Paramilitary forces of Pakistan
The paramilitary forces of Pakistan consist of various uniformed organisations equipped with light infantry weapons and charged with a range of internal and external duties. The federal paramilitary forces current strength is over 482,000 personnel; the federal government's paramilitary forces can be divided into two categories: Firstly the Civil Armed Forces -e.g. the Rangers and Frontier Corps- within the Interior Ministry. In addition provincial governments control a number of specialised police forces, e.g. Counter-Terrorism Departments. CAF units are authorised by the Constitution of Pakistan with border security and internal security duties, but can be "regularised" i.e. attached to regular Army as necessary. The CAF are paid for from the budget of the Ministry of Interior which provides administrative support; however they are commanded by officers on secondment from the Pakistan Army. They function under the operational control of army corps headquarters, not just in war time but whenever Article 245 of the Pakistani Constitution is invoked to provide'military aid to civil power', for example in Karachi since 2015, in Punjab since February 2017.
The CAF are undergoing significant expansion of some additional'wings' approved for raising in the 2015-16 to deal with the challenging internal and border security environment and to provide security for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, co-ordinated by a new 2-star command raised in September 2016, the Special Security Division. Many CAF units were raised in the colonial era on the frontiers of the empire, played a key role in the consolidation of control by building a link between the state and communities in strategically sensitive frontier areas through recruitment to government service. In many areas paramilitary units continue to play the same historical role decades after independence. Pakistan Rangers: A generic phrase for two distinct organisations, the Punjab Rangers headquartered in Lahore and the Sindh Rangers in Karachi divided into battalion sized "wings" of 800 men each; this force has a border security role on Punjab and Sindh provinces' the International Border with India, but perform internal security duties under the operational control Pakistan Army corps commanders.
Frontier Corps: The Frontier Corps, like the Rangers, is a generic phrase for two distinct organisations, the FC KP and FC Balochistan. FC KP before the current round of expansion consisted of 15 corps in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and the Province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with headquarters in Peshawar. FC Balochistan has 17 corps based in Balochistan with its HQ in Quetta. FC KP under the command of the Army's XI Corps has been in the forefront of COIN operations against the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan and various foreign jihadis since 2003: FC Balochistan under XII Corps has been conducting similar operations against Baloch separatists in the same timeframe. Frontier Constabulary: The Frontier Constabulary operates along the internal border between the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and KPK. Gilgit Baltistan Scouts: Headquarters are in Gilgit; the Northern Light Infantry was converted in 1999 from a paramilitary force comparable to the Rangers and FC into one of the infantry regiments of the Pakistan Army in recognition of their performance and their heavy losses during the Kargil War in which they played a leading part on the ground.
Subsequently, they have been replaced in the paramilitary'Civil Armed Forces' role by the Scouts. Pakistan Coast Guards: The Coast Guards are charged and mandated with protecting the coastal areas of Balochistan and Sindh Province, it is a shore-based force with a particular focus on combatting smuggling. It is headquartered in Karachi, Sindh. Pakistan National Guard: The National Guard, the military reserve of the Pakistan Army, comprises the Janbaz Force and locally recruited militia, the Mujahid Force, are charged with air defence. Included the dissolved National Cadet Corps and Women's Guard. Maritime Security Agency: The 2,500-strong Maritime Security Agency, headquartered in Karachi, is a coast guard and is responsible for patrolling Pakistan's territorial waters; the MSA is equipped with a former Pakistan Navy destroyer, two coastal patrol craft and four oceanic patrol craft. It too is seeing significant upgrades and expansion as a result of CPEC. Defence Service Guard: The DSG Corps provides static security to MoD and MoDP installations across Pakistan, including sensitive nuclear facilities.
