Afghanistan is in southwestern Asia, bounded on the north by Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan; on the east by China and the part of the disputed territory of Jammu and Kashmir controlled by Pakistan; on the south by Pakistan; and on the west by Iran. Afghanistan was a monarchy from 1747 to 1973, when the king was overthrown by military officers and the country was proclaimed a republic; the republic dissolved in 1992 as the country erupted in civil war. Afghanistan lies across ancient trade and invasion routes from central Asia into India. This position has been the greatest influence on its history because the invaders often settled there. Today the population includes many different ethnic groups. Most of the present borders of the country were drawn up in the 19th century, when Afghanistan became a buffer state, or neutral zone, between Russia and British India. Kabul is the capital and largest city.
Ahmad Shah Durani also known as (Ahmad Shah Baba) is the founder of todays Afghanistan. Pir Sabir Shah, the spiritual guide of the time, showered his praise for the young Ahmad Shah by declaring him Dar-e-Durran (pearl of the pearls) not because that he was a military giant but for his humanity a definite quality of a statesman. He was the King of Afghanistan from 1747-1772 AD.
Black = OccupationRed = Bloodshed (War) Green = Freedom
Region: Asia Area Total: 647,500 km2 Coast Line: 0 km (Landlocked) km Capital: Kabul Climate: Dry to semiarid; cold winters and hot summers Languages: (60%) Pashto number of Speakers in Afghanistan are approximately 14 million and (30%) Dari (Farsi) is spoken by almost every ethnic division, they are Indo-European languages and are the major two languages spoken in Afghanistan; other Indo-European, Indo-Aryan languages, such as Balochi, Pashayi and Eastern Farsi, are also spoken; Turkic and Altaic languages, such as Uzbek and Turkmen, are present; Tajiki is also used. Currency: Afghani Holiday: Independence Day, 19 August
Pakistan: 2,430km;Tajikistan: 1,206km Iran: 936km; Turkmenistan: 744km Uzbekistan: 137km; China:76km Pashtun 52% Tajiks 21% Hazara 9% Baloch 7% Uzbek 6% Turkmen 2% Qizilbash 1% Other 1%
Sunni Muslim88% Shi`a Muslim11% Other (including Hindu, Sikhs, Bahai and Christian)1%
In the mid-1990s, after a decade of Soviet occupation, war, and economic manipulation, followed by the ongoing civil war, the economy of Afghanistan was in shambles. Even in the 1970s, prior to the war, Afghanistan had one of the lowest standards of living in the world; things have declined since then, with the production, trafficking, and movement of drugs and guns as a major hidden part of the economy. As the war and its effects spread throughout the country in the early 1980s, two separate economies emerged; the urban financial and industrial facilities, tied especially to the Soviet Union, and the largely independent rural subsistence economy. In 1990 annual income was estimated to be $714 per person. Over the centuries, Afghans have developed a number of different strategies to earn a living from their difficult environment: Most Afghans are settled farmers, herders, or both, depending upon ecological, economic, and political factors. They are usually self-sufficient in foodstuffs and other necessities. Industry and mining developed considerably in the 20th century, but local handicrafts are still important. In 1956 the government launched the first of several five-year plans. Irrigation efforts and development of a better road and telecommunications network had top priority, with later efforts toward production of textiles, cement, electricity, fertilizer, and grain storage facilities. Progress was made to develop better trade with the outside world, especially toward Europe, the United States, and Japan. Major nations aided Afghanistan in building roads, dams, hydroelectricity facilities, airports, factories (including those for light machinery, cement, and textiles), and irrigation networks for such crops as cotton, wheat, barley, and rice. After the Soviet invasion in 1979, development aid from the West ceased, and Afghanistan became economically dependent on the USSR. Fruits, vegetables, fine carpets, and gemstones now constitute the majority of the export mark
In 1993 the total labor force was estimated to be about 6.6 million. As recently as 1985, about 60 percent of the working population was engaged in agriculture or animal husbandry, though this percentage may be higher today with the loss of other kinds of employment because of war. Widespread unemployment and a lack of skilled workers and administrators are among the most pressing labor problems.
