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
Kuran wa Munjan District
Kuran wa Munjan District is one of the 28 districts of Badakhshan Province in eastern Afghanistan. Located in the Hindu Kush mountains, the district is home to 8,000 residents; the district administrative center is Kuran wa Munjan. The district is in the southwest corner of the province, is bordered on its northeast side by the Jurm and Zebak Districts. Most of the district's boundaries are adjacent to other Afghan provinces, but a small section on the eastern edge of the district lies on the international border between Afghanistan and Pakistan; the epicenter of the October 26 2015 Hindu Kush earthquake was 45 km north of here. Map at the Afghanistan Information Management Services
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees is a United Nations programme with the mandate to protect refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people, assist in their voluntary repatriation, local integration or resettlement to a third country. UNHCR was created in 1950, during the aftermaths of World War II, its headquarters are in Geneva, Switzerland and it is a member of the United Nations Development Group. The UNHCR has won two Nobel Peace Prizes, once in 1954 and again in 1981 and a Prince of Asturias Awards for International Cooperation in 1991. Following the demise of the League of Nations and the formation of the United Nations the international community was acutely aware of the refugee crisis following the end of World War II. In 1947, the International Refugee Organization was founded by the United Nations; the IRO was the first international agency to deal comprehensively with all aspects of refugees' lives. Preceding this was the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration, established in 1944 to address the millions of people displaced across Europe as a result of World War II.
In the late 1940s, the IRO fell out of favor, but the UN agreed that a body was required to oversee global refugee issues. Despite many heated debates in the General Assembly, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees was founded as a subsidiary organ of the General Assembly by Resolution 319 of the United Nations General Assembly of December 1949. However, the organization was only intended to operate for 3 years, from January 1951, due to the disagreement of many UN member states over the implications of a permanent body. UNHCR's mandate was set out in its statute, annexed to resolution 428 of the United Nations General Assembly of 1950; this mandate has been subsequently broadened by numerous resolutions of the General Assembly and its Economic and Social Council. According to UNHCR, mandate is to provide, on a non-political and humanitarian basis, international protection to refugees and to seek permanent solutions for them. Soon after the signing of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, it became clear that refugees were not restricted to Europe.
In 1956, UNHCR was involved in coordinating the response to the uprising in Hungary. Just a year UNHCR was tasked with dealing with Chinese refugees in Hong Kong, while responding Algerian refugees who had fled to Morocco and Tunisia in the wake of Algeria's war for independence; the responses marked the beginning of a wider, global mandate in refugee protection and humanitarian assistance. Decolonization in the 1960s triggered large refugee movements in Africa, creating a massive challenge that would transform UNHCR. By the end of the decade, two-thirds of UNHCR's budget was focused on operations in Africa and in just one decade, the organization's focus had shifted from an exclusive focus on Europe. In 1967, the Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees was ratified to remove the geographical and temporal restrictions of UNHCR under the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees; as the Convention was confined to the refugee crisis in the aftermath of World War II in Europe, the Protocol was made to address the “new refugee situations that have arisen since the Convention was adopted and the refugees concerned that may therefore not fall within the scope of the Convention”.
In the 1970s, UNHCR refugee operations continued to spread around the globe, with the mass exodus of East Pakistanis to India shortly before the birth of Bangladesh. Adding to the woes in Asia was the Vietnam war, with millions fleeing the war-torn country; the 1980s saw new challenges for UNHCR, with many member states unwilling to resettle refugees due to the sharp rise in refugee numbers over the 1970s. These refugees were not fleeing wars between states, but inter-ethnic conflict in newly independent states; the targeting of civilians as military strategy added to the displacement in many nations, so even'minor' conflicts could result in a large number of displaced persons. Whether in Asia, Central America or Africa, these conflicts, fueled by superpower rivalry and aggravated by socio-economic problems within the concerned countries, durable solutions continued to prove a massive challenge for the UNHCR; as a result, the UNHCR became more involved with assistance programs within refugee camps located in hostile environments.
The end of the Cold War marked continued inter-ethnic conflict and contributed to refugee flight. In addition, humanitarian intervention by multinational forces became more frequent and the media began to play a big role in the lead up to the 1999 NATO mission in Yugoslavia, while by contrast, the 1994 Rwandan Genocide had little attention; the genocide in Rwanda caused a massive refugee crisis, again highlighting the difficulties for UNHCR to uphold its mandate, the UNHCR continued to battle against restrictive asylum policies in so called'rich' nations. UNHCR was established on 14 December 1950 and succeeded the earlier United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration; the agency is mandated to lead and co-ordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide. Its primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees, it strives to ensure that everyone can exercise the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge in another state, with the option to return home voluntarily, integrate locally or to resettle in a third c
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
Faryab is one of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan, located in the north of the country bordering neighboring Turkmenistan. It has a population of about 948,000, multi-ethnic and a tribal society; the province encompasses over 1,000 villages. The capital of Faryab province is Maymana. Faryab is a Persian toponym meaning "lands irrigated by diversion of river water"; the name Faryab takes its name from a town founded in the area by the Sassanids. It is the home town of al-Farabi; the area is part of the trans-border region of Greater Khorasan. The history of settlement in Faryab comprises layer upon layer of occupation. At times, it was a melting pot within which a host of cultures have merged into a non-conflictual whole or at least peaceable coexistence. Maymana and Andkhoy entered written history 2,500 years ago when Jews arrived and settled in 586 BC, fleeing the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar; the territory was under Persian control at the time, which gave way to Greek rule following the conquest by Alexander the Great in 326 BC.
