Nimruz Province

Previously the area was known as Chakhansur. In 1968, the province was separated and formed two provinces; Nimruz and Farah. Nimruz is a Persian word which means “Half Day” or “Mid-day”.

The province is situated in the southwest of Afghanistan in the Sistan basin; the total covering area of the province is 41,005 km², it is divided into 5 districts which covers 650 villages. The major part of the province is the desert area known as “Dashti Margo”. The Zaranj city is the functional provincial capital and Zaranj airport serves the province for all the domestic flights.

The province is considered as the most lightly populated province in the whole country with an approximate population of 0.19 million which is multi-ethnic. It is the only province where the Baloch ethnic dominates as they contribute the most in total population. Apart from Baloch there are some other ethnic groups like; Pashtuns, Barhuis, Tajiks, Uzbeks and Hazaras who also reside in the province. Most of the population are Sunni Muslims except Hazaras. Balochi dominates the province while some of the inhabitants also speak Dari & Pashto.

Nimruz shares it borders with two neighbouring countries; the east of the province touches Sistan and Baluchistan of Iran while the north of it touches the Balochistan province of Pakistan.

Nimruz was once part of historical regions of Sistan.  For many centuries it was ruled by Achaemenid Empire and Alexander the Great. After which in 7th century the area was conquered by Muslim Arabs who spread Islam in the region. The first local Islamic dynasty who ruled this region in 860 CE was the Saffarid Dynasty which declared Zaranj as its capital. After the supervision of Yaqub Saffari, the founder of the Saffarid Dynasty the territory was claimed by Ghaznavids which was followed by the Ghurids, Timurids & then Safavids.

In the beginning of the 18th century Afghan, the Hotaki Dynasty was ruling the territory till 1738 when Nadir Shah removed them from power. During Soviet-Afghan war Mujahidin used the province for their back and forth movement between Afghanistan and neighbouring countries. Afghan refugees also used this route for escaping war.

After Taliban came in power in 1995 they seized the roads controlling town of Delaram and took hold over Nimroz province after which the Mujahidin leader Abdul Karim Brahui along with his companions flee to Iran. In October 2001 after the US invasion, Taliban lose control of the province. Just like Mujahidin, foreign military also used the area for their movements between the three nations(Afghanistan, Iran & Pakistan).

Mohammad Samiullah is the official governor of the province who is the successor of Amir Muhammad Akhundzada. The law enforcement activities of the province are being monitored by Afghan National Police (ANP) while all the border activities are being monitored by Afghan Border Police (ABP). Both Afghan National Police (ANP) and Afghan Border Police (ABP) are backed by a military and reports to a provincial police chief who represents the Ministry of Interior in Kabul.

The main source of income for majority of the population is trade and farming; the  majority of agricultural products of the province are wheat, corn, melons & poppies. The province also trade in livestock like goat, sheep, cattle and poultry.

Zaranj Airport is being used for all the domestic flights as per regular schedule. India also supported in the construction of the Delaram-Zaranj Highway which can have a significance importance in the socio-economic development of the region.

Nimruz province is considered as Afghanistan’s forgotten province and that’s why we see that its education sector and healthcare sector as lagging behind with respect to other provinces.

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