Its regimental centre is in Dera Ismail Khan. It was known from 1947 onwards as the MoD Constabulary until its renaming. Note that the Northern Light Infantry and the Azad Kashmir Regiment were once considered paramilitary forces until their promotion into the Pakistan Army in 1999 and 1972 Anti-Narcotics Force: ANF is a principal agency in Pakistan for combating supply and demand reduction of illicit narcotic drugs that enter Pakistan through the long porous border with Afghanistan; the agency works under umbrella of Pakistan Ministry of Narcotics Control. It carries out Raids and Intelligence Based Operations IBOs against Narcotics, Illegal Arms Ammunition, Money Laundering and dangerous/inflammable Chemicals. Airport Security Force: Safeguarding and protecting airports in Pakistan. Part of the Ministry of Defence but transferred to the Cabinet Secretariat Aviation Division The various Provinces
Iran called Persia, the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia. With over 81 million inhabitants, Iran is the world's 18th most populous country. Comprising a land area of 1,648,195 km2, it is the second largest country in the Middle East and the 17th largest in the world. Iran is bordered to the northwest by Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan, to the north by the Caspian Sea, to the northeast by Turkmenistan, to the east by Afghanistan and Pakistan, to the south by the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, to the west by Turkey and Iraq; the country's central location in Eurasia and Western Asia, its proximity to the Strait of Hormuz, give it geostrategic importance. Tehran is the country's capital and largest city, as well as its leading economic and cultural center. Iran is home to one of the world's oldest civilizations, beginning with the formation of the Elamite kingdoms in the fourth millennium BCE, it was first unified by the Iranian Medes in the seventh century BCE, reaching its greatest territorial size in the sixth century BCE, when Cyrus the Great founded the Achaemenid Empire, which stretched from Eastern Europe to the Indus Valley, becoming one of the largest empires in history.
The Iranian realm fell to Alexander the Great in the fourth century BCE and was divided into several Hellenistic states. An Iranian rebellion culminated in the establishment of the Parthian Empire, succeeded in the third century CE by the Sasanian Empire, a leading world power for the next four centuries. Arab Muslims conquered the empire in the seventh century CE; the Islamization of Iran led to the decline of Zoroastrianism, by the country's dominant religion, Iran's major contributions to art and science spread within the Muslim rule during the Islamic Golden Age. After two centuries, a period of various native Muslim dynasties began, which were conquered by the Seljuq Turks and the Ilkhanate Mongols; the rise of the Safavids in the 15th century led to the reestablishment of a unified Iranian state and national identity, with the country's conversion to Shia Islam marking a turning point in Iranian and Muslim history. Under Nader Shah, Iran was one of the most powerful states in the 18th century, though by the 19th century, a series of conflicts with the Russian Empire led to significant territorial losses.
The Iranian Constitutional Revolution in the early 20th century led to the establishment of a constitutional monarchy and the country's first legislature. A 1953 coup instigated by the United Kingdom and the United States resulted in greater autocracy and growing Western political influence. Subsequent widespread dissatisfaction and unrest against the monarchy led to the 1979 Revolution and the establishment of an Islamic republic, a political system that includes elements of a parliamentary democracy vetted and supervised by a theocracy governed by an autocratic "Supreme Leader". During the 1980s, the country was engaged in a war with Iraq, which lasted for eight years and resulted in a high number of casualties and economic losses for both sides; the sovereign state of Iran is a founding member of the UN, ECO, NAM, OIC, OPEC. It is a major regional and middle power, its large reserves of fossil fuels – which include the world's largest natural gas supply and the fourth largest proven oil reserves – exert considerable influence in international energy security and the world economy.
The country's rich cultural legacy is reflected in part by its 22 UNESCO World Heritage sites, the third largest number in Asia and 11th largest in the world. Iran is a multicultural country comprising numerous ethnic and linguistic groups, the largest being Persians, Azeris and Lurs. Organizations including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have criticized Iran's women's rights record; the term Iran derives directly from Middle Persian Ērān, first attested in a third-century inscription at Rustam Relief, with the accompanying Parthian inscription using the term Aryān, in reference to the Iranians. The Middle Iranian ērān and aryān are oblique plural forms of gentilic nouns ēr- and ary-, both deriving from Proto-Iranian *arya-, recognized as a derivative of Proto-Indo-European *ar-yo-, meaning "one who assembles". In the Iranian languages, the gentilic is attested as a self-identifier, included in ancient inscriptions and the literature of the Avesta, remains in other Iranian ethnic names Alan and Iron.
