[165], Afghanistan is located in South Asia[166][167] and Central Asia -[168][169][170] indeed the region particularly centered at Afghanistan is considered the "crossroads of Asia",[171] and the country has had the nickname Heart of Asia. [120][121] During their rule, the Taliban and their allies committed massacres against Afghan civilians, denied UN food supplies to starving civilians and conducted a policy of scorched earth, burning vast areas of fertile land and destroying tens of thousands of homes. Ranking the modern military powers of Asia. In 1973, while the King was in Italy, Daoud Khan launched a bloodless coup and became the first President of Afghanistan, abolishing the monarchy. Kabuli palaw is the national dish of Afghanistan. [382][383] A notable art style that developed in Afghanistan and eastern Pakistan is Gandhara Art, produced by a fusion of Greco-Roman art and Buddhist art between the 1st and 7th centuries CE. The 1930s saw the development of roads, infrastructure, the founding of a national bank, and increased education. Amid a state of anarchy and factional infighting,[109][110][111] various mujahideen factions committed widespread rape, murder and extortion,[110][112][113] while Kabul was heavily bombarded and partially destroyed by the fighting. The country has high levels of terrorism, poverty, child malnutrition, and corruption. The Mauryans controlled the area south of the Hindu Kush until they were overthrown in about 185 BCE. Cricket and association football are the two most popular sports in the country. [342] The Afghan National Security Forces are provided with mandatory literacy courses. His troops are said to have annihilated the Khorasanian cities of Herat and Balkh as well as Bamyan. [326] Traveling by bus in Afghanistan remains dangerous due to militant activities.[327]. Afghans clean a broken window of a destroyed house after an attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019. But the talks have stalled as both sides debate procedural issues. More recent findings established that the Indus Valley Civilisation stretched up towards modern-day Afghanistan, making the ancient civilization today part of Pakistan, Afghanistan, and India. [333][334] There are various proposals for the construction of additional rail lines in the country. [176] Family is the mainstay of Afghan society and families are often headed by a patriarch. [221], On 17 May 2020, President Ashraf Ghani reached a power-sharing deal with his rival from presidential elections, Abdullah Abdullah, deciding on who would manage the respected key ministries. [337], Education in Afghanistan includes K–12 and higher education, which is overseen by the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Higher Education. Coming from Iran, the trail traveled through various Afghan provinces and cities including Herat, Kandahar and Kabul before crossing to northern Pakistan, northern India, and Nepal. The military of Afghanistan currently has around 180,000 active soldiers., with plans to reach 260,000 by 2015. [357] The Pashtuns (and Baloch) are largely connected to the culture of South Asia. [287][288] Production hit record high in 2019 (19,469 kg of saffron), and one kilogram is sold domestically between $634 and $1147. However, the 2009 presidential election was characterized by lack of security, low voter turnout, and widespread electoral fraud, ending in Karzai's reelection. Download Twitter facebook Link. In 1978, after a second coup, Afghanistan first became a socialist state and then a Soviet protectorate, evoking the Soviet–Afghan War in the 1980s against mujahideen rebels. The Marco Polo sheep exclusively live in the Wakhan Corridor region of north-east Afghanistan. Freedom of expression and the press is permitted and promoted in the current 2004 constitution, so long as it does not threaten national or religious integrity or does not defame individuals. The first Afghan newspaper was published in 1873,[386] and there are hundreds of print outlets today. The other large cities are located generally in the "ring" around the Central Highlands, namely Kandahar in the south, Herat in the west, Mazar-i-Sharif and Kunduz in the north, and Jalalabad in the east. Afghanistan (/æfˈɡænɪstæn, æfˈɡɑːnɪstɑːn/ (listen), also pronounced /ævˈɡænᵻstæn, ævˈɡɑːnᵻstɑːn/;[14] Pashto/Dari: افغانستان, Pashto: