(Pashto: پکتيا) is
one of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan, in the
east of the country. Its capital is Gardez.
Najibullah Ahmadzai, the former
president of Afghanistan, was from Paktia province, in
particular the Melan Valley area. Paktia used to be a
unified province with Khost and Paktika, these three
provinces are now referred to as Loya Paktia which means
The Greater Paktia.
The uncertain security situation and
remoteness of the province has led to many provincial
Governors being appointed in the short time since the
fall of the Taliban. After the assassination of Hakim
Taniwal in September 2006, Rahmatullah Rahmat was
appointed as provincial Governor.
Paktia has a strong Pashtun tribal identity, and Pashtun
nationalists in the province have expressed a desire to
reunite the province with Khost Province and Paktika
province, forming an ethnic Pashtunistan.
Despite the many problems facing the province, it is one
of the more stable in the southeast of the country and
there has been a concerted
effort to improve the civic infrastructure, giving Paktia a
reasonable rate of reconstruction. The first American Provincial Reconstruction
Team base was established in Gardez to supply security and reconstruction, and
has funded several successful projects.
In September 2006, Governor Hakim Taniwal was killed by a
Taliban suicide bomber as he left his office in Gardez. At the time, Taniwal was
the highest-ranking post-Taliban official to be killed by insurgent forces in