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Panjshir Province

Panjshir gained its recognition as an independent province in 2004 after being separated from the neighbouring Parwan province. It is situated in the northeast of Afghanistan and has 3,610 km² of covering area. It is divided into 7 districts and has 512 villages. Just like other provinces it has a blend of mountainous terrain and flat area. Bazarak city is the capital of the province. The province also holds some of the main tourist spots,;the tomb of Ahmed Shah Massoud known as the “Lion of Panjshir” is located in Saricha and attracts lots of tourists to it.

The approx. population of the province is 0.17 million which is multi-ethic and mostly a tribal society. The Tajik ethnicity dominates the area as they hold the majority of the population; the language that dominates the province is Dari. Majority of the population follow Islam and exclusively Sunni while there are also a small number of Shias.

The province shares it border with neighbouring local provinces; in the north is the Baghlan and Takhar while Nursitan and Badkashan are in the east. Laghman and Kapisa touches the south and on the west is Parwan.

The territory remained under the administration of Khanate of Bukhara between the early 16th and mid-18th century. In 1750 a friendship treaty was signed between the Durrani’s and Bukhara’s after which it was given to Ahmed Shah Durrani by Murad Beg of Bukhara. After Durrani’s regime, it was ruled by the Barakzai Dynasty. The territory remained peaceful during 3 Anglo-Afghan wars with the British in 19th and 20th century but it remained untouched during the Soviet-Afghan war in 1980 too.

In 1973 Daoud Khan took over the power while King Zahir Shah was on a special visit to Europe. After coming into power he started threatening to invade Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. He was being supported by the People Domestic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA). As the tension was being raised between the two countries, Pakistan Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto created an unrest in Afghanistan by supporting Ahmed Shah Massoud so that he could prevent the Afghan Invasion which leads to the 1978 Saur Revolution. In 1992 the Domestic Republic of Afghanistan collapsed and the area became a part of Islamic state of Afghanistan.

In April 2004, Karzai administration separated the Panjshir district from the Parwan province and declared it as a separate province. After this declaration Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) & International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) established multiple offices and bases in the province. Right now the province is being maintained by the Afghan National Police (ANP) and Afghan National Army.

Engineer Mohammad Arif Sarwari is the existing governor of the province who is the successor of Keramuddin Keram. Afghan National Police (ANP) looks after all the law enforcement activities in the province which is backed by the military. The provincial police chief administers Afghan National Police (ANP) and represents the Ministry of Interior in Kabul.

The government is working on the healthcare sector and education sector of the province as the literacy rate in the province is standing at the low side of less than 30%. Four Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) schools have been established with the support of Hilfe Paderborn and the German foreign office.

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