Foreign relations of Afghanistan
Foreign relations of Afghanistan are handled by the nation's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, headed by Salahuddin Rabbani. He answers to, receives guidance from, the President of Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani; the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan has close and friendly relations with a number of countries around the world, including: Turkey, United States, United Kingdom, Germany, South Korea, India, Canada, United Arab Emirates and many others. 1980s Soviet war, Afghanistan pursued a policy of neutrality and nonalignment rein its foreign relations, being one of a few independent nations to stay neutral in both World War I and World War II. In international forums, Afghanistan followed the voting patterns of Asian and African non-aligned countries. During the 1950s and 1960s, Afghanistan was able to use the Russian and American need for allies during the Cold War as a way to receive economic assistance from both countries. However, given that unlike Russia, America refused to give extensive military aid to the country, the government of Daoud Khan developed warmer ties with the USSR while remaining non-aligned.
Following the coup of April 1978, the government under Nur Muhammad Taraki developed closer ties with the Soviet Union and its communist satellites. After the December 1979 Soviet invasion, Afghanistan's foreign policy mirrored that of the Soviet Union. Afghan foreign policymakers attempted, with little success, to increase their regime's low standing in the noncommunist world. With the signing of the Geneva Accords, President Najibullah unsuccessfully sought to end the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan's isolation within the Islamic world and in the Non-Aligned Movement. Most Western countries, including the United States, maintained small diplomatic missions in the capital city of Kabul during the Soviet occupation. Many countries subsequently closed their missions due to instability and heavy fighting in Kabul after the Soviet withdrawal in 1989. Many countries welcomed the introduction of the Taliban regime, who they saw as a stabilizing, law-enforcing alternative to the warlords who had ruled the country since the fall of Najibullah's government in 1992.
The Taliban soon became alienated of those countries' positive feelings with knowledge of the harsh Sharia law being enforced in Taliban-controlled territories spreading around the world. The brutality towards women who attempted to work, learn, or leave the house without a male escort caused outside aid to the war-torn country to be limited. Following the October 2001 American invasion and the Bonn Agreement the new government under the leadership of Hamid Karzai started to re-establish diplomatic relationships with many countries who had held close diplomatic relations before the communist coup d'état and the subsequent civil war; the Afghan government is focused on securing continued assistance for rebuilding the economy and military of the country. It has continued to maintain close ties with North America, the European Union, South Korea, Australia, China and the Greater Middle East as well as African nations, it seeks to establish relations with more South American or Latin nations. In late 2011, relations between Afghanistan and Dominican Republic were established.
During the Soviet occupation, the United Nations was critical of the U. S. S. R.'s interference in the internal affairs of Afghanistan and was instrumental in obtaining a negotiated Soviet withdrawal under the terms of the Geneva Accords. In the aftermath of the Accords and subsequent Soviet withdrawal, the United Nations has assisted in the repatriation of refugees and has provided humanitarian aid such as health care, educational programs, food and has supported mine-clearing operations; the UNDP and associated agencies have undertaken a limited number of development projects. However, the UN reduced its role in Afghanistan in 1992 in the wake of fierce factional strife in and around Kabul; the UN Secretary General has designated a personal representative to head the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance to Afghanistan and the Special Mission to Afghanistan, both based in Islamabad, Pakistan. Throughout the late 1990s, 2000, 2001, the UN unsuccessfully strived to promote a peaceful settlement between the Afghan factions as well as provide humanitarian aid, this despite increasing Taliban restrictions upon UN personnel and agencies.
List of diplomatic missions in Afghanistan List of diplomatic missions of Afghanistan Visa requirements for Afghan citizens This article incorporates public domain material from the CIA World Factbook website https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/index.html. This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Department of State website https://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/index.htm. Adamec, Ludwig W. Afghanistan, 1900-1923: a diplomatic history. Adamec, Ludwig W. Afghanistan's foreign affairs to the mid-twentieth century: relations with the USSR, Britain. Kakar, M. Hassan. Political & Diplomatic History of Afghanistan, 1863-1901, 259pp. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan Embassy of Afghanistan – Washington, DC Embassy of the United States in Kabul Embassy of Afghanistan – Ottawa, Canada Embassies and consulates in Afghanistan and Afghani missions abroad
Vice President of Afghanistan
The Vice President of Afghanistan is the second highest political position obtainable in Afghanistan. Vice Presidents are elected on the same ticket as the President. A Presidential candidate nominates two candidates for Vice President before the election; the current Vice Presidents are Sarwar Danish. The deputy head of state was the Vice Chairman of the Revolutionary Council between April 1978 and April 1988. Vice presidents were appointed after the new constitution and elections took place. Four vice presidents were approved by the National Assembly. Vice presidents were appointed by the president. During the Afghan Interim Administration and the Afghan Transitional Administration, when the Loya Jirga hadn't appointed a new Constitution yet, there were more than two vice chairmen of the interim administration. After 2004, Vice Presidents are elected on the same ticket as the President. Vice Presidents of Afghanistan List of current Vice Presidents
In the Pashtunwali, a code of laws of the Pashtun peoples living in areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan and neighboring countries, loya jirga is a special type of jirga, organized for choosing a new head of state in case of sudden death, adopting a new constitution, or to settle national or regional issue such as war. It predates modern-day written or fixed laws and is favored by the Pashtun people but to a lesser extent by other nearby groups that have been influenced by Pashtuns. In Afghanistan, loya jirgas have been organized since at least the early 18th century when the Hotaki and Durrani dynasties rose to power.'Jirga' itself is a well-known term of Mongolian origin. It referred to a large assembly of men forming a broad circle intended for laying siege around games or animals to be hunted for sport or for food; the Pashtun elders were sitting in a circular formation when debating and hearing a given dispute. The word'louy' seems to be the Pashtunised form of the Mongolian'dai' or'daai' meaning'large' or'grand'.