Only a very small share of Afghanistans land (about 15 percent), mostly in scattered valleys, is suitable for farming; about 6 percent of the land is actually cultivated. At least two-thirds of this farmland requires irrigation. Water is drawn from springs and rivers and is distributed through surface ditches and through underground channels, or tunnels, which are excavated and maintained by a series of vertical shafts. Such a tunnel is known as a karez or qanat. In 1987 about 26,600 sq km (10,300 sq mi) of farmland were irrigated.Wheat is the most important crop, followed by barley, corn, and rice. Cotton is another important and widely cultivated crop. Fruit and nuts are among Afghanistans most important exports. Afghanistan is noted for its unusually sweet grapes and melons, grown mostly in the southwest, north of the Hindu Kush, and in the fertile regions around Herat. Raisins are also an important export. Other important fruits are apricots, cherries, figs, mulberries, and pomegranates. Livestock is nearly as important as crops to Afghanistans economy. Karakul sheep are raised in large numbers in the north. The tight curly fleece of Karakul lambs is used to make Persian lamb coats. Other breeds of sheep, such as the fat-tailed sheep, and goats are also raised. Afghanistan is a major supplier in the international drug trade. It is the second- largest opium producer after Myanmar (formerly known as Burma), with 950 metric tons produced in 1994. Afghanistan also produces significant quantities of hashish.
Distinctive Afghan Rugs are made by Turkmen and some Uzbeks; characteristically these have parallel rows of geometric figures on a dark red ground, although many other patterns also exist. The Baluchi, well-known producers of prayer rugs, also make carpets mainly of wool, using a blend of dark colors. Camel hair and cotton are also used in some of these carpets. A variety of beautiful embroideries are also made for bridal trousseaus (the cloth in which the bride wraps her clothes and other personal possessions) and for sale.
Large natural gas deposits in northern Afghanistan were exploited jointly with the USSR starting in 1967. In the 1980s large quantities of natural gas were exported to the USSR, but that was terminated after the Soviet withdrawal in 1989. Oil has been found to the north of the Hindu Kush in large reserves but it is unexploited, primarily because of war. Afghanistan is the worlds only source of high- grade lapis lazuli and has major copper and iron deposits. However, most resources have not been exploited.
Industrial development increased substantially after World War II (1939-1945). With the opening in 1965 of a large West German-built wool mill, woolen-textile production more than doubled. Among the other factories located primarily in Kabul are plants manufacturing textiles (the most important manufactured export product) and footwear; government-operated cement plants; a fruit-processing plant; a plant making coal briquettes; and several cotton gins. As with other aspects of the economy, the war has been a major obstacle to industrial expansion.
Almost half of the energy used in Afghanistan comes from firewood. Most of the rest comes from gas, oil, and hydroelectricity. There are dams and hydroelectric stations on the Kondoz, Kabul, Arghandab, and Helmand rivers. The dams also store water for irrigation.
The unit of currency in Afghanistan is the afghani, which is divided into 100 puls. Since 1981 the official rate of exchange has been fixed at 50 afghanis equal U.S.$1. However, the actual market rate of the afghani has fluctuated, and in 1994, 2400 afghanis equaled U.S.$1. Dramatic inflation (with rates of up to 57 percent), which has been taking place in Afghanistan since the Soviet invasion, contributed to the drastic decrease in the purchasing power of the afghani from 1981 to 1994. Afghanistans central bank was founded in 1938 and is the largest bank in Afghanistan. The central bank issues all notes, executes government loans, and lends money to cities and to other banks. All private banks in Afghanistan were nationalized in 1975, mostly because a lack of clear terms for borrowers and lenders had made it difficult for people to use the countrys credit resources. No stock market or other modern form of economic development exists in Afghanistan. Instead, archaic "money bazaars" exist to provide money-lending and foreign exchange dealings. As of 2012, the Afghani currency has become a bit stabled due to the foreign aid of America. The current market rate is 50 afghanis equals to 1$.
Telephone and telegraph networks link the major towns. In the early 1990s about 31,200 telephones were in use but there was only one public telephone in Kabul. One international telephone link is maintained through Iran. The government provides radio broadcasts in Pashto, Dari, and ten other languages on a handful of AM and shortwave radio-broadcast stations. Many Afghans own transistor radios, and loudspeaker systems in some villages carry the broadcasts to larger audiences. The first Afghan television station, built with Japanese aid, went on the air in Kabul in 1978. In the mid-1990s several television stations were run by factions and local councils, providing only intermittent service. The first printed newspaper was distributed in 1875, and two other small newspapers were printed just after 1900. In 1919, the press flourished with the publication of more than 15 newspapers and magazines. In 1962 the Kabul Times appeared as the first English- language paper. Following the 1978 coup the Kabul Times was renamed the Kabul New Times and began publishing Communist rhetoric that was reminiscent of the worst days of the Cold War. In the early 1990s Afghanistan had more than 10 newspapers, but by the mid-1990s this number had dropped off as the suppression of Afghanistans media increased.