Iran has been referred to as Persia by the West, due to the writings of Greek historians who referred to all of Iran as Persís, meaning "land of the Persians", while Persis itself was one of the provinces of ancient Iran, today defined as Fars. As the most extensive interaction the Ancient Greeks had with any outsider was with the Persians, the term persisted long after the Greco-Persian Wars. In 1935, Reza Shah requested the international community to refer to the country by its native name, effective March 22 that year; as The New York Times explained at the time, "At the suggestion of the Persian Legation in Berlin, the Tehran government, on the Persian New Year, March 21, 1935, substituted Iran for Persia as the official name of the country." Opposition to the name change led to the reversal of the decision, Professor Ehsan Yarshater, editor of Encyclopædia Iranica, propagated a move to use Persia and Iran interchangeably. Today, both Iran and Persia are used in cultural contexts, while Iran remains irreplaceab
Sindh is one of the four provinces of Pakistan, in the southeast of the country, the historical home of the Sindhi people. Sindh is the third largest province of Pakistan by area, second largest province by population after Punjab. Sindh is bordered by Balochistan province to the west, Punjab province to the north. Sindh borders the Indian states of Gujarat and Rajasthan to the east, Arabian Sea to the south. Sindh's landscape consists of alluvial plains flanking the Indus River, the Thar desert in the eastern portion of the province closest to the border with India, the Kirthar Mountains in the western part of Sindh. Sindh has Pakistan's second largest economy, while its provincial capital Karachi is Pakistan's largest city and financial hub, hosts the headquarters of several multinational banks. Sindh is home to a large portion of Pakistan's industrial sector and contains two of Pakistan's commercial seaports, Port Bin Qasim and the Karachi Port; the remainder of Sindh has an agriculture based economy, produces fruit, food consumer items, vegetables for the consumption other parts of the country.
Sindh is known for its distinct culture, influenced by Sufism, an important marker of Sindhi identity for both Hindus and Muslims in the province. Several important Sufi shrines are located throughout the province which attract millions of annual devotees. Sindh's capital, Karachi, is Pakistan's most ethnically diverse city, with Muhajirs, or descendants of those who migrated to Pakistan from India after 1947 and throughout the 1950s and 1960s, making up the majority of the population. Karachi and other urban centres of Sindh have seen ethnic tensions between the native Sindhis and the Muhajirs boil over into violence on several occasions. Sindh is home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites – the Historical Monuments at Makli, the Archaeological Ruins at Moenjodaro; the word Sindh is derived from the Sanskrit term Sindhu, a reference to Indus River. The official spelling "Sind" was discontinued in 1988 by an amendment passed in Sindh Assembly; the Greeks who conquered Sindh in 325 BC under the command of Alexander the Great rendered it as Indós, hence the modern Indus.
The ancient Iranians referred to everything east of the river Indus as hind. Sindh's first known village settlements date as far back as 7000 BCE. Permanent settlements at Mehrgarh in Balochistan, to the west expanded into Sindh; this culture blossomed over several millennia and gave rise to the Indus Valley Civilization around 3000 BCE. The Indus Valley Civilization rivalled the contemporary civilizations of Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia in size and scope, numbering nearly half a million inhabitants at its height with well-planned grid cities and sewer systems; the primitive village communities in Balochistan were still struggling against a difficult highland environment, a cultured people were trying to assert themselves at Kot Diji. This was one of the most developed urban civilizations of the ancient world, it flourished between the 25th century BCE and 1500 BCE in the Indus valley sites of Mohenjo Daro and Harappa. The people had a high standard of art and craftsmanship and a well-developed system of quasi-pictographic writing which remains un-deciphered.
