About Afghanistan

Geographical Locations: Afghanistan is a landlocked country located with South Asia and Central Asia and considers as a bridge connecting these two important geographic areas in Asia. Afghanistan has geographical connectivity with the Middle East.
Climate: Afghanistan has four seasons in terms of climate and mountainous terrain, dense forest and abundant water compared to its neighbors.
Area: 652,000 km2
Province: 34 (see list)
Demographics: The population of Afghanistan is around 29,117,000 and is the forty-first country in the world in terms of population.
Official Languages: According to article 16 of the consitution, Pashto and Dari are the official languages of Afghanistan; and in areas where the majority of people speak in Uzbek, Turkmen, Nuristani, Balochi and Pamiri languages; they are third official languages in addition to Dari and Pashto.
Currency: Afghani
Country Code: +93
Domain Extension: .AF

Afghanistan Geography

Political Map of Afghanistan

The map shows Afghanistan and surrounding countries with international borders, rivers and lakes, major geographic features, highest mountains, important border crossings, the national capital Kabul, administrative capitals, major cities, main roads, and major airports.

The map shows the location of the following Afghan cities and towns:

Anar Darreh, Andkhoy, Asadabad, Baghlan, Balkh (ancient Bactra), Bamyan, Chaghcharan, Charikar, Delaram, Dowlat Yar, Dowlatabad, Dowshi, Eshkashem, Farah (capital of Farah Province), Farkhar, Fayzabad, Gardez (capital of Paktia Province), Ghazni, Herat (the capital of Herat province, third-largest city in Afghanistan), Islam Qala, Jalalabad (capital of Nangarhar province), Jeyretan, Jorm, Kabul (national capital), Kadesh, Kajaki, Kandahar (second largest city in Afghanistan, (pop. about 500,000), capital of Kandahar Province), Karokh, Keleft, Khanabad, Khas Uruzgan, Khavak, Kholm, Khost, Kunduz (pop. about 250,000, capital of Kunduz Province), Lashkar Gah (also called Bost; capital of Helmand Province), Mahmud, Mazar-i-Sharif (fourth-largest city in Afghanistan, pop. 375,000, capital of Balkh province), Mehtarlam, Meydan Shahr, Meymaneh, Now Zad, Owbeh-Shindand, Puli Alam, Puli Khumri (capital of Baghlan Province), Qala-I-Naw, Qala-I-Panjeh, Qalat (capital of Zabul Province), Qarah Bagh, Qeysar, Raqi, Rostaq, Samangan, Sari Pul, Sharan (capital town of Paktika province, altitude 2,200 m), Sheberghan, Shindand, Shulgarah, Spin Buldak, Taluqan (or Taloqan, capital of Takhar Province), Tirin Kot (also written Tarinkot, capital of Uruzgan province), Tokzar, Towraghondi, and Zaranj (capital of Nimruz province, serves as the border crossing between Afghanistan and Iran).

Major border crossings
The Afghanistan-Pakistan border is a 2,670 km long and porous international border that runs through mountainous terrain and is largely unpatrolled. The border is known as the Durand Line. When it was drawn by the British in the late 19th century, it cut through the traditional homeland of the Pashtuns.

Afghanistan – Pakistan border crossings: There are six official border crossings between Afghanistan and Pakistan; there are also numerous unofficial and illegal border crossings used, especially for the opium and arms trade. Main crossings are at Chaman, Ghulam Khan Kalay and Torkham (Khyber Pass). Trade terminals are in Angur Ada, Badini and Kharlachi.

Afghanistan – Iran border crossings: Abu Nasr Farahi (Farah Province), Islam Qala (Herat Province) and Zaranj (Nimruz Province) – all Taliban controlled.

Afghanistan – Tajikistan: Shir Khan Bandar – Panji Poyon (road), Shighnan-Khorugh (road), Ishkashim-Ishkoshim (road), Kokul – Ai Khanoum (ferry only), Tajik–Afghan Friendship Bridge (across the Panj River).

Afghanistan–Turkmenistan: there are two official border crossings at Torghundi and Aqina (north of Andkhoy).

Afghanistan – Uzbekistan: Afghanistan–Uzbekistan Friendship Bridge near Termiz (Uzbekistan).

Afghanistan – China: the Wakhjir Pass, a mountain pass in the Wakhan Corridor, is the only potential link between Afghanistan and China.

Afghanistan Nature

Afghanistan is a landlocked country in Central Asia, bordered by Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and China. It has a diverse and rugged terrain, consisting of mountains, deserts, plains, and valleys. Afghanistan has a continental climate, with hot summers and cold winters. The country is rich in natural resources, such as natural gas, petroleum, coal, copper, and precious stones. Afghanistan also has a long and complex history, influenced by various cultures and religions.

