May 17, 2022

Afghanistan (Pashto / Dari: افغانستان; Pashto: Afġānistān, IPA: [avɣɒnisˈtɒn]; Dari: Afġānestān, IPA: [avɣɒnesˈtɒn]), officially the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (Dari: امارت اسلامی افغانستان, Imārat-i Islāmnistyi Afgh : د افغانستان اسلامي امارت, Də Afġānistān Islāmī Imārat), is a country belonging to both Central Asia and South Asia. The country has a population of almost 37 million people, who live on a territory of more than 652,000 km². The country is bordered by Pakistan to the south and east, Iran to the west, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan to the north and China to the far northeast (the Wachan Corridor in Badakhshan Province). The country also belongs to the MENA countries.


The name Afghanistan literally means Land of the Afghans. The Pathans started using the name Afghan for themselves from the Islamic period. According to W.K. Frazier Tyler, M.C. Gillet and other scholars, "The word Afghan first appears in history in the Hudud-al-Alam in 982" The last part of the name Afghanistan comes from the Persian word stān (state or country). The English name Afghanland, which appears in various treaties between Qajar and England for the lands inhabited by Pashtun tribes (modern Southeastern Afghanistan) between Persia and British India, was adopted by the Afghans and became Afghanistan. From the 18th century, when Ahmad Shah Durrani formed a government based on Pashtunwali, Afghanistan was referred to by its present name; Afghanistan was recognized internationally as an official name during the rule of Abdur Rahman Khan. Before the 18th century, Afghanistan was referred to as Khorasan and even earlier as Aryana (also spelled Ariana).


The oldest human habitation in Afghanistan dates back to the Middle Paleolithic. Thanks to its strategic location along the Silk Road, the country has been linked to the cultures of the Middle East and other parts of Asia since ancient times. Over the centuries, the country has been the battleground of widely divergent powers, such as the Greeks of Alexander the Great, Muslim Arabs of the Umayyad and Abbasid Caliphate, Mongols of Genghis Khan, British and Russians. The country was the cradle of the empires of the Bactrians, Kushans, Hephthalites, Samanids, Saffarids, Ghaznavids, Ghurids, Khiljis, Mughals, Hotakis, and Durranids. The political history of the modern state of Afghanistan began in the 18th century with the Hotaki dynasty and Durranid dynasty. In the late 19th century, Afghanistan became a buffer state in 'The Great Game' between the British and Russian colonial empires. After the Anglo-Afghan War of 1919, Amanoellah Khan and Mohammed Zahir Shah undertook the modernization of the country. A series of coups in the 1970s was followed by a Russian invasion, which was opposed by the Americans. After the Russian withdrawal, a series of civil wars followed in the 1980s that devastated much of the country. Ultimately, this paved the way for the Taliban, a group of religious extremists, who briefly conquered almost the entire country.

Situation since 2001

In 2001, the United States invaded Afghanistan in search of Osama bin Laden. The immediate cause was the September 11 attacks. The US attacks supported the advance of the Northern Alliance, an alliance of armed adversaries to the Taliban, previously supported from neighboring northern countries. Local warlords sided with the Americans and turned against the Taliban. Within months, the Taliban government had been ousted and Al-Quaida had been dealt a serious blow after heavy fighting at Tora Bora. Al-Quaida Arab leader Osama Bin Laden, who is living in Afghanistan, escaped and is said to be