Turkmenistan ( i/tɜrkˈmɛnɨstæn/ or  i/tɜrkmɛnɨˈstɑːn/; Turkmen: Türkmenistan), formerly also known as Turkmenia, is one of the Turkic states in Central Asia. Turkmenistan is bordered by Afghanistan to the southeast, Iran to the south and southwest, Uzbekistan to the east and northeast, SAMSUNG NP-N150-JP01 Laptop Keyboard

Kazakhstan to the northwest and the Caspian Sea to the west.

Present-day Turkmenistan covers territory that has been at the crossroads of civilizations for centuries. In medieval times Merv (today known as Mary) was one of the great cities of the Islamic world and an important stop on the Silk Road. Annexed by Russian Empire in 1881, Turkmenistan later figured prominently in the anti-Bolshevik movement in Central Asia. ASUS X88S Laptop Keyboard

In 1924, Turkmenistan became a constituent republic of the Soviet Union, Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic (Turkmen SSR); it achieved independence upon the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. [5] TOSHIBA Satellite A300 Laptop Keyboard

Turkmenistan's GDP growth rate of 11% in 2012 comes on the back of several years of sustained high growth, albeit from a very basic undiversified economy powered by export of a single commodity.[6] It possesses the world's fourthlargest reserves of natural gas resources.[7] Although it is wealthy in natural resources in certain areas, most of the country is covered by the Karakum (Black Sand) Desert. ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

The Turkmen government operates as a single party state. Turkmenistan was ruled by President for Life Saparmurat Niyazov (called "Türkmenbaşy", "Leader of the Turkmens") until his sudden death on 21 December 2006. Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow was elected the new president on 11 February 2007. HP Pavilion dv6-2126eo Laptop Keyboard

In the eighth century A.D., Turkic-speaking Oghuz tribes moved from Mongolia into present-day Central Asia. Part of a powerful confederation of tribes, these Oghuz formed the ethnic basis of the modern Turkmen population.[8] In the tenth century, the name "Turkmen" was first applied to Oghuz groups that accepted Islam and began to occupy present-day Turkmenistan.[8] There they were under the dominion of the Seljuk Empire,  ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

which was composed of Oghuz groups living in present-day Iran and Turkmenistan.[8] Turkmen soldiers in the service of the empire played an important role in the spreading of Turkic culture when they migrated westward into present-day Azerbaijan and easternTurkey.[8] HP Pavilion dv6-2126eo Laptop Keyboard

In the twelfth century, Turkmen and other tribes overthrew the Seljuk Empire.[8] In the next century, the Mongolstook over the more northern lands where the Turkmens had settled, scattering the Turkmens southward and contributing to the formation of new tribal groups.[8] The sixteenth and eighteenth centuries saw a series of splits and confederations among the nomadic Turkmen tribes, DELL Latitude D830 Laptop Keyboard

who remained staunchly independent and inspired fear in their neighbors.[8] By the sixteenth century, most of those tribes were under the nominal control of two sedentary Uzbekkhanates, Khiva and Bukhoro.[8] IBM Lenovo ThinkPad X300 Laptop Keyboard

Turkmen soldiers were an important element of the Uzbek militaries of this period.[8]In the nineteenth century, raids and rebellions by the Yomud Turkmen group resulted in that group's dispersal by the Uzbek rulers.[8] According to Paul R. Spickard, "Prior to the Russian conquest, Lenovo Thinkpad T520 Laptop Keyboard

the Turkmen were known and feared for their involvement in the Central Asian slave trade."[9][10]

Russian forces began occupying Turkmen territory late in the nineteenth century.[8] From their Caspian Sea base at Krasnovodsk (now Turkmenbashi), the Russians eventually overcame the Uzbek khanates.[8] SAMSUNG X20 Laptop Keyboard

In 1881 the last significant resistance in Turkmen territory was crushed at the Battle of Geok Tepe, and shortly thereafter Turkmenistan was annexed, together with adjoining Uzbek territory, into the Russian Empire.[8] In 1916 the Russian Empire's participation in World War I resonated in Turkmenistan, HP Pavilion dv6-3205tu Laptop Keyboard

as an anticonscription revolt swept most of Russian Central Asia.[8] Although the Russian Revolution of 1917 had little direct impact, in the 1920s Turkmen forces joined Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, and Uzbeks in the so-calledBasmachi Rebellion against the rule of the newly formed Soviet Union.[8] In 1924 the Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic was formed from the tsarist province of Transcaspia.[8] SONY VAIO PCG-FR55E/B Laptop Keyboard

By the late 1930s, Soviet reorganization of agriculture had destroyed what remained of the nomadic lifestyle in Turkmenistan, and Moscow controlled political life.[8] The Ashgabat earthquake of 1948 killed over 110,000 people,[11] amounting to 2/3s of the city's population.

During the next half-century, Turkmenistan played its designated economic role within the Soviet Union and remained outside the course of major world events.[8] Even the major liberalization movement that shook Russia in the late 1980s had little impact.[8] Lenovo Thinkpad T520 Laptop Keyboard

However, in 1990 the Supreme Soviet of Turkmenistan declared sovereignty as a nationalist response to perceived exploitation by Moscow.[8] Although Turkmenistan was ill-prepared for independence and communist leader Saparmurad Niyazovpreferred to preserve the Soviet Union, in October 1991 the fragmentation of that entity forced him to call a national referendum that approved independence.[8]  Lenovo 3000 N200 Laptop Keyboard

After independence Niyazov continued as Turkmenistan's chief of state, replacing communism with a unique brand of independent nationalism reinforced by a pervasive cult of personality.[8] A 1994 referendum and legislation in 1999 abolished further requirements for the president to stand for re-election (although in 1992 he completely dominated the only presidential electionin which he ran), ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

making him effectively president for life.[8] During his tenure, Niyazov conducted frequent purges of public officials and abolished organizations deemed threatening.[8]Throughout the post-Soviet era, Turkmenistan has taken a neutral position on almost all international issues.[8] TOSHIBA Satellite L655D-SP5010L laptop keyboard

Niyazov eschewed membership in regional organizations such as theShanghai Cooperation Organization, and in the late 1990s he maintained relations with theTaliban and its chief opponent in Afghanistan, the Northern Alliance.[8] He offered limited support to the military campaign against the Taliban following September 11, 2001.[8] In 2002 an alleged assassination attempt against Niyazov led to a new wave of security restrictions, IBM Thinkpad R40 laptop keyboard

dismissals of government officials, and restrictions placed on the media.[8] Niyazov accused exiled former foreign minister Boris Shikhmuradov of having planned the attack.[8]

Between 2002 and 2004, serious tension arose between Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan because of bilateral disputes and Niyazov's implication that Uzbekistan had a role in the 2002 assassination attempt.[8] In 2004 a series of bilateral treaties restored friendly relations.[8] HP Pavilion dv4-1199ea laptop keyboard

In the parliamentary elections of December 2004 and January 2005, only Niyazov's party was represented, and no international monitors participated.[8] In 2005 Niyazov exercised his dictatorial power by closing all hospitals outside Ashgabat and all rural libraries.[8] The year 2006 saw intensification of the trends of arbitrary policy changes, HP Pavilion dv6-2135ev laptop keyboard

shuffling of top officials, diminishing economic output outside the oil and gas sector, and isolation from regional and world organizations.[8] China was among a very few nations to whom Turkmenistan made significant overtures.[8] The sudden death of Niyazov at the end of 2006 left a complete vacuum of power, as his cult of personality, compared to that of former presidentKim Il Sung of North Korea, had precluded the naming of a successor.[8] Deputy Prime Minister Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, who was named interim head of government, won the special presidential election held in early February 2007.[8] He was re-elected in 2012 with 97% of the vote.[12] SONY VAIO VGN-FZ210CE laptop keyboard

President for Life Saparmurat Niyazov, a former bureaucrat of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, ruled Turkmenistan from 1985, when he became head of the Communist Party of the Turkmen SSR, until his death in 2006. He retained absolute control over the country after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. On 28 December 1999, HP Pavilion dv6-2021el laptop keyboard

Niyazov was declared President for Life of Turkmenistan by the Mejlis (parliament), which itself had taken office a week earlier in elections that included only candidates hand-picked by President Niyazov. No opposition candidates were allowed. COMPAQ Presario CQ60-302SL laptop keyboard

Since the December 2006 death of Niyazov, Turkmenistan's leadership made tentative moves to open up the country. His successor, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, repealed some of Niyazov's most idiosyncratic policies, including banning opera and the circus for being "insufficiently Turkmen". HP Pavilion dv6-2010sa laptop keyboard

In education, Berdimuhamedow's government had increased basic education to ten years from nine years, and higher education had been extended from four years to five. He has also increased contacts with the West, which is eager for access to the country's natural gas riches.

The politics of Turkmenistan take place in the framework of a presidential republic, with the President both head of state and head of government. Under Niyazov, Lenovo Thinkpad T520 laptop keyboard

Turkmenistan had a single-party system; however, in September 2008, the People's Council unanimously passed a resolution adopting a new Constitution. The latter resulted in the abolition of the Council and a significant increase in the size of Parliament in December 2008. The new Constitution also permits the formation of multiple political parties. SONY VAIO PCG-FR55E/B laptop keyboard

The former Communist Party, now known as the Democratic Party of Turkmenistan, has been the only one effectively permitted to operate. Political gatherings are illegal unless government sanctioned. Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

Turkmenistan has been widely criticised for human rights abuses and has imposed severe restrictions on foreign travel for its citizens.[13] Discrimination against the country's ethnic minorities remain in practice. Universities have been encouraged to reject applicants with non-Turkmen surnames, especially ethnic Russians.[14] It is forbidden to teach the customs and language of the Baloch, an ethnic minority. The same happens to Uzbeks, though the Uzbek language used to be taught in some national schools.[15] ACER Aspire 1410-742G16n Laptop Keyboard

According to Reporters Without Borders' 2012 World Press Freedom Index, Turkmenistan had the 2nd worst press freedom conditions in the world, behind North Korea. It is considered to be one of the "10 Most Censored Countries". Each broadcast under Niyazov began with a pledge that the broadcaster's tongue will shrivel if he slanders the country, flag, or president.[16]

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It is slightly smaller thanSpain and somewhat larger than the US state of California. It lies between latitudes 35° and 43° N, and longitudes 52° and 67° E.

Over 80% of the country is covered by the Karakum Desert. The center of the country is dominated by the Turan Depression and the Karakum Desert. The Kopet Dag Range, along the southwestern border, reaches 2,912 meters (9,553 ft) HP Pavilion dv6-3205tu Laptop Keyboard

at Kuh-e Rizeh (Mount Rizeh).[18]

The Great Balkhan Range in the west of the country (Balkan Province) and the Köýtendag Range on the southeastern border with Uzbekistan (Lebap Province) are the only other significant elevations. The Great Balkhan Range rises to 1,880 metres (6,170 ft) at Mount Arlan[19] and the highest summit in Turkmenistan is Ayrybaba in the Kugitangtau Range – 3,137 metres (10,292 ft).[20] Rivers include the Amu Darya, the Murghab, and the Tejen. TOSHIBA Satellite M645-S4070 Laptop Keyboard

The climate is mostly arid subtropical desert, with little rainfall. Winters are mild and dry, with most precipitation falling between January and May. The area of the country with the heaviest precipitation is the Kopet Dag Range. HP Pavilion dv6-2126eo Laptop Keyboard

The Turkmen shore along the Caspian Sea is 1,768 kilometres (1,099 mi) long. The Caspian Sea is entirely landlocked, with no natural access to the ocean, although the Don-Volga canal allows shipping access to and from the Black Sea. Lenovo 3000 N200 Laptop Keyboard

The major cities include Aşgabat, Türkmenbaşy (formerly Krasnovodsk) and Daşoguz.

The country possesses the world's fourth-largest reserves of natural gas and substantial oil resources.[21] Turkmenistan has taken a cautious approach to economic reform, hoping to use gas and cotton sales to sustain its economy. In 2004, the unemployment rate was estimated to be 60%.[22] HP Pavilion dv6-2132ec Laptop Keyboard

Between 1998 and 2002, Turkmenistan suffered from the continued lack of adequate export routes for natural gas and from obligations on extensive short-term external debt. At the same time, however, the value of total exports has risen sharply because of increases in international oil and gas prices. ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

Economic prospects in the near future are discouraging because of widespread internal poverty and the burden of foreign debt.[citation needed]

President Niyazov spent much of the country's revenue on extensively renovating cities, Ashgabat in particular. DELL Vostro PP37L Laptop Keyboard

Corruption watchdogs voiced particular concern over the management of Turkmenistan's currency reserves, most of which are held in off-budget funds such as the Foreign Exchange Reserve Fund in the Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt, according to a report released in April 2006 by London-based non-governmental organization Global Witness. ACER NSK-H361D Laptop Keyboard

According to the decree of the Peoples' Council of 14 August 2003,[23] electricity, natural gas, water and salt will be subsidized for citizens up to 2030. In addition car drivers are entitled to 120 litres of free petrol a month. Lenovo 3000 Y500 Laptop Keyboard

Drivers of buses, lorries and tractors can get 200 litres of fuel and motorcyclists and scooter riders 40 litres free. On 5 September 2006, after Turkmenistan threatened to cut off supplies, Russia agreed to raise the price it pays for Turkmen natural gas from $65 to $100 per 1,000 cubic meters. Two-thirds of Turkmen gas goes through the Russian state-owned Gazprom.[24] DELL Vostro 3450 Laptop Keyboard

The latest study in May 2011 stated that the South lolotan gas field is now easily the world's second-largest gas field in terms of gas-in-place. The estimated reserves at South Lolotan was about 21 trillion cubic metres.[25] The Turkmenistan Natural Gas Company (Türkmengaz), under the auspices of the Ministry of Oil and Gas, Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

controls gas extraction in the country. Gas production is the most dynamic and promising sector of the national economy. In 2010 Ashgabat started a policy of diversifying export routes for its raw materials.[26] TOSHIBA NSK-TK001 Laptop Keyboard

China is set to become the largest buyer of gas from Turkmenistan over the coming years as a pipeline linking the two countries, through Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, reaches full capacity.[27] In addition to supplying Russia,  Lenovo 63Y0047 Laptop Keyboard

China and Iran, Ashgabat took concrete measures to accelerate progress in the construction of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan and India pipeline (TAPI). Turkmenistan has previously estimated the cost of the project at $3.3 billion. On 21 May, HP Pavilion DV6-1000 Laptop Keyboard

HP V061130AS1 Laptop Keyboard

president Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow unexpectedly signed a decree stating that companies from Turkmenistan will build an internal East-West gas pipeline allowing the transfer of gas from the biggest deposits in Turkmenistan (Dowlatabad and Yolotan) to the Caspian coast. The East-West pipeline is planned to be around 1,000 km long and have a carrying capacity of 30 bn m³ annually, at a cost of between one and one and a half billion US dollars.[26] HP Envy 15 Laptop Keyboard

Most of Turkmenistan's oil is extracted by the Turkmenistan State Company (Concern) Türkmennebit from fields at Koturdepe, Balkanabat, and Cheleken near the Caspian Sea, which have a combined estimated reserve of 700 million tons. The oil extraction industry started with the exploitation of the fields in Cheleken in 1909 (by Nobel brothers) and Balkanabat in the 1930s, then production leaped ahead with the discovery of the Kumdag field in 1948 and the Koturdepe field in 1959. DELL NSK-DG101 Laptop Keyboard

A big part of the oil produced in Turkmenistan is refined in Turkmenbashy and Seidi refineries. Also, oil is exported by tankers through Caspian Sea to Europe via canals.[28]Turkmenistan is a net exporter of electrical power to Central Asian republics and southern neighbors. The most important generating installations are the Hindukush Hydroelectric Station, SONY V072078BS1 laptop keyboard

which has a rated capacity of 350 megawatts, and the Mary Thermoelectric Power Station, which has a rated capacity of 1,370 megawatts. In 1992, electrical power production totaled 14.9 billion kilowatt-hours.[29]

Half of the country's irrigated land is planted with cotton, making the country the world's ninth-largest cotton producer.[30] HP Mini 110-3020la laptop keyboard

During 2011 season, Turkmenistan produced around 1.1 million tons of raw cotton, mainly from Mary, Balkan, Akhal, Lebap and Dashoguz provinces. In 2012, around 7,000 tractors, 5,000 cotton cultivators, 2,200 sowing machines and other machinery, mainly procured from the Belarus and US, are being used. HP Pavilion dv4-1125nr laptop keyboard

The country traditionally exports raw cotton to Russia, Iran, South Korea, Britain, China, Indonesia, Turkey, Ukraine, Singapore and the Baltic nations.[31]

Most of Turkmenistan's citizens are ethnic Turkmens with sizeable minorities of Uzbeks and Russians. Smaller minorities include Kazakhs, Tatars, HP Pavilion DV4150US laptop keyboard

Ukrainians,Armenians, Azeris, Balochs and Pashtuns. The percentage of ethnic Russians in Turkmenistan dropped from 18.6% in 1939 to 9.5% in 1989. In 2012 its been confirmed that the population of Turkmenistan decreased due to some specific factors[which?] and its less than the previously estimated 5 million.[32] HP Pavilion DV7-3110tx laptop keyboard

The CIA World Factbook gives the ethnic composition of Turkmenistan as 85% Turkmen, 5% Uzbek, 4% Russian and 6% other (2003 estimates).[22] According to data announced in Ashgabat in February 2001, 91% of the population are Turkmen, 3% are Uzbeks and 2% are Russians. Between 1989 and 2001 the number of Turkmen in Turkmenistan doubled (from 2.5 to 4.9 million), while the number of Russians dropped by two-thirds (from 334,000 to slightly over 100,000).[33] IBM Lenovo Thinkpad X200 Series Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

According to the CIA World Factbook, Muslims constitute 89% of the population while 9% of the population are followers of theEastern Orthodox Church and the remaining 2% religion is reported as non-religious.[22] However, according to a 2009 Pew Research Center report, 93.1% of Turkmenistan's population is Muslim. Lenovo Thinkpad T520 laptop keyboard

Missionaries were holy men and they often were adopted as patriarchs of particular clans or tribal groups, thereby becoming their "founders." Reformulation of communal identity around such figures accounts for one of the highly localized developments of Islamic practice in Turkmenistan. TOSHIBA Satellite U205-s5044 laptop keyboard

In the Soviet era, all religious beliefs were attacked by the communist authorities as superstition and "vestiges of the past." Most religious schooling and religious observance were banned, and the vast majority of mosques were closed. However, since 1990, efforts have been made to regain some of the cultural heritage lost under Soviet rule. TOSHIBA NB100 laptop keyboard

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Former president Saparmurat Niyazov ordered that basic Islamic principles be taught in public schools. More religious institutions, including religious schools and mosques, have appeared, many with the support of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, andTurkey. Religious classes are held in both schools and mosques, with instruction in Arabic language, the Qur'an and thehadith, and history of Islam.[8] HP Pavilion DV6-1000 laptop keyboard

President Niyazov wrote his own religious text, published in separate volumes in 2001 and 2004, entitled the Ruhnama. The Turkmenbashi regime required that the book, which formed the basis of the educational system in Turkmenistan, be given equal status with the Quran (mosques were required to display the two books side by side). The book was heavily promoted as part of the former president's personality cult, and knowledge of the Ruhnama is required even for obtaining a driver's license.[36] Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 laptop keyboard

The history of Bahá'í Faith in Turkmenistan is as old as the religion itself, and Bahá'í communities still exist today.[37] The first Bahá'í House of Worship was built in Ashgabat at the beginning of the twentieth century. It was seized by the Soviets in the 1920s and converted to an art gallery. It was heavily damaged in the earthquake of 1948 and later demolished. The site was converted to a public park.[38] HP Pavilion DV6-1128el laptop keyboard

There are a number of newspapers and monthly magazines published in Turkmenistan. Turkmenistan currently broadcasts 6 national TV channels through satellite. They are Altyn asyr, Yashlyk, Miras, Turkmenistan (in 7 languages), Turkmen Owazy and Ashgabat. There are no commercial or private TV stations. Articles published by the state-controlled newspapers are heavily censored and written to glorify the state and its leader. COMPAQ Presario V6106AU laptop keyboard

Internet services are the least developed in Central Asia. Access to internet services are provided by the government's ISP company "Turkmentelekom". As of Dec. 31, 2011, it was estimated that there were 252,741 internet users in Turkmenistan or roughly 5% of total population.[42][43]

This is a list of countries by natural gas proven reserves based on The World Factbook.[1] SONY A1565184C laptop keyboard

Based on data from BP at the end of 2009 proved gas reserves are dominated by three countries: Russia (24%), Iran (16%) and Qatar (14%).[2] A study by Gaffney, Cline & Associates estimates Turkmenistan’s South Iolotan natural gas field reserve at 21.2 trillion cubic meters (tcm) - far above the BP estimate of 2.9 tcm for this field. This places Turkmenistan's reserves at 25.8 tcm, ahead of Qatar but still behind Iran.[3][4] IBM ThinkPad T40-2374 laptop keyboard

Due to constant announcements of shale gas recoverable reserves, as well as drilling in Central Asia, South America and Africa, deepwater drilling, estimates are undergoing frequent updates, with bias towards increases. TOSHIBA Satellite L505-S6946 laptop keyboard

There is large discussion about the potential of shale gas reserves and large doubt about their economic and environmental sustainability, but it is clear that most of those reservoirs are still to be developed and discovered. In that sense the inventory of the gas proven reserves is likely to increase of size within the next years. Compaq Presario CQ42-258VX laptop keyboard

Russian attempts to encroach upon Turkmen territory began in earnest in the latter part of the nineteenth century. Of all the Central Asian peoples, the Turkmen put up the stiffest resistance against Russian expansion[citation needed]. In 1869 the Russian Empire established a foothold in present-day Turkmenistan with the foundation of the Caspian Seaport of Krasnovodsk (now Turkmenbashy). TOSHIBA Satellite l20-c430 laptop keyboard

In 1881 the Russians under General Mikhail Skobelev besieged and captured Geok Tepe, one of the last Turkmen strongholds, northwest of Ashgabat. With the Turkmen defeat (which is now marked by the Turkmen as a national day of mourning and a symbol of national pride), the annexation of what is present-day Turkmenistan met with only weak resistance. Later the same year, SONY Vaio PCG-K415B Laptop Keyboard

the Russians signed an agreement with the Persians and established what essentially remains the current border between Turkmenistan and Iran. In 1897 a similar agreement was signed between the Russians and Afghans.[1]  IBM Lenovo ThinkPad X300 Laptop Keyboard

Following annexation to Russia, the area was administered as the Transcaspian Region by corrupt and malfeasant military officers and officials appointed by the Turkestan Governor-Generalship in Tashkent[citation needed]. In the 1880s, a railroad was built from Krasnovodsk to Ashgabat and later extended to Tashkent. Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

Urban areas began to develop along the railway. Although the Transcaspian Region essentially was a colony of Russia, it remained a backwater, except for Russian concerns with British colonialist intentions in the region and with possible uprisings by the Turkmen.[1] COMPAQ Presario C700 Laptop Keyboard

Because the Turkmen generally were indifferent to the advent of Soviet rule in 1917, little revolutionary activity occurred in the region in the years that followed. However, the years immediately preceding the revolution had been marked by sporadic Turkmen uprisings against Russian rule, most prominently the anti-tsarist revolt of 1916 that swept through the whole of Turkestan. TOSHIBA Satellite L750-ST4N02 Laptop Keyboard

Their armed resistance to Soviet rule was part of the larger Basmachi Revoltthroughout Central Asia from the 1920s into the early 1930s. Although Soviet sources describe this struggle as a minor chapter in the republic's history, it is clear that opposition was fierce and resulted in the death of large numbers of Turkmen.[2] TOSHIBA Satellite A300 Laptop Keyboard

In October 1924, when Central Asia was divided into distinct political entities, the Transcaspian Region and Turkmen Oblast of the Turkestan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (Turkestan ASSR) became the Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic (Turkmen SSR), a full-fledged constituent republic of the Soviet Union. During the forced collectivization and other extreme socioeconomic changes of the first decades HP AESP7U00110 Laptop Keyboard

of Soviet rule, pastoral nomadism ceased to be an economic alternative in Turkmenistan, and by the late 1930s the majority of Turkmen had become sedentary. Efforts by the Soviet state to undermine the traditional Turkmen way of life resulted in significant changes in familial and political relationships, HP G72-b67CA Laptop Keyboard

religious and cultural observances, and intellectual developments. Significant numbers of Russians and other Slavs, as well as groups from various nationalities mainly from the Caucasus, migrated to urban areas. Modest industrial capabilities were developed, and limited exploitation of Turkmenistan's natural resources was initiated.[2] DELL INSPIRON 1464 Laptop Keyboard

Under Soviet rule, all religious beliefs were attacked by the communist authorities as superstition and "vestiges of the past." Most religious schooling and religious observance were banned, and the vast majority of mosques were closed. An official Muslim Board of Central Asia with a headquarters in Tashkent was established during World War II to supervise Islam in Central Asia. For the most part, SONY KFRMBA151B Laptop Keyboard

the Muslim Board functioned as an instrument of propaganda whose activities did little to enhance the Muslim cause. Atheist indoctrination stifled religious development and contributed to the isolation of the Turkmen from the international Muslim community. Some religious customs, such as Muslim burial and malecircumcision,  Lenovo 3000 N200 Laptop Keyboard

continued to be practiced throughout the Soviet period, but most religious belief, knowledge, and customs were preserved only in rural areas in "folk form" as a kind of unofficial Islam not sanctioned by the state-run Spiritual Directorate.[3] HP G62-361TX Laptop Keyboard

Beginning in the 1930s, Moscow kept the republic under firm control. The nationalities policy of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) fostered the development of a Turkmen political elite and promoted Russification. Slavs, both in Moscow and Turkmenistan, closely supervised the national cadre of government officials and bureaucrats; generally, SONY VAIO PCG-792L Laptop Keyboard

the Turkmen leadership staunchly supported Soviet policies. Moscow initiated nearly all political activity in the republic, and, except for a corruption scandal in the mid-1980s that ousted longtime General Secretary Muhammetnazar Gapurow, Turkmenistan remained a quiet Soviet republic. Mikhail S. Gorbachev's policies of glasnost and perestroika did not have a significant impact on Turkmenistan. The republic found itself rather unprepared for the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the independence that followed in 1991.[4] SONY VAIO VGN-AW15G Laptop Keyboard

When other constituent republics of the Soviet Union advanced claims to sovereignty in 1988 and 1989, Turkmenistan's leadership also began to criticize Moscow's economic and political policies as exploitative and detrimental to the well-being and pride of the Turkmen. By a unanimous vote of its Supreme Soviet, Turkmenistan declared its sovereignty in August 1990. After the August 1991 coup attempt against the Gorbachev regime in Moscow, IBM Lenovo Thinkpad X201 Laptop Keyboard

Turkmenistan's communist leaderSaparmurat Niyazov called for a popular referendum on independence. The official result of the referendum was 94 percent in favor of independence. The republic's Supreme Soviet had little choice other than to declare Turkmenistan's independence from the Soviet Union and the establishment of the Republic of Turkmenistan on October 27, 1991.[4] Turkimenstan received independence from the Soviet Union on December 25, 1991. HP 519265-001 Laptop Keyboard

Ashgabat is Aşgabat in Turkmen, Ашхабад (Ashkhabad) in Russian, and عشقآباد (UniPers: Ešq-âbâd) in Persian. From 1919 until 1927, the city was renamed Poltoratsk after a local revolutionary. Before 1991, the city was usually spelled Ashkabad in English, a transliteration of the Russian form, which was itself from the original Persian form. It has also been variously spelled Ashkhabat and Ashgabad. HP 492991-001 Laptop Keyboard

Root of the name of the city goes back to Arshacid Empire era, and derived from the name of the founder of the Parthian Empire, Arsaces I of Parthia. So it seems the original form of the name was Ashk-Abad(which means the city built by Ashk), and because of Turkish pronunciation of the name it became like it is today.[1] SAMSUNG N145 Laptop Keyboard

Ashgabat is a relatively young city, growing out of a village of the same name established by Russian officers in 1881 after the Battle of Geok Tepe. It is not far from the site of Nisa, the ancient capital of the Parthian Empire, and it grew on the ruins of the Silk Road city of Konjikala, which was first mentioned as a wine-producing village in 2nd century BC and was leveled by an earthquake in 1st century BC (a precursor of the 1948 Ashgabat earthquake). Compaq Presario CQ42-228LA Laptop Keyboard

