Zabul (Persian and Pashto: زابل) is a historic province in southern Afghanistan, in the heart of the historical region of Zabulistan. Zabul became an independent province from neighbouring Kandahar in 1963, with Qalat being named the provincial capital. It should not be confused with the city Zabol, on the Iranian side of the border with Afghanistan.
Political and security situation
With its sparse population, unsecure border with Pakistan and little central authority, Zabul is a fertile ground for insurgents fighting against the current Afghan government, although the province is considered more secure than some of its southern neighbors. The province has especially struggled with retaining NGO's and teachers in the face of Taliban attacks and threats. Until 2006, the only major international presence was an American Provincial Reconstruction Team Zabul (PRT) based in Qalat ), when it was joined by a UNAMA & USAID/DAI branch.
The current governor of the province is Muhammad Ashraf Nasari.
The population of the province is estimated to be around 275,100 people. The major ethnic group in the province is Pashtun. The main Pashtun tribes are: Bangash, Kharoti Nurzai, Hotak, Suleiman khel, Popalzai, Tokhi, Safi , Naser, Kakar and Ludin.
Zabul borders Oruzgan in the north, Kandahar in the west and in the south, Ghazni and Paktika in the east. It has an international border with Pakistan in the south. The province covers an area of 17293 km2. Two-fifths of the province is mountainous or semi mountainous terrain (41%) while more than one quarter of the area is made up of flat land (28%).
The primary ecoregion of the province is the Central Afghan Mountains xeric woodlands. Common vegetation is listed as dry shrub-land and pistachio. The high mountains of the northern portion of the province are in the Ghorat-Hazarajat alpine meadow ecoregion, which is characterized by meadows, willows, and sea buckthorn.
The province is represented in Afghan domestic cricket by the Zabul Province cricket team.
|Argahandab||Sub-divided in 2005|
|Kakar||Created in 2005 within Argahandab District|
|Naw Bahar||21,144||Created in 2005 from parts of Shamulzayi and Shinkay Districts|
|Tarnak Aw Jaldak||19,017|
In 2006, the province's first airstrip was opened near Qalat, to be operated by the Afghan National Army, but also for use by commercial aviation. Twice weekly service was scheduled by PRT Air between Qalat and Kabul. The airstrip is not paved. The ANA Chief in Zabul is Major General Jamaluddin Sayed
A US soldier watches the sunrise after a dismounted patrol mission near Forward Operating Base Baylough, Zabul province.
US soldier sit in a patrol base on an overnight mission near Forward Operation Base Lane, Zabul Province
U.S. Special Forces are extracted from a mountain pinnacle in Zabul province
An early-morning dismounted patrol mission near Forward Operating Base Baylough, Zabul
- Provinces of Afghanistan on Statoids.
- Afghanistan's Provinces – Zabul at USAID
- Central Statistics Office of Afghanistan. "Settled Population of country by Provinces and sex for 2006-2009 years". Retrieved 2009-11-30.
- http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20060623.wxafghan23/BNStory/International/home. Missing or empty
- World Wildlife Fund (2001). "Central Afghan Mountains xeric woodlands". WildWorld Ecoregion Profile. National Geographic Society. Archived from the original on 2010-03-08.
- Afghanistan Geographic & Thematic Layers
- First Airstrip in Zabul Province, USAID