پاکستان افغانستان باؤنڈری The Durand Line is the 2,200-kilometre international border, between Pakistan and Afghanistan. It was established in 1893 between Sir Mortimer Durand, a British diplomat and civil servant of the British Raj, Abdur Rahman Khan, the Afghan Amir, to fix the limit of their respective spheres of influence and improve diplomatic relations and trade. Afghanistan was considered by the British as an independent state at the time, although the British controlled its foreign affairs and diplomatic relations; the single-page agreement, dated 12 November 1893, contains seven short articles, including a commitment not to exercise interference beyond the Durand Line. A joint British-Afghan demarcation survey took place starting from 1894, covering some 800 miles of the border. Established towards the close of the British-Russian "Great Game", the resulting line established Afghanistan as a buffer zone between British and Russian interests in the region; the line, as modified by the Anglo-Afghan Treaty of 1919, was inherited by Pakistan in 1947, following its independence.
The Durand Line cuts through the Pashtun tribal areas and further south through the Balochistan region, politically dividing ethnic Pashtuns, as well as the Baloch and other ethnic groups, who live on both sides of the border. It demarcates Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit-Baltistan of northern and western Pakistan from the northeastern and southern provinces of Afghanistan. From a geopolitical and geostrategic perspective, it has been described as one of the most dangerous borders in the world. Although the Durand Line is internationally recognized as the western border of Pakistan, it remains unrecognized by Afghanistan. In 2017, amid cross-border tensions, former Afghan President Hamid Karzai said that Afghanistan will "never recognise" the Durand Line as the international border between the two countries; the area through which the Durand Line runs has been inhabited by the indigenous Pashtuns since ancient times, at least since 500 B. C; the Greek historian Herodotus mentioned a people called Pactyans living in and around Arachosia as early as the 1st millennium BC.
The Baloch tribes inhabit the southern end of the line, which runs in the Balochistan region that separates the ethnic Baloch people. Arab Muslims conquered the area in the 7th century and introduced Islam to the Pashtuns, it is believed that some of the early Arabs settled among the Pashtuns in the Sulaiman Mountains. It is important to note that these Pashtuns were known as "Afghans" and are believed to be mentioned by that name in Arabic chronicles as early as the 10th century; the Pashtun area fell within the Ghaznavid Empire in the 10th century followed by the Ghurids, Mughals, Hotakis, by the Durranis, thereafter brutally conquered and consilidated by the reigning Sikh empire. In 1839, during the First Anglo-Afghan War, British-led Indian forces invaded Afghanistan and initiated a war with the Afghan rulers. Two years in 1842, the British were defeated and the war ended; the British again invaded Afghanistan in 1878, during the Second Anglo-Afghan War, withdrawing a couple of years after attaining some geopolitical objectives.
During this war, the Treaty of Gandamak was signed, ceding control of various frontier areas to the British Empire. In 1893, Mortimer Durand was dispatched to Kabul by the government of British India to sign an agreement with Amir Abdur Rahman Khan for fixing the limits of their respective spheres of influence as well as improving diplomatic relations and trade. On November 12, 1893, the Durand Line Agreement was reached; the two parties camped at Parachinar, a small town near Khost in Afghanistan, now part of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan, to delineate the frontier. From the British side, the camp was attended by Mortimer Durand and Sahibzada Abdul Qayyum, Political Agent Khyber Agency representing the British Viceroy and Governor General; the Afghan side was represented by Sahibzada Abdul Latif and a former governor of Khost province in Afghanistan, Sardar Shireendil Khan, representing Amir Abdur Rahman Khan. The original 1893 Durand Line Agreement was written with translated copies in Dari.
The resulting agreement or treaty led to the creation of a new province called at the time North-West Frontier Province now known as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, a province of Pakistan which includes FATA and Frontier Regions. It included the areas of Multan, the Bahawalpur, Dera Ghazi Khan; these areas were part of the Durrani Empire from 1709 until the 1820s when the Sikh Empire, followed by the British and took possession. The initial and primary demarcation, a joint Afghan-British survey and mapping effort, covered 800 miles and took place from 1894 to 1896. "The total length of the boundary, delimitated and demarcated between March 1894 and May 1896, amounted to 800 miles." Detailed topographic maps locating hundreds of boundary demarcation pillars were soon published and are available in the Survey of India collection at the British Library. The complete 20-page text of these detailed joint Afghan-British demarcation surveys is available in several sources, which point out that "J. Donald and Sardar Shireendil Khan settled the boundary from Sikaram Peak to Laram Peak in a document dated 21 November 1894.