Some of the main geographical features of Afghanistan are:

  • The Hindu Kush: This is a mountain range that runs across the country from northeast to southwest. It forms part of the Himalayas and separates the Indian subcontinent from Central Asia. The Hindu Kush has many peaks over 6,000 meters (19,685 feet), including Noshaq, the highest point in Afghanistan at 7,492 meters (24,580 feet) . The Hindu Kush also serves as a watershed for several rivers, such as the Kabul, the Helmand, and the Amu Darya.
  • The Amu Darya: This is the longest river in Afghanistan and one of the major rivers of Central Asia. It originates from the Pamir Mountains in Tajikistan and flows westward along the northern border of Afghanistan with Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. It then turns northward and forms part of the border between Afghanistan and Tajikistan before entering Uzbekistan again. The Amu Darya drains into the Aral Sea . The river is an important source of water for irrigation and hydroelectric power generation.
  • The Helmand River: This is the largest river in Afghanistan by volume and length. It rises in the Hindu Kush near Kabul and flows southwestward through the provinces of Wardak, Ghazni, Uruzgan, Helmand, and Nimruz. It then empties into the Hamun-e Helmand lake on the border with Iran . The river is used for irrigation, especially for growing poppy, wheat, and cotton. The river also supports a variety of wildlife, such as birds, fish, and crocodiles.
  • The Band-e Amir: This is a series of six turquoise lakes located in the Bamyan Province in central Afghanistan. They are formed by natural dams created by travertine deposits from mineral springs . The lakes are surrounded by limestone cliffs and have a stunning contrast with the arid landscape. The Band-e Amir is a national park and a popular tourist attraction in Afghanistan .

Afghanistan History

Afghanistan history is a fascinating and complex topic that covers thousands of years of events, cultures, and peoples. Afghanistan has been a crossroads of civilizations, a battleground of empires, and a source of resistance and resilience. Here are some of the main historical periods and events that shaped Afghanistan’s history:

  • Prehistory: Archaeological evidence suggests that humans have inhabited Afghanistan for at least 50,000 years. Some of the earliest civilizations in the region were the Indus Valley civilization (2200–1800 BC) and the Bactria-Margiana Archaeological Complex (2100–1800 BC), which had trade and cultural contacts with Mesopotamia, Iran, and India 1.
  • Ancient period (c. 1500 – 250 BCE): Afghanistan was part of various ancient kingdoms and empires, such as the Gandhara Kingdom (c. 1500 – 535 BCE), the Kamboja Kingdom (c. 700 – 200 BCE), the Achaemenid Empire (550–330 BC), the Seleucid Empire (312–63 BC), and the Mauryan Empire (322–185 BC). These kingdoms and empires introduced different religions, languages, and cultures to Afghanistan, such as Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, Greek, and Sanskrit 1.
  • Classical period (c. 250 BCE – 565 CE): Afghanistan witnessed the rise and fall of several Hellenistic and Indo-European kingdoms, such as the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom (250–125 BC), the Indo-Greek Kingdom (180 BC – 10 CE), the Indo-Scythians (200 BC – 400 CE), the Indo-Parthians (19 BC – AD 226), and the Kushans (30–375 CE). These kingdoms expanded their territories and influence across Central and South Asia, and fostered artistic, scientific, and religious developments 1.
  • Middle Ages (565–1504 CE): Afghanistan became a center of Islamic civilization after the Arab conquest in the 7th century CE. Several dynasties ruled over Afghanistan, such as the Kabul Shahi (565–879 CE), the Ghaznavids (977–1186 CE), the Ghorids (1149–1212 CE), the Mongols (1219–1504 CE), and the Timurids (1370–1506 CE). These dynasties established political, economic, and cultural ties with neighboring regions, such as Persia, India, China, and Central Asia.
  • Modern era (1504–1973): Afghanistan emerged as a unified state under the rule of Ahmad Shah Durrani in 1747. His successors faced challenges from internal rivalries and external threats from the Mughals, Uzbeks, Safavids, British, Russians, and Afsharids. Afghanistan became a buffer state between British India and Tsarist Russia in the 19th century, and fought three Anglo-Afghan wars to preserve its independence. In the 20th century, Afghanistan underwent several political and social reforms under King Amanullah Khan (1919–1929), King Nadir Khan (1929–1933), and King Zahir Khan (1933–1973) .
  • Contemporary era (1973–present): Afghanistan experienced a series of upheavals and conflicts since 1973, when a coup d’état by Mohammad Daoud Khan ended the monarchy. In 1978, a communist revolution led by Nur Mohammad Taraki established a socialist state , which faced opposition from various mujahideen groups. In 1979, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan to support the communist government , but faced fierce resistance from the mujahideen , who were backed by the United States , Pakistan , Saudi Arabia , and other countries. The Soviet-Afghan war lasted until 1989 , when the Soviets withdrew their troops. The communist regime collapsed in 1992 , but civil war ensued among different factions of mujahideen . In 1996 , the Taliban , an Islamist movement , seized power in most of Afghanistan , imposing a strict interpretation of Islamic law . The Taliban faced opposition from the Northern Alliance , a coalition of anti-Taliban forces led by Ahmad Shah Massoud . In 2001 , after the September 11 attacks in the United States , a US-led coalition invaded Afghanistan to overthrow the Taliban regime , which was accused of harboring al-Qaeda terrorists . The coalition forces established an interim government led by Hamid Karzai , who was later elected as president in 2004 . The coalition forces also helped train and support the Afghan National Security Forces , who were tasked with maintaining security and stability in Afghanistan . However, the Taliban regrouped and launched an insurgency against the coalition forces and the Afghan government , which lasted for two decades . The insurgency was fueled by various factors , such as corruption , poverty , ethnic divisions , regional interference , drug trafficking , and ideological differences .

