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In , the British marched into Afghanistan and arrested Dost Mohammad , sent him into exile in India and replaced him with the previous ruler, Shah Shuja. This was a standard divide and rule policy of the British and would lead to strained relations, especially with the later new state of Pakistan.

Shia -dominated Hazarajat and pagan Kafiristan remained politically independent until being conquered by Abdur Rahman Khan in He moved to end his country's traditional isolation by establishing diplomatic relations with the international community and, following a —28 tour of Europe and Turkey , introduced several reforms intended to modernize his nation. A key force behind these reforms was Mahmud Tarzi , an ardent supporter of the education of women. He fought for Article 68 of Afghanistan's constitution , which made elementary education compulsory.

The institution of slavery was abolished in Some of the reforms that were actually put in place, such as the abolition of the traditional burqa for women and the opening of a number of co-educational schools, quickly alienated many tribal and religious leaders. Faced with overwhelming armed opposition, Amanullah Khan was forced to abdicate in January after Kabul fell to rebel forces led by Habibullah Kalakani.

He abandoned the reforms of Amanullah Khan in favor of a more gradual approach to modernisation but was assassinated in by Abdul Khaliq , a fifteen-year-old Hazara student. Mohammed Zahir Shah , Nadir Shah's year-old son, succeeded to the throne and reigned from to Until , Zahir Shah ruled with the assistance of his uncle, who held the post of Prime Minister and continued the policies of Nadir Shah. Another of Zahir Shah's uncles, Shah Mahmud Khan , became Prime Minister in and began an experiment allowing greater political freedom, but reversed the policy when it went further than he expected.

He was replaced in by Mohammed Daoud Khan , the king's cousin and brother-in-law. Daoud Khan sought a closer relationship with the Soviet Union and a more distant one towards Pakistan. The King built close relationships with the Axis powers in the s - but Afghanistan remained neutral and was neither a participant in World War II nor aligned with either power bloc in the Cold War thereafter. However, it was a beneficiary of the latter rivalry as both the Soviet Union and the United States vied for influence by building Afghanistan's main highways, airports, and other vital infrastructure.

On per capita basis, Afghanistan received more Soviet development aid than any other country. Afghanistan had therefore good relations with both Cold War enemies. In , while King Zahir Shah was on an official overseas visit, Daoud Khan launched a bloodless coup and became the first President of Afghanistan , abolishing the monarchy.

Some experts suggest that Bhutto paved the way for the April Saur Revolution. Opposition to PDPA reforms, such as its land redistribution policy and modernization of traditional Islamic civil and marriage laws, led to unrest which aggravated to rebellion and revolt around October , first in eastern Afghanistan see Initiation of the insurgency in Afghanistan That uprising quickly expanded into a civil war waged by guerrilla mujahideen against regime forces countrywide. The Pakistani government provided these rebels with covert training centers, while the Soviet Union sent thousands of military advisers to support the PDPA regime.

The Soviet Union was displeased with Amin's government, and decided to intervene and invade the country on 27 December , killing Amin that same day. A Soviet-organized regime, led by Parcham's Babrak Karmal but inclusive of both factions Parcham and Khalq , filled the vacuum. Soviet troops in more substantial numbers were deployed to stabilize Afghanistan under Karmal, and as a result the Soviets were now directly involved in what had been a domestic war in Afghanistan of mujahideen against PDPA government , [54] which war from December until is therefore also known as the Soviet—Afghan War.

The United States , supporting the Afghan mujahideen and foreign " Afghan Arab " fighters since mid through Pakistan's ISI , [53] and Saudi Arabia , from now on delivered for billions in cash and weapons, including two thousand FIM Stinger surface-to-air missiles , to Pakistan as support for the anti-Soviet mujahideen.

The PDPA prohibited usury , declared equality of the sexes, [57] and introduced women to political life. Pakistan's North-West Frontier Province functioned as an organisational and networking base for the anti-Soviet Afghan resistance, with the province's influential Deobandi ulama playing a major supporting role in promoting the 'jihad'. Faced with mounting international pressure and numerous casualties, the Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan in , but continued to support Afghan President Mohammad Najibullah until Mujahideen Islamic resistance forces in October see above had started a guerrilla or civil war against the PDPA 's government of Afghanistan.

