Presidency of Hamid Karzai
The Karzai administration was the government of Afghanistan under President Hamid Karzai, who became the head of state of Afghanistan in December 2001 after the Taliban government was overthrown. Karzai was appointed at the 2002 Loya Jirga as the Interim President of the Afghan Transitional Administration. After the 2004 Afghan presidential election, he became the President of Afghanistan. In October 2001, U. S.-led forces invaded Afghanistan. About two months the Taliban government was overthrown. In December 2001, political leaders gathered in Germany to agree on new leadership structures. Under the 5 December Bonn Agreement they formed an interim Transitional Administration and named Karzai Chairman of a 29-member governing committee, he was sworn in as leader on 22 December. The Loya Jirga of 13 June 2002, appointed Karzai Interim holder of the new position as President of the Afghan Transitional Administration. Karzai re-enacted the original coronation of Ahmad Shah Durrani at the shrine of Sher-i-Surkh outside of Kandahar where he had leaders of various Afghan tribes, including a descendent of the religious leader that chose Ahmad Shah Durrani as key players in this event.
Further evidence that Karzai views himself fulfilling a Durrani monarch's role arise from statements furnished by close allies within his government. Karzai tried to make peace and rebuild trust between communities in Afghanistan after years of war, by representing everyone in a big tent government, including Islamists, former Communists, royalists from the monarchy-era, ethnic minorities; when Karzai was a candidate in the 9 October 2004, presidential election, he won 21 of the 34 provinces, defeating his 22 opponents and becoming the first democratically elected leader of Afghanistan. Although his campaigning was limited due to fears of violence, elections passed without significant incident. Following investigation by the UN of alleged voting irregularities, the national election commission on 3 November declared Karzai winner, without runoff, with 55.4% of the vote. This represented; the election took place safely in spite of a surge of insurgent activity. Karzai was sworn in as President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan on 7 December 2004, at a formal ceremony in Kabul.
Many interpreted the ceremony as a symbolically important "new start" for the war-torn nation. Notable guests at the inauguration included the country's former King, Zahir Shah, three former US presidents, U. S. Vice President Dick Cheney. After winning a democratic mandate in the 2004 election and removing many of the former Northern Alliance warlords from his cabinet, it was thought that Karzai would pursue a more aggressively reformist path in 2005. However, Karzai proved to be more cautious. Since Karzai's new administration took over in 2004, the economy of Afghanistan has been growing for the first time in many years. Government revenue is increasing every year, although it is still dependent on foreign aid. On 20 September 2006, Karzai told the United Nations General Assembly that Afghanistan has become the "worst victim" of terrorism. Karzai said terrorism is "rebounding" in his country, with militants infiltrating the borders to wage attacks on civilians, he stated, "This does not have its seeds alone in Afghanistan.
Military action in the country will, not deliver the shared goal of eliminating terrorism." He demanded assistance from the international community to destroy terrorist sanctuaries inside and outside Afghanistan. "You have to look beyond Afghanistan to the sources of terrorism," he told the UN General Assembly, "destroy terrorist sanctuaries beyond" the country, dismantle the elaborate networks in the region that recruit, train, finance and deploy terrorists. These activities are robbing thousands of Afghan children of their right to education, prevent health workers from doing their jobs in Afghanistan. In addition he promised to eliminate opium-poppy cultivation in the country, which helps fuel the ongoing insurgency, he has demanded that NATO and U. S.-led coalition forces take more care when conducting military operations in residential areas to avoid civilian casualties which undermine his government's weak standing in parts of the country. During the Karzai administration, public discontent grew about corruption and the civilian casualties in the fight against the Taliban insurgency.
In May 2006, riots broke out in Kabul, when after a fatal traffic accident in the town involving a US military convoy security forces opened fire on protesters. During the rush, in Kabul's northern outskirts a truck went out of control and crashed into a dozen vehicles, killing at least one person and injuring six. Angry Afghans threw stones, smashing windows in the convoy vehicles. Afghan police opened fire, when they came to the assistance of the US troops. Rioters set two police cars alight. At least seven civilians were killed during 40 wounded. Thousands of protesters marched through the capital shouting slogans against Karzai and the US. By early afternoon, up to 2,000 protesters had gathered in central Kabul, some marching on parliament and some on the presidential palace. Several hundred more congregated at an intersection near the US embassy. A few dozen people forced their way past a police cordon guarding the road to the US embassy and threw stones at vehicles carrying foreigners into the compound, prompting the occupants to fire into the air before turning back.