In 2020 , the United States and the Taliban signed a peace agreement , which stipulated the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan by May 2021 , in exchange for the Taliban’s commitment to prevent terrorist groups from operating in Afghanistan , and to engage in intra-Afghan dialogue with the Afghan government and other stakeholders . However, the peace process faced many challenges and delays , and the Taliban intensified their military offensive against the Afghan government forces , capturing most of the country’s territory by August 2021 . On August 15, 2021 , the Taliban entered Kabul , the capital of Afghanistan , and declared the end of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the restoration of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan . President Ashraf Ghani fled the country , while thousands of Afghans and foreigners tried to escape the country through the Kabul airport , amid chaos and violence . The Taliban takeover triggered a humanitarian crisis , a political uncertainty , and a security threat in Afghanistan and beyond

Some key dates in Afghanistan’s history:

18th Century – The modern state of Afghanistan begins with Ahmad Shah Durrani (ruled 1747-1772) and the Durrani Afghan Empire that at its maximum encompasses northern India and eastern Iran.

1826 – With the decline of Durrani dynasty Dost Mohammad Khan Barakzai becomes Emir of Afghanistan.

1839-42 – First Anglo-Afghan War: British initially successfully invade, deposing Dost Mohammad and replacing him with the former emir Shah Shujah but the British forces are almost completely massacred during their retreat.

1878-80 – Second Anglo-Afghan War: British invade forcing Amir Sher Ali Khan to flee. Ali’s successor signs a peace treaty but after the massacre of a British diplomatic mission fighting restarts. The Afghans defeat a British force at the Battle of Maiwand but the British decisively defeat the Afghans outside Kandahar to end the war.

1893 – Durand Line established as the border between British India and the Emirate of Afghanistan by British diplomat Mortimer Durand and Afghan Emir Abdur Rahman Khan. However, the exact line of the border remain remains disputed.

1919 – Third Anglo-Afghan War: Afghanistan invades British India. Peace treaty results in Afghanistan gaining control of its foreign affairs from Britain.

1926 – Emir Amanullah Khan declares himself king and the Emirate of Afghanistan becomes the Kingdom of Afghanistan.

1928-29 – Afghan civil war: Facing armed opposition to his reforms, King Amanullah abdicates. Kabul is temporarily captured by opposition forces, who are defeated by Prince Mohammed Nadir Shah, Amanullah’s cousin.


1933 – King Nadir Shah adopts more gradual approach to modernization, but is assassinated. Mohammed Zahir Shah reigns as king from 1933 to 1973, pursuing a policy of neutrality.

1973 – Mohammed Daoud Khan deposes the king in a bloodless coup and becomes Afghanistan’s first president.

1978 – Communists under Nur Muhammad Taraki seize power in a coup against President Mohammed Daoud Khan. They start land distribution reforms and oppress political dissent, provoking strong opposition which quickly expands into civil war.

1979 – Taraki is assassinated in a power struggle led by then-prime minister Hafizullah Amin. Displeased with Amin’s government, the Soviet Union invades, capturing Kabul and killing Amin, installing a more complaint communist regime.

1979-89 – Soviet-Afghan War: Soviet troops in substantial numbers are sent to stabilize Afghanistan marking the beginning of a bitter war.

The US and Pakistan send military aid to resistance groups. Between 560,000 and two million Afghans are killed, six million become refugees.

1989 – Soviet forces leave and Afghanistan collapses into renewed civil war. Some 400,000 Afghans are estimated to have been killed between 1990-2001.

1996 – Taliban seize control of Kabul and impose hard-line version of Islam.

2001-2021 – War in Afghanistan: The United States, including Nato and other allies intervene militarily following September 11 attacks on the US. The Taliban are ousted from Kabul and Hamid Karzai becomes head of an interim power-sharing government.

The war becomes the United States’ longest military engagement as the Taliban regroup and regain control of large areas of the countryside.

2014 – Nato formally ends its combat mission in Afghanistan, handing over to Afghan forces – supported by US troops – who face a growing insurgency. Between 176,000-212,000 people are killed in the 20-year war.

2020 – Unable to defeat the Taliban militarily, the US and Taliban sign the Doha Agreement: US troops will withdraw, in return for which Afghan territory will not be used for militant attacks against the US and its allies.

2021 – Taliban recapture Kabul after US forces withdraw.


DarulAman Palace