Afġānistān [avɣɒnisˈtɒn, ab-],[a] Dari: Afġānestān [avɣɒnesˈtɒn]), officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country at the crossroads of Central and South Asia. The ethnicities are represented on the table on the right. ", "Huge security as Afghan presidential election looms", "Afghanistan votes in historic presidential election", "Landmark Afghanistan Presidential Election Held Under Shadow of Violence", "Afghanistan's Future: Who's Who in Pivotal Presidential Election", "Afghan president Ashraf Ghani inaugurated after bitter campaign", "U.S. formally ends the war in Afghanistan", "Nato ends combat operations in Afghanistan", "Body Count – Casualty Figures after 10 Years of the 'War on Terror' – Iraq Afghanistan Pakistan", "U.S. War on Terror has reportedly killed 1.3 million people in a decade", "220,000 killed in US war in Afghanistan 80,000 in Pakistan: report", "South Asia: Data, Projects, and Research", "MAPS SHOWING GEOLOGY, OIL AND GAS FIELDS AND GEOLOGICAL PROVINCES OF SOUTH ASIA (Includes Afghanistan)", "University of Washington Jackson School of International Studies: The South Asia Center", "Syracruse University: The South Asia Center", "Composition of macro geographical (continental) regions, geographical sub-regions, and selected economic and other groupings", https://www.cemml.colostate.edu/cultural/09476/afgh01.html, https://cropwatch.unl.edu/documents/Forests%20of%20Afghanistan.pdf, "History of Environmental Change in the Sistan Basin 1976–2005", "Afghanistan Rivers Lakes – Afghanistan's Web Site", "Snow may end Afghan drought, but bitter winter looms", "Afghanistan's woeful water management delights neighbors", "Present and future Köppen-Geiger climate classification maps at 1-km resolution", "Afghanistan Plant and Animal Life – Afghanistan's Web Site", United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, "NSIA Estimates Afghanistan Population at 32.9M", "Afghanistan Population 2020 (Demographics, Maps, Graphs)", "Afghanistan – Population Reference Bureau", "Is recent Afghanistan survey data suitable for fertility analysis? In the late 19th century, Afghanistan became a buffer state in the "Great Game" between British India and the Russian Empire. pp.96, Periods of World History: A Latin American Perspective – Page 129, The Empire of the Steppes: A History of Central Asia – Page 465, The Oxford Dictionary of Islam by John L. Esposito, p.71. The lands of Afghanistan have a long history of art, with the world's earliest known usage of oil painting found in cave murals in the country. Afghanistan had a 2018 Forest Landscape Integrity Index mean score of 8.85/10, ranking it 15th globally out of 172 countries.[192]. [282], Agricultural production is the backbone of Afghanistan's economy[283] and has traditionally dominated the economy, employing about 40% of the workforce as of 2018. [144] Many foreign donors started providing aid and assistance to rebuild the war-torn country. About 21% of these are females. [418] The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) is the official governing body of the sport and is headquartered in Kabul. Afghanistan’s months-long dispute over who won last year’s presidential election has ended after the incumbent, Ashraf Ghani, and his main challenger, Abdullah Abdullah, agreed a power … [375] Every province has its own specific characteristics in making rugs. [65] Durrani and his Afghan army conquered much of present-day Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Khorasan and Kohistan provinces of Iran, and Delhi in India. [15][39], The religion Zoroastrianism is believed by some to have originated in what is now Afghanistan between 1800 and 800 BCE, as its founder Zoroaster is thought to have lived and died in Balkh. Afghanistan contains many remnants from all ages, including Greek and Buddhist stupas, monasteries, monuments, temples and Islamic minarets. According to the World Bank, 98% of the rural population have access to electricity in 2018, up from 28% in 2008. Various other Buddhist and Hindu dynasties also ruled the region, including the Saka, Kidarite, Hephthalite, Alkhon, Nezak, Zunbil, Turk Shahi, and Hindu Shahi. [191], Endemic fauna of Afghanistan includes the Afghan flying squirrel, Afghan snowfinch, Afghanodon (or the "Paghman mountain salamander"), Stigmella kasyi, Vulcaniella kabulensis, Afghan leopard