Konjikala was rebuilt because of its advantageous location on the Silk Road and it flourished until its destruction by Mongols in the 13th century. After that it survived as a small village until Russians took over in the 19th century.[2][3] DELL Latitude D620 Laptop Keyboard

In 1869[citation needed], Russian soldiers built a fortress on a hill near the village, and this added security soon attracted merchants and craftsmen to the area. Ashgabat remained a part of Persia until 1881, following the Battle of Geok Tepe, when it was ceded to Tsarist Russia under the terms of the Akhal Treaty. ACER Aspire 4743 Series Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

Russia chose to develop Ashgabat as a regional center due to its proximity to the border of British-influenced Persia. It was regarded as a pleasant town with European style buildings, shops and hotels. In 1908, the first Bahá'í House of Worship was built in Ashgabat. It was badly damaged in the 1948 earthquake and finally demolished in 1963.[4] The community of the Bahá'í Faith in Turkmenistan was largely based in Ashgabat. HP Pavilion DV4305US laptop keyboard

Soviet rule was established in Ashgabat in December 1917. However in July 1918 a coalition of Mensheviks, Social Revolutionaries and Tsarist former officers of the Imperial Russian Army revolted against the Bolshevik rule emanating from Tashkent and established the Ashkhabad Executive Committee. TOSHIBA Satellite U205 laptop keyboard

After receiving some support (but even more promises) from General Malleson, the British withdrew in April 1919, and the Tashkent Soviet resumed control of the city and in July 1919, when the city was renamed Poltoratsk (Полторацк) after a local revolutionary.[5] The name Ashgabat was restored in 1927 after the establishment of Turkmen SSR as a Soviet republic, though it was usually known by the Russian form Ashkhabad (Russian: HP AETT3U00010 laptop keyboard

Ашхабад). From this period onward, the city experienced rapid growth and industrialisation, although this was severely disrupted by a major earthquake on October 6, 1948. An estimated 7.3 on the Richter scale, the earthquake killed 110-176,000[6][7][8] (2/3 of the population of the city), although the official number announced by Soviet news was only 40,000.[9] Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 laptop keyboard

Museums include the Turkmen Fine Arts Museum and Turkmen Carpet Museum, noted for their impressive collection of woven carpets as well as a Turkmen history museum and the Ashgabat National Museum of History, which displays artifacts dating back to the Parthian and Persian civilizations. TFUJITSU Lifebook P7120D laptop keyboard

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he Academy of Sciences of Turkmenistan is an important institute of higher learning. Large mosques include the Azadi Mosque (which resembles the Blue Mosque in Istanbul), the Khezrety Omar Mosque, and the futuristic Iranian Mosque. Ashgabat was also home to the Arch of Neutrality, a 250-foot-tall tripod crowned by a golden statue of late president Saparmurat Niyazov (also known as Turkmenbashi, TOSHIBA KFRSBA064A laptop keyboard

or leader of all Turkmen). The 50-foot-high statue, which rotated in order to always face the sun during daylight hours, was removed on August 26, 2010 after Niyazov’s successor, current President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, made it clear earlier in the year that the statue was going to be taken out of Ashgabat’s parliament square.[16] SAMSUNG NP-N145-JP02 laptop keyboard

In the mid-seventh century, the Sassanian Persian empire fell to an Arab-lead Islamic conquest. Under the Samanid dynasty(819–999), whose founder Saman Khuda of an Zoroastrian Sassanian Persian had converted to Islam, the city came to be known as Binkath. However, the Arabs retained the old name of Chach for the surrounding region, pronouncing it al-Shash instead. SONY VAIO VGN-CS16G/Q Laptop Keyboard

The modern Turkic name of Tashkent (City of Stone) comes from Kara-Khanid rule in the 10th century. (Tash in Turkic languages means stone. Kand, qand, kent, kad, kath, kud—all meaning a city—are derived from the Persian/Sogdian کنده kanda, Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

meaning a town or a city. They are found in city names such as Samarkand,Yarkand, Penjikent, Khujand etc.). After the 16th century, the name evolved from Chachkand/Chashkand to Tashkand. The modern spelling of "Tashkent" reflectsRussian orthography and 20th-century Soviet influence. HP Compaq NC8430 Laptop Keyboard

In May, 1865, Mikhail Grigorevich Chernyayev (Cherniaev), acting against the direct orders of the tsar, and outnumbered at least 15-1 staged a daring night attack against a city with a wall 25 kilometres (16 mi) long with 11 gates and 30,000 defenders. While a small contingent staged a diversionary attack, the main force penetrated the walls, led by a Russian Orthodox priest armed only with a crucifix. ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

Although defense was stiff, the Russians captured the city after two days of heavy fighting and the loss of only 25 dead as opposed to several thousand of the defenders (including Alimqul, the ruler of the Kokand Khanate). Chernyayev, dubbed the "Lion of Tashkent" by city elders, staged a "hearts-and-minds" campaign to win the population over. He abolished taxes for a year, rode unarmed through the streets and bazaars meeting common people, and appointed himself "Military Governor of Tashkent", HP Probook 4510S Laptop Keyboard

recommending toTsar Alexander II that the city be made an independent khanate under Russian protection.

The Tsar liberally rewarded Chernyayev and his men with medals and bonuses, but regarded the impulsive general as a "loose cannon", and soon replaced him with General Konstantin Petrovich von Kaufman. HP 550 Laptop Keyboard

Far from being granted independence, Tashkent became the capital of the new territory of Russian Turkistan, with Kaufman as first Governor-General. A cantonment and Russian settlement were built across the Ankhor Canal from the old city, and Russian settlers and merchants poured in. SONY VAIO VGN-NW15G/T Laptop Keyboard

The Turkestan Military Districtwas established as part of the military reforms of 1874. The Trans-Caspian Railway arrived in 1889, and the railway workers who built it settled in Tashkent as well, bringing with them the seeds of Bolshevik Revolution. TOSHIBA Satellite P300 Laptop Keyboard

With the fall of the Russian Empire, the Russian Provisional Government removed all civil restrictions based on religion and nationality, contributing to local enthusiasm for the February Revolution. The Tashkent Soviet of Soldiers' and Workers' Deputies was soon set up, but primarily represented Russian residents,  HP Pavilion DV6-1030us Laptop Keyboard

who made up about a fifth of the Tashkent population. Muslim leaders quickly set up the Tashkent Muslim Council (Tashkand Shura-yi-Islamiya) based in the old city. On 10 March 1917, there was a parade with Russian workers marching with red flags, Russian soldiers singing La Marseillaise and thousands of local Central Asians. Following various speeches, Governor-General Aleksey Kuropatkin closed the events with words "Long Live a great free Russia".[3]  ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

The First Turkestan Muslim Conference was held in Tashkent 16–20 April 1917. Like the Muslim Council, it was dominated by the Jadid, Muslim reformers. A more conservative faction emerged in Tashkent centered around the Ulema. This faction proved more successful during the local elections of July 1917. They formed an alliance with Russian conservatives, while the Soviet became more radical. The Soviet attempt to seize power in September 1917 proved unsuccessful.[4] DELL Inspiron M5030 Laptop Keyboard

In April 1918, Tashkent became the capital of the Turkestan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (Turkestan ASSR). The new regime was threatened by White foDELL PF236 Laptop Keyboard

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borders of the Uzbek SSR, and became the capital of the Uzbek SSR, displacing Samarkand.

The city began to industrialize in the 1920s and 1930s.

Violating the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941. The government worked to relocate factories from western Russia and Ukraine to Tashkent to preserve the Soviet industrial capacity. ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

This led to great increase in industry during World War II.

It also evacuated most of the German communist emigres to Tashkent.[5] The Russian population increased dramatically; evacuees from the war zones increased the total population of Tashkent to well over a million. Russians and Ukrainians eventually comprised more than half of the total residents of Tashkent.[6] Many of the former refugees stayed in Tashkent to live after the war, rather than return to former homes. COMPAQ Presario C700 Laptop Keyboard

During the postwar period, the Soviet Union established numerous scientific and engineering facilities in Tashkent.

On 26 April 1966, much of the old city was destroyed by a huge earthquake (7.5 on the Richter scale). More than 300,000 residents were left homeless. Some 78,000 poorly engineered homes were destroyed,[7] mainly in the densely packed areas of the old city, where traditional adobe housing predominated.[8] HP 516884-001 Laptop Keyboard

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The Soviet republics, and some other countries such as Finland, sent "battalions of fraternal peoples” and urban planners to help rebuild devastated Tashkent. They created a model Soviet city of wide streets planted with shade trees, parks, immense plazas for parades, fountains, monuments, and acres of apartment blocks. IBM 42T4026 laptop keyboard

About 100,000 new homes were built by 1970,[7] but the builders occupied many, rather than the homeless residents of Tashkent. Further development in the following years increased the size of the city with major new developments in the Chilonzor area, north-east and south-east of the city.[7] Packard Bell Easynote TK85 laptop keyboard

At the time of the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Tashkent was the fourth-largest city in the USSR and a center of learning in the fields of science and engineering.

Due to the 1966 earthquake and the Soviet redevelopment, little architectural heritage has survived of Tashkent's ancient history. Few structures mark its significance as a trading point on the historic Silk Road. SONY VAIO VGN-AW21M laptop keyboard

Tashkent is the capital of and the most cosmopolitan city in Uzbekistan. It was noted for its tree-lined streets, numerous fountains, and pleasant parks, at least until the tree-cutting campaigns initiated in 2009 by local government.[9] Lenovo 63Y0047 laptop keyboard

Since 1991, the city has changed economically, culturally, and architecturally. New development has superseded or replaced icons of the Soviet era. The largest statue ever erected for Lenin was replaced with a globe, featuring a geographic map of Uzbekistan. Buildings from the Soviet era have been replaced with new modern buildings. The "Downtown Tashkent" district includes the 22-story NBU Bank building, an Intercontinental Hotel, the International Business Center, and the Plaza Building. Compaq Presario CQ71-310SB laptop keyboard

In 2007, Tashkent was named the "cultural capital of the Islamic world" by Moscow News, as the city has numerous historic mosques and significant Islamic sites, including the Isamic University.[10] Tashkent holds the earliest written Qur'an, which has been located in Tashkent since 1924.[11] HP Pavilion dv6-2030ev laptop keyboard

Tashkent 41°18′N 69°16′E is situated in a well-watered plain to the west of the last Altai mountains[citation needed] on the road betweenShymkent and Samarkand. Tashkent sits at the confluence of the Chirchik river and several of its tributaries and is built on deep alluvial deposits up to 15 metres (49 ft). The city is located in an active tectonic area suffering large numbers of tremors and some earthquakes. One earthquake in 1966 measured 7.5 on the Richter scale. The local time in Tashkent is UTC/GMT +5 hours. HP G71-329WM laptop keyboard

Tashkent features a Mediterranean climate (Köppen: Csa)[13] with strongcontinental climate influences (Köppen: Dsa).[13] As a result Tashkent experiences short cold winters not typically associated with most Mediterranean climates and long, hot and dry summers. Winters are short and cold, covering the months of December, HP Pavilion dv5-1215ee laptop keyboard

January and February. Mostprecipitation occurs during these months (frequently falling as snow). However snow cover tends to be relatively brief as the city frequently experiences warmer periods during the winter. The city experiences two peaks of precipitation in the early winter and spring. The slightly unusual precipitation pattern is partially due to its 500 m (roughly 1600 feet) altitude. Summers are long in Taskent, TOSHIBA G83c00018610 laptop keyboard

usually lasting from May to September. Tashkent can be extremely hot during the months of July and August. The city also sees very little precipitation during the summer, particularly from June through September. ASUS F81 laptop keyboard

At 1983, the population of Tashkent amounted 1.902.000 people living in a municipal area of 256 km2 (99 sq mi). At 1991, the number of permanent residents of the capital had been growth to approximately 2,136.600. TOSHIBA PK130260100 Laptop Keyboard

Tashkent was the fourth most populated city in the former USSR, after Moscow, Leningrad (St. Petersburg) and Kiev). Nowadays, Tashkent maintains the status of the fourth most populous city in the space of the CIS and Baltic countries. The resident population of Tashkent on 1 January 2012 accounted to 2,309,300 people (there are unofficial estimates, taking into account the temporary migrants,  Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

who could be from 1.0 to 1.2 million people) As of 2008, the national structure of Tashkent was as follows: Astana (Russian/Kazakh: Астана, formerly known as Akmola (Kazakh: Ақмола / Aqmola) until 1998, Tselinograd(Russian: Целиноград) until 1992 and Akmolinsk (Russian: Акмолинск) until 1961), Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

has been the capital of Kazakhstan since 1997, and is the country's second largest city (after Almaty, the former capital) with an officially estimated population of 775,800 as of 21 June 2012.[3] It is located in the north portion of Kazakhstan, within Akmola Province, though administrated separately from the province as a federal city area. DELL Vostro 3550 Laptop Keyboard

The current mayor of Astana is Imangali Tasmagambetov. He was appointed on 4 April 2008.

The word Astana in Kazakh literally means Capital but the word itself originates from Persian Astane (Persian: آستانه‎ means "sublime threshold", "royal porte" implying a royal capital city or a holy shrine town, Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

 (from the Persian verb Istadan (آستان) 'to stand' (in respect)), and literally means "threshold" (royal or sacred, where people stand in respect or awe),[citation needed] implying where the court is seated (the capital city) or the body of a sacred person is interred (a shrine town). The city of Turkestan in Kazakhstan that hosts the body of the saint Ahmad Yasavi is also called the "astana" as is the city of Mashhad in Iran that is the burial place of the 8th Shiite Imam Reza. IBM Lenovo Thinkpad X201 Laptop Keyboard

In fact, long before becoming the new capital of Kazakhstan, the city was "an astana", a burial ground of a saint, hence the old name of the city, Ak Mola (Ақмола), "white mausoleum".

In June 2008, a parliamentary proposal was put forward to change the city's name to "Nursultan", in honor ofPresident Nursultan Nazarbayev. ACER 9J.N9482.11B Laptop Keyboard

The idea was rejected by Nazarbayev himself, who said the decision of renaming the city will be for future generations.[4]Despite this,[5] some commentators think that the generic name Astana was deliberately chosen so that it would be renamed in honour of Nazarbayev after his death. HP Pavilion dv4-1070ee Laptop Keyboard

A unit of Siberian Cossacks from Omsk founded a huge fortress on the upper Ishim in 1824, which later became the town of "Akmolinsk". During the early 20th century, the town became a major railway junction, causing a major economic boom that lasted until the Russian Civil War. HP 576835-001 Laptop Keyboard

In the Stalinist era, Kazakhstan hosted a series of Gulag-like labour camps; in total, 11 camps that housed up to hundreds of thousands of internees and their families. Outside Astana, there once stood the ALZHIR camp, a Russian acronym for the Akmolinskii Camp for Wives of Traitors of the Motherland, one of the most notorious in the Gulag archipelago, which was reserved for the spouses of those considered "enemies of the people" by the government under Joseph Stalin.[6]

In 1961, TOSHIBA Satellite L775D-S7340 Laptop Keyboard

it was renamed "Tselinograd" ("Virgin Lands City"[7]) and made capital of the Soviet Virgin Lands Territory (Tselinny Krai). The city was at the centre of the Virgin Lands Campaign led by Nikita Khrushchev in the 1950s, in order to turn the state into a second grain producer for the Soviet Union. HP 608558-001 Laptop Keyboard

Additionally, many Russian-Germans were resettled here after being deported under Joseph Stalin at the beginning of World War II, when Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union.

After Kazakhstan became independent in 1990, the city and the region were renamed "Akmola", literally meaning "White Temple". SONY KFRMBA151B Laptop Keyboard

In 1995, the city was designated as the future capital of the newly-independent country, and the capital was officially moved from Almaty on December 10, 1997.[7] The new name, Astana, was bestowed in 1998.[8] HP 640436-001 Laptop Keyboard

Government officials cited several problems with keeping the capital in Almaty, such as the city's risk of seismic activity, insufficient room for expansion, and proximity to international borders.[9] Additionally, parts of northern Kazakhstan are populated primarily by ethnic Russians, which raised fears of possible irredentist activity. Moving the capital to this area may have been an attempt to anchor it more closely with the rest of the country.[9] Lenovo 3000 Y500 Laptop Keyboard

To some Kazakhs, the move remains controversial. Critics cite the city's isolated location in the center of the Kazakh steppeand the forbidding climate in winter.[10] Financially, some resent the massive expenditure of public funds to build the new government complexes, as well as the continuing cost of airfare and hotel expenses for the many government workers who still live in Almaty.[11] DELL Inspiron 500m Laptop Keyboard

Astana is the second coldest capital city in the world after Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, a position formerly held by Canada's capital, Ottawa, until Astana attained capital city status in 1998. Astana has an extreme continental climate with warm summers (featuring occasional brief rain showers) and long, very cold, dry winters. HP Pavilion dm1-1010st Laptop Keyboard

Summer temperatures occasionally reach35 °C (95 °F) while −30 °C (−22 °F) to −35 °C (−31 °F) is not unusual between mid-December and early March. The city also holds the record for the lowest air temperature ever recorded in Kazakhstan (-51°C). Typically, the city's river freezes over between the second week of November and the beginning of April. Astana has a well deserved reputation among Kazakhstanis for its frequent high winds, ASUS F6A Laptop Keyboard

 the effects of which are felt particularly strongly on the fast-developing but relatively exposed Left Bank area of the city.

Overall, Astana has a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfb),[13] bordering on a semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification BSk). The average annual temperature in Astana is 3.5 °C (38.3 °F). January is the coldest month with an average temperature of −14.2 °C (6 °F). July is the hottest month with an average temperature of 20.8 °C(69 °F). SONY 148024421 Laptop Keyboard

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As of July 1, 2010, Astana has a population density of 958 people per square kilometre and a population of about 705,897,[1][16] of which Kazakhs, Russians, Ukrainians, Tatars and Germans make up 65.2%, 23.8%, 2.9%, 1.7%, 1.5% respectively. Other ethnic groups make up 4.9% of Astana's population.[citation needed] HP Envy 17-2077ez Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

In 1999, Astana had a population of 281,000. The ethnic mix was about 30% Kazakh and 70% Russian, Ukrainian and German.[17]

By 2007, Astana's population has more than doubled since the move, to over 600,000, and it is estimated to top 1 million by 2030. Migrant workers – legal and illegal – have been attracted from across Kazakhstan and neighboring states such as Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, and Astana is a magnet for young professionals seeking to build a career. HP Envy 17-1190nr Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

This has changed the city's demographics, bringing more ethnic Kazakhs to a city that formerly had a Slav majority. Astana's ethnic Kazakh population has risen to some 60%, up from 17% in 1989.[16] Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 laptop keyboard

Many[who?] argue that a drive to attract ethnic Kazakhs northward was the key factor in shifting the capital, which was officially put down to lack of space for expansion in the former capital, Almaty, and its location in an earthquake zone. TOSHIBA Satellite L505D-ES5025 laptop keyboard

According to preliminary figures, Astana had 700,000 inhabitants in late 2007.[18] Kazakhstani official statistical service estimates city population 691,529 (1 March 2010[19]). According to the 1999 Census, 40.5% of the population is Russian, 5.7% Ukrainian, 3.0% German, 2.6% Tatar, 1.8% Belorussian and 0.8% Polish. But at 41.8%, Kazakhs outnumbered Russians and were forming the largest ethnic group, while Ingush and Korean each accounted for 0.6%. Others, mostly Uzbeks, accounted for 3.8%.HP G72-a10SA laptop keyboard

North of the railway line, which crosses Astana in an east-west direction, are industrial and poorer residential areas. Between the railway line and the river Ishim is the city center, where at present intense building activity is occurring. To the west and east are more elevated residential areas with parks and the new area of government administration to the south of the Ishim. Here many large building projects are underway; HP Pavilion dv6-2030ev laptop keyboard

for example, the construction of a diplomatic quarter, and a variety of different government buildings. By 2030, these quarters are to be completed. The original plans for the new Astana were drawn up by the late Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa. Astana's current chief planner, Vladimir Laptev, wants to build a Berlin in a Eurasian style. He has stated that a purely administrative capital such as Canberra is not one of his goals. Lenovo 04W0872 laptop keyboard

The pyramid has been conceived and designed by architect Sir Norman Foster and engineers Buro Happold and inaugurated in September 2006. It contains accommodations for different religions: Judaism, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, DELL 0RT129 laptop keyboard

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Daoismand other faiths. It also houses a 1,500- seat opera house, a national museum of culture, a new “university of civilization”, a library and a research center for Kazakhstan’s ethnic and geographical groups. This diversity is unified within the pure form of a pyramid, 62 meters high with a 62 x 62-meter base. The building is conceived as a global center for religious understanding, TOSHIBA PK130260100 laptop keyboard

the renunciation of violence and the promotion of faith and human equality. The Pyramid of Peace expresses the spirit of Kazakhstan, where cultures, traditions and representatives of various nationalities coexist in peace, harmony and accord. HP Mini 311-1000NR laptop keyboard

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; Height: 77 m (252.62 ft)p total area: 25,500 sq.m.; Accommodates: Opera Hall for 1,500 seats, The Museum of National History, The Research Center of World Religions, Library of Spiritual Religious Literature, Exhibition and conference rooms [21] SONY KFRMBA151B laptop keyboard

The Concert Hall has been conceived and designed by Italian architect Manfredi Nicoletti as a result of an International Competition and inaugurated by president Nursultan Nazarbayev in December 2009. The building shape is reminiscent of the petals of a flower. These "petals" create an imposing envelope which encloses and protects all the functions from the extreme climatic conditions of Astana. TOSHIBA Satellite M40x Series laptop keyboard

It houses one of world’s biggest Concert Halls for classical music with a total of 3,500 seats in vineyard conformation, two small music, cinema and conference halls with 400 and 200 seats each, restaurants, bars and a lobby of about 3000sqm. The main music hall has been designed to adapt to all kind of performances such as classical, pop and traditional music concerts, theatre, ballet, conferences and cinema, SONY Vaio VGN-FW100 laptop keyboard

by means of a special false ceiling design and a system of acoustic curtains. The building is approximately 200m long and rises up to 40m high for a total of 55.000sqm. The structure of the external wall (the “petals”) are reinforced concrete. The external cladding is done with blue back-painted transparent glass panels inspired by the colour of the Kazakhstan flag. HP Pavilion dv3-2320es Laptop Keyboard

Astana is home to FC Astana and FC Astana-64, of which the latter won the national championship in 2000, 2001 and 2006. The city is also home to the Astana Tigers basketball team who successfully took the 2004/2005 season title, as well as Barys Astana of the Kontinental Hockey League. In addition, Lenovo 63Y0047 Laptop Keyboard

Astana has a professional cycling team. They participated in the 2007 Tour de France wearing uniforms in Kazakhstani national colors, but were excluded during the race after the failed test of Alexander Vinokourov for illegal doping practises, and was banned from the 2008 race.[23] Astana returned to the Tour de France in 2009 and won the overall Team Classification, DELL Vostro 3450 Laptop Keyboard

with Alberto Contador and Lance Armstrong finishing first and third respectively. In 2010 Contador again won the Tour de France with the Astana team, but announced in August 2010 that he would be leaving the Astana team to join the Sunguard-SaxoBank team in 2011.

A bandy team by the name of Dynamo-Astana has been formed, and an indoor bandy arena is being built for Dynamo.[24] TOSHIBA Satellite A110 Series Laptop Keyboard

The 2011 Asian Winter Games were partly held in the capital.

Bishkek (in Kyrgyz and Russian: Бишкéк), formerly Pishpek and Frunze, is the capital and the largest city ofKyrgyzstan. ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

The name is thought to derive from a Kyrgyz word for a churn used to make fermented mare's milk (kumis), the Kyrgyz national drink. Founded in 1825 as the Kyrgyz-Khokand fortress of "Bishkek", then, in 1862, named as the Russian fortress Pishpek (крепость Пишпек),[4] in 1926 the city was renamed Frunze (Фрунзе), after theBolshevik military leader Mikhail Frunze. In 1991, the Kyrgyz parliament restored the city's historical name. HP Pavilion dv6-3035sl Laptop Keyboard

Bishkek is situated at about 800 metres (2,600 ft) altitude just off the northern fringe of the Kyrgyz Ala-Too range, an extension of the Tian Shan mountain range, which rises up to 4,855 metres (15,928 ft) and provides a spectacular backdrop to the city. North of the city, a fertile and gently undulating steppe extends far north into neighboringKazakhstan. The Chui River drains most of the area. Bishkek is connected to the Turkestan-Siberia Railway by a spur line. HP Pavilion DV7-4053 Laptop Keyboard

Bishkek is a city of wide boulevards and marble-faced public buildings combined with numerous Soviet-style apartment blocks surrounding interior courtyards and, especially outside the city centre, thousands of smaller privately built houses. It is laid out on a grid pattern, with most streets flanked on both sides by narrow irrigation channels that water the innumerable trees which provide shade in the hot summers. SONY VAIO VPCF126FM Laptop Keyboard

Originally a caravan rest stop (possibly founded by the Sogdians) on one of the branches of the Silk Road through theTian Shan range, the location was fortified in 1825 by the Uzbek khan of Kokhand with a mud fort. Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

In 1862, the fort was conquered and razed when Tsarist Russia annexed the area. The Russians rebuilt the town over the destroyed fort. The site became a Russian garrison and was redeveloped and named "Pishpek" from 1877 onward by the Russian government, which encouraged the settlement of Russian peasants by giving them fertile black soil farms to develop. In 1926, SONY VAIO VGN-N21S/W Laptop Keyboard

the city became the capital of the newly established Kirghiz ASSR and was renamed "Frunze" afterMikhail Frunze, Lenin's close associate who was born in Bishkek and played key roles during the 1905 and 1917 revolutions and during the Russian civil war of the early 1920s.

The early 1990s were tumultuous. DELL Vostro 1510 Laptop Keyboard

In June 1990, a state of emergency was declared following severe riots in southern Kyrgyzstan which threatened to spread to the capital. The city was renamed Bishkek on 5 February 1991 and Kyrgyzstan achieved independence later that year during the breakup of the Soviet Union. Before independence, Bishkek was a "Russified" city, the majority of its population being ethnic Russians. In 2004, Russians made up approximately 20% of the city's population (only about 7–8% in 2011).[5][dead link] Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

Today, Bishkek is a modernizing city, with many restaurants and cafes and lots of second-hand European and Japanese cars and minibuses crowding its streets. But streets and sidewalks have fallen into disrepair since the Russians started rapidly leaving in the 90s. At the same time Bishkek still preserves its former Soviet feel, with Soviet-period buildings and gardens prevailing over newer structures. Lenovo 0A62075 Laptop Keyboard

Bishkek is also the country's financial centre, with all of the country's 21 commercial banks featuring offices in the city. During the Soviet era, the city was home to a large number of industrial plants, but most have been shut down after 1991 or operate today on a much reduced scale. One of Bishkek's largest employment centres today is Dordoy Bazaar, which is one of the major entrepôts for Chinese goods imported into CIS countries. SONY VAIO VGN-CR210EL Laptop Keyboard

Though the city is relatively young, the surrounding area has some sites of interest dating from prehistory, the Greco-Buddhist period, the period of Nestorian influence, the era of the Central Asian khanates, and the Soviet period. DELL Vostro 1015 Laptop Keyboard

The central part of the city is primarily built on a rectangular grid plan. The city's main street is the east-west Chui Avenue (Chuy Prospekti), named after the region's main river. In the Soviet era, it was called Lenin Avenue. Along, or within a block or two from it, many of the most important government buildings, universities, the Academy of Sciencescompound, and so on, are to be found. The westernmost section of the avenue is known as Deng Xiaoping Avenue. HP 608558-001 Laptop Keyboard

The main north-south axis is Yusup Abdrakhmanov Street, still (2007) commonly referred to by its old name, Sovietskaya Street. Its northern and southern sections are called, respectively, Yelebesov and Baityk Batyr Streets. Several major shopping centres are located along it, and in the north it provides access to Dordoy Bazaar.

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In the past, it was called Dzerzhinsky Boulevard—named after Communist revolutionary, Felix Dzerzhinsky—and its northern continuation is still called Dzerzhinsky Street.