The unrest left 40 injured. In a video broadcast on 24 September 2006, Karzai stated that if the money wasted on the Iraq War was spent on rebuilding Afghanistan, his country would "be in heave
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
Afghanistan the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in South-Central Asia. Afghanistan is bordered by Pakistan in the south and east, its territory covers 652,000 square kilometers and much of it is covered by the Hindu Kush mountain range, which experiences cold winters. The north consists of fertile plains, while the south-west consists of deserts where temperatures can get hot in summers. Kabul serves as its largest city. Human habitation in Afghanistan dates back to the Middle Paleolithic Era, the country's strategic location along the Silk Road connected it to the cultures of the Middle East and other parts of Asia; the land has been home to various peoples and has witnessed numerous military campaigns, including those by Alexander the Great, Muslim Arabs, British and since 2001 by the United States with NATO-allied countries. It has been called "unconquerable" and nicknamed the "graveyard of empires"; the land served as the source from which the Kushans, Samanids, Ghaznavids, Khaljis, Hotaks and others have risen to form major empires.
The political history of the modern state of Afghanistan began with the Hotak and Durrani dynasties in the 18th century. In the late 19th century, Afghanistan became a buffer state in the "Great Game" between British India and the Russian Empire, its border with British India, the Durand Line, was formed in 1893 but it is not recognized by the Afghan government and it has led to strained relations with Pakistan since the latter's independence in 1947. Following the Third Anglo-Afghan War in 1919 the country was free of foreign influence becoming a monarchy under King Amanullah, until 50 years when Zahir Shah was overthrown and a republic was established. In 1978, after a second coup Afghanistan first became a socialist state and a Soviet Union protectorate; this evoked the Soviet–Afghan War in the 1980s against mujahideen rebels. By 1996 most of Afghanistan was captured by the Islamic fundamentalist group the Taliban, who ruled most of the country as a totalitarian regime for over five years.
The Taliban were forcibly removed by the NATO-led coalition, a new democratically-elected government political structure was formed, but they still control a significant portion of the country. Afghanistan is a unitary presidential Islamic republic with a population of 31 million composed of ethnic Pashtuns, Tajiks and Uzbeks, it is a member of the United Nations, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, the Group of 77, the Economic Cooperation Organization, the Non-Aligned Movement. Afghanistan's economy is the world's 108th largest, with a GDP of $64.08 billion. The name Afghānistān is believed to be as old as the ethnonym Afghan, documented in the 10th-century geography book Hudud ul-'alam; the root name "Afghan" was used in reference to a member of the ethnic Pashtuns, the suffix "-stan" means "place of" in Persian. Therefore, Afghanistan translates to land of the Afghans or, more in a historical sense, to land of the Pashtuns. However, the modern Constitution of Afghanistan states that "he word Afghan shall apply to every citizen of Afghanistan."
Excavations of prehistoric sites by Louis Dupree and others suggest that humans were living in what is now Afghanistan at least 50,000 years ago, that farming communities in the area were among the earliest in the world. An important site of early historical activities, many believe that Afghanistan compares to Egypt in terms of the historical value of its archaeological sites; the country sits at a unique nexus point where numerous civilizations have interacted and fought. It has been home to various peoples through the ages, among them the ancient Iranian peoples who established the dominant role of Indo-Iranian languages in the region. At multiple points, the land has been incorporated within large regional empires, among them the Achaemenid Empire, the Macedonian Empire, the Indian Maurya Empire, the Islamic Empire. Many empires and kingdoms have risen to power in Afghanistan, such as the Greco-Bactrians, Hephthalites, Kabul Shahis, Samanids, Ghurids, Kartids, Timurids and the Hotak and Durrani dynasties that marked the political origins of the modern state.
Archaeological exploration done in the 20th century suggests that the geographical area of Afghanistan has been connected by culture and trade with its neighbors to the east and north. Artifacts typical of the Paleolithic, Neolithic and Iron ages have been found in Afghanistan. Urban civilization is believed to have begun as early as 3000 BCE, the early city of Mundigak may have been a colony of the nearby Indus Valley Civilization. More recent findings established that the Indus Valley Civilisation stretched up towards modern-day Afghanistan, making the ancient civilisation today part of Pakistan and India. In more detail, it extended from what today is northwest Pakistan to northwest India and northeast Afghanistan. An Indus Valley site has been found on the Oxus River at Shortugai in northern Afghanistan. There are several smaller IVC colonies to be found in Afghanistan as well. After 2000 BCE, successive waves of semi-nomadic
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
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
Zarghun Shar, Paktika
Zarghun Shar, or Zarghun Shahr, Katawaz, or Khayr Kot, is a town in and administrative seat of Zarghun Shar District, Paktika Province, in eastern Afghanistan. In the 1970s Zarghun Shar was a town of some 5,000 people, but that population decreased during the years of fighting after the Soviet invasion and the Afghan civil war. Paktika Province
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 413,800 ethnic Pashtuns; the town of Sharana serves as the provincial capital. Paktika sits adjacent to Durand Line border between Afghanistan, it is bordered by the Paktia provinces to the north. The western border is shared with the provinces of Zabul; the South Waziristan and North Waziristan agencies are to the east of Paktika, while Zhob District of the Balochistan province of Pakistan borders it the southeast. Paktika, like many other areas of Afghanistan, has been deforested; this has been a cause of devastating floods in recent years. The province is hilly and interspersed with seasonal river valleys. In the north, the terrain gains becomes more rugged. In the west, the Rowd-e Lurah River originates in the mountainous Omna District and flows southwest to the Ghazni Province, forming a shallow river valley that dominates the topography in the Zarghun Shar, Jani Khel, Dila Districts.
