Afghanistan Geography, History, Culture, and Religion

The Khyber Pass on the northwest frontiers of the Indian subcontinent, linking Pakistan with remote Afghanistan. To drive north through the southern mountains is to journey backward in time to an isolated nation which has consistently ignored the approach to a 20th century world. But this year event the caught up with and never taken of few Afghanistan. Traditionally a buffer state standing alone between major powers it has suddenly court world attention. New men have seized control men who appear willing to reactivate ancient grievances and to assist the ambitions of powerful friends. In this edition Echo looks at a tiny nation engulfed in big issues Afghanistan.

For centuries the Tom tribes have Afghanistan have lived by their own rules. Here a man carries a gun with a badge of honor and most use them with deadly accuracy. Here, even today tribal chiefs rule with absolute authority tolerate no interference even from the state. Armed with independent spirited they have never compromise with farmers. The British came here and stayed long enough to fortify such ragged borders as could be established.

But they retreated leaving little more than a few rusting relics. Islam and one of its more straight-laced forms is the national religion. The power religious authority remains a conservative force regardless of who rules in Kabul the capital. And the streets of the capital illustrate this nation’s problems, principally that poverty. The average annual income in this country is less than seventy-five dollars. The illiteracy rate is 90% slavery was officially abolished only in 1947. And now there had been a revolution, King Shahi Asha was ousted and his cousin Muhammad Dowd decreed Afghanistan a republic king went into exile.

The new regime has the backing up Afghanistan’s small but powerful army. And that in turn is supplied and equipped by the Soviet Union. The troops of Afghan but the heavy weapons, tanks, advisers, ammunition field come from the Red Army. It was president Dowd Prime Minister until 1963 who first encouraged Russian assistance. And Moscow did not hesitate to take advantage at the invitation.

They poured in aid that military and civil they built this enormous power plant on the Kabul River. They even mollified the Muslim community here by building the ark mask. Curious indeed for they suppress their own Muslims in the Soviet Union, but persevered presence in Afghanistan has little to do with altruism, and everything to do with an Old Russian ambition. To gain access to the Indian Ocean by an overland route. Afghanistan as a stepping stone between it in the sea as the Pakistani province of Baluchistan, but the Russians are at work on that problem. While willing the Afghan regime which shows the new projects, such as this housing scheme.

The Soviet Union is actively backing Afghanistan’s long time claim to Bulucos town. Who are people? Like there is Afghanistan itself of Fatah, if Kabul old longing for this valuable stupid territory good people filled. The bricks-and-mortar Serbia diplomacy would have built on the road to the sea. One thing that stands in the way is the presence of the betterance enemy, the Chinese. They fully understand some of the ambitions in that area and had built it themselves with a number of practical civil aid programs, while keeping a close eye on developments. Especially those concerning Afghanistan and the Chinese Ally Pakistan.

While they remain, the Russian dream of rolling down to the Indian Ocean is unlikely to come true. For the Chinese themselves would be interested in opening up the same access to the sea. And more important to the oil of the Persian Gulf, which the Chinese domestic economy is an increasing need. Until Mohammed Dowd’s Khu the Afghans and play the waiting game, accepting aid from all quarters.

They thanked the Chinese for building their roads but open the eight gates to the west as well as the East. Afghanistan has always been suspicious foreigners. But King Zahir Shah knew his country desperately needed what these foreigners could bring. Now Mohammed Dowd’s has, for all intents and purposes allied himself with the Soviet Union. For the ordinary Afghan, court in the endless circle of subsistence living.

Now has his future conform to the Russians as well. And the future does not look that good, while the Russians were building pretentious airports and roads thousand about gamons have died. A three-year drought has destroyed bullocks and cropped. Water and grain supplies dwindle, there is little enough economic basis on which to build a new people’s democracy.

The remote rural markets have had little to trade but the bargaining goes on in the traditional spirited manna. In fact the whole country may have become yet another sensitive political marketplace. A future calls the international infighting. That to anyone who can expect to earn no more than seventy-five dollars a year there are more important things to help deliver. So despite the fact that they are the backwoods men and Asia the Afghan then their nation have attracted interest and concern around the world.

If Serbia strategy in this part of the world is confirmed it seems at least possible they were behind for King Shahi. In his place they had been president Dowd a man whose policies they may be able to shape. Already he has made appropriate know I did in the direction of Pakistan and encouraging separatist movements among but on people in that country.

Whatever moves Afghanistan makes now every step will be watched closely by those nations who could be affected the Soviet Union, China, Iran, Pakistan, and India. Afghanistan is still low but between big nations involved in the Indian subcontinent as it was a century ago. But the nation’s a more powerful today and the issues more dangerous.

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