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
Darwaz-e Bala District
Darwaz-e Bala known as Nusay, is a district in Badakhshan Province, Afghanistan. It was created in 2005 from part of Darwaz District, it is home to 11,000 residents. This district borders the Shekay, Kuf Ab, Maimay districts, along with districts in Darvoz, Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province, Tajikistan; the district was part of the Darvaz principality, a semi-independent statelet ruled by a mir. Badakhshan Province Map – United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Khwahan District, is one of the 28 districts of Badakhshan Province, located in northeastern Afghanistan. The district capital is Khwahan; the population of the district is 27,000. The district borders Raghistan to the southwest, Kuf Ab in the northeast, the Panj River in the northwest, Shuro-obod district, Khatlon Province, of Tajikistan. Kuh-e kallat List of villages and places, of Khwahan District in alphabetical order Darwaz Map at the Afghanistan Information Management Services Its coordinates are 37°53'19" N and 70°13'10" E in DMS or 37.8886 and 70.2194. Its UTM position is XG09 and its Joint Operation Graphics reference is NJ42-11khwahan
The Hazaras are an ethnic group native to the mountainous region of Hazarajat in central Afghanistan, speaking the Hazaragi variant of Dari, itself an eastern variety of Persian, one of the two official languages of Afghanistan. They are the third-largest ethnic group in Afghanistan, they make up a significant minority group in the neighboring Pakistan, with a population of over 650,000–900,000 living in the region of Quetta. Babur, founder of the Mughal Empire in the early 16th century, records the name Hazara in his autobiography, he referred to the populace of a region called Hazaristan, located west of the Kabulistan region, north of Ghazna, southwest of Ghor. The conventional theory is that the name Hazara derives from the Persian word for "thousand", it may be the translation of the Mongol word ming, a military unit of 1,000 soldiers at the time of Genghis Khan. With time, the term Hazar could have been substituted for the Mongol word and now stands for the group of people, while the Hazaras in their native language always call themselves and.
The origins of the Hazara have not been reconstructed. Significant inner Asian descent—in historical context and Mongol—is impossible to rule out because the Hazara's physical attributes, facial bone structures and parts of their culture and language resemble those of Mongolians and Central Asian Turks. Genetic analysis of the Hazara indicate partial Mongolian ancestry. Invading Mongols and Turco-Mongols mixed with the local Iranian population, forming a distinct group. For example, Nikudari Mongols settled in what is now Afghanistan and mixed with native populations who spoke Dari Persian. A second wave of Chagatai Mongols came from Central Asia and were followed by other Mongolic groups, associated with the Ilkhanate and the Timurids, all of whom settled in Hazarajat and mixed with the local Dari-speaking population, forming a distinct group; the Hazara identity in Afghanistan is believed by many to have originated in the aftermath of the 1221 Siege of Bamyan. The first mention of Hazara are made by Babur in the early 16th century and by the court historians of Shah Abbas of the Safavid dynasty.
It is reported that they embraced Shia Islam between the end of the 16th and the beginning of the 17th century, during the Safavid period. Hazara men along with tribes of other ethnic groups had been recruited and added to the army of Ahmad Shah Durrani in the 18th century; some claim that in the mid‑18th century Hazara were forced out of Helmand and the Arghandab District of Kandahar Province. During the second reign of Dost Mohammad Khan in the 19th century, Hazara from Hazarajat began to be taxed for the first time. However, for the most part they still managed to keep their regional autonomy until the subjugation of Abdur Rahman Khan began in the late 19th century; when the Treaty of Gandomak was signed and the Second Anglo-Afghan War ended in 1880, Abdur Rahman Khan set out a goal to bring Hazarajat and Kafiristan under his control. He launched several campaigns in Hazarajat due to resistance from the Hazara in which his forces committed atrocities; the southern part of Hazarajat was spared as they accepted his rule, while the other parts of Hazarajat rejected Abdur Rahman and instead supported his uncle, Sher Ali Khan.
In response to this Abdur Rahman waged a war against tribal leaders who rejected his policies and rule. Abdur Rahman arrested Syed Jafar, chief of the Sheikh Ali Hazara tribe, jailed him in Mazar-i-Sharif; the 1888–1893 Uprisings of Hazaras occurred when the Treaty of Gandomak was signed and the Second Anglo-Afghan War ended in 1880, causing Abdur Rahman Khan to set out on a goal to bring Hazarajat and Kafiristan under his control. He launched several campaigns in Hazarajat due to resistance from the Hazara in which his forces committed atrocities; the southern part of Hazarajat was spared as they accepted his rule, while the other parts of Hazarajat rejected Abdur Rahman and instead supported his uncle, Sher Ali Khan. In response to this Abdur Rahman waged a war against tribal leaders who rejected his policies and rule. Abdur Rahman arrested Syed Jafar, chief of the Sheikh Ali Hazara tribe, jailed him in Mazar-i-Sharif; these campaigns had a catastrophic impact on the demographics of Hazaras causing 60% of them to perish or become displaced.
In 1901, Habibullah Khan, Abdur Rahman's successor, granted amnesty to all people who were exiled by his predecessor. However, the division between the Afghan government and the Hazara people was made too deep under Abdur Rahman. Hazara continued to face severe social and political discrimination through most of the 20th century. In 1933 King Mohammed Nadir Khan was assassinated by Abdul Khaliq Hazara; the Afghan government captured and executed him along with several of his innocent family members. Mistrust of the central government by the Hazaras and local uprisings continued. In particular, in the 1940s, during Zahir Shah's rule, a revolt took place against new taxes that were imposed on the Hazara; the Kuchi nomads meanwhile not only were exempted from taxes, but received allowances from the Afghan government. The angry rebels began killing government officials. In response, the central government sent a force to subdue the region and removed the taxes. During the Soviet–Afghan War, the Hazarajat region did not see as much heavy fighting as other regions of Afghanistan.
However, rival Hazara political factions fought. The division was between the Tanzáim-i nasl-i naw-i Hazara, a party based in Quetta, of Hazara nationalists and secular intellectuals, the pro-Khomeini Islamist parties backed by the new Islamic Republic of Iran. By 1979, the Iran-backed Islamist groups liberated
Istālif is a village 29 kilometres northwest of Kabul, situated at an elevation of 1,693 metres. It is the center of Kabul Province, Afghanistan; the village was destroyed during the long-lasting wars around Kabul. There are newly constructed buildings; the village needs a lot of work to be done to return its previous state. Istalif is famous for its handmade glazed potteries, its name might derive from Parachi estuf. Istalif was always renowned as one of the most beautiful places in Afghanistan – the Emperor Babur fell in love with it in the 16th century and used to hold parties in his rose garden and summer house there. Alexander Burnes, a British political agent to Dost Mohammed in the 19th century, had come here to relax amid the plane and walnut trees, he described that the mountains streams are full of fishes and the orchards and vineyards are richest. During the final phase of the First Anglo-Afghan War, as General Pollock's Army of Retribution marched into Kabul, many families fled to Istalif.
Troops were dispatched, which surrounded the town and systemically pillaged it. The British and Indian soldiers burnt them alive, they massacred children as well. Http://www.istalif.com/ Rehabilitation program Photo of a highrise in Istalif
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
Wakhan District is one of the 28 districts of Badakhshan Province in eastern Afghanistan. The total population for the district is about 13,000 residents; the district has three international borders: Tajikistan to the north, Pakistan to the south, Afghanistan's only border with China to the east. The capital of the district is the village of Khandud, which has a population of 1,244. Wakhan Wakhan Corridor Map at the Afghanistan Information Management Services