Everything you need to know about Afghanistan: news, reviews, in-depth analysis, opinion and more
Afghanistan Information and Profile:
Afghanistan, (which literally means Land of the Afghan or Afgan) is a mountainous and land-locked country located in Central Asia. Afghanistan is bordered by Iran in the west, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan in the north, China in the northeast and by Pakistan in the south and east region. The Hindu-Kush Mountain ranges dominate this landlocked country with its plateaus, desert and grasslands.
Afghanistan's recent history is a story of war and civil unrest. Since centuries brutal war and civil unrest almost devastated its social, political and economic structure. In 1979, the Soviet Union (present Russia) attacked and occupied Afghanistan but the were forced to withdraw after 10 years by US-backed and trained Mujahidin forces (present-day Taliban) and supported by Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and others. Internal fighting continued between various Mujahidin sections, giving rise to numerous warlords that eventually engulfed the whole nation. The brutal control and social oppression of the Taliban ended when U.S. and allied military forces invaded the country shortly after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the USA.
With the help of international aid and security forces Afghanistan is emerging from its age-old history of wars and civil unrest. These reconstruction initiatives helped Afghanistan to suppress its long political and social unrest. The coming up of new infrastructure and strategic partnerships with many countries has enhanced the social and economic standard of people.
|National Name||:||Islamic Republic of Afghanistan|
|Total area||:||6,47,500 km2|
|Population||:||32,738,376 (growth rate: 2.6%)|
|Languages||:|| Major language spoken in Afghanistan is Pashto, Pashtu or Pukhto; approximately 14 million people speak this language. And other major language is Dari (Farsi) and almost every ethnic division of Afghanistan speaks it. Other languages spoken are Balochi,
Pashayi and Eastern Farsi.
|Ethnicity/ Races||:||Pashtoons, Tajiks, Hazaras, and Uzbeks. Numerous other minor ethnic groups (Nuristanis, Baluchis, Turkmens, etc.)|
|Religion||:||Afghans are over 99% Muslims: approximately 74-80% Sunni and 19-25% Shi'a and other are Hindu, Sikh and Jews etc.|
|Literacy Rate||:||Literacy of the entire population is 36%, the male literacy rate is 51% and female literacy is 21%. (According to government of Afghanistan. Survey in 1991).|
Geographical Information on Afghanistan:
Afghanistan is spread on both sides of northern and eastern hemisphere. It is positioned in the Middle East and located in southwestern region of Asia.
The climate of Afghanistan is continental having scorching hot summers and cold winters. Temperatures often vary greatly within a single day. Afghanistan receives most of the rainfall between the months of October and April. The deserts receive less rain whereas the mountains receive more than precipitation, mostly in the form of snow.
Culture, Cuisine and Tourists attraction of Afghanistan:
The culture of Afghanistan is largely influenced by Islam due to Arab- Muslim conquest since millennia. Different regions of Afghanistan have unique traditions that reflect multilingual and multicultural character of this country. The Islamic norms and mannerisms appear prevalent in Afghanistan and its impact can be seen in the art, music, architecture and poetry.
Afghani cuisine is famous for its spices and rich aroma and influenced by the Persian, Indian and Mongolian style of cooking. Main ingredients of enticing Afghani foods are spices, mint, meat, and the noodles/ pasta from Mongolia. Afghani cuisine is flavored with garam masala (hot spice), saffron, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, chillies, leeks, coriander, parsley, mint and black pepper. Vegetarian dishes are not so popular in Afghanistan. Due to environmental factors people take food rich in fat and protein.
There are various attractive tourist destinations in Afghanistan worth exploring and these places delighted travelers while on a tour to this exotic country. These regions are famous for their historical significance, sightseeing spots, cuisines and various other aspects. A laser illustration of Buddha has been created in place of the standing Buddha statues of Bamiyan destroyed by the Taliban.
Major Sight-seeing Places in Afghanistan include:
GARDENS OF BABUR
KABUL BALA HISAR
BOT-E-BAMIYAN (Buddha’s Statue)
BANDE AMIR LAKES
Washington, June 11 (IANS) Five service members of the US troops were killed Monday in a possible friendly fire during a security operation in Afghanistan, the Pentagon said Tuesday.