An important east-west street is Jibek Jolu ('Silk Road'). It runs parallel to Chui Avenue about a mile north of it, and is part of the main east-west road of Chui Province. Both the Eastern and Western bus terminals are located along Jibek Jolu. ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

There is a Roman Catholic church located at ul. Vasiljeva 197 (near Rynok Bayat). This is the only Catholic Cathedral in Kyrgyzstan.[6]

Bishkek uses the Kyrgyzstan currency, the som. The som's value fluctuates regularly, but averages around 47 som per U.S. Dollar as of March 2011. The economy in Bishkek is primarily agricultural with the mass amounts of fruits, vegetables and livestock providing a co-existing system of bartering in the outlying regions. TOSHIBA Satellite Pro C650-EZ1515D laptop keyboard

The streets of Bishkek are regularly lined with produce vendors in a market style venue. In the major portions of downtown there is a more urban cityscape with banks, stores, markets and malls. The most sought after of the goods are the prevalent hand-crafted artisan pieces; these include statues, carvings, paintings and many nature based sculptures. HP Pavilion dv6-2135ev laptop keyboard

Local government is administered by the Bishkek Mayor's Office. Askarbek Salymbekov was mayor until his resignation in August 2005, following which his deputy Arstanbek Nogoev took over the mayorship. Nogoev was in turn removed from his position in October 2007 through a decree of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev and replaced by businessman and former first deputy prime minister Daniar Usenov.[21][22][23] SONY N860-7676-T101 laptop keyboard

In July 2008 former head of the Kyrgyz Railways Nariman Tuleyev was appointed mayor, who was dismissed by the interim government after 7 April 2010. Now interim mayor is Isa Omurkulov, also a former head of the Kyrgyz Railways.[24] HP Pavilion dv6-2140ef laptop keyboard

There are two main bus stations in Bishkek. The smaller old Eastern Bus Station is primarily the terminal for minibuses to various destinations within or just beyond the eastern suburbs, such as Kant, Kyrgyzstan, Tokmok, Kemin, Issyk Ata, or theKorday border crossing.

Long-distance regular bus and minibus services to all parts of the country, as well as to Almaty (the largest city in neighboring Kazakhstan) and Kashgar, China, HP Pavilion dv6-2135ev laptop keyboard

run mostly from the newer grand Western Bus Station; only a smaller minority of them runs from the Eastern Station.

The Dordoy Bazaar on the north-eastern outskirts of the city also contains makeshift terminals for frequent minibuses to suburban towns in all directions (from Sokuluk in the west to Tokmak in the east) and to some buses taking traders to Kazakhstan and Siberia. SONY VAIO VGN-AR230G laptop keyboard

Bishkek is home to Spartak, the biggest football stadium in Kyrgyzstan and the only one eligible to host international matches.[25] Several Bishkek-based football teams play on this pitch, including six-time Kyrgyzstan League champions, Dordoi-Dynamo.

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Alex Kantrowitz (Russian man), originally from Bishkek, is a noted Olympic swimmer for the Czech Republic.

There are also long-distance trains that leave for Siberia (Novosibirsk and Novokuznetsk), via Almaty, over the Turksibroute, and to Yekaterinburg (Sverdlovsk) in the Urals, via Astana. These services are remarkably slow (over 48 hours to Yekaterinburg), DELL NSK-D8001 Laptop Keyboard

due to long stops at the border and the indirect route (the trains first have to go west for more than a 100 kilometres (62 mi) before they enter the main Turksib line and can continue to the east or north). For example, as of the fall of 2008, train No. 305 Bishkek-Yekaterinburg was scheduled to take 11 hours to reach the Shu junction—a distance of some 269 kilometres (167 mi) by rail, and less than half of that by road.[39] DELL Inspiron 1526 Laptop Keyboard

The city is served by Manas International Airport (IATA code FRU), located approximately 25 kilometres (16 mi) northwest of the city centre, and readily reachable by taxi.

In 2002, Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

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the United States obtained the right to use Manas International Airport as an air base for its military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. Russia subsequently (2003) established an air base of its own (Kant Air Base) near Kant some 20 kilometres (12 mi) east of Bishkek. It is based at a facility that used to be home to a major Soviet military pilot training school; one of its students, Hosni Mubarak, later became president of Egypt. DELL Precision M4500 Laptop Keyboard

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Soviet Union

On 28 December 1922, a conference of plenipotentiary delegations from the Russian SFSR, the Transcaucasian SFSR, the Ukrainian SSR and the Byelorussian SSRapproved the Treaty of Creation of the USSR[16] and the Declaration of the Creation of the USSR, forming the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.[17] IBM ThinkPad T40-2374 laptop keyboard

These two documents were confirmed by the 1st Congress of Soviets of the USSR and signed by the heads of the delegations,[18] Mikhail Kalinin, Mikhail Tskhakaya, Mikhail Frunze, Grigory Petrovsky, and Aleksandr Chervyakov,[19] on 30 December 1922.

On 1 February 1924, the USSR was recognized by the British Empire. The same year, a Soviet Constitution was approved, legitimizing the December 1922 union. TOSHIBA Satellite L505-S6946 laptop keyboard

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An intensive restructuring of the economy, industry and politics of the country began in the early days of Soviet power in 1917. A large part of this was done according to the Bolshevik Initial Decrees, government documents signed by Vladimir Lenin. One of the most prominent breakthroughs was the GOELRO plan, which envisioned a major restructuring of the Soviet economy based on total electrification of the country. TOSHIBA Satellite l20-c430 laptop keyboard

The plan was developed in 1920 and covered a 10-to 15-year period. It included construction of a network of 30 regional power plants, including ten large hydroelectric power plants, and numerous electric-powered large industrial enterprises.[20] The plan became the prototype for subsequent Five-Year Plans and was fulfilled by 1931.[21] SONY Vaio PCG-K415B Laptop Keyboard

From its creation, the government in the Soviet Union was based on the one-party rule of the Communist Party (Bolsheviks).[22] After the economic policy of "War Communism" during the Russian Civil War, as a prelude to fully developingsocialism in the country, the Soviet government permitted some private enterprise to coexist alongside nationalized industry in the 1920s and total food requisition in the countryside was replaced by a food tax (see New Economic Policy).  IBM Lenovo ThinkPad X300 Laptop Keyboard

The stated purpose of the one-party state was to ensure that capitalist exploitation would not return to the Soviet Union and that the principles of Democratic Centralism would be most effective in representing the people's will in a practical manner. Debate over the future of the economy provided the background for a power struggle in the years after Lenin's death in 1924. Initially, Lenin was to be replaced by a "troika" consisting of Grigory Zinoviev of Ukraine, Lev Kamenev of Moscow, andJoseph Stalin of Georgia. Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

On 3 April 1922, Stalin was named the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Lenin had appointed Stalin the head of the Workers' and Peasants' Inspectorate, which gave Stalin considerable power. COMPAQ Presario C700 Laptop Keyboard

By gradually consolidating his influence and isolating and outmaneuvering his rivals within the party, Stalin became the undisputed leader of the Soviet Union and, by the end of the 1920s, established totalitarian rule. In October 1927, Grigory Zinoviev and Leon Trotsky were expelled from the Central Committee and forced into exile. ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

In 1928, Stalin introduced the First Five-Year Plan for building a socialist economy. While encompassing the internationalismexpressed by Lenin throughout the Revolution, it also aimed to build socialism in one country. In industry, DELL Vostro PP37L Laptop Keyboard

the state assumed control over all existing enterprises and undertook an intensive program of industrialization. In agriculture, rather than adhering to the "lead by example" policy advocated by Lenin,[23] forced collectivisation of farms was implemented all over the country.

Famines ensued, causing millions of deaths; surviving kulaks were persecuted and many sent to Gulags to do forced labour.[24]Social upheaval continued in the mid-1930s. ACER NSK-H361D Laptop Keyboard

Stalin's Great Purge resulted in the execution or detainment of many "Old Bolsheviks" who had participated in the October Revolution with Lenin. According to declassified Soviet archives, in 1937 and 1938, the NKVD arrested more than one and a half million people, of whom 681,692 were shot – an average of 1,000 executions a day.[25] Lenovo 3000 Y500 Laptop Keyboard

The excess deaths during the 1930s as a whole were in the range of 10–11 million.[26] Yet despite the turmoil of the mid-to-late 1930s, the Soviet Union developed a powerful industrial economy in the years before World War II. DELL Vostro 3450 Laptop Keyboard

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The early 1930s saw closer cooperation between the West and the USSR. From 1932 to 1934, the Soviet Union participated in the World Disarmament Conference. In 1933, diplomatic relations between the United States and the USSR were established when in November, the newly elected President of the United States, TOSHIBA NSK-TK001 Laptop Keyboard

Franklin D. Roosevelt chose to formally recognize Stalin's Communist government and negotiated a new trade agreement between the two nations.[27] In September 1934, the Soviet Union joined the League of Nations. After the Spanish Civil War broke out in 1936, the USSR actively supported the Republican forces against theNationalists, who were supported by Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany.  Lenovo 63Y0047 Laptop Keyboard

In December 1936, Stalin unveiled a new Soviet Constitution. The constitution was seen as a personal triumph for Stalin, who on this occasion was described byPravda as a "genius of the new world, the wisest man of the epoch, the great leader of communism." By contrast, Western historians and historians from former Soviet occupied countries have viewed the constitution as a meaningless propaganda document. HP Pavilion DV6-1000 Laptop Keyboard

The late 1930s saw a shift towards the Axis powers. In 1938, after the United Kingdom and France had concluded the Munich Agreement with Germany, the USSR dealt with the Nazis as well, both militarily and economically during extensive talks. The two countries concluded the German–Soviet Nonaggression Pact and theGerman–Soviet Commercial Agreement. The nonaggression pact made possible Soviet occupation of Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Bessarabia, northern Bukovina, HP V061130AS1 Laptop Keyboard

andeastern Poland. In late November of the same year, unable to coerce the Republic of Finland by diplomatic means into moving its border 25 kilometres (16 mi) back from Leningrad, Joseph Stalin ordered the invasion of Finland. HP Envy 15 Laptop Keyboard

In the east, the Soviet military won several decisive victories during border clashes with the Japanese Empire in 1938 and 1939. However, in April 1941, USSR signed the Soviet–Japanese Neutrality Pact with the Empire of Japan, recognizing the territorial integrity of Manchukuo, a Japanese puppet state. HP 519265-001 Laptop Keyboard

Although it has been debated whether the Soviet Union intended to invade Germany once it was strong enough,[28] Germany itself broke the treaty and invaded the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941, starting what was known in the USSR as the "Great Patriotic War". The Red Army stopped the seemingly invincible German Army at the Battle of Moscow, HP 492991-001 Laptop Keyboard

aided by an unusually harsh winter. The Battle of Stalingrad, which lasted from late 1942 to early 1943, dealt a severe blow to the Germans from which they never fully recovered and became a turning point in the war. After Stalingrad, Soviet forces drove through Eastern Europe to Berlin before Germany surrendered in 1945. The German Army suffered 80% of its military deaths in the Eastern Front.[29] SAMSUNG N145 Laptop Keyboard

The same year, the USSR, in fulfillment of its agreement with the Allies at the Yalta Conference, denounced the Soviet–Japanese Neutrality Pact in April 1945[30] and invaded Manchukuo and other Japan-controlled territories on 9 August 1945.[31] This conflict ended with a decisive Soviet victory, Compaq Presario CQ42-228LA Laptop Keyboard

contributing to the unconditional surrender of Japan and the end of World War II.

The Soviet Union suffered greatly in the war, losing around 27 million people.[32] Despite this, it emerged as a superpower in the post-war period. Once denied diplomatic recognition by the Western world, the Soviet Union had official relations with practically every nation by the late 1940s. DELL Latitude D620 Laptop Keyboard

A member of the United Nations at its foundation in 1945, the Soviet Union became one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, which gave it the right to veto any of its resolutions (seeSoviet Union and the United Nations). ACER Aspire 4743 Series Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

The Soviet Union maintained its status as one of the world's two superpowers for four decades through its hegemony in Eastern Europe, military strength, economic strength, aid to developing countries, and scientific research, especially in space technology and weaponry.

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Stalin died on 5 March 1953. Without a mutually agreeable successor, the highest Communist Party officials opted to rule the Soviet Union jointly. Nikita Khrushchev, who had won the power struggle by the mid-1950s, Lenovo Thinkpad T520 laptop keyboard

denounced Stalin's use of repression in 1956 and eased repressive controls over party and society. This was known as de-Stalinization.

Moscow considered Eastern Europe to be a buffer zone for the forward defense of its western borders, and ensured its control of the region by transforming the Eastern European countries into satellite states. Soviet military force was used to suppress anti-Stalinist uprisings in Hungary and Poland in 1956. TOSHIBA Satellite U205-s5044 laptop keyboard

In the late 1950s, a confrontation with China regarding the USSR's rapprochement with the West and what Mao Zedong perceived as Khrushchev's revisionism led to the Sino–Soviet split. This resulted in a break throughout the global Communist movement, with Communist regimes in Albania, Cambodia and Somalia choosing to ally with China in place of the USSR. TOSHIBA NB100 laptop keyboard

During this period, the Soviet Union continued to realize scientific and technological exploits: Launching the first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1 in 1957; a living dog, Laika in 1957; the first human being, Yuri Gagarin in 1961; the first woman in space, Valentina Tereshkova in 1963; Alexey Leonov, the first person to walk in space in 1965; the first soft landing on moon by spacecraft Luna 9 in 1966 and the first moon rovers, Lunokhod 1 and Lunokhod 2.[34] HP Pavilion ze5200 laptop keyboard

Khrushchev initiated "The Thaw" (better known as Khrushchev's Thaw), a complex shift in political, cultural and economic life in the Soviet Union. This included some openness and contact with other nations and new social and economic policies with more emphasis on commodity goods, allowing living standards to rise dramatically while maintaining high levels of economic growth. Censorship was relaxed as well. HP Pavilion DV6-1000 laptop keyboard

Khrushchev's reforms in agriculture and administration, however, were generally unproductive. In 1962, he precipitated a crisis with the United States over the Soviet deployment of nuclear missiles in Cuba. An agreement was made between the Soviet Union and the United States to remove enemy nuclear missiles from both Cuba and Turkey, concluding the crisis. This event caused Khrushchev much embarrassment and loss of prestige, resulting in his removal from power in 1964. Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 laptop keyboard

Following the ousting of Khrushchev, another period of collective leadership ensued, consisting of Leonid Brezhnev as General Secretary, Alexei Kosygin as Premier and Nikolai Podgorny as Chairman of the Presidium, lasting until Brezhnev established himself in the early 1970s as the preeminent Soviet leader. In 1968, the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact allies invadedCzechoslovakia to halt the Prague Spring reforms. HP Pavilion DV6-1128el laptop keyboard

Two developments dominated the decade that followed: the increasingly apparent crumbling of the Soviet Union's economic and political structures, and the patchwork attempts at reforms to reverse that process. Kenneth S. COMPAQ Presario V6106AU laptop keyboard

Deffeyes argued in Beyond Oil that the Reagan administration encouraged Saudi Arabia to lower the price of oil to the point where the Soviets could not make a profit selling their oil, so that the USSR's hard currencyreserves became depleted.[35] SONY A1565184C laptop keyboard

Brezhnev's next two successors, transitional figures with deep roots in his tradition, did not last long. Yuri Andropov was 68 years old and Konstantin Chernenko 72 when they assumed power; both died in less than two years. In an attempt to avoid a third short-lived leader, in 1985, the Soviets turned to the next generation and selected Mikhail Gorbachev. HP 550 Laptop Keyboard

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Brezhnev presided over a period of détente with the West (see SALT I, SALT II, Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty) while at the same time building up Soviet military might.

In October 1977, the third Soviet Constitution was unanimously adopted. The prevailing mood of the Soviet leadership at the time of Brezhnev's death in 1982 was one of aversion to change. The long period of Brezhnev's rule had come to be dubbed one of "standstill", with an aging and ossified top political leadership. TOSHIBA Satellite P300 Laptop Keyboard

Gorbachev made significant changes in the economy and party leadership, calledperestroika. His policy of glasnost freed public access to information after decades of heavy government censorship.  HP Pavilion DV6-1030us Laptop Keyboard

Gorbachev also moved to end the Cold War. In 1988, the Soviet Union abandoned its nine-year war in Afghanistan and began to withdraw its forces. In the late 1980s, he refused military support to the Soviet Union's former satellite states, resulting in the toppling of multiple communist regimes. With the tearing down of the Berlin Wall and with East Germany and West Germany pursuing unification, the Iron Curtain came down.  ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

In the late 1980s, the constituent republics of the Soviet Union started legal moves towards potentially declaringsovereignty over their territories, citing Article 72 of the USSR constitution, which stated that any constituent republic was free to secede.[36] On 7 April 1990, a law was passed allowing a republic to secede if more than two-thirds of its residents voted for it in a referendum.[37] TOSHIBA Satellite L750-ST4N02 Laptop Keyboard

Many held their first free elections in the Soviet era for their own national legislatures in 1990. Many of these legislatures proceeded to produce legislation contradicting the Union laws in what was known as the "War of Laws".TOSHIBA Satellite A300 Laptop Keyboard

In 1989, the Russian SFSR, which was then the largest constituent republic (with about half of the population) convened a newly elected Congress of People's Deputies. Boris Yeltsin was elected its chairman. On 12 June 1990, the Congress declared Russia's sovereignty over its territory and proceeded to pass laws that attempted to supersede some of the USSR's laws. The period of legal uncertainty continued throughout 1991 as constituent republics slowly became de facto independent. HP AESP7U00110 Laptop Keyboard

A referendum for the preservation of the USSR was held on 17 March 1991, with the majority of the population voting for preservation of the Union in nine out of the 15 republics. The referendum gave Gorbachev a minor boost. In the summer of 1991, the New Union Treaty, which would have turned the Soviet Union into a much looser Union, was agreed upon by eight republics. HP G72-b67CA Laptop Keyboard

The signing of the treaty, however, was interrupted by the August Coup—an attempted coup d'état by hardline members of the government and the KGB who sought to reverse Gorbachev's reforms and reassert the central government's control over the republics. After the coup collapsed, Yeltsin was seen as a hero for his decisive actions, while Gorbachev's power was effectively ended. DELL INSPIRON 1464 Laptop Keyboard

The balance of power tipped significantly towards the republics. In August 1991, Latvia and Estonia immediately declared the restoration of their full independence (following Lithuania's 1990 example), while the other twelve republics continued discussing new, increasingly looser, models of the Union. SONY KFRMBA151B Laptop Keyboard

On 8 December 1991, the presidents of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus signed the Belavezha Accords, which declared the Soviet Union dissolved and established the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) in its place. While doubts remained over the authority of the accords to do this, on 21 December 1991, the representatives of all Soviet republics except Georgia signed the Alma-Ata Protocol, which confirmed the accords.  Lenovo 3000 N200 Laptop Keyboard

On 25 December 1991, Gorbachev yielded to the inevitable and resigned as the President of the USSR, declaring the office extinct. He turned the powers that had been vested in the presidency over to Yeltsin, the President of Russia. HP G62-361TX Laptop Keyboard

The following day, the Supreme Soviet, the highest governmental body of the Soviet Union, dissolved itself. This is generally recognized as marking the official, final dissolution of the Soviet Union as a functioning state. The Soviet Army remained in place in the early months of 1992, but was thereafter absorbed into the different military forces of the newly independent states. SONY VAIO PCG-792L Laptop Keyboard

Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union on 26 December 1991, Russia was internationally recognized[38] as its legal successor on the international stage. To that end, Russia voluntarily accepted all Soviet foreign debt and claimed overseas Soviet properties as its own. Under the 1992 Lisbon Protocol, Russia also agreed to receive all nuclear weapons remaining in the territory of other former Soviet republics. Since then, the Russian Federation has assumed the Soviet Union's rights and obligations. SONY VAIO VGN-AW15G Laptop Keyboard

Post-Soviet States

The analysis of the succession of states with respect to the 15 post-Soviet states is complex. The Russian Federation is seen as the continuator state and is for most purposes the heir to the Soviet Union, retaining ownership of all former Soviet embassy properties and UN Security Council seat.[39] IBM Lenovo Thinkpad X201 Laptop Keyboard

The Baltic statesare not successor states to the Soviet Union;[40] they are considered to have de jure continuity with their pre-World War Two governments through the non-recognition of the original Soviet incorporation in 1940.[39] The other 11 post-Soviet states are considered newly independent successor states to the Soviet Union.[39] Compaq Presario CQ71-310SB laptop keyboard

At the top of the Communist Party was the Central Committee, elected at Party Congresses and Conferences. The Central Committee in turn voted for a Politburo (called the Presidium between 1952–1966), Secretariat and the General Secretary (First Secretary from 1953 to 1966), the de facto highest office in the USSR.[42] HP Pavilion dv6-2030ev laptop keyboard

Depending on the degree of power consolidation, it was either the Politburo as a collective body or the General Secretary, who always was one of the Politburo members, that effectively led the party and the country[43] (except for the period of the highly personalized authority of Stalin, exercised directly through his position in the Council of Ministers rather than the Politburo after 1941).[44] HP G71-329WM laptop keyboard

They were not controlled by the general party membership, as the key principle of the party organization was democratic centralism, demanding strict subordination to higher bodies, and elections went uncontested, endorsing the candidates proposed from above.[45] HP Pavilion dv5-1215ee laptop keyboard

The Communist Party maintained its dominance over the state largely through its control over the system of appointments. All senior government officials and most deputies of the Supreme Soviet were members of the CPSU. Of the party heads themselves, Stalin in 1941–1953 and Khrushchev in 1958–1964 were Premiers. Upon the forced retirement of Khrushchev, the party leader was prohibited from this kind of double membership,[46] TOSHIBA G83c00018610 laptop keyboard

but the later General Secretaries for at least some part of their tenure occupied the largely ceremonial position of Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, the nominal head of state. The institutions at lower levels were overseen and at times supplanted by primary party organizations.[47] ASUS F81 laptop keyboard

In practice, however, the degree of control the party was able to exercise over the state bureaucracy, particularly after the death of Stalin, was far from total, with the bureaucracy pursuing different interests that were at times in conflict with the party.[48] Nor was the party itself monolithic from top to bottom, HP Pavilion DV4305US laptop keyboard

although factions were officially banned.[49]

The Supreme Soviet (successor of the Congress of Soviets and Central Executive Committee) was nominally the highest state body for most of the Soviet history,[50] at first acting as a rubber stamp institution, approving and implementing all decisions made by the party. However, the powers and functions of the Supreme Soviet were extended in the late 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, including the creation of new state commissions and committees. TOSHIBA Satellite U205 laptop keyboard

It gained additional powers when it came to the approval of the Five-Year Plans and the Soviet state budget.[51] The Supreme Soviet elected a Presidium to wield its power between plenary sessions,[52] ordinarily held twice a year, and appointed the Supreme Court,[53] the Procurator General[54]and the Council of Ministers (known before 1946 as the Council of People's Commissars), HP AETT3U00010 laptop keyboard

headed by the Chairman (Premier) and managing an enormous bureaucracy responsible for the administration of the economy and society.[52] State and party structures of the constituent republics largely emulated the structure of the central institutions, although the Russian SFSR, unlike the other constituent republics, Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 laptop keyboard

for most of its history had no republican branch of the CPSU, being ruled directly by the union-wide party until 1990. Local authorities were organized likewise into party committees, local Sovietsand executive committees. While the state system was nominally federal, the party was unitary.[55] FUJITSU Lifebook P7120D laptop keyboard

The state security police (the KGB and its predecessor agencies) played an important role in Soviet politics. It was instrumental in the Stalinist terror,[56] but after the death of Stalin, the state security police was brought under strict party control. Under Yuri Andropov, KGB chairman in 1967–1982 and General Secretary from 1982 to 1983, HP AESP7U00110 laptop keyboard

the KGB engaged in the suppression of political dissent and maintained an extensive network of informers, reasserting itself as a political actor to some extent independent of the party-state structure,[57] culminating in the anti-corruption campaign targeting high party officials in the late 1970s and early 1980s.[58] TOSHIBA KFRSBA064A laptop keyboard

The Soviet constitutions, which were promulgated in 1918, 1924, 1936 and 1977,[59] did not limit state power. No formal separation of powers existed between the Party, Supreme Soviet and Council of Ministers[60] that represented executive and legislative branches of the government. SAMSUNG NP-N145-JP02 laptop keyboard

Bitter and at times deadly power struggles took place in the Politburo after the deaths of Lenin[61] and Joseph Stalin,[62] as well as after Khrushchev's dismissal,[63] itself due to a decision by both the Politburo and the Central Committee.[64] All Soviet party leaders before Gorbachev died in office, except Georgy Malenkov[65] and Khrushchev, both dismissed from the party leadership amid internal struggle within the party.[64] SONY VAIO VGN-CS16G/Q Laptop Keyboard

Between 1988 and 1990, facing considerable opposition, Mikhail Gorbachev enacted reforms shifting power away from the highest bodies of the party and making the Supreme Soviet less dependent on them. The Congress of People's Deputies was established, the majority of whose members were directly elected in competitive elections held in March 1989. The Congress now elected the Supreme Soviet, Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

which became a full-time parliament, much stronger than before. For the first time since the 1920s, it refused to rubber stamp proposals from the party and Council of Ministers.[66] In 1990, Gorbachev introduced and assumed the position of thePresident of the Soviet Union, concentrated power in his executive office, HP Compaq NC8430 Laptop Keyboard

independent of the party, and subordinated the government,[67] now renamed the Cabinet of Ministers of the USSR, to himself.[68]

Tensions grew between the union-wide authorities under Gorbachev, reformists led in Russia by Boris Yeltsin and controlling the newly elected Supreme Soviet of the Russian SFSR, and Communist Party hardliners. On 19–21 August 1991, ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

a group of hardliners staged an abortive coup attempt. Following the failed coup, theState Council of the Soviet Union became the highest organ of state power "in the period of transition".[69] Gorbachev resigned as General Secretary, only remaining President for the final months of the existence of the USSR.[70] HP Probook 4510S Laptop Keyboard

Constitutionally, the Soviet Union was a union of Soviet Socialist Republics (SSRs) and the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR), although the rule of the highly centralized Communist Party made the union merely nominal.[41] The Treaty on the Creation of the USSR was signed in December 1922 by four founding republics, TOSHIBA Satellite L775D-S7340 Laptop Keyboard

the RSFSR, Transcaucasian SFSR, Ukrainian SSR and Belorussian SSR. In 1924, during the national delimitation in Central Asia, the Uzbek andTurkmen SSRs were formed from parts of the RSFSR's Turkestan ASSR and two Soviet dependencies, the Khorezm and Bukharan SSR. In 1929, the Tajik SSR was split off from the Uzbek SSR. With the constitution of 1936, the constituents of the Transcaucasian SFSR, HP 608558-001 Laptop Keyboard

namely the Georgian, Armenian and Azerbaijan SSRs, were elevated to union republics, while the Kazakh and Kirghiz SSRs were split off from the RSFSR.[72] In August 1940, the Soviet Union formed the Moldavian SSR from parts of the Ukrainian SSR and parts of Bessarabia annexed from Romania. SONY KFRMBA151B Laptop Keyboard

It also annexed the Baltic states as the Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian SSRs. TheKarelo-Finnish SSR was split off from the RSFSR in March 1940 and merged back in 1956. Between July 1956 and September 1991, there were 15 union republics (see map below).[73] HP 640436-001 Laptop Keyboard

On 16 November 1988, the Supreme Soviet of the Estonian SSR passed the Estonian Sovereignty Declaration that asserted Estonia's sovereignty and declared the supremacy of Estonian laws over those of the Soviet Union.[74] In March 1990, the newly elected Supreme Soviet of the Lithuanian SSR declared independence, followed by the Georgian Supreme Soviet in April 1991. Although the symbolic right of the republics to secede was nominally guaranteed by the constitution and the union treaty,[41] Lenovo 3000 Y500 Laptop Keyboard

Soviet authorities at first refused to recognize it. After the August coup attempt, most of the other republics followed suit. The Soviet Union ultimately recognized the secession of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania on 6 September 1991. The remaining republics were recognized as independent with the Soviet Union's final dissolution in December 1991.[75] DELL Inspiron 500m Laptop Keyboard