President Najibullah therefore tried to build support for his government by moving away from socialism to pan-Afghan nationalism , abolishing the one-party state , portraying his government as Islamic , [ clarification needed ] and in removing all signs of communism. Nevertheless, Najibullah did not win any significant support.

In March , two mujahideen groups launched an attack on Jalalabad , instigated by the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence ISI who wanted to see a mujahideen Islamic government established in Afghanistan, but the attack failed after three months. With the dissolution of the Soviet Union in December and the ending of Russian support, President Najibullah was left without foreign aid.

In March , mujahideen forces attacked and conquered the city of Khost. In March , President Najibullah agreed to step aside and make way for a mujahideen coalition government. Mujahideen leaders came together in Peshawar , Pakistan, to negotiate such a government, but mujahideen Hezbi Islami 's leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar , presumably supported by ISI , refused to meet other leaders. Little later, Hezbi Islami invaded Kabul. This ignited war in Kabul on 25 April with rivalling groups Jamiat and Junbish in which soon two more mujahideen groups mingled; all groups except Jamiat were supported by an Islamic foreign government Saudi Arabia , Iran , Uzbekistan or intelligence agency Pakistan's ISI.

In —95, sub- commanders of Jamiat , Junbish , Hezbi Islami and Hizb-i-Wahdat descended to rape, murder and extortion. Taliban, having grown stronger, in September attacked and occupied Kabul after Massoud and Hekmatyar had withdrawn their troops from Kabul. In late September , the Taliban, in control of Kabul and most of Afghanistan, [81] proclaimed their Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. They imposed a strict form of Sharia , similar to that found in Saudi Arabia.

According to Physicians for Human Rights PHR in , "no other regime in the world has methodically and violently forced half of its population into virtual house arrest, prohibiting them on pain of physical punishment from showing their faces, seeking medical care without a male escort, or attending school" [82] The brutality of the Taliban's totalitarian regime was comparable to those of Stalin's Russia or the Khmer Rouge rule of Cambodia. On 9 September , Massoud was assassinated by two Arab suicide attackers in Panjshir province of Afghanistan. Two days later, the September 11 attacks were carried out in the United States.

The US government suspected Osama bin Laden as the perpetrator of the attacks, and demanded that the Taliban hand him over. Washington refused that offer. The majority of Afghans supported the American invasion of their country. In December , after the Taliban government was overthrown in the Battle of Tora Bora , the Afghan Interim Administration under Hamid Karzai was formed, in which process the Taliban were typecast as 'the bad guys' and left out. Shortly after their fall from power, the Taliban began an insurgency to regain control of Afghanistan.

Over the next decade, ISAF and Afghan troops led many offensives against the Taliban, but failed to fully defeat them. Afghanistan remains one of the poorest countries in the world due to a lack of foreign investment, government corruption , and the Taliban insurgency. Meanwhile, the Afghan government was able to build some democratic structures, and the country changed its name to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. Attempts were made, often with the support of foreign donor countries, to improve the country's economy, healthcare, education, transport, and agriculture.

In the decade following , over five million Afghans were repatriated , including some [ quantify ] who were deported from Western countries. By , a Taliban-led shadow government began to form in parts of the country. After the May death of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, many prominent Afghan figures were assassinated. The United States blamed rogue elements within the Pakistani government for the increased attacks.

In September Ashraf Ghani became President after the presidential election where for the first time in Afghanistan's history power was democratically transferred. A landlocked mountainous country with plains in the north and southwest, Afghanistan is located within South Asia [13] [] and Central Asia.

Despite having numerous rivers and reservoirs , large parts of the country are dry. The endorheic Sistan Basin is one of the driest regions in the world. The northeastern Hindu Kush mountain range , in and around the Badakhshan Province of Afghanistan, is in a geologically active area where earthquakes may occur almost every year. A earthquake left 11 Afghans dead, over 70 injured, and more than 2, houses destroyed.

The country's natural resources include: It borders Pakistan in the south and east; Iran in the west; Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan in the north; and China in the far east. The population of Afghanistan was estimated at This makes the total Afghan population at around 33,,, and its current growth rate is 2. The only city with over a million residents is its capital, Kabul. Due to a lack of census there is no clear indication of what the largest cities in the country are, with various national and international estimates and without always acknowledging the differentiation of city municipalities and urban areas that go beyond city limits.

