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Panjshir Province

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Title: Panjshir Province  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Takhar Province, Nuristan Province, Provinces of Afghanistan, Kapisa Province, Ahmad Shah Massoud
Collection: Panjshir Province, Provinces of Afghanistan, States and Territories Established in 2004
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Panjshir Province

A view of a valley in the Panjshir Province of Afghanistan in 2009
A view of a valley in the Panjshir Province of Afghanistan in 2009
Map of Afghanistan with Panjshir highlighted
Map of Afghanistan with Panjshir highlighted
Coordinates (Capital):
Country  Afghanistan
Capital Bazarak
 • Governor Keramuddin Keram
 • Total 3,610 km2 (1,390 sq mi)
Population (2013)[1]
 • Total 146,100
 • Density 40/km2 (100/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+4:30
ISO 3166 code AF-PAN
Main languages Dari

Panjshir (Persian: پنجشیر‎‎, literally "Five Lions", also spelled as Panjsher) is one of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan, located in the northeastern part of the country. The province is divided into seven districts and contains 512 villages. As of 2013, the population of Panjshir province is about 146,100.[1][2] Bazarak serves as the provincial capital.

Panjshir became an independent province from neighboring Parwan Province in 2004. It is surrounded by Baghlan and Takhar in the north, Badakhshan and Nuristan in the east, Laghman and Kapisa in the south, and Parwan in the west.


  • History 1
  • Politics and governance 2
  • Healthcare 3
  • Education 4
  • Demography 5
    • Population by districts 5.1
  • Places of interest 6
  • Notable people from the province 7
  • See also 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10


The territory was ruled by the Khanate of Bukhara between the early 16th century and the mid-18th century. It was given to Ahmad Shah Durrani by Murad Beg of Bukhara after a treaty of friendship was signed in or about 1750, and became part of the Durrani Empire. It was ruled by the Durranis followed by the Barakzai dynasty, and was untouched by the British during the 19th century Anglo-Afghan wars.

Afghanistan's first wind farm in Panjshir Province.

In 1973, while King Zahir Shah was on a special visit in Europe, his cousin Daoud Khan took over power and began threatening to invade Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. This was supported by the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) but caused great anxiety in Pakistan. By 1975, the young Ahmad Shah Massoud and his followers initiated an uprising in Panjshir but were forced to flee to Peshawar in Pakistan where they received recruitment from Pakistani Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto to create unrest in Afghanistan with the help of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).[3] Bhutto is said to have paved the way for the April 1978 Saur Revolution in Kabul by making Daoud spread the Afghan Armed Forces to the countryside. Pakistani objective was to prevent Afghan invasion.[4] The Panjshir region was well defended during the 1980s Soviet war in Afghanistan.

After the collapse of the [5] Two days later the September 2001 attacks occurred in the United States and this led to the start of a major U.S.-led war in Afghanistan.

Containing the Panjshir Valley, in April 2004 Panjshir District of Parwan Province was turned into a province under the Karzai administration. The Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) established several bases in the province. In the meantime, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) also established bases, a US-led Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) began operating in Panjshir in the late 2000s. As of 2012, security in the province is maintained by the Afghan National Police and the Afghan National Army.

Politics and governance

The current Governor of the province is Engineer Mohammad Arif Sarwari. His predecessor was Keramuddin Keram. Bazarak is the capital of Panjshir province. All law enforcement activities throughout the province are handled by the Afghan National Police (ANP). A provincial Police Chief is assigned to lead both the ANP. The Police Chief represents the Ministry of the Interior in Kabul. The ANP is backed by the military, including the NATO-led forces.


The percentage of households with clean drinking water increased from 16% in 2005, to 17% in 2011. [6] And as many as 23% of births in 2011 were attended to by a skilled birth attendant. [7]


The overall literacy rate (6+ years of age) fell from 33% in 2005 to 12% in 2011. [8] The overall net enrolment rate (6-13 years of age) fell from 42% in 2005 to 30% in 2011. [9] Four Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) schools service the agriculturally-oriented Panjshir Province, including the Shah Masoud TVET. The school was established with the help from the Hilfe Paderborn and German Foreign Office and has about 250 students and 22 staff members (as of August 2014).


U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Abraham Jara hands out first aid kits to Afghan locals during a first aid class at a school in the Dara district of Panjshir province.

The population of Panjshir province is about 146,100 settled people[1] According to the Naval Postgraduate School, the ethnic groups of the province are as follows: Tajik, Hazara, Pashai, Nuristani, Ghilzai Pashtun, and other minority groups.[10] According to the Institute for the Study of War, "Tajiks form the majority of the population, but there are small numbers of Hazaras and Pashtuns as well."[2]

Dari (Afghan Persian) is the dominant language in the province followed by Pashto, which is used as a second language. All inhabitants are followers of Islam, with majority being Sunni while the Hazaras are mostly Shias (Shiites).[2]

Population by districts

Districts of Panjshir Province
District Capital Population[11] Area Number of villages
Anaba c. 5,000 164 km2 31[12]
Bazarak Bazarak c. 65,000 378 km2 29[13]
Dara c. 5,500 709 km2 134[14]
Khenj c. 10,000 688 km2 154[15]
Paryan c. 3,902 1270 km2 67[16]
Rokha c. 5,000 144 km2 72[17]
Shotul c. 8,000 55 km2 23[18]

Places of interest

Notable people from the province

See also


  1. ^ a b c "Settled Population of Panjsher province by Civil Division, Urban, Rural and Sex-2012-13" (PDF). Islamic Republic of Afghanistan: Central Statistics Organization. Retrieved 2012-10-31. 
  2. ^ a b c "Panjshir Province". Understanding War. Retrieved 2013-08-17. 
  3. ^ "Ahmad Shah Masoud". Encyclopædia Britannica,. Retrieved 2013-01-08. 
  4. ^ Bowersox, Gary W. (2004). The Gem Hunter: The Adventures of an American in Afghanistan. United States: GeoVision, Inc.,. p. 100.  
  5. ^ "The Spy Who Quit".  
  6. ^ Archive, Civil Military Fusion Centre,
  7. ^ Archive, Civil Military Fusion Centre,
  8. ^ Archive, Civil Military Fusion Centre,
  9. ^ Archive, Civil Military Fusion Centre,
  10. ^ "Panjshir Province" (PDF). Program for Culture & Conflict Studies.  
  11. ^ "Panjshir Province". Government of Afghanistan and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).  
  12. ^ Onaba District (Re-elected)
  13. ^ Bazarak District (Re-elected)
  14. ^ Dara District (Re-elected)
  15. ^ Khenj District (Re-elected)
  16. ^ Pariyan District (Re-elected)
  17. ^ Rukha District (Re-elected)
  18. ^ Shotol District (Re-elected)

External links

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