Takhar

Introduction:

Takhar is located in the northeastern part of the country. The province borders Tajiskistan, as well as the other Afghan provinces of Badakhshan, Kunduz and Baghlan. Its capital is Taluqan.

The province is composed of 17 districts: Taluqan, Hazar Samoch, Baharak, Bangi, Chal, Namak Ab, Kalafghan, Farkhar, Khwaja Ghar, Rustaq, Eshkamesh, Dasht-EQala, Warsaj, Khwaja Bahawuddin, Darqad, Chahab, and Yangi Qala.

Demographics:

The Central Statistics Organization (CSO) estimated that 1,017,575 people live in Takhar in 2017. Among them, 520,020 are men and 497,555 are women.

This population is mainly rural, with 881,249 people located in rural areas, while 136,326 live in urban areas.

The population is composed by a majority of Uzbeks. A minority of Tajiks, Pashtuns and Hazaras also live in the province.

The literacy rate of the population in 2015 was 33.2 percent for children above 10 years old, and 46.7 percent for people between 15 and 24 years old. The literacy rate is higher for men (56.1 percent) than women (37.6 percent).

Economy:

The economy of Takhar relies mainly on the agricultural sector, which employs 45 percent of the working population. The crops cultivated there are barley, rice and corn. Farmers also produce fruits like apples, plums, cherries, pears, peaches, apricots, grapes, melons and watermelons, which they export to other Afghan provinces.

14 percent of the working population works in handicrafts production, including 75 percent of the female population in Takhar.

There are also gold and salt mines in Takhar. Their exploitation contributes to the economy of the province.

The rest of the working population is employed in the services sector.

The unemployment rate in 2015 was 56.7 percent. This rate rose to 89.8 percent for women.

Politics:

Takhar and the greater northeast of Afghanistan was the stronghold of the Northern Alliance, and has been fought over by the Taliban. The Northern Alliance was composed of various ethnic and political groups that came together in 1996 to push back the Taliban that had taken over Kabul, and aligned with the US-led coalition against the Taliban after 2001. After the Taliban was ousted from power, the Northern Alliance divided itself into various political parties and military groups, which still wield influence in the province. 

The Taliban returned to the region, and have clashed with Afghan forces there.

The last Governor of the province was Yasin Zia. He was appointed in October 2016, but resigned in May 2017, and no new Governor has been appointed since. The motives for his resignation are not yet known.

Before him, Abdul Latif Ibrahimi, a former jihadi commander affiliated with the Jamaiat-i-Islami Party, was Governor from 2007 to 2009.

 

Suggested Readings:

A guide to Government in Afghanistan (2004) Manning N., Evans A., Osmani Y., and Tully A., World Bank Publications

Historical Dictionary of Afghanistan (2011) Adamec L. W., Scarecrow Press; 4 ed