views updated Jun 11 2018


Afghan city and province.

Located in southern Afghanistan, the province of Kandahar has a population of approximately 700,000, most of whom are Durrani Pushtuns. The city of Kandahar is the provincial capital and the second largest city in Afghanistan, with a population of about 200,000. It was Afghanistan's original capital. Centrally situated on trade routes between the Iranian plateau and the Indian sub-continent, Kandahar has been an important city for centuries and has played a major role in the history of Afghanistan. Most of the leaders of Afghanistan have come from the Pushtun tribes in the Kandahar area.

During the War of Resistance (19781992), Kandahar was the scene of intense fighting and much of the city was destroyed. Almost half of the population of the province fled to neighboring Pakistan during the war, but most subsequently returned.

Kandahar played a central role in the Taliban movement (19962001). Although Kabul remained the capital of Afghanistan, Mullah Omar, the leader of the Taliban government, kept his residence in Kandahar.


Adamec, Ludwig. Historical Dictionary of Afghanistan, 2d edition. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow, 1997.

Rubin, Barnett R. The Fragmentation of Afghanistan: State Formation and Collapse in the International System. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2002.

grant farr


views updated May 23 2018

Kandahar (Qandahar) City and provincial capital in s Afghanistan, c.480km (300mi) sw of Kabul. Because of its location on important trade routes, it was occupied by many foreign conquerors before becoming the capital of the independent Afghani kingdom (1747–73). It was the scene of fighting after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 and became the headquarters of the Taliban in the 1990s. It is a commercial centre for the surrounding region. Pop. (2002 est.) 339,200.


views updated May 18 2018

Kandahar ★★ 2001

Nafas (Pazira) and her family emigrated to Canda from Afghanistan, although they were forced to leave behind Nafas's crippled sister. Now, the sister has vowed to commit suicide rather than live any long under Taliban rule and Nafas returns to try and save her. But journeying to Kandahar is a maze of obstacles and restrictions. Farsi and English. 85m/C VHS, DVD . IA Nelofer Pazira, Hassan Tantai, Sadou Teymouri; D: Mohsen Makhmalbaf; W: Mohsen Makhmalbaf; C: Ebraheem Ghafouri; M: Mohammad Reza Darvishi.