The ruins of the well planned towns, the brick buildings of the common people, public baths and the covered drainage system suggest a organized community. According to some accounts, there is no evidence of large palaces or burial grounds for the elite; the grand and holy site might have been the great bath, built upon an artificially created elevation. This indigenous civilization collapsed around 1700 BCE; the cause may have been a massive earthquake, which dried up the Ghaggar River. Skeletons discovered in the ruins of Moan Jo Daro were thought to indicate that the city was attacked and the population was wiped out, but further examinations showed that the marks on the skeletons were due to erosion and not of violence; the ancient city of Roruka, identified with modern Aror/Rohri, was capital of the Sauvira Kingdom, finds mentioned early Buddhist literature as a major trading center. Sindh finds mention in the Hindu epic Mahabharata as being part of Bharatvarsha. Sindh was conquered by the Persian Achaemenid Empire in the 6th century BC.
In the late 4th century BC, Sindh was conquered by a mixed army led by Macedonian Greeks under Alexander the Great. Alexander described his encounters with these trans-Indus tribes of Sindh: "I am involved in the land of lions and brave people, where every foot of the ground is like a well of steel, confronting my soldier. You have brought only one son into the world, but everyone in this land can be called an Alexander." The region remained under control of Greek satraps for only a few decades. After Alexander's death, there was a brief period of Seleucid rule, before Sindh was traded to the Mauryan Empire led by Chandragupta in 305 BC. During the rule of the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka, the Buddhist religion spread to Sindh. Mauryan rule ended in 185 BC with the overthrow of the last king by the Shunga Dynasty. In the disorder that followed, Greek rule returned when Demetrius I of Bactria led a Greco-Bactrian invasion of India and annexed most of the northwestern lands, including Sindh. Demetrius was defeated and killed by a usurper, but his descendants continued to rule Sindh and other lands as the Indo-Greek Kingdom.
Under the reign of Menander I, many Indo-Greeks converted to Buddhism. In the late 2nd century BC, Scythian tribes shattered the Greco-Bactrian empire and invaded the Indo-Greek lands. Unable to take the P
Frontier Force Regiment
The Frontier Force Regiment is one of six infantry regiments of the Pakistan Army. They are popularly known as the "Piffers" (a reference to the former PIF or as the "FF"; the regiment takes its name from the historic North-West Frontier. Most ancestor units of the regiment are Pathan infantry regiments; however the oldest ancestor unit is the Scinde Camel Corps raised in 1843. Another ancestor unit is the infantry component of the celebrated Corps of Guides of the British Indian Army. Despite being a Pakistani regiment, the Frontier Force Regiment is the successor to several Sikh regiments because Sikh units were used on the North-West Frontier during the British Raj. At present, the regiment consists of 47 battalions and has its regimental depot at Abbottabad in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. For that reason Abbottabad is known as the "Home of Piffers"; the regiment includes both mechanised and motorised infantry battalions. There are some armoured and artillery battalions which were raised from the strength of the Frontier Force or one of its predecessor regiments.
The Frontier Force Regiment is Pakistan's third oldest regiment in terms of the date of most recent amalgamation, after the Punjab and Baloch. The regiment was amalgamated in 1957 through the amalgamation of three Pakistan Army regiments, all with their origins in two regiments, transferred to Pakistan from the British Indian Army at the time of the independence of Pakistan in 1947; these two regiments were the Frontier Force Rifles. The third component, the Pathan Regiment, had been raised after independence from elements of the former two; the merger took place. The FF battalions have fought in several wars along Pakistan's borders, they have served overseas, having been deployed to Saudi Arabia, to Somalia as part of a United Nations peacekeeping force in Somalia, some of the Piffer battalions participated in the Battle of Mogadishu in 1993. The battalions are divided under independent formations and are commanded by their formation commander. Training and record keeping is undertaken by the regimental depot, commanded by a brigadier.