Persian dominance was restored from the 3rd to the 7th century AD. The pre-Islamic period ended with the conquest of northern Afghanistan by Arab Muslims; the area "turned into a vast battlefield as the two great Arab and Persian cultures battled for not only political and geographical supremacy but ideological supremacy." As a result, centuries of Zoroastrianism, Nestorian Christianity and indigenous pagan cults were swept away. Various Islamic dynasties influenced the locals, they included the Saffarids, Ghaznavids and Ghurids. The history of Faryab was altered yet again in the 11th century, this time with the invasion of the Mongols, under Genghis Khan and his descendants; as they moved into the area from the north and towns including Maymana were razed, populations massacred, grain and livestock stolen or burnt and ancient irrigation systems obliterated. Faryab was itself destroyed by the Mongols in 1220. Control by the Mongols stemmed from the alternating capitals of Bukhara or Samarkand north of the Amu Darya River.
They ruled in a decentralized manner, allowing local tribal chiefs in Maymana and elsewhere considerable autonomy. In 1500, Uzbek princes, in the form of the Khanate of Bukhara, swept across the Amu Darya, reaching Faryab and related areas around 1505, they joined a substantial and pastoral Arab population and ruled the area until the mid-18th century. It became part of the Durrani Empire; the area was untouched by the British during the three Anglo-Afghan wars that were fought in the 19th and 20th centuries. Faryab become a province in 1964. From the administrative reforms of the 1930s until it was known as Maymana and was a sub-province of Balkh Province, which had its headquarters in Mazar-i-Sharif. During the 1990s Afghan Civil War, the front line between Taliban and opposition forces fell between Badghis and Faryab provinces in the mid-1990s. Ismail Khan fled to Faryab to reconstitute his forces following the Taliban takeover of Herat Province, but was betrayed by Abdul Malik Pahlawan. In May 1997, Abdul Malik Pahlawan raised the Taliban flag over the capital of Maymana, switching sides and initiating a renewed Taliban offensive from the west.
Following a series of changing allegiances and falling out with Malik, the Taliban withdrew from the area, but in 1998 a contingent of 8,000 Taliban fighters pressed through Faryab, seizing Abdul Rashid Dostum's headquarters in Sheberghan, in neighboring Jowzjan province. Faryab province has been one of the more peaceful areas in Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban government in late 2001. Recent development projects in the province have focused on expanding the agricultural potential of the province, in particular the re-forestation of areas of the province that were denuded in the recent past, it was reported in 2006 that Abdul Malik Pahlawan's Freedom Party of Afghanistan still maintained an armed militant wing, contributing to instability in province. The Afghan National Security Forces began expanding and took over control; the Afghanistan-Turkmenistan border is maintained by the Afghan Border Police while law and order for the rest of the province is provided by the NATO-trained Afghan National Police.
Between 2006 and late 2014, the province had a Provincial Reconstruction Team, led by Norway. The Norwegian PRT had its base at Maymana and had been given the responsibility for the Ghormach District. Afghanistan signed a deal with China National Petroleum Corporation for the development of oil blocks in the Amu Darya basin, a project expected to earn billions of dollars over two decades. CNPC began Afghan oil production in October 2012, in the same month a huge gas reserves were discovered in the Andkhoy District of Faryab province. In July 2016, Human Rights Watch accused Abdul Rashid Dostum's National Islamic Movement of Afghanistan of killing and looting civilians in Faryab; the current governor of the province is Naqibullah Faiq, a position he held since 2018. The town of Maymana is the capital of Faryab province. All law enforcement activities throughout the province a
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
Bala Murghab is a city in the Badghis Province of northwestern Afghanistan, located on the Murghab River. It is the district center for the Murghab District. Bala Murghab is the largest city of Badghis Province, while Murghab District, with a population of 109,381, is the most populous district of the province. Close to Bala Murghab lie the ruins of the medieval city Marw al-Rudh, the historical capital of the medieval region of Gharjistan. Marw al-Rudh was a major medieval city in the Gharjistan region at the location of the modern city of Bala Murghab; the Abbasid-era geographers report that Marw al-Rudh was the center of a flourishing agricultural region in Khorasan, at the site where the Murghab River leaves the mountains and enters the steppe of the Karakum Desert. A section of the Harbiyya district of the Round city of Baghdad was named Marwrūdiyya after the city of Marw al-Rudh. Although the town appears to have escaped the destruction of Marw al-Shahijan by the Mongols, it fell into ruins under the Timurids and was abandoned.
With a warm and temperate climate, Bala Murghab features a hot-summer Mediterranean climate under the Köppen climate classification. The average temperature in Bala Murghab is 16.1 °C. July is the hottest month of the year with an average temperature of 28.6 °C. The coldest month January has an average temperature of 3.6 °C. Badghis Province Wallace, Kevin. "To hell and back: The Bala Murghab saga". Idaho: U. S. Air Force. Golembesky, Michael. Level zero heroes: the story of U. S. Marine Special Operations in Bala Murghab, Afghanistan. New York: St. Martin's Press. ISBN 9781250030405. Satellite map at Maplandia.com