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Sar-e Pol Province

The Afghan politician Sayed Nasim Mihanparast placed the foundation of Sar-e Pol in 1988. The province is situated in northwest of Afghanistan with the covering area of 16,360 km². The province has 7 districts and 896 villages. It’s a mountainous province with 80% of its area is mountains or semi-mountains and the remaining 20% is flat land.

The approximate population of the province is 0.65 million which is multi ethnic and mostly a tribal society. The city of Sar-e pol is the official capital of the province. It shares its border with local neighbouring provinces; on the west is Jowzjan while on the north is Balkh. Ghor and Samangan are on the south and the east respectively.

From the 16th century to mid-18th century the area was administrated by Khanate of Bukhara. In 1750 Ahmed Shah Durrani took the charge after signing a friendship treaty with Murad Beg of Bukhara. The territory remained under the rule of Durrani Empire and then Barakzai dynasty. Due to its mountainous terrain it remained untouched by British during the 3 Anglo-Afghan wars and remained peaceful for more than 100 years until the Soviet invaded in the province in 1980s during the Soviet-Afghan war.

During the Afghan Civil war, the area was under to control of Abdul Rashid Dostum through the support of his loyal alliance. In 1998 Taliban conquered the area under the direction of Aminullah Amin, who was a senior member of Taliban and former governor of the province. Later on, International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) took the charge of security in the province which was then shifted to Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF).

Mohammad Zahir Wahdat is the present governor of the province. All the law enforcement activities in the province are administrated by Afghan National Police (ANP) which is backed by Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF). Afghan National Police (ANP) reports to a provincial police chief who represents the Ministry of Interior in Kabul.

In 2009 the provincial police chief confirmed that they had collected the weapons from many people inhabitant in Sangcharak, Gosfandi & Sozama districts. He also claimed that Qalal is the most peaceful area in the province. He further added in the release that they captured the Taliban commander Mullah Nader along with his 11 companions and huge quantity of hashish & opium has been seized in the operation.

So now the biggest threat the visitors face while visiting Sar-e pol are the highway thieves, corrupt militants and police. The local police is working on it for eliminating these threats.

The mining and agriculture industry fuel the economy of the province, The Government of Afghanistan had signed an agreement with China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) for exploration and development of oil blocks in the Amu Darya Basin. It is expected that this project will help Afghanistan to earn billions of dollars over next couple of decades.

The communication setup in the province has been deployed with the support of Afghan Wireless, Etisalat & MTN group.

The education sector and healthcare sector has shown a significant improvement with respect to previous few decades. The existing literacy rate of the province is approximately 28% with more than a 50% enrolment rate.

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