gecko, Wheeleria parviflorellus, amongst others. [42] Goods and ideas were exchanged at this center point, such as Chinese silk, Persian silver and Roman gold, while the region of present Afghanistan was mining and trading lapis lazuli stones[43] mainly from the Badakhshan region. [292] One official asserted that "this will become the backbone of the Afghan economy" and a Pentagon memo stated that Afghanistan could become the "Saudi Arabia of lithium". [289], The country's natural resources include: coal, copper, iron ore, lithium, uranium, rare earth elements, chromite, gold, zinc, talc, barite, sulfur, lead, marble, precious and semi-precious stones, natural gas, and petroleum, among other things. Pakistan's North-West Frontier Province functioned as an organisational and networking base for the anti-Soviet Afghan resistance, with the province's influential Deobandi ulama playing a major supporting role in promoting the 'jihad'. It won the ACC Twenty20 Cup in 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013. Carpet weaving is an ancient practice in Afghanistan, and many of these are still handmade by tribal and nomadic people today. [215] Urbanization in Afghanistan has been noted to be different than traditional urbanization, in that it's centered on a few cities rather than evenly spread out nationwide. Their decline began 60 years after Ashoka's rule ended, leading to the Hellenistic reconquest by the Greco-Bactrians. Abdul Ghafoor Breshna was a prominent Afghan painter and sketch artist from Kabul during the 20th century. [28] Historically, the ethnonym Afghān was used to refer to ethnic Pashtuns. Some of the reforms that were put in place, such as the abolition of the traditional burqa for women and the opening of several co-educational schools, quickly alienated many tribal and religious leaders, and this led to the Afghan Civil War (1928–1929). The Afghan Armed Forces are under the Ministry of Defense, which includes the Afghan Air Force (AAF) and the Afghan National Army (ANA). An Assessment of U.S. Military Power. The National Assembly is the legislature, a bicameral body having two chambers, the House of the People and the House of Elders. The tribal revolts of 1944–1947 saw Zahir Shah's reign being challenged by Zadran, Safi, Mangal, and Wazir tribesmen led by Mazrak Zadran, Salemai, and Mirzali Khan, among others, many of whom were Amanullah loyalists. From the 1960s to the early 1990s, the Afghan Army was equipped by the Soviet Union. The Afghan national cricket team, which was formed in 2001, participated in the 2009 ICC World Cup Qualifier, 2010 ICC World Cricket League Division One and the 2010 ICC World Twenty20. In more detail, it extended from what today is northwest Pakistan to northwest India and northeast Afghanistan. The NATO-led Operation Resolute Support was formed the same day as a successor to ISAF. [92] The United States and Pakistan,[87] along with smaller actors like Saudi Arabia and China, continued supporting the rebels, delivering billions of dollars in cash and weapons including two thousand FIM-92 Stinger surface-to-air missiles. Nevertheless, some 20,000 foreign tourists visit the country annually as of 2016. [71][72] Following an uprising, the 1842 retreat from Kabul of British-Indian forces and the annihilation of Elphinstone's army, and the Battle of Kabul that led to its recapture, the British placed Dost Mohammad Khan back into power and withdrew their military forces from Afghanistan. [285] It is also one of the world's top producers of cannabis. There are a number of smaller regional languages, including Uzbek, Turkmen, Balochi, Pashayi, and Nuristani. In 2018, a majority of imports come from either Iran, China, Pakistan and Kazakhstan, while 84% of exports are to Pakistan and India. The finalized Global Firepower ranking below utilizes over 50 individual factors to determine a given nation's PowerIndex ('PwrIndx') score with categories ranging from military might and financials to logistical capability and geography. The Supreme Court is led by Chief Justice Said Yusuf Halem, the former Deputy Minister of Justice for Legal Affairs. Afghanistan had, therefore, good relations with both Cold War enemies. After his death, they rebelled and divided up the provinces of the empire between themselves. Despite the Pashtuns having been dominant in Afghan politics for centuries, Dari remained the preferred language for government and bureaucracy.