The Soviet Union became the first country to adopt a planned economy, whereby production and distribution of goods were centralized and directed by the government. The first Bolshevik experience with a command economy was the policy of War Communism, which involved nationalization of industry, centralized distribution of output, HP Pavilion dm1-1010st Laptop Keyboard

coercive requisition of agricultural production, and attempts to eliminate the circulation of money, as well as private enterprises and free trade. As it had suffered a severe economic collapse caused by the war, in 1921, Lenin replaced War Communism with the New Economic Policy (NEP), legalizing free trade and private ownership of smaller businesses. The economy quickly recovered.[76] ASUS F6A Laptop Keyboard

Following a lengthy debate among the members of Politburo over the course of economic development, by 1928–1929, upongaining control of the country, Joseph Stalin abandoned the NEP and pushed for full central planning, starting forced collectivization of agriculture and enacting draconian labor legislation. DELL Inspiron M5030 Laptop Keyboard

Resources were mobilized for rapid industrialization, which greatly expanded Soviet capacity in heavy industry and capital goods during the 1930s.[76]Preparation for war was one of the main driving forces behind industrialization, DELL PF236 Laptop Keyboard

mostly due to distrust of the outside capitalistic world.[77] As a result, the USSR was transformed from a largely agrarian economy into a great industrial power, leading the way for its emergence as a superpower after World War II.[78] During the war, the Soviet economy and infrastructure suffered massive devastation and required extensive reconstruction.[79] DELL PVDG3 Laptop Keyboard

By the early 1940s, the Soviet economy had become relatively self-sufficient; for most of the period until the creation of Comecon, only a very small share of domestic products was traded internationally.[80] After the creation of the Eastern Bloc, external trade rose rapidly. Still the influence of the world economyon the USSR was limited by fixed domestic prices and a state monopoly on foreign trade.[81] ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

Grain and sophisticated consumer manufactures became major import articles from around the 1960s.[80] During the arms race of the Cold War, the Soviet economy was burdened by military expenditures, COMPAQ Presario C700 Laptop Keyboard

heavily lobbied for by a powerful bureaucracy dependent on the arms industry. At the same time, the Soviet Union became the largest arms exporter to the Third World. Significant amounts of Soviet resources during the Cold War were allocated in aid to the other socialist states.[80]

From the 1930s until its collapse in the late 1980s, HP 516884-001 Laptop Keyboard

the way the Soviet economy operated remained essentially unchanged. The economy was formally directed bycentral planning, carried out by Gosplan and organized in five-year plans. In practice, however, the plans were highly aggregated and provisional, subject to ad hoc intervention by superiors. All key economic decisions were taken by the political leadership. Allocated resources and plan targets were normally denominated in rubles rather than in physical goods. Credit was discouraged, but widespread. ACER Aspire 4743 Series Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

Final allocation of output was achieved through relatively decentralized, unplanned contracting. Although in theory prices were legally set from above, in practice the actual prices were often negotiated, and informal horizontal links (between producer factories etc.) were widespread.[76]

A number of basic services were state-funded, such as education and healthcare. In the manufacturing sector, IBM 42T4026 laptop keyboard

heavy industry and defense were assigned higher priority than the production of consumer goods.[82] Consumer goods, particularly outside large cities, were often scarce, of poor quality and limited choice. Packard Bell Easynote TK85 laptop keyboard

Under command economy, consumers had almost no influence over production, so the changing demands of a population with growing incomes could not be satisfied by supplies at rigidly fixed prices.[83] A massive unplanned second economy grew up alongside the planned one at low levels, providing some of the goods and services that the planners could not. Legalization of some elements of the decentralized economy was attempted with the reform of 1965.[76] SONY VAIO VGN-AW21M laptop keyboard

Although statistics of the Soviet economy are notoriously unreliable and its economic growth difficult to estimate precisely,[84][85] by most accounts, the economy continued to expand until the mid-1980s. During the 1950s and 1960s, the Soviet economy experienced comparatively high growth and was catching up to the West.[86] Lenovo 63Y0047 laptop keyboard

 However, after 1970, the growth, while still positive, steadily declined much more quickly and consistently than in other countries despite a rapid increase in the capital stock (the rate of increase in capital was only surpassed by Japan).[76]  Lenovo 63Y0047 laptop keyboard

Overall, between 1960 and 1989, the growth rate of per capita income in the Soviet Union was slightly above the world average (based on 102 countries).[citation needed] According to Stanley Fischer and William Easterly, growth could have been faster. By their calculation, per capita income of Soviet Union in 1989 should have been twice as high as it was considering the amount of investment, education and population. TOSHIBA PK130260100 laptop keyboard

The authors attribute this poor performance to low productivity of capital in the Soviet Union.[87] Steven Rosenfielde states that the standard of living actually declined as a result of Stalin's despotism, and while there was a brief improvement following his death, lapsed into stagnation.[88] HP Mini 311-1000NR laptop keyboard

In 1987, Mikhail Gorbachev tried to reform and revitalize the economy with his program of perestroika. His policies relaxed state control over enterprises, but did not yet allow it to be replaced by market incentives, ultimately resulting in a sharp decline in production output. The economy, already suffering fromreduced petroleum export revenues, SONY VAIO VGN-NW23GF laptop keyboard

started to collapse. Prices were still fixed, and property was still largely state-owned until after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.[76][83] For most of the period after World War II up to its collapse, the Soviet economy was the second largest in the world by GDP (PPP), and was 3rd in the world during the middle of the 1980s to 1989.[89] though in per capita terms the Soviet GDP was behind that of the First World countries.[90] SONY KFRMBA151B laptop keyboard

The need for fuel declined in the Soviet Union from the 1970s to the 1980s,[91] both per ruble of gross social product and per ruble of industrial product. At the start, this decline grew very rapidly, but gradually slowed down between 1970 and 1975. From 1975 and 1980, it grew even slower,[clarification needed] only 2.6 percent.[92] TOSHIBA Satellite M40x Series laptop keyboard

David Wilson, a historian, believed that the gas industry would account for 40 percent of Soviet fuel production by the end of the century. His theory did not come to fruition because of the USSR's collapse.[93] The USSR, in theory, would have continued to have an economic growth rate of 2–2.5 percent during the 1990s because of Soviet energy fields[clarification needed].[94] SONY Vaio VGN-FW100 laptop keyboard

However, the energy sector faced many difficulties, among them the country's high military expenditure and hostile relations with the First World(pre-Gorbachev era).[95]

In 1991, the Soviet Union had a pipeline network of 82,000 kilometres (51,000 mi) for crude oil and another 206,500 kilometres (128,300 mi) for natural gas.[96] Petroleum and petroleum-based products, natural gas, metals, wood, agricultural products, HP Pavilion dv3-2320es Laptop Keyboard

and a variety of manufactured goods, primarily machinery, arms and military equipment, were exported.[97] In the 1970s and 1980s, the Soviet Union heavily relied on fossil fuel exports to earn hard currency.[80] At its peak in 1988, it was the largest producer and second largest exporter of crude oil, surpassed only by Saudi Arabia.[98] Lenovo 63Y0047 Laptop Keyboard

The Soviet Union placed great emphasis on science and technology within its economy,[99] however, the most remarkable Soviet successes in technology, such as producing the world's first space satellite, typically were the responsibility of the military.[82] Lenin believed that the USSR would never overtake the developed world if it remained as technologically backward as it was. Soviet authorities proved their commitment to Lenin's belief by developing massive networks, research and development organizations. TOSHIBA PK130260100 Laptop Keyboard

By 1989, Soviet scientists were among the world's best-trained specialists in several areas, such as energy physics, selected areas of medicine, mathematics, welding and military technologies. Due to rigid state planning and bureaucracy, the Soviets remained far behind technologically in chemistry, biology, and computers when compared to the First World.  Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

Project Socrates, under the Reagan administration, determined that the Soviet Union addressed the acquisition of science and technology in a manner that was radically different from what the US was using. In the case of the US, economic prioritization was being used for indigenous research and development as the means to acquire science and technology in both the private and public sectors. Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

In contrast, the Soviet Union was offensively and defensively maneuvering in the acquisition and utilization of the worldwide technology, to increase the competitive advantage that they acquired from the technology, while preventing the US from acquiring a competitive advantage. However, in addition, the Soviet Union's technology-based planning was executed in a centralized, government-centric manner that greatly hindered its flexibility. DELL Vostro 3550 Laptop Keyboard

It was this significant lack of flexibility that was exploited by the US to undermine the strength of the Soviet Union and thus foster its reform.[100][101][102]

Transport was a key component of the nation's economy. The economic centralization of the late 1920s and 1930s led to the development of infrastructure on a massive scale, most notably the establishment of Aeroflot, an aviation enterprise.[103] Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

The country had a wide variety of modes of transport by land, water and air.[96] However, due to bad maintenance, much of the road, water and Soviet civil aviation transport were outdated and technologically backward compared to the First World.[104] IBM Lenovo Thinkpad X201 Laptop Keyboard

Soviet rail transport was the largest and most intensively used in the world;[104] it was also better developed than most of its Western counterparts.[105] By the late 1970s and early 1980s, Soviet economists were calling for the construction of more roads to alleviate some of the burden from the railways and to improve the Soviet state budget.[106] The road network andautomobile industry[107] ACER 9J.N9482.11B Laptop Keyboard

remained underdeveloped,[108] and dirt roads were common outside major cities.[109] Soviet maintenance projects proved unable to take care of even the few roads the country had. By the early-to-mid-1980s, the Soviet authorities tried to solve the road problem by ordering the construction of new ones.[109] Meanwhile, the automobile industry was growing at a faster rate than road construction.[110] The underdeveloped road network led to a growing demand for public transport.[111] HP Pavilion dv4-1070ee Laptop Keyboard

Despite improvements, several aspects of the transport sector were still riddled with problems due to outdated infrastructure, lack of investment, corruption and bad decision-making. Soviet authorities were unable to meet the growing demand for transport infrastructure and services.

The Soviet merchant fleet was one of the largest in the world.[96] HP 576835-001 Laptop Keyboard

The first fifty years of the 20th century in tsarist Russia and the Soviet Union were marked by a succession of disasters, each accompanied by large–scale population losses. Excess deaths over the course of World War I and theRussian Civil War (including the postwar famine) amounted to a combined total of 18 million,[112] some 10 million in the 1930s,[26] and more than 26 million in 1941–5. The postwar Soviet population was 45 to 50 million smaller than it would have been if pre-war demographic growth had continued.[32] Lenovo 0A62075 Laptop Keyboard

The crude birth rate of the USSR decreased from 44.0 per thousand in 1926 to 18.0 in 1974, largely due to increasing urbanization and the rising average age of marriages. The crude death rate demonstrated a gradual decrease as well – from 23.7 per thousand in 1926 to 8.7 in 1974. In general, SONY VAIO VGN-CR210EL Laptop Keyboard

the birth rates of the southern republics in Transcaucasia and Central Asia were considerably higher than those in the northern parts of the Soviet Union, and in some cases even increased in the post–World War II period, a phenomenon partly attributed to slower rates of urbanization and traditionally earlier marriages in the southern republics.[113] Soviet Europe moved towards sub-replacement fertility, while Soviet Central Asia continued to exhibit population growth well above replacement-level fertility.[114] DELL Vostro 1015 Laptop Keyboard

The late 1960s and the 1970s witnessed a reversal of the declining trajectory of the rate of mortality in the USSR, and was especially notable among men of working age, but was also prevalent in Russia and other predominantly Slavic areas of the country.[115] An analysis of the official data from the late 1980s showed that after worsening in the late-1970s and the early 1980s, HP 608558-001 Laptop Keyboard

adult mortality began to improve again.[116] The infant mortality rate increased from 24.7 in 1970 to 27.9 in 1974. Some researchers regarded the rise as largely real, a consequence of worsening health conditions and services.[117] The rises in both adult and infant mortality were not explained or defended by Soviet officials, and the Soviet government simply stopped publishing all mortality statistics for ten years. Soviet demographers and health specialists remained silent about the mortality increases until the late-1980s, when the publication of mortality data resumed and researchers could delve into the real causes.[118] TOSHIBA Satellite L300 Laptop Keyboard

Before 1917, education was not free in the Russian Empire and was therefore either inaccessible or barely accessible for many children from lower-class working and peasant families. Estimates from 1917 recorded that 75–85 percent of the Russian population was illiterate.

Anatoly Lunacharsky became the first People's Commissar for Education of Soviet Russia. At the beginning, ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

the Soviet authorities placed great emphasis on the elimination of illiteracy. People who were literate were automatically hired as teachers. For a short period, quality was sacrificed for quantity. By 1940, Joseph Stalin could announce that illiteracy had been eliminated. In the aftermath of the Great Patriotic War, SONY 148024421 Laptop Keyboard

the country's educational system expanded dramatically. This expansion had a tremendous effect. In the 1960s, nearly all Soviet children had access to education, the only exception being those living in remote areas. Nikita Khrushchev tried to make education more accessible, making it clear to children that education was closely linked to the needs of society. Education also became important in creating the New Soviet Man.[119]

Only 20 percent of applicants were accepted. SONY VAIO VGN-FS742/W Laptop Keyboard

Students from families of dubious political reliability were barred from higher education.[120] The Brezhnev administration introduced a rule that required all university applicants to present a reference from the local Komsomol party secretary.[121] According to statistics from 1986, the number of students per 10,000 population was 181 for the USSR, compared to 517 for the US.[122] HP Envy 17-2077ez Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

The Soviet Union was a very ethnically diverse country, with more than 100 distinct ethnic groups. The total population was estimated at 293 million in 1991. According to a 1990 estimate, the majority were Russians (50.78%), followed byUkrainians (15.45%) and Uzbeks (5.84%).[123]

All citizens of the USSR had their own ethnic affiliation. The ethnicity of a person was chosen at the age of sixteen[124] HP Envy 17-1190nr Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

by the child's parents. If the parents did not agree, the child was automatically assigned the ethnicity of the father. Partly due to Soviet policies, some of the smaller minority ethnic groups were considered part of larger ones, such as the Mingrelians of the Georgian SSR, who were classified with the linguistically related Georgians.[125]Some ethnic groups voluntarily assimilated, Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 laptop keyboard

while others were brought in by force. Russians, Belarusians, and Ukrainians shared close cultural ties, while other groups did not. With multiple nationalities living in the same territory, ethnic antagonisms developed over the years.[126][neutrality is disputed]

In 1917, before the Bolshevik uprising, health conditions were significantly behind the developed countries. As Lenin later noted, TOSHIBA Satellite L505D-ES5025 laptop keyboard

"Either the lice will defeat socialism, or socialism will defeat the lice".[127] The Soviet principle of health care was conceived by the People's Commissariat for Health in 1918. Health care was to be controlled by the state and would be provided to its citizens free of charge, this at the time being a revolutionary concept. HP G72-a10SA laptop keyboard

Article 42 of the 1977 Soviet Constitution gave all citizens the right to health protection and free access to any health institutions in the USSR. BeforeLeonid Brezhnev became head of state, the healthcare system of the Soviet Union was held in high esteem by many foreign specialists. This changed however, HP Pavilion dv6-2030ev laptop keyboard

from Brezhnev's accession and Mikhail Gorbachev's tenure as leader, the Soviet health care system was heavily criticised for many basic faults, such as the quality of service and the unevenness in its provision.[128] Lenovo 04W0872 laptop keyboard

Minister of Health Yevgeniy Chazov, during the 19th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, while highlighting such Soviet successes as having the most doctors and hospitals in the world, recognised the system's areas for improvement and felt that billions of Soviet rubles were squandered.[129] DELL 0RT129 laptop keyboard

After the socialist revolution, the life expectancy for all age groups went up. This statistic in itself was seen by some that the socialist system was superior to the capitalist system. These improvements continued into the 1960s, when the life expectancy in the Soviet Union surpassed that of the United States. It remained stable during most years, although in the 1970s, it went down slightly, possibly because of alcohol abuse. HP Pavilion dm3-1020CA Laptop Keyboard

At the same time, infant mortality began to rise. After 1974, the government stopped publishing statistics on this. This trend can be partly explained by the number of pregnancies rising drastically in the Asian part of the country where infant mortality was highest, while declining markedly in the more developed European part of the Soviet Union.[130] The USSR had several centers of excellence, such as the Fyodorov Eye Microsurgery Complex, founded in 1988 by Russian eye surgeon Svyatoslav Fyodorov. DELL Precision M4500 Laptop Keyboard


Main article: Languages of the Soviet Union

The Soviet government headed by Vladimir Lenin gave small language groups their own writing systems.[131] The development of these writing systems was very successful, even though some flaws were detected. HP G71-449WM Laptop Keyboard

During the later days of the USSR, countries with the same multilingual situation implemented similar policies. A serious problem when creating these writing systems was that the languages differed dialectally greatly from each other.[132] When a language had been given a writing system and appeared in a notable publication, that language would attain "official language" status. Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

There were many minority languages which never received their own writing system; therefore their speakers were forced to have a second language.[133] There are examples where the Soviet government retreated from this policy, most notable under Stalin's regime, where education was discontinued in languages which were not widespread enough. DELL Precision M4500 Laptop Keyboard

These languages were then assimilated into another language, mostly Russian.[134] During the Great Patriotic War (World War II), some minority languages were banned, and their speakers accused of collaborating with the enemy.[135] DELL Vostro 3450 Laptop Keyboard

As the most widely spoken of the Soviet Union's many languages, Russian de facto functioned as an official language as the "language of interethnic communication" (Russian: язык межнационального общения), but only assumed the de jure status as the official national language in 1990.[136] TOSHIBA Satellite A110 Series Laptop Keyboard

Christianity and Islam had the greatest number of adherents among the Soviet state's religious citizens.[137] Eastern Christianity predominated among Christians, with Russia's traditional Russian Orthodox Church being the Soviet Union's largestChristian denomination. About 90 percent of the Soviet Union's Muslims were Sunnis, with Shiites concentrated in the Azerbaijani Soviet Socialist Republic.[137] Smaller groups included Roman Catholics, Jews, Buddhists, and a variety of Protestant sects.[137] ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

Religious influence had been strong in the Russian Empire. The Russian Orthodox Church enjoyed a privileged status as the church of the monarchy and took part in carrying out official state functions.[138] The immediate period following the establishment of the Soviet state included a struggle against the Orthodox Church, which the revolutionaries considered an ally of the formerruling classes.[139] HP Pavilion dv6-3035sl Laptop Keyboard

In Soviet law, the "freedom to hold religious services" was constitutionally guaranteed, although the ruling Communist Party regarded religion as incompatible with the Marxist spirit of scientific materialism.[139] In practice, the Soviet system subscribed to a narrow interpretation of this right, and in fact utilized a range of official measures to discourage religion and curb the activities of religious groups.[139] HP Pavilion DV7-4053 Laptop Keyboard

The 1918 Council of People's Commissars decree establishing the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR) as a secular state also decreed that "the teaching of religion in all [places] where subjects of general instruction are taught, is forbidden. Citizens may teach and may be taught religion privately."[140] Among further restrictions, those adopted in 1929, a half-decade into Stalin's rule, SONY VAIO VPCF126FM Laptop Keyboard

included express prohibitions on a range of church activities, including meetings for organizedBible study.[139] Both Christian and non-Christian establishments were shut down by the thousands in the 1920s and 1930s. By 1940, as many as 90 percent of the churches, synagogues, and mosques that had been operating in 1917 were closed.[141] Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

Convinced that religious anti-Sovietism had become a thing of the past, the Stalin regime began shifting to a more moderate religion policy in the late 1930s.[142] Soviet religious establishments overwhelmingly rallied to support the war effort duringthe Soviet war with Nazi Germany. Amid other accommodations to religious faith, SONY VAIO VGN-N21S/W Laptop Keyboard

churches were reopened, Radio Moscow began broadcasting a religious hour, and a historic meeting between Stalin and Orthodox Church leader Patriarch Sergius I of Moscowwas held in 1943.[142] The general tendency of this period was an increase in religious activity among believers of all faiths.[143] DELL Vostro 1510 Laptop Keyboard

The Soviet establishment again clashed with the churches under General Secretary Nikita Khrushchev's leadership in 1958–1964, a period when atheism was emphasized in the educational curriculum, and numerous state publications promoted atheistic views.[142]During this period, the number of churches fell from 20,000 to 10,000 from 1959 to 1965, and the number of synagogues dropped from 500 to 97.[144] The number of working mosques also declined, falling from 1,500 to 500 within a decade.[144] Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

Religious institutions remained monitored by the Soviet government, but churches, synagogues, temples, and mosques were all given more leeway in the Brezhnev era.[145] Official relations between the Orthodox Church and the Soviet government again warmed to the point that the Brezhnev government twice honored Orthodox Patriarch Alexy I with the Order of the Red Banner of Labour.[146] A poll conducted by Soviet authorities in 1982 recorded 20 percent of the Soviet population as "active religious believers."[147] HP Compaq G50-123NR laptop keyboard

Although the Russian Orthodox Church maintained a cozy relationship with the Communists, the Ukrainian Catholic Church was suppressed in Soviet-controlledUkraine until 1989.

The culture of the Soviet Union passed through several stages during the USSR's 70-year existence. HP Pavilion DV6-6B00 laptop keyboard

During the first eleven years following the Revolution (1918–1929), there was relative freedom and artists experimented with several different styles to find a distinctive Soviet style of art. Lenin wanted art to be accessible to the Russian people. On the other hand, hundreds of intellectuals, writers, HP Pavilion DV7-3180us laptop keyboard

and artists were exiled or executed, and their work banned, for example Nikolay Gumilev(shot for conspiring against the Bolshevik regime) and Yevgeny Zamyatin (banned).[148]

The government encouraged a variety of trends. In art and literature, numerous schools, some traditional and others radically experimental, proliferated. HP Pavilion dv6-2146so laptop keyboard

Communist writers Maksim Gorky and Vladimir Mayakovsky were active during this time. Film, as a means of influencing a largely illiterate society, received encouragement from the state; much of director Sergei Eisenstein's best work dates from this period.

Later, during Stalin's rule, HP Pavilion dv6-2108sa laptop keyboard

Soviet culture was characterised by the rise and domination of the government-imposed style of socialist realism, with all other trends being severely repressed, with rare exceptions, for example Mikhail Bulgakov's works. Many writers were imprisoned and killed.[149]

Following the Khrushchev Thaw of the late 1950s and early 1960s, censorship was diminished. During this time, SAMSUNG R518 laptop keyboard

a distinctive period of Soviet culture developed characterized by conformist public life and intense focus on personal life. Greater experimentation in art forms were again permissible, with the result that more sophisticated and subtly critical work began to be produced. The regime loosened its emphasis on socialist realism; TOSHIBA Satellite Pro C650-EZ1515D laptop keyboard

thus, for instance, many protagonists of the novels of author Yury Trifonov concerned themselves with problems of daily life rather than with building socialism. An underground dissident literature, known as samizdat, developed during this late period. In architecture the Khrushchev era mostly focused on functional design as opposed to the highly decorated style of Stalin's epoch. HP Pavilion dv6-2135ev laptop keyboard

In the second half of the 1980s, Gorbachev's policies of perestroika and glasnost significantly expanded freedom of expression in the media and press.[150]

Industrialisation (or industrialization) is the period of social and economic change that transforms a human group from an agrarian society into an industrial one. It is a part of a wider modernisationprocess, SONY N860-7676-T101 laptop keyboard

where social change and economic development are closely related with technological innovation, particularly with the development of large-scale energy and metallurgy production. It is the extensive organisation of an economy for the purpose of manufacturing.[2]

Industrialisation also introduces a form of philosophical change where people obtain a different attitude towards their perception of nature, and a sociological process of ubiquitous rationalisation. HP Pavilion dv6-2140ef laptop keyboard

There is considerable literature on the factors facilitating industrial modernisation and enterprise development.[3] Key positive factors identified by researchers have ranged from favourable political-legal environments for industry and commerce, through abundant natural resources of various kinds, to plentiful supplies of relatively low-cost, skilled and adaptable labour.

As industrial workers' incomes rise, HP Pavilion dv6-2135ev laptop keyboard

markets for consumer goods and services of all kinds tend to expand and provide a further stimulus to industrial investment and economic growth.

The first country to industrialise was the United Kingdom during the Industrial Revolution, commencing in the 18th century.[4]

By the end of the 20th century, East Asia had become one of the most recently industrialised regions of the world.[5] SONY VAIO VGN-AR230G laptop keyboard

Historically, the industrialisation process involves the expansion of the secondary sector in an economy originally dominated by primary-sector activities.

The first transformation to an industrial economy from an agricultural one, known as the Industrial Revolution, took place from the mid-18th to early 19th century in certain areas in Europe and North America; starting in Great Britain, followed by Belgium, Germany, and France. Later commentators have called this the first industrial revolution.[4][6] GATEWAY MG2 laptop keyboard

The "Second Industrial Revolution" labels the later changes that came about in the mid-19th century after the refinement of the steam engine, the invention of the internal combustion engine, the harnessing of electricity and the construction of canals, railways and electric-power lines. The invention of the assembly line gave this phase a boost.[7][8][9] DELL NSK-D8001 Laptop Keyboard

The lack of an industrial sector in a country can slow growth in the country's economy and power, so governments often encourage or enforce industrialisation. On the other hand, the presence of industry in a country does not mean in general that it will bring wealth and prosperity to the people of that country. And third, the presence of an industry in one country can make it more difficult for other countries to develop the same type of industry. This can be seen in thecomputer software and internet industries. DELL Inspiron 1526 Laptop Keyboard

Started from the US around the 1990s these industries seemed to spread over the world. But after a period of monopolisation less than a decade long, the globally-leading companies remain concentrated in the US.[citation needed] Their economic power and capacity to dominate the media work against the developing of the same types of industry in other states. Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

Most pre-industrial economies had standards of living not much above subsistence, among that the majority of the population were focused on producing their means of survival. For example, in medieval Europe, as much as 80% of the labour force was employed in subsistence agriculture.[citation needed] TOSHIBA Satellite A305 Laptop Keyboard

Some pre-industrial economies, such as classical Athens, had trade and commerce as significant factors, so native Greeks could enjoy wealth far beyond a sustenance standard of living through the use of slavery[citation needed]. Famines were frequent in most pre-industrial societies, although some, SAMSUNG N148 Laptop Keyboard

such as the Netherlands and England of the 17th and 18th centuries, the Italian city states of the 15th century, the medieval Islamic Caliphate, and the ancient Greek and Romancivilisations were able to escape the famine cycle through increasing trade and commercialisation of the agricultural sector[citation needed]. It is estimated that during the seventeenth century Netherlands imported nearly 70% of its grain supply and in the fifth century BC Athens imported three quarters of its total food supply.[citation needed] HP AEUT5U00010 Laptop Keyboard

Industrialisation through innovation in manufacturing processes first started with the Industrial Revolution in the north-west and Midlands of England in the 18th century.[11] It spread to Europe and North America in the 19th century.

