|History and Biodata
Zurmat District Chief:
Gulab Shah (20110317, 20120909) was introduced to the investigators by Governor Juma Khan Hamdard because he is allegedly involved in misappropriation in distribution of 73 tonnes of wheat to the deserving people.(20120909)
District Police Chief:
Jani Khail (20080312)
Abdul Wahab (201201015)
The district is ethnically dominated by Pashtuns from a variety of different tribes and sub-tribes, such as the Daulatzai, Suleimankhel, Salukhel, Mamozai, Ander, Uryakhel, Dzadran, Stanikzai and Mangal. They make up 90 per cent of the population, with the remaining ten per cent known as ‘Tajiks’, from the Marsangkhel and Khodayarkhel tribes. These are formerly Farsi-speaking Mohsenkhel Pashtuns who relocated from Ghor province some generations ago. The Taleban have a very strong presence in Zurmat, with the government only in control of the district centre and some areas close to it. The Afghan National Police (ANP) is largely based in the district centre while the Afghan National Army (ANA) has a main base there, too, as well as a presence in areas close to the district centre, such as Sahak, seven kilometres to the north; Mamozai, around five kilometres to the east and Sorkai, ten kilometres to the south of the district centre. For historical reasons, Zurmat is sometimes called Little Kandahar, as a number of prominent Taleban leaders came from the area. For Greater Paktia – the three provinces of Paktia, Paktika and Khost – Zurmat was as important for the insurgents, as Kandahar was for southern Afghanistan. Two different networks of the Taleban are active in the area: the Haqqani network, led by Qari Shams, and the Mansur network, locally called the ‘Mansurian’ – led by Abdul Latif Mansur, a member of the Taleban leadership and relative of the network’s founder, the late Nasrullah Mansur.
Taliban has blocked a number of key highways connecting the center of the province to some districts including Zurmat and Zazai Aryoub. The public is not able to travel to their home areas and supply routes for security forces have been cut off. If Zurmat district falls it will have a major impact on the security in both provinces, either Paktia or Paktika. (20210617)