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3 definitions found
 for Afghanistan
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Afghanistan \Afghanistan\ n.
     1. a mountainous country in central Asia.
        [WordNet 1.5]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

      n 1: a mountainous landlocked country in central Asia; bordered
           by Iran to the west and Russia to the north and Pakistan to
           the east and south; "Soviet troops invaded Afghanistan in
           1979" [syn: Afghanistan, Islamic State of Afghanistan]

From CIA World Factbook 2002 :

     Introduction Afghanistan
                              Background: Afghanistan's recent history is
                                          characterized by war and civil
                                          strife, with intermittent periods of
                                          relative calm and stability. The
                                          Soviet Union invaded in 1979 but was
                                          forced to withdraw 10 years later by
                                          anti-Communist mujahidin forces
                                          supplied and trained by the US,
                                          Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and others.
                                          Fighting subsequently continued
                                          among the various mujahidin
                                          factions, giving rise to a state of
                                          warlordism that spawned the Taliban
                                          in the early 1990s. The Taliban was
                                          able to seize most of the country,
                                          aside from Northern Alliance
                                          strongholds primarily in the
                                          northeast, until US and allied
                                          military action in support of the
                                          opposition following the 11
                                          September 2001 terrorist attacks
                                          forced the group's downfall. The
                                          four largest Afghan opposition
                                          groups met in Bonn, Germany, in late
                                          2001 and agreed on a plan for the
                                          formulation of a new government
                                          structure that resulted in the
                                          inauguration of Hamid KARZAI as
                                          Chairman of the Afghan Interim
                                          Authority (AIA) on 22 December 2001.
                                          In addition to occasionally violent
                                          political jockeying and ongoing
                                          military action to root out
                                          remaining terrorists and Taliban
                                          elements, the country suffers from
                                          enormous poverty, a crumbling
                                          infrastructure, and widespread land
     Geography Afghanistan
                                Location: Southern Asia, north and west of
                                          Pakistan, east of Iran
                  Geographic coordinates: 33 00 N, 65 00 E
                          Map references: Asia
                                    Area: total: 647,500 sq km
                                          water: 0 sq km
                                          land: 647,500 sq km
                      Area - comparative: slightly smaller than Texas
                         Land boundaries: total: 5,529 km
                                          border countries: China 76 km, Iran
                                          936 km, Pakistan 2,430 km,
                                          Tajikistan 1,206 km, Turkmenistan
                                          744 km, Uzbekistan 137 km
                               Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)
                         Maritime claims: none (landlocked)
                                 Climate: arid to semiarid; cold winters and
                                          hot summers
                                 Terrain: mostly rugged mountains; plains in
                                          north and southwest
                      Elevation extremes: lowest point: Amu Darya 258 m
                                          highest point: Nowshak 7,485 m
                       Natural resources: natural gas, petroleum, coal,
                                          copper, chromite, talc, barites,
                                          sulfur, lead, zinc, iron ore, salt,
                                          precious and semiprecious stones
                                Land use: arable land: 12.13%
                                          permanent crops: 0.22%
                                          other: 87.65% (1998 est.)
                          Irrigated land: 23,860 sq km (1998 est.)
                         Natural hazards: damaging earthquakes occur in Hindu
                                          Kush mountains; flooding; droughts
            Environment - current issues: limited natural fresh water
                                          resources; inadequate supplies of
                                          potable water; soil degradation;
                                          overgrazing; deforestation (much of
                                          the remaining forests are being cut
                                          down for fuel and building
                                          materials); desertification; air and
                                          water pollution
              Environment - international party to: Desertification,
                              agreements: Endangered Species, Environmental
                                          Modification, Marine Dumping,
                                          Nuclear Test Ban
                                          signed, but not ratified:
                                          Biodiversity, Climate Change,
                                          Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea,
                                          Marine Life Conservation
                        Geography - note: landlocked; the Hindu Kush mountains
                                          that run northeast to southwest
                                          divide the northern provinces from
                                          the rest of the country; the highest
                                          peaks are in the northern Vakhan
                                          (Wakhan Corridor)
     People Afghanistan
                              Population: 27,755,775 (July 2002 est.)
