Flag of Afghanistan

Language: Pashto, Dari

Currency: Afghani (AFN)

Calling Code: +93



Afghanistan - is a landlocked country located in the heart of Asia. The country is located geographically in Central Asia, grouped within a regional block between the Indian subcontinent and the Middle East, as a religious, ethnolinguistic and geographic entity related to most of its neighbors. It borders Pakistan to the south and east, with Iran to the west, with Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan to the north, and with the People's Republic of China to the northeast through the Wakhan corridor.

In recent years several wars and conflicts have happened in this country. In 1978, the Saur Revolution took place. The strong harassment of the Islamic fundamentalists provoked the intervention of the Red Army in support of the government, while the guerrillas received the support of the United States, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and other Muslim nations. In 1989 the Soviets withdrew, although the civil war continued. In 1996, the Taliban imposed a regime based on Sharia law. In 2001 the United States overthrew the Taliban government supported by an international coalition, in reaction to the attacks of September 11, 2001 in New York and responding to a policy of persecution of the group Al Qaeda in the region by the US government. The previous political structure of Afghanistan was replaced by a more pro-Western and democratically elected government.


Travel Destination in Afghanistan

Panjshir Valley

Panjshir Valley is located 150 km North of Kabul in North- Central Afghanistan. Name of Panjshir Valley literally means "Valley of the Five Lions".



The first part of the name is "Afghan" - a Persian word, translated as "silence" or "silence"; from the Turkic languages, the word "Augan (Afgan)" is translated as "gone, hidden." It is also an alternative name for the Pashtuns, the largest ethnic group in the country. Indeed, the territory of Afghanistan is difficult to access and convenient only for the tribes that, for one reason or another, left or moved to the mountains and retained their independence from all sorts of conquerors of Central Asia.

The last part of the name, the suffix "-stan", goes back to the Indo-European root "*stā-" ("to stand") and in Persian means "place, country". In modern Persian, the suffix "-istan" (Persian ستان‎) is used to form toponyms - geographical names of places of residence of tribes, peoples and various ethnic groups.

The term "Afghans" as a name for a people has been used at least since the Islamic period. According to a number of scholars, the word "Afghan" appears for the first time in history in 982; then it was understood as representatives of various tribes who lived on the western border of the mountains along the Indus River.

The term "Afghanistan" was mentioned in his memoirs by Emperor Babur in the 16th century: at that time this word meant the lands south of Kabul, where the Pashtuns mainly live.

Also, Sir Monstuart Elphinstone, who headed the British diplomatic mission to Afghanistan in 1808, wrote in his book “Account of the Kingdom of Cabul and its Dependencies in Persia and India” that the Afghans themselves believe that they are descendants of the Jewish family, taking its origin from the third son of Joseph Afghan. However, in the same place, Elphinstone writes about the inconsistency of this theory and its unconfirmedness.

Until the 19th century, the name was used only for the traditional lands of the Pashtuns, while the entire state as a whole was known as the Kabul Kingdom. In other parts of the country, independent states existed at certain periods of history, such as the Balkh Kingdom in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

Finally, with the expansion and centralization of power in the country, the Afghan rulers adopted the name "Afghanistan" for the entire kingdom. "Afghanistan" as the name of the entire kingdom was mentioned in 1857 by Friedrich Engels, it became the official name when the country was recognized by the world community in 1919, after gaining full independence from Great Britain, and was approved as such in the Constitution of Afghanistan in 1923.




The territory of Afghanistan is located in the northeastern part of the Iranian plateau. A significant part of the country is made up of mountains and valleys between them.

In the north of the country is the Bactrian Plain, within which lies a sandy-clay desert, which is a continuation of the Karakum. In the south and east, it is bordered by mountain systems: Paropamiz, consisting of two ranges - Safedkoh (=White Mountains) and Siahkoh (=Black Mountains), as well as the Hindu Kush.

To the south are the Central Afghan mountains and the Ghazni-Kandahar plateau. To the west, along the border with Iran, lie the Naomid Plateau (=Desert of Despair) and the Sistan Depression. The extreme south of the country is occupied by the Gaudi-Zira depression, the clay-gravelly Dashti-Margo desert (=desert of death) and the sandy deserts of Garmser and Registan.