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Due to the limited amount of arable land and the overwhelming efficiency of mechanised farming, the increased population could not be dedicated to agriculture. New agricultural techniques allowed a single peasant to feed more workers than previously; however, these techniques also increased the demand for machines and other hardware, which had traditionally been provided by the urban artisans. Artisans, collectively called bourgeoisie, employed rural exodus workers to increase their output and meet the country's needs. HP 597635-001 Laptop Keyboard

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British industrialisation involved significant changes in the way that work was performed. The process of creating agood was divided into simple tasks, each one of them being gradually mechanised in order to boost productivity and thus increase income. Dell Inspiron 8100 Laptop Keyboard

However, industrialisation also involved the exploitation of new forms of energy. In the pre-industrial economy, most machinery was powered by human muscle, by animals, by wood-burning or by water-power. With industrialistion these sources of fuel were replaced with coal, HP Mini 210-1014TU Laptop Keyboard

which could deliver significantly more energy than the alternatives. Indeed, much of the new technology that accompanied the industrial revolution was for machines which could be powered by coal. One outcome of this was an increase in the overall amount of energy consumed within the economy - a trend which has continued in all industrialised nations to the present day.[12] HP Pavilion dv5-1104tu Laptop Keyboard

The accumulation of capital allowed investments in the conception and application of new technologies, enabling the industrialisation process to continue to evolve. The industrialisation process formed a class of industrial workers who had more money to spend than their agricultural cousins. COMPAQ Presario C700 Laptop Keyboard

They spent this on items such as tobacco and sugar, creating new mass markets that stimulated more investment as merchants sought to exploit them.[13]

The mechanisation of production spread to the countries surrounding England geographically in Europe such as France and to British settler colonies, helping to make those areas the wealthiest, and shaping what is now known as the Western world. Lenovo 3000 Y500 Laptop Keyboard
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Some economic historians argue that the possession of so-called 'exploitation colonies' eased the accumulation of capital to the countries that possessed them, speeding up their development.[14] The consequence was that the subject country integrated a bigger economic system in a subaltern position, emulating the countryside, which demands manufactured goods and offers raw materials, TOSHIBA 9J.N7482.901 Laptop Keyboard

while the colonial power stressed its urban posture, providing goods and importing food. A classical example of this mechanism is said to be the triangular trade, which involved England, southern United States and western Africa. Some have stressed the importance of natural or financial resources that Britain received from its many overseas colonies or that profits from the British slave trade between Africa and the Caribbean helped fuel industrial investment.[15] Compaq Presario CQ56-103EG laptop keyboard

Whilst these arguments still find some favour with historians of the colonies, most historians of the British Industrial Revolution do not consider that colonial possessions formed a significant role in the country's industrialisation. Whilst not denying that Britain could profit from these arrangement, they believe that industrialisation would have proceeded with or without the colonies.[16] HP Pavilion dv5-1080el laptop keyboard

After the Convention of Kanagawa issued by Commodore Matthew C. Perry forced Japan to open the ports of Shimoda and Hakodate to American trade, the Japanese government realised that drastic reforms were necessary to stave off Western influence. The Tokugawa shogunate abolished the feudal system. TOSHIBA Satellite P300-1FC laptop keyboard

The government instituted military reforms to modernise the Japanese army and also constructed the base for industrialisation. In the 1870s, the Meiji government vigorously promoted technological and industrial development that eventually changed Japan to a powerful modern country. SONY VAIO VGN-FS415E laptop keyboard

The Soviet Union's centrally controlled economy decided to invest a big part of its resources to enhance its industrial production and infrastructures to assure its survival, thus becoming a world superpower.[17]

During the Cold war, the other European socialist countries, organised under the Comecon framework, followed the same developing scheme, albeit with a less emphasis on heavy industry.

Southern European countries such as Spain or Italy saw a moderate industrialisation during the 1950s-1970s, HP Pavilion dv3-2320tx laptop keyboard

caused by a healthy integration of the European economy, though their levels of development, as well as those of Socialist European Countries, do not match the more advanced standards of other European countries like Germany.[18][19] HP Mini 110 laptop keyboard

Since the mid-late 20th century, a few countries in Latin America, Asia, and Africa, such as Indonesia,Turkey, South Africa, Malaysia, Philippines, Mexico, Costa Rica, and El Salvador have experienced substantial industrial growth, fueled by exporting to countries that have bigger economies: the United States, China, India and the EU. They are sometimes called newly industrialised countries.[citation needed] SONY VAIO VGN-NW50JB laptop keyboard

Despite this trend being artificially influenced by the oil price increases since 2003, the phenomenon is not entirely new nor totally speculative (for instance see: Maquiladora).

Japan and Russia both were successful in the fact that they imitated many other societies giving them flexibility. HP Mini 110-1033cl Laptop Keyboard

Yet they both had very little in common before the 19th century. Japan was isolated from the world with its ongoing traditions and forms of centralised government. Russia featured a more strong centralised government under the emperor. Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

Both would soon discover that westernisation and industrialism were expanding and their own ways would not hold up against the new changing world of industrialisation. In the late 19th century the requirement for them to begin industrializing would become even more prevalent for the success of their nation in this new, growing society. Lenovo Thinkpad X220i Laptop Keyboard

Currently the "international development community" (World Bank, Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), many United Nations departments, and some other organizations)[citation needed] endorses development policies like water purification or primary education[citation needed] and Co-Operation amongst third world communities.[24] HP G61-420SL Laptop Keyboard

There are members of the Economic communities who don't believe in recognising that contemporaryl industrialization policies as being adequate to the global south (Third World countries) or beneficial in the longer term, with the perception that it could only create inefficient local industries unable to compete in the free-trade dominated political order which it has created.[citation needed] SAMSUNG Q320 Laptop Keyboard

The relationship between economic growth, employment and poverty reduction is complex. Higher productivity is argued to be leading to lower employment (see jobless recovery).[25] There are differences across sectors, TOSHIBA 48.N5601.001A Laptop Keyboard

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whereby manufacturing is less able than the tertiary sector to accommodate both increased productivity and employment opportunities; over 40% of the world's employees are "working poor" whose incomes fail to keep themselves and their families above the $2 a day poverty line.[25] There is also a phenomenon ofdeindustrialization, such as in the former USSR countries' transition to market economies, and the agriculture sector often is the key sector in absorbing the resultant unemployment.[25] HP G42-164LA Laptop Keyboard

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Uzbekistan (U.S. pronunciation:  i/ʊz.ˈbɛk.ɪ.ˌstæn/, U.K. pronunciation:  i/ʊz.ˌbɛk.ɪ.ˈstɑːn/), officially theRepublic of Uzbekistan (Uzbek: O‘zbekiston Respublikasi, Ўзбекистон Республикаси) is the onlydoubly landlocked country in Central Asia and one of only two such countries worldwide. It shares borders withKazakhstan to the west and to the north, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to the east, and Afghanistan and Turkmenistan to the south. Before 1991, it was part of the Soviet Union. TOSHIBA Satellite L750-ST4N02 Laptop Keyboard

Once part of the Persian Samanid and later Timurid empires, the region was conquered in the early 16th century by nomads who spoke an Eastern Turkic language. Most of Uzbekistan’s population today belong to the Uzbek ethnic groupand speak the Uzbek language, one of the family of Turkic languages. TOSHIBA Satellite A300 Laptop Keyboard

Uzbekistan was incorporated into the Russian Empire in the 19th century, and in 1924 became a constituent republic of the Soviet Union, known as the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic (Uzbek SSR). HP AESP7U00110 Laptop Keyboard

It became independent on 31 August 1991 (officially, from the following day).

Uzbekistan's economy relies mainly on commodity production, including cotton, gold, uranium, and natural gas. Despite the declared objective of transition to a market economy, Uzbekistan continues to maintain economic controls, which deter foreign investment and imports and benefit domestic 'import substitution'. HP G72-b67CA Laptop Keyboard

The policy of a gradual, strictly controlled transition to the market economy has nevertheless produced beneficial results in the form of economic recovery after 1995. DELL INSPIRON 1464 Laptop Keyboard


Uzbekistan has an area of 447,400 square kilometres (172,700 sq mi). It is the 56th largest country in the world by area and the 42nd by population.[6] Among theCIS countries, it is the 5th largest by area and the 3rd largest by population.[7] SONY KFRMBA151B Laptop Keyboard

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Uzbekistan lies between latitudes 37° and 46° N, and longitudes 56° and 74° E. It stretches 1,425 kilometres (885 mi) from west to east and 930 kilometres (580 mi) from north to south. Bordering Kazakhstan and the Aral Sea to the north and northwest, Turkmenistan to the southwest, Tajikistan to the southeast, HP G62-361TX Laptop Keyboard

andKyrgyzstan to the northeast, Uzbekistan is one of the largest Central Asian states and the only Central Asian state to border all the other four. Uzbekistan also shares a short border (less than 150 km or 93 mi) with Afghanistan to the south. SONY VAIO PCG-792L Laptop Keyboard

Uzbekistan is a dry, landlocked country. It is one of two doubly landlockedcountries in the world — that is, a country completely surrounded by landlocked countries — the other beingLiechtenstein. In addition, due to its location within a series of endorheic basins, none of its rivers lead to the sea. Less than 10% of its territory is intensively cultivated irrigated land in river valleys and oases. SONY VAIO VGN-AW15G Laptop Keyboard

The rest is vast desert (Kyzyl Kum) and mountains.

The highest point in Uzbekistan is the Khazret Sultan, at 4,643 metres (15,233 ft) above sea level, in the southern part of the Gissar Range in Surkhandarya Province, on the border with Tajikistan, just northwest of Dushanbe(formerly called Peak of the 22nd Congress of the Communist Party).[7] IBM Lenovo Thinkpad X201 Laptop Keyboard

The climate in the Republic of Uzbekistan is continental, with little precipitation expected annually (100–200 millimeters, or 3.9–7.9 inches). The average summer high temperature tends to be 40 °C (104 °F), while the average winter low temperature is around −23 °C (−9 °F).[8]

Major cities include Andijan, HP 519265-001 Laptop Keyboard

Bukhara, Samarkand, Namangan and the capital Tashkent.

Decades of questionable Soviet policies in pursuit of greater cotton production have resulted in a catastrophic scenario. The agricultural industry appears to be the main contributor to the pollution and devastation of the air and water in the country.[9] HP 492991-001 Laptop Keyboard

The Aral Sea used to be the fourth-largest inland sea on Earth, acting as an influencing factor in the air moisture and arid land use.[10] Since the 1960s, the decade when the misuse of the Aral Sea water began, it has shrunk to less than 50% of its former area and decreased in volume threefold. SAMSUNG N145 Laptop Keyboard

Reliable or even approximate data have not been collected, stored or provided by any organization or official agency. Much of the water was and continues to be used for the irrigation of cotton fields, a crop requiring a large amount of water to grow.[11] Compaq Presario CQ42-228LA Laptop Keyboard

The question of who is responsible for the crisis remains open – the Soviet scientists and politicians who directed the distribution of water during the 1960s, or the post-Soviet politicians who did not allocate sufficient funding for the building of dams and irrigation systems.[citation needed]. DELL Latitude D620 Laptop Keyboard

Due to the Aral Sea problem, high salinity and contamination of the soil with heavy elements are especially widespread in Karakalpakstan, the region of Uzbekistan adjacent to the Aral Sea. The bulk of the nation's water resources is used for farming, which accounts for nearly 84% of the water usage and contributes to high soil salinity. Heavy use of pesticides and fertilizers for cotton growing further aggravates soil pollution.[8] ACER Aspire 4743 Series Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

The first people known to inhabit the Central Asian region of modern-day Uzbekistan were Iranian nomads who arrived from the northern grasslands of what is now Kazakhstan sometime in the first millennium BC. These nomads, who spoke Iranian dialects, settled in Central Asia and began to build an extensive irrigation system along the rivers of the region. At this time, cities such as Bukhoro (Bukhara), IBM Lenovo Thinkpad X200 Series Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

Samarqand (Samarkand) and Chash (Tashkent) began to appear as centers of emerging government and high culture. By the 5th century BC, the Bactrian, Soghdian, and Tokharian states dominated and ruled over the region. HP Pavilion DV4305US laptop keyboard

As China began to develop its silk trade with the West, Iranian cities took advantage of this commerce by becoming centres of trade. Using an extensive network of cities and rural settlements in the province of Mouwaurannahr (a name given the region after the Arab conquest) in Uzbekistan, and further east in what is today China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, TOSHIBA Satellite U205 laptop keyboard

the Soghdian intermediaries became the wealthiest of these Iranian merchants. Because of this trade on what became known as theSilk Route, Bukhoro and Samarqand eventually became extremely wealthy cities, and at the times Mawarannahr was the only large and one of the most influential and powerful Persian provinces of antiquity.[12] HP AETT3U00010 laptop keyboard

In the 8th century Transoxiana (territory between the Amudarya and Syrdarya rivers) was conquered by Arabs (Ali ibn Sattor), which inherited the region with the Early Renaissance. Many notable scientists have lived and contributed during the Islamic Golden Age. Among the achievements of the scholars during this period were the development of trigonometry into its modern form (simplifying its practical application to calculate the phases of the moon), Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 laptop keyboard

advances in optics, in astronomy, as well as in poetry, philosophy, art, calligraphy and many other, which have set the foundations for a Muslim Renaissance.

In the 9th – 10th centuries, Transoxiana was included into the Samanid State. Later, Transoxiana saw the incursion of the Turkic-ruled Karakhanids, as well as the Seljuks (Sultan Sanjar) and Kara-Khitans.[13] FUJITSU Lifebook P7120D laptop keyboard

The Mongol conquest under Genghis Khan during the 13th century would bring about a change to the region. The conquest and characteristic expansion of the Mongols led to the displacement of some of the Iranian-speaking people of the region, their culture and heritage being superseded by that of the Mongolian-Turkic peoples who came thereafter.

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Despite the potential for serious fragmentation, Mongol law of the Mongol Empire maintained orderly succession for several more generations, and control of most of Mawarannahr stayed in the hands of direct descendants of Chagatai Khan, the second son of Genghis Khan. Orderly succession, prosperity, TOSHIBA KFRSBA064A laptop keyboard

and internal peace prevailed in the Chaghatai lands, and the Mongol Empire as a whole remained strong and united kingdom. (Ulus Batiy, Sattarkhan)[14]

In the early 14th century, however, as the empire began to break up into its constituent parts, the Chaghatai territory also was disrupted as the princes of various tribal groups competed for influence. One tribal chieftain, Timur (Tamerlane),[15SAMSUNG NP-N145-JP02 laptop keyboard

]emerged from these struggles in the 1380s as the dominant force in Mawarannahr. Although he was not a descendant of Chinggis, Timur became the de facto ruler of Mawarannahr and proceeded to conquer all of western Central Asia, Iran, Asia Minor, and the southern steppe region north of the Aral Sea. He also invaded Russia, Turkey, Iraq, and placed under his command Iran andIndia, before dying during an invasion of China in 1405.[14] SONY VAIO VGN-CS16G/Q Laptop Keyboard

Timur initiated the last flowering of Mawarannahr by gathering in his capital, Samarqand, numerous artisans and scholars from the vast lands he had conquered. By supporting such people, Timur imbued his empire with a very rich Perso-Islamic culture. During Amir Timur's reign and the reigns of his immediate descendants, a wide range of religious and palatial construction masterpieces were undertaken in Samarqand and other population centres.[16] Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

Timur also initiated exchange of medical thoughts and patronized physicians, scientists and artists from the neighboring countries like India;[17] his grandson Ulugh Beg was one of the world's first great astronomers. It was during the Timurid dynasty that Turkic, in the form of the Chaghataidialect, became a literary language in its own right in Mawarannahr, although the Timurids were Persianate in nature. HP Compaq NC8430 Laptop Keyboard

The greatest Chaghataid writer, Ali-Shir Nava'i, was active in the city of Herat, now in northwestern Afghanistan, in the second half of the 15th century.[14]

The Timurid state quickly broke into two halves after the death of Timur. ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

The chronic internal fighting of the Timurids attracted the attention of the Uzbek nomadic tribes living to the north of the Aral Sea. In 1501 the Uzbek forces began a wholesale invasion of Mawarannahr.[14] The slave trade in the Khanate of Bukhara became prominent and was firmly established.[18] Estimates from 1821 suggest that between 25,000 and 60,000 Persian slaves were working only in Bukhara at the time.[19] HP Probook 4510S Laptop Keyboard

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In the 19th century, the Russian Empire began to expand and spread into Central Asia. By 1911 Russians living in Uzbekistan numbered 210,306.[20] The "Great Game" period is generally regarded as running from approximately 1813 to the Anglo-Russian Convention of 1907. Following the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, a second, less intensive phase followed. At the start of the 19th century, there were some 3,200 kilometres (2,000 mi) separating British India and the outlying regions of Tsarist Russia. Much of the land in between was unmapped. SONY VAIO VGN-NW15G/T Laptop Keyboard

By the beginning of 1920, Central Asia was firmly in the hands of Russia and, despite some early resistance to theBolsheviks, Uzbekistan and the rest of the Central Asia became a part of the Soviet Union. On October 27, 1924 the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic was created. From 1941 to 1945, during World War II, TOSHIBA Satellite P300 Laptop Keyboard

1,433,230 people from Uzbekistan fought in theRed Army against Nazi Germany. (A number also fought on the German side.) 263,005 Uzbek soldiers died in the battlefields of the Eastern Front, 132,670 went missing in action.[21] On August 31, 1991, Uzbekistan declared independence, proclaiming September 1 as the National Independence Day.  HP Pavilion DV6-1030us Laptop Keyboard

The first elections of the Oliy Majlis (Parliament) were held under a resolution adopted by the 16th Supreme Soviet in 1994. In that year, the Supreme Soviet was replaced by the Oliy Majlis. Since then Uzbekistan has held presidential and parliamentarian elections on regular basis but no real opposition candidates or parties are able to participate.[citation needed]  ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

The third elections for the bicameral 150-member Oliy Majlis — the Legislative Chamber and the 100-member Senate — for five-year terms, were held on December 27, 2009, after the second elections that were held in December 2004 – 2005. The Oliy Majlis was unicameral up to 2004. Its strength increased from 69 deputies (members) in 1994 to 120 in 2004–05 and presently to 150. DELL Inspiron M5030 Laptop Keyboard

The executive holds a great deal of power, and the legislature has little power to shape laws. Under terms of a December 27, 1995 referendum, Islam Karimov's first term was extended. Another national referendum was held January 27, 2002 to extend the Constitutional Presidential term from 5 years to 7 years. DELL PF236 Laptop Keyboard

The referendum passed, and Islam Karimov's term was extended by an act of parliament to December 2007. Most international observers refused to participate in the process and did not recognize the results, dismissing them as not meeting basic standards. The 2002 referendum also included a plan for a bicameral parliament, DELL PVDG3 Laptop Keyboard

consisting of a lower house (the Oliy Majlis) and an upper house (Senate). Members of the lower house are to be "full time" legislators. Elections for the new bicameral parliament took place on December 26. There is currently a political situation emerging in Uzbekistan around Islam Karimov and the selection of Akbar Abdullaev as successor.[citation needed] ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

The OSCE limited observation mission concluded that the elections fell significantly short of OSCE commitments and other international standards for democratic elections. Several political parties have been formed with government approval. Similarly, although multiple media outlets (radio, TV, newspaper) have been established, these either remain under government control or rarely broach political topics. COMPAQ Presario C700 Laptop Keyboard

Independent political parties were allowed to organise, recruit members and hold conventions and press conferences, but they have been denied registration under restrictive registration procedures. HP 516884-001 Laptop Keyboard

The Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan asserts that "democracy in the Republic of Uzbekistan shall be based upon common human principles, according to which the highest value shall be the human being, his life, freedom, honour, dignity and other inalienable rights."

The official position is summarised in a memorandum "The measures taken by the government of the Republic of Uzbekistan in the field of providing and encouraging human rights"[22] and amounts to the following: ACER Aspire 4743 Series Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

the government does everything that is in its power to protect and to guarantee the human rights of Uzbekistan's citizens. Uzbekistan continuously improves its laws and institutions in order to create a more humane society. Over 300 laws regulating the rights and basic freedoms of the people have been passed by the parliament. IBM 42T4026 laptop keyboard

For instance, an office of Ombudsman was established in 1996.[23] On August 2, 2005, President Islam Karimov signed a decree that abolished capital punishment in Uzbekistan on January 1, 2008. Packard Bell Easynote TK85 laptop keyboard

However, non-governmental human rights watchdogs, such as IHF, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, as well as United States Department of State andCouncil of the European Union define Uzbekistan as "an authoritarian state with limited civil rights"[24] and express profound concern about "wide-scale violation of virtually all basic human rights".[25] According to the reports, SONY VAIO VGN-AW21M laptop keyboard

the most widespread violations are torture, arbitrary arrests, and various restrictions of freedoms: of religion, of speech and press, of free association and assembly. It has also been reported that forced sterilization of rural Uzbeki women has been sanctioned by the government.[26] Lenovo 63Y0047 laptop keyboard

The reports maintain that the violations are most often committed against members of religious organizations, independent journalists, human rights activists and political activists, including members of the banned opposition parties. Compaq Presario CQ71-310SB laptop keyboard

The 2005 civil unrest in Uzbekistan, which resulted in several hundred people being killed, is viewed by many as a landmark event in the history of human rights abuse in Uzbekistan.[27][28][29HP Pavilion dv6-2030ev laptop keyboard

] A concern has been expressed and a request for an independent investigation of the events has been made by the United States, European Union, the United Nations, the OSCE Chairman-in-Office and the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights. The government of Uzbekistan is accused of unlawful termination of human life and of denying its citizens freedom of assembly and freedom of expression. HP G71-329WM laptop keyboard

The government vehemently rebuffs the accusations, maintaining that it merely conducted an anti-terrorist operation, exercising only necessary force.[30] In addition, some officials claim that "an information war on Uzbekistan has been declared" and the human rights violations in Andijan are invented by the enemies of Uzbekistan as a convenient pretext for intervention in the country's internal affairs.[31] HP Pavilion dv5-1215ee laptop keyboard

Uzbekistan also does not allow Tajiks to teach their youth in their native language. There have been cases of destroying Tajiki (Persian-language) literary works.[32]

Uzbekistan has the fourth largest gold deposits in the world. The country mines 80 tons of gold annually, seventh in the world. Uzbekistan's copper deposits rank tenth in the world and its uranium deposits twelfth. TOSHIBA G83c00018610 laptop keyboard

The country's uranium production ranks seventh globally.[34][35][36] The Uzbek national gas company, Uzbekneftgas, ranks 11th in the world in natural gas production with an annual output of 60 to 70 billion cubic meters. The country has significant untapped reserves of oil and gas: there are 194 deposits of hydrocarbons in Uzbekistan, including 98 condensate and natural gas deposits and 96 gas condensate deposits. ASUS F81 laptop keyboard

The largest corporations involved in Uzbekistan's energy sector are the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC),Petronas, the Korea National Oil Corporation, Gazprom, Lukoil, and Uzbekneftgas. SONY Vaio VGN-FW100 laptop keyboard

Along with many Commonwealth of Independent States or CIS economies, Uzbekistan's economy declined during the first years of transition and then recovered after 1995, as the cumulative effect of policy reforms began to be felt. It has shown robust growth, rising by 4% per year between 1998 and 2003 and accelerating thereafter to 7%–8% per year. According to IMF estimates,[37] HP Pavilion dv3-2320es Laptop Keyboard

the GDP in 2008 will be almost double its value in 1995 (in constant prices). Since 2003 annual inflation rates averaged less than 10%.

Uzbekistan has a very low GNI per capita (US$610 in current dollars in 2006, giving a PPP equivalent of US$2,250).[38Lenovo 63Y0047 Laptop Keyboard

] By GNI per capita in PPP equivalents Uzbekistan ranks 169 among 209 countries; among the 12 CIS countries, only Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan had lower GNI per capita in 2006. Economic production is concentrated in commodities. In 2011, Uzbekistan was the world's seventh-largest producer and fifth-largest exporter of cotton[39] as well as the seventh largest world producer of gold. It is also a regionally significant producer of natural gas, coal, copper, oil, silver and uranium.[40] TOSHIBA PK130260100 Laptop Keyboard

Agriculture employs 28% of Uzbekistan's labour force and contributes 24% of its GDP (2006 data).[7] While official unemployment is very low, underemployment – especially in rural areas – is estimated to be at least 20%.[1] Still, at cotton-harvest time, all students and teachers are mobilized as unpaid labour to help in the fields.[41] The use of child labour in Uzbekistan has led several companies, including Tesco,[42] C&A,[43] Marks & Spencer, Gap, and H&M, to boycott Uzbek cotton.[44]  Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

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Facing a multitude of economic challenges upon acquiring independence, the government adopted an evolutionary reform strategy, with an emphasis on state control, reduction of imports and self-sufficiency in energy. Since 1994, the state-controlled media have repeatedly proclaimed the success of this "Uzbekistan Economic Model"[45] DELL Vostro 3550 Laptop Keyboard

and suggested that it is a unique example of a smooth transition to the market economy while avoiding shock, pauperism and stagnation.

The gradualist reform strategy has involved postponing significant macroeconomic and structural reforms. The state in the hands of the bureaucracy has remained a dominant influence in the economy. Corruption permeates the society and grows more rampant over time: Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

Uzbekistan's 2005 Corruption Perception Index was 137 out of 159 countries, whereas in 2007 Uzbekistan was 175th out of 179 countries. A February 2006 report on the country by the International Crisis Group suggests that revenues earned from key exports, especially cotton, gold, corn and increasingly gas, are distributed among a very small circle of the ruling elite, with little or no benefit for the populace at large.[46] IBM Lenovo Thinkpad X201 Laptop Keyboard

According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, "the government is hostile to allowing the development of an independent private sector, over which it would have no control".[47] Thus, the middle class is marginalised economically and, consequently, politically. ACER 9J.N9482.11B Laptop Keyboard

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The economic policies have repelled foreign investment, which is the lowest per capita in the CIS.[48] For years, the largest barrier to foreign companies entering the Uzbekistan market has been the difficulty of converting currency. In 2003, the government accepted the obligations of Article VIII under the International Monetary Fund (IMF).[49] providing for full currency convertibility. However, strict currency controls and the tightening of borders have lessened the effect of this measure. HP 576835-001 Laptop Keyboard

Uzbekistan experienced rampant inflation of around 1000% per year immediately after independence (1992–1994). Stabilisation efforts implemented with guidance from the IMF[50] paid off. The inflation rates were brought down to 50% in 1997 and then to 22% in 2002. Since 2003 annual inflation rates averaged less than 10%.[37] TOSHIBA Satellite L775D-S7340 Laptop Keyboard

Tight economic policies in 2004 resulted in a drastic reduction of inflation to 3.8% (although alternative estimates based on the price of a true market basket, put it at 15%).[51] The inflation rates moved up to 6.9% in 2006 and 7.6% in 2007 but have remained in the single-digit range.[52]

The government of Uzbekistan restricts foreign imports in many ways, including high import duties. HP 608558-001 Laptop Keyboard

Excise taxes are applied in a highly discriminatory manner to protect locally produced goods. Official tariffs are combined with unofficial, discriminatory charges resulting in total charges amounting to as much as 100 to 150% of the actual value of the product, making imported products virtually unaffordable.[53] SONY KFRMBA151B Laptop Keyboard

Import substitution is an officially declared policy and the government proudly reports a reduction by a factor of two in the volume of consumer goods imported. A number of CIS countries are officially exempt from Uzbekistan import duties. HP 640436-001 Laptop Keyboard

The Republican Stock Exchange (RSE) opened in 1994. The stocks of all Uzbek joint stock companies (around 1250) are traded on RSE. The number of listed companies as of January 2013 exceeds 110. Lenovo 3000 Y500 Laptop Keyboard

Securities market volume reached 2 trillion in 2012, and the number is rapidly growing due to the rising interest by companies of attracting necessary resources through the capital market. According to Central Depository as of January 2013 par value of outstanding shares of Uzbek emitters exceeded 9 trillion. DELL Inspiron 500m Laptop Keyboard

Uzbekistan's external position has been strong since 2003. Thanks in part to the recovery of world market prices of gold and cotton (the country's key export commodities), expanded natural gas and some manufacturing exports, and increasing labour migrant transfers, the current account turned into a large surplus (between 9% and 11% of GDP from 2003 to 2005) and foreign exchange reserves, including gold, more than doubled to around US$3 billion.[citation needed]

Foreign exchange reserves amounted in 2010 to 13 billion US$.[54] HP Pavilion dm1-1010st Laptop Keyboard

Uzbekistan is considered one of the fastest growing economies in the world (top 26) in the next decades according to a global bank HSBC survey [55]

Uzbekistan is Central Asia's most populous country. Its 29,559,100 population[2] comprise nearly half the region's total population. ASUS F6A Laptop Keyboard

The population of Uzbekistan is very young: 34.1% of its people are younger than 14 (2008 estimate).[1] According to official sources, Uzbeks comprise a majority (80%) of the total population. Other ethnic groups include Russians 5.5%, Tajiks 5% (official estimate and disputed), Kazakhs 3%, Karakalpaks 2.5% and Tatars 1.5% (1996 estimates).[1] SONY 148024421 Laptop Keyboard

There is some controversy about the percentage of the Tajik population. While official state numbers from Uzbekistan put the number at 5%, the number is said to be an understatement and some Western scholars put the number up to 20%–30%.SONY VAIO VGN-FS742/W Laptop Keyboard

According to recent genetic genealogy testing from a University of Oxford study, the genetic admixture of the Uzbeks clusters somewhere between the Mongols and the Iranian peoples.[60]

Uzbekistan has an ethnic Korean population that was forcibly relocated to the region by Stalin f rom the Soviet Far East in 1937–1938. HP Envy 17-2077ez Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

There are also small groups of Armenians in Uzbekistan, mostly in Tashkent and Samarkand. The nation is 88% Muslim (mostly Sunni, with a 5% Shi'a minority), 9% Eastern Orthodox and 3% other faiths. The U.S. State Department's International Religious Freedom Report 2004 reports that 0.2% of the population are Buddhist (these being ethnic Koreans). The Bukharan Jews have lived in Central Asia, HP Envy 17-1190nr Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

mostly in Uzbekistan, for thousands of years. There were 94,900 Jews in Uzbekistan in 1989[61] (about 0.5% of the population according to the 1989 census), but now, since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, most Central Asian Jews left the region for the United States, Germany, or Israel. Fewer than 5,000 Jews remained in Uzbekistan in 2007.[62] Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 laptop keyboard

Russians in Uzbekistan represent 5.5% of the total population. During the Soviet period, Russians and Ukrainians constituted more than half the population of Tashkent.[63] The country counted nearly 1.5 million Russians, 12.5% of the population, in the 1970 census.[64] After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, significant emigration of ethnic Russians has taken place, mostly for economic reasons.[65] TOSHIBA Satellite L505D-ES5025 laptop keyboard

In the 1940s, the Crimean Tatars, along with the Germans, Chechens, Greeks, Turks, Kurds and many other nationalities weredeported to Central Asia.[66] Approximately 100,000 Crimean Tatars continue to live in Uzbekistan.[67] The number of Greeks in Tashkent has decreased from 35,000 in 1974 to about 12,000 today.[68] The majority of Meskhetian Turks left the country after the pogroms in the Fergana valley in June 1989.[69] HP G72-a10SA laptop keyboard

At least 10% of Uzbekistan's labour force works abroad (mostly in Russia and Kazakhstan).[70]

Uzbekistan has a 99.3% literacy rate among adults older than 15 (2003 estimate),[1] which is attributable to the free and universal education system of the Soviet Union.

