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Learn more about Afghanistan.
Flag of Afghanistan Afghanistan
Population: 28,513,677 (July 2004 est.)
Capital: Kabul
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An Introduction to Afghanistan
Afghanistan's recent history is a story of war and civil unrest. The Soviet Union invaded in 1979, but was forced to withdraw 10 years later by anti-Communist mujahidin forces supplied and trained by the US, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and others. The Communist regime in Kabul fought on until collapsing in 1992. Fighting subsequently erupted among the various mujahidin factions, giving rise to a state of warlordism that eventually spawned the Taliban. Backed by foreign sponsors, the Taliban developed as a political force and ultimately seized power in 1996. The Taliban were able to capture most of the country, outside of Northern Alliance strongholds primarily in the northeast. Following the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks, a US, Allied, and Northern Alliance military action toppled the Taliban. In late 2001, major leaders from the Afghan opposition groups and diaspora met in Bonn, Germany, and agreed on a plan for the formulation of a new government structure that resulted in the inauguration of Hamid KARZAI as Chairman of the Afghan Interim Authority (AIA) on 22 December 2001.

The AIA held a nationwide Loya Jirga (Grand Assembly) in June 2002, and KARZAI was elected President by secret ballot of the Transitional Islamic State of Afghanistan (TISA). In December 2002, the TISA marked the one-year anniversary of the fall of the Taliban. The Transitional Authority convened a Constitutional Loya Jirga from 14 December 2003 until 4 January 2004 and ended with the approval of a new constitution. The constitution was signed on 16 January 2004 and highlights a strong executive branch, a moderate role for Islam, and basic protections for human rights. TISA's next task is to hold nationwide elections by June 2004, according to the Bonn Agreement timeline, but these may be delayed due to election preparations. National elections would formally dissolve the Transitional Authority and establish the Government of Afghanistan under the new constitution.

In addition to occasionally violent political jockeying and ongoing military action to root out remaining terrorists and Taliban elements, the country suffers from enormous poverty, a lack of skilled and educated workers, a crumbling infrastructure, and widespread land mines.

Afghanistan map

Map of Afghanistan ( Location ) : 33 00 N, 65 00 E, Southern Asia, north and west of Pakistan, east of Iran. For additional reports and educational information specific to Afghanistan, refer to the Country Info menubar to the upper right.

About the Flag The Afghan Flag
Three equal vertical bands of black (hoist), red, and green, with a gold emblem centered on the red band; the emblem features a temple-like structure encircled by a wreath on the left and right and by a bold Islamic inscription above.

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Rankings of The Most Populous Countries in the World.

  1. China
  2. India
  3. United States
  4. Indonesia
  5. Brazil
  6. Russia
  7. Pakistan
  8. Bangladesh
  9. Japan
10. Nigeria
11. Mexico
12. Germany
13. Philippines
14. Vietnam
15. Egypt
16. Turkey
17. Iran
18. Ethiopia
19. Thailand
20. United Kingdom
21. France
22. Italy
23. Congo
24. Ukraine
25. South Korea
26. South Africa
27. Burma
28. Colombia
29. Spain
30. Poland

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Country References
Country profile data for Afghanistan

  • Economy Intro
  • Economy
  • Flag Description
  • Government
  • History
  • People
  • US Relations
  • Foreign Relations
  • Religious Freedom
 

Tabular Data
  • Economy
  • Communications
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  • Issues
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  • Chiefs of State
 
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Facts
Some interesting facts and figures about Afghanistan.

Pop Growth Rate / Year:
    • 4.92%

Avg. Life Expectancy:
    • 42.27 yrs - Male
    • 42.66 yrs - Female

Phone Lines:
    • 33,100 (2002)

Televisions:
    • 100,000 (1999)

Radios:
    • 167,000 (1999)

Internet Code:
    • .af

Did you know ... People from Afghanistan are called Afghans
 

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Data Source: Central Intelligence Agency 2004 World Factbook