Afghanistan's population is divided into several ethnolinguistic groups, which are represented in the ethnolinguistic map and listed in the chart below. Dari and Pashto are the official languages of Afghanistan; bilingualism is very common. There are a number of smaller regional languages, they include Uzbek , Turkmen , Balochi , Pashayi , and Nuristani. Uzbek, Turkmen, Pashayi, Nuristani, Balochi and Pamiri declared third official in areas where the majority speaks them. A number of Afghans are also fluent in Urdu , English, and other foreign languages.

Thousands of Afghan Sikhs and Hindus are also found in the major cities. Afghanistan is an Islamic republic consisting of three branches, the executive, legislative, and judicial. Abdullah Abdullah serves as the chief executive officer CEO. The National Assembly is the legislature, a bicameral body having two chambers, the House of the People and the House of Elders. According to Transparency International , Afghanistan remains in the top most corrupt countries list. The Afghan presidential election was relatively peaceful, in which Hamid Karzai won in the first round with However, the presidential election was characterized by lack of security, low voter turnout, and widespread electoral fraud.

Two months later, under international pressure, a second round run-off vote between Karzai and remaining challenger Abdullah was announced, but a few days later Abdullah announced that he would not participate in 7 November run-off because his demands for changes in the electoral commission had not been met. The next day, officials of the election commission cancelled the run-off and declared Hamid Karzai as President for another five-year term.

In the parliamentary election , among the elected officials were former mujahideen, Islamic fundamentalists , warlords, communists, reformists , and several Taliban associates. The presidential election ended with Ashraf Ghani winning by Afghanistan is administratively divided into 34 provinces wilayats.

Each province is the size of a U. The country is further divided into nearly provincial districts , each of which normally covers a city or a number of villages. Each district is represented by a district governor. The provincial governors are appointed by the President of Afghanistan and the district governors are selected by the provincial governors. There are also provincial councils that are elected through direct and general elections for a period of four years. According to article of the constitution and the presidential decree on electoral law, mayors of cities should be elected through free and direct elections for a four-year term.

However, due to huge election costs, mayoral and municipal elections have never been held. Instead, mayors have been appointed by the government. In the capital city of Kabul, the mayor is appointed by the President of Afghanistan. Afghanistan became a member of the United Nations in The Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs continues to develop diplomatic relations with other countries around the world. Its main purpose is to train the Afghan National Security Forces. There is one Chief of Police in every province. All parts of Afghanistan are considered dangerous due to militant activities and terrorism-related incidents.

Kidnapping for ransom and robberies are common in major cities. Every year hundreds of Afghan police are killed in the line of duty. The Afghan Border Police ABP is responsible for protecting the nation's airports and borders, especially the disputed Durand Line border, which is often used by terrorists and criminals for their illegal activities.

Drugs from Afghanistan are smuggled to neighboring countries by various nationals but mostly by Afghans, Iranians, Pakistanis, Tajikistanis, Turkmenistanis and Uzbekistanis. The Afghan Ministry of Counter Narcotics is responsible for the monitoring and eradication of the illegal drug business. About of police are women. Afghan society and the Interior Ministry of Afghanistan hold a generally negative view against women working as police. A United Nations report given to the ministry in was never released, for fears of reprisals against female police.

Due to attacks and harassment, female police avoid wearing their uniform on their way to work. The issue of how female police are treated in Afghanistan is a sensitive issue for Western governments who have donated funds towards training women for the security forces. Agricultural production is the backbone of Afghanistan's economy. It is also known as the world's largest producer of opium. While the nation's current account deficit is largely financed with donor money, only a small portion is provided directly to the government budget.

The rest is provided to non-budgetary expenditure and donor-designated projects through the United Nations system and non-governmental organizations. One of the main drivers for the current economic recovery is the return of over 5 million expatriates , who brought with them fresh energy, entrepreneurship and wealth-creating skills as well as much needed funds to start up businesses. Many Afghans are now involved in construction, which is one of the largest industries in the country.

A number of small companies and factories began operating in different parts of the country, which not only provide revenues to the government but also create new jobs. It holds an observer status in SCO. Foreign Minister Zalmai Rassoul told the media in that his nation's "goal is to achieve an Afghan economy whose growth is based on trade, private enterprise and investment". In June , India advocated for private investments in the resource rich country and the creation of a suitable environment therefor.

