Due to the Taliban regime, which had been in power in Afghanistan since 1996,
and its overthrow in 2001 by the "Global Coalition Against Terror", led by
the USA and Great Britain, much of the Afghan infrastructure was destroyed.
This included the road network, entire city districts and also many cultural
and historically valuable goods such as the large Buddha statues of Bamiyan from
the 5th century, which were classified by the Taliban as un-Islamic in 2001 and
as a result blown up, or the inventory of museums that was largely looted and
Since 2004 Afghanistan again has a constitution and an elected
president. Nonetheless, there are repeated attacks and unrest, especially
against the American and English troops stationed there.
The German soldiers stationed there were also the target of
attacks. Unfortunately, despite the overthrow of the Taliban, the situation of
Afghan women has only improved slightly.
On September 4, 2009, two tank trucks hijacked by the Taliban were bombed by
order of a German colonel. About 142 people were killed - including women and
children. As a result of this bombing, the defense minister responsible at the
time, who had meanwhile transferred to the labor ministry, resigned, and a state
secretary and the inspector general of the German armed forces passed. The
colonel was later promoted to general.
The Federal Foreign Office urgently advises against traveling to the country
- because of the more than uneasy domestic political situation, the numerous
terrorist attacks, but also because of the increased number of hostage-taking of
|Name of the country
||Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
|Form of government
bordering Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, China, Pakistan and Iran.
||approx. 30 million residents (Credit:
||approx. 38% Pashtuns, 25% Tajiks, 19% Hazara, 6% Uzbeks, 12% smaller ethnic groups
||99% Muslims (84% Sunnis and 15% Shiites), only approx. 0.1% are Christians - with a decreasing tendency
||mainly Dari and Pashto as well as numerous other languages
||Kabul with an estimated 4.5 million residents
||an estimated 30 million
||Nowshak at 7,485 m
||Hilmend with a length of around 1,300 km
|International license plate
||Afghani = 100 pulse
|Difference to CET
||+ 3.5 h
|International phone code
|Mains voltage, frequency
||220 volts, 50 hertz
|Internet TLD (Top Level Domain)
Until around the year 1000
Abbreviationfinder website, in AD 652, Arab troops invaded Afghan territory. From Bukhara to the
north-west of India, the empire of the Ghaznavids with its center in Ghazni
arose from 999 to 1030 under Mahmud the Great.
From the year 1000 to the 17th century
In 1040 the Turkmen Seljuks defeated the Ghaznavids. However, the Seljuks
were fought by the Ghorids, who came from the Ghor mountains, under the
leadership of Alauddin Jahansuz, the "world burner".
Among them, Islam prevailed as a formative element while Arab influence
almost completely disappeared from Afghanistan. The Turkish ruler Khorezm Shah
Mohammed II. conquered the empire of Ghor in 1208, but was driven out by the
Mongols under Genghis Khan. These invaded the country and razed whole areas to
the ground. The descendant of Genghis Khan, Ügedai, conquered other Afghan
territories. The descendants of his troops are today's Hazara tribe in central
In 1370 Timur Leng, leader of a Turkic Mongol tribe, invaded Afghanistan. The
people of Herat rebelled against Timur Leng in 1382, after which the city was
destroyed. With the rule of Shah Ruch from 1405 to 1447, the heyday of the
Timurid rule began in Herat.
In 1507 the Uzbeks from Bukhara and Samarkand conquered Herat and expelled the
Timurids. Thereupon the Timurid Mohammed-ud-din, called Babur, moved to the
northeast and conquered Kabul. However, Babur never really managed to rule the
bellicose Pashtun tribes. He directed his urge to conquer east, towards Delhi,
and in 1526 defeated the rulers of the Lodhi dynasty.
In the 17th century, Herat belonged to Persia and Kabul to India under the
Shiite Saffavid dynasty. These two zones of influence met in Kandahar. From 1667
to 1672, Pashtun tribes, led by the Yussufzai tribe, rebelled against the army
of the Mughal Empire of India.
In the 18th and 19th centuries
After the murder of the Turkmen Saffavid ruler Nadir Shah in Afghanistan in
1747, the leader of his bodyguard, Ahmad Durrani, managed to win the approval of
the various tribes, the Pashtuns, Tajiks, Uzbeks, Turkmen, Kyrgyz and Hazara in
Kandahar. Ahmad Durrani then became Shah of Afghanistan. The beginning of the
modern Afghan state is seen in the unification of the tribes under a state
authority represented by a king.
From 1843 to 1863, Dost Mohammad founded Afghanistan as it is today.
In 1893 a treaty with England on the Durand Line was signed. Through this
treaty, the eastern border was arbitrarily placed through the territory of the
20th century until today
In 1919 the British protectorate over Afghanistan ended. In 1921 there was a
friendship treaty between the RSFSR (Russian Soviet Federative Socialist
Republic) and Afghanistan. Kabul then received financial and technical
assistance from Moscow.
In 1931 Afghanistan became a constitutional monarchy, the division of British
India took place in 1947. The Afghan government took the view that the
population between the Afghan border and the Indus was Afghan and should decide
for themselves who to join. Pakistan was against such self-determination plans
(Pashtunistan), which led to border incidents with Pakistan from 1949 to 1950.
In 1952, US economic and technical assistance and military support ceased.
In 1955 there were renewed blockades by Pakistan due to the Pashtunistan
A bloodless coup in 1973 resulted in the overthrow of King Mohammad Zahir
Shah. The republic was proclaimed and the former Prime Minister Daud was
In 1978, however, there was a military coup against Daud. In the same year a
treaty on "friendship, good neighborliness and cooperation" between Afghanistan
and the Soviet Union was signed.
In 1979 the Soviet invasion followed, which ended in 1989 with the withdrawal
of the Soviets.
The Taliban militia was established in 1993 with Pakistani support, and
massive Taliban victories followed just a year later.
In 1996, the Taliban under Mullah Omar finally seized power in Kabul. Osama
bin Laden and his organization Al Qaeda gained increasing influence on the
politics of Mullah Omar.
In response to the attacks of September 11, 2001, the "Global Coalition
Against Terror", led by the USA and Great Britain, attacked the Taliban and Al
Qaeda and drove them to flight.
In January 2002 Hamid Karzai took over the interim government. In June of the
same year a Loya Jirga (Grand Council Assembly) confirmed Karzai as President of
the "ATA" (Afghan Transitional Authority).
In 2003/2004, a new constitution was passed at the constituent grand council
(Constitutional Loya Jirga).
The first democratic election of a president took place on October 9, 2004, and
Hamid Karzai emerged victorious with 55.4% of the valid votes cast.