|افغانستان – Afġānistān|
|Road network length||12,350 km|
|Length of highway network||0 km|
|License plate code||AFG|
Afghanistan is a country (inner state) in Asia. The country is at the crossroads of the Middle East, Central Asia and South Asia. Afghanistan has a land area that is approximately 16 times the size of the Netherlands and the country has 33 million inhabitants. The capital is Kabul.
According to ABBREVIATIONFINDER, Afghanistan is located at the intersection of the Middle East, South Asia and Central Asia. The country is not adjacent to the sea and borders Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, China, Pakistan and Iran. The country measures a maximum of 1,300 kilometers from west to east and 900 kilometers from north to south. The country has a prominent border in the northeast called the Wakhan Corridor, a 300 km long but only 15 to 50 km wide stretch of Afghanistan sandwiched between Tajikistan and Pakistan. Large parts of Afghanistan consist of inaccessible mountain areas and deserts. The highest mountain ranges are located in the east of the country, consisting of the Hindu Kush and the Pamirs. The 7,492 meter high Noshaq, the highest point in Afghanistan, is also located here. Also in the middle of Afghanistan are high mountain ranges with peaks between 4,000 and 4,800 meters. There are also plains, especially the Sistan Basin in the south and Turkestan Valley in the north, which also contains Afghanistan’s largest river, the Amu Darya.
Afghanistan has a rapidly growing population, between 1980 and 2010 the population doubled from approximately 15 to 30 million inhabitants. See Afghanistan population density. About four-fifths of the inhabitants live in rural areas, Afghanistan has relatively few larger cities. The only city with more than 1 million inhabitants is the capital Kabul. Kandahar and Herat are the second and third city. There are a total of 9 cities with more than 200,000 inhabitants.
Ethnically, Afghanistan is made up of many groups, the largest of which are the Pashtun and Tajiks, who together make up 75% of the population. The Pashtuns mainly live in the south of Afghanistan while the Tajiks mainly live in the north and the larger cities. Afghanistan is a multilingual country, many population groups speak several languages. By far the largest language in Afghanistan is Dari, this is the Afghan variety of Persian, which is spoken by about 80% of the inhabitants. Pastho is also spoken by almost half of the population. Uzbek is spoken by 11%, other languages are smaller.
Afghanistan is a highly underdeveloped country, due to decades of conflict. Agriculture is still the most important part of the Afghan economy. There is hardly any industry, while the country is rich in raw materials. The very limited infrastructure and unsafe situation makes economic development of the country difficult.
Despite being off the sea, Afghanistan has been of great strategic importance throughout history. The area has been under the influence of various empires for centuries, such as the Arabs, the Mongols, the Russians and the British. In the 19th century, it was a buffer zone between British-administered South Asia and Russian-administered Central Asia. Between 1893 and 1896, the Durand Line was established, the boundary between the British Empire and Afghanistan. Later this became the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. After 1919, foreign powers lost their influence in Afghanistan and a kingdom emerged. It then remained a kingdom until a coup d’état in 1973. Another coup followed in 1978 and Afghanistan became a socialist state under the influence of the Soviet Union.. This led to a protracted war between the Soviets and the Afghan rebels in the 1980s. In 1996, Afghanistan was placed under the rule of the Taliban, an Islamic fundamentalist group. After the September 11, 2001 attacks, the Taliban was overthrown by a coalition led by the Americans. Then began another phase of the Afghan civil war that continues to the present. In 2021, the entire country was retaken by the Taliban after the withdrawal of the US military.
The road from Jalalabad to Kabul.
Afghanistan’s road network is not very extensive due to lack of central control and conflict. Most roads were built in the 1960s, sponsored by the United States and the Soviet Union. In 1964, a tunnel opened in the Salang Pass, connecting northern and southern Afghanistan. The main road is a 2,200-kilometer ring road that connects all major cities in Afghanistan. This road has been modernized by the ISAF since 2001. There are no highways in Afghanistan or anything similar, although in large cities there are often wide city roads. Many rural roads require 4×4 off-road vehicles.
In Kabul there are a number of main roads, mostly wide paved boulevards with no lane layout and with a chaotic mix of 4×4 vehicles, Japanese vans, non-motorized traffic and pedestrians.
The main border crossing is the road from Kabul to Peshawar, which connects to the Pakistani N5. This route takes you just over the border into Pakistan over the famous Khyber Pass. In southern Afghanistan, the road from Kandahar to Quetta forms an important border crossing, connecting to Pakistan’s N25. The main border crossing with Iran is the road from Herat to Mashhad. The road from Herat to Mary in Turkmenistan connects to the A388 and is the main route with that country. There are new bridges over the Amu Darya in the border area with Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, at Termez and the road to Dushanbe. There are no through roads with China.
There is no road numbering in Afghanistan. However, some routes are numbered as Asian Highways.
|Asian Highways in Afghanistan|
|AH1 • AH7 • AH62 • AH71 • AH76 • AH77|
Little is known about any signage in Afghanistan. Traveling over longer distances is not obvious because of the insecurity. Blue signs with white letters are known.