Takhar Province

Takhar (Persian: تخار‎) is one of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan, located in the northeast of the country next to Tajikistan. It is surrounded by Badakhshan in the east, Panjshir in the south, and Baghlan and Kunduz in the west. The city of Taloqan serves as its capital.


View from atop a hill in Khawajah Bahawuddin, Takhar Province, Afghanistan.
View from atop a hill in Khawajah Bahawuddin, Takhar Province, Afghanistan.
Map of Afghanistan with Takhar highlighted
Map of Afghanistan with Takhar highlighted
Coordinates (Capital): 36°42′N 69°48′E / 36.7°N 69.8°E / 36.7; 69.8Coordinates: 36°42′N 69°48′E / 36.7°N 69.8°E / 36.7; 69.8
 • GovernorAbdul Haq Shafaq
 • Total12,333 km2 (4,762 sq mi)
 • Total933,700
 • Density76/km2 (200/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+4:30 (Afghanistan Time)
Main languagesFarsi

The province contains about 16 districts, over 1,000 villages, and approximately 933,700 people,[1] which is multi-ethnic and mostly a rural society.[2]


Early historyEdit

7th to 16th centuriesEdit

16th to 20th centuriesEdit

Between the early 16th century and the mid-18th century, the territory was ruled by the Khanate of Bukhara.

It was given to Ahmad Shah Durrani by Murad Beg of Bukhara after a treaty of friendship was reached in or about 1750, and became part of the Durrani Empire. It was ruled by the Durranis followed by the Barakzai dynasty and was untouched by the British during the three Anglo-Afghan wars that were fought in the 19th and early 20th centuries.


It was established in 1964 when Qataghan Province was divided into three provinces: Baghlan, Kunduz and Takhar. During the 1980s Soviet–Afghan War, the area fell under the influence of Rabbani and Ahmad Shah Massoud. It was controlled by the Northern Alliance in the 1990s. It experienced some fighting between the Northern Alliance and the Taliban forces. Takhar holds notoriety as the location where Mujahideen Commander Ahmad Shah Massoud was assassinated on 9 September 2001 by suspected al-Qaeda agents.


International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) took over security responsibility of the area in the early 2000s, which was led by Germany. The province also began to see some developments and the establishment of Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF). In a small incident in July 2008, the Afghan National Police killed Mullah Usman when several armed Taliban militants under his command raided a police checkpoint in the Kalafgan district. This was the first time since the fall of Taliban regime in 2001 that the Taliban insurgents engaged police in this province. Mullah Usman was the most senior Taliban commander in the northeast region of Afghanistan, according to the Afghan Interior Ministry.[3]

In May 2009, Taliban insurgents fighting Afghan government attacked the Baharak district in Takhar province.[4] A bomb attack on 28 May 2011 killed Mohammed Daud Daud and injured Governor Taqwa. Several German soldiers and Afghans were also killed.[5]

In April 2012, the water supply at the Rostaq district's school for girls was poisoned by unknown insurgents, sickening at least 140 Afghan schoolgirls and teachers ranging in age from 14 to 30, causing them to be hospitalized and some to partially lose consciousness, though there have been no deaths so far.[6]

2015 earthquakeEdit

On October 26, the 7.5 Mw Hindu Kush earthquake shook northern Afghanistan with a maximum Mercalli intensity of VIII (Severe). This earthquake destroyed almost 30,000 homes, left several hundred dead, and more than 1,700 injured.[7]

Politics and governanceEdit

The current governor is Abdul Haq Shafaq.[8] The border with neighboring Tajikistan is monitored by the Afghan Border Police (ABP). All law enforcement activities throughout the province are handled by the Afghan National Police (ANP). A provincial Police Chief is assigned to lead both the ANP and the ABP. The Police Chief represents the Ministry of the Interior in Kabul. The ANP is backed by the military, including the NATO-led forces.


Districts of Takhar

The population of the province is about 933,700,[1] which is mostly tribal and a rural society. The main inhabitants of Takhar province are Tajiks at 75% and Uzbeks at 25%. The remainders are Pashtun, Hazara and Turkmen.

