ACLED-APW Report Tracking Disorder During Taliban Rule in Afghanistan

Province: Takhar

Location: Northeast 

Takhar province is one of the green and agricultural provinces in the northeast of the country, which is located 400 km away from Kabul. It shares a border with Badakhshan province in the northeast, with Kunduz province in the west, with Baghlan province in the south and with Tajikistan in the north.

Greek geographers (Strabon) and (Betlemos) in their writings about 2300 years ago reported the Alexandria of Amu River or the Alexandria of Oxiana. However, until recently, it was not clear the legendary city of Alexander the Great was buried in which of the Asian countries.

For years, archaeologists and historians of the world, especially Europeans, have been searching for signs of Alexander’s troops in the east. Until the great mystery was revealed, Alexander’s enigmatic city in the east, or Alexandria of Amu River in present-day northeastern Afghanistan (Takhar), emerged after centuries. Muammar and Civilization of Purma – Dear Afghanistan. With the discovery of those many historical and archeological puzzles, found a new solution and insights were provided on historical dimensions of ou homeland – dear Afghanistan.

The ancient site (Alexandria of Amu River) is located in a small village known as Ai Khanum, in regard to which archaeologists named the city of Greece and the West or Alexandria of Amo River – as Ai Khanum (the ancient site of Ai Khanum).

Locals have long known the remains of historic towers and other geometric forms of architecture buried in soil and mud at the head of a delta consisting of the intersection of Amu and Kokche Rivers. Regarding that, interesting legends and stories have been passed down from generation to generation, language to language, and all of them show the historical strength and importance of this ancient site.

Ai Khanum’s historic site in Dasht-e Qala district is located at the intersection of Amu and Kokcheh Rivers. Ai Khanum was the queen of western Greece who ruled the region.

Taloqan city is the capital of Takhar province.

Population: 1,500,000

Area: 124,000-kilometer squares

Ethnicity: Uzbeks, Tajiks, Pashtuns and Hazaras

Languages: Pashto and Dari 

Opposition Armed Group(s): In Takhar province, various armed opposition groups (AOGs) have fought against the Afghan government in recent years, however, currently, only the Taliban are active in the province and are operating against the government. Yet, there are also irresponsible armed individuals affiliated with political groups and parties who are used by powerful, influential people, and political movements, for their specific purposes and interests, however, these groups do not fight against the government.

 Districts Under Control of the Government: Takhar province is one of the relatively safe provinces in the northeast of the country, however, there are still military clashes between the government and the Taliban. There are 16 districts and the city of Taleghan in the province, of which six are under high-security threat, and other districts do not face many security problems, however, sometimes the Taliban continue to carry out light operations in parts of the district. More than 70 percent of Takhar province’s territory is said to be under the control of the government and more than 30 percent is under control of the Taliban, however, these figures are changeable.

Districts Under Control of the Taliban:  Takhar province has 16 districts, which include (Versaj, Farkhar, Kalfgan, Khuwaja Ghar, Khuwafa Bahawuddin, Baharak, Hazar Samach, Dasht-e Qala, Yangi Qala, Chah Ab, Rostaq, Bangi, Ashkamash, Chal, Namak Ab and Darqad. Among the 16 districts of Takhar province (Baharak, Khuwaja Ghar, Khuwaja Bahawuddin, Dasht-e Qala, Yangi Qala, Chah Ab, and ashkamesh) face high-security threats, in which the Taliban are severely active, and from time to time get involved in clashes with security forces.

Contested Districts: 

Government’s Appointed Governor for the Province: 

Taliban’s Distinct Governor for the Province

Major Security Incident(s):

While Takhar is one of the relatively safe provinces in the northeast of the country, yet some important security events have taken place in recent years.

- Explosion in an election campaign (in an election campaign of Nazifa Yousefi Beyk in Rastaq district of Takhar province, more than 15 people were killed and 35 civilians were injured) 1397.

- Occupying the port of Ai Khanum (the commercial port of Ai Khanum is located in Dasht-e Qala district of Takhar province, which was captured by the Taliban in an offensive attack) in 1397.

- The fall of two districts (Taliban captured and took control of Yangi Qala and Darqad districts of Takhar province in an offensive attack), in 1398.

Documented Incidents Since RiV: 

Following the signing of the Afghanistan Peace Agreement between the United States and the Taliban, important security event has taken place in Takhar province, some of which are listed below:

  • A joint operation by security and defense forces in the Namak Ab district of Takhar province against a Taliban military base in which the Taliban’s commander Mullah Sharif and two of his bodyguards were killed and four others were wounded. (2 May, 1399)

  • The Kunduz police Headquarters’ Office said in a statement that the Taliban had attacked local police checkpoints, which had been put under active resistance by security forces, killing four local policemen and wounding four others. Three Taliban were killed and two others were wounded in the incident. (May 24, 1399)

  • After the Taliban carried out their offensive attacks on parts of the parts of Mushtaq village of Farkhar district in Takhar province to collect Hoshor and Zakah; Security forces launched a joint military operation. Sayed Meraj -ul-Din Sadat, Commander of Takhar Police Headquarters, said 15 Taliban had been killed, five others wounded and six captured during the operation, meanwhile, security forces did not face any casualties. (June 23, 1399)

Causes of the War:

Although Takhar is one of the second-degree provinces in the northeast of the country, it is still under war due to various reasons, most of which are as follows.

- Drug trafficking (Takhar provides a good opportunity to connect different provinces in the northeast, so the Taliban want to smuggle drugs, most of which are done through Mawaray Kokchah.)

- Collecting Hoshor and Zakah (most of the people of Takhar province are farmers and livestock owners, so the Taliban collect Hoshor and Zakah to finance their people.)

- Geographical and strategic location (Takhar has a common border with Tajikistan as well as the northeastern provinces and the public highway, which is also said to be the Taliban’s interest in the war.)