Area: 647,497 sq.km.
Other Large Cities: Kandahar, Heart, Mazare-sharief;
Languages: Pushtu and Persian;
Religions: Sunni-Muslim (80%), Shia-Muslim (19%)
Life Expectancy: 47.32;
HDI Rank: 169 (2015)
Date of Independence: 19th August 1919;
Government Type: Presidential system;
President: Ashraf Ghani (2015)
Modern Afghan history began with the establishment of a united emirates by Ahmed Shah Durrani in 1747. In the 19th century, Afghanistan was the playground of Russia and Great Britain for dominance. The British Afghan wars of 1838-42 and 1878-80 left Afghanistan unconquered but within Britain’s sphere of influence. The country won full independence from Britain in 1919 under Amanullah Khan, who proclaimed himself king in 1926. Modern reforms were instituted by Amanullah and his successors Mohammed Nadir Shah (1929-33) and Mohammed Zahir Shah (1933-73).
The monarchy fell to military coup in 1973, and Mohammed Daud Khan established a republic. In 1978 pro-soviet leftist seized power and, ostensibly at the government’s invitation, soviet troops invaded Afghanistan in December 1979 to put down widespread revolts against Communist rule, touching off a long and destructive war.
The USSR withdrew in 1989 under relentless pressure by intentionally supported anti-Communist mujahedin rebels. A series of subsequent civil wars saw Kabul finally fall in 1996 to the Taliban, a hardline Pakistani sponsored movement that emerged in 1994. Following the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks in the U.S., Allied, and anti-Taliban Northern Alliance military action toppled the Taliban for sheltering Osama Bin Laden. The UN-sponsored Bonn Conference in 2001 established a process for political reconstruction that included the adoption of a new constitution, a presidential election in 2004, and National Assembly elections in 2005. In December 2004, Hamid Karzai became the first democratically elected president of Afghanistan. Kazai was re-elected in November 2009 for a second term.
Recent Events: The UN reported that the number of civilian casualties in Afghanistan fell in 2012 for the first time in six years. It documented 2,754 civilian deaths in 2012, 12% fewer than 2011.
The US and the Taliban said they would open talks on the future of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai, the Afghan President, was cross the way the talks were announced and threatened to pull out of important negotiations on a security agreement with the US.
Afghanistan Embassy in India: 5/50F, Shantipath, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi-110021.
Indian Embassy in Afghanistan is temporarily closed.
Embassy of India: Malalai Wat, Shahre-Nau, Kabul, Afghanistan,