District informationEdit

Districts of Takhar Province
District Capital Population[9] Area Number of villages and ethnic groups
Baharak 40,902 231 km2 74 villages 65% Tajik 15% Uzbek.[10]
Bangi 28,197 566 km2 59 villages 90% Tajik.[11]
Chah Ab 64,151 764 km2 63 villages 85% Tajik.[12]
Chal 24,596 330.8 km2 58 villages. Uzbek, Tajik. [13]
Darqad 25,771 393 km2 34 villages 85% tajik.[14]
Dashti Qala 35,347 280 km2 49 villages 85% tajik[15]
Farkhar 79,864 1,214 km2 75 villages 90% Tajik.[16]
Hazar Sumuch 9,774 309 km2 28 villages Uzbeks.[17]
Ishkamish 51,153 806 km2 103 villages 70% Tajiks, 30% Uzbeks [18]
Kalafgan 28,122 479 km2 42 villages 95% Uzbeks.[19]
Khwaja Bahauddin 26,280 178.2 km2 25 villages Uzbek, Tajik, Pashtun.[20]
Khwaja Ghar 44,909 402 km2 62 villages 80% Tajik.[21]
Namak Ab 11,563 584 km2 28 villages 65% Tajik 30% Uzbek.[22]
Rustaq 248,780 1,939 km2 179 villages Majority Tajik.[23]
Taluqan Taluqan 194,471 Majority Tajik.
Warsaj 33,506 2705.3 km2 94 villages Majority Tajik.[24]
Yangi Qala 39,398 247 km2 64 villages 85% Tajik.[25]


Agriculture and mining are the main industries of the province. Takhar has coal reserves of fairly good quality which are being exploited by hand in some villages and sold in the region. The local population considers gold the most relevant resource for the Province. Gold is being washed in Takhar River, and about 2 kg are being transported to the specific weekly markets in the city of Taloqan. Also the city is a main source of construction materials like: loam, sand, and different types of stones. Takhar province is known for its salt mountains and you can find large deposits of fine salt in the region. The Takcha Khanna salt mine is one of the growing number of salt supplier, for the population of Takhar and northern Afghanistan. While the mines offer economic opportunities in the region, the availability of iodized salt considerably reduces the prevalence of health problems related to iodine deficiency.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c "Settled Population of Takhar province by Civil Division, Urban, Rural and Sex-2012-13" (PDF). Retrieved 20 October 2012.
  2. ^ "Takhar provincial profile" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 December 2017. Retrieved 22 May 2012.
  3. ^ "Takhar police kill Taliban commander"
  4. ^ "Taliban attack district in NE Afghanistan". Military-world.net. 24 May 2009. Retrieved 22 May 2012.
  5. ^ "Three German soldiers die in Afghan attack". Thepeninsulaqatar.com. 29 May 2011. Archived from the original on 31 May 2011. Retrieved 22 May 2012.
  6. ^ Masoud Popalzai, CNN (17 April 2012). "Extremists poison schoolgirls' water, Afghan officials say". CNN. Retrieved 22 May 2012.
  7. ^ USGS. "M7.5 - 45km E of Farkhar, Afghanistan". United States Geological Survey.
  8. ^ "Abdul Haq Shafaq appointed as provincial governor of Takhar". Independent Directorate of Local Governance. 8 April 2019. Retrieved 16 September 2019.
  9. ^ "Takhar Province". Government of Afghanistan and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development. Retrieved 5 November 2012.
  10. ^ Baharak District
  11. ^ Bangi District
  12. ^ Chah Ab District
  13. ^ Chal District
  14. ^ Darqad District
  15. ^ Dasht e Qala Agha
  16. ^ Farkhar District
  17. ^ Hazar Smoch District
  18. ^ ww1.mrrd-nabdp.org http://ww1.mrrd-nabdp.org/. Retrieved 14 August 2020. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  19. ^ Baharak District
  20. ^ Khwaja Bahawodin District
  21. ^ Khwaja Ghar
  22. ^ Namak Ab District
  23. ^ Rostaq Agha
  24. ^ Warsaj District
  25. ^ Yangi Qala

External linksEdit