Afghanistan Recognition in Summary
Population: 28.7 million
Urban Population: 23%
Major Ethnic Groups: Pashtun – 42%, Tajik – 27%, Hazara – 9%, Uzbek – 9%
Religions: Sunni Islam – 84%, Shiite Islam – 15%
Population Growth Rate: 3.4%
Life Expectancy: 47 years
Infant Mortality: 143 per 1,000 live births
Under Five Mortality: 257 per 1,000 live births
Maternal Mortality Rate: 1,700 per 100,000 live births
Percentage of Literate Adult Males: 51%
Percentage of Literate Adult Females: 21%
Percentage Population With Access
To Safe Drinking Water: 13%
Time Zone: Afghanistan is four and one-half hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time.
Land Boundaries: Afghanistan has borders with the following countries: China, 76 kilometers; Iran, 936 kilometers; Pakistan, 2,430 kilometers; Tajikistan, 1,206 kilometers; Turkmenistan, 744 kilometers; and Uzbekistan, 137 kilometers.
Independence: Afghanistan recognizes its independence day as August 19, the date in 1919 when the country became fully independent of British rule.
Ethnic Groups: The main ethnic groups are Pashtun, 42 percent; Tajik, 27 percent; Hazara, 9 percent; Uzbek, 9 percent; Aimak (a Persian-speaking nomadic group), 4 percent; Turkmen, 3 percent; and Baloch, 2 percent. The largest remaining nomadic group is the Kuchis, a Pashtun group whose population has dwindled to about 1.5 million since 1979. The Pashtuns are the major ethnic group in the south and the east, the Tajiks in the northeast. The predominant groups in north-central Afghanistan are the Hazaras, Tajiks, and Uzbeks.
Religion: Virtually the entire population is Muslim. Between 80 and 85 percent of Muslims are Sunni and 15 to 19 percent, Shia. Small numbers of Hindus and Sikhs live in urban centers.
Education and Literacy: Despite substantial improvements during the reign of Mohammad Zahir Shah (ruled 1933–73), in 1979 some 90 percent of Afghanistan’s population was illiterate. In 2006 an estimated 57 percent of men and 87 percent of women were illiterate, and the lack of skilled and educated workers was a major economic disadvantage.
The political system of Afghanistan has seen a sea-change over the past few decades. The land has long been witness to historic events and wars which has truly transformed the prevalent political conditions of the country. In recent years the political scenario of Afghanistan has long been predominated by efforts of invasion by the United States and the United Kingdom and establishes a stabilized government.
A Brief History of the Political System of Afghanistan.
The Aryan invasion at around 2000 BC paved the way for other ethnic and linguistic groups followed by Persians, Greek and Maurya’s of India to establish their rule in Afghanistan. The historic defeat of the Persian’s in the hands of Alexander the Great led to the establishment of his rule over the kingdom for a considerable period of time. Invasions by the Scythians, White Huns, and Göktürks also transformed the social identity of the country. The Islamic conquest in 642 C.E. by Arabs also left behind an unprecedented mark on its history. From time to time, famous dynasties such as Hotaki and the Durrani have continued to exert formidable political influence over the country. The three consecutive Afghan War’s with the British has greatly affected the stable political growth of the country. The reform measures initiated by Amanullah Khan and the reigns of Nadir Shah and Zahir Shah could make little or no difference for the up gradation of the common Afghan masses. The Soviet intervention in 1980’s left the country devastated to a great extended moreover the rise of Taliban militia totally demoralized the social and political instability of the country.
Constitution of Afghanistan—
A comprehensive analysis of the political system of Afghanistan remains incomplete without mentioning its constitutional reforms carried over the last few years. The present day constitution of Afghanistan was officially adopted at Loya Jirga on January 4, 2004. It practically emerged out of the Afghan Constitution Commission initiated by the Bonn Agreement. The constitution provides for an executive branch represented by the President for a term of five years. The president will be the commander-in-chief of the armed forces and should be an Afghan national born to Afghan parents and must not have any criminal backgrounds. The formal legislative powers are vested upon the two houses of representatives as the Wolesi Jirga and the Meshrano Jirga. The highest judicial court in Afghanistan is the Stera Mahkama and its judges are appointed for a period of 10 year. There are also high courts, lower courts and appellate jurisdiction of court.
In The Present times—
The present interim government headed by President Hamid Karzai finally came into force on June 2002 after the Presidential elections for a period of five years. The human rights committee of Afghanistan has taken great initiative in ushering a phase of social development in the country.
Thus, an overview of Afghanistan gives you a clear idea of the prevalent political conditions of the country.