To the west of the Hindu Kush is the Hazarajat highlands with a height of 3000-4000 m. On the border with Pakistan is the highest point of the country - Mount Noshak, with a height of 7492 m.



The climate of Afghanistan is subtropical continental, cold in winter and dry, hot in summer. Average temperatures and precipitation vary with height: in winter from +8 to -20°C and lower, in summer from +32 to 0°C. In the deserts, 40-50 mm of precipitation falls annually, on the plateaus - 200-250 mm, on the windward slopes of the Hindu Kush 400-600 mm, in the southeast of Afghanistan, where the monsoons from the Indian Ocean penetrate, about 800 mm. The maximum precipitation occurs in winter and spring. At an altitude of 3000-5000 m, the snow cover lasts 6-8 months, above - glaciers.

The bowels of Afghanistan are rich in minerals, but their development is limited due to their location in remote mountainous areas.

There are deposits of coal and precious metals, beryllium ores, sulfur, table salt, marble, lapis lazuli, barite, celestine. There are deposits of oil, natural gas, gypsum. Copper, iron, manganese ores have been explored.

The Ainak copper deposit near Kabul is considered the largest in Eurasia (reserves of about 240 million tons of ore with a grade of 2.3% (estimated in 2006), not far from Kabul is the Hadjigek iron ore deposit (reserves of about 428 million tons of ore with a grade of 62 -68%), which is considered the largest in the South Asian region.



Afghanistan is a country with an ancient history. The first people appeared in Afghanistan at least 5,000 years ago, and the rural communities of this region were among the first in the world.

It is assumed that one of the Iranian religions, Zoroastrianism, arose on the territory of modern Afghanistan Turkestan between 1800 to 800 years BC. e., and Zarathushtra lived and died in Balkh. Ancient Eastern Iranian languages, such as Avestan, were spoken in this region during the heyday of Zoroastrianism. By the middle of the VI century BC, the Achaemenids included Afghanistan in their Persian empire.

The Achaemenid Empire fell under the blows of Alexander of Macedon after 330 BC. e. and the modern territory of Afghanistan became part of his empire. After the collapse of the empire of Alexander the Great, Afghanistan was part of the Seleucid state, which controlled the region until 305 BC. e. Buddhism has become the dominant religion in the region.

Then the region became part of the Greco-Bactrian kingdom. The Indo-Greeks were defeated by the Scythians and driven out of the region by the end of the 2nd century BC. The Greco-Bactrian kingdom lasted until 125 BC.

In the 1st century, the Parthian Empire conquered modern Afghanistan. In the mid-end of the II century BC. The Kushan Empire, centered in modern Afghanistan, has become a great patroness of Buddhist culture. Kushans were defeated by the Sassanids in the 3rd century. Various rulers called themselves Kushans (as you know, the Sassanids continued to rule at least part of this region). In the end, the Kushans were defeated by the Huns, whose place, in turn, was taken by the Ephthalites, who created their state in the region in the first half of the 5th century. The Ephthalites were defeated by the troops of the Turkic Kaganate in 557. However, the Ephtalites and descendants of the Kushans managed to create a small state in Kabulistan, which was subsequently captured by the Muslim rulers of the Saffarids, and then was part of the Samanids and Ghaznavids.

During this period, in the central part of modern Afghanistan, the Bamian Buddha statues were built, which were part of the complex of Buddhist monasteries in the Bamian Valley, whose age dates back to the 6th century AD and belongs to the Indian art of Gandhar, and the population spoke Gandhari (language).

Islamic and Mongolian period
In the 7th century, the modern territory of western Afghanistan was conquered by the Arabs, who brought their culture and a new religion - Islam. However, Islam was finally established only in the 10th century, when the region became part of the Samanids empire.

In the X century, the Turks came to the country from Central Asia. On the territory of modern Afghanistan, the Ghaznavid Empire arose (with its capital in the city of Ghazni), which also included parts of Iran, Central Asia and India. The flowering of science and culture began.

In the XII century, the local Gurid dynasty intensified, uniting a large territory under its authority. At the beginning of the 13th century, the Gurid power was conquered by Khorezm.

