Kunar is one of the 34 provinces of Afghanistan, located in the northeastern part of the country. Its capital is Asadabad, it has a population of about 428,800. It is one of the four "N2KL" provinces. N2KL is the designation used by the US and Coalition Forces in Afghanistan for the rugged and violent region along the Durand Line border opposite Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Kunar is the center of the N2KL region. Kunar is the birthplace of an influential Muslim scholar and philosopher. Kunar province is located in the northeast of Afghanistan, it borders with Nangarhar Province to the south, Nuristan Province to the north, Laghman Province to the west and has a border with Pakistan in the east. The province covers an area of 4339 km2. Nearly nine tenths of the province is mountainous or semi mountainous terrain while one eighth of the area is made up of flat land; the primary geographic features of the province are the lower Hindu Kush mountains which are cut by the Kunar River to form the Kunar Valley.
The river flows south and southwest from its source in the Pamir area and is part of the Indus River watershed via the Kabul River which it meets at Jalalabad. The Kunar is a primary draining conduit for the Hindu Kush basin and several tributaries, including the Pech, which form distinct and significant valleys in the area; the mountains, narrow valleys with steep walls, rivers present formidable natural obstacles and have constrained all movement through the province. In the early 21st century, movement on foot, with pack animals, or with motorized vehicles is limited and channeled due to the significant geographic restrictions; the region has been part of many empires in the past, from the Seleucid Empire to the latest Afghan Durrani Empire. Many famous historical figures are believed to have visited the area, including Alexander the Great, Mahmud Ghaznavi, Ibn Battuta, others. Archaeologists have dated to AD 800-1000 a fortification system overlooking a Muslim cemetery at Chaga Serai. Babur wrote about Kunar in Baburnama.
He claimed that there was a shrine in Kunar of a preacher and poet Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadani, said to have died there in 1384 AD. He describes agricultural products: citron, coriander, strong yellow wines, a burial custom wherein a woman whose corpse moved was considered to have done good things in life, he mentions Chaghan-Sarai as a small town, describes the towns folk as Muslims who mixed with the Kafirs of nearby Kafiristan and followed some of their customs. He claims to have captured the town as the Pech river Kafirs tried to help the Chaghan Sarai residents repel his attack. Walter Hamilton's writing in 1828 mentions that the padishah of Cooner was joined in alliance with the neighboring Kafirs of Nuristan in battles against Muslim invaders; the Kafirs were forcibly converted by Abdur Rahman Khan in the 1890s. Some British sources from the Great Game period go into more detail about Kunar. For example, one from 1881 describes the various Kunar Chiefs and their internecine wars, the conflict with Dost Mohammad Khan, their relations with the British, etc.
Names vary with Kunar sometimes being called Kama, or Kashkote, the capital being listed as "Pashoot", not on modern maps. An 1891 book described the Kunar region as split between the lower river area, controlled by Afghan chiefs, the upstream area, where the Kunar river was referred to as the Chitral river; the major town of Chitral was the base of a badshah, who ruled under the Maharajah of Kashmir According to a US Army paper, the Pashtuns of Kunar and the Kafirs of Kunar/Nuristan joined together in the 20th century. Fundamentalist religion came to the region in the 1950s but the heavy unification happened during the Soviet–Afghan War; some of the first anti-government forces rose in the Kunar region. Kerala, a town near Asadabad, was the site of the 1979 Kerala Massacre, where the male population of a village was murdered by the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan and its Soviet advisors. Over ten-thousand Soviet and Afghan communist troops invaded the region, resulting in a massive refugee flow of the populace into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.
There were Spetsnaz units based in Asadabad, in Jalalabad, other towns. The major mujahideen groups had representation in the area, were successful enough to confine the Communist troops for the most part to their fortifications in the major towns of the Kunar valley. One of the Mujahideen leaders, Jamil al-Rahman, formed a movement that had a strict interpretation of Islam, along the lines of Wahhabism and/or Salafism, he was supported by elements in Saudi Arabia, attracted many Saudis and Egyptians who had come to Afghanistan to fight Jihad. When the Soviets left in 1988, the leader of the Mujahideen group Hizb-i-Islami, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, began to fight with Jamil al-Rahman over control of the area. Hekmatyar was victorious and his troops sacked Asadabad. By 1996 however, Mullah Omar's Taliban had driven out Hekmatyar. After the September 11 attacks of 2001, Afghanistan was invaded by United States and other NATO countries provided direct support to the Northern Alliance forces fighting the Taliban regime, toppled and fled to remote areas.
