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Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Script error
Flag of Afghanistan Coat of arms of Afghanistan
Flag Coat of arms
Motto: There is no god but God, Muhammad is the messenger of God
Anthem: "Afghan National Anthem"
File:National anthem of Afghanistan.ogg
Capital
and largest city
Kabul
Template:Coord
Official languages Script error[1]
Religion Islam
Demonym Afghan Template:Ref label
Government Presidential republic
 -  President Ashraf Ghani
 -  Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah
Legislature National Assembly
 -  Upper house Mesherano Jirga
 -  Lower house Wolesi Jirga
Establishment
 -  Template:Nowrap April 1709 
 -  Template:Nowrap October 1747 
 -  Recognized 19 August 1919 
Area
 -  Total 652,864[2] kmTemplate:Smallsup (41st)
251,827 sq mi
 -  Water (%) negligible
Population
 -  2014 estimate 31,822,848[3] (40th)
 -  1979 census 15.5 million[4]
 -  Density 43.5/kmTemplate:Smallsup (150th)
111.8/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2014 estimate
 -  Total $36.838 billion[5]
 -  Per capita $1,177[5]
GDP (nominal) 2014 estimate
 -  Total $21.747 billion[5]
 -  Per capita $695[5]
Gini (2008)29[6]
Template:Color
HDI (2013)Template:Steady 0.468[7]
Template:ColorTemplate:·169th
Currency Afghani (AFN)
Time zone D† Template:Nowrap
Drives on the right
Calling code +93
Internet TLD .af افغانستان.

Afghanistan, officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located within South Asia and Central Asia.[8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15] It has a population of approximately 31 million people, making it the 42nd most populous country in the world. It is bordered by Pakistan in the south and east; Iran in the west; Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan in the north; and China in the far northeast. Its territory covers Script error, making it the 41st largest country in the world.

Human habitation in Afghanistan dates back to the Middle Paleolithic Era,[16] and the country's strategic location along the Silk Road connected it to the cultures of the Middle East and other parts of Asia.[17] Through the ages the land has been home to various peoples[18] and witnessed numerous military campaigns, notably by Alexander the Great, Muslim Arabs, Mongols, British, Soviet Russians, and in the modern-era by Western powers.[16] The land also served as the source from which the Kushans, Hephthalites, Samanids, Saffarids, Ghaznavids, Ghorids, Khiljis, Mughals, Hotaks, Durranis, and others have risen to form major empires.[19]

The political history of the modern state of Afghanistan began with the Hotak and Durrani dynasties in the 18th century.[20][21][22] In the late 19th century, Afghanistan became a buffer state in the "Great Game" between British India and the Russian Empire. Following the 1919 Anglo-Afghan War, King Amanullah and King Mohammed Zahir Shah attempted modernization of the country. A series of coups in the 1970s was followed by a Soviet invasion and a series of civil wars that devastated much of the country.

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  2. Central Statistics Organization of Afghanistan: Statistical Yearbook 2012-2013: Area and administrative Population
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