This section was marked by 76 pillars. The boundary from Laram Peak to... Khwaja Khidr... was surveyed and marked by H. A. Anderson in concert with various Afghan chiefs... marked by pillars which are described in a report dated 15 April 1895. L. W. King
Lapis lazuli, or lapis for short, is a deep blue metamorphic rock used as a semi-precious stone, prized since antiquity for its intense color. As early as the 7th millennium BCE, lapis lazuli was mined in the Sar-i Sang mines, in Shortugai, in other mines in Badakhshan province in northeast Afghanistan. Lapis was valued by the Indus Valley Civilisation. Lapis beads have been found at Neolithic burials in Mehrgarh, the Caucasus, as far from Afghanistan as Mauritania, it was used in the funeral mask of Tutankhamun. At the end of the Middle Ages, lapis lazuli began to be exported to Europe, where it was ground into powder and made into ultramarine, the finest and most expensive of all blue pigments, it was used by some of the most important artists of the Renaissance and Baroque, including Masaccio, Perugino and Vermeer, was reserved for the clothing of the central figures of their paintings the Virgin Mary. Today, mines in northeast Afghanistan are still the major source of lapis lazuli. Important amounts are produced from mines west of Lake Baikal in Russia, in the Andes mountains in Chile.
Smaller quantities are mined in Italy, the United States, Canada. Lapis is the Latin word for "stone" and lazulī is the genitive form of the Medieval Latin lazulum, taken from the Arabic لازورد lāzaward, itself from the Persian لاجورد lājevard, the name of the stone in Persian and of a place where lapis lazuli was mined. "Lazulum" is etymologically related to the color blue and used as a root for the word for blue in several languages, including Spanish and Portuguese "azul". The most important mineral component of lapis lazuli is lazurite, a feldspathoid silicate mineral with the formula 861-2. Most lapis lazuli contains calcite and pyrite; some samples of lapis lazuli contain augite. Lapis lazuli occurs in crystalline marble as a result of contact metamorphism; the intense blue color is due to the presence of the trisulfur radical anion in the crystal. An electronic excitation of one electron from the highest doubly filled molecular orbital into the lowest singly occupied orbital results in a intense absorption line at λmax ~617 nm.
Lapis lazuli is found in limestone in the Kokcha River valley of Badakhshan province in northeastern Afghanistan, where the Sar-e-Sang mine deposits have been worked for more than 6,000 years. Afghanistan was the source of lapis for the ancient Egyptian and Mesopotamian civilizations, as well as the Greeks and Romans. Ancient Egyptians obtained this material through trade from Afghanistan with the Aryans. During the height of the Indus Valley Civilisation about 2000 BCE, the Harappan colony now known as Shortugai was established near the lapis mines. According to the Sorbonne's mineralogist Pierre Bariand's leading work on the sources of lapis lazuli in modern times, to references in Afghanistan's Blue Treasure: Lapis Lazuli by Lailee McNair Bakhtiar, the lapis lazuli is found in "caves" not traditionally considered "mines" and the stone lapis lazuli is from the primary source of the Hindu Kush Mountains in Afghanistan's Kochka River Valley and not in Pakistan. In addition to the Afghan deposits, lapis is extracted in the Andes.
It is mined in smaller amounts in Angola. Lapis takes an excellent polish and can be made into jewelry, boxes, ornaments, small statues, vases. During the Renaissance, Lapis was ground and processed to make the pigment ultramarine for use in frescoes and oil painting, its usage as a pigment in oil paint ended in the early 19th century when a chemically identical synthetic variety became available. Lapis lazuli is commercially synthesized or simulated by the Gilson process, used to make artificial ultramarine and hydrous zinc phosphates, it may be substituted by spinel or sodalite, or by dyed jasper or howlite. Lapis lazuli has been mined in Afghanistan and exported to the Mediterranean world and South Asia since the Neolithic age. Lapis lazuli beads have been found at Mehrgarh, a neolithic site near Quetta in Pakistan, on the ancient trade route between Afghanistan and the Indus Valley, dating to the 7th millennium BCE. Quantities of these beads have been found at 4th millennium BCE settlements in Northern Mesopotamia, at the Bronze Age site of Shahr-e Sukhteh in southeast Iran.