In the XIII century, the region was invaded by the Mongol troops of Genghis Khan. The modern territory of Afghanistan became part of the Mongol empire, on its territory there was a vassal of the Kurt dynasty to the Mongols. Modern Afghanistan was located on the border of two Mongolian uluses - the Hulaguids and the Chagatai ulus. In the second half of the 14th century, modern Afghanistan was part of the Timur empire, and after his death the Timurids ruled here, of which the ruler of Kabul Babur, who founded the Mughal Empire, is especially famous.

In the XVI - XVII centuries, the territory of modern Afghanistan was ruled by the rulers of the Safavid Iran, the Mughal Empire and the Bukhara Khanate.

Hotaki Dynasty
At the beginning of the XVIII century, the territory of modern Afghanistan was part of the Safavid state and the Bukhara Khanate. After the weakening of Persia and several uprisings, the Afghans managed to create a number of independent principalities - Kandahar and Herat, and after the weakening of the Bukhara Khanate, the semi-independent Uzbek khan of the Balkh Khanate became independent.

The Kandahar principality was ruled by the Pashtun Hotaki dynasty, founded by Mir Weiss. In 1722, Afghan troops launched a campaign in the Safavid Empire and even captured its capital, Isfahan, but then were defeated by Nadir Shah.

Nadir Shah then extended his power to the modern territory of Afghanistan, but his power there turned out to be fragile and after his death in 1747 the Safavid empire broke up.

Durrani Power
The Durrani Empire was founded in Kandahar in 1747 by military commander Ahmad Shah Durrani. She became the first single Afghan state. However, under his successors, the empire broke up into a number of independent principalities - Peshawar, Kabul, Kandahar and Herat.

Modern history
Anglo-Afghan Wars

Due to its strategic position in the center of Eurasia, Afghanistan is becoming an arena of struggle between two powerful powers of that time: the British and Russian empires. This fight was called the "Big Game". In order to control Afghanistan, the British Empire conducted three wars, two of which ended with a confident victory for the British.

Kingdom of Afghanistan
On August 19, 1919, Amanullah Khan proclaimed the independence of Afghanistan, which was welcomed by the authorities of Soviet Russia. Afghanistan was the first state to recognize the RSFSR and establish diplomatic relations with it.

After the third Anglo-Afghan war, Great Britain was forced to recognize at first the partial, and in 1926 complete independence of the Emirate of Afghanistan.

The Emirate was abolished in 1929; the last emir was Habibullah Gazi. The Kingdom of Afghanistan was proclaimed by Muhammad Nadir Shah. After the death of Nadir Shah in November 1933, his son Muhammad Zahir Shah became the king, who was overthrown by his own cousin Muhammad Daoud in 1973.

The First Republic and Daud Dictatorship
On July 17, 1973, a coup d'etat took place in Afghanistan. The monarchy was abolished and a republic was proclaimed in the country. This period of history is characterized by extreme political instability. President Mohammed Daoud tried to reform and modernize the country, but he ultimately failed.

April (Saur) revolution
In April 1978, a revolution began in the country. President Mohammed Daoud, together with his family members, was executed, and the Communist People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) came to power.

Democratic Republic of Afghanistan. Civil war
In April 1978, after the Saur (April) Revolution, the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan (DRA) was proclaimed. The head of state was Nur Mohammad Taraki, and the chairman of the Revolutionary Council was Hafizullah Amin. The government began to carry out radical reforms, in particular, secularization, which caused massive protests in traditional Afghan society. The country began the Civil War. Since 1967, the ruling party of the PDPA has been divided into two factions - the Halk and Parcham. Nur Mohammad Taraki, leader of the Halk faction, was secretly killed by Amin, a member of his own faction, who became the head of state. In the USSR, Amin was considered an unreliable person, capable of reorienting to the West at any time.

Therefore, the Soviet leadership decided to eliminate Amin, and send troops into the country to help the communist government cope with the rebels. As a result, the USSR intervened in the civil war, which continues to this day. US official position: USSR invaded Afghanistan and occupied it. After the assassination of Amin during the assault on the presidential palace by Soviet special forces, the chairman of the Revolutionary Council was taken by the leader of the faction, Parcham Babrak Karmal.

Afghan mujahideen fought against Soviet troops. For some time now, they began to support the United States, China and several other countries, in particular financially, and to help with weapons, including portable missile systems "Stinger". The incessant resistance ultimately led the Soviet leadership to withdraw troops from Afghanistan.