The regiment's highest-ranking officer is given the honorary title of "Colonel Commandant" and "Colonel-in-Chief", if the highest-ranking officer is the Chief of Army Staff or Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee. The Frontier Force Regiment came into being in 1957 with the amalgamation of the Frontier Force Regiment, the Frontier Force Rifles and the Pathan Regiment, all of which had their origins in the British Indian Army. During the 1840s, after the first and second Anglo-Sikh Wars, Colonel Sir Henry Lawrence, the Honourable East India Company's agent to the Lahore Durbar sanctioned the raising of the Corps of Guides and a number of infantry regiments by incorporating veterans from the disbanded Sikh Khalsa army. During the early 1850s some of Lawrence's Sikh regiments were designated the "Punjab Irregular Force", giving rise to the "Piffer" nickname which the Regiment carries to the present day, through a series of reorganisations that culminated in 1922, these units would become the 12th Frontier Force Regiment and 13th Frontier Force Rifles.
The use of the pre-fixing regimental numbers was discontinued in 1945, the two regiments becoming the Frontier Force Regiment and the Frontier Force Rifles, both regiments were transferred to Pakistan by the United Kingdom in 1947, on the independence to British India. The Pathan Regiment was raised after independence from the 4th Battalion of the Frontier Force Regiment and the 4th and 15th Battalions of the Frontier Force Rifles; the regimental depot was at Dera Ismail Khan but it relocated to Kohat in 1949 and was merged into the Frontier Force Regiment with its regimental depot at Abbottabad. Fifteen of the modern Frontier Force Regiment's 52 battalions trace their origins back to British Indian Army units, as tabulated below. At present, the Frontier Force Regiment musters 67 infantry battalions, some of which are mechanised or motorised with the remainder known colloquially as "foot infantry"; each battalion is subdivided into four companies named Alpha, Bravo and Delta. The regiment includes armoured and artillery units, established from among its strength.
All Piffer battalions serve alongside other Pakistan Army units in mixed formations. The regiment recruits from the Pashtun tribes of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, although officers and other ranks from all over Pakistan have served and continue to serve in the regiment. Prior to 2000, the Piffers had been standardised to include equal numbers of Pashtuns and Punjabis in its non-officer ranks, but in 2000, this composition was amended to include 10% Sindhis and 5% Balochis, reducing the quota of Punjabis to 35%; this measure was intended to diminish segregation within the Army. The regiment is based in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa's city of Abbottabad, which houses the depots of the Baloch Regiment and the Army Medical Corps; the city was the headquarters of the Frontier Force Rifles prior to their merger with the Frontier Force Regiment and the Pathan Regiment. The Abbottabad depot is responsible for the regiment's basic recruit training. Recruits are trained for a period of 36 weeks. Since 1981 has housed the Piffer Museum, wh
Federally Administered Tribal Areas
The Federally Administered Tribal Areas was a semi-autonomous tribal region in northwestern Pakistan that existed from 1947 until being merged with neighboring province Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, in 2018. It consisted of seven tribal agencies and six frontier regions, were directly governed by Pakistan's federal government through a special set of laws called the Frontier Crimes Regulations, it bordered Pakistan's provinces of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan to the east and south, Afghanistan's provinces of Kunar, Paktia and Paktika to the west and north. The territory is exclusively inhabited by the Pashtun, who live in the neighbouring provinces of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Northern Balochistan, straddle across the border into Afghanistan, they are Muslim. Since the 9/11 attacks in the United States in 2001, the tribal areas are a major theatre of militancy and terrorism. Pakistan Army launched 10 operations against the Taliban since 2001, most Operation Zarb-e-Azb in North Waziristan; the operations have displaced about two million people from the tribal areas, as schools and homes have been destroyed in the war.
On 2 March 2017, the federal government considered a proposal to merge the tribal areas with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, to repeal the Frontier Crimes Regulations. However, some political parties have opposed the merger, called for the tribal areas to instead become a separate province of Pakistan. On 24 May 2018, the National Assembly of Pakistan voted in favour of an amendment to the Constitution of Pakistan for the FATA-KP merger, approved by the Senate the following day. Since the change was to affect the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, it was presented for approval in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on 27 May 2018, passed with majority vote. On 28 May 2018, the President of Pakistan signed the FATA Interim Governance Regulation, a set of interim rules for FATA until it merges with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa within a timeframe of two years; the 25th Amendment received assent from President Mamnoon Hussain on 31 May 2018, after which FATA was merged with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. This further weakened the Pashtunistan movement in a historical context, as Pakistan's government established full rule, including legal system over the territory.
