Jan 5, 2011

Afghanistan the land of dead, terrorist and 90 percent of the world’s opium 10 parts

General Introduction

Afghanistan has an area of 650,000 square kilometers (roughly the size of Texas), much of which is either sparsely populated desert or rugged mountains. The country has an extremely harsh climate, and only 10–12 percent of the area is cultivable.
There are few natural resources, though the location of the country means that there have been occasional plans for a pipe line connecting gas-rich central Asian states to Iran or Pakistan.
The land was a crossroads of civilizations, influenced by the Persian culture from the West and the Turkic nomadic culture of the North. The area was conquered by Alexander the Great in the third century BC, who established a Hellenistic kingdom. Buddhism thrived from the first century, leaving behind a considerablearchaeological treasure, including the magnificent statues of Buddha carved in the hillsides at Bamian. In the seventh century Arab Muslem armies swept across, bringing with them the religion of Islam. Genghis Khan conquered the area in 1219, laying waste to the cities of Herat and Balkh. A second nomadic conqueror, Tamerlane, took over Afghanistan in the fourteenth century, and the capital of the Timurid empire was established at Herat from 1405.
In the eighteenth century, Pashtun tribes of southern and eastern Afghanistan emerged dominant. In 1747 after an assembly of Pashtun tribal chiefs (Loya Jirga) Ahmad Shah Durrani was chosen as King of Afghanistan. Ahmad Shah Durrani is considered to be the founder of Afghanistan. His son, Timur Shah, moved the capital from Kandahar to Kabul.
During the early nineteenth century the British gained control of northwest India, including a tenuous control over the Pashtun tribes of the eastern Hindu Kush mountains, which were added to the British Indian Empire. Two British invasions failed after uprisings. Thereafter, the British kept a degree of control of Afghanistan through diplomacy and bribery. In 1893 the British established the Durand Line, setting the border between Afghanistan and British India, and dividing the Pashtun tribes between the two countries. An Afghan invasion of British India in 1919 was defeated, but Britain allowed complete independence for Afghanistan.
Afghanistan remained a deeply traditional tribal society, but there was a growing party of modernizers attempting to turn Afghanistan into a modern state. Attempts at modernization, inspired by Ataturk’s modernization of Turkey, by King Amanullah in the 1920s resulted in tribal revolts. King Zahir Shah was appointed in

Zahir Shah was forced into exile in Rome in 1973 after a coup by his brother-in-law, Sardar Mohammed Daud, who declared himself president of the Republic of Afghanistan. In 1978 pro-Soviet army officers overthrew Daud in a bloody military coup. Attempts by the Communist regime to modernize Afghanistan resulted in resistance against the government. In 1979 the president was murdered, ushering in a period of further turmoil. In December 1979 the Soviet Union intervened in Afghanistan, with Soviet units capturing Kabul and overrunning much of the coun try. The result was a general insurgency, with tribal and Islamist mujahedin fighting the Soviet army and their puppet Afghan forces. The United States and Saudi Arabia provided assistance, including arms, to the mujahedin through Pakistan.
In 1988 Soviet forces commenced a withdrawal from Afghanistan, leaving behind a pro-Soviet government under President Najibullah. Against general expectations, the Najibullah government was able to remain in place by dividing the mujahedin opposition. However, in 1992 the mujahedin entered Kabul. Burha-nuddin Rabbani was declared president of the Islamic State of Afghanistan. However, the mujahedin alliance collapsed into internecine warfare, as warlords scrapped for the remnants of the Afghan state. For the next four years Afghanistan was riven by a complex civil war. Attempts by the United Nations at mediation were unsuccessful.

In 1994 an Islamist militia calling themselves religious students, or the Taliban, were able to seize Kandahar. The Taliban were welcomed after the lawlessness of the warlords. In September 1996 the Taliban took Kabul, murdering President Najibullah and imposing their strict interpretation of Islam. An important factor in Taliban military successes were numbers of foreign Islamic fighters and strong support from Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. In particular, the Taliban received support from Osama bin Laden, who in turn harbored the Al Qaeda terrorist network.
Continued support by the Taliban for Al Qaeda, systematic human rights abuses by the Taliban, and the continued fighting in Afghanistan resulted in the United Nations, in 1999, imposing sanctions on Afghanistan.

By 2001 the Taliban had gained control of most of Afghanistan, except for a small area in the North under the control of the United Front (or Northern Alliance). The United Front commander Ahmed Shah Masood was assassinated on September 9, 2001, two days before the attack on New York and Washington by Al Qaeda terrorists.
After demands by the United States to surrender Al Qaeda leaders and close down the terrorist camps in Afghanistan after the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, the United States and its allies commenced operations against the Taliban and Al Qaeda, Operation Enduring Freedom. In conjunction with the United Front, the U.S.-led coalition was able to drive Al Qaeda and the Taliban from Afghanistan by the end of 2001. 

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