It was part of the War on Terror and to assist the new government, led by Hamid Karzai
Nari District is a mountainous district in the eastern part of Kunar Province in Afghanistan. It borders Bar Kunar District to the west, Nuristan Province to the north, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to the east and Dangam district to the south; the population was reported in 2006 as 24,500. The district center is the village of Nari 35.2103°N 71.5250°E / 35.2103. The arable land is not enough; the residents collect wood and beans and sell them. Districts of Afghanistan AIMS District Map District Profile Building Bridges in the Back of Beyond Washington Post May 1, 2008
Badakhshan Province is one of the 34 provinces of Afghanistan, located in the farthest northeastern part of the country between Tajikistan and northern Pakistan. It shares a 56.5-mile border with China. It is part of a broader historical Badakhshan region; the province contains 22 to 28 districts, over 1,200 villages, 904,700 people. Feyzabad serves as the provincial capital. Badakhshan is bordered by Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province and Khatlon Province in Tajikistan to the north and east. In the east of the province a long spur called the Wakhan Corridor extends above northern Pakistan's Chitral and Northern Areas to a border with China; the province has a total area of 44,059 square kilometres, most of, occupied by the Hindu Kush and Pamir mountain ranges. Badakhshan was a stopover on the ancient Silk Road trading path, China has shown great interest in the province after the fall of the Taliban, helping to reconstruct roads and infrastructure. According to the World Wildlife Fund, Badakhshan contains temperate grasslands and shrublands, as well as Gissaro-Alai open woodlands along the Pamir River.
Common plants found in these areas include pistachio, walnut, apple and sagebrush. Montane grasslands and shrublands are existent in the province, with the Hindu Kush alpine meadow in the high mountains in the northern and southwestern regions; the Wakhan corridor contains two montane grassland and shrubland regions: the Karakoram-West Tibetan Plateau alpine steppe and in the Pamir Mountains and Kuh-e Safed Khers in Darwaz region. South of Fayzabad the terrain becomes dominated by xeric shrublands. Common vegetation includes thorny bushes, zizyphus and Amygdatus. Paropamisus xeric woodlands can be found in central areas. Common vegetation includes almond, pistachio and sea-buckthorn; the area has a long history like the rest of Afghanistan, dating to its conquering by the Achaemenid Empire and beyond. Badakhshan etymologically derives from an official title; the suffix of the name, -ān, means the region belonged to someone with the title badaxš. The territory was ruled by the Uzbek Khanate of Bukhara between the early 16th century and the mid-18th century.
It was given to Ahmad Shah Durrani by Murad Beg of Bukhara after a treaty of friendship was reached in or about 1750 and became part of the Durrani Empire. It was ruled by the Durranis followed by the Barakzai dynasty, was untouched by the British during the three Anglo-Afghan wars that were fought in the 19th and 20th centuries, it remained peaceful for about 100 years until the 1980s Soviet–Afghan War at which point the Mujahideen began a rebellion against the central Afghan government. During the 1990s, much of the area was controlled by forces loyal to Burhanuddin Rabbani and Ahmad Shah Massoud, who were de facto the national government until 1996. Badakhshan was the only province that the Taliban did not conquer during their rule from 1996 to 2001. However, during the course of the wars a non-Taliban Islamic emirate was established in Badakhshan by Mawlawi Shariqi, paralleling the Islamic Revolutionary State of Afghanistan in neighboring Nuristan. Rabbani, a Badakhshan native, Massoud, were the last remnants of the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance during the peak of Taliban control in 2001.
