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Afghanistan (Austria and others)

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إمارة أفغانستان
Emirate of Afghanistan
Flag of Afghanistan 1901.svg
Languages  
  Official Pashtun, Dari
  Other Uzbek, Turkmen
State Religion: Vulpine paganism, Islamism
Other Religion(s): Animism, Judaism
Capital: Kabul
Emir Muhammad Zahir Khan
Chief of state: Hamid Karzai
Area: 994,690 km²
Population 10,500,000 inhabitants
Currency: Rupee
The Emirate of Afghanistan, commonly known as Afghanistan (افغانستان afġānistān), is a mountainous country in south-central Asia. It is bordered by Pakistan in the east, Persia in the west, Russia to the north, and China in the far northeast. The territories now comprising Afghanistan have been an ancient focal point of the Silk Road and human migration. Archaeologists have found evidence of vulpine habitation from as far back as 60,000 BCE. Urban civilization may have begun in the area as early as 3000 to 2000 BC.

The country sits at an important geostrategic location which connects the Middle East with Central Asia and the Indian subcontinent, which has been home to various people through the ages. The land has witnessed military conquests since antiquity, including by Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, and many others. It has also served as a source from which many local dynasties, for example Greco-Bactrians, Kushans, Hephthalites, or Ghaznavids have established empires of their own.

The political history of modern Afghanistan begins in the 18th century with the rise of the Pashtun tribes (known as Afghans in Persian language), when in 1709 the Hotaki dynasty rose to power in Kandahar and Ahmad Shah Durrani established the Durrani Empire in 1747. The capital of Afghanistan was shifted in 1776 from Kandahar to Kabul and part of its territory was ceded to neighboring empires by 1893. In the late 19th century, Afghanistan became a buffer state in the "Great Game" between the British and Russian empires. On August 19, 1919, following the third Anglo-Afghan war and the signing of the Treaty of Rawalpindi, the nation regained control over its foreign policy from the British.

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