                           Age structure: 0-14 years: 42% (male 5,953,291;
                                          female 5,706,542)
                                          15-64 years: 55.2% (male 7,935,101;
                                          female 7,382,101)
                                          65 years and over: 2.8% (male
                                          410,278; female 368,462) (2002 est.)
                  Population growth rate: 3.43%
                                          note: this rate reflects the
                                          continued return of refugees from
                                          Iran (2002 est.)
                              Birth rate: 41.03 births/1,000 population (2002
                              Death rate: 17.43 deaths/1,000 population (2002
                      Net migration rate: 10.7 migrant(s)/1,000 population
                                          (2002 est.)
                               Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
                                          under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
                                          15-64 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
                                          65 years and over: 1.11 male(s)/
                                          total population: 1.06 male(s)/
                                          female (2002 est.)
                   Infant mortality rate: 144.76 deaths/1,000 live births
                                          (2002 est.)
                Life expectancy at birth: total population: 46.6 years
                                          female: 45.85 years (2002 est.)
                                          male: 47.32 years
                    Total fertility rate: 5.72 children born/woman (2002 est.)
        HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: less than 0.01% (1999 est.)
       HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/ NA
                       HIV/AIDS - deaths: NA
                             Nationality: noun: Afghan(s)
                                          adjective: Afghan
                           Ethnic groups: Pashtun 44%, Tajik 25%, Hazara 10%,
                                          minor ethnic groups (Aimaks,
                                          Turkmen, Baloch, and others) 13%,
                                          Uzbek 8%
                               Religions: Sunni Muslim 84%, Shi'a Muslim 15%,
                                          other 1%
                               Languages: Pashtu 35%, Afghan Persian (Dari)
                                          50%, Turkic languages (primarily
                                          Uzbek and Turkmen) 11%, 30 minor
                                          languages (primarily Balochi and
                                          Pashai) 4%, much bilingualism
                                Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read
                                          and write
                                          male: 51%
                                          female: 21% (1999 est.)
                                          total population: 36%
                           People - note: large numbers of Afghan refugees
                                          create burdens on neighboring states
     Government Afghanistan
                            Country name: conventional long form: Islamic
                                          State of Afghanistan
                                          conventional short form: Afghanistan
                                          local short form: Afghanestan
                                          former: Republic of Afghanistan
                                          local long form: Dowlat-e Eslami-ye
                         Government type: transitional
                                 Capital: Kabul
                Administrative divisions: 32 provinces (velayat, singular -
                                          velayat); Badakhshan, Badghis,
                                          Baghlan, Balkh, Bamian, Farah,
                                          Faryab, Ghazni, Ghowr, Helmand,
                                          Herat, Jowzjan, Kabol, Kandahar,
                                          Kapisa, Konar, Kondoz, Laghman,
                                          Lowgar, Nangarhar, Nimruz, Oruzgan,
                                          Paktia, Paktika, Parvan, Samangan,
                                          Sar-e Pol, Takhar, Vardak, Zabol,
                                          Nurestan, and Khowst
                            Independence: 19 August 1919 (from UK control over
                                          Afghan foreign affairs)
                        National holiday: Independence Day, 19 August (1919)
                            Constitution: the Bonn Agreement calls for a
                                          Constitutional Loya Jirga (Grand
                                          Council) to be convened within 18
                                          months of the establishment of the
                                          Transitional Authority to draft a
                                          new constitution for the country;
                                          the basis for the next constitution
                                          is the 1963/64 Constitution,
                                          according to the Bonn Agreement
                            Legal system: the Bonn Agreement calls for a
                                          judicial commission to rebuild the
                                          justice system in accordance with
                                          Islamic principles, international
                                          standards, the rule of law, and
                                          Afghan legal traditions
                                Suffrage: NA; previously males 15-50 years of
                        Executive branch: note: following the Taliban's
                                          refusal to hand over Usama bin LADIN
                                          to the US for his suspected
                                          involvement in the 11 September 2001
                                          terrorist attacks in the US, a US-
                                          led international coalition was
                                          formed; after several weeks of
                                          aerial bombardment by coalition
                                          forces and military action on the
                                          ground, including Afghan opposition
                                          forces, the Taliban was ousted from
                                          power on 17 November 2001; in
                                          December 2001 a number of prominent
                                          Afghans met under UN auspices in
                                          Bonn, Germany, to decide on a plan
                                          for governing the country; as a
                                          result, the Afghan Interim Authority
