Afghanistan, officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in central Asia. It borders Pakistan to the south and east, Iran to the west, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan to the north, and the People’s Republic of China to the northeast through the Wakhan corridor.
It has been ravaged by wars over the years. The Taliban regime came to power in September 1996 and in 2001 they were accused by the United States of providing support and protection to the terrorists who carried out the attacks of September 11, 2001. On October 7 of the 2001, the United States began bombing civilians in Afghanistan following the doctrine of “preventive war” of George W. Bush. Today there are still US troops supported by dwindling forces from other countries in Afghanistan. The UN It has warned about the growing violence in the country and the Wikileaks website has published thousands of secret documents that demonstrate the violence and abuses perpetrated by the troops who were supposed to guarantee security in the country.
As a country located in Asia according to A2ZGOV, Afghanistan has an area of 647,947 square kilometers, of which approximately 75% is mountainous. In fact, the sparsely populated Central Highlands make up most of the Hindu Kush, the country’s main mountain range and the second highest in the world, with several peaks above 6400 meters (highest point in the country: Nowshak, with 7485 [[meters above sea level | masl) at its eastern end.
In the northeast region there is significant seismic activity that frequently causes hundreds of deaths. The climate can be classified as extreme continental, with little rainfall. Much of the territory is desert or semi-desert, except for a few highly populated fertile valleys, such as Herat, to the northwest. The river network is of the endorheic type, the most important rivers being the Amu-Darya (which is the quasi-mythical Oxus), the Helmand and the Käbol.
Afghanistan is an extremely poor country, with a high dependence on agriculture, since most of the population (90%) works in the agricultural sector, growing cereals, fruit trees, nuts, cotton and papaya. Most of the farming is done in the northern plains, near the borders with Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. There are also important herds of karakul sheepas well as carpet crafts. It has important reserves of natural gas exploited on a small scale by companies with US capital and an industry (textiles, food) of incipient development. In general, the Afghan economy is very underdeveloped due to the permanent war situation, the lack of an effective central government, and the fragmentation of society into tribal groups.
Agriculture is the main source of income for this country, since it is mainly cultivated wheat, corn, rice, barley, vegetables, various types of dried fruits, walnuts, tobacco, cotton, beets, opium. Afghanistan has become the first illegal opium supplier in the world. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), in 2006 poppy cultivation grew by 59 percent. Opium production grew 49 percent.
Castor bean, blonde, is also cultivated and used in industry. In livestock, sheep farming stands out, which gives rise to a large amount of meat, in addition to wool and skins, export products. Camels, donkeys, cows, goats are also raised.
In 2007, Afghanistan had a population of 31,889,000. Life expectancy is 43 years. 36% of the population is literate. The average number of children per woman is 6.64, one of the highest rates in the world, which is causing a population growth never seen in the history of the country.
The population of Afghanistan is divided into a large number of ethnic groups. As a systematic census has not been carried out in the country lately, exact figures for the size and composition of the various ethnic groups are not available. Therefore, most of the figures are only approximations. According to the CIA World FactBook (updated May 17, 2005), the distribution of ethnic groups is as follows:
- Pasthunes: 38 %
- Tajikos: 25%
- Hazaras: 22 %
Afghanistan has a complex history, which has been reflected in its current civilizations, languages, and monuments. Afghans are proud of their country, their lineage and sovereignty. Historically they have been a “warlike clan”, which has maintained disputes during different times, with war being one of its main occupations since time immemorial. This condition has made it difficult for invaders to conquer the region.
So too, the culture of Afghanistan has been greatly influenced by Islam, but also to a lesser extent by Buddhism and Zoroastrianism. The country has been a crossroads throughout history for India, Iran and Central Asia, which has affected their civilization.