The terrain in Omna becomes more hilly further east in proximity to Pakistan. The sparsely populated southern districts are hilly, with descending elevation towards the south and west; the Gomal River, which has a varied flow depending on season, runs from its origin in the mountains of the Sar Hawza District and flows south, before turning southeast to the Pakistani border, forming the broad river valley that defines the topography of the Gomal District, before flowing east through Pakistan and running to the powerful Indus River. Paktika is the southernmost part of a historical region known as Greater Paktia, once a unified province including Paktia and parts of Ghazni and Logar; the tribes that reside in this area were mentioned by the Greek historian Herodotus, who called them the "Pactyans" as early as the 1st millennium BCE. In the 1970s, the provincial capital of the undeveloped and remote province of Paktika was moved from the town of Urgun to Sharana due to its proximity with the main highway, connecting it to the larger cities and commercial centres of Kabul and Kandahar.
Paktika was the site of many battles during the Soviet occupation of the country and the lawless years that followed. The Siege of Urgun took place between 1983 and 1984; as one of the most remote provinces in Afghanistan and an area that saw much devastation in previous years, Paktika suffers from a severe lack of critical infrastructure. Reconstruction in the province after the fall of the Taliban has been slow compared to that in nearby provinces such as Khost and Zabul; this is due to the remoteness of the region and repeated attacks on aid workers and NATO forces. In June 2004, members of the Utah and Iowa National Guard helped Army Reserve Civil Affairs Soldiers from Oregon establish a Provincial Reconstruction Team base in Sharana, the provincial capital, to lead the development effort; the first full contingent of eight Civil Affairs Soldiers from the U. S. Army Reserve's 450th Civil Affairs Battalion, based in Riverdale Park, arrived in September 2004. In an article from Time, the U. S. base was described as: "The U.
S. firebase looks like a Wild West cavalry fort, ringed with coils of razor wire. A U. S. flag ripples above the 3-ft.-thick mud walls, in the watchtower a guard scans the expanse of forested ridges, rising to 9,000 ft. that mark the border. When there's trouble, it comes from that direction." The Shkin firebase is composed of special operations forces. They target, are constant targets themselves for the Al-Qa'ida and Taliban fighters who launch frequent strikes from nearby Pakistan; the area is unforgiving. A hunter can become prey quickly; as U. S. Army Colonel Rodney Davis puts it, "Shkin is the evilest place in Afghanistan." While the province hasn't witnessed the outright fighting in the last few years that has affected provinces like Helmand, there is a constant low level of tribal violence, accompanied by criminal and Taliban activity. The last serious fighting in the province took place in 2004, amid reports that then-Governor Muhammad Ali Jalali was collaborating with Taliban forces, that the Taliban had annexed eastern portions of the province.
Jalali and many of his allied officials, were replaced and U. S. Special Forces were dispatched to fight the Taliban while the Pakistani forces fought with the Taliban's allies in neighbouring South Waziristan. On 1 November 2004, a civil affairs convoy was ambushed near Surobi, between the Shkin firebase and Orgun-E. U. S. Army Spc. James Kearney, a turret gunner, died of a head shot from a sniper. After countless RPGs, PKM rounds and an IED, two vehicles were destroyed and three other Soldiers were wounded; the Provincial Reconstruction Team base was named Camp Kearney on 21 November 2004 to honor the sacrifice of Spc. James Kearney. On Jun 18, 2008 in the Ziruk District Governor's compound, 2 members of the Provincial Reconstruction Team, HMN Mark Retmier and CM1 Ross Toles, were killed due to rocket attacks; the Mess hall on Forward Operating Base Sharana is named after CM1 Toles and the hospital is named after HMN Retmier. Kearney Base became the nucleus of. On July 4th, 2009 combat outpost Zerok in East Paktika Province was attacked.
The Haqqani network insurgents attacked the COP using mortars, accurate heavy machine gun fire, RPG fire, recoils rifles, a 5000lbs Jingle Truck VBIED that destroyed the outposts radio communication. The accurate enemy indirec