| Jomhuri-ye Afghanistan
Republic of Afghanistan
|Anthem: No official Anthem|
|Official Language: Pashto, Dari, and many others|
|Leader: Dr. Mohammad Najibullah|
|Formation: 1919 (Recognized as Independent State)|
|Area: 647,500 km2|
|Population: 15,184,743(Jan 1990), growth rate 1.98% (Jan 1990)|
|GDP: $9.31(Jan 1990)|
Afghanistan, officially the Republic of Afghanistan (Farsi/Persian: Jomhuri-ye Afghanistan), is a landlocked country that is located approximately in the center of Asia. It is variously designated as geographically located within Central Asia, South Asia, and the Middle East. It has religious, ethno-linguistic, and geographic links with most of its neighboring states. It is bordered by Pakistan in the south and east, Iran in the west, the Soviet Union in the north, and China in the far northeast. The name Afghanistan means in Farsi the "Land of Afghans."
president, four vice presidents, prime minister, deputy prime minister, Council of Ministers (cabinet)
bicameral National Assembly consists of an upper house or Senate and a lower house or House of Representatives
30 provinces; Badakhshan, Badghis, Baghlan, Balkh, Bamian, Farah, Faryab, Ghazni, Ghowr, Helmand, Herat, Jowzjan, Kabol, Kandahar, Kapisa, Konar, Kondoz, Laghman, Lowgar, Nangarhar, Nimruz, Oruzgan, Paktia, Paktika, Parvan, Samangan, Sar-e Pol, Takhar, Vardak, Zabol; note--there may be a new province of Nurestan (Nuristan)
Political parties and leaders: only party--the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) has two factions--the Parchami faction has been in power since December 1979 and members of the deposed Khalqi faction continue to hold some important posts mostly in the military and Ministry of Interior; nonparty figures hold some posts
Other political or pressure groupsEdit
the military and other branches of internal security have been rebuilt by the USSR; insurgency continues throughout the country; widespread anti-Soviet and antiregime sentiment and opposition on religious and political grounds
Fundamentally, Afghanistan is an extremely poor, landlocked country, highly dependent on farming (wheat especially) and livestock raising (sheep and goats). Economic considerations, however, have played second fiddle to political and military upheavals, including the nine-year Soviet military occupation (ended 15 February 1989) and the continuing bloody civil war. Over the past decade, one-third of the population has fled the country, with Pakistan sheltering some 3 million refugees and Iran perhaps 2 million. Another 1 million have probably moved into and around urban areas within Afghanistan. Large numbers of bridges, buildings, and factories have been destroyed or damaged by military action or sabotage. Government claims to the contrary, gross domestic product almost certainly is lower than 10 years ago because of the loss of labor and capital and the disruption of trade and transport. Official claims indicate that agriculture grew by 0.7% and industry by 3.5% in 1988.
Ecnonomical facts and figures (Jan 1990)Edit
GDP: $9.31 billion, per capita $613; real growth rate 0% (1989 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): over 50% (1989 est.)
Unemployment rate:28.0% (Jan 1990)
Budget: revenues NA; expenditures $646.7 million, including capital expenditures of $370.2 million (FY87 est.)
Exports: $512 million (f.o.b., FY88); commodities--natural gas 55%, fruits and nuts 24%, handwoven carpets, wool, cotton, hides, and pelts; partners--mostly USSR and Eastern Europe
Imports: $996 million (c.i.f., FY88); commodities--food and petroleum products; partners--mostly USSR and Eastern Europe
External debt: $0 billion (Jan 1990)
Industrial production: growth rate 6.2% (FY89 plan)
Electricity: 480,000 kW capacity; 1,470 million kWh produced, 100 kWh per capita (1989)
Currency: afghani (plural--afghanis); 1 afghani (Af) = 100 puls
Exchange rates: afghanis (Af) per US$1--50.6 (fixed rate since 1982)
Industries: small-scale production of textiles, soap, furniture, shoes, fertilizer, and cement; handwoven carpets; natural gas, oil, coal, copper
Agriculture: largely subsistence farming and nomadic animal husbandry; cash products--wheat, fruits, nuts, karakul pelts, wool, mutton
Illicit drugs: an illicit producer of opium poppy and cannabis for the international drug trade; world's second largest opium producer (after Burma) and a major source of hashish
Railroads: 9.6 km (single track) 1.524-meter gauge from Kushka (USSR) to Towraghondi and 15.0 km from Termez (USSR) to Kheyrabad transshipment point on south bank of Amu Darya
Highways: 21,000 km total (1984); 2,800 km hard surface, 1,650 km bituminous-treated gravel and improved earth, 16,550 km unimproved earth and tracks
Inland waterways: total navigability 1,200 km; chiefly Amu Darya, which handles steamers up to about 500 metric tons
Pipelines: petroleum, oil, and lubricants pipelines--USSR to Bagram and USSR to Shindand; natural gas, 180 km
Ports: Shir Khan and Kheyrabad (river ports)
Civil air: 2 TU-154, 2 Boeing 727, assorted smaller transports
Airports: 38 total, 34 usable; 9 with permanent-surface runways; none with runways over 3,659 m; 10 with runways 2,440-3,659 m; 15 with runways 1,220-2,439 m
Telecommunications: limited telephone, telegraph, and radiobroadcast services; television introduced in 1980; 31,200 telephones; stations--5 AM, no FM, 1 TV; 1 satellite earth station
Branches: Armed Forces (Army; Air and Air Defense Forces); Border Guard Forces; National Police Force (Sarandoi); Ministry of State Security (WAD); Tribal Militia
Military manpower: males 15-49, 3,880,124; 2,080,725 fit for military service; 168,021 reach military age (22) annually
Defense expenditures: 9.1% of GDP (1984)
Ariana was the original name of Afghanistan back in the 1700s. Afghanistan is a culturally mixed nation, a crossroads between the East and the West, and has been an ancient focal point of trade and migration. It has an important geostrategical location, connecting South, Central and Southwest Asia. During its long history, the land has seen various invaders and conquerors, while on the other hand, local entities invaded the surrounding vast regions to form their own empires. Ahmad Shah Durrani created the Durrani Empire in 1747, with its capital at Kandahar. Subsequently, the capital was shifted to Kabul and most of its territories ceded to former neighboring countries. In the 19th century, Afghanistan became a buffer state in "The Great Game" played between the British Indian Empire and Russian Empire. On August 19, 1919, following the third Anglo-Afghan war, the country regained full independence from the United Kingdom over its foreign affairs.