Although the British never succeeded in calming unrest in the region, it served as a buffer from unrest in Afghanistan. The British Raj attempted to control the population of the annexed tribal regions with the Frontier Crimes Regulations, which gave considerable power to govern to local nobles so long as these nobles were willing to meet the needs of the British. Due to the nobles placing unchecked discretionary power into the hands of the Political Agent, resulting in extensive human rights violations, the Frontier Crimes Regulations has come to be known as the "black law." In 1935–36, a Hindu-Muslim clash occurred over the abduction of a Hindu girl by a Muslim in Bannu. The tribesmen rallied around Mirzali Khan, a tribal leader in Waziristan, given the title of "the Faqir of Ipi" by the British. Jihad was declared against the British. Mirzali Khan, with his huge lashkar, started a guerrilla warfare against the British forces in Waziristan. In 1938, Mirzali Khan shifted from Ipi to Gurwek, a remote village in Waziristan on the Durand Line near Razmak, where he declared an independent state and continued the raids against the British forces.
In June 1947, Mirzali Khan, along with his allies, including the Khudai Khidmatgars and members of the Provincial Assembly, declared the Bannu Resolution. The resolution demanded that the Pashtuns be given a choice to have an independent state of Pashtunistan, composing all Pashtun majority territories of British India, instead of being made to join Pakistan. However, the British Raj refused to comply with the demand of this resolution. After the creation of Pakistan in August 1947, Mirzali Khan and his followers refused to recognise Pakistan, launched a campaign against Pakistan, they continued their guerilla warfare against the new nation’s government. In 1950, they announced the creation of Pashtunistan as an independent nation. A Pashtun tribal jirga, held in Razmak, appointed Mirzali Khan as the President of the National Assembly for Pashtunistan, he didn't surrender to the government of Pakistan throughout his life. However, his popularity among the people of Waziristan declined over the years, with several jirgas in Waziristan deciding to support Pakistan.
He died a natural death in 1960 in Gurwek. The annexed areas continued to be governed through the Frontier Crimes Regulations after the creation of Pakistan in 1947, by the Dominion of Pakistan in 1947, into the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in 1956. In the 1970s travellers through the Khyber Pass, such as those taking the Hippie Trail, were warned to stay close to the road because the Pakistani government had no control over the adjacent lands. According to the United States Institute of Peace, the character of the region underwent a shift beginning in the 1980s. Mujahideen entered to fight against the jirgas as allies of the CIA Operation Cyclone. In 2001, the Tehrik-e-Taliban militants began entering into the region. In 2003, Taliban forces sheltered in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas began crossing the border into Afghanistan, attacking military and police after the United States invasion. Shkin, Afghanistan is a key location for these frequent battles; this fortified military base has housed American special operations forces since 2002 and is located six kilometers from the Pakistani border.
Afghanistan the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in South-Central Asia. Afghanistan is bordered by Pakistan in the south and east, its territory covers 652,000 square kilometers and much of it is covered by the Hindu Kush mountain range, which experiences cold winters. The north consists of fertile plains, while the south-west consists of deserts where temperatures can get hot in summers. Kabul serves as its largest city. Human habitation in Afghanistan dates back to the Middle Paleolithic Era, the country's strategic location along the Silk Road connected it to the cultures of the Middle East and other parts of Asia; the land has been home to various peoples and has witnessed numerous military campaigns, including those by Alexander the Great, Muslim Arabs, British and since 2001 by the United States with NATO-allied countries. It has been called "unconquerable" and nicknamed the "graveyard of empires"; the land served as the source from which the Kushans, Samanids, Ghaznavids, Khaljis, Hotaks and others have risen to form major empires.
