Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan
  • د افغانستان اسلامي امارت (Pashto)
    Də Afġānistān Islāmī Imārat
  • امارت اسلامی افغانستان (Dari)
    Imārat-i Islāmī-yi Afghānistān
Anthem: دا د باتورانو کور
Dā Də Bātorāno Kor
"This Is the Home of the Brave"[2]
Afghanistan (orthographic projection).svg
Afghanistan - Location Map (2013) - AFG - UNOCHA.svg
StatusUN member state under an unrecognized government[3]
and largest city
34°31′N 69°11′E / 34.517°N 69.183°E / 34.517; 69.183Coordinates: 34°31′N 69°11′E / 34.517°N 69.183°E / 34.517; 69.183[4]
Major languages
Ethnic groups
(2019 unofficial estimates)[a][6][7][8][9]
GovernmentUnitary provisional theocratic Islamic emirate[15][16][17]
Hibatullah Akhundzada
Hasan Akhund (acting)
Abdul Hakim Ishaqzai
LegislatureLeadership Council (consultative body)[18]
• Emirate
27 May 1863
26 May 1879
19 August 1919
• Kingdom
9 June 1926
• Republic
17 July 1973
27–28 April 1978
28 April 1992
27 September 1996
26 January 2004
15 August 2021
• Total
652,867[19] km2 (252,073 sq mi) (40th)
• Water (%)
• 2021 estimate
40,218,234[7] (37th)
• Density
48.08/km2 (124.5/sq mi) (174th)
GDP (PPP)2018 estimate
• Total
$72.911 billion[20] (96th)
• Per capita
$2,024[20] (169th)
GDP (nominal)2018 estimate
• Total
$21.657 billion[20] (111st)
• Per capita
$493[20] (177th)
HDI (2021)Increase 0.681[21][22]
medium · 180th
CurrencyAfghani (افغانی) (AFN)
Time zoneUTC+4:30
Solar Calendar
Driving sideright
Calling code+93
ISO 3166 codeAF

Afghanistan,[c] officially the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan,[d] is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central Asia and South Asia. Referred to as the Heart of Asia,[23] it is bordered by Pakistan to the east and south,[e] Iran to the west, Turkmenistan to the northwest, Uzbekistan to the north, Tajikistan to the northeast, and China to the northeast and east. Occupying 652,864 square kilometers (252,072 sq mi) of land, the country is predominantly mountainous with plains in the north and the southwest, which are separated by the Hindu Kush mountain range. As of 2021, its population is 40.2 million,[7] composed mostly of ethnic Pashtuns, Tajiks, Hazaras, and Uzbeks. Kabul is the country's largest city and serves as its capital.

Human habitation in Afghanistan dates back to the Middle Paleolithic era, and the country's strategic location along the historic Silk Road has led it to being described, picturesquely, as the ‘roundabout of the ancient world’.[24] Popularly referred to as the graveyard of empires,[25] the land has historically been home to various peoples and has witnessed numerous military campaigns, including those by the Persians, Alexander the Great, the Maurya Empire, Arab Muslims, the Mongols, the British, the Soviet Union, and most recently by an American-led coalition. Afghanistan also served as the source from which the Greco-Bactrians and the Mughals, among others, rose to form major empires.[26] The various conquests and periods in both the Iranian and Indian cultural spheres[27][28] made the area a center for Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and later Islam throughout history.[29]

The modern state of Afghanistan began with the Durrani dynasty in the 18th century, with the Durrani Afghan Empire being formed by Ahmad Shah Durrani. The Durrani Empire led conquests in which, at its peak, encompassed land that spanned from eastern Iran to northern India.[30][31] Following its decline and the death of Ahmad Shah Durrani, and Timur Shah, it was divided into multiple smaller independent kingdoms, including but not limited to: Herat, Kandahar and Kabul. Afghanistan would be reunited in the 19th century after wars of unification led by Dost Mohammad Khan, where he conquered the independent principalities in Afghanistan. Dost Mohammad died in 1863, weeks after his last campaign to unite Afghanistan, and as a result, threw Afghanistan back into civil war with his successors. During this time, Afghanistan became a buffer state in the Great Game between the British Empire (in British-ruled India) and the Russian Empire. From India, the British attempted to subjugate Afghanistan but were repelled in the First Anglo-Afghan War. However, the Second Anglo-Afghan War saw a British victory and the successful establishment of British political influence over Afghanistan. Following the Third Anglo-Afghan War in 1919, Afghanistan became free of foreign dominance, and eventually emerged as the independent Kingdom of Afghanistan in June 1926 under Amanullah Khan. This monarchy lasted almost 50 years, until Zahir Shah was overthrown in 1973, following which the Republic of Afghanistan was established. Since the late 1970s, Afghanistan's history has been dominated by extensive warfare, including coups, revolutions, invasions, insurgencies, and civil wars. Due to the effects of war, the country has dealt with high levels of terrorism, poverty, and child malnutrition. Afghanistan's economy is the world's 96th-largest, with a gross domestic product (GDP) of $72.9 billion by purchasing power parity; the country fares much worse in terms of per-capita GDP (PPP), ranking 169th out of 186 countries as of 2018.