On May 4, 1986, by decision of the 18th plenum of the Central Committee of the PDPA, Karmal was released “for health reasons”. The dismissal was caused by changes in the USSR, where Gorbachev came to power. On October 1, Muhammad Najibullah became the new chairman of the Revolutionary Council of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan. A month later, on November 30, in accordance with the new constitution, the Loya Jirga elected him the new president of the country, thereby restoring the post, which was abolished after the Saur revolution. Soviet troops were withdrawn from the country in 1989. After the departure of the Soviet troops (1989), Najibullah remained in power for another three years.

Taliban rule
After the withdrawal of Soviet troops in 1989, the civil war did not end, but flared up with renewed vigor. In the north, a group of field commanders formed the Northern Alliance. In April 1992, rebels entered Kabul, and the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan ceased to exist. During the power struggle between Ahmad Shah Masoud and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the capital of Kabul was fired by artillery of the warring parties, and a large number of cultural and historical monuments of the Afghan capital were destroyed. Meanwhile, the Taliban movement was gaining strength in the south of the country. For the most part, the Taliban were Pashtuns by nationality and declared themselves defenders of the interests of the Afghan people. Their goal was to build an Islamic state in Afghanistan based on Sharia law.


By 1996, most of the country came under their control, in September, after the capture of Kabul, Muhammad Najibullah was executed, and the Northern Alliance was ousted to the remote border northern provinces. Taliban rule was characterized by religious intolerance towards Gentiles (for example, despite the protests of the world community, including Muslim countries, the Taliban blew up architectural monuments - Bamyan Buddha statues, which they declared pagan idols) and cruelty - for example, thieves chopped off hands, women and girls were forbidden to attend schools and to be on the street without an escort of a man, etc.

Since the late 1980s, a massive increase in drug production in Afghanistan has begun. A record opiate crop of 4,600 tons was harvested in 1999 during Taliban rule. In 2000, 3,275 tons of opium poppy were harvested due to severe drought. In the same year, under the pressure of the world community, the Taliban banned the cultivation of opium poppy in their controlled territory, as a result of which a record low yield of opium poppy was grown in Afghanistan in 2001: only 185 tons of opium were produced, and most of this opium was collected on the territory Badakhshan province controlled by the Northern Alliance.

After the September 11, 2001 attacks, international terrorist Osama bin Laden took refuge in Taliban Afghanistan. This was the reason for the US invasion of Afghanistan. However, according to the journalist Pepe Escobar, the Taliban refused to lay the Trans-Afghan pipeline (TAPI, Turkmenistan - Afghanistan - Pakistan - India) under US conditions, in particular, the plan for the US invasion of Afghanistan existed six months before the events of September 11.

The war in Afghanistan in 2001-2014
During Operation Enduring Freedom, by the beginning of 2002, the Taliban regime was liquidated, but the Taliban were not completely destroyed. The main forces went to the mountainous regions of Waziristan, while others switched to guerrilla warfare in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
After the fall of the Taliban regime, the modern Islamic Republic of Afghanistan was proclaimed. In December 2001, at the Bonn Conference of Afghan Politicians, Hamid Karzai was placed at the head of the transitional administration of Afghanistan. In June 2002, the Loya Jirga (Supreme Council, which includes the leaders of all peoples, tribes and groups of Afghanistan) elected him interim president of the country. In 2004, a new Constitution was adopted and the first presidential election was held, in which Hamid Karzai won.

On August 20, 2009, the country held the next presidential election, a victory in which Hamid Karzai again won.

At the moment, the head of the country is Ashraf Ghani (since 2014).

Despite this, a civil war continues in the country, but with the participation of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan (ISAF).

According to the Thomson Reuters Foundation, which published in January 2019 the ranking of the most dangerous countries for women in the world, Afghanistan ranks second in the list of countries with the greatest number of risks for women in terms of health care, access to economic resources, ordinary life, sexual violence, human trafficking.

Return of the Taliban
Starting from May 1, 2021, in connection with the announcement of the final withdrawal of American troops from the country, the militants of the Taliban terrorist organization launched an active offensive operation against the government forces of Afghanistan. The government of Afghanistan began to rapidly lose control over the territory of the country. At the beginning of August, the Afghan Taliban captured and held 200 regional centers out of 417, and by mid-August already most of the territories of Afghanistan, including 2/3 of the provincial capitals.

