazara political factions fought. The division was between the Tanzáim-i nasl-i naw-i Hazara, a party based in Quetta, of Hazara nationalists and secular intellectuals, the pro-Khomeini Islamist parties backed by the new Islamic Republic of Iran. By 1979, the Iran-backed Islamist groups liberated
Balkh is a town in the Balkh Province of Afghanistan, about 20 km northwest of the provincial capital, Mazar-e Sharif, some 74 km south of the Amu Darya river and the Uzbekistan border. It was an ancient centre of Buddhism and Zoroastrianism and one of the major cities of Khorasan, since the latter's earliest history; the ancient city of Balkh was known to the Ancient Greeks as Bactra. It was known as the centre and capital of Bactria or Tokharistan. Marco Polo described Balkh as a "noble and great city". Balkh is now for the most part a mass of ruins, situated some 12 km from the right bank of the seasonally flowing Balkh River, at an elevation of about 365 m. French Buddhist Alexandra David-Néel associated Shambhala with Balkh offering the Persian Sham-i-Bala as an etymology of its name. In a similar vein, the Gurdjieffian J. G. Bennett published speculation that Shambalha was Shams-i-Balkh, a Bactrian sun temple; the Bactrian language name of the city was βαχλο. In Middle Persian texts was named Baxl.
The name of the province or country appears in the Old Persian inscriptions as Bāxtri, i.e. Bakhtri, it is written in the Avesta as Bāxδi. From this came the intermediate form Bāxli, Sanskrit Bahlīka for "Bactrian", by transposition the modern Persian Balx, i.e. Balkh, Armenian Bahl. Balkh is considered to be the first city to which the Indo-Iranian tribes moved from north of the Amu Darya, between 2000 and 1500 BC; the Arabs called it Umm Mother of Cities on account of its antiquity. The city was traditionally a center of Zoroastrianism; the name Zariaspa, either an alternate name for Balkh or a term for part of the city, may derive from the important Zoroastrian fire temple Azar-i-Asp. Balkh was regarded as the place where Zoroaster first preached his religion, as well as the place where he died. Since the Indo-Iranians built their first kingdom in Balkh some scholars believe that it was from this area that different waves of Indo-Iranians spread to north-east Iran and Seistan region, where they, in part, became today's Persians, Tajiks and Baluch people of the region.
The changing climate has led to desertification since antiquity, when the region was fertile. Its foundation is mythically ascribed to the first king of the world in Persian legend. For a long time the city and country was the central seat of the dualistic Zoroastrian religion, the founder of which, died within the walls according to the Persian poet Firdowsi. Armenian sources state that the Arsacid Dynasty of the Parthian Empire established its capital in Balkh. There is a long-standing tradition that an ancient shrine of Anahita was to be found here, a temple so rich it invited plunder. Alexander the Great married Roxana of Bactria after killing the king of Balkh; the city was the capital of the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom and was besieged for three years by the Seleucid Empire. After the demise of the Greco-Bactrian kingdom, it was ruled by Indo-Scythians, Indo-Parthians, Kushan Empire, Indo-Sassanids, Hephthalite Empire and Sassanid Persians before the arrival of the Arabs. Bactrian documents - in the Bactrian language, written from the fourth to eighth centuries - evoke the name of local deities, such as Kamird and Wakhsh, for example, as witnesses to contracts.
The documents come from an area between Balkh and Bamiyan, part of Bactria. Balkh town is well-known to Buddhist countries because of two great Buddhist monks of Afghanistan – Trapusa and Bahalika. There are two stupas over their relics. According to a popular legend, Buddhism was introduced in Balkh by Bhallika, disciple of Buddha, the city derives its name from him, he had come from Bodhgaya. In literature, Balkh has been described as Valhika or Bahlika. First Vihara at Balkh was built for Bhallika. Xuanzang visited Balkh in 630. According to the Memoirs of Xuanzang, there were about a hundred Buddhist convents in the city or its vicinity at the time of his visit there in the 7th century. There were a large number of stupas and other religious monuments; the most remarkable stupa was the Navbahara. Shortly before the Arab conquest, the monastery became a Zoroastrian fire-temple. A curious reference to this building is found in the writings of the geographer Ibn Hawqal, an Arab traveller of the 10th century, who describes Balkh as built of clay, with ramparts and six gates, extending for half a parasang.
He mentions a castle and a mosque. A Chinese pilgrim, Fa-Hein, found Hinayana practice prevalent in Shan Shan, Kashgar, Osh and Gandhara. Xuanzang remarked that Buddhism was practised by the Hunnish rulers of Balkh, who descended from Indian royal stock. A Korean monk, noted as late as the Eighth century after the Arab invasion that the residents of Balkh practiced Buddhism and followed a Buddhist king, he that the king of Balkh at the time had fled to nearby Badakshan. Furthermore, we know; the most important was the Nawbahar near the town of Balkh, which evidently served as a pilgri
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
Ghazni is one of the 34 provinces of Afghanistan, located in central Afghanistan, towards the east. The province contains 19 districts, encompassing over a thousand villages and 1.3 million people. The city of Ghazni serves as the capital, it lies on the important Kabul–Kandahar Highway, has 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; the province was known as Ghazna in the 10th century and after the Ghaznavid era. Ghazni was a thriving Buddhist center before and during the 7th century AD. Excavations have revealed religious artifacts of Buddhist traditions. "The two other great Buddhist centers and Tepe-e-sardar in its phase are a 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 in the case of the latter site assume Tantric aspects which had established themselves in the large Indian monasteries like Nalanda."
In 644 AD, the Chinese pilgrim Xuanzang visited the city of Jaguda, while returning from Varnu 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 from Zaranj made an example of Ghazni when he ranged the vast region conquering in the name of Islam; the city was destroyed by the Saffarids in 869. A substantial portion of the local population including Hindus and Buddhists were converted to Islam by Mahmud of Ghazni "There is no evidence that Ghazna had formed part of the Samanid kingdom, it had been overrun with the whole of Zabulistan and Kabul by the Saffaris by 260 but it is doubtful how far their power was permanent and when the Samanids became paramount there is no evidence that Kabul or Ghazna were under them. The ruler of Ghazna was allied to the Hindushahis of Kabul; these titles were not as yet used by the Muhammadan rulers. The Padshah Lavik was a Hindu chief though some passages in the Tabakth i Nisiri give him the name of Abu Bakr or Abu Ali."
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 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 converted, some by force and others by persuasion." 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 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 destroyed; the most important mausoleum located in Ghazni is that of Sultan Mahmud's. Others include the tombs of poets and scientists, for example Sanai; the only ruins in Old Ghazni retaining a semblance of architectural form are two towers, about 43 m high and some 365 m apart. According to inscriptions, the towers were constructed by Mahmud of 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 a great city."Babur records in his memoirs that Ghazni was part of Zabulistan. The area was controlled by the Mughals until Nader Shah and his Persian forces invaded it in 1738. Ahmad Shah Durrani 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 collapsed. 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 are hunting 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, 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, 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 af