Badakhshan was thus one of the few provinces of the country that witnessed little insurgency in the Afghan wars - however during the 2010s Taliban insurgents managed to attack and take control of several districts in the province. On 26 October 2015, the 7.5 Mw Hindu Kush earthquake shook northern Afghanistan with a maximum Mercalli intensity of VIII. This earthquake destroyed 30,000 homes, left several hundred dead, more than 1,700 injured; the current Governor of the province is Shah Waliullah Adeeb. His predecessors were Baz Mohammad Ahmadi; the borders with neighboring Tajikistan and Pakistan are monitored by the Afghan Border Police. All law enforcement activities throughout the province are handled by the Afghan National Police. A provincial Police Chief is assigned to lead both the ANP and the ABP; the Police Chief represents the Ministry of the Interior in Kabul. The ANP is backed by the military, including the NATO-led forces. Fayzabad, the capital of Badakhshan province, sits on the Kokcha River and has an approximate population of 50,000.
The chief commercial and administrative center of northeast Afghanistan and the Pamir region, Fayzabad has rice and flour mills. Fayzabad Airport serves the province with regular direct flights to Kabul; the percentage of households with clean drinking water increased from 13% in 2005 to 21% in 2011. The percentage of births attended to by a skilled birth attendant increased from 1.5% in 2003 to 2% in 2011. The overall literacy rate fell from 31% in 2005 to 26% in 2011; the overall net enrolment rate increased from 46% in 2005 to 68% in 2011. Despite massive mineral reserves, Badakhshan is one of the most destitute areas in the world. Opium poppy growing is the only real source of income in the province and Badakhshan has one of the highest rates of maternal mortality in the world, due to the complete lack of health infrastructure, inaccessible locations, bitter winters of the province. BORNA Institute of Higher Education being the first private university located on the bank of Kokcha river. Lapis lazuli has been mined in the Sar-e-Sang mines, located in the Kuran wa Munjan District of Badakhshan, for over 6,000 years.
The mines were the largest and most well-known source in ancient times. Most recent
Baghlan is one of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan. It is in the north of the country; as of 2013, the province has a population of about 910,700. Its capital is Puli Khumri; the ruins of a Zoroastrian fire temple, the Surkh Kotal, are located in Baghlan. The lead nation of the local Provincial Reconstruction Team was Hungary, which operated from 2006 to 2015; the name Baghlan is derived from Bagolango or "image-temple", inscribed on the temple of Surkh Kotal during the reign of the Kushan emperor, Kanishka in the early 2nd century CE. The Chinese Buddhist monk Xuanzang traveled through Baghlan in the mid-7th Century CE, referred to it as the "kingdom of Fo-kia-lang". In the 13th Century CE, a permanent garrison of Mongol troops was quartered in the Kunduz-Baghlan area, in 1253 fell under the jurisdiction of Sali Noyan Tatar, appointed there by Möngke Khan. Sali Noyan's position was inherited by his son Uladu, grandson Baktut; these Turco-Mongol garrison troops formed the Qara'unas faction, by the 14th Century had allied with the Chaghataite Khanate.
Under the rule of Temür the Qara'unas were given to Chekü Barlas, to his son Jahānshāh. Forbes Manz notes that these Kunduz-Baghlan forces appear to have remained cohesive and influential throughout the Timurid period, though under different leaders and different names, up until the Uzbek invasion. By the Islamic year 900, the area was noted in the Baburnama. In the mid-20th Century, as Afghanistan became the target of international development from both the Western and Soviet world, agricultural-industrial projects were initiated in Baghlan; these included factories for the production of sugar for vegetable oil. Czech expertise figured into the development of Baghlans' coal-mining industry, centred at Baghlan's Karkar Valley, the only coal mine in Afghanistan to remain operational up through 1992; the modern Baghlan Province was created out of the former Qataghan Province in 1964. During the Soviet–Afghan War, the Soviets in 1982 established the Kayan military zone in southern Baghlan; the area was defended by 10,000 Ismaili militiamen, increasing to 18,000 by 1992, who sided with the Soviets due to differences with the Islamist opposition.
Afghan Ismailis overall were inclined to support the Communists, though a local Ismaili leader, Sayed Manuchehr, lead a partisan movement against the Communists until Ismaili leader Sayed Mansur Naderi accepted Soviet support. Large portions of Baghlan and neighbouring Samangan Province were under the sway of the Soviet-aligned Naderi clan, the hereditary Ismaili Sayeds of Kayan. Under their jurisdiction, was quiet and societally functional throughout the 1980s, with hospitals and administrative services, funded by the communist central government. Despite the Naderi's alliance with the Communists, they maintained positive relations with the Mujahideen as well, permitting them to move through the area provided they refrained from attacks. One of the Soviets' three primary bases in Afghanistan, was located in Baghlan Province, served as the "largest military supply and armoury centre of the Soviet troops in Afghanistan." As the 2001 Afghan War commenced, Ismaili leader Sayed Mansoor Naderi attempted to retake Baghlan from the Taliban.