On August 15, 2021, the Taliban announced the complete seizure of the territory of Afghanistan. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani agreed to step down and fled the country. On August 17, 2021, Afghan Vice President Amrullah Saleh, who remained in the country, declared himself the current head of state and called on the country's population to join the resistance to the Taliban. The son of Ahmad Shah Masood, the former leader of the Northern Alliance, Ahmad Masood Jr. began to gather the remnants of government forces in the northern province of Panjshir in order to organize resistance to the Taliban. On August 22, 2021, the Taliban demanded that resistance leader Ahmad Massoud surrender Panjshir. In a video released by the Taliban, they said they were giving 4 hours for his supporters, who hold part of the Panjshir province, to lay down their arms. Otherwise, the participants in the resistance "will be punished." The video message was accompanied by footage of the movement of the Taliban security forces to Panjshir.

On August 26, 2021, two explosions occurred near Kabul Airport. According to eyewitnesses, the explosions occurred almost simultaneously, after which shooting began. The first explosion occurred at the entrance to the Kabul airport, which was not subject to the Taliban. The second explosion at the nearby Baron Hotel. The hotel was usually reserved for American citizens, but in recent days it has been used to accommodate people who were waiting in line to fly out of the country. The terrorist organization Islamic State claimed responsibility for the explosion. The attack killed at least 200 people, including 13 American soldiers. The explosion at the airport is the first terrorist attack in Afghanistan since the Taliban seized power.

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the US Armed Forces, General Mark Milley, cited the lack of popular support from the previous government as the main reason for the Taliban's victory:

"I think one of the fundamental problems is government corruption... The government itself has no legitimacy in the eyes of the people."

September 27, 2021 and. about. The head of the Ministry of Justice in the Taliban government, Abdul Hakim Sharia, said that the movement plans to apply the Constitution of the times of the last king of Afghanistan, Zahir Shah, with the exception of provisions that are contrary to Sharia.


Administrative division

Afghanistan is a unitary state and is administratively divided into 34 provinces (vilayat, velāyat), which, in turn, are divided into districts.



Afghanistan is an underdeveloped agrarian state. An extremely poor country heavily dependent on foreign aid ($2.6 billion in 2009, with a government budget of $3.3 billion).

GDP per capita in 2009 - $ 800 (according to purchasing power parity, 219th place in the world).

78% of employees are in agriculture (31% of GDP), 6% in industry (26% of GDP), 16% in the service sector (43% of GDP). The unemployment rate is 35% (in 2008).

Industrial products - clothes, soap, shoes, fertilizers, cement; carpets; gas, coal, copper.

Export - $ 0.6 billion (in 2008, excluding illegal exports): opium, fruits and nuts, carpets, wool, astrakhan fur, precious and semi-precious stones.

The main buyers in 2008 are India 23.5%, Pakistan 17.7%, USA 16.5%, Tajikistan 12.8%, Netherlands 6.9%.

Import - 5.3 billion dollars (in 2008): manufactured goods, food, textiles, oil and oil products.

The main suppliers in 2008 are Pakistan 36%, USA 9.3%, Germany 7.5%, India 6.9%.

Afghanistan is a member of the WTO.

Agricultural products - opium, grain, fruits, nuts; wool, leather.


Drug production

At the end of August 2008, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) published its annual report on opium poppy production in Afghanistan, which states: “No other country in the world, except China in the mid-19th century, produced as many drugs as modern Afghanistan. ".

After the invasion of US and NATO troops, drug production increased several times (citation - drug production doubles almost every year). In particular (German politician) - during the Afghan war under the auspices of NATO, the production of drugs increased 40 times (from 2001 to 14), according to other sources, from 1 to 8 years, the production of opiates and heroin in Afghanistan increased by 2-2.5 times. It was noted that Russia and the EU countries are the main victims of heroin coming from Afghanistan. In 2010, the Italian MEP Pino Arlacchi stated that the rapid growth in drug consumption in Russia over a decade was due to drug trafficking from Afghanistan.