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Islam is by far the dominant religion in Uzbekistan, as Muslims constitute 90% of the population while 5% of the population follow Russian Orthodox Christianity, and 5% of the population follow other religion according to a 2009 US State Departmentrelease.[71] However, a 2009 Pew Research Center report stated that Uzbekistan's population is 96.3% Muslim.[72] An estimated 93,000 Jews were once present in the country.[citation needed] Lenovo 04W0872 laptop keyboard

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Despite its predominance, the practice of Islam is far from monolithic. Many versions of the faith have been practiced in Uzbekistan. The conflict of Islamic tradition with various agendas of reform or secularization throughout the 20th century has left the outside world with a confused notion of Islamic practices in Central Asia.[citation needed]  Lenovo 63Y0047 laptop keyboard

The end of Soviet power in Uzbekistan did not bring an upsurge of fundamentalism, as many had predicted, but rather a gradual reacquaintance with the precepts of the faith.

Although constitutionally maintaining rights to freedom of religion, Uzbekistan maintains a ban on all religious activities not approved by that state, with particularly harsh treatment of Protestant Christians being commonplace. See: TOSHIBA PK130260100 laptop keyboard

Human Rights; Freedom of Religion, Uzbekistan

The Uzbek language is the only official state language,[73] and since 1992 is officially written in the Latin alphabet. TheTajik language is widespread in the cities of Bukhara and Samarkand because of their relatively large population of ethnicTajiks.[57] It is also found in large pockets in Kasan, Namangan, HP Mini 311-1000NR laptop keyboard

Khokand and Kanibadam in Fergana valley, as well as in Ahangaran, Baghistan in the middle Syr Darya distrist, and finally in, Shahri Sabz, Kitab and the river valleys of Kafiringanand Chaganian rivers, forming altogether, approximately 25-30% of the population of UzbekistanSONY VAIO VGN-NW23GF laptop keyboard

Russian is an important language for interethnic communication, especially in the cities, including much day-to-day technical, scientific, governmental and business use. Russian is the main language of over 14% of the population and is spoken as a second language by many more. The use of Russian in remote rural areas has always been limited, and today most school children have no proficiency in Russian even in urban centres. However, SONY KFRMBA151B laptop keyboard

it was reported in 2003 that over half of the population could speak and understand Russian, and a renewed close political relationship between Russia and Uzbekistan has meant that official discouragement of Russian has dropped off sharply.[74] TOSHIBA Satellite M40x Series laptop keyboard

Before 1920s, the written language of Uzbeks was called Turki (known to Western scholars as Chagatay) and used the Nastaʿlīqscript. In 1926, the Latin alphabet was introduced and went through several revisions in throughout the 1930s. DELL Precision M4500 Laptop Keyboard

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Finally, in 1940, Cyrillic alphabet was abruptly introduced by Soviet authorities and was used until the fall of Soviet Union. In 1993, Uzbekistan shifted back to the Latin script, which was modified in 1996 and is being taught in schools since 2005.[75] Nevertheless, many signs and notices (including official government boards in the streets) are still written in Uzbek Cyrillic script[citation needed]. TOSHIBA Satellite A110 Series Laptop Keyboard

Tashkent, the nation's capital and largest city, has a three-line rapid transit system built in 1977, and expanded in 2001 after ten years' independence from the Soviet Union. Uzbekistan is currently the only country in Central Asia with a subway system, which is promoted as one of the cleanest systems in the former Soviet Union.[78] The stations are exceedingly ornate. For example, ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

the station Metro Kosmonavtov built in 1984 is decorated using a space travel theme to recognise the achievements of mankind in space exploration and to commemorate the role of Vladimir Dzhanibekov, the Soviet cosmonaut of Uzbek origin. A statue of Vladimir Dzhanibekov stands near one of the station's entrances. HP Pavilion dv6-3035sl Laptop Keyboard

There are government-operated trams and buses running across the city. There are also many taxis, both registered and unregistered. Uzbekistan has car-producing plants which produce modern cars. The car production is supported by the government and the Korean auto company Daewoo. HP Pavilion DV7-4053 Laptop Keyboard

The Uzbek government acquired a 50% stake in Daewoo in 2005[citation needed] for an undisclosed sum, and in May 2007 UzDaewooAuto, the car maker, signed a strategic agreement with General Motors-Daewoo Auto and Technology (GMDAT, see: GM Uzbekistan also).[79] The government also bought a stake in Turkey's Koc in SamKochAvto, a producer of small buses and lorries. Afterwards, it signed an agreement with Isuzu Motors of Japan to produce Isuzu buses and lorries.[80] SONY VAIO VPCF126FM Laptop Keyboard

Train links connect many towns within Uzbekistan, as well as neighboring former republics of the Soviet Union. Moreover, after independence two fast-running train systems were established. Uzbekistan has launched first high-speed railway in Central Asia in September 2011 between Tashkent and Samarqand. The new high-speed electric train Talgo 250, calledAfrosiyob[81], was manufactured by Patentes Talgo S.L. (Spain) and carried out its first trip from Tashkent to Samarkand on August 26, 2011.[82] Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

There is also a large airplane plant that was built during the Soviet era – Tashkent Chkalov Aviation Manufacturing Plant or ТАПОиЧ in Russian. The plant originated during World War II, when production facilities were evacuated south and east to avoid capture by advancing Nazi forces. Until the late 1980s, SONY VAIO VGN-N21S/W Laptop Keyboard

the plant was one of the leading airplane production centers in the USSR, but with dissolution of the Soviet Union its manufacturing equipment became outdated, and most of the workers were laid off. Now it produces only a few planes a year, but with interest from Russian companies growing in it, there are rumours of production-enhancement plans.

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now a subsidiary of the Nordic/Baltic telecommunication company TeliaSonera AB).[77]

As of July 1, 2007, the estimated number of internet users was 1.8 million, according to UzACI.

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The military structure is largely inherited from the Turkestan Military District of the Soviet Army, although it is going through a reform to be based mainly on motorized infantry with some light and special forces[citation needed]. The Uzbek Armed Forces' equipment is not modern, and training, while improving, is neither uniform nor adequate for its new mission of territorial security[citation needed]. Lenovo 0A62075 Laptop Keyboard

The government has accepted the arms control obligations of the former Soviet Union, acceded to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (as a non-nuclear state), and supported an active program by the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) in western Uzbekistan (Nukus and Vozrozhdeniye Island). The Government of Uzbekistan spends about 3.7% of GDP on the military but has received a growing infusion of Foreign Military Financing (FMF) and other security assistance funds since 1998. SONY VAIO VGN-CR210EL Laptop Keyboard

Following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the U.S., Uzbekistan approved the U.S. Central Command's request for access to an air base, the Karshi-Khanabad airfield, in southern Uzbekistan. However, Uzbekistan demanded that the U.S. withdraw from the airbases after the Andijan massacre and the U.S. reaction to this massacre. The last US troops left Uzbekistan in November 2005. DELL Vostro 1015 Laptop Keyboard

On 23 June 2006, Uzbekistan became a full participant in the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), but informed the CSTO to suspend its membership in June 2012.[83]

Uzbekistan joined the Commonwealth of Independent States in December 1991. However, it is opposed to reintegration and withdrew from the CIS collective security arrangement in 1999. HP 608558-001 Laptop Keyboard

Since that time, Uzbekistan has participated in the CIS peacekeeping force in Tajikistan and in UN-organized groups to help resolve the Tajikistan and Afghanistan conflicts, both of which it sees as posing threats to its own stability. TOSHIBA Satellite L300 Laptop Keyboard

Previously close to Washington (which gave Uzbekistan half a billion dollars in aid in 2004, about a quarter of its military budget), the government of Uzbekistan has recently restricted American military use of the airbase at Karshi-Khanabad for air operations in neighboring Afghanistan.[84] Uzbekistan was an active supporter of U.S. efforts against worldwide terrorism and joined the coalitions that have dealt with both Afghanistan and Iraq. ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

The relationship between Uzbekistan and the United States began to deteriorate after the so-called "colour revolutions" inGeorgia and Ukraine (and to a lesser extent Kyrgyzstan). When the U.S. joined in a call for an independent international investigation of the bloody events at Andijan, the relationship further declined, and President Islam Karimov changed the political alignment of the country to bring it closer to Russia and China, countries which chose not to criticise Uzbekistan's leaders for their alleged human rights violations. TOSHIBA Satellite Pro C650-EZ1515D laptop keyboard

In late July 2005, the government of Uzbekistan ordered the United States to vacate an air base in Karshi-Kanabad (near Uzbekistan's border with Afghanistan) within 180 days. Karimov had offered use of the base to the U.S. shortly after 9/11. It is also believed by some Uzbeks that the protests in Andijan were brought about by the U.K. and U.S. influences in the area of Andijan. This is another reason for the hostility between Uzbekistan and the West. HP Pavilion dv6-2135ev laptop keyboard

Uzbekistan is a member of the United Nations (UN) (since March 2, 1992), the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC),Partnership for Peace (PfP), and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). It belongs to theOrganisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO) (comprising the five Central Asian countries, Azerbaijan, SONY N860-7676-T101 laptop keyboard

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Turkey,Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan). In 1999, Uzbekistan joined the GUAM alliance (Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova), which was formed in 1997 (making it GUUAM), but pulled out of the organization in 2005. HP Pavilion dv6-2135ev laptop keyboard

Uzbekistan is also a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and hosts the SCO’s Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) in Tashkent. SONY VAIO VGN-AR230G laptop keyboard

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The CACO consists of Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. It is a founding member of, and remains involved in, the Central Asian Union, formed with Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, and joined in March 1998 by Tajikistan.

In September 2006, UNESCO presented Islam Karimov an award for Uzbekistan's preservation of its rich culture and traditions. Despite criticism, this seems to be a sign of improving relationships between Uzbekistan and the West. DELL NSK-D8001 Laptop Keyboard

The month of October 2006 also saw a decrease in the isolation of Uzbekistan from the West. The EU announced that it was planning to send a delegation to Uzbekistan to talk about human rights and liberties, after a long period of hostile relations between the two. Although it is equivocal about whether the official or unofficial version of the Andijan Massacre is true, the EU is evidently willing to ease its economic sanctions against Uzbekistan. DELL Inspiron 1526 Laptop Keyboard

Nevertheless, it is generally assumed among Uzbekistan's population that the government will stand firm in maintaining its close ties with the Russian Federation and in its theory that the 2004–2005 protests in Uzbekistan were promoted by the USA and UK. Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

Uzbekistan has a wide mix of ethnic groups and cultures, with the Uzbek being the majority group. In 1995 about 71% of Uzbekistan's population was Uzbek. The chief minority groups were Russians (8%), Tajiks (5–30%),[56][57][58][85] Kazaks (4%), Tatars(2.5%) and Karakalpaks (2%). It is said, however, that the number of non-Uzbek people living in Uzbekistan is decreasing as Russians and other minority groups slowly leave and Uzbeks return from other parts of the former Soviet Union. TOSHIBA Satellite A305 Laptop Keyboard

When Uzbekistan gained independence in 1991, there was concern that Muslim fundamentalismwould spread across the region. The expectation was that a country long denied freedom of religious practice would undergo a very rapid increase in the expression of its dominant faith. As of 1994, over half of Uzbekistan's population was said to be Muslim, though in an official survey few of that number had any real knowledge of the religion or knew how to practice it. However, Islamic observance is increasing in the region. HP Pavilion dm3-1020CA Laptop Keyboard

Uzbekistan has a high literacy rate, with about 99.3% of adults above the age of 15 being able to read and write. However with only 76% of the under-15 population currently enrolled in education (and only 20% of the 3-6 year olds attending pre-school), this figure may drop in the future. Students attend school Monday through Saturday during the school year,with official education concluding at the end of the 9th grade. Post secondary school, DELL Precision M4500 Laptop Keyboard

students routinely attend trade or technical colleges. There are two international schools operating in Uzbekistan, both in Tashkent: The British School catering for elementary students only, and Tashkent International School, a K-12 international curriculum school.

Uzbekistan has encountered severe budget shortfalls in its education program. The education law of 1992 began the process of theoretical reform, HP G71-449WM Laptop Keyboard

but the physical base has deteriorated and curriculum revision has been slow. A large contributor to this decline is the low level of wages received by teachers and the lack of spending on infrastructure, buildings and resources on behalf of the government. Corruption within the education system is also rampant, with students from wealthier families routinely bribing teachers and school executives to achieve high grades without attending school, or undertaking official examinations.[86] Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

Uzbekistan's universities create almost 600,000 graduates annually, though the general standard of university graduates, and the overall level of education within the tertiary system is low. Westminster University maintains a campus in Tashkent offering English language courses across several disciplines. COMPAQ Presario C700 Laptop Keyboard

Central Asian classical music is called Shashmaqam, which arose in Bukhara in the late 16th century when that city was a regional capital. Shashmaqam is closely related to Azerbaijani Mugam and Uyghur muqam. Lenovo 3000 Y500 Laptop Keyboard

 The name, which translates as six maqams refers to the structure of the music, which contains six sections in six different Musical modes, similar to classicalPersian traditional music. Interludes of spoken Sufi poetry interrupt the music, typically beginning at a lower register and gradually ascending to a climax before calming back down to the beginning tone. HP Pavilion dv3-2310er Laptop Keyboard

Endurance of listening and continual audiences that attend events, such as Bazms or Weddings, is what makes the Folk-pop style of music so popular. The classical music in Uzbekistan is very different than that of the pop music. Mostly men listen to Solo or Duo shows during a morning or evening meeting amongst men. TOSHIBA 9J.N7482.901 Laptop Keyboard

Shash maqam, which is the main component of the classical genre of music. The large support of the musicians from high class families, which meant the Patronage was to be paid to the Shash maqam above all things. Poetry is where some of the music is drawn from. In some instances of the music, Compaq Presario CQ56-103EG laptop keyboard

the 2 languages are even mixed in the same song. In the 1950s, the folk music became less popular, and the genre was barred from the radio stations. They did not completely dispel the music all together, although the name changed to Feudal music. Although banned, the folk musical groups continued to play their music in their own ways and spread it individually as well. Many say that it was the most liberated musical experience in their lives.[citation needed] HP Pavilion dv5-1080el laptop keyboard

Uzbek Cuisine is influenced by local agriculture, as in most nations. There is a great deal of grain farming in Uzbekistan, so breads and noodles are of importance and Uzbek cuisine has been characterized as noodle rich. Mutton is a popular variety of meat due to the abundance of sheep in the country and it is part of various Uzbek dishes. TOSHIBA Satellite P300-1FC laptop keyboard

Uzbekistan's signature dish is Palov (Plov or Osh), a main course typically made with rice, pieces of meat, and gratedcarrots and onions. Oshi Nahor, or morning Plov, is served in the early morning (between 6 am and 9 am) to large gatherings of guests, typically as part of an ongoing wedding celebration. Other notable national dishes include: Shurpa (Shurva orShorva), SONY VAIO VGN-FS415E laptop keyboard

a soup made of large pieces of fatty meat (usually mutton), and fresh vegetables; Norin and Langman, noodle-based dishes that may be served as a soup or a main course; Manti, Chuchvara, and Somsa, stuffed pockets of dough served as an appetizer or a main course; Dimlama (a meat and vegetable stew) and various Kebabs, usually served as a main course. HP Pavilion dv3-2320tx laptop keyboard

Green tea is the national hot beverage taken throughout the day; teahouses (Chaikhanas) are of cultural importance. The more usual black tea is preferred in Tashkent, both green and black teas are taken daily without milk or sugar. Tea always accompanies a meal, but it is also a drink of hospitality, automatically offered – green or black – to every guest. Ayran, a chilled yogurt drink, is popular in summer, but does not replace hot tea. HP Mini 110 laptop keyboard

The use of alcohol is less widespread than in the west, but wine is comparatively popular for a Muslim nation as Uzbekistan is largely secular. Uzbekistan has 14 wineries, the oldest and most famous being the Khovrenko Winery in Samarkand (est. 1927). The Samarkand Winery produces a range of dessert wines from local grape varieties: Gulyakandoz, Shirin, Aleatiko, and Kabernet likernoe (literally Cabernet dessert wine in Russian). Uzbek wines have received international awards and are exported to Russia and other countries.

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Uzbekistan is home to former racing cyclist Djamolidine Abdoujaparov. Abdoujaparov has won the points contest in the Tour de France three times, each time winning the coveted green jersey (the green jersey is second only to the yellow jersey).[87] Abdoujaparov was a specialist at winning stages in tours or one-day races when the bunch or peloton would finish together. He would often 'sprint' in the final kilometre and had a reputation as being dangerous in these bunch sprints as he would weave from side to side. This reputation earned him the nickname 'The Terror of Tashkent'. HP Pavilion DV6-6B00 laptop keyboard

Artur Taymazov won Uzbekistan's first wrestling medal at the 2000 Summer Olympic Games, as well as three gold medals at the 2004, 2008 Summer Olympic Games and2012 Summer Olympic Games in Men's 120 kg.

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He won the WBA champion title in 2007 after defeating Nikolai Valuev. Chagaev defended his title twice before losing it to Vladimir Klitschko in 2009.

Michael Kolganov, sprint canoer, was world champion and won an Olympic bronze in K-1 500-meter. Gymnast Alexander Shatilov won a world bronze as an artistic gymnast in floor exercise. HP Pavilion dv6-2146so laptop keyboard

Uzbekistan is the home of the International Kurash Association. Kurash is an internationalized and modernized form of the traditional Uzbek fighting art ofKurash.

Football is the most popular sport in Uzbekistan. Uzbekistan's premier football league is the Uzbek League, which features 14 teams since 2010, HP Pavilion dv6-2108sa laptop keyboard

before 16. The current champions (2011) are FC Bunyodkor, and the team with the most championships is FC Pakhtakor Tashkent with 8. The current Player of the Year (2011) isOdil Ahmedov. Uzbekistan's football clubs regularly participates in the AFC Champions League and the AFC Cup. Nasaf won AFC Cup in 2011, SAMSUNG R518 laptop keyboard

 which is the first international club cup for Uzbek football.

Before Uzbekistan's independence in 1991, the country used to be part of the Soviet Union football, rugby union, ice hockey, basketball, and handball national teams. After Uzbekistan got split up from the Soviet Union, Uzbekistan created its own football, rugby union, and futsal national teams. TOSHIBA Satellite L300 Laptop Keyboard

Tennis is also a very popular sport in Uzbekistan, especially after Uzbekistan's independence in 1991. Uzbekistan also has its own Tennis Federation called the "UTF" (Uzbekistan Tennis Federation) that was created in 2002. Uzbekistan also hosts an International WTA tennis tournament called the "Tashkent Open", SONY Vaio PCG-K35 Laptop Keyboard

which is held in Uzbekistan's capital city. This tournament has been held since 1999, and is played on outdoor hard courts. The most notable active players from Uzbekistan are Denis Istomin and Akgul Amanmuradova.

Other popular sports in Uzbekistan include judo, team handball, baseball, taekwondo, basketball, and futsal. TOSHIBA NB200 Laptop Keyboard

In 1925, the borders of political units in Central Asia were changed along ethnic lines determined by Vladimir Lenin’s Commissar for Nationalities, Joseph Stalin. The Turkestan ASSR, the Bukharan People's Republic, and theKhorezm People's Republic were abolished and their territories were divided into eventually five separate Soviet Socialist Republics, one of which was the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic (Uzbek SSR), SONY 148044221 Laptop Keyboard

created on 27 October 1924. The next year the Uzbek SSR became one of the republics of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (Soviet Union).

The Uzbek SSR included the Tajik ASSR until 1929, when the Tajik ASSR was upgraded to an equal status. FUJITSU Amilo Mini Ui 3520 Laptop Keyboard

In 1930, the Uzbek SSR capital was relocated from Samarkand to Tashkent. In 1936, the Uzbek SSR was enlarged with the addition of the Karakalpak ASSR taken from the Kazakh SSR in the last stages of the national delimitation in the Soviet Union. Further bits and pieces of territory were transferred several times between the Kazakh SSR and the Uzbek SSR after World War II.

In 1928, the collectivization of land into state farms was initiated, which lasted until the late 1930s. SONY AEGD1E00010 Laptop Keyboard

In 1937–38, during the Great Purge, a number of alleged nationalists were executed, including Faizullah Khojaev, the first prime minister.

During World War II, many industries were relocated to the Uzbek SSR from vulnerable locations in western regions of the USSR to keep them safe. Large numbers of Russians, Ukrainians and other nationalities accompanied the factories, Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

altering the demographics of the republic. The demographics situation was further aggravated by Stalin’s relocation of some ethnic groups suspected of collaboration with the Axis powers from other parts of the USSR to the Uzbek SSR. This included large numbers of ethnic Koreans, Crimean Tatars, and Chechens. SAMSUNG N148 Laptop Keyboard

During the Soviet period, Islam became a focal point for the antireligious drives of Communist authorities. The government closed most mosques, and religious schools became anti-religious museums.[citation needed] On the positive side was the virtual elimination of illiteracy, even in rural areas. Only a small percentage of the population was literate before 1917; this percentage increased to nearly 100 percent under the Soviets.[citation needed] HP AEUT5U00010 Laptop Keyboard

Another major development, one with future catastrophic impact, was the drive initiated in the early 1960s to substantially increase cotton production in the republic. This drive led to overzealous irrigation withdrawals of irrigation water from the Amu Darya and the subsequent Aral Sea ecological disaster. HP AETT9U00010 Laptop Keyboard

The Communist Party was the only legal party in the Uzbek SSR until 1990. The first secretary, or head, of the Communist Party of Uzbekistan was consistently an Uzbek. Long-time leader of the Uzbek SSRwas Sharof Rashidov, head of the Communist Party of Uzbekistan from 1959 to 1983. Islam Karimov, leader of the Communist Party of Uzbekistan since 1989 and subsequently head of that party's reincarnation, the People's Democratic Party (PDP), became president of the Uzbek SSR in 1990. HP 597635-001 Laptop Keyboard

On 1 September 1991, the Uzbek SSR was renamed Republic of Uzbekistan, formally remaining a part of the Soviet Union until 26 December 1991. With the final collapse of the Soviet Union, the Uzbek SSR became the independent nation of Uzbekistan. Karimov has been its President ever since. HP Mini 110-3001tu Laptop Keyboard


Turkic languages are spoken as a native language by some 170 million people[4] and the total number of Turkic speakers, including second-language speakers, is over 200 million.[citation needed] The Turkic language with the greatest number of speakers is Turkish proper, spoken mainly in Anatolia and the Balkans, the native speakers of which account for about 40% of all Turkic speakers.[3] Dell Inspiron 8100 Laptop Keyboard

Characteristic features of Turkish, such as vowel harmony, agglutination, and lack of grammatical gender, are universal within the Turkic family.[3] There is also a high degree of mutual intelligibility among the variousOghuz languages, which include Turkish, Azerbaijani, Turkmen, Qashqai, Gagauz, Balkan Gagauz Turkish and Oghuzinfluenced Crimean Tatar.[5] HP Mini 210-1014TU Laptop Keyboard

The first established records of the Turkic languages are the eighth century Orkhon inscriptions by the Göktürks, recording the Old Turkic language, which were discovered in 1889 in the Orkhon Valley in Mongolia. The Compendium of the Turkic Dialects (Divânü Lügati't-Türk), written during the 11th century by Kaşgarlı Mahmud of the Kara-Khanid Khanate, constitutes an early linguistic treatment of the family. HP Pavilion dv5-1104tu Laptop Keyboard

  The Compendium is the first comprehensive dictionary of the Turkic languages and also includes the first known map of the Turkic speakers' geographical distribution. It mainly pertains to the Southwestern branch of the family.[7] HP Pavilion dv6-3160ez laptop keyboard

The Codex Cumanicus (12th–13th centuries) concerning the Northwestern branch is another early linguistic manual, between the Kipchak language and Latin, used by the Catholic missionaries sent to the Western Cumans inhabiting a region corresponding to present-day Hungary and Romania. The earliest records of the language spoken by Volga Bulgars, the parent to today's Chuvash language, are dated to the 13th–14th centuries. SAMSUNG NP-NB30-KP01 laptop keyboard

The following is a brief comparison of cognates among the basic vocabulary across the Turkic language family (about 60 words).