Although Afghanistan is rich in natural resources, very little has been done to explore them. Some of these resources are extensive deposits of natural gas, petroleum, coal, copper, chromite, talc, barites, sulfur, lead, zinc, iron ore, salt, and precious and semiprecious stones. However, the country’s rugged terrain and lack of transportation network restrict trade activities. In the 1980s, export of natural gas was at its peak, with $300 million in export revenues annually. However, 90% of this revenue was utilized for the payment of imports and debts to the Soviet Union. The Afghan economy also rode on goods smuggled into Pakistan.
Afghanistans chief exports are natural gas and dried fruit. Other exports include carpets, fresh fruit, wool, and cotton. Afghanistan imports food, motor vehicles, petroleum products, and textiles. Most of the foreign trade of Afghanistan is controlled by the government or by government-controlled monopolies. The USSR was Afghanistans chief trading partner even before the 1979 Soviet invasion, and this relationship intensified in the 1980s. The leading purchasers of Afghan products, in addition to the USSR and the former Soviet republics, have been Pakistan, Great Britain, Germany, and India. In 1991 exports amounted to about $188.2 million, while imports cost $616.4 million.
There is not enough information and guaranteed statistics available about the economy of Afghanistan, but here are some estimates: Exports: $603 million (2008) Imports: $8.27 billion (2008) Exports-to-GDP ratio: 3.5 % (2008) Imports-to-GDP ratio: 47.6 % (2008) Trade-to-GDP ratio: 51.1 % (2008) Exports Partners The major export partners of Afghanistan include (figures as of 2008): India 23.5% Pakistan 17.7% US 16.5% Tajikistan 12.8% Netherlands 6.9% Imports Partners The major import partners of Afghanistan include (figures as of 2008): Pakistan 36% US 9.3% Germany 7.5% India 6.9%
The following are the major commodities that form the basis of Afghanistan’s economy: Export commodities include opium, fruits and nuts, handwoven carpets, wool, cotton, hides and pelts, precious and semi-precious gems. Imports include machinery and other capital goods, food, textiles, petroleum products.
Breakdown in economys total exports By main commodity group (ITS)Agricultural products 57.6Fuels and mining products 0.0Manufactures 34.6 By main destination1. Pakistan 39.02. India 16.83. Turkey 9.04. Iran, Islamic Rep. of 8.25. Russian Federation 7.6
Breakdown in economys total imports By main commodity group (ITS)Agricultural products 17.4Fuels and mining products 1.2Manufactures 32.2 By main origin1. Uzbekistan 21.12. China 13.73. Pakistan 11.64. European Union (27) 9.95. Japan 9.6
KEY ECONOMIC INDICATORS 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 GDP (US$ bn): 2.5 4.1 4.6 6 7.3 8.9 9.9 GDP per capita (Us$) 90 182 199 253 300 354 362 Real GDP growth (% change YOY) n.a. 28.6 15.7 8 14 12 13 Goods exports(%GDP) 28.7 31.6 41.3 27.5 24.6 23.3 n.a. Inflation(% change YOY) n.a. n.a. 24.1 13.2 12.3 5.1 8.3 Unemployment rate (%) n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. 40 n.a. n.a. Total Exports (US$bn) 0.1 0.25 0.35 0.42 0.56 0.4 0.48 Total Imports (US$bn) 1 1.5 2.3 2.7 3.2 2.85 2.95GDP–COMPOSITION: Agriculture: 38% Industry: 24%, Services: 38% (2007)MAJOR INDUSTRIES: small-scale production of textiles, soap, furniture,shoes, fertilizer, cement; hand woven carpets;natural gas, coal, copper Source: WTO Trade data base, World Development Indicators, Federal Bureau of Statistic.
Travel within Afghanistan is severely limited by the rugged terrain. The country has less than 25 km (less than 16 mi) of railroad track, all of which is for shipping goods to and from Afghanistan and Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Petroleum products are piped in from Uzbekistan to Bagram and from Turkmenistan to Shindand. Natural gas used to be piped into the part of the USSR that is now Uzbekistan through a 180-km (110-mi) pipeline, but was terminated immediately after the war. Except for the Amu Darya, which has 1200 km (750 mi) of navigable waters and handles vessels up to about 500 metric tons, the countrys narrow, fast-flowing rivers are nearly all unnavigable and are used chiefly for the transportation of free-floating timber. Ports on the Amu Darya include Keleft, Kheyrabad, and Shir Khan. There are about 21,000 km (about 13,000 mi) of highways, about 13 percent are paved, 8 percent are gravel, and 79 percent are dirt. Kabul and Kandahar have international airports. There are 48 airports in the country, about half of which have paved runways. The national airline is Ariana Afghan Airlines; Bakhtar Afghan Airlines also provides some domestic service, but it is nearly defunct because of the war. Camels and other pack animals are used for conveying goods. Afghanistan depends on neighboring countries for the shipment of goods to and from its borders. Hostilities between Pakistan and Afghanistan have often led to the closing of that border.
