Paktika Province is located in eastern Afghanistan, on the Afghanistan - Pakistan border. Paktika is bordered in the north by Ghazni, Paktia, and Khost provinces, in the east and south by Pakistan, and the west by Ghazni and Zabul provinces. The Shinkay Hills run through the center of Paktika; Toba Kakar Range runs along the border with Pakistan. The Southern districts are intermittently irrigated and cultivated, the center and north are used primarily for rangeland. There are natural forests in Ziruk, Nika, Gayan, and Bermal districts.
The population of approximatley 369,000 is composed primarily of Pashtun, Tajik, Arab, Pashai, and other various minority groups. There are over 1200 provincial aid projects in Paktika with an expected cost of over US $10 million.
Mohib Ullah Samim, an ethnic Pashtun, currently serves as the governor for Paktika province. Samim obtained his Bachelors Degree in Linguists and served as the Ghazni province’s director of information and culture.
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Human Terrain: Suleimankhel
They are Ghilzai Pashtuns; largest of the tribal clans in Paktika, residing in all of the eastern districts of the province, from Wor Momay up to Sharan district. Suleimankhel coexist with their traditional rivals the Kharoti in the Gomal district. Principal sub-divisions of the Suleimankhel include the Alizai, Sulemanzai, and Jalalzai. Other sub-divisions include the Alikhel who are primarily located in Yaya Khel, Yusuf Khel, and Jani Khel districts, and the Nizamkhel and Shakhel in the Jani Khel. According to former provincial Governor Ghulab Mangal, the Suleimankhel provide the majority of recruits for the Taliban in the province. As a result, the level of anti-coalition militia activities remains high in areas dominated by Suleimankhel. The Alizai, Suleimanzai and Jalalzai remain pro-Taliban and anti-coalition. The bias of these sub-tribes toward the Taliban in part may be explained by their proximity to the Pakistan border and the influx of insurgents and radical politics. It is interesting to note that the Alikhel sub-tribe, which primarily lives in the northwest portion of the province, has been more cooperative with the central government and coalition forces. The Nizamkhel and Shakhel also remain more supportive of the government, which may be explained in part by their rivalry with the Jalalzai.Suleimankhel Genealogy (PDF)
The Kharoti clan are the second largest Ghilzai Pashtun tribal groups in Paktika, located primarily in the Sar Hawza, Charbaran, Sarobi, and Gomal districts. Notable members of the Kharoti clan include Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and Harakat, both of Hezb-e Islami Gulbuddin (HIG).
Pashtun tribe, primarily located in Pakistan. The Waziris in Paktika live in the Bermal district across from the Waziris on the Pakistan side of the border.
Pashtun tribe which resides in the Nika, Ziruk, Gayan, and Urgun districts of Paktika and extend north into Paktia. Pacha Khan Zadran, is one of the most famous of the Zadran tribe. Jalaluddin Haqqani, another ACM leader (the Haqqani Network), is another influential member of the Zadran tribe. The Zadran also live in Khost province.
Pashtun tribe located in the Mata Khan District.
Primary Political Parties: Hezb-e Islami Khalis (HiK):
Originally a mujahideen group which broke away from Hekmatyar’s Hezb-e Islami under the leadership of Yunus Khalis. HiK was dominant in Nangarhar. Khalis died in 2005 or 2006, resulting in an internal power struggle for control of the party between Khalis’ son Anwarul Haq Mujahid and Haji Din Mohammad. It appears that Mohammad was successful in consolidating his control over much of the party. Recent and active political players in Nangarhar have connections to HiK. Led by Haji Din Mohammad, current governor of Kabul.
Hezb-e Afghan Millat (Afghan Nation Party):
National Pashtun party, led by Finance Minister Dr. Anwar Ul-haq Ahadi. Over 10,000 members in Nangarhar. Platform based on unity, security, and creating an Islamic version of democracy. Maintains a muted, ethno-nationalist rhetoric.
Nazhat-e Hambastagi Milli (National Solidarity Movement/National Islamic Front):
Led by Pir Ishaq Gailani. Party promotes national unity, security and a national development plan. Tied to the Maraboutic Sufi order; has considerable influence over the Khugiani tribesmen.
Hezb-e Afghanistan Naween (New Afghanistan Party/Qanuni):
Led by Mohammad Yunus Qanuni. Part of a political alliance called Jabahai Tafahim Millie or National Understanding Front. Qanuni was the primary contender against Karzai for the presidency. He is a Tajik who has been a mujahideen, spokesman for Ahmed Shah Masoud, and Minister of Interior and Education. He was elected to parliament in 2005 and was chosen to lead the Wolesi Jirga. Support for him and his party may be a political counter-weight to Karzai.
Hezb-e Islami Gulbuddin (HiG):
Mujahideen party active since the Soviet invasion; led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar who is a Kharoti Ghilzai. Actively opposed to US-led and Afghan national forces. Politically active in Sherzad, Surk Rod and Pachir Wa districts. Hekmatyar is a Kharoti Ghilzai and, therefore, less influential than the much more respected and powerful Khugianis, such as Haji Din Mohammad and Anwarul Haq Mohammad. Harakat, the second most influential member of HiG, is
also a Kharoti Ghilzai as well.
1. US Department of State Gardez Provincial Reconstruction Team Political Officer Reporting, 2004
3. Chris Mason, Tora Bora Nizami Mahaz.
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