Kabul, June 10 (IANS) Eight Afghan de-mining pesonnel were killed in a Taliban attack in the eastern province of Logar Tuesday, the presidential palace said.
New Delhi, June 10 (IANS) The signals from both India and the US are loud and clear ? engagement in every sector, and fast. Pushing back the slackness that had crept into the important strategic relationship over the last few years, the new Indian government signaled its keenness to "move forward as early as possible" to boost ties with the US.
Kabul, June 10 (IANS) Afghanistan's National Directorate for Security (NDS) captured a Taliban key commander in Kandahar, media reported Tuesday.
Kabul, June 10 (IANS) At least five NATO soldiers were killed in an incident in southern Afghanistan, media reported Tuesday.
Kabul, June 9 (IANS) A senior Afghan security official Monday said the country's security forces have rolled out a security plan for the upcoming presidential runoff polls.
Kabul, June 9 (IANS) At least four people were killed when militants mounted an audacious attack on a NATO complex in Afghanistan, an official said Monday.
Kabul, June 8 (IANS) Three Afghan soldiers and 13 militants were killed in separate bombings in Afghanistan Sunday, officials said.
Kabul, June 6 (IANS) Afghan presidential candidate Dr. Abdullah Abdullah Friday escaped unhurt twin-bomb blasts in Afghanistan's capital city Kabul, media reported.
New Delhi, June 6 (IANS) US diplomat Kathleen Stephens has taken over as interim charge d'affaires of the US embassy here.
Islamabad, June 5 (IANS) Security forces Thursday killed at least 30 suspected militants in an operation in Pakistan's southwestern Balochistan province, an official said.
Kabul, June 5 (IANS) Four Taliban militants, including a local commander, were killed when security personnel raided their hideouts in Dasht-e-Archi district of Kunduz province 250 km north of Kabul Thursday.
Panjim, June 5 (IANS) Afghanistan captain Zohib Islam Amiri has extended his contract with Goan football club Dempo Sports Club Thursday.
Kabul, June 5 (IANS) A soldier with the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) was killed in a militant attack in Afghanistan Thursday, the alliance said.
Kabul, June 5 (IANS) At least four security personnel were killed Thursday when an explosive device went off in Afghanistan's Ghazni province, an official said.
Kabul, June 4 (IANS) Security forces in Afghanistan have killed 15 militants during operations in the northern Baghlan province that began Tuesday, army officer Ghulam Farooq Ahmadi said Wednesday.
Chennai, June 4 (IANS) Unclear about the fate of an Indian Christian priest kidnapped by Taliban in Afghanistan, his family is praying for his safety and seeking "good news" about him.
Kabul, June 4 (IANS) At least four Afghan policemen were killed and one was wounded in a bomb attack in Afghanistan, an official said Wednesday.
Islamabad, June 4 (IANS) Pakistan Wednesday condemned what it called unprovoked firing on its border posts in the Bajaur tribal region from the Afghan side of the border.
Islamabad, June 4 (IANS) At least two Pakistani soldiers were killed and three others injured Wednesday when unidentified militants attacked the military post on Pakistan-Afghanistan border in Bajaur tribal region, offials said.
Islamabad, June 3 (IANS) At least four people were killed and three injured Tuesday in an explosion in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan, a media report said.
Kabul, June 2 (IANS) Unidentified gunmen Monday kidnapped an Indian national in western Afghanistan's Herat province, an official said.
New Delhi, June 2 (IANS) India is pursuing the kidnapping of an aid worker in Herat province of Afghanistan, an official said here Monday.
Kabul, June 2 (IANS) An Indian aid worker was abducted Monday by unknown gunmen in
Kabul, June 2 (IANS) At least eight people were killed and four others injured Monday when a group of suicide bombers attacked a district headquarter in Afghanistan's Helmand province, an official said.
Kabul, June 2 (IANS) At least four people were killed and three others injured Monday when a group of suicide bombers attacked a district headquarters in Afghanistan's Helmand province, an official said.
Kabul, June 2 (IANS) At least three foreign engineers were killed Monday in a suicide bomb attack in Afghanistan, official sources said.
