Paktika (پکتیکا) is one of the 34 provinces of Afghanistan, located in the eastern part of the country. Forming part of the larger Loya Paktia region, Paktika has a population of about 413,800, mostly ethnic Pashtuns. The town of Sharana serves as the provincial capital, while the most populous city is Urgun.
Paktika sits adjacent to Durand Line border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. It is bordered by the Khost and Paktia provinces to the north. The western border is shared with the provinces of Ghazni and Zabul. The South Waziristan and North Waziristan agencies are to the east of Paktika, while Zhob District of the Balochistan province of Pakistan borders it the southeast.
Paktika, like many other areas of Afghanistan, has been severely deforested. This has been a cause of devastating floods in recent years. The province is mainly hilly and interspersed with seasonal river valleys. In the north, the terrain gains elevation and becomes more rugged. In the west, the Rowd-e Lurah River originates in the mountainous Omna District and flows southwest to the Ghazni Province, forming a shallow river valley that dominates the topography in the Zarghun Shar, Jani Khel, and Dila Districts. The terrain in Omna becomes more hilly further east in proximity to Pakistan. The sparsely populated southern districts are also hilly, with descending elevation towards the south and west.
The Gomal River, which has a varied flow depending on season, runs from its origin in the mountains of the Sar Hawza District and flows south, before turning southeast to the Pakistani border, forming the broad river valley that defines the topography of the Gomal District, before flowing east through Pakistan and eventually running to the powerful Indus River.