                                          (AIA) - made up of 30 members,
                                          headed by a chairman and five deputy
                                          chairmen - was inaugurated on 22
                                          December 2001 with about a six-month
                                          mandate to be followed by a two-year
                                          Transitional Authority (TA) after
                                          which elections are to be held; the
                                          structure of the follow-on TA will
                                          be announced on 10 June 2002 when
                                          the Loya Jirga (grand assembly) is
                                          chief of state: Chairman of the AIA,
                                          Hamad KARZAI (since 22 December
                                          2001); note - presently the chairman
                                          is both chief of state and head of
                                          head of government: Chairman of the
                                          AIA, Hamad KARZAI (since 22 December
                                          2001); note - presently the chairman
                                          is both chief of state and head of
                                          cabinet: the 30-member AIA
                                          elections: NA
                      Legislative branch: nonfunctioning as of June 1993
                         Judicial branch: the Bonn Agreement calls for the
                                          establishment of a Supreme Court
           Political parties and leaders: NA; note - political parties in
                                          Afghanistan are in flux and many
                                          prominent players have plans to
                                          create new parties; the three main
                                          groups represented in the Afghan
                                          Interim Authority (AIA) are: the
                                          Northern Alliance (also known as the
                                          United Islamic Front for the
                                          Salvation of Afghanistan) - the main
                                          opposition to the Taliban - composed
                                          of different ethnic and political
                                          groups; the Rome Group, associated
                                          with the former king of Afghanistan,
                                          composed mainly of expatriate
                                          Afghans; and the Peshawar Group,
                                          another expatriate group; there are
                                          also several "independent" groups
            Political pressure groups and NA; note - ministries formed under
                                 leaders: the Afghan Interim Authority(AIA)
                                          include former pressure group
               International organization AsDB, CP, ECO, ESCAP, FAO, G-77,
                           participation: IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB,
                                          IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IOC
                                          (suspended), IOM (observer), ITU,
                                          NAM, OIC, OPCW (signatory), UN,
                                          UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU,
                                          WHO, WMO, WToO
     Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: ambassador Ishaq
                                          SHAHRYAR (as of 19 June 2002)
                                          chancery: 2341 Wyoming Avenue, N.W.,
                                          Washington, DC 20008
                                          FAX: 202-483-6487
                                          consulate(s) general: New York
                                          telephone: 202-483-6410
       Diplomatic representation from the chief of mission: Ambassador Robert
                                      US: Patrick John FINN; note - embassy in
                                          Kabul reopened 16 December 2001
                                          following closure in January 1989
                                          embassy: Great Masood Road, Kabul
                                          mailing address: NA
                                          telephone: 93-2-290002-290005
                                          FAX: NA
                        Flag description: three equal vertical bands of black
                                          (hoist), red, and green with a gold
                                          emblem centered on the red band; the
                                          emblem features a temple-like
                                          structure encircled by a wreath on
                                          the left and right and by a bold
                                          Islamic inscription above
     Economy Afghanistan
                      Economy - overview: Afghanistan is an extremely poor,
                                          landlocked country, highly dependent
                                          on farming and livestock raising
                                          (sheep and goats). Economic
                                          considerations have played second
                                          fiddle to political and military
                                          upheavals during two decades of war,
                                          including the nearly 10-year Soviet
                                          military occupation (which ended 15
                                          February 1989). During that conflict
                                          one-third of the population fled the
                                          country, with Pakistan and Iran
                                          sheltering a combined peak of more
                                          than 6 million refugees. Gross
                                          domestic product has fallen
                                          substantially over the past 20 years
                                          because of the loss of labor and
                                          capital and the disruption of trade
                                          and transport; severe drought added
                                          to the nation's difficulties in
                                          1998-2001. The majority of the
                                          population continues to suffer from
                                          insufficient food, clothing,
                                          housing, and medical care, problems
                                          exacerbated by military operations
                                          and political uncertainties.