Empty cells do not necessarily imply that a particular language is lacking a word to describe the concept, but rather that the word for the concept in that language may be formed from another stem and is not a cognate with the other words in the row or that the equivalent was unknown to contributors to this article. SONY VAIO PCG-FX770K laptop keyboard

Also, there may be shifts in the meaning from one language to another, and so the "Common meaning" given is only approximate. In some cases the form given is found only in some dialects of the language. Forms are given in native Latin orthographies unless otherwise noted. SONY VAIO VGN-N31Z/W laptop keyboard

The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (Russian: Сою́з Сове́тских Социалисти́ческих Респу́блик, tr. Soyuz Sovetskikh Sotsialisticheskikh Respublik) abbreviated to USSR (Russian: СССР, tr. SSSR) or the Soviet Union (Russian:Советский Союз, tr. Sovetsky Soyuz), was a socialist state which espoused Marxist–Leninist ideology that existed between 1922 and 1991, ruled as a single-party state by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital.[3] A union of multiple subnational Soviet republics, its government and economy were highly centralized. Compaq Presario CQ56 laptop keyboard

The Soviet Union had its roots in the Russian Revolution of 1917, which deposed the imperial autocracy. TheBolsheviks, led by Vladimir Lenin, then overthrew the Provisional Government. The Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic was established and the Russian Civil War began. The Red Army entered several territories of the formerRussian Empire and helped local communists seize power. SONY VAIO VGN-NW50JB laptop keyboard

In 1922, the Bolsheviks were victorious, forming the Soviet Union with the unification of the Russian, Transcaucasian, Ukrainian and Byelorussian republics. Following Lenin's death in 1924, a troika collective leadership and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s. Stalin committed the state ideology to Marxism–Leninism and initiated a centrally planned economy. HP Mini 110-1033cl Laptop Keyboard

As a result, the country underwent a period of rapid industrialisation and collectivisation which laid the basis for its later war effort and dominance after World War II.[4] However, Stalin repressed both Communist Party members and elements of the population through his authoritarian rule. Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

During the first phase of World War II, the Soviet Union used the opportunity to acquire territories in Eastern Europe adjacent to Nazi Germany, its satellites, and their occupied territories. Later in 1941, Nazi Germany invadedthe Soviet Union, opening the largest and bloodiest theatre of war in history and violating an earlier non-aggression pact between the two countries Lenovo Thinkpad X220i Laptop Keyboard

. The Soviet Union suffered the largest loss of life in the war, but halted the Axisadvance at intense battles such as that at Stalingrad, eventually driving through Eastern Europe and capturing Berlinin 1945. Having played a decisive role in the Allied victory in Europe,[5] the Soviet Union established the Eastern Bloc in much of Central and Eastern Europe and emerged as one of the world's two superpowers after the war. HP G61-420SL Laptop Keyboard

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Together with these new satellite states, through which the Soviet Union established economic and military pacts, it became involved in the Cold War, a prolonged ideological and political struggle against the Western Bloc, led by the other superpower, the United States. TOSHIBA 48.N5601.001A Laptop Keyboard

A de-Stalinization period followed Stalin's death, reducing the harshest aspects of society. The Soviet Union then went on to initiate significant technological achievements of the 20th century, including launching the first ever satellite and world's first human spaceflight, which led it into the Space Race. ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

The 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis marked a period of extreme tension between the two superpowers, considered the closest to a mutual nuclear confrontation. In the 1970s, a relaxation of relations followed, but tensions resumed with Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. The occupation drained economic resources and dragged on without achieving meaningful political results.[6][7] SONY VAIO VGN-N325QE/W Laptop Keyboard

In the late 1980s the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, also sought reforms in the Union, introducing the policies of glasnost and perestroika in an attempt to end the period of economic stagnation and democratize the government. However, this led to the rise of strong nationalist and separatist movements. HP G42-164LA Laptop Keyboard

 Central authorities initiated a referendum, boycotted by the Baltic republics and Georgia, which resulted in the majority of participating citizens voting in favour of preserving the Union as a renewed federation. In August 1991, a coup d'état was attempted by hardliners against Gorbachev, with the intention of reversing his policies. HP G42-245BR Laptop Keyboard

The coup failed, with Russian President Boris Yeltsin playing a high-profile role in facing down the coup but resulted in the restoration[8][9][10] of the Baltic states. On 25 December 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the remaining 12 constituent republics emerged from the dissolution of the Soviet Union as independent post-Soviet states.[11] The Russian Federation, continuator state of the Russian SFSR, assumed the Soviet Union's rights and obligations and is recognised as its continued legal personality.[12] HP Pavilion DV6-1108sl laptop keyboard

With an area of 22,276,060 square kilometres (8,600,830 sq mi), the Soviet Union was the world's largest state, a status that is retained by the Russian Federation.[13] Covering a sixth of the Earth's land surface, its size was comparable to that of North America.[14] The European portion accounted for a quarter of the country's area, and was the cultural and economic center. TOSHIBA Satellite P305-S8832 laptop keyboard

The eastern part in Asia extended to the Pacific Ocean to the east and Afghanistanto the south, and, except some areas in Central Asia, was much less populous. It spanned over 10,000 kilometres (6,200 mi) east to west across 12 time zones, and over 7,200 kilometres (4,500 mi) north to south. It had five climate zones: SONY VAIO VGN-SZ360P/C laptop keyboard

tundra, taiga, steppes, desert, and mountains.

The Soviet Union had the world's longest boundary, like Russia, measuring over 60,000 kilometres (37,000 mi), or 112circumferences of the Earth. Two-thirds of it were a coastline. Across the Bering Strait was the United States. The Soviet Union bordered Afghanistan, China, Czechoslovakia, Finland, Hungary, Iran, Mongolia, North Korea, Norway,Poland, Romania, and Turkey from 1945 to 1991. HP COMPAQ NC6120 laptop keyboard

The Soviet Union's highest mountain was Communism Peak (now Ismoil Somoni Peak) in Tajikistan, at 7,495 metres (24,590 ft). The Soviet Union also included most of the world's largest lake, the Caspian Sea (shared with Iran), and also Lake Baikal, the world's largest freshwater and deepest lake, an internal body of water in Russia. Lenovo 3000 Y510a 15303 laptop keyboard

The last Russian Tsar, Nicholas II, ruled the Russian Empire until his abdication in March 1917 in the aftermath of the February Revolution, due in part to the strain of fighting in World War I, which lacked public support. A short-lived Russian Provisional Government took power, to be overthrown in the October Revolution (N.S. 7 November 1917) by revolutionaries led by the Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin. HP Pavilion dv6-3351sf laptop keyboard

The Soviet Union was officially established in December 1922 with the union of the Russian, Ukrainian, Byelorussian, andTranscaucasian Soviet republics, each ruled by local Bolshevik parties. Despite the foundation of the Soviet state as a federative entity of many constituent republics, each with its own political and administrative entities, HP G62-a40EV laptop keyboard

the term "Soviet Russia" – strictly applicable only to the Russian Federative Socialist Republic – was often applied to the entire country by non-Soviet writers and politicians.

A spontaneous popular uprising in Petrograd, in response to the wartime decay of Russia's economy and morale, HP Mini 210 laptop keyboard

culminated in the February Revolution and the toppling of the imperial government in March 1917. The tsarist autocracy was replaced by the Russian Provisional Government, which intended to conduct elections to the Russian Constituent Assembly and to continue fighting on the side of the Entente in World War I. HP Pavilion dv6-2055so laptop keyboard

At the same time, workers' councils, known in Russian as "Soviets", sprang up across the country. The Bolsheviks, led by Vladimir Lenin, pushed for socialist revolution in the Soviets and on the streets. On 7 November 1917, the Red Guards stormed the Winter Palace in Petrograd, ending the rule of the Provisional Government and leaving all political power to the Soviets. This event would later be known as the Great October Socialist Revolution. HP G72-262NR laptop keyboard

In December, the Bolsheviks signed an armistice with the Central Powers, though by February 1918, fighting had resumed. In March, the Soviets ended involvement in the war for good and signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. ACER Aspire One D150-1Bk laptop keyboard

A long and bloody Civil War ensued between the Reds and the Whites, starting in 1917 and ending in 1923 with the Reds' victory. It included foreign intervention, the execution of Nicholas II and his family, and the famine of 1921, which killed about five million.[15] In March 1921, during a related conflict with Poland, SONY 148044221 laptop keyboard

the Peace of Riga was signed, splitting disputed territories in Belarus and Ukraine between the Republic of Poland and Soviet Russia. The Soviet Union had to resolve similar conflicts with the newly established Republic of Finland, the Republic of Estonia, the Republic of Latvia, and the Republic of Lithuania. HP Pavilion G7-1075DX laptop keyboard

Modern revolutionary activity in the Russian Empire began with the Decembrist Revolt of 1825. HP Pavilion G4-1050TU laptop keyboard

A parliament—the State Duma—was established in 1906 after the Russian Revolution of 1905, but the Tsar resisted attempts to move from absolute toconstitutional monarchy. Social unrest continued and was aggravated during World War I by military defeat and food shortages in major Soviet cities HP NSK-H7A01 laptop keyboard

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Tajikistan ( i/tɑːˈdʒiːkɨstɑːn/, /təˈdʒiːkɨstæn/, or /tæˈdʒiːkiːstæn/; Тоҷикистон [tɔd͡ʒikɪsˈtɔn]), officially theRepublic of Tajikistan (Tajik: Ҷумҳурии Тоҷикистон, Çumhuriyi Toçikiston; Russian: Республика Таджикистан,Respublika Tadzhikistan), is a mountainous landlocked country in Central Asia. TOSHIBA Satellite A110 Series Laptop Keyboard

It borders Afghanistan to the south,Uzbekistan to the west, Kyrgyzstan to the north, and China to the east. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit Baltistan inPakistan are separated from Tajikistan by the narrow Wakhan Corridor. ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

Most of Tajikistan's population belongs to the Persian-speaking Tajik ethnic group, who share language, culture and history with Afghanistan and Iran. Once part of the Samanid Empire, Tajikistan became a constituent republic of theSoviet Union in the 20th century, known as the Tajik Soviet Socialist Republic (Tajik SSR). Mountains cover over 90% of this Central Asian republic. HP Pavilion dv6-3035sl Laptop Keyboard

After independence, Tajikistan suffered from a devastating civil war which lasted from 1992 to 1997. Since the end of the war, newly established political stability and foreign aid have allowed the country's economy to grow. Trade in commodities such as cotton, aluminium and uranium has contributed greatly to this steady improvement. HP Pavilion DV7-4053 Laptop Keyboard

The territory of what is now Tajikistan has been inhabited continuously since 4000 BC.[citation needed] It has been under the rule of various empires throughout history, for the longest period being part of the Persian Empire. It was originally called Neb for a short period of time, before being given the name Tajikistan. SONY VAIO VPCF126FM Laptop Keyboard

Further, Sir George Abraham Grierson says that the speech of Badakshan was a Ghalcha until about three centuries ago when it was supplanted by a form of Persian.[7] Thus, the ancient Kamboja, Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

probably included the Badakshan, Pamirsand northern territories including the Yaghnobi region in the doab of the Oxus and Jaxartes.[8] On the east it was bounded roughly by Yarkand and/or Kashgar, on the west by Bahlika (Uttaramadra), on the northwest by Sogdiana, on the north byUttarakuru, on the southeast by Darada, and on the south by Gandhara. SONY VAIO VGN-N21S/W Laptop Keyboard

Numerous Indologists locate original Kamboja in Pamirs and Badakshan and the Parama Kamboja further north, in the Trans-Pamirian territories comprising Zeravshan valley, north up parts of Sogdhiana or Fargana — in the Sakadvipa or Scythia of the classical writers.[9]

Thus, DELL Vostro 1510 Laptop Keyboard

in pre-Buddhist times (7th–6th century BCE), the parts of modern Tajikistan including territories as far as Zeravshan valley in Sogdiana formed parts of ancient Kamboja and the Parama Kamboja kingdoms when it was ruled by the Kambojas till it became part of Persian Achaemenid Empire. After the Persian Empire was defeated by Alexander the Great, the region became the northern part of Hellenistic Greco-Bactrian Kingdom. Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

From the last quarter of 4th century BCE until the first quarter of the 2nd century BCE, it was part of the Bactrian Empire, from whom it was passed on to Scythian Tukharas and hence became part of Tukharistan. Lenovo 0A62075 Laptop Keyboard

Contact with the Chinese Han Dynasty was made in the 2nd century BCE, when envoys were sent to the area of Bactria to explore regions west of China.

Arabs brought Islam in the 7th century CE.[citation needed] The Samanid Empire supplanted the Arabs and enlarged the cities ofSamarkand and Bukhara, which became the cultural centers of Tajiks (both of which are now in Uzbekistan). SONY VAIO VGN-CR210EL Laptop Keyboard

The Mongols would later take partial control of Central Asia, and later the land that today comprises Tajikistan became a part of the Emirate of Bukhara. A small community of Jews, displaced from the Middle East after the Babylonian captivity, migrated to the region and settled there after 600 BCE, though the majority of the recent Jewish population did not migrate to Tajikistan until the 20th century. DELL Vostro 1015 Laptop Keyboard

In the 19th century, the Russian Empire began to spread into Central Asia during the Great Game. Between 1864 and 1885 it gradually took control of the entire territory of Russian Turkestan from today's border with Kazakhstan in the north to theCaspian Sea in the west and the border with Afghanistan in the south. Tajikistan was eventually carved out of this territory, which historically had a large Tajik population. HP 608558-001 Laptop Keyboard

After the overthrow of Imperial Russia in 1917, guerrillas throughout Central Asia, known as basmachi, waged a war againstBolshevik armies in a futile attempt to maintain independence. The Bolsheviks prevailed after a four-year war, in whichmosques and villages were burned down and the population heavily suppressed. TOSHIBA Satellite L300 Laptop Keyboard

Soviet authorities started a campaign of secularization, practicing Muslims, Jews, and Christians were persecuted,[citation needed] and mosques, churches, and synagogues[which?][dubious – discuss] were closed.

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The predominantly ethnic Tajik cities of Samarkand and Bukhara remained in the Uzbek SSR. Between 1926 and 1959 the proportion of Russiansamong Tajikistan's population grew from less than 1% to 13%.[10] Some 120,000 inhabitants of Tajikistan died during World War II.[11]

In terms of living conditions, SONY 148024421 Laptop Keyboard

education and industry Tajikistan was behind the other Soviet Republics. In the 1980s, it had the lowest household saving rate in the USSR,[12] the lowest percentage of households in the two top per capita income groups,[13] and the lowest rate of university graduates per 1000 people.[14] SONY VAIO VGN-FS742/W Laptop Keyboard

By the late 1980s Tajik nationalists were calling for increased rights. Real disturbances did not occur within the republic until 1990.[citation needed] The following year, the Soviet Union collapsed, and Tajikistan declared its independence. HP Envy 17-2077ez Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

The first nation to establish an embassy in Dushanbe was Iran, which was also one of the first countries to immediately recognize Tajikistan as an independent state in 1991.

Independence HP Envy 17-1190nr Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

The nation almost immediately fell into a civil war that involved various factions fighting one another; these factions were often distinguished by clan loyalties. The non-Muslim population, particularly Russians and Jews, fled the country during this time because of persecution, increased poverty and better economic opportunities in the West or in other former Soviet republics. TOSHIBA Satellite Pro C650-EZ1515D laptop keyboard

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Emomalii Rahmon came to power in 1994, defeating former prime minister Abdumalik Abdullajanov in a November presidential election with 58% of the vote.[15] The elections took place shortly after the end of the war, and Tajikistan was in a state of complete devastation. The estimated dead numbered over 100,000. SONY N860-7676-T101 laptop keyboard

Around 1.2 million people were refugees inside and outside of the country.[16] In 1997, a ceasefire was reached between Rahmon and opposition parties (United Tajik Opposition).

Peaceful elections were held in 1999, HP Pavilion dv6-2140ef laptop keyboard

though they were criticized by opposition parties and foreign observers. Rahmon was re-elected with 98% of the vote. Elections were held again in 2006, with Rahmon winning a third term in office with 79% of the vote in a field of five candidates. Several opposition parties boycotted the election and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe was critical of it, although observers from the Commonwealth of Independent States claimed the elections to be legal and transparent. HP Pavilion dv6-2135ev laptop keyboard

Rahmon's government came under criticism from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in October 2010 for its censorship and repression of the media. The OSCE claimed that the Tajik Government censored Tajik and foreign websites and instituted tax inspections on independent printing houses that lead to the cessation of printing activities for a number of independent newspapers.[17] SONY VAIO VGN-AR230G laptop keyboard

Russian border troops were stationed along the Tajik-Afghan border until summer 2005. Since the September 11, 2001 attacks, French troops have been stationed at the Dushanbe Airport in support of air operations of NATO's International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. United States Army and Marine Corpspersonnel periodically visit Tajikistan to conduct joint training missions of up to several weeks duration. GATEWAY MG2 laptop keyboard

The Government of India rebuilt the Ayni Air Base, a military airport located 15 km southwest of Dushanbe, at a cost of $70 million, completing the repairs in September 2010.[18] It is now the main base of the Tajikistan air force. There have been talks with Russia concerning use of the Ayni facility,[19] and Russia continues to maintain a large base on the outskirts of Dushanbe and operate at least one military hospital in the capital city. DELL NSK-D8001 Laptop Keyboard

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In 2010, there were concerns among Tajik officials that Islamic militarism in the east of the country was on the rise following the escape of 25 militants from a Tajik prison in August, an ambush that killed 28 Tajik soldiers in the Rasht Valley in September,[20] and another ambush in the valley in October that killed 30 soldiers,[21] Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

followed by fighting outside Gharm that left 3 militants dead.[22] To date the country's Interior Ministry asserts that the central government maintains full control over the country's east, and the military operation in the Rasht Valley was concluded in November 2010.[23] However, fighting erupted again in July 2012.[24] TOSHIBA Satellite A305 Laptop Keyboard

Almost immediately after independence, Tajikistan was plunged into a civil war that saw various factions, allegedly backed by Russiaand Iran[citation needed], fighting one another. All but 25,000 of the more than 400,000 ethnic Russians, who were mostly employed in industry, fled to Russia. By 1997, the war had cooled down, and a central government began to take form, with peaceful elections in 1999. HP Pavilion dm3-1020CA Laptop Keyboard

"Longtime observers of Tajikistan often characterize the country as profoundly averse to risk and skeptical of promises of reform, a political passivity they trace to the country’s ruinous civil war," Ilan Greenberg wrote in a news article in The New York Timesjust before the country's November 2006 presidential election.[25] DELL Precision M4500 Laptop Keyboard

Tajikistan is officially a republic, and holds elections for the Presidency and Parliament. It is, however, a one party dominant system, where the People's Democratic Party of Tajikistan routinely has a vast majority in Parliament. Emomalii Rahmon has held the office of President continually since November 1994. HP G71-449WM Laptop Keyboard

The parliamentary elections in 2005 aroused many accusations from opposition parties and international observers that President Emomalii Rahmon corruptly manipulates the election process. The most recent elections, in February 2010, saw the ruling PDPT lose four seats in Parliament, Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

yet still maintain a comfortable majority.Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe election observers said the 2010 polling "failed to meet many key OSCE commitments" and that "these elections failed on many basic democratic standards."[26][27] The government insisted that only minor violations had occurred, which would not affect the will of the Tajik people.[26][27] DELL Precision M4500 Laptop Keyboard

Freedom of the press is officially guaranteed by the government, although independent press outlets remain restricted, as does a substantial amount of web content. According to the Institute for War & Peace Reporting, access is blocked to local and foreign websites including avesta.tj, Tjknews.com, ferghana.ru and centrasia.ru and journalists are often obstructed from reporting on controversial events. DELL Vostro 3450 Laptop Keyboard

 In practice, no public criticism of the regime is tolerated and all direct protest is severely suppressed and does not get reported in the local media.[28]

The presidential election held on November 6, 2006 was boycotted by "mainline" opposition parties, including the 23,000-member Islamic Renaissance Party. Four remaining opponents "all but endorsed the incumbent", Rahmon.[25] COMPAQ Presario C700 Laptop Keyboard

Tajikistan has given Iran its support in Iran's membership bid to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, after a meeting between the Tajik President and the Iranian foreign minister.[29]

Tajikistan consists of 4 administrative divisions. These are the provinces (viloyat) of Sughd and Khatlon, Lenovo 3000 Y500 Laptop Keyboard

the autonomous province of Gorno-Badakhshan (abbreviated as GBAO), and the Region of Republican Subordination (RRP – Raiony Respublikanskogo Podchineniya in transliteration from Russian or NTJ – Ноҳияҳои тобеи ҷумҳурӣ inTajik; formerly known as Karotegin Province). Each region is divided into several districts, HP Pavilion dv3-2310er Laptop Keyboard

 (Tajik: Ноҳия, nohiya orraion), which in turn are subdivided into jamoats (village-level self-governing units) and then villages (qyshloqs). As of 2006, there were 58 districts and 367 jamoats in Tajikistan.[30] TOSHIBA 9J.N7482.901 Laptop Keyboard

Tajikistan is landlocked, and is the smallest nation in Central Asia by area. It lies mostly between latitudes 36° and 41° N (a small area is north of 41°), and longitudes 67° and 75° E (a small area is east of 75°). Compaq Presario CQ56-103EG laptop keyboard

It is covered by mountains of the Pamir range, and more than fifty percent of the country is over 3,000 meters (9,800 ft) above sea level. The only major areas of lower land are in the north (part of the Fergana Valley), and in the southern Kofarnihon and Vakhsh river valleys, which form the Amu Darya. Dushanbe is located on the southern slopes above the Kofarnihon valley. HP Pavilion dv5-1080el laptop keyboard

Tajikistan was the poorest republic of the Soviet Union and is the poorest country in Central Asia as well as in the former Soviet Union today. The current economic situation remains fragile, largely owing to corruption, uneven economic reforms, TOSHIBA Satellite P300-1FC laptop keyboard

and economic mismanagement. With foreign revenue precariously dependent upon remittances from migrant workers overseas and exports of aluminium and cotton, the economy is highly vulnerable to external shocks. In FY 2000, international assistance remained an essential source of support for rehabilitation programs that reintegrated former civil war combatants into the civilian economy, SONY VAIO VGN-FS415E laptop keyboard

thus helping keep the peace. International assistance also was necessary to address the second year of severe drought that resulted in a continued shortfall of food production.

In 2006, GDP per capita of Tajikistan was 85% of 1990s level,[31] while the population has increased from 5.3 million in 1991 to 7.3 million in 2009. HP Pavilion dv3-2320tx laptop keyboard

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On August 21, 2001, the Red Cross announced that a famine was striking Tajikistan, and called for international aid for Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Tajikistan's economy grew substantially after the war. HP Compaq G50-123NR laptop keyboard

The GDP of Tajikistan expanded at an average rate of 9.6% over the period of 2000–2007 according to the World Bank data. This improved Tajikistan's position among other Central Asian countries (namely Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan), which seem to have degraded economically ever since.[32] HP Pavilion DV6-6B00 laptop keyboard

Tajikistan is an active member of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO).

In 2007 the Anzab tunnel was completed, connecting the previously hard to access Northern part of the country to the capitalDushanbe has been labeled as part of the new Silk Road. It is part of a road under construction that will connect Tajikistan to Iran and the Persian Gulf through Afghanistan. HP Pavilion DV7-3180us laptop keyboard

In 2004 a bridge between Afghanistan and Tajikistan was built, improving the country's access to South Asia. The bridge was built by the United States.[33]

The primary sources of income in Tajikistan are aluminium production, cotton growing and remittances from migrant workers.[34] HP Pavilion dv6-2146so laptop keyboard

Aluminium industry is represented by the state-ownedTajik Aluminum Company - the biggest aluminium plant in Central Asia and one of the biggest in the world.[35]

Tajikistan's rivers, such as the Vakhsh and the Panj, have great hydropower potential, and the government has focused on attracting investment for projects for internal use and electricity exports. Tajikistan is home to the Nurek, HP Pavilion dv6-2108sa laptop keyboard

the highest dam in the world.[36] Lately, Russia's RAO UES energy giant has been working on the Sangtuda-1 hydroelectric power station (670 MW capacity) commenced operations on 18 January 2008.[37][38] Other projects at the development stage include Sangtuda-2 by Iran, Zerafshan by the Chinese company SinoHydro, and the Rogun power plant that, at a projected height of 335 metres (1,099 ft), SAMSUNG R518 laptop keyboard

  would supersede the Nurek Dam as highest in the world if it is brought to completion[39][40]CASA 1000 project will transmit 1000 MW of surplus electricity from Tajikistan to Pakistan with power transit through Afghanistan. The total length of transmission line is 750 km while the project is planned to be on Public-Private Partnership basis with the support of WB, IFC, ADB and IDB. The project cost is estimated to be around US$ 865 million.[41] TOSHIBA Satellite L300 Laptop Keyboard

Other energy resources include sizable coal deposits and smaller reserves of natural gas and petroleum.

Foreign remittance flows from Tajik migrant workers abroad, mainly in Russia, has become by far the main source of income for millions of Tajikistan's people and represents additional 36.2% of country's GDP directly reaching the poverty-stricken population.[42] SONY Vaio PCG-K35 Laptop Keyboard

According to some estimates about 20% of the population lives on less than US$1.25 per day.[43] Migration from Tajikistan and the consequent remittances have been unprecedented in their magnitude and economic impact. Tajikistan has achieved transition from a planned to a market economy without substantial and protracted recourse to aid (of which it by now receives only negligible amounts), TOSHIBA NB200 Laptop Keyboard

and by purely market-based means, simply by exporting its main commodity of comparative advantage — cheap labor.[44] The World Bank Tajikistan Policy Note 2006 concludes that remittances have played an important role as one of the drivers of Tajikistan's robust economic growth during the past several years, have increased incomes, and as a result helped significantly reduce poverty.[45] SONY 148044221 Laptop Keyboard

Drug trafficking is the major illegal source of income in Tajikistan as it is an important transit country for Afghan narcoticsbound for Russian and, to a lesser extent, Western European markets; some opium poppy is also raised locally for the domestic market.[46] However, with the increasing assistance from international organizations, such as UNODC, and cooperation with the US, Russian, FUJITSU Amilo Mini Ui 3520 Laptop Keyboard

EU and Afghan authorities a level of progress on the fight against illegal drug-trafficking is being achieved.[47]

Tajikistan holds third place in the world for heroin and raw opium confiscations (1216.3 kg of heroin and 267.8 kg of raw opium in the first half of 2006).[48][49] Drug money corrupts the country's government; SONY AEGD1E00010 Laptop Keyboard

according to some experts the well-known personalities that fought on both sides of the civil war and have held the positions in the government after the armistice was signed are now involved in the drug trade.[46] UNODC is working with Tajikistan to strengthen border crossings, provide training, and set up joint interdiction teams. It also helped to establish Tajikistani Drug Control Agency.[50] Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

Since the collapse of the USSR, there has been a significant and growing trend of Tajiks migrating abroad for jobs and seeking refuge. In 2010, remittances from Tajik labour migrants totaled an estimated 2.1 billion US dollars, an increase from 2009. SAMSUNG N148 Laptop Keyboard

Tajikistan has a population of 7,349,145 (July 2009 est.)[3] Tajiks who speak the Tajik language (a variety of Persian) are the main ethnic group, although there is a sizable minority of Uzbeks and Russians, HP AEUT5U00010 Laptop Keyboard

whose numbers are declining due to emigration.[51] In 1989, ethnic Russians in Tajikistan made up 7.6% of the population.[52] The Pamiris of Badakhshan are considered to belong to the larger group of Tajiks. All citizens of Tajikistan are called Tajiks.[3] HP AETT9U00010 Laptop Keyboard

HP 597635-001 Laptop Keyboard

The official and vernacular language of Tajikistan is Tajik although Russian is routinely used in business and communication. The use of Russian in official documents has been ruled out in 2009[53] although the Constitution still mentions it as the "language for inter-ethnic communication".HP Mini 110-3001tu Laptop Keyboard

Despite its poverty, Tajikistan has a high rate of literacy due to the old Soviet system of free education, with an estimated 99.5% of the population having the ability to read and write.[3] The majority of the population follow Sunni Islam. There is also a sizeable minority of Ismailis.

Bukharan Jews had lived in Tajikistan since the 2nd century BC, but today almost none are left. Dell Inspiron 8100 Laptop Keyboard

There is also a small population of Yaghnobi people who have lived in the mountainous district of Sughd Viloyat for many centuries. The German population in Tajikistan was 38,853 in 1979.[54] Nearly one million Tajik men worked abroad in 2009.[55] More than 70% of the female population lives in traditional villages.[56] HP Mini 210-1014TU Laptop Keyboard

Despite repeated efforts by the Tajik government to improve and expand health care, the system remains extremely underdeveloped and poor, with severe shortages of medical supplies. The state's Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare reported that 104,272 disabled people are registered in Tajikistan (2000). HP Pavilion dv5-1104tu Laptop Keyboard

This group of people suffers most from poverty in Tajikistan. The government of Tajikistan and the World Bank considered activities to support this part of the population described in the World Bank's Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper.[57] Public expenditure on health was at 1% of the GDP in 2004.[58] SONY VAIO PCG-FX770K laptop keyboard

Life expectancy at birth is estimated to be 66.38 years in 2012.[59] The infant mortality rate is approximately 37 deaths per 1,000 children in 2012.[60] In the early 2000s, there were 203 physicians per 100,000 people.[58] Tajikistan is the only country in world where polio is on the increase. From zero cases in 2008 and 2009, 458 confirmed cases have been reported for 2010 (of 976 cases worldwide).[citation needed] SONY VAIO VGN-N31Z/W laptop keyboard

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Historically, Tajiks and Persians come from very similar stock, speaking variants of the same language and are related as part of the larger group of Iranian peoples. The Tajik language is the mother tongue of around 80% of the citizens of Tajikistan. The main urban centers in today's Tajikistan include Dushanbe (the capital), Khujand, Kulob, Panjakent and Istaravshan. There are also Uzbek,Kyrgyz and Russian minorities. SONY VAIO VGN-NW50JB laptop keyboard

The Pamiri people of Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province in the southeast, bordering Afghanistan and China, though considered part of the Tajik ethnicity, nevertheless are distinct linguistically and culturally from most Tajiks. In contrast to the mostly SunniMuslim residents of the rest of Tajikistan, HP Mini 110-1033cl Laptop Keyboard

the Pamiris overwhelmingly follow the Ismaili sect of Islam, and speak a number ofEastern Iranian languages, including Shughni, Rushani, Khufi and Wakhi. Isolated in the highest parts of the Pamir Mountains, they have preserved many ancient cultural traditions and folk arts that have been largely lost elsewhere in the country. Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

The Yaghnobi people live in mountainous areas of northern Tajikistan. The estimated number of Yaghnobis is now about 25,000. Forced migrations in the 20th century decimated their numbers. They speak the Yaghnobi language, which is the only direct modern descendant of the ancient Sogdian language. Lenovo Thinkpad X220i Laptop Keyboard

Tajikistan artisans created the Dushanbe Tea House, which was presented in 1988 as a gift to the sister city of Boulder, Colorado.[61]

In 2010, a Tajik citizen Nilufar Sherzod became Miss United Nations, representing Tajik culture.[62] HP G61-420SL Laptop Keyboard

Tajikistan's mountains provide many opportunities for outdoor activities, such as biking, rock climbing, skiing, snowboarding, hiking, and mountain climbing. Facilities are limited so tourists must expect to be largely self-sufficient and plan carefully. Mountain climbing and hiking tours to the Fann and Pamir Mountains, including the 7,000 m peaks in the region, are seasonally organized by local and international alpine agencies. SAMSUNG Q320 Laptop Keyboard

Football is the most popular sport in Tajikistan. The Tajikistan national football team competes in the FIFA and AFC leagues. It also hosts many football clubs.