Washington/Kabul, June 1 (IANS) A US soldier seized by the Taliban nearly five years ago in Afghanistan has been released after five Taliban leaders held in Guantanamo Bay were let off, US and Taliban officials said.
Islamabad, June 1 (IANS) Pakistan has lodged a strong protest with Afghanistan over a cross-border attack on a Pakistan military post Saturday by over 200 militants crossing from the Afghan side, media reported Sunday.
Washington, June 1 (IANS) A US soldier held by the Taliban in their custody for nearly five years in Afghanistan was released Saturday in a deal which included freeing five Afghan detainees in exchange, authorities here said.
Kabul/New Delhi, May 31 (IANS) A day after visiting the Indian consulate in Herat that faced a terror attack last week, Indian Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh Saturday called on Afghan President Hamid Karzai and both presidential candidates - Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani.
Kabul, May 31 (IANS) Twelve civilians were killed and two injured Saturday when a minibus set off a roadside bomb in Afghanistan's Ghazni province, an official said.
New Delhi/Kabul, May 30 (IANS) Indian Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh Friday visited the Indian consulate in Afghanistan's Herat that was the target of a terror attack May 23.
Washington, May 30 (IANS) US Secretary of State John Kerry defended President Barack Obama's newly announced strategy to withdraw troops from Afghanistan amidst much criticism, media reported.
Kabul, May 29 (IANS) Twelve people, including 10 militants, were killed in separate incidents of violence in Afghanistan Thursday, authorities said.
Kabul, May 29 (IANS) A police officer was killed and two others were injured Thursday in twin explosions in Afghanistan's Kandahar city, a security official said.
Washington, May 29 (IANS) US President Barack Obama has laid out a new doctrine of using "military force unilaterally" without permission when its own interests are at stake, but turning to "collective action" when Washington is not directly threatened.
Kabul, May 29 (IANS) Afghan government Wednesday welcomed US president's plan to keep about 9,800 troops after 2014 in Afghanistan but virtually withdrawing all by the end of 2016.
Kabul, May 28 (IANS) The US commander of NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, Joseph F. Dunford, Jr., Wednesday said the war on terror and pressure against Al Qaeda network will continue.
Islamabad, May 28 (IANS) Pakistan Wednesday welcomed US President Barack Obama's plan of withdrawal of forces from Afghanistan, noting that the country stressed the importance of a responsible withdrawal and "cautioned against the creation of a security vacuum".
Islamabad, May 28 (IANS/WAM) On the directive of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE Project to Assist Pakistan (UAE PAP) has announced the launch of a vaccination campaign against polio in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and other tribal areas in Pakistan.
Kabul, May 28 (IANS) Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has vowed to lend its all-round support to Afghanistan under the bilateral partnership agreement between the two countries.
Washington, May 28 (IANS) As President Barack Obama announced plans for Afghanistan after ending US combat mission by year end, the US hoped India, Pakistan and Afghanistan would help provide greater stability and security in the region.
Washington, May 28 (IANS) US President Barack Obama said Tuesday that he planned to leave 9,800 American troops in Afghanistan beyond 2014.
Washington, May 28 (IANS) US President Barack Obama announced Tuesday that he plans to keep 9,800 troops in Afghanistan beyond 2014.
New Delhi, May 27 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday told Afghan President Hamid Karzai that the attack on the Indian consulate in Herat had only "strengthened" India's resolve to work together with the country, Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh said.
Kabul, May 26 (IANS) A suicide bomber targeted a bus carrying Afghan national army personnel in capital Kabul Monday, killing at least four people, including himself, and wounding four others, an army officer at the site of the blast said.
Kabul, May 26 (IANS) US President Barack Obama paid a short visit to Afghanistan but returned home without meeting his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai due to differences over the venue, an official statement said Monday.
Washington, May 26 (IANS) The US looks forward to working with the next president and the new parliament of Ukraine to support the country's efforts to enact important reforms, US President Barack Obama said Sunday.
Kabul, May 26 (IANS) US President Barack Obama paid a surprise visit to Afghanistan Sunday, an Afghan official said.
Kabul, May 25 (IANS) US President Barack Obama paid a surprise visit to Afghanistan Sunday, an Afghan official said.