According to UNODC, more than 90% of the opium entering the world market is already produced in Afghanistan. The area of ​​opium plantations is 193 thousand hectares. The income of the Afghan "drug lords" in 2007 exceeded 3 billion dollars (which, according to various estimates, ranges from 10% to 15% of Afghanistan's official GDP). Opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan now exceeds coca cultivation in Colombia, Peru and Bolivia combined. In 2006, the country produced 6,100 tons of opium, and in 2007, a record harvest of 8,000 tons.

At the same time, in the north and in the center, controlled by the government of Hamid Karzai, only 20% of the Afghan opium poppy is produced, and the rest is produced in the southern provinces on the border with Pakistan - the zone of operations of NATO and Taliban troops. The main center of drug production is Helmand province, a stronghold of the Taliban movement, where the planting area was 103,000 hectares.

Afghanistan is officially under the patronage of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan (ISAF) (to which the US transferred this responsibility after the official end of military operations), but the international forces have not been able to take control of the entire territory of Afghanistan, limiting their real influence mainly to Kabul and the surrounding area .

According to the UN, about 90% of drugs entering Europe are of Afghan origin. ISAF, for its part, verbally says that its troops are conducting a peacekeeping operation in Afghanistan and are ready to help the Afghan government in solving the drug problem, but this is primarily and mainly its own task.

Poppy cultivation is often the only source of income for Afghan farmers.

Afghanistan is the world's largest producer of opium; poppy cultivation decreased by 22% and 157,000 hectares in 2008, but remains at historically high levels; unfavorable growing conditions in 2008 reduced the harvest to 5,500 tons, down 31% from 2007. If the entire crop had been processed, about 648 tons of pure heroin would have been produced. The Taliban and other anti-government groups are directly involved in opium production and profit from the opium trade. Opium is a key source of income for the Taliban in Afghanistan. In 2008, the Taliban's drug revenue was $470 million. Pervasive corruption and instability in the state hamper the applied measures to combat drugs. Most of the heroin sold in Europe and East Asia is derived from Afghan opium (2008).

The director of the Kazakh consulting organization Risk Assessment Group, Dosym Satpaev, claims that Afghan groups opposed to the Taliban are producing drugs. By supporting them, NATO turns a blind eye to their drug activities. Michael Bernstam, professor at Stanford University, is of the opinion that the Taliban "prohibited drugs and severely punished" their repression against drug producers. He accused NATO of "humanitarian treatment" of the drug-producing population.

The head of the Federal Drug Control Service, Viktor Ivanov, at a conference in Moscow, announced a catastrophic increase in heroin production, a 30-fold increase in opium poppy cultivation, which indicates the failure of the current policy of the international community in this region.


Against the backdrop of the presence of the US and NATO military in Afghanistan, drug production has grown rapidly every year throughout this country. It is worth noting that in most of the areas of this production there are British and American units called to fight the Taliban. According to official and unofficial data, the level of drug production and trafficking has increased by more than 100 times compared to 2001, when the US began the fight against Afghan opium. In 2013, drug production amounted to about 5,500 tons, in 2015 it dropped to 3,300 tons, but already this year, according to official statistics, it reached 4,800 tons. However, the Afghan Ministry of Counter Narcotics and the UN Office in Kabul, after the announcement of the new US military strategy in Afghanistan, said that in 2017, 328,000 hectares of land were allocated for opium poppy cultivation in the country, which is 63% more than last year. During the press conference, the UN representative added that the production volume per hectare increased to 27.3 kg, that is, an increase of 15% compared to 2016, and the total production reached 9,000 tons, which is an absolute record for throughout the history of Afghanistan.

According to the report of the United Nations Bureau for Combating Narcotics in Afghanistan, Helmand province is considered the main center of this production. According to reports, 60% of all drugs produced in this country are grown in this province, which is a stronghold of the Taliban (as of 2017, the Taliban controlled or claimed control over 10 of the 14 districts of the province). The largest production of narcotic substances, and even in the neighborhood of the largest foreign military base in Afghanistan, raises serious suspicions in the political circles and public opinion of this country about the involvement of foreign military personnel in the cultivation and smuggling of such a lucrative product.

From all of the above, we can conclude that over the past 16 years, drug production in Afghanistan has only increased, and most of them are produced in provinces where a large number of American and British military personnel are stationed. The production and trade of opium is also an important source of income, and as of the mid-2010s they supplied 90 percent of all opium produced in the world.