The Pashto tongue converts a'd' to'l' as in'jalaa' and'pelaar' which are the Persian'Jadaa' and'Pedar'. In another understandable phonological twist, the word'Laay' has been changed into'louy', the same as the Persian'taar' and'naam', have become'tour' and noum' in Pashto. There is another myth in the sense that the ancient Aryan tribes, who are hypothesized to have spoken Proto-Indo-Iranian, came down in intermittent waves from Central Asia and Afghanistan, they practiced a sort of jirga-system with two types of councils – simite and sabhā. The simite comprised tribal chiefs; the king joined sessions of the simite. Sabhā was a sort of rural council. In India it is referred to as Sabha, it was used over time for the selection of rulers and headmen and the airing of matters of principle. From the time of the great Kushan ruler Kanishka to the 1970s, there were sixteen national loya jirgas and hundreds of smaller ones; the institution, centuries old, is a similar idea to the Islamic "shura", or consultative assembly.
In the Afghan society, the loya jirga is still maintained and favored by tribal leaders to solve internal or external disputes with other tribes. In some cases it functions like a town hall meeting; when the Afghans took power they tried to legitimize their hold with such a jirga. While in the beginning only Pashtuns were allowed to participate in the jirgas other ethnic groups like Tajiks and Hazaras were allowed to participate as well, however they were little more than observers; the member of the jirgas were members of the Royal Family, religious leaders and tribal leaders of the Afghans. King Amanullah Khan institutionalized the jirga. From Amanullah until the reign of Mohammed Zahir Shah and Mohammed Daoud Khan the jirga was recognized as a common meeting of regional Pashtun leaders; the meetings do not have scheduled occurrences, but rather are called for when issues or disputes arise. There is no time limit for a Loya Jirga to conclude, the meetings take time because decisions can only be made as a group and arguments can drag out for days.
Various issues can be addressed such as major disaster, foreign policy, declaration of war, the legitimacy of leaders, the introduction of new ideas and laws. Some of the historical loya jirgas in the history of Afghanistan are: 1707–1709 – Loya jirga was gathered by Mir Wais Hotak at Kandahar in 1707, but according to Ghulam Mohammad Ghobar it was gathered in Manja in 1709. October 1747 – A jirga at Kandahar was attended by Afghan representatives who appointed Ahmad Shah Durrani as their new leader. September 1928 – A jirga at Paghman, called by King Amanullah, the third loya jirga of his reign to discuss reforms. September 1930 – A jirga a meeting of 286 called by Mohammed Nadir Shah to confirm his accession to the throne. 1941 – Called by Mohammed Zahir Shah to approve neutrality in World War II. 1947 – Held by Pashtuns in the Tribal Agencies to choose between joining India or Pakistan. July 26, 1949 – Afghanistan-Pakistan relations deteriorated over a dispute declared that it did not recognize the 1893 Durand Line border any longer between the two countries.
September 1964 – A meeting of 452 called by Mohammed Zahir Shah to approve a new constitution. July 1974 – A meeting with Pakistan over the Durand Line. January 1977 – Approved the new constitution of Mohammed Daoud Khan establishing one-party rule in the Republic of Afghanistan. April 1985 – To ratify the new constitution of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan. September 2001 – Four different loya jirga movements anticipating the end of Taliban rule. Little communication took place between each of them; the first was based in Rome around Mohammed Zahir Shah, it reflected the interests of moderate Pashtuns from Afghanistan. The Rome initiative called for fair elections, support for Islam as the foundation of the Afghan state, respect for human rights; the second was based in Cyprus and led by Homayoun Jarir, a member of the Islamic Party of his father-in-law, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. Critics of the Cyprus initiative suspected; the members of the Cyprus initiative, considered themselves closer to the Afghan people and regard the Rome group as too close to the long-isolated nobility.
