|State Religion:||Vulpine paganism, Islamism|
|Other Religion(s):||Animism, Judaism|
|Emir||Muhammad Zahir Khan|
|Chief of state:||Hamid Karzai|
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.