[202]. Afterward, the 1964 constitution was formed, and the first non-royal Prime Minister was sworn in.[82]. [420] It is similar to polo, played by horsemen in two teams, each trying to grab and hold a goat carcass. [284] The country is known for producing pomegranates, grapes, apricots, melons, and several other fresh and dry fruits. [51] Mahmud made Ghazni into an important city and patronized intellectuals such as the historian Al-Biruni and the poet Ferdowsi. Shia-dominated Hazarajat and pagan Kafiristan remained politically independent until being conquered by Abdur Rahman Khan in 1891–1896. [239] The provincial governors are representatives of the central government in Kabul and are responsible for all administrative and formal issues within their provinces. They gave primacy to a strong military, centralized government control from Kabul, and signaled the primacy of the Pashtun as the country’s ruling group. The Buddhist Turk Shahi of Kabul was replaced by a Hindu dynasty before the Saffarids conquered the area in 870, this Hindu dynasty was called Hindu Shahi. An inscription on the tombstone of Darius I of Persia mentions the Kabul Valley in a list of the 29 countries that he had conquered. [155][156][157][158][159] On 28 December 2014, NATO formally ended ISAF combat operations in Afghanistan and transferred full security responsibility to the Afghan government. Afghanistan Military Power 2019 How Powerful is Afghanistan? Attempts were made, often with the support of foreign donor countries, to improve the country's economy, healthcare, education, transport, and agriculture. [234] Parties became more influential after 2009, when a new law established more stringent requirements for party registration. [185] The last strong earthquakes were in 1998, which killed about 6,000 people in Badakhshan near Tajikistan. [177] Forests exist in the corridor between Nuristan and Paktika provinces,[178] and tundra in the north-east. MOGHKHAIL, Afghanistan — The A-29 attack plane was a white speck in the bright skies over eastern Afghanistan as it launched a dummy bomb that exploded just yards from the target, a … [258] A 2009 proposal for a law against the violence of women could only be passed through a presidential decree. [40], Alexander the Great and his Macedonian forces arrived in Afghanistan in 330 BCE after defeating Darius III of Persia a year earlier in the Battle of Gaugamela. Kabul is the capital and largest city. In 1838, the British marched into Afghanistan and arrested Dost Mohammad, sent him into exile in India and replaced him with the previous ruler, Shah Shuja. [403], Afghanistan's official New Year starts with Nowruz, an ancient tradition that started as a Zoroastrian celebration in present-day Iran, and with which it shares the annual celebration along with several other countries. The population of Afghanistan was estimated at 32.9 million as of 2019 by the Afghanistan Statistics and Information Authority,[195] whereas the UN estimates over 38.0 million. [220] A January 2010 report published by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime revealed that bribery consumed an amount equal to 23% of the GDP of the nation. Da Afghanistan Bank serves as the central bank of the nation[272] and the "Afghani" (AFN) is the national currency, with an exchange rate of about 75 Afghanis to 1 US dollar. Serious traffic accidents are common on Afghan roads and highways, particularly on the Kabul–Kandahar and the Kabul–Jalalabad Road. [360] Afghan culture is deeply Islamic,[361] but pre-Islamic practices persist. The Greco-Bactrian Kingdom became the eastern end of the Hellenistic world. [254][255] However many issues regarding human rights exist contrary to the law, often committed by local tribes, lawmakers and hardline clerics. [79] Prince Mohammed Nadir Shah, Amanullah's cousin, in turn defeated and killed Kalakani in October 1929, and was declared King Nadir Shah. [154], In September 2014 Ashraf Ghani became president after the 2014 presidential election where for the first time in Afghanistan's history power was democratically transferred. 3:19. [417] The country also has a national team in the sport of futsal, a 5-a-side variation of football. 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