Kabul, May 25 (IANS) A senior police officer, a well-known anti-Taliban figure, was killed in suicide bomb attack in Afghanistan sunday.
Islamabad, May 24 (IANS) At least two soldiers and eight militants were killed in a clash between militants and security forces in Pakistan's northwest tribal area of Khyber Agency, officials said.
Kabul, May 24 (IANS) Five Taliban militants were killed and another injured when their explosive device went off prematurely in Afghanistan's eastern Kunar province Saturday.
Kabul, May 24 (IANS) At least nine militants were killed and 15 others injured Saturday in clashes between the militants and security forces, an official said.
Washington, May 24 (IANS) Denying that it had failed to reach out to the Bharatiya Janata Party before the elections, the US has said that it engages with a broad section of Indian politics and Indian society.
United Nations, May 24 (IANS) The UN Security Council has condemned an attack by gunmen on an Indian consulate in Afghanistan, stressing that "terrorism in all its forms and manifestations is criminal and unjustifiable", media reported Saturday.
Kabul/New Delhi, May 23 (IANS) Four terrorists armed with rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns attacked the Indian consulate in Herat in western Afghanistan in the early hours of Friday. All the attackers were killed, officials said, adding that the Indian staff was safe.
New Delhi, May 23 (IANS) India Friday said the attack on its consulate in Herat in Afghanistan "stems from beyond" the Afghan borders.
New Delhi, May 23 (IANS) The list of attacks on Indian missions in Afghanistan prior to the strike carried out Friday:
New Delhi, May 23 (IANS) The attack on the Indian consulate in Afghanistan's Herat Friday brings into sharp focus a book, written by an American journalist and published this year, that traces Pakistan's link to the attack on the Indian embassy in Kabul in 2008.
Colombo, May 23 (IANS) The Sri Lankan government Friday called for decisive action against terrorism in all its forms and manifestations following an attack on an Indian consulate in Afghanistan.
Ahead of the terror attack on the Indian consulate in Afghanistan, prime minister-designate Narendra Modi spoke to Indian ambassador to Afghanistan Amar Sinha and assured support to the staff at the Indian consulate that was attacked by gunmen, an official said Friday.
New Delhi, May 23 (IANS) Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi Friday condemned the attack on the Indian consulate in Afghanistan and spoke to the Indian envoy assuring support to the staff there.
New Delhi, May 23 (IANS) President Pranab Mukherjee Friday "strongly" condemned the terrorist attack on the Indian consulate in Afghanistan and said such attacks would not deter India's efforts to assist the people of Afghanistan.
Kabul/New Delhi, May 23 (IANS) The Indian consulate in Herat in Afghanistan was attacked Friday by four heavily armed gunmen who tried to enter the complex. All four attackers were killed, officials said, adding that the consulate staff was safe.
Islamabad, May 23 (IANS) Pakistan Friday condemned the attack on the Indian consulate in Herat in Afghanistan.
New Delhi, May 23 (IANS) Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi spoke to Indian ambassador to Afghanistan Amar Sinha and assured support to the staff at the Indian consulate that was attacked by gunmen, an official said Friday.
New Delhi, May 23 (IANS) All staff in the Indian consulate in Afghanistan that was attacked Friday are safe, said Syed Akbaruddin, external affairs ministry spokesperson.
Kabul/New Delhi, May 23 (IANS) Three heavily armed guerrillas mounted a brazen attack on the Indian consulate in Afghanistan's Herat city Friday, with one attacker being gunned down while he was trying to scale the consulate wall. India said its staff were safe.
In a shocking incident, the Indian consulate in Afghanistan was attacked by unidentified gunmen who tried to enter in and later fired from neighbouring buildings.
Kabul/New Delhi, May 23 (IANS) The Indian consulate in Afghanistan was attacked Friday by unidentified gunmen, which is still continuing, an official said.
Kabul, May 23 (IANS) The Indian consulate in Afghanistan was attacked Friday by unidentified gunmen who tried to enter in and later fired from neighbouring buildings, a media report said.
Kabul, May 21 (IANS) One person was killed and 10 others were injured in a bomb blast in the northwestern Afghanistan province of Faryab Wednesday, a police spokesman said.
