Official Name:
Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
Location & Size:
Afghanistan is a 652,864 sq. km. (249,935 sq. mi.) landlocked country situated at the hub of South Asia and Central Asia. It has a population of approximately 28.6 million people (2016). To the south and east, Afghanistan shares a border with Pakistan; to the west, it shares a border with Iran, and its northern border touches the Central Asian countries of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan. In the far northeast, it shares a border with China.
Afghanistan achieved independence and freed itself from British control over its foreign affairs in 1919, following the Third Anglo-Afghan War. The Treaty of Rawalpindi granted Afghanistan sovereignty, which was declared on August 19, 1919 by King Amanullah Khan.
Afghanistan’s National Unity Government, elected in 2014, is led by President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah Abdullah.
Kabul is the capital of Afghanistan with a population of about 4.5 million.
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Natural Resources:
Afghanistan has an abundance of natural resources, among them: natural gas, petroleum, coal, copper, chromate, talc, barites, sulfur, lead, zinc, iron ore, salt, precious and semiprecious stones like emeralds, rubies, and lapis lazuli.
Ethnic Diversity:
Afghanistan has been a land of diverse peoples for centuries. The country’s constitution officially recognizes 14 ethnic groups: Pashtun, Tajik, Hazara, Uzbek, Baluch, Turkmen, Nuristani, Pamiri, Arab, Gujar, Brahui, Qizilbash, Aimaq, and Pashai. Pashto and Dari are Afghanistan’s official languages. Afghanistan’s Constitution stipulates that all other languages are “official” in the areas in which they are spoken by a majority of the population.
The “Afghani” (AFN) is the national currency, with an exchange rate of about 69 Afghanis to $1 USD.
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