In 2021, Afghanistan was captured by the Taliban, which marked the end of the 2001–2021 war, the longest war in US history.[32] This led to the overthrowing of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan under President Ashraf Ghani and reinstating the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan under the control of the Taliban. The US–Taliban deal, signed on 29 February 2020 in Qatar, was one of the critical events that caused the collapse of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF).[33] Following the deal, the US dramatically reduced the number of air attacks and deprived the ANSF of a critical edge in fighting the Taliban insurgency, leading to the Taliban takeover of Kabul.[34] Soon after, former first vice president Amrullah Saleh declared himself the caretaker president of Afghanistan and announced the resistance against the Taliban.[35][36]

Afghanistan is prominently rich in natural resources. Those resources include lithium, iron, zinc, and copper, amongst many others. It is also the largest producer of opium.[37] The country is a founding member of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 3 June 2019. Retrieved 17 September 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ Tharoor, Ishaan (19 June 2013). "The Taliban's Qatar Office: Are Prospects for Peace Already Doomed?". Time. ISSN 0040-781X. Retrieved 19 August 2021.
  3. ^ "Taliban closer to international recognition, says foreign minister". Agence France-Presse. Kabul. France 24. 3 February 2022. Retrieved 14 March 2022.
  4. ^ Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in (CC BY)
  5. ^ "Population Matters". 3 March 2016.
  6. ^ timesofindia (23 August 2021). "Afghanistan's ethnic mosaic". The Times of India.
  7. ^ a b c World Population Review (19 September 2021). ""Afghanistan Population 2021"".
  8. ^ (20 August 2021). "Distribution of Afghan population by ethnic group 2020".
  9. ^ (14 August 2011). "Afghan Ethnic Groups: A Brief Investigation".
  10. ^ Cite error: The named reference Factbook was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  11. ^ The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. (Retrieved 13 November 2007).
  12. ^ WordNet 3.0. Princeton University. (Retrieved 13 November 2007). Archived 28 March 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ "Constitution of Afghanistan". 2004. Archived from the original on 20 September 2016. Retrieved 16 February 2013.
  14. ^ Afghan | meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary. the Cambridge English Dictionary. ISBN 9781107660151.
  15. ^ Choi, Joseph (8 September 2021). "EU: Provisional Taliban government does not fulfill promises". The Hill. Retrieved 18 March 2022.
  16. ^ Bezhan, Frud (7 September 2021). "Key Figures In The Taliban's New Theocratic Government". Radio Farda. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Retrieved 6 February 2022.
  17. ^ Jones, Seth G. (December 2020). "Afghanistan's Future Emirate? The Taliban and the Struggle for Afghanistan". CTC Sentinel. Combating Terrorism Center. 13 (11). Retrieved 5 March 2022.
  18. ^ Sofoglu, Murat (27 September 2021). "How the Taliban governs itself". TRT World. Retrieved 13 March 2022.
  19. ^ Central Statistics Office Afghanistan
  20. ^ a b c d "Afghanistan". International Monetary Fund. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  21. ^ Human Development Report 2021/2022: Uncertain Times, Unsettled Lives: Shaping our Future in a Transforming World (PDF). United Nations Development Programme. 2022. p. 284. ISBN 9789211264517. Retrieved 24 September 2022.
  22. ^ Human Development Report 2020 The Next Frontier: Human Development and the Anthropocene (PDF). United Nations Development Programme. 15 December 2020. pp. 343–346. ISBN 978-92-1-126442-5. Retrieved 16 December 2020.
  23. ^ "Securing Stability in Afghanistan, the 'Heart of Asia'". Retrieved 25 February 2022.
  24. ^ Hyman, Anthony (1984). "The Land and the People in History". Afghanistan Under Soviet Domination, 1964–83. pp. 3–22. doi:10.1007/978-1-349-17443-0_1. ISBN 978-0-333-36353-9.
  25. ^ Pillalamarri, Akhilesh. "Why Is Afghanistan the 'Graveyard of Empires'?". Retrieved 25 February 2022.
  26. ^ Griffin, Luke (14 January 2002). "The Pre-Islamic Period". Afghanistan Country Study. Illinois Institute of Technology. Archived from the original on 3 November 2001. Retrieved 14 October 2010.
  27. ^ Denise Cush, Catherine Robinson, Michael York (2012). Encyclopedia of Hinduism. p. 200. ISBN 9781135189792.
  28. ^ "The remarkable rugs of war, Drill Hall Gallery". The Australian. 30 July 2021. Archived from the original on 16 August 2021.
  29. ^ "Professing Faith: Religious traditions in Afghanistan are diverse". 16 September 2021.
  30. ^ "Afghanistan: the land that forgot time". The Guardian. 26 October 2001.
  31. ^ Pepe Escobar (30 September 2021). "The Pashtun will outlast all empires, but can they hold Afghanistan's center?".
  32. ^ Watkins, Andrew H. (November 2021). Cruickshank, Paul; Hummel, Kristina (eds.). "An Assessment of Taliban Rule at Three Months" (PDF). CTC Sentinel. West Point, New York: Combating Terrorism Center. 14 (9): 1–14. Archived (PDF) from the original on 29 November 2021. Retrieved 29 November 2021.
  33. ^ Borger, Julian (18 May 2022). "US withdrawal triggered catastrophic defeat of Afghan forces, damning watchdog report finds". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 May 2022.
  34. ^ "US withdrawal prompted collapse of Afghan army: Report". Al Jazeera. 18 May 2022. Retrieved 19 May 2022.
  35. ^ "Afghan vice president says he is "caretaker" president". 17 August 2021. Archived from the original on 17 August 2021. Retrieved 26 August 2021.
  36. ^ "An anti-Taliban front forming in Panjshir? Ex top spy Saleh, son of 'Lion of Panjshir' meet at citadel". The Week. Retrieved 17 August 2021.
  37. ^ "What's the Taliban's record on opium production?". BBC News. 24 August 2021. Retrieved 7 May 2022.

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