Kabul, May 21 (IANS) At least four policemen were killed Wednesday when Taliban militants launched an attack on a security checkpoint in Afghanistan.
Bucharest, May 21 (IANS) The NATO nations are never alone, US Vice President Joe Biden said Tuesday, soon after his arrival in Bucharest for a two-day visit.
Kabul, May 20 (IANS) At least three policemen were killed and eight others injured Tuesday when two police vehicles collided in Jowzjan province in Afghanistan, an official said.
Islamabad, May 19 (IANS) Pakistani security forces seized a truck near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border in Balochistan Monday and recovered numerous weapons, ammunition and explosives, media reported.
Islamabad, May 19 (IANS) Three new polio cases were detected Monday in Pakistan, media reported.
Kabul, May 19 (IANS) A senior Taliban leader was detained by security forces in Afghanistan Monday, the ministry of interior affairs said.
Kabul, May 19 (IANS) At least 19 militants and four soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan since Saturday, the government and security sources said Sunday.
Kabul, May 17 (IANS) Jaipur Foot, the maker of prothestic legs, will make artificial limbs for 1,000 disabled Afghans in coordination with the Afghan ministry for labour, social affairs, martyrs and disabled, officials said Saturday.
Kabul, May 17 (IANS) At least 10 people were killed Saturday in separate blasts in Afghanistan, an official said.
An anthology of Sri Lankan literature, getting to know Tibet better, unraveling paradoxes about capitalism and a journalist's account of terrorism - the IANS Book stack this weekend has works from other countries.
Kabul, May 15 (IANS) Afghan presidential front-runner Abdullah Abdullah said Thursday that he accepted the final result of the poll and was ready for the run-off on June 14.
Kabul, May 15 (IANS) Two leading Afghan presidential candidates, out of eight in the contest, will vie in a runoff poll in mid-June as no winner emerged in the first round of elections held April 5, according to an election commission source.
Kabul, May 15 (IANS) At least one Afghan security man was killed Thursday in an exchange of fire between Afghan and Pakistani border guards along the poorly marked border, media reported.
Islamabad, May 15 (IANS/EFE) Pakistan will put into effect from June an international recommendation that requires all travellers from this south Asian country to carry a polio vaccination certificate.
Kabul, May 15 (IANS) Eight people, including three security personnel and five militants, were killed Wednesday evening in a skirmish in southern Afghan province of Kandahar, police said.
Islamabad, May 14 (IANS) At least 10 suspected militants were killed and 14 others injured Wednesday during a US drone strike along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, media reported.
Islamabad, May 14 (IANS) At least three suspected militants were killed Wednesday in a US drone attack on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, media reported.
Kabul, May 13 (IANS) Two key Taliban commanders, Mullah Mansoor and Mullah Halim Zabulwal, were killed in Afghanistan's southern Zabul province Tuesday, police said.
Islamabad, May 13 (IANS) Samples taken from sewage from different parts of Karachi and Lahore, the country's most populated cities, have tested positive for the polio virus, officials said Tuesday.
Kabul, May 13 (IANS) At least three people were killed and eight others injured Tuesday in two attacks in Afghanistan, an official said.
Kabul, May 12 (IANS) At least seven people, including two policemen and three militants, were killed and 10 others injured Monday when Taliban gunmen and suicide bombers attacked a government building in Afghanistan, an official said.
Kabul, May 12 (IANS) At least two policemen were killed Monday when Taliban gunmen and suicide bombers attacked a government building in Afghanistan, an official said.
Brtislava (Slovakia), May 12 (IANS) NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen is set to visit Slovakia Wednesday to meet Slovakia's top officials and evaluate the country's 10 years as a NATO member, the defence ministry said Sunday.
Kabul, May 11 (IANS) Afghan presidential candidate Zalmai Rassoul, who secured third position in the electoral race, Sunday announced his support to the leading candidate Abdullah Abdullah.
Kabul, May 11 (IANS) At least four people were killed and 22 injured Sunday when a car bomb went off in Afghanistan, an official said.
Kabul, May 10 (IANS) At least two people were killed and 20 other injured Saturday when a bus plunged into a ravine in eastern Afghanistan province of Parwan, a local media report said.