5. Geo-Strategic Importance of Afghanistan. Afghanistan is Central Asia’s land locked country, spread over an area of 253, 861 miles. Bordered on the North by the Republics of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, North-East by the Chinese province of Sinkiang, on the South-East by Pakistan, and on the West by Iran. Afghanistan’s geopolitical importance has been that of a buffer state first between the Tsarist Russian and the British Indian Empires and later between the Soviet Union and the American allies. In addition to it’s close proximity to the oil rich Persian Gulf and the erstwhile Soviet Union’ soft under belly added to its geopolitical significance. Though landlocked, Afghanistan’s Southern most tip is a mere 350 miles from the Arabian Sea, thus providing an anchor for any potent force heading towards the warm waters of the Arabian Sea.
6. Sociological Features of Afghanistan. The inhabitants of Afghanistan mostly are Muslims. 80% of population belongs to Sunni Sect, 18% are Shias, and 2% are of Ismaili Sect. It seems that religion is the real force in Afghan’s life, permeating complete social structure.
7. Ethnic Division. Afghanistan is one of the poorest countries in the world, ranking 170th out of 174 in UNDP’s Human Development Index. The ethnic division of Afghanistan is as under:- a. Pashtuns 51% b. Tajiks 27% c. Hazaras 7.5% d. Uzbeks 7.5% e. Other 7%
8. Afghan’s Brief History. Darius I and Alexander the Great were the first to use Afghanistan as the gateway to India. Islamic conquerors arrived in the 7th century, and Genghis Khan and Tamerlane followed in the 13 th and 14 th centuries. In the 19 th century, Afghanistan became a battleground in the rivalry between imperial Britain and Czarist Russia for control of Central Asia. Three Anglo- Afghan wars ended inconclusively. In 1893 Britain established an unofficial border, the Durand Line, separating Afghanistan from