Sar-e Pol, also spelled Sari Pul ( fa, سرپل; ps, سرپل), is one of the thirty-four
provinces of Afghanistan A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many similar terms, are gene ...
, located in the north of the country. It borders Jowzjan and
Balkh ), named for its green-tiled ''Gonbad'' ( fa, گُنبَد, dome), in July 2001 , image_flag = , flag_size = , image_seal = , seal_size = , image_shield ...
to the west and north, Ghor Province to the south, and Samangan to the east. The province is divided into 7 districts and contains 896 villages. It has a population of about 532,000, which is multi-ethnic and mostly a tribal society. The province was created in 1988, with the support of northern Afghan politician Sayed Nasim Mihanparast. The city of Sar-e Pol serves as the provincial capital.


Between the early 16th century and the mid-18th century, the territory was ruled by the Khanate of Bukhara. It was given to
Ahmad Shah Durrani Ahmad Shāh Durrānī (c. 1722 – 4 June 1772) ( Pashto: احمد شاه دراني), also known as Ahmad Khān Abdālī (), was the founder of the Durrani Empire and is regarded as the founder of the modern state of Afghanistan A ...
by Murad Beg of Bukhara after a treaty was signed in or about 1750, and became part of the
Durrani Empire The Durrani Empire ( ps, د درانيانو ټولواکمني), also called the Sadozai Kingdom and the Afghan Empire, was an Iranic empire founded and built by Ahmad Shah Abdali in parts of Central Asia Central Asia is a region in Asia ...
. It was ruled by the Durranis followed by the Barakzai dynasty. The area was untouched by the British during the three Anglo-Afghan wars that were fought in the 19th and 20th centuries. It remained peaceful for about one hundred years until the 1980s
Soviet–Afghan War The Soviet–Afghan War was a conflict wherein insurgent groups (known collectively as the Mujahideen), as well as smaller Maoist groups, fought a nine-year guerrilla war against the Soviet Army and the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan gover ...

Recent history

During the Afghan Civil War, the area was controlled by forces loyal to Abdul Rashid Dostum. It was captured by the
Taliban The Taliban ( ps, طالبان, ṭālibān, lit=students) or Taleban, who refer to themselves as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), are a Sunni Islamist movement and military organisation in Afghanistan Afghanistan (; Pasht ...
in 1998. Aminullah Amin, the first senior member of the Taliban to be captured, was the former governor of the province. Sweden, Swedish-led Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT), which has been based in Mazar-e Sharif since about 2005 and responsible for four provinces including Sar-e Pol, established an office and some troops in the province. The Afghan National Security Forces (ANFS) began expanding in the last decade and slowly took over security from International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). The Afghanistan-Turkmenistan border is maintained by the Afghan Border Police (ABP) while law and order for the rest of the province is provided by the NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan, NATO-trained Afghan National Police (ANP). In 2009, the provincial Police Chief stated that weapons had been collected from many people and three districts, namely, Sangcharak, Gosfandi District, Gosfandi, and Sozama Qala areas termed as the peaceful districts of the province. In operations against militants, the police chief said they had arrested a prominent Taliban commander Mullah Nader along with 11 other people during the recent operations. He said scores of kilograms of hashish and opium had also been seized from people during the operations. The biggest threat to travelers in Sar-e Pol province remains highway bandits and thieves, corrupt militiamen and police, and road hazards. The Taliban have small cadres operating throughout the province but rely on larger support networks in neighboring provinces.

Politics and governance

The current list of governors of Sar-e Pol, governor of the province is Mohammad Zahir Wahdat. The city of Sar-e Pol serves as the capital of the province. All Law enforcement in Afghanistan, law enforcement activities throughout the province are managed by the Afghan National Police (ANP). The provincial police chief represents the Ministry of the Interior (Afghanistan), Ministry of the Interior in Kabul. The ANP is backed by other Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF), including the International Security Assistance Force, NATO-led forces. Sayed Anwar Rahmati, Aziza Jalis, Sayed Anwar Sadat, Mohammad Hossein Fahimi, Sayed Mohammad Hossein Sharifi Balkhabi, and Haji Khair Mohammad Imaq are the current Wolesi Jirga members. They represent Sar-e Pol province in the Afghan National Assembly (Afghan Parliament) in Kabul.Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan, Afghanistan 2010 Wolesi Jirga Election Final Certified Results


The percentage of households with clean drinking water increased from 8% in 2005 to 15% in 2011.Archive, Civil Military Fusion Centre, The percentage of births attended to by a skilled birth attendant increased from 0% in 2005 to 20% in 2011.


The overall literacy rate (6+ years of age) increased from 12% in 2005 to 23% in 2011. The overall net enrolment rate (6–13 years of age) increased from 22% in 2005 to 46% in 2011.


Sar-e Pol is a mountainous province, especially in its southern part. It covers an area of 16,360 km. Three quarters (75%) of the province is mountainous or semi mountainous terrain while one-seventh (14%) of the area is made up of flat land. The province is divided into 7 districts of Afghanistan, districts, containing 896 of villages.


The total population of the province is about 532,000.


Mining in Afghanistan, Mining and agriculture in Afghanistan, agriculture are the main industries of the province. The Government of Afghanistan signed a deal with China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) for the development of oil blocks in the Amu Darya basin, a project expected to earn billions of dollars over two decades; the deal covers drilling and a refinery in the northern provinces of Sar-e Pol and Faryab Province, Faryab and is the first international oil production agreement entered into by the Afghan government for several decades. Production of the Afghan oil began in October 2012, which is expected to increase to 1 million barrels per year in 2013.China's CNPC begins oil production in Afghanistan
, by Hamid Shalizi. October 21, 2012.
On October 5, 2018 in Washington, D.C., Afghan officials signed a 30 year contract involving a $56 million investment by investment group Centar and its operating company Afghan Gold and Minerals Co. for exploration of an area covering 500 square km for copper, with development of mining due to begin thereafter. Communications in and around the province are provided by Afghan Wireless, Roshan (telco), Roshan, Emirates Telecommunications Corporation, Etisalat, and MTN Group.

See also

* Sar-e Pol city * Sar-e Pol District * Provinces of Afghanistan


External links

{{Authority control Sar-e Pol Province, Provinces of Afghanistan 1988 establishments in Afghanistan Hazarajat