Naderi was aligned with Uzbek warlord Abdul Rashid Dostum and his Jumbesh-e Milli party, the competing Tajik-dominated Jamiat-e Islami party was keen to seize control of Baghlan as Taliban power eroded. The Jamiat were able to seize the capital of Pul-i Khumri before Naderi, who despite his strong backing among the Afghan Ismailis and Shia Hazaras, was unable to rally enough supporters to control the province. Naderi failed to retake the capital in 2001 and 2003, in the latter event he negotiated a power-sharing agreement with the dominant Andarabi militias and made the Ismaili bastion of the Kayan Valley his base. On 13 June 2012, two earthquakes hit Afghanistan and there was a major landslide in Burka District of Baghlan Province; the village of Sayi Hazara was buried under up to 30 meters of rock. The town of Puli Khumri serves as the capital of the province. All law enforcement activities throughout the province are handled by the Afghan National Police; the provincial police chief represents the Ministry of the Interior in Kabul.
The ANP is backed including the NATO-led forces. Abdul Sattar Bariz has been the governor of the province since October 2015; the population of Baghlan province was reported at 863,700 in the year 2013. Tajiks make up 50% of the population, followed by 20% Pashtuns, 5% Turkmens, 20% Hazaras, 5% Uzbeks, others. Most of the population speak Persian, followed by Pashto-speaking Pashtuns and some Tatars. Baghlan is home to a small community of Ismaili Muslims led by the Sayeds of Kayan; the percentage of households with clean drinking water increased from 19% in 2005 to 25% in 2011. The percentage of births attended to by a skilled birth attendant increased from 5.5% in 2005 to 22% in 2011. The overall literacy rate increased from 21% in 2005 to 24% in 2011; the overall net enrolment rate increased from 29% in 2005 to 62% in 2011. Baghlan's primary crops were cotton and sugar beets, industrial sugar production having begun under Czech supervision in the 1940s; the area produced grapes and pomegranates.
The primary livestock is Karakul sheep. The province produces silk, coal is mined in the Karkar Valley. Baghlan 2007 Baghlan sugar factory bom
Dushi district is located in the central part of Baghlan Province, Afghanistan. It lies on the major Kabul-Kunduz highway; the population of the district was estimated to be around 57,160 in 2004. Hazaras are around 88% of the population and make up the majority in the district, followed by small minorities of Tajiks and Pashtuns The centre of the district is Dushi. Dushi is home to an overhead power line carrying imported electricity from Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan; the 300 MegaWatt supply was the subject of a grant for expansion in 2013 from the Asian Development Bank. The line supplies the capital, Kabul. On April 13, 2018, Taliban insurgents used explosives to destroy a pylon, disrupting power supplies to the region. Districts of Afghanistan Map of Settlements United Nations, AIMS, May 2002
Nuristan spelled Nurestan or Nooristan, is one of the 34 provinces of Afghanistan, located in the eastern part of the country. It is divided into seven districts and has a population of about 140,900. Parun serves as the provincial capital, it was known as Kafiristan until the inhabitants were forcibly converted from an animist religion a form of ancient Hinduism infused with local variations, to Islam in 1895, thence the region has become known as Nuristan. The region was located in an area surrounded by Buddhist civilizations which were taken over by Muslims; the origins of the Nuristani has been disputed, ranging from being the indigenous inhabitants forced to flee to this region after refusing to surrender to Muslim invaders, to being linked to various ancient groups of people and the Turk Shahi kings. The primary occupations are agriculture, animal husbandry, day labor. Located on the southern slopes of the Hindu Kush mountains in the northeastern part of the country, Nuristan spans the basins of the Alingar, Landai Sin, Kunar rivers.