Population - 32.226 million (2019 est.)
Annual growth - 2.6%
Birth rate - 45.5 per 1000 (5th place in the world)
Mortality - 19.2 per 1000 (8th place in the world)
Total fertility rate - 6.5 births per woman (4th in the world)
Infant mortality - 247 per 1000 (1st place in the world; UN data at the end of 2009)
Average life expectancy - 44.6 years (214th in the world)
Urban population - 24%
Literacy - 43% male, 12% female (2000 est.)

Afghanistan is a multinational state. Its population consists of various ethnic groups belonging to various language families - Iranian, Turkic and others. According to the Constitution of Afghanistan, the population includes at least 14 ethnic groups.

According to a sociological study conducted by The Asia Foundation in 2018, the number of Pashtuns is 50% of the population, Tajiks - 23%, Hazaras - 10%, Uzbeks - 9%. Less numerous ethnic groups are aimaks, Turkmens, Balochs, etc.



The dominant religion is Islam - it is practiced by more than 99% of the population. Sunnism of the Hanafi madhhab is most widespread in the country; up to 19% of the country's inhabitants are Shiites.

The majority of Christians living in Afghanistan (30,000) are foreigners. Protestantism is the largest branch of Christianity in the country. As of 2000, there were 240 Protestant congregations in Afghanistan, of which 124 were Pentecostal. According to the results of the study of the international charitable Christian organization "Open Doors" for 2015, Afghanistan ranks 5th in the list of countries where the rights of Christians are most often oppressed.

The country also has supporters of the Bahai faith (15,000), Hindus (10,000), Sikhs, Zoroastrians, and others.



Afghanistan has 46 airports (of which 29 are paved runways) and one helicopter airfield. There are 466 km of gas pipelines, 34,903 km of roads (of which 17,903 km are paved), 120 km of waterways (mainly along the Amu Darya for ships with a deadweight of up to 500 tons).

In the 1980s, 4 km of railways (and 2 stations) were built on the territory of the country, linking Afghanistan with the USSR. In 2011, the Hairatan-Mazar-i-Sharif railway line was built, the length of the line is about 80 kilometers. The construction was fully completed by Uzbekistan. Track - 1520 mm. In August 2017, a line was opened from the border with Iran to the village of Rowzanak, in December 2020 it was brought to the city of Herat. The length in Afghanistan is about 130 km. The line was built by Iran, gauge 1435 mm. In 2016, a line was opened from Turkmenistan to the Afghan border village of Akina. In Afghanistan - only 2 kilometers. It is supposed to continue to the city of Andhoy, 30 km.



Afghanistan has an ancient history, a culture that has survived to this day in the form of various languages ​​and monuments. However, many historical monuments were destroyed during the war. Two famous Buddha statues in Bamiyan Province were destroyed by the Taliban, who viewed them as "idolatrous" and "pagan". Other famous architectural monuments are located in the cities of Kandahar, Ghazni and Balkh. The Jam Minaret, in the valley of the Tejen (Khari) River, is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Mohammed's cloak is kept inside the famous Khalkha Sharif in the city of Kandahar.



Buzkashi is the national Afghan sport. The riders are divided into two teams, play in the field, each team tries to capture and hold the skin of a goat. Afghan hounds also originate from Afghanistan.



Although the literacy rate is very low, the Persian poetry plays a very important role in Afghan culture. Poetry has always been one of the main pillars of education in Iran and Afghanistan, to the extent that it has been integrated into the culture. Persian culture still has a great influence on Afghan culture. Closed poetry competitions, known as "musha'era", are quite often held even among ordinary people. Almost every home has one or more collections of poetry, even if they are not often read.

The eastern dialect of Persian is commonly known as "Dari". The name itself comes from "parsi-e derbari" ("court Farsi"). The ancient name "Dari" - one of the original names of the Persian language - was restored in the Afghan Constitution of 1964 and was intended "... to show that the Afghans consider their country the cradle of the language. Thus, the name Farsi, as the language of the Persians, should be strictly avoided.”


Mass media

The state television and radio company - RTA (Radio Television Afghanistan, رادیو تلویزیون ملی افغانستان), includes the RTA TV channel and Radio Kabul radio station.


Time in Afghanistan

The territory of Afghanistan is located in the UTC + 4:30 time zone. Afghanistan does not switch to daylight saving time.