It is one of Afghanistan's eastern provinces and borders the Pakistani-administered regions of North Waziristan and Kurram.
The province has a population of about 550,000. It has 12 districts and its capital is Gardez.
Paktia has seen fierce fighting between rival militias seeking to control the province and both Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters have a presence.
Paktia has a Pashtun tribal identity. Pashtun nationalists hope to reunite the province with the Khost and Paktika provinces.
Local commanders maintain a strong presence and governance of the region has been further complicated by the shifting allegiances of tribal militants.
In September 2006, Abdul Hakim Taniwal, then governor of Paktia, was killed by a bomber as he left his office in Gardez.
The Taliban said it carried out the attack. A second bomber killed six people and himself at Taniwal's funeral.