The most significant was based in Germany. This agreement was made under United Nations auspices, established the Afghan Interim Authority and paved the way for the jirgas that
2010 Afghan parliamentary election
The Afghan parliamentary election, 2010 to elect members of the House of the People took place on 18 September 2010. The Afghan Independent Election Commission - established in accordance with the article 156 of the Constitution of Afghanistan for the purpose of organizing and supervising all elections in the country - postponed the poll from its original date of 22 May to September 18; the results were delayed on several occasions, but were finalized on October 31. The Taliban issued a direct threat to all those involved in the House of the People elections; the campaign period kicked off on June 23 and ran until September 16. On June 23, 2010, the full list of candidates was announced. On July 7, 2010, the Electoral Complaint Commission announced that it had disqualified 36 candidates because of ties to illegal private militias. However, according to critics "the net caught a few small fish while the sharks swam around it". Sima Samar, who heads the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission, said she was concerned that there were alleged war criminals on the candidate lists.
"We urge people not to participate in the election. Everything and everyone affiliated with the election is our target -- candidates, security forces, election workers, voters are all our targets," said Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid. Three candidates were killed during the campaign period while there have been several attempts on the lives of others, some of which have resulted in the deaths of campaign workers. In a tally kept by the Free Election Foundation of Afghanistan, eleven campaign workers have been killed since late June. On August 18, Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission announced it would open 5,897 polling centers for the 2010 Wolesi Jirga elections; this is 938 fewer than the original plan to have 6,835 centers opened. The decision on whether to open or close polling centers is a matter of debate but the IEC says decisions on the polling centers was made in conjunction with the country’s security agencies and on September 5 said it was too late to open more. On September 8, the IEC said a further 81 polling centers would remain shut in eastern Nangarhar province.
This brought to 1,019 centers closed, 15 per cent of the preliminary list of 6835. The voting system used for House of the People elections is single non-transferable vote; the system allows for candidates with as little as less than one percent of the first-choice vote to be elected, something that happened with a number of candidates in the 2005 election. There has been calls to review the use of SNTV as it impedes the development of political parties and prevents fair and accurate representation of Afghanistan’s diverse population. There were 2,584 candidates on the ballots for the 2010 Wolesi Jirga elections, across 34 provinces and a country-wide electorate for the nomadic Kuchi tribe; some 406 candidates were women. Notable incumbent candidates include: Ramazan Bashar Dost, who came third in the 2009 Afghan Presidential election. All three of them are standing again for one of the 33 seats assigned to Kabul province. Other candidates for Kabul include: comedian Zamir Kabuli, famous for ridiculing politicians.
Reflecting on the disputed previous presidential election, in December 2009 representatives of donor states expressed worries and suggested that voting should be postponed. Since the violence and the accusations of fraud that accompanied the 2009 election, another round of voting was expected to do more harm than good; the planned election might lead to a new campaign of violence by the Taliban to intimidate voters. The United Nations, the US and election observation missions, including one representing the European Union, had asked the Afghan government to refrain from further elections until it had written a new election law and created a list of registered voters. United States congressmen visiting Kabul that month urged President Karzai to delay until electoral reforms were in place. Otherwise, Afghanistan could risk American financial support. Karzai insisted that the elections had to be held despite concerns about their credibility. On January 24, the election authorities in Afghanistan decided to postpone the elections until September 18, due to "security concerns, logistical problems, insufficient funds".
Using a loophole in the Constitution, the Karzai administration unilaterally rewrote the election law, Karzai put it into effect by a decree on February 13, 2010. Under this new version, the five members of the Electoral Complaints Commission, would be chosen by the president after consultation with the parliamentary leadership. Three of the seats were held by foreigners appointed by the United Nations and the other two members were Afghans. On March 31, 2010, the Lower House of the Afghan parliament rejected this change. In a speech at the U. S. Institute of Peace on May 17, 2010, former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah warned that another rigged election would be catastrophic more than the discredited presidential election in August 2009 from which he dropped out. On August 13, 2010, Staffan de Mistura, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's special representative for Afghanistan, called upon the Afghan security fo
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
Visa policy of Afghanistan
In accordance with the law, citizens of all countries require a visa to visit Afghanistan. The only exemptions are travellers born in Afghanistan, born to Afghan parents or with parents born in Afghanistan. Visa exemption applies to holders of diplomatic or service passports of China, Indonesia, Iran and Turkey for visits up to 30 days. Visitors must hold a passport valid for 6 months from the date of arrival except for citizens of Australia, Bulgaria, China, Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Hungary, Indonesia, Iraq, Japan, Kyrgyzstan, New Zealand, Pakistan, Romania, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Sweden, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States and Uzbekistan as well as all foreigners of Afghan origin, whose passports only have to be valid on arrival. In February 2015 Afghanistan announced visa on arrival facility at Hamid Karzai International Airport for business visitors, athletes, airline staff and passengers in transit from countries that do not have a diplomatic mission of Afghanistan. In September 2017 some elements of the proposed reform were adopted.
Women of all nationalities must cover their bodies except face and feet. Visa requirements for Afghan citizens Visa Information, Ministry of Foreign Affairs