Nuristan is bordered on the south by Laghman and Kunar provinces, on the north by Badakhshan province, on the west by Panjshir province, on the east by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. The surrounding area fell to Alexander the Great in 330 BC, it fell to Chandragupta Maurya. The Mauryas introduced Buddhism to the region, were attempting to expand their empire to Central Asia until they faced local Greco-Bactrian forces. Seleucus is said to have reached a peace treaty with Chandragupta by giving control of the territory south of the Hindu Kush to the Mauryas upon intermarriage and 500 elephants. Before their conversion to Islam, the Nuristanis or Kafir people practiced a form of ancient Hinduism infused with locally developed accretions, they were called "kafirs" due to their enduring paganism while other regions around them became Muslim. However, the influence from district names in Kafiristan of Katwar or Kator and the ethnic name Kati has been suggested; the area extending from modern Nuristan to Kashmir was known as "Peristan", a vast area containing host of "Kafir" cultures and Indo-European languages that became Islamized over a long period.
Earlier, it was surrounded by Buddhist areas. The Islamization of the nearby Badakhshan began in the 8th century and Peristan was surrounded by Muslim states in the 16th century with Islamization of Baltistan; the Buddhist states temporarily brought state rule into the region. The decline of Buddhism resulted in it becoming isolated. There have been varying theories about the origins of Kafirs including the Arab tribe of Quraish, or Gabars of Persia, the Greek soldiers of Alexander as well as the Indians of eastern Afghanistan. George Scott Robertson considered them to be part of the old Indian population of Eastern Afghanistan and stated they fled to the mountains after the Muslim invasion in the 10th century, he added they found other races there whom they killed off and enslaved or amalgamated with them. Oral traditions of some of the Nuristanis place themselves to be at the confluence of Kabul River and Kunar River a millennium ago; these traditions state they were driven off from Kandahar to Kabul to Kapisa to Kama with the Muslim invasion.
They identify themselves as late arrivals in Nuristan, being driven by Mahmud of Ghazni who after establishing his empire forced the unsubmissive population to flee. The name Kator was used by last king of the Turk Shahi. Due to its usage by the last Turk-Shahi ruler, it was adopted as a title by the ruler of the north-west region of the Indian subcontinent, comprising Chitral and Kafiristan; the title "Shah Kator" was assumed by Chitral's ruler Mohtaram Shah who assumed it upon being impressed by the majesty of the erstwhile pagan rulers of Chitral. The theory of Kators being related to Turki Shahis is based on the information of Jami- ut-Tawarikh and Tarikh-i-Binakiti; the region was named after its ruling elite. The royal usage may be the origin behind the name of Kator; the high god of the pre-Islamic Nuristani religion was the god Imra, derived from the Hindu god Yama, was called Mara. Another god was Indr, derived from Indra, he was seen as the brother of the goddess Dishani. There were many other minor gods worshiped in the region.
The region was invaded by forces of Afghan Amir Abdur Rahman Khan in 1896 and most of the people were converted either by force or did so to avoid the jizya: In the end, Kafiristan was subdued, most of its residents either by force or for economic reason - namely to avoid the jizya poll tax - were converted to Islam and the region became known as Nuristan. The region was renamed Nuristan, meaning Land of the enlightened, a reflection of the "enlightening" of the pagan Nuristani by the "light-giving" of Islam. Nuristan was once thought to have been a region through which Alexander the Great passed with a detachment of his army. Abdul Wakil Khan Nuristani is one of the most prominent figures in Nuristan's history, he fought against the British-led Punjabi army and drove them out of the eastern provinces of Afghanistan. He is buried on the same plateau. Since the creation of Pakistan in 1947, Afghan politicians have been focusing on re-annexing Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of what is now Pakistan.
This has led to militancy on both sides of the Durand Line. In the meantime, Pakistani politicians have been focusing on connecting what is now Tajikistan with
Balkh is one of the 34 provinces of Afghanistan, located in the north of the country. It is divided into 15 districts and has a population of about 1,245,100, multi-ethnic and a Persian-speaking society; the city of Mazar-i-Sharif serves as the capital of the province. The Mazar-e Sharif International Airport and Camp Marmal sit on the eastern edge of Mazar-i-Sharif; the name of the province is derived from the ancient city near the modern town. The city of Mazar-e-Sharif has been an important stop on the trade routes from the Far East to the Middle East, the Mediterranean and Europe. Home to the famous blue mosque, it was once destroyed by Genghis Khan but rebuilt by Timur; the city of Balkh and the area of Balkh Province was considered a part of various historical regions in history including Ariana and Greater Khorasan. It serves today as Afghanistan's second but main gateway to Central Asia, the other being Sherkhan Bandar in the Kunduz Province. Balkh Province is situated in the northern part of Afghanistan, bordering Turkmenistan in the north-west, bordering Uzbekistan in the north, Tajikistan in the north-east, Kunduz Province in the east, Samangan Province in the south-east, Sar-e Pol Province in the south-west and Jowzjan Province in the west.
