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Nangarhar Province

Nangarhar is located in the east of Afghanistan and has a covering area of 7,727 km². The province is compromised of 23 districts that are further divided into hundreds of villages. The city of Jalalabad serves as the provincial capital. Nangarhar also shares its border with neighbouring Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the Federally Administrated Tribal Area (FATA) of Pakistan. These three regions make a close tie and help in boosting trade activities in both directions.

There are various speculations about the name “Nangarhar”. As per Henry George Raverty, it is derived from a Pashto word “nang-nahir” which means nine streams. As per this assumption the name represents the nine streams originating from Safed Koh. As per S.H. Hodivala, the name was derived from a Sanskrit term. Henry Walter Bellew suggests that the name was derived from Sanskrit term “nava-vihar” which means “nine vihars”

As per estimates the total population of the province is 1.791 million which are multi-ethnic and mostly a tribal society. Pashtun ethnicity dominates the region with 91.1% of the total population, followed by Pashai which are 3.6%, Arabs are 2.6% and Tajiks are 1.6% of the population.

The present governor of the province is Hayyatullah Khan who is a successor of Mohammad Gulab Mangal, whose predecessor was Saleem Khan Kundazi who resigned from the position on October 22, 2016. The former governor Ghul Agha Sherzai served the province from 2004 till 2014 but after that he left to run Afghan Presidential Election.

All law enforcement activates within the provincial jurisdiction are being monitored by Afghan National Police (ANP) and Afghan Local Police (ANP). Afghan Border Police (ABP) has been assigned to look after all the bordering activities with neighbouring Pakistan. Both ABP &ANP are being led by a provincial police chief who represents the Ministry of Interior in Kabul and are being backed by Afghan Armed Forces.

Jalalabad’s plain area is one of the major agricultural areas of Afghanistan; it provides a strong agricultural base as well as a central trade route between Kabul and Peshawar. Torkham is the border crossing between Afghanistan and Pakistan and is considered as the busiest port of entry among the two nations.  This makes the province more economically diverse and a major economical hub.

There was a time when the province was a major center of opium production but now as per reports it has been decreased by 95% and farmers are cultivating wheat and legal crops which, in fact, is a great success of Afghan government.

Right next to the provincial capital is the Jalalabad airport from where regular scheduled flights are being operated and is serving the population of Nangarhar and its nearby provinces. The Kabul-Jalalabad highway runs through the province which connects Kabul to Jalalabad and then lead to Khyber Pass in Peshawar.

The province holds a provincial cricket team which represents Nangarhar in domestic cricket tournaments. It also gave the national cricket team of Afghanistan some key players like Hamid Hasan & Rashid Khan who were inhabitant of the province.

Both the education sector and health care sector have shown a slight improvement with respect to previous years. There are a number of schools operating providing education to both boys and girls. Nangargar University is located in the provincial capital which is providing higher education to more than 6,000 students.

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