The political history of the modern state of Afghanistan began with the Hotak and Durrani dynasties in the 18th century. In the late 19th century, Afghanistan became a buffer state in the "Great Game" between British India and the Russian Empire, its border with British India, the Durand Line, was formed in 1893 but it is not recognized by the Afghan government and it has led to strained relations with Pakistan since the latter's independence in 1947. Following the Third Anglo-Afghan War in 1919 the country was free of foreign influence becoming a monarchy under King Amanullah, until 50 years when Zahir Shah was overthrown and a republic was established. In 1978, after a second coup Afghanistan first became a socialist state and a Soviet Union protectorate; this evoked the Soviet–Afghan War in the 1980s against mujahideen rebels. By 1996 most of Afghanistan was captured by the Islamic fundamentalist group the Taliban, who ruled most of the country as a totalitarian regime for over five years.
The Taliban were forcibly removed by the NATO-led coalition, a new democratically-elected government political structure was formed, but they still control a significant portion of the country. Afghanistan is a unitary presidential Islamic republic with a population of 31 million composed of ethnic Pashtuns, Tajiks and Uzbeks, it is a member of the United Nations, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, the Group of 77, the Economic Cooperation Organization, the Non-Aligned Movement. Afghanistan's economy is the world's 108th largest, with a GDP of $64.08 billion. The name Afghānistān is believed to be as old as the ethnonym Afghan, documented in the 10th-century geography book Hudud ul-'alam; the root name "Afghan" was used in reference to a member of the ethnic Pashtuns, the suffix "-stan" means "place of" in Persian. Therefore, Afghanistan translates to land of the Afghans or, more in a historical sense, to land of the Pashtuns. However, the modern Constitution of Afghanistan states that "he word Afghan shall apply to every citizen of Afghanistan."
Excavations of prehistoric sites by Louis Dupree and others suggest that humans were living in what is now Afghanistan at least 50,000 years ago, that farming communities in the area were among the earliest in the world. An important site of early historical activities, many believe that Afghanistan compares to Egypt in terms of the historical value of its archaeological sites; the country sits at a unique nexus point where numerous civilizations have interacted and fought. It has been home to various peoples through the ages, among them the ancient Iranian peoples who established the dominant role of Indo-Iranian languages in the region. At multiple points, the land has been incorporated within large regional empires, among them the Achaemenid Empire, the Macedonian Empire, the Indian Maurya Empire, the Islamic Empire. Many empires and kingdoms have risen to power in Afghanistan, such as the Greco-Bactrians, Hephthalites, Kabul Shahis, Samanids, Ghurids, Kartids, Timurids and the Hotak and Durrani dynasties that marked the political origins of the modern state.
Archaeological exploration done in the 20th century suggests that the geographical area of Afghanistan has been connected by culture and trade with its neighbors to the east and north. Artifacts typical of the Paleolithic, Neolithic and Iron ages have been found in Afghanistan. Urban civilization is believed to have begun as early as 3000 BCE, the early city of Mundigak may have been a colony of the nearby Indus Valley Civilization. More recent findings established that the Indus Valley Civilisation stretched up towards modern-day Afghanistan, making the ancient civilisation today part of Pakistan and India. In more detail, it extended from what today is northwest Pakistan to northwest India and northeast Afghanistan. An Indus Valley site has been found on the Oxus River at Shortugai in northern Afghanistan. There are several smaller IVC colonies to be found in Afghanistan as well. After 2000 BCE, successive waves of semi-nomadic
George Curzon, 1st Marquess Curzon of Kedleston
George Nathaniel Curzon, 1st Marquess Curzon of Kedleston, styled as Lord Curzon of Kedleston between 1898 and 1911, as Earl Curzon of Kedleston between 1911 and 1921, was known as Lord Curzon, was a British Conservative statesman, who served as Viceroy of India, from 1899 to 1905, during which time he created the territory of Eastern Bengal and Assam, as Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, from 1919 to 1924. Despite his illustrious success as both Viceroy and Foreign Secretary at the recent Conference of Lausanne, in 1923 Curzon was denied the office of Prime Minister in favour of Stanley Baldwin; this was because Curzon was a member of the House of Lords and because Lord Davidson—to whom Baldwin was loyal—and Sir Charles Waterhouse falsely claimed to Lord Stamfordham that the resigned Prime Minister Bonar Law had recommended that George V appoint Baldwin, not Curzon, as his successor. Curzon's character polarised opinion amongst his contemporaries: Winston Churchill said that Curzon "sow gratitude and resentment along his path with lavish hands".