The province covers an area of 16,840 km2. Nearly half of the province is mountainous or semi-mountainous terrain while half of the area is made up of flat land; the Bactria-Margiana Archaeological Complex is the modern archaeological designation for a Bronze Age culture of Central Asia, dated to ca. 2200–1700 BCE, located in present-day Turkmenistan, northern Afghanistan, southern Uzbekistan and western Tajikistan, centered on the upper Amu Darya, in area covering ancient Bactria. Its sites were named by the Soviet archaeologist Viktor Sarianidi. Bactria was the Greek name for the area of Bakhlo, in what is now northern Afghanistan, Margiana was the Greek name for the Persian satrapy of Margu, the capital of, Merv, in today's Turkmenistan; the early Greek historian Ctesias c. 400 BCE alleged that the legendary Assyrian king Ninus had defeated a Bactrian king named Oxyartes in ca. 2140 BC, or some 1000 years before the Trojan War. Since the discovery of cuneiform enabled actual Assyrian records to be deciphered in the 19th century, historians have ascribed little value to the Greek account.
According to some writers, Bactria was the homeland of Indo-European tribes who moved south-west into what is today Iran and into the north-western Indian Subcontinent around 2500–2000 BCE. It became the northern province of the Achaemenid Empire, it was in these regions, where the fertile soil of the mountainous country is surrounded by the Turanian desert, that the prophet Zoroaster was said to have been born and gained his first adherents. Avestan, the language of the oldest portions of the Zoroastrian Avesta, was one of the old Iranian languages, is the oldest attested member of the Eastern Iranian branch of the Iranian language family, it is suggested by E. Herzfeld, it was annexed by the Achaemenid Persians in the 6th century BCE and together with Margiana it formed the twelfth satrapy of the Achaemenids. After Darius III of Persia was defeated by Alexander the Great and killed in the ensuing chaos, his murderer Bessus, the satrap of Bactria, tried to organize a national resistance based on his satrapie but was captured by other warlords and delivered to Alexander.
He was tortured and killed. Alexander the Great conquered Persia. However, in the south, beyond the Oxus, he met strong resistance. After two years of war Bactria was occupied by the Macedonians, but Alexander never subdued the people. After Alexander's death, the Macedonian Empire was divided up between several generals in Alexander's army. Bactria became part of the founder of the Seleucid Empire. "The famed Bactrian Empire of a thousand cities, wallowing in wealth" The many difficulties against which the Seleucid kings had to fight and the attacks of Ptolemy II of Egypt gave Diodotus, satrap of Bactria, the opportunity to declare independence and conquer Sogdiana. He was the founder of the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom. Diodotus and his successors were able to maintain themselves against the attacks of the Seleucids—particularly from Antiochus III the Great, defeated by the Romans; the Greco-Bactrians were so powerful that they were able to expand their territory as far as India: "As for Bactria, a part of it lies alongside Aria towards the north, though most of it lies above Aria and to the east of it.
And much of it produces everything except oil. The Greeks who caused Bactria to revolt grew so powerful on account of the fertility of the country that they became masters, not only of Bactria and beyond, but of India, as Apollodorus of Artemita says: and more tribes were subdued by them than by Alexander...."The Greco-Bactrians used Greek language for administrative purposes, the local Bactrian language was Hellenized, as suggested by its adoption of the Greek alphabet and Greek loanwords. In turn, some of these words were borrowed by modern Pashto, the language of Afghanistan; the weakness of the Greco-Bactrians was shown by its sudden and complete overthrow, first by the Sakas, by the Yuezhi, who had conquered Bactria by the time of the visit of the Chinese envoy Zhang Qian, sent by the Han emperor to investigate land