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Past, Present & Future

Independence  Day of Afghanistan, 19th August

Independence  Day of AfghanistanAfghanistan is situated in the heart of Asia, a meeting place of four ecological and cultural areas: the Middle East, Central Asia, the Indian subcontinent, and even the Far East, for the Pamir Mountains stretch into Chinese Sinkiang. Its borders are shared on the North by Soviet Union and China, on the East and South by the Islamic Republic of Iran. The area is about 652,092 square kilometers.

The country is landlocked, a harsh, and beautiful land dominated by the Hindu Kush. Islam was introduced into the region by the mid-seventh century A.D., and remains an important element in its modern culture and political pattern. Political instability brought on by the destructive Mongol and Turco-Mongol invasions of the 1300 - 1400 A.D. and requiring localized, fratricidal wars broke up the Silk Route Trade and by the 1500 A.D. European navigators sought new sea routes to the East, which led to the discovery, exploitation and development of a New World.

The creation of modern Afghanistan began around 1880 - 1901 when the British and the Russians drew the boundaries of the country. The British, with at least the tacit consent of the Russians, controlled Afghan relations with other countries until 1919, when the Afghans gained the right to conduct their own foreign affairs after the third Anglo-Afghan War. The Afghans consider 1919 as the year in which they truly became independent from foreign domination. (Dupree, 1973).

During the period 1919 - 1929 under Soviet influence, the leader of the country tried to modernize the country but ran into opposition from conservative elements. The monarchy was abolished in 1973. Since then Afghanistan has been a republic ruled by the President. During 1978 - 1989, civil strife broke out and the country was ruled by a Revolutionary Council. In 1990, one year after the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan, the President of the country and the United Nations tried to arrive at a peace plan. The country is still in the process of forming a stable government.

Afghan Independence Day is celebrated as a national holiday in Afghanistan on 19th August.

The holiday marks the signing of a treaty between Afghanistan's then king, Amanullah Khan, and Great Britain on August 19, 1919.

 Sources:

Afghanistan (National profiles in technical and vocational education in Asia and the Pacific). (1995). UNESCO.

Griffiths, J. C. (1982). Afghanistan: key to a continent. Westview Pr.

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