Continued; According to a 2006 estimate, out of 42,150 km (26180 mi) of roads only 12,350 km (7671mi) are paved and 29,800 km (18509 mi) are unpaved. The 29% of paved roadways is a 13% increase from 2004 to 2006. A 2005 survey provides an overview of national pavement conditions. The Regional Highways are trade roads between Afghanistan and 20 neighboring countries. The National Highways extend Regional Highways and promote trade to provincial capitals. To improve freight transportation from Uzbekistan to Afghanistan, Afghanistan recently started a 75 km (46 miles) long railroad between Hairaton and Mazar-i-Sharif next to the Uzbekistan border that is planned to be completed by 2011. The second and largest stage of this project is going to be an additional 1000 km (621 mi) of railroad. The government of Afghanistan has planned to generate 2000 km (1242 mi) of railroads to connect some of the countrys major cities to neighbor countries. The first corridor begins from the port of Shirkhan and passes through Kunduz and Balkh provinces, and ends in Herat province. It will have two branches: one linking Hairatan to Mazar, and the other one linking Andkhoi to Aqina. The second corridor will begin from Mazar, pass through Polikhomri, Kabul, Jalalabad, and end in Toorkham. The third corridor will begin from Spinboldak/Chaman from south of the country and end in Kandahar city.
Afghanistan has two major air gateways: Kabul International Airport, serving the capital, and Kandahar International Airport, serving the south of the country. The two airports were operated in the past under instrument flight rules with day and night operations. Four major domestic airports with airside pavements provide air connection to the major cities. In addition, 16 regional domestic airports are spread over the country serving the smaller, more remote areas. These airports have mainly gravelled airside facilities and operate under visual flight rules.
City served Province ICAO IATA Airport name International airports Kabul Kabul OAKB KBL Kabul International Airport Kandahar Kandahar OAKN KDH Kandahar International Airport Major domestic airports Herat Herat OAHR HEA Herat International Airport Jalalabad Nangarhar OAJL JAA Jalalabad Airport Kunduz Kunduz OAUZ UND Kunduz Airport Mazar-i-Sharif Balkh OAMS MZR Mazar-i-Sharif Airport Regional domestic airports Bamyan Bamyan OABN BIN Bamyan Airport Lashkar Gah (Bost) Helmand OABT BST Bost Airport Chaghcharan Ghōr OACC CCN Chaghcharan Airport Darwaz OADZ DAZ Razer Airport Fayzabad Badakhshan OAFZ FBD Fayzabad Airport Farah Farah OAFR FAH Farah Airport Khost Khost OAKS KHT Khost Airfield Khwahan Badakhshan OAHN KWH Khwahan Airport Kron Monjan OARZ KUR Razer Airport Maymana Faryab OAMN MMZ Maymana Airport Qala i Naw Badghis OAQN LQN Qala i Naw Airport Sheberghan Jowzjan OASG Sheberghan AirportSheghnan (Shighnan) Badakhshan OASN SGA Sheghnan Airport Taloqan Takhar OATQ TQN Taloqan Airport Tarin Kowt Orūzgān OATN TII Tarin Kowt Airport Zaranj Nimruz OAZJ ZAJ Zaranj Airport Sardeh Band OADS SBF Sardeh Band Airport Military airports Bagram Parwan OAIX OA1 Bagram Air Base Shindand Herat OASD OA5 Shindand Airbase Bastion Helmand OAZI OAZ Camp Bastion
The most preferred routing for cargo originating or destined for Afghanistan is via Gateway Bandar Abbas. There is no rail network in Afghanistan and all trade is conducted by land route from Iran and other neighboring countries. Carriers Own containers (COC) are to be de-stuffed at Islamgala, Afganistan. However, Shippers Own Containers can be transported up to any final destination in Afghanistan . All Fragile items and household goods shipment to be crated and then stuffed in COC.