History since 1964Edit
In 1964, King Zahir Shah promulgated a liberal constitution providing for a bicameral legislature to which the king appointed one-third of the deputies. The people elected another third, and the remainder were selected indirectly by provincial assemblies. Although Zahir's "experiment in democracy" produced few lasting reforms, it permitted the growth of unofficial extremist parties on both the left and the right. These included the communist People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA), which had close ideological ties to the Soviet Union. In 1967, the PDPA split into two major rival factions: the Khalq (Masses) faction headed by Nur Muhammad Taraki and Hafizullah Amin and supported by elements within the military, and the Parcham (Banner) faction led by Babrak Karmal. The split reflected ethnic, class, and ideological divisions within Afghan society. However, most of the following presidents and heads of state were Ghilzai (Taraki, Amin, Najib, Mullah Omar), once again trying to take away the power from the Durrani.
Amid charges of corruption and malfeasance against the royal family and poor economic conditions created by the severe 1971-72 drought, former Prime Minister Mohammad Sardar Daoud Khan seized power in a military coup on July 17, 1973 while Zahir Shah was receiving treatment for eye problems and therapy for lumbago in Italy.  Daoud abolished the monarchy, abrogated the 1964 constitution, and declared Afghanistan a republic with himself as its first President and Prime Minister. His attempts to carry out badly needed economic and social reforms met with little success, and the new constitution promulgated in February 1977 failed to quell chronic political instability.
As disillusionment set in, on April 27, 1978, the PDPA initiated a bloody coup, which resulted in the overthrow and murder of Daoud and most of his family. Nur Muhammad Taraki, Secretary General of the PDPA, became President of the Revolutionary Council and Prime Minister of the newly established Democratic Republic of Afghanistan, strongly supported by the USSR.
The PDPA, as a Communist Party, implemented a liberal and socialist agenda which included decrees abolishing usury, banning forced marriages, state recognition of women’s rights to vote, replacing religious and traditional laws with secular and Marxist ones, banning tribal courts, and land reform. Men were obliged to cut their beards, women couldn't wear a burqa, and mosque visiting was forbidden. The PDPA invited the Soviet Union to assist in modernizing its economic infrastructure (predominantly its exploration and mining of rare minerals and natural gas). The USSR also sent contractors to build roads, hospitals, schools and mine for water wells; they also trained and equipped the Afghan army. Upon the PDPA's ascension to power, and the establishment of the DRA, the Soviet Union promised monetary aid in the amount of at least $1.262 billion.
These reforms and the PDPA's monopoly on power were met with a large backlash, partly led by members of the traditional establishment. Many groups were formed in an attempt to reverse the dependence on the Soviet Union, some resorting to violent means and sabotage of the country's industry and infrastructure. The government responded with a heavy handed military intervention and arrested, exiled and executed many Insurgents.
In 1979, the Afghan army was overwhelmed with the number of violent incidents, and the Soviet Union sent troops to crush the uprising, install a pro-Moscow government, and support the new government. On December 25, 1979, the Soviet army entered Kabul. This was the starting point of the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan and the Soviet war in Afghanistan, which ended only in 1989 with a full withdrawal of Soviet troops under the Geneva Accords reached in 1988 between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
For over nine years, the Soviet Army conducted military operations against the Afghan mujahedin rebels. The American CIA, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia assisted in the financing of the resistance because of their anti-communist stance, and, in the case of Saudi Arabia, because of their Islamist inclinations.
The Soviet Union withdrew its troops in February 1989, but continued to aid the government, led by Mohammed Najibullah.
History since 1964Edit
Mohammed Najibullah (currnetly un-played)