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Zabul Province, Afghanistan

The southern Zabul province is situated on 66 degrees northern latitude and 32 degrees, 7 minutes at eastern longitude.

Zabul known as Zabalistan also, is the native region of Pashtun tribe. Zawalyan is located on Kabul-Qandahar highway. The province has a total area of around 1, 729 square kilometers and recognized as a separate and independent province some 45 year ago.

The population of Zabul is estimated around 1,058,940 as per a survey conducted by the independent election commission.

Four surroundings:

Nawa district of Ghazni is situated to the east of Zabul, Tarwah district of Paktika province and Durand line, to the north is Ghazi province, while to its east of Paktika is Kandahar and some parts of Uruzgan province while Kandahar is located to its south.


Besides its provincial capital Qalat, Shamulzai, Arghandab, Khagiran Khaki Afghan Khakar, Daichopan, Mizan, Shah Joy, Shari Safa, Shinkay, Naubahar, Atghar and NawBahar are the eleven districts of Zabul.


Though the people of Zabul did not demonstrate deep interest in cultural related activities in the past, currently, the trend is changing and people started understanding the importance of culture and similar other activities.

Multiple cultural and educational organizations have been established in the province. The purpose of the setting up of cultural and educational organizations is to bring people of different culture together in an apparent attempt to bolster the overall cultural and educational activities of the province.

The civil society organizations are striving to promote the art and poetry in the province by arranging annual poetry functions such as Badam Gul Poetry Concert.


Soon after the establishment of Hamid Karzai government, few independent media outlets such as Tarang, National and Zabul Radio, Qalat Voice, Weekly Tarang, Zubaidah and Shnah Pana Magazines were started flourishing in the province. However, publications of the Shanah Pana and Tarang magazines have ceased.

In addition, some local radios founded by Provincial Rehabilitation Team (PRT) in Shahr-e-Safa, Shah Joy and Shinky districts are serving the community but its range of broadcast is very limited.


Having immense historical importance, Zabul has plenty ancient remnants with the most known places are the Ghwara Margah and the Gwandano. Other ancient sites include Bala Hisar Hill, mule’s path located at Shmulzayi, which was used by Ahmad Shah Abdali while marching his troops to conquer India. The orchard minarets situated between Qalat and Jagdalak.

The ancient Bolan Cemetery of Pashtuns exists at the Hill of Red Mountain in Syori district.

More historical places such as the ancient caves, the Sahib Khan Mountain, Sortak, SangarJamalkhel places and the tombs of Shikh Matti are situated on the hill of Qalat.

The Kat Baba shrine is also located in Nawbahar district, the Gwandano Mountain, the Hasan Nikah son of Malakyar Baba shrine are located in Atgar district.


Sultan Malkh iTokhi, Nazo Ana, Malikyar Baba, Baba Hotak, Shikh Mati Baba, Shaikh Kata Baba, Mohammad Hotak (writer of Patay Khazani), father of Mirwais Nikah, Shah Alam Khan Hotak, Sayal Khan Nasar, Mulabaz Tokhi and Janan Hotak.

Other celebrities includ Mohammad Umar Khan Tokhi, MP Bismillah Khan Hotak, Mula Abdul Qayum Shalmzia, MP Habibullah Khan, Mula Abdul Salam Rakati, Khan Khandi Khan, Alhaj Abdul Bari Khan, Alhaj Mohammad Hashim Khan Hotak, Dr. Zalmai Zabuli, Hamidullah Khan Tohki, Alhaj Azizullah and Khan Nasar.


Agriculture is the main source of income for most of the people in Zabul province. People of the province are associated primarily with the livestock and agriculture with almond, wheat and barley are the main products of the Zabul.

Melon, watermelon, grapes, fig, almond and raspberries are the most produced products of the province.


The vital education sector faces multiple challenges in Zabul as compared to other provinces.

The province hit badly by a long spell of draught in the past with most of the farmers suffered considerably.

The resident of Zabul mainly travels to neighboring provinces and Iran, Pakistan and Dubai for work. The education sector of the province is in shambles.

Other issues hampering the vital education sector is identified as the deteriorated security and militants’ threats, forcing many children to work in their field instead of getting back to schools.

The education department said 236 schools function throughout the province out of which 95 are operational where 45,000 children get education.

Trade and commerce:

The province cannot be termed as a good hub of trade and commerce, however, large scale production of almond, grapes, barley, wheat and corn support’s large families.


The residents of Zabul are fond of traditional games. There are large number of fans and players of traditional games in the province.

Besides traditional sports, people of the neglected Zabul are getting familiar with contemporary games such as cricket, football and volleyball.

The central Zabul province along with Qalat city comprises 12 administrative units.

1 – Qalat City:

Qalat city lie on the Kabul-Kandahar highway with most of its residents are living in the capital city. As per informal findings, the population of Qalat city touches the figure of 40,000 indviduals. Qalat is known as one of the historic cities. The Sheikh Mati Baba shrine is also located over a hill in the provincial capital, with a spring also flow in the area at its own sweet will quite freely. The renowned Trang River also flows there while Nazo Tokhi also fought with Mughal in the city. Economy of residents of Qalat depends on business with a small number of people are associated with the profession of agriculture and livestock.

2 – Shinkai District:

Shinkai district is located 25-kilometres south of Qalat city. Population of the district was estimated at around 28,344 individuals. Most of the people of Shinkai are associated with the profession of agriculture and livestock.

3 – Shahr-i-Safa District:

Shahr-i-Safa district lie 20- kilometers to the south of Qalat city on Kabul-Kandahar highway. The number of the population of the town reaches to 21,162 individuals. Agriculture and livestock are their main source of income.

4 – Mizan District:

Mizan district is located 25-kilometers to the southeast of Qalat city. Population of the town is estimated at 14,000 individuals. Economy of residents of the district depends on agriculture and livestock.

5 – Dai Chopan District:

Dai Chopan district is located 34-kilometers to the southeast of Qalat city and population of the town touches the figure of 14,000 individuals. The residents eke out their livelihood from agriculture and livestock.

6 – Atghar District:

Atghar district is located 90-kilometers to the southeast of Qalat city. Some seven years back, the population of the district was estimated at 14,000 individuals. Residents of Atghar support their families through agriculture and livestock.

7 – Shamalzi District:

Shamalzi district is located 75-kilometers to the east of Qalat city and is in close proximity with the Durand Line. The population of the distri8ct is estimated at 33,351 individuals. Agriculture and livestock are their source of income.

8 – Naw Bahar District:

Naw Bahar district lie 70-kilometers to the southeast of Qalat city. The population of the district is estimated at about 22,000 individuals. Its residents boost their economy through agriculture and livestock.

9 – Shah Joi District:

Shah Joi district is located 35- kilometers to the northeast of Qalat city and its population touches the figure of 71, 348 individuals. Economy of residents mainly depends on agriculture and livestock.

10 – Arghandab District:

Arghandab district is located 35-kilometers to the southeast of Qalat city. Its population is estimated at 14,000 individuals. Agriculture and livestock are their profession.

11 – Khak-i-Afghan District:

Khak-i-Afghan District is located 40-kilometers to the southeast of Qalat city and population of the town is estimated 14,000 individuals. Residents of the districts are associated with the agriculture and livestock profession.

12 – Siori District:

Siori district is located 15-kilometers to the southeast of Qalat city. Its population is estimated at about 14,000 individuals. People of the area associate with the profession of agriculture and livestock.

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