Telecommunications company Roshan is the largest private employer in the country as of [update]. The country has significant amounts of lithium , copper, gold, coal, iron ore , and other minerals. Airlines from a number of countries also provide flights in and out of the country. The country has four international airports: There are also around a dozen domestic airports with flights to Kabul and other major cities. A rail line between Khaf, Iran and Herat , western Afghanistan, intended for both freight and passengers, is under construction and due to open in late Traveling by bus in Afghanistan remains dangerous due to militant activities.

Serious traffic accidents are common on Afghan roads and highways, particularly on the Kabul—Kandahar and the Kabul—Jalalabad Road. Newer automobiles have recently become more widely available after the rebuilding of roads and highways. As of [update] , vehicles more than 10 years old are banned from being imported into the country.

The development of the nation's road network is a major boost for the economy due to trade with neighboring countries. According to the Human Development Index , Afghanistan is the 15th least developed country in the world. The average life expectancy is estimated to be around 60 years. The country has more than 3, midwives , with an additional to being trained each year. There are over hospitals in Afghanistan , with the most advanced treatments being available in Kabul. Some of the other main hospitals in Kabul include the Jamhuriat Hospital and the under-construction Jinnah Hospital.

In spite of all this, many Afghans travel to Pakistan and India for advanced treatment. Education in Afghanistan includes K—12 and higher education , which is overseen by the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Higher Education. There are over 16, schools in the country and roughly 9 million students. Over , students are enrolled in different universities around the country.

The United States is building six faculties of education and five provincial teacher training colleges around the country, two large secondary schools in Kabul, and one school in Jalalabad. The literacy rate of the entire population is They are set up to serve as programming platforms offering English language classes, library facilities, programming venues, internet connectivity, and educational and other counseling services.

A goal of the program is to reach at least 4, Afghan citizens per month per location.


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In , Kazakhstan launched an official development assistance program ODA to Afghanistan that involved providing training and education to the Afghan women in Kazakh universities. Afghanistan is mostly a tribal society with different regions of the country having its own subculture. The remaining Afghans are culturally Persian and Turkic. Some non-Pashtuns who live in proximity with Pashtuns have adopted Pashtunwali in a process called Pashtunization , while some Pashtuns have been Persianized.

Those who have lived in Pakistan and Iran over the last 30 years have been further influenced by the cultures of those neighboring nations. Afghans are regarded with mingled apprehension and condescension, for their high regard for personal honor, for their tribe loyalty and for their readiness to use force to settle disputes.

As tribal warfare and internecine feuding has been one of their chief occupations since time immemorial, this individualistic trait has made it difficult for foreigners to conquer them. One writer considers the tribal system to be the best way of organizing large groups of people in a country that is geographically difficult, and in a society that, from a materialistic point of view, has an uncomplicated lifestyle. The nation has a complex history that has survived either in its current cultures or in the form of various languages and monuments. However, many of its historic monuments have been damaged in modern times.

Despite that, archaeologists are still finding Buddhist relics in different parts of the country, some of them dating back to the 2nd century. A cloak reputedly worn by Islam's prophet Muhammad is kept inside the Shrine of the Cloak in Kandahar, a city founded by Alexander and the first capital of Afghanistan. The citadel of Alexander in the western city of Herat has been renovated in recent years and is a popular attraction for tourists. In the north of the country is the Shrine of Ali , believed by many to be the location where Ali was buried.

The National Museum of Afghanistan is located in Kabul. The perpetrators of these crimes are the families of the victim. A proposal for a law against the violence of women could only be passed through a presidential decree. In , Amnesty International reported that violence against women was perpetrated by both state and non-state actors. In , Afghanistan recorded cases of honor killings, but the total number is believed to be much higher. In May , United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan concluded that the vast majority of cases involving honor killings and murders of women, perpetrators were not punished.

The first Afghan newspaper was published in and there are hundreds of print outlets today. By the s, Radio Kabul was broadcasting local radio services. Television programs began airing in the early s. Since , press restrictions have been gradually relaxed and private media diversified. Freedom of expression and the press is promoted in the constitution and censorship is banned, although defaming individuals or producing material contrary to the principles of Islam is prohibited. The Afghan government cited the growth in the media sector as one of its achievements.