He quarreled continually, his arrogance and inflexibility provoked the enmity of some in government. His biographers unanimously contend that the extent of his efforts for the British Empire was unrecompensed by the polity subsequent to his retirement from the office of Viceroy of India. Leonard Mosley described him as'a devoted and indefatigable public servant, dedicated to the idea of Empire'. Curzon was the eldest son and second of eleven children of Alfred Curzon, the 4th Baron Scarsdale, Rector of Kedleston in Derbyshire, his wife Blanche, daughter of Joseph Pocklington Senhouse of Netherhall in Cumberland, he was born at Kedleston Hall, built on the site where his family, who were of Norman ancestry, had lived since the 12th century. His mother, worn out by childbirth, died when George was 16. Neither parent exerted a major influence on Curzon's life. Scarsdale was an austere and unindulgent father who believed in the long-held family tradition that landowners should stay on their land and not go "roaming about all over the world".
He thus had little sympathy for those journeys across Asia between 1887 and 1895 which made his son one of the most traveled men who sat in a British cabinet. A more decisive presence in Curzon's childhood was that of his brutal, sadistic governess, Ellen Mary Paraman, whose tyranny in the nursery stimulated his combative qualities and encouraged the obsessional side of his nature. Paraman used to beat him and periodically forced him to parade through the village wearing a conical hat bearing the words liar and coward. Curzon noted, "No children well born and well-placed cried so much and so justly." He was educated at Wixenford School, Eton College, Balliol College, Oxford. At Eton, he was a favourite of Oscar Browning, an over-intimate relationship that led to his tutor's dismissal. A spinal injury, during his adolescence, whist riding, left Curzon in lifelong pain, which caused insomnia, required him to wear a metal corset for the duration of his life. At Oxford, Curzon was President of the Union and Secretary of the Oxford Canning Club: as a consequence of the extent of his time-expenditure on political and social societies, he failed to achieve a first class degree in Greats, although he subsequently won both the Lothian and Arnold Prizes, the latter for an essay on Thomas More, and, in 1883, received the most prestigious fellowship at the university, a Prize Fellowship at All Souls College.
Whilst at Eton and at Oxford, Curzon was a contemporary and close friend of Cecil Spring Rice and Edward Grey. However, Spring Rice contributed, alongside John William Mackail, to the composition of a famous sardonic doggerel about Curzon, published in The Balliol Masque: My name is George Nathaniel Curzon, I am a most superior person. My cheeks are pink, my hair is sleek, I dine at Blenheim once a week; when Spring-Rice was British Ambassador to the United States, he was suspected by Curzon of trying to prevent Curzon's engagement to the American Mary Leiter, whom Curzon married. However, Spring Rice assumed for a certainty, like many of Curzon's other friends, that Curzon would become Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs: he wrote to Curzon in 1891,'When you are Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs I hope you will restore the vanished glory of England, lead the European concert, decide the fate of nations, give me three month's leave instead of two'. Curzon became Assistant Private Secretary to Salisbury in 1885, in 1886 entered Parliament as Member for Southport in south-west Lancashire.
His maiden speech, chiefly an attack on home rule and Irish nationalism, was regarded in much the same way as his oratory at the Oxford Union: brilliant and eloquent but presumptuous and rather too self-assured. Subsequent performances in the Commons dealing with Ireland or reform of the House of Lords, received similar verdicts, he was Under-Secretary of State for India in 1891–92 and Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs in 1895–98. In the meantime he had travelled around the world: Russia and Central Asia, a long tour of Persia, French Indochina and Korea, a daring foray into Afghanistan and the Pamirs, he published several books describing related policy issues. A bold and compulsive traveler, fascinated by oriental life and geography, he was awarded the Patron's Gold Medal of the Royal Geographical