Afghanistan in Olden Days – Amazing Photography

Afghanistan Listeni/æfˈɡænɨstæn/ (Persian/PashtoافغانستانAfġānistān), officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlockedsovereign state located in the centre of Asia, forming South AsiaCentral Asia and the Middle East.[8][9] With an estimated population of about 29 million, it has an area of 647,500 km2 (250,001 sq mi), making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world. It is bordered by Pakistan in the southeast, Iran in the west, TurkmenistanUzbekistan and Tajikistan in the north, and China in the far northeast. The territory that now forms Afghanistan has been an ancient focal point of the Silk Road and human migrationArchaeologistshave found evidence of human habitation from as far back as 50,000 BC.[10] Urban civilization may have begun in the area as early as 3,000to 2,000 BC.[11]
The country sits at an important geostrategic location that connects the Middle East with Central Asia and the Indian subcontinent,[12]which has been home to various peoples through the ages.[13] The land has witnessed many military conquests since antiquity, notably byAlexander the GreatChandragupta MauryaGenghis Khan, the Soviet Union, and the United States.[10][11] It has also served as a source from which local dynasties such as the Greco-BactriansKushansSaffaridsGhaznavidsGhoridsTimuridsMughals and many others have established empires of their own.[14]
The political history of modern Afghanistan begins in 1709 with the rise of the Pashtuns, when the Hotaki dynasty was established inKandahar followed by Ahmad Shah Durrani's rise to power in 1747.[2][15][16] The capital of Afghanistan was shifted in 1776 from Kandahar toKabul and part of the Afghan Empire was ceded to neighboring empires by 1893. In the late 19th century, Afghanistan became a buffer statein the "Great Game" between the British and Russian empires.[17] Following the third Anglo-Afghan war and the signing of the Treaty of Rawalpindi in 1919, the nation regained control over its foreign policy from the British.
After the 1978 Marxist revolution, the Soviet Union began a 10-year war in which over a million Afghans lost their lives.[18][19] The mujahidininsurgency generated by the Marxist government and the Soviet invasion signaled the first sustained entry of Islam into Afghan politics as the religion served as a force to unify the tribally divided multiethnic population.[20] This was followed by the Afghan civil war (1992–1996), the rise and fall of the extremist Taliban government and the 2001-present war. In December 2001, the United Nations Security Councilauthorized the creation of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) to help maintain security in Afghanistan and assist the Karzai administration.[21] While NATO and other countries are rebuilding war-torn Afghanistan, terrorist groups such as the Haqqani network are actively involved in a nationwide Taliban-led insurgency,[22] which includes countless assassinations and suicide attacks.[23] According to the United Nations, the insurgents were responsible for 75% of civilian casualties in 2010 and 80% in 2011.[24][25]


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