                                          Inflation remains a serious problem.
                                          Following the US-led coalition war
                                          that led to the defeat of the
                                          Taliban in November 2001 and the
                                          formulation of the Afghan Interim
                                          Authority (AIA) resulting from the
                                          December 2001 Bonn Agreement,
                                          International efforts to rebuild
                                          Afghanistan were addressed at the
                                          Tokyo Donors Conference for Afghan
                                          Reconstruction in January 2002, when
                                          $4.5 billion was collected for a
                                          trust fund to be administered by the
                                          World Bank. Priority areas for
                                          reconstruction include the
                                          construction of education, health,
                                          and sanitation facilities,
                                          enhancement of administrative
                                          capacity, the development of the
                                          agricultural sector, and the
                                          rebuilding of road, energy, and
                                          telecommunication links.
                                     GDP: purchasing power parity - $21
                                          billion (2000 est.)
                  GDP - real growth rate: NA%
                        GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $800 (2000
             GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 60%
                                          industry: 20%
                                          services: 20% (1990 est.)
           Population below poverty line: NA%
       Household income or consumption by lowest 10%: NA%
                        percentage share: highest 10%: NA%
        Inflation rate (consumer prices): NA%
                             Labor force: 10 million (2000 est.)
             Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 80%, industry 10%,
                                          services 10% (1990 est.)
                       Unemployment rate: NA%
                                  Budget: revenues: $NA
                                          expenditures: $NA, including capital
                                          expenditures of $NA
                              Industries: small-scale production of textiles,
                                          soap, furniture, shoes, fertilizer,
                                          and cement; handwoven carpets;
                                          natural gas, coal, copper
                Electricity - production: 375 million kWh (2000)
      Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 36%
                                          hydro: 64%
                                          other: 0% (2000)
                                          nuclear: 0%
               Electricity - consumption: 453.75 million kWh (2000)
                   Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2000)
                   Electricity - imports: 105 million kWh (2000)
                  Agriculture - products: wheat, fruits, nuts, wool, mutton,
                                          sheepskin, and lambskin
                                 Exports: $1.2 billion (2001 est.)
                   Exports - commodities: opium, fruits and nuts, handwoven
                                          carpets, wool, cotton, hides and
                                          pelts, precious and semi-precious
                      Exports - partners: Pakistan 32%, India 8%, Belgium 7%,
                                          Germany 5%, Russia 5%, UAE 4% (1999)
                                 Imports: $1.3 billion (2001 est.)
                   Imports - commodities: capital goods, food and petroleum
                                          products; most consumer goods
                      Imports - partners: Pakistan 19%, Japan 16%, Kenya 9%,
                                          South Korea 7%, India 6%,
                                          Turkmenistan 6% (1999)
                         Debt - external: $5.5 billion (1996 est.)