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The city of Kabul has been home to many musicians who were masters of both traditional and modern Afghan music. The country uses its own space satellite called Afghansat 1 , which provides services to millions of phone, internet and television subscribers. The sector employs at least , people nationwide. Afghanistan has a wide varying landscape allowing for many different crops. Afghan food is largely based upon cereals like wheat , maize , barley and rice , which are the nation's chief crops.

Fresh and dried fruits is the most important part of Afghan diet. Afghanistan is well known for its fine fruits, especially pomegranates , grapes , and its extra-sweet jumbo-size melons. Classic Persian and Pashto poetry are a cherished part of Afghan culture. Thursdays are traditionally " poetry night" in the city of Herat when men, women and children gather and recite both ancient and modern poems. Afghanistan's sports teams are increasingly celebrating titles at international events.

Its basketball team won the first team sports title at the South Asian Games. In , the country's 3x3 basketball team won the gold medal at the Asian Beach Games.

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Cricket and association football are the most popular sports in the country. The team eventually made it to play in the Cricket World Cup. There are a number of other stadiums throughout the country, including the Ghazi Amanullah Khan International Cricket Stadium near Jalalabad. Domestically, cricket is played between teams from different provinces. The Afghanistan national football team has been competing in international football since The national team plays its home games at the Ghazi Stadium in Kabul, while football in Afghanistan is governed by the Afghanistan Football Federation.

The national team has never competed or qualified for the FIFA World Cup , but has recently won an international football trophy in The country also has a national team in the sport of futsal, a 5-a-side variation of football. Other popular sports in Afghanistan include basketball, volleyball, taekwondo , and bodybuilding. It is similar to polo , played by horsemen in two teams, each trying to grab and hold a goat carcass. The Afghan Hound a type of running dog originated in Afghanistan and was originally used in hunting.

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For the Japanese manga, see Afghanis-tan. A landlocked south-central Asian country. Pre-Islamic period of Afghanistan. The taller Buddha of Bamiyan.


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Buddhism was widespread before the Islamic conquest of Afghanistan. Islamic conquest of Afghanistan and Mongol invasion of Central Asia. Hotak dynasty and Durrani Empire. Soviet troops in Gardez , Afghanistan in War in Afghanistan —present , Taliban insurgency , Civilian casualties in the war in Afghanistan —present , and Corruption in Afghanistan.

Demographics of Afghanistan and Afghan diaspora. Largest cities or towns in Afghanistan estimate []. Ethnic groups in Afghanistan. Languages of Afghanistan [12] Dari Afghanistan Persian. Religion in Afghanistan [] Sunni Islam. Politics of Afghanistan and Constitution of Afghanistan. Elections in Afghanistan and List of political parties in Afghanistan. Provinces of Afghanistan and Districts of Afghanistan.

Foreign relations of Afghanistan and Afghan Armed Forces. Law enforcement in Afghanistan. List of airports in Afghanistan. Rail transport in Afghanistan. This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. August Learn how and when to remove this template message. Afghanistan portal Asia portal. Archived from the original on 28 October Retrieved 13 June Pashto and Dari are the official languages of the state.

Archived from the original on 14 October Retrieved 18 September Retrieved 14 November Archived from the original on 11 May Retrieved 2 March United Nations Development Programme. Retrieved 14 December Retrieved 22 August Archived from the original on 25 December Retrieved 19 May Data, Projects, and Research". The South Asia Center". Archived from the original on 2 April Most invaded, yet unconquerable". Illinois Institute of Technology.

Archived from the original on 3 November Retrieved 14 October Retrieved 16 February Archived from the original on 31 October A Treasure Trove for Archaeologists". Archived from the original on 26 July Retrieved 13 July Urbanism, Economy, and Society. Ancient cities of the Indus Valley Civilisation. Archived from the original on 9 September Library of Congress Country Studies on Afghanistan. Archived from the original PDF on 8 April Retrieved 10 October Retrieved 17 November Archived from the original on 8 April Translated by Guy Le Strange.

Retrieved 19 August Archived from the original on 23 July Retrieved 6 May Deploying 17, raises stakes in Afghanistan". The Encyclopaedia of Islam. Travels in Asia and Africa, — reprint, illustrated ed. Translation of the Introduction to Firishta's History". The History of India. Modern Times — , Chapter IV. Retrieved 9 September Archived from the original on 4 April The New American Cyclopaedia, Vol.

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