Via Karachi - Islambad/Rawalpindi - Lahore - Peshawar - Quetta - Kabul. The nearest Sea Port for import of Cargo into Afghanistan is Karachi, Pakistan. Pakistan is in the most advantageous position in Afghan Transit Trade, (ATT) where Port of Karachi plays a major role as hinterland port and "GATEWAY" to Afghanistan and Central Asian States, Countries. There is no rail network in Afghanistan and all trade is conducted by land route from Pakistan and other neighboring countries. Cargo for Afghanistan in Transit via Pakistan (Karachi /Port) is exempted from Custom Duty and taxes in Pakistan. However, a Special Custom Cell, processes and examines the cargo at Karachi Port. All cargo i.e. containerized or break-bulk is forwarded by Road from Karachi to the Customs Posts at following location. 1. Peshawar/Torkham for Cargo destined for Jalalabad/kabul. 2. Outlets/Chaman for Cargo destined for Kandhar & Herat. Required documentation is carried out at Custom Post, after which the cargo/container crosses into Afghanistan. Having crossed the border the loaded trucks to the Afghan Custom House at Torkham, Jalalabad, Kabul or Kandhar as the case may be. The consignee in Afghanistan arranges the unloading and custom clearance of the cargo.
Original Bill of Lading Showing full name and address of the Importer/Consignee in Afghanistan Declaring - " GOODS IN TRANSIT TO AFGHANISTAN" Showing our nominated agents as Notify Party. Shipping Line at Load Port to instruct their Agents in Karachi (Pakistan) to release the cargo to our Nominated agents (Notify Party) without the signature and endorsement of the Consignee/Importer in Afghanistan. Original Invoice + Packing List showing description, quantity, net weight, gross weight and dimension of each package; also declaring "GOODS IN TRANSIT TO AFGHANISTAN" Each individual package should have a painted/printed label/sign reading "GOODS IN TRANSIT TO AFGHANISTAN" Authority letter authorizing us to custom clear and transport the cargo to Afghanistan as well as to act as your representative to apply and obtain requisite permissions from Government of Pakistan. Authority-cum-Undertaking letter of the Embassy/Consulate of the respective donor country. In case of Gift/ Donation, Certificate from Donor Agency or Protocol Agreement amongst Importing Agency (Consignee/Importer) in Kabul, Afghanistan and the Exporting Agency. (Supplier/Exporter) NOC/Transit Permit issued by Central Board of Revenue, Government of Pakistan. Original Proforma invoice duly signed and attested by Ministry of Commerce, Afghanistan Original JAWAZ NAMA (Import License issued by Ministry of Commerce, Afghanistan) to Afghan importer along with photocopy of the JAWAZ NAMA duly attested by Afghan Ministry of Commerce.
Documents Required For Special Cargoes For Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Aid & Diplomatic Cargo-SI-# 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5 N.G.O. Cargo - SI. # 1, 2, 3, 4 & 6 Commercial Cargo - SI # 1, 2, 3, 4, 7 & 8
Continued; TRANSIT TIME ROAD From arrival Karachi via Peshawar up to delivery kabul 07-08 days From arrival Karachi via Chaman up to delivery Kandahar 03-04 days Road Transportation Karachi - Peshawar - Kabul Sector Karachi - Chaman - Kandahar Sector Maximum weight per container 30 M. Tons Distance from Karachi Kabul via Peshawar 2,015 Kilo Meters Kandahar via Chaman 917 Kilo Meters Jalalabad via Peshawar 1,840 Kilo Meters Via Gateway Bandar Abbas Route to Islam Qalah/Afganistan: Bandar Abbas - Kerman - Birjandn - Taibad - Dogharun and finally Islamqalah ( 1KM distance from Iran border). From Islamqalah, the cargo will be arranged to move to Heart, Kandhar , Kabul, Jalalabad , etc by Afghani trucks. Route to Mazar-e-Sharief: Bandar Abbas - Kerman- Mashhad- Sarakhs - Charjou/Turkmenistan - Aghineh and finally Mazar-e-Sharief. Customs Borders There are 6 customs border as follows: Dogharun - Iran / Islam Qalah - Afghanistan. Kosha - Turkmenistan / Turghundi - Afghanistan. Aghinesh - Turkmenistan / Andkhooy- Afghanistan. Termez - Uzbekistan / Galabeh - Afghanistan. Khaibar Pass - Pakistan / Turkham. Chaman / Pakistan - Soleyman Kalay
Where 20 years of war has totally crippled the economy, and you must try to somehow survive day-by- day by scrounging enough food to feed your children. Where people do not have the facilities to receive an education. Where people do not have the facilities to receive treatment at hospitals. Where, on average, men die at 40 years of age and women at 43. Where hundreds of thousands of people are maimed, disabled, or blind because of war and land mines. Where you face a high chance of becoming blind or crippled because of the lack of fresh fruit and vegetables, causing vitamin deficiency. If you are blind or crippled, no one can help you because those that are not blind or crippled need help as well.