Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
جمهوری اسلامی افغانستان

د افغانستان اسلامي جمهوریت
Flag Emblem
Anthem: Milli Tharana
Capital
Kabul
34°31′N 69°08′E / 34.517°N 69.133°E / 34.517; 69.133
Official languages Dari , Pashto
Demonym Afghan
Government Islamic republic
 -  President Hamid Karzai
 -  Vice President Ahmad Zia Massoud
 -  Vice President Karim Khalili
 -  Chief Justice Abdul Salam Azimi
Establishment
 -  First Afghan state October 1747 
 -  Independence from the United Kingdom August 19, 1919 
Area
 -  Total 647,500 km2 
251,772 sq mi 
 -  Water  negligible
Population
 -  2009 estimate 28,150,000 
 -  1979 census 13,051,358 
 -  Density 43.5/km2 
111.8/sq mi
GDP  2008 estimate
 -  Total $35 billion " title="List of countries by GDP ">96th)
 -  Per capita $1000 _per_capita" title="List of countries by GDP per capita">172nd)
GDP 2008 estimate
 -  Total $12.061 billion 
 -  Per capita $428 
HDI  0.345  
Currency Afghani
Time zone D†
Drives on the right
Internet TLD .af
Calling code 93

Afghanistan " class="IPA">/æfˈɡænɨstæn/), officially the Islamic Republic of 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, or the Middle East. It is bordered by Iran in the south and west, Pakistan in the south and east, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan in the north, and China in the far northeast.

Afghanistan is a crossroads between the East and the West, and was an ancient focal point of the Silk Road and migration. It has an important geostrategic location, connecting South and Central Asia and Middle East. Because of this, the land has been a target of various invaders and conquerors, as well as a source from which local powers invaded surrounding regions to form their own empires. Ahmad Shah Durrani created the Durrani Empire in 1747, which is considered the beginning of modern Afghanistan. Subsequently, the capital was shifted to Kabul and most of its territories ceded to former neighboring countries. In the late 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.

Since the late 1970s Afghanistan has suffered continuous and brutal civil war in addition to foreign interventions in the form of the 1979 Soviet invasion and the 2001 U.S.-led invasion that toppled the Taliban government. In late 2001 the United Nations Security Council authorized the creation of an International Security Assistance Force composed of NATO troops.

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