Zhari is a new district in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan.
Alternate spellings include Zheley (due to
translation from Pashto
) or Zharey.
district was created from territories taken from Maywand and Panjwai
The population is 76,000 (2006).
located on the north bank of the Arghandab River that runs east to west through Kandahar
The general area is sometimes referred to as the
Arghandab Valley. The built-up and farmed area of Zhari is
approximately 30 km east to west by 8 km north to south between the
Arghandab and Highway 1. Most buildings are single story mud and
brick structures, with narrow, winding roads and walkways. The
exceptions are the grape-drying hut that are larger buildings as
high as 20m, and which are scattered throughout the countryside.
, poppies and marijuana are the most
common crops. The farmlands are irrigated by a complex system of
wadis running parallel with the Arghandab.The area North of Highway
1 is more desert-like with abrupt mountain ranges of approximately
200-400m in height.
The Shurah is the basic mechanism of government in Zhari. The
tribal nature of the district is inseparable from politics, making
the decision-making process difficult and time-consuming.
Most people in Zhari are ethnic Pashtuns. There are no less than a
dozen tribes, the most prevalent of which are the
Barakzai,Achakzai,Alizai,Noorzai and the Ghilzai
. There are many nomadic tribes that also
pass through the northern areas of Zhari between the Maywand and
The political geography of Zhari changes over time. Many of the
smaller villages bear the name of the local elder. A collection of
these smaller villages can be loosely described as a sub-district.
Zhari currently has the following sub-districts:
- Nar Kariz,
- Siah Choy,
NATO and ISAF continue their
efforts to support the Karzai government and quell an
The Taliban is deeply rooted in Zhari's history
and still attempt to exert control from abroad through the system
of mullahs and elders. See Resurgence of Taliban
. The situation is complicated by the
warlords and criminals who also attempt to minimize the
government's power in the area to further their own ends.
A 2 a.m.
raid on October 18 2006 by NATO helicopters,
hunting Taliban fighters, was only half a mile from the scene of
September's 2006 Operation Medusa,
one of the most ferocious battles between Western forces and
insurgents since the ouster of the Taliban
regime in 2001.