A dagger with a lapis handle, a bowl inlaid with lapis, amulets and inlays representing eyebrows and beards, were found in the Royal Tombs of the Sumerian city-state of Ur from the 3rd Millennium BCE. Lapis was used in ancient Mesopotamia by the Akkadians and Babylonians for seals and jewelry. In the Mesopotamian poem the Epic of Gilgamesh, one of the oldest known works of literature, lapis lazuli is mentioned several times; the Statue of Ebih-Il, a 3rd millennium BCE statue found in the ancient city-state of Mari in modern-day Syria, now in the Louvre, uses lapis lazuli inlays for the irises of the eyes. In ancient Egypt, lapis lazuli was a favorite stone for ornaments such as scarabs. Lapis jewelry has been found at excavations of the Predynastic Egyptian site Naqada. At Karnak, the relief carvings of Thutmose III show fragments and barrel-shaped pieces of lapis lazuli being delivered to him as tribute. Powdered lapis was u
United States Geological Survey
The United States Geological Survey is a scientific agency of the United States government. The scientists of the USGS study the landscape of the United States, its natural resources, the natural hazards that threaten it; the organization has four major science disciplines, concerning biology, geography and hydrology. The USGS is a fact-finding research organization with no regulatory responsibility; the USGS is a bureau of the United States Department of the Interior. The USGS employs 8,670 people and is headquartered in Reston, Virginia; the USGS has major offices near Lakewood, Colorado, at the Denver Federal Center, Menlo Park, California. The current motto of the USGS, in use since August 1997, is "science for a changing world." The agency's previous slogan, adopted on the occasion of its hundredth anniversary, was "Earth Science in the Public Service." Since 2012, the USGS science focus is directed at six topical "Mission Areas", namely Climate and Land Use Change, Core Science Systems, Ecosystems and Minerals and Environmental Health, Natural Hazards, Water.
In December 2012, the USGS split the Energy and Minerals and Environmental Health Mission Area resulting in seven topical Mission Areas, with the two new areas being: Energy and Minerals and Environmental Health. Administratively, it is divided into six Regional Units. Other specific programs include: Earthquake Hazards Program monitors earthquake activity worldwide; the National Earthquake Information Center in Golden, Colorado on the campus of the Colorado School of Mines detects the location and magnitude of global earthquakes. The USGS runs or supports several regional monitoring networks in the United States under the umbrella of the Advanced National Seismic System; the USGS informs authorities, emergency responders, the media, the public, both domestic and worldwide, about significant earthquakes. It maintains long-term archives of earthquake data for scientific and engineering research, it conducts and supports research on long-term seismic hazards. USGS has released the UCERF California earthquake forecast.
As of 2005, the agency is working to create a National Volcano Early Warning System by improving the instrumentation monitoring the 169 volcanoes in U. S. territory and by establishing methods for measuring the relative threats posed at each site. The USGS National Geomagnetism Program monitors the magnetic field at magnetic observatories and distributes magnetometer data in real time; the USGS collaborates with Canadian and Mexican government scientists, along with the Commission for Environmental Cooperation, to produce the North American Environmental Atlas, used to depict and track environmental issues for a continental perspective. The USGS operates the streamgaging network for the United States, with over 7400 streamgages. Real-time streamflow data are available online. National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center implements partner-driven science to improve understanding of past and present land use change, develops relevant climate and land use forecasts, identifies lands and communities that are most vulnerable to adverse impacts of change from the local to global scale.
Since 1962, the Astrogeology Research Program has been involved in global and planetary exploration and mapping. In collaboration with Stanford University, the USGS operates the USGS-Stanford Ion Microprobe Laboratory, a world-class analytical facility for U--Pb geochronology and trace element analyses of minerals and other earth materials. USGS operates a number of water related programs, notably the National Streamflow Information Program and National Water-Quality Assessment Program. USGS Water data is publicly available from their National Water Information System database; the USGS operates the National Wildlife Health Center, whose mission is "to serve the nation and its natural resources by providing sound science and technical support, to disseminate information to promote science-based decisions affecting wildlife and ecosystem health. The NWHC provides information, technical assistance, research and leadership on national and international wildlife health issues." It is the agency responsible for surveillance of H5N1 avian influenza outbreaks in the United States.
The USGS runs 17 biological research centers in the United States, including the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. The USGS is investigating collaboration with the social networking site Twitter to allow for more rapid construction of ShakeMaps; the USGS produces several national series of topographic maps which vary in scale and extent, with some wide gaps in coverage, notably the complete absence of 1:50,000 scale topographic maps or their equivalent. The largest and best-known topographic series is the 7.5-minute, 1:24,000 scale, quadrangle, a non-metric scale unique to the United States. Each of these maps covers an area bounded by two lines of latitude and two lines of longitude spaced 7.5 minutes apart. Nearly 57,000 individual maps in this series cover the 48 contiguous states, Hawaii, U. S. territories, areas of Alaska near Anchorage and Prudhoe Bay. The area covered by each map varies with the latitude of its represented location due to convergence of the meridians. At lower latitudes, near 30° north, a 7.5-minute quadrangle contains an area of about 64 square miles.
At 49° north latitude, 49 square miles are contained within a quadrangle of that size. As a unique non-metric map scale, the 1:24,000 scale requires a separate and specialized romer scale for pl
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
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
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
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