                Economic aid - recipient: international pledges made by more
                                          than 60 countries and international
                                          financial institutions at the Tokyo
                                          Donors Conference for Afghan
                                          reconstruction in January 2002
                                          reached $4.5 billion through 2006,
                                          with $1.8 billion allocated for
                                          2002; according to a joint
                                          preliminary assessment conducted by
                                          the World Bank, the Asian
                                          Development Bank, and the UN
                                          Development Program, rebuilding
                                          Afghanistan will cost roughly $15
                                          billion over the next ten years
                                Currency: afghani (AFA)
                           Currency code: AFA
                          Exchange rates: afghanis per US dollar - 4,700
                                          (January 2000), 4,750 (February
                                          1999), 17,000 (December 1996), 7,000
                                          (January 1995), 1,900 (January
                                          1994), 1,019 (March 1993), 850
                                          (1991); note - these rates reflect
                                          the free market exchange rates
                                          rather than the official exchange
                                          rate, which was fixed at 50.600
                                          afghanis to the dollar until 1996,
                                          when it rose to 2,262.65 per dollar,
                                          and finally became fixed again at
                                          3,000.00 per dollar in April 1996
                             Fiscal year: 21 March - 20 March
     Communications Afghanistan
          Telephones - main lines in use: 29,000 (1998)
            Telephones - mobile cellular: NA
                        Telephone system: general assessment: very limited
                                          telephone and telegraph service
                                          domestic: in 1997,
                                          telecommunications links were
                                          established between Mazar-e Sharif,
                                          Herat, Kandahar, Jalalabad, and
                                          Kabul through satellite and
                                          microwave systems
                                          international: satellite earth
                                          stations - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean)
                                          linked only to Iran and 1
                                          Intersputnik (Atlantic Ocean
                                          region); commercial satellite
                                          telephone center in Ghazni
                Radio broadcast stations: AM 7 (6 are inactive; the active
                                          station is in Kabul), FM 1,
                                          shortwave 1 (broadcasts in Pashtu,
                                          Afghan Persian (Dari), Urdu, and
                                          English) (1999)
                                  Radios: 167,000 (1999)
           Television broadcast stations: at least 10 (one government-run
                                          central television station in Kabul
                                          and regional stations in nine of the
                                          32 provinces; the regional stations
                                          operate on a reduced schedule; also,
                                          in 1997, there was a station in
                                          Mazar-e Sharif reaching four
                                          northern Afghanistan provinces)
                             Televisions: 100,000 (1999)
                   Internet country code: .af
       Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 1 (2000)
                          Internet users: NA
     Transportation Afghanistan
                                Railways: total: 24.6 km
                                          broad gauge: 9.6 km 1.524-m gauge
                                          from Gushgy (Turkmenistan) to
                                          Towraghondi; 15 km 1.524-m gauge
                                          from Termiz (Uzbekistan) to
                                          Kheyrabad transshipment point on
                                          south bank of Amu Darya (2001)
                                Highways: total: 21,000 km
                                          paved: 2,793 km
                                          unpaved: 18,207 km (1998 est.)
                               Waterways: 1,200 km
                                          note: chiefly Amu Darya, which
                                          handles vessels up to 500 DWT (2001)
                               Pipelines: natural gas 180 km
                                          note: product pipelines from
                                          Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan have
                                          been in disrepair and disuse for
                                          years (2002)
                       Ports and harbors: Kheyrabad, Shir Khan
                                Airports: 46 (2001)
           Airports - with paved runways: total: 10
                                          over 3,047 m: 3
                                          2,438 to 3,047 m: 4
                                          under 914 m: 1 (2001)
                                          1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
         Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 36
                                          under 914 m: 11 (2001)
                                          2,438 to 3,047 m: 7
                                          1,524 to 2,437 m: 13
                                          914 to 1,523 m: 4
                               Heliports: 2 (2001)
     Military Afghanistan
                        Military branches: NA; note - the December 2001 Bonn
                                           Agreement calls for all militia
                                           forces to come under Afghan Interim
                                           Authority (AIA) control, but
                                           formation of a national army is
                                           likely to be a gradual process;
                                           Afghanistan's forces continue to be
                                           factionalized largely along ethnic
         Military manpower - military age: 22 years of age (2002 est.)
         Military manpower - availability: males age 15-49: 6,896,623 (2002
      Military manpower - fit for military males age 15-49: 3,696,379 (2002
                                  service: est.)
     Military manpower - reaching military males: 252,869 (2002 est.)
                             age annually:
            Military expenditures - dollar $NA
        Military expenditures - percent of NA%
     Transnational Issues Afghanistan
                Disputes - international: close ties with Pashtuns in Pakistan
                                          make long border difficult to
                           Illicit drugs: poppy ban cut 2001 cultivation by
                                          97% to 1,695 hectares, with
                                          potential production of 74 tons of
                                          opium; a major source of hashish;
                                          many heroin-processing laboratories
                                          throughout the country; major
                                          political factions in the country
                                          profit from the drug trade

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