Paktika Province

Paktika is located in the South East of Afghanistan; it was part of larger Loya Paktika region. It has a covering area of 19,482 km² and is divided into 15 districts which are further divided into hundreds of villages. The most populous city of the province is Urgun while the city of Sharana serves as the administrative capital.

The approximate population of the province is 0.646 million which is multi-ethnic and mostly a tribal society. The Pashtun ethnicity dominates the region and makes up to 96% of Paktika population, followed by Uzbeks who compromise 1.80% of the population. There are some Balochs, Hazaras & Tajiks in the community as well who are living as minorities.

More than 99% of the Paktika population live in rural districts; the Urgun district and Barmal district are the least mountainous districts and have the population of more than 90,000 inhabitants each. As per estimates, the population in each Paktika district is between 25,000 to 55,000 residents, while Nika district and Turwo district are the only two districts with less than 20,000 residents. Most of the Pakitka inhabitants are Sunni Muslims and belong to Hanafi School.

Paktika is located next to the Durand Line border which connects Afghanistan with neighbouring country Pakistan. It has international borders as well as it share its border with local provinces as well. The north of the province borders with Khost and Paktia provinces, while the west touches Ghazni and Zabul. In the east of Paktika is the South Waziristan and North Waziristan agency and southeast touches the Balochistan province of Pakistan.

Just like the rest of Afghanistan this province also has been deforested mainly because of devastating floods in the recent past. It is a mountainous province and most of its area is hilly; there are some seasonal river valleys as well. The Rowd-e-Lurah river originates from the Omna district mountains and run to southwest toward Ghazni. The Gomal River originates from the Sar Hawaza District and runs toward south to Pakistani border and eventually fall in the powerful Indus river of Pakistan.

Shamim Khan Katawazai is the present governor of the province. All the law enforcement activities in the province are being administered by Afghan National Police (ANP) which is backed by Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF). The Afghan Border Police (ABP) is assigned to look after the activities on Paktika’s border with neighbouring Federal Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan. Both Afghan Border Police and Afghan National police are being led by a Provincial Police Chief who represents the Ministry of Interior in Kabul.

The border area of the province is usually used by insurgents for moving to and fro between Afghanistan and Pakistan which is why it is heavily militarised and considered as one of the most dangerous borders in the world.

The Sharana Airstip located in the capital city of the province has regular scheduled flights to Kabul. The province doesn’t have a proper highway road although government is working on that and in 2013, they managed to construct 154 km roads for residents.

The education sector and healthcare sector of the province still needs lot of improvement as it is lagging behind with respect to other provinces.

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