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Jaghori (also spelt Jaghuri or Jaghoori) is a major business center and one of the main districts of Ghazni province in Afghanistanmarker. It is situated in the highlands of the central (Hazaristan) region. The population was estimated at 192,216 in 2002, making it one of the most populous districts in Afghanistanmarker. Sange-e-Masha is a small bazaar of mud and dust. The rest of the district comprises villages of different sizes all dependent on agriculture as the main source of income and food.

History

During the period of Dost Muhammed Khan in the 1830s the area operated as part of the semi-autonomous area of Hazarajat. In 1949 Malestan District was separated from it. During the Soviet Occupation Maoist resistance groups were particularly active. After the government lost the area, most of the Pashtoons were forced out. After Harakat lost in Qarabagh of Ghazni in 1985 to Nasr, the Khomeinist organizations united to force out Hizb-e Islami from the districts of Jaghori and Malistan. However there were only sporadic clashes here and the central government lacked interest in Jaghori. Around 1997, as the Taliban began to take control of Hazarajat the area was put under food blockade, leaving approximately 1 million Hazaras on the bring of starvation, including those in Malistan. In 1997 the elders of Jaghori avoided a Taliban attack by convening a shura in and negotiating with Taliban leaders in Kandahar, Kabul and Ghazni in order to arrange a peaceful surrender.

From 2002-2008 approximately 12,348 refugees repatriated through the UNHCR system, although only 181 were listed as returning in 2008 and the vast majority of repatriation occurred in 2002-04.

Security

Reported intimidation has taken place by some armed groups associated with Hizb-i Wahdat which has led to some internal displacement. Members from the Nasr faction were particularly highlighted in this, and they have been accused of abductions, extortion and other crimes. Taliban presence in Ghazni has become a significant problem as well with some sources referring to the area as Taliban controlled. Aside from this the major sources of conflict are related to land and water, while debt and marriage related conflict does occur Land conflicts increased greatly during the period of drought.

In 2007 the general upsurge in violence in Afghanistan has spilled into Jaghori. Taliban militiamen from neighbouring districts have staged two attacks against district police posts and an attack on the family of the local police commander and warlord Bashi Habibullah. The Taliban has also issued warning night-letters to villagers in the district.

The security situation in other parts of the province has greatly affected the livelihood of the inhabitants, posing serious threats to their life, security and freedom. The districts are inaccessible except through Taliban territory, where the road has been reportedly mine and in some areas vehicles have been banned. According to some reports the road from Qarabagh District to Jaghouri, passing through Malestan is under particular threat, with kidnappings and up to 150 cars having been stolen.There are also concerns that the Taliban will use the Kuchi nomads to exert their influence in the region.

Education

Jaghori has in recent years produced the largest number of students to qualify for a place in Kabulmarker and other universities in Afghanistan, which some estimate to be in thousands. The new trend towards learning and education has come as a reaction against what people went through during the decades of factional, tribal, ethnic and religious conflicts.

Currently there are a number of High Schools, and hundreds of smaller primary and middle schools in the district but there are few signs of other infrastructure such as roads, electricity, water or gas. As of 2008 there were no reports of closures of schools due to security.

Economy, Agriculture and Development

According to information from the United Nations Food Program for Afghanistan in 2003 and the Ministry for Rural Rehabilitation and Development in 2007, the main crops in the area are rice, wheat, corn, maize, peas, vetch, beans, almonds, walnuts, mulberries, grapes, tobacco, sesame, cotton, sugar extract, oranges, pomegranates, potatoes, onions, and herbs.

60 Community Development Committees were reportedly active in Malistan in 2008.

In years following the fall of the Taliban the area has been particularly affected by drought. In combination with frequent attacks along the Kabul-Kandahar Ring Road this has seriously effected aid and development in the system and exacerbated local conflicts.

Important bazaars are Sange-e-Masha, Angory and Ghujoor.

Politics

Past and present major political parties include Muttahed-e Inqelab-e Islami Afghanistan (formed 1981), Hizbullah, Harakat-i Islami, Sazman-e Nasr-e Afghanistan, Pasdaran-e Jihad-e Islami Afghanistan (formed 1983) and Hezb-e Wahdat (Nasr faction), the later controlling the district since 2001-2008, although as of 2009 the Taliban have begun to exert their influence. Specifically Khalili’s faction is known to be particularly strong.

The District Governor is Khudadad Irfani, a member of Hezb-I Wahdat and a native of Jaghori. The Police Chief, Isehaq Ali, is a native of Dashtee Barchi in Kabul and is also affiliated with Hezb-I Wahdat. Neither are known to have links with criminal groups.

Demographics

Jaghori is home to the Hazaras; an ethnic group that constitutes 20%-25% of Afghanistan's population. They speak Farsi (Persian) language|with Hazaragi accent], a rural accent of Dari. The literacy rate, estimated at 30% for men and 10% for women, is among the highest in the country, and there is a noteworthy library of around 5000 books in the capital, Sange-e-Mashamarker.The average number of people per household is 8. The entire district is primarily Hazara however Kuchi nomads travel through the area in spring and autumn. This has caused significant conflict in 2007-2008 as in other areas of Afghanistan such as [[Behsud District. Transportation is a combination of vehicles and animals. The well-off use modern transportation.

References

* UNHCR District Profile, accessed 2006-04-24 (PDF).


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