The Tajikistan Cricket Federation was formed in 2012 as the governing body for the sport of cricket in Tajikistan. It was granted affiliate membership of theAsian Cricket Council in the same year. TOSHIBA 48.N5601.001A Laptop Keyboard

Sunni Islam of the Hanafi school has been officially recognized by the government since 2009.[64] Tajikistan considers itself asecular state with a Constitution providing for freedom of religion. The Government has declared two Islamic holidays, Id Al-Fitrand Idi Qurbon, as state holidays. According to a 2009 U.S. ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

State Department release, the population of Tajikistan is 98% Muslim, (approximately 95% Sunni and 3% Shia).[65] The remaining 2% of the population are followers of Russian Orthodoxy, a variety of Protestant denominations, Catholicism, Zoroastrianism and Buddhism. A great majority of Muslims fast during Ramadan, SONY VAIO VGN-N325QE/W Laptop Keyboard

although only about one third in the countryside and 10% in the cities observe daily prayer and dietary restrictions. Relationships between religious groups are generally amicable, although there is some concern among mainstream Muslim leaders[who?] that minority religious groups undermine national unity. HP G42-164LA Laptop Keyboard

There is a concern for religious institutions becoming active in the political sphere. The Islamic Renaissance Party (IRP), a major combatant in the 1992–1997 Civil War and then-proponent of the creation of an Islamic state in Tajikistan, constitutes no more than 30% of the government by statute. Membership in Hizb ut-Tahrir,  HP G42-245BR Laptop Keyboard

 a party which today aims for a nonviolent overthrow of secular governments and the unification of Tajiks under one Islamic state, is illegal and members are subject to arrest and imprisonment.[66] Numbers of large mosques appropriate for Friday prayers are limited and some[who?] feel this is discriminatory. SONY VAIO VGN-SZ360P/C laptop keyboard

By law, religious communities must register by the State Committee on Religious Affairs (SCRA) and with local authorities. Registration with the SCRA requires a charter, a list of 10 or more members, and evidence of local government approval prayer site location. Religious groups who do not have a physical structure are not allowed to gather publicly for prayer. Failure to register can result in large fines and closure of place of worship. There are reports that registration on the local level is sometimes difficult to obtain.[67] HP COMPAQ NC6120 laptop keyboard

The Tajik Soviet Socialist Republic (Tajik: Республикаи Советии Социалистии Тоҷикистон Respublikai Sovetii Sotsialistii Tojikiston; Russian: Таджикская Советская Социалистическая Республика Tadzhikskaya Sovetskaya Sotsialisticheskaya Respublika), also known as the Tajik SSR for short, Lenovo 3000 Y510a 15303 laptop keyboard

was one of the 15 republics that made up theSoviet Union. Located in Central Asia, the Tajik SSR was created on 5 December 1929 as a national entity for theTajik people within the Soviet Union. It succeeded the Tajik Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (Tajik ASSR), which had been created on 14 October 1924 as a part of the predominantly Turkic Uzbek SSR in the process of national delimitation in Soviet Central Asia. On 9 September 1991, HP Pavilion dv6-3351sf laptop keyboard

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Tajik SSR declared independence from the Soviet Union and was renamed the Republic of Tajikistan. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the state ceased to exist on 6 November 1994 with the adoption of the new Constitution of Tajikistan

One of the new states created in the process of national delimitation of Soviet Central Asia in October 1924 was theUzbek Soviet Socialist Republic – Uzbek SSR or Soviet Uzbekistan. HP Mini 210 laptop keyboard

Soviet Tajikistan was created at the same time within the predominantly Turkic Uzbek SSR as an Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (Tajik ASSR) – one rank below aSoviet Socialist Republic in USSR geopolitical hierarchy. The new autonomous republic included what had been easternBukhara and had a population of about 740,000, out of a total population of nearly 5 million in the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic as a whole. HP Pavilion dv6-2055so laptop keyboard

Its capital was established in Dyushambe (today's Dushanbe), which had been a village of 3,000 in 1920. In December 1929, Tajik ASSR was detached from the Uzbek SSR and given full status as a Soviet Socialist Republic – Tajik SSR. At that time, its capital was renamed Stalinabad and the territory that is now northern Tajikistan (Sughd Province) was added to the new republic. Even with the additional territory, HP G72-262NR laptop keyboard

the Tajik SSR remained the smallest Central Asian republic.

With the creation of a Tajik republic defined in national terms came the creation of institutions that, at least in form, were likewise national. The first Tajik-language newspaper in Soviet Tajikistan began publication in 1926. ACER Aspire One D150-1Bk laptop keyboard

New educational institutions also began operation at about the same time. The first state schools, available to both children and adults and designed to provide basic education, opened in 1926. The central government also trained a small number of Tajiks for public office, either by putting them through courses offered by government departments or by sending them to schools in the Uzbek SSR. SONY 148044221 laptop keyboard

Under Soviet rule, the Tajik SSR experienced some economic and social progress. However, living standards in the republic were still among the lowest in the Union. Most still live in rural qishlaqs, settlements that were composed of 200 to 700 one-family houses built along a waterway.

Persian (Persian: فارسیHP Pavilion G7-1075DX laptop keyboard

Fārsi [fɒːɾˈsiː]) is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran (Persia) (locally referred to as Farsi or Parsi), Afghanistan(officially known as "Dari Persian" since 1958 for political reasons[3]), Tajikistan (officially known as "Tajik" since the Soviet era),[4] and other countries which historically came under Persian influence. HP Pavilion G4-1050TU laptop keyboard

The Persian language is classified as a continuation of Middle Persian, the official religious and literary language ofSassanid Persia, itself a continuation of Old Persian, the language of the Persian Empire in the Achaemenidera.[5][6][7] Persian is a pluricentric language and its grammar is similar to that of many contemporary European languages.[8]  HP NSK-H7A01 laptop keyboard

There are approximately 110 million Persian speakers worldwide, with the language holding official status in Iran,Afghanistan and Tajikistan. For centuries Persian has also been a prestigious cultural language in Central Asia,South Asia, and Western Asia.[9] Persian is used as a liturgical language of Islam in Iran, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan. Lenovo Thinkpad X220 laptop keyboard

Persian has had a considerable, mainly lexical influence on neighboring languages, particularly the Turkic languages in Central Asia, Caucasus, and Anatolia, neighboring Iranian languages, as well as Armenian, and Indo-Aryan languages, especially Urdu. It also exerted some influence on Arabic, particularly Iraqi Arabic andKhuzestani Arabic, while borrowing much vocabulary from it after the Muslim conquest of Persia.[5][8][10][11][12][13] HP Pavilion dv6-3160ez laptop keyboard

With a long history of literature in the form of Middle Persian before Islam, Persian was the first language in Muslim civilization to break through Arabic’s monopoly on writing, and the writing of poetry in Persian was established as a court tradition in many eastern courts.[9] Some of the famous works of Persian literature are theShahnameh of Ferdowsi, works of Rumi, Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, Divan of Hafiz and poems of Saadi. SAMSUNG NP-NB30-KP01 laptop keyboard

Persian, the more widely used name of the language in English historically, is an anglicized form derived fromLatin *Persianus < Latin Persia < Greek Πέρσις Pérsis, a Hellenized form of Old Persian Parsa. According to theOxford English Dictionary, the term Persian as a language name is first attested in English in the mid-16th century.[20] Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

Native Iranian Persian speakers call it Fārsi.[21] Farsi is the arabicized form of Pārsi, due to a lack of the 'p' phoneme in Standard Arabic (i.e., the 'p' was replaced with an 'f').[22][23] The origin of the nameFarsi and the place of origin of the language which is Fars is, of course, the arabicized form of Pârs. In English, this language has historically been known as "Persian", though "Farsi" has also gained some currency. ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

According to the OED, the term Farsi was first used in English in 1926, while Parsi dates to 1790.[21] "Farsi" is encountered in some linguistic literature as a name for the language, used both by Iranian and by foreign authors.[24] The Academy of Persian Language and Literature has declared that the name "Persian" is more appropriate, SONY VAIO VGN-NR21E/S Laptop Keyboard

as it has the longer tradition in the western languages and better expresses the role of the language as a mark of cultural and national continuity.[25] Some Persian language scholars such as Ehsan Yarshater, editor of Encyclopædia Iranica, and University of Arizona professor Kamran Talattof, have also rejected the usage of "Farsi" in their articles.[26][27] COMPAQ Presario C700 Laptop Keyboard

The international language-encoding standard ISO 639-1 uses the code "fa", as its coding system is mostly based on the local names. The more detailed standard ISO 639-3 uses the name "Persian" (code "fas") for the dialect continuum spoken across Iran and Afghanistan. This consists of the individual languages Dari (Afghan Persian) and Iranian Persian.[28][29][30] DELL Latitude D830 Laptop Keyboard

Currently, VOA, BBC, DW, and RFE/RL use "Persian Service" for their broadcasts in the language. RFE/RL also includes a Tajik service, and an Afghan (Dari) service. This is also the case for the American Association of Teachers of Persian, The Centre for Promotion of Persian Language and Literature, and many of the leading scholars of Persian language.[31] TOSHIBA Satellite L300 Laptop Keyboard

Old Persian evolved from Proto-Iranian as it evolved in the Iranian plateau's southwest. The earliest dateable example of the language is the Behistun Inscription of the Achaemenid Darius I (r. 522 BC–ca. 486 BC). Although purportedly older texts also exist (such as the inscription on the tomb of Cyrus II at Pasargadae), these are actually younger examples of the language. Old Persian was written in Old Persian cuneiform, a script unique to that language and is generally assumed to be an invention of Darius I's reign. HP Envy 15 Laptop Keyboard

After Aramaic, or rather the Achaemenid form of it known as Imperial Aramaic, Old Persian is the most commonly attested language of the Achaemenid age. While examples of Old Persian have been found wherever the Achaemenids held territories, the language is attested primarily in the inscriptions of Western Iran, DELL NSK-D8001 Laptop Keyboard

in particular in Parsa "Persia" in the southwest, the homeland of the tribes that the Achaemenids (and later the Sassanids) came from.

In contrast to later Persian, written Old Persian had an extensively inflected grammar, with eight cases, each declension subject to both gender (masculine, feminine, neuter) and number (singular, dual, plural). HP G42-415DX Laptop Keyboard

The complex conjugation and declension of Old Persian yielded to the structure of Middle Persian in which the dual number disappeared, leaving only singular and plural, as did gender. Middle Persian used postpositions to indicate the different roles of words, for example an -i suffix to denote a possessive "from/of" rather than the multiple (subject to gender and number) genitive caseforms of a word. HP Mini 210-1070NR Laptop Keyboard

Although the "middle period" of the Iranian languages formally begins with the fall of the Achaemenid Empire, the transition from Old to Middle Persian had probably already begun before the 4th century. TOSHIBA Satellite M645-S4070 Laptop Keyboard

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 However, Middle Persian is not actually attested until 600 years later when it appears in Sassanid era (224–651) inscriptions, so any form of the language before this date cannot be described with any degree of certainty. Moreover, as a literary language, Middle Persian is not attested until much later, to the 6th or 7th century. And from the 8th century onwards, Middle Persian gradually began yielding to New Persian, with the middle-period form only continuing in the texts of Zoroastrian tradition. HP Mini 110-1199EV laptop keyboard

The native name of Middle Persian was Parsig or Parsik, after the name of the ethnic group of the southwest, that is, "of Pars", Old Persian Parsa, New PersianFars. This is the origin of the name Farsi as it is today used to signify New Persian. Following the collapse of the Sassanid state, Parsik came to be applied exclusively to (either Middle or New) Persian that was written in Arabic script. From about the 9th century onwards, HP Pavilion dv6-2143ca laptop keyboard

as Middle Persian was on the threshold of becoming New Persian, the older form of the language came to be erroneously called Pahlavi, which was actually but one of the writing systems used to render both Middle Persian as well as various other Middle Iranian languages. That writing system had previously been adopted by the Sassanids (who were Persians, i.e. from the southwest) from the preceding Arsacids (who were Parthians, i.e. Packard Bell Easynote TK85 laptop keyboard

from the northeast). While Rouzbeh (Abdullah Ibn al-Muqaffa, 8th century) still distinguished between Pahlavi (i.e. Parthian) and Farsi (i.e. Middle Persian), this distinction is not evident in Arab commentaries written after that date. HP Pavilion DV6-1108sl laptop keyboard

Gernot Windfuhr considers new Persian as an evolution of the Old Persian language and the Middle Persian language[2] but also states that none of the known Middle Persian dialects is the direct predecessor of the [New] Persian [35][36] Professor. Ludwig Paul states: "The language of the Shahnameh should be seen as one instance of continuous historical development from Middle to New Persian"[37] TOSHIBA Satellite P305-S8832 laptop keyboard

New Persian developed from the 8th century on as an independent literary language.[39] Upon the decline of the Caliphateat Baghdad in the ninth century a.d. began the re-establishment of Persian national life and Persians laid the foundations for a renaissance in the realm of letters. New Persian was born in Bactria through the adaptation of the spoken form of Sassanian Middle Persian court language called Dari. The cradle of the Persian literary renaissance lay in the Greater Khorasan region of Afghanistan.[40] Compaq Presario CQ42-228LA Laptop Keyboard

The mastery of the newer speech having now been transformed from Middle- into New Persian was already complete during three princely dynasties of Iranian origin Tahirid (820–872), Saffarid (860–903) and Samanid (874–999), and could develop only in range and power of expression.[40]

Abbas of Merv is mentioned as being the earliest minstrel to chant verse in the newer Persian tongue and after him the poems of Hanzala Badghisi were among the most famous between the Persian-speakers of the time.[41] HP Envy 17-2077ez Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

The first poems of the Persian Language, a language historically called Dari, have emerged inKhorasan.[42][dubious – discuss]. The first significant Persian poet was Rudaki. He flourished in the 10th century, when the Sāmānids were at the height of their power. His reputation as a court poet and as an accomplished musician and singer has survived, although little of his poetry has been preserved. HP Envy 17-1190nr Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

Among his lost works is versified fables collected in Kalilah va Dimnah.[9]

The language spread geographically from the 11th century on and was the medium through which among others, Central Asian Turks became familiar with Islam and urban culture. New Persian was widely used as a transregional lingua franca, HP Pavilion DV7-3173nr laptop keyboard

a task for which it was particularly suitable due to its relatively simple morphological structure and this situation persisted until at least 19th century.[39] In the late Middle Ages, new Islamic literary languages were created on the Persian model: Ottoman, Chaghatay and Urdu, which are regarded as "structural daughter languages" of Persian.[39]  HP Mini 110-3105tu laptop keyboard

The Islamic conquest of Persia marks the beginning of the new history of Persian language and literature. This period produced world class Persian language poets and the language served, for a long span of time, as the lingua franca of the eastern parts of Islamic world and South Asia. It was also the official and cultural language of many Islamic dynasties, including Samanids, Buyids, Tahirids, Ziyarids, the Mughal Empire, HP Pavilion DV3560ev laptop keyboard

Timurids, Ghaznavid, Seljuq,Khwarezmids, Safavid, Afsharids, Zand, Qajar, Ottomans and also many Mughal successor states such as the Nizams etc. For example, Persian was the only oriental language known and used by Marco Polo at the Court of Kublai Khan and in his journeys through China.[43] COMPAQ Presario V3132TU laptop keyboard

The heavy influence of Persian on other languages can still be witnessed across the Islamic world, especially, and it is still appreciated as a literary and prestigious language among the educated elite, especially in fields of music (for example Qawwali) and art (Persian literature). After the Arab invasion of Persia, Persian began to adopt many words from Arabic and as time went by, a few words were even taken from Turko-Mongol languages under the Mongol Empire and Turco-Persian society. TOSHIBA Satellite A15-SP1002 laptop keyboard

For five centuries prior to the British colonization, Persian was widely used as a second language on the Indian subcontinent[citation needed][dubious – discuss]. It took prominence as the language of culture and education in several Muslim courts on the subcontinent and became the sole "official language" under the Mughal emperors. Beginning in 1843, though, English gradually replaced Persian in importance on the subcontinent.[44] SONY VAIO VGN-AR270 laptop keyboard

Evidence of Persian's historical influence there can be seen in the extent of its influence on the languages of the Indian subcontinent, as well as the popularity that Persian literature still enjoys in that region. Words borrowed from Persian are still commonly used in Indo-Aryan languages, especially Urdu, also historically konwn as Hindustani. HP G61-420CA laptop keyboard

All these three varieties are based on the classic Persian literature and its literary tradition. There are also several local dialects from Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan which slightly differ from the standard Persian. Hazaragi (in Central Afghanistan and Pakistan), Herati (in Western Afghanistan), Darwazi (in Afghanistan and Tajikistan), TOSHIBA Satellite L675D-S7015 laptop keyboard

Tehrani (in Iran, the basis of standard Iranian Persian) and Dehwari (in Pakistan) are examples of these dialects. Persian-speaking peoples of Iran, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan can understand one another with a relatively high degree of mutual intelligibility,[45]give or take minor differences in vocabulary, pronunciation, and grammar – much in the same relationship as shared between British and American English. SONY VAIO VGN-FS415M laptop keyboard

Historically, Persian has distinguished length: Early New Persian possessed a series of five long vowels (/iː/, /uː/, /ɒː/, /oː/ and /eː/) along with three short vowels /æ/, /i/ and /u/. At some point prior to the sixteenth century within the general area that is today encompassed by modern Iran, /eː/ and /iː/ merged into /iː/, and /oː/ and /uː/merged into /uː/. Thus, the older contrasts such as shēr "lion" vs. shīr "milk," Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

and rūd "river" vs rōd "bow-string" were lost. There are exceptions to this rule and in some words, "ē" and "ō" are preserved or merged into the diphthongs [eɪ] and [oʊ] (which are descendents of the diphthongs [æɪ] and [æʊ] in Early New Persian), instead of merging into /iː/ and /uː/. Examples of this exception can be found in words such as [roʊʃæn] (bright). ASUS X88S Laptop Keyboard

However, in the eastern varieties, the archaic distinction of /eː/ and /iː/ (respectively known as Yā-ye majhūl and Yā-ye ma'rūf) is still preserved, as well as the distinction of /oː/ and /uː/ (known as Wāw-e majhūl and Wāw-e ma'rūf). On the other hand, in standard Tajik, the length distinction has disappeared and /iː/ merged with /i/, and /uː/ with/u/.[47] Therefore, contemporary Afghan dialects are the closest one can get to the vowel inventory of Early New Persian. SONY 148738121 Laptop Keyboard

According to most studies on the subject (e.g. Samareh 1977, Pisowicz 1985, Najafi 2001), the three vowels which are traditionally considered long (/i/, /u/, /ɒ/) are currently distinguished from their short counterparts (/e/, /o/, /æ/) by position of articulation, rather than by length. However, there are studies (e.g. Hayes 1979,  Lenovo 3000 Y500 Laptop Keyboard

Windfuhr 1979) which consider vowel length to be the active feature of this system, i.e. /ɒ/, /i/, and /u/ are phonologically long or bimoraic whereas /æ/, /e/, and /o/ are phonologically short or monomoraic. HP Pavilion G6-1223TX Laptop Keyboard

There are also some studies which consider quality and quantity to be both active in the Iranian system (e.g. Toosarvandani 2004). This view offers a synthetic analysis which includes both quality and quantity, TOSHIBA Satellite M645-SP4132 Laptop Keyboard

often suggesting that modern Persian vowels are in a transition state between the quantitative system of classical Persian and a hypothetical future Persian which will eliminate all traces of quantity, and retain quality as the only active feature. HP 535689-001 Laptop Keyboard

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The length distinction is nevertheless strictly observed by careful reciters of classic-style poetry, for all varieties (including the Tajik).

While having a lesser influence on Arabic[11] and other languages of Mesopotamia and its core vocabulary being of Middle Persian origin,[8] New Persian contains a considerable amount of Arabic lexical items,[5][10][12] HP Compaq NC8430 Laptop Keyboard

which were Persianized[13] and often took a different meaning and usage than the Arabic original. Persian loanwords of Arabic origin especially include Islamic terms. The Arabic vocabulary in other Iranic, Turkic and Indic languages are generally understood to have been copied from New Persian.[56] HP 9J.N0Y82.H01 Laptop Keyboard

John R. Perry in his article "Lexical Areas and Semantic Fields of Arabic" estimates that about 40 percent of an everyday vocabulary of 20,000 words in current Persian, and more than 50 percent of the vocabulary of classical and modern Persian literature, are of Arabic origin. The text frequency of these loan words is generally lower and varies by style and topic area. It may approach 25 percent of a text in literature.[57] ASUS A8M Laptop Keyboard

Among the Arabic loan words, relatively few (14 percent) are from the semantic domain of material culture, while a larger number are from domains of intellectual and spiritual life.[58] Most of the Arabic words used in Persian are either synonyms of native terms or could be glossed in Persian.[59] DELL V119525BS1 Laptop Keyboard

The inclusion of Mongolian and Turkic elements in the Persian language should also be mentioned,[60] not only because of the political role a succession of Turkic dynasties played in Iranian history, but also because of the immense prestige Persian language and literature enjoyed in the wider (non-Arab) Islamic world, which was often ruled by sultans and emirs with a Turkic background. Lenovo 3000 N200 Laptop Keyboard

The Turkish and Mongolian vocabulary in Persian is minor in comparison to that of Arabic and these words were mainly confined to military, pastoral terms and political sector (titles, administration, etc.).[61] New military and political titles were coined based partially on Middle Persian (e.g. Artesh for army instead of Qoshun, Sarlashkar, DaryaBaan, etc.) in the 20th century. Persian has likewise influenced the vocabularies of other languages, especially other Indo-Iranian languages like Urdu and to a lesser extent Hindi, etc., as well as Turkic languages like Ottoman Turkish, Chagatai language, HP G72-a10SV Laptop Keyboard

Tatar language, Turkish,[62] Turkmen, Azeri[63] and Uzbek, Afro-Asiatic languages like Assyrian and Arabic,[64]and even Dravidian languages especially Telugu and Brahui. Persian has also had a significant lexical influence, via Turkish, on Serbian/Croatian/Bosnian/Serbo-Croatian, particularly as spoken in Bosnia and Herzegovina. LENOVO IdeaPad S10 20015 Laptop Keyboard

Use of occasional foreign synonyms instead of Persian words can be a common practice in everyday communications as an alternative expression. In some instances in addition to the Persian vocabulary, the equivalent synonyms from multiple foreign languages can be used. For example, in Iranian colloquial Persian (but not in Afghanistan or Tajikistan), SONY VAIO VGN-FZ220E/B Laptop Keyboard

the phrase "thank you" may be expressed using the French word merci (stressed however on the first syllable), the hybrid Persian-Arabic word motešakkeram (motešakker being merciful in Arabic and -am meaning I am in Persian), or by the pure Persian word sepāsgozāram. DELL Latitude D830 Laptop Keyboard

Modern Iranian Persian and Afghan Persian are written using a modified variant of the Arabic alphabet (see Persian alphabet), which uses different pronunciation and additional letters not found in Arabic. Tajik Persian, as used in Tajikistan, is typically written in a modified version of the Cyrillic alphabet. There are also Persian Romanizations like Desphilic, Unipersand Fingilish/Pinglish for writing Persian using Latin alphabet. LENOVO 25-011427 Laptop Keyboard

After the conversion of Persia to Islam (see Islamic conquest of Iran), it took approximately 150 years before Persians adopted the Arabic script in place of the older alphabet. Previously, two different scripts were used, Pahlavi, used for Middle Persian, and the Avestan alphabet (in Persian, Dîndapirak or Din Dabire—literally: religion script), used for religious purposes, primarily for the Avestan language but sometimes for Middle Persian. HP Mini 110-3105tu Laptop Keyboard

In modern Persian script, vowels that are referred to as short vowels (a, e, o) are usually not written; only the long vowels (â, i, u) are represented in the text, so words distinguished from each other only by short vowels are ambiguous in writing:kerm "worm", karam "generosity", kerem "cream", and krom "chrome" are all spelled "krm" in Persian. The reader must determine the word from context. HP G62-371DX Laptop Keyboard

The Arabic system of vocalization marks known as harakat is also used in Persian, although some of the symbols have different pronunciations. For example, an Arabic damma is pronounced [ʊ~u], while in Iranian Persian it is pronounced [o]. This system is not used in mainstream Persian literature; it is primarily used for teaching and in some (but not all) dictionaries. DELL 1R28D Laptop Keyboard

It is also worth noting that there are several letters generally only used in Arabic loanwords. These letters are pronounced the same as similar Persian letters. For example, there are four functionally identical 'z' letters (ز ذ ض ظ), three 's' letters (س ص ث), two 't' letters (ط ت), etc.

The International Organization for Standardization has published a standard for simplified transliteration of Persian into Latin, TOSHIBA P205-S6267 Laptop Keyboard

ISO 233-3, titled "Information and documentation – Transliteration of Arabic characters into Latin characters – Part 3: Persian language – Simplified transliteration"[67] but the transliteration scheme is not in widespread use. HP Probook 4515S Laptop Keyboard

Another Latin alphabet, based on the Uniform Turkic alphabet, was used in Tajikistan in the 1920s and 1930s. The alphabet was phased out in favour of Cyrillicin the late 1930s.[65]

Fingilish is the name given to texts written in Persian using ISO basic Latin alphabet. It is most commonly used in chat, HP Mini 110-3098nr Laptop Keyboard

emails and SMS applications. The orthography is not standardized, and varies among writers and even media (for example, typing 'aa' for the [ɒ] phoneme is easier on computer keyboards than on cellphone keyboards, resulting in smaller usage of the combination on cellphones).

UniPers, short for the Universal Persian Alphabet (Fârsiye Jahâni) is a Latin-based alphabet popularized by Mohamed Keyvan, who used it in a number of Persian textbooks for foreigners and travellers.[68]  FUJITSU Amilo Mini Ui 3520 Laptop Keyboard

The International Persian Alphabet (Pársik) is another Latin-based alphabet developed in recent years mainly by A. Moslehi, a comparative linguist.[69]

Persá is yet another Latin-based alphabet that has been recently[when?] developed using new characters to represent sounds unique to the Persian language.

Desphilic is also a romanization which uses ordinary Latin character set for romanization of Persian. SAMSUNG NP-N150-JP01 Laptop Keyboard

Gilgit–Baltistan (Shina/Urdu/Burushaski: گلگت بلتستان, Balti: གིལྒིཏ་བལྟིསྟན, formerly known as the Northern Areas[4]) is the northernmost territory of Pakistan.[5] It borders the territory of Azad Kashmir to the south, the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to the west, the Wakhan Corridor of Afghanistan to the north, the Xinjiang autonomous region of China to the east and northeast and the Jammu and Kashmir state of India to the southeast. FUJITSU Amilo Mini Ui 3520 Laptop Keyboard

Together with Azad Kashmir, it forms part of the disputed Kashmir region, which has been the subject of conflict between India and Pakistan since the two countries' independence and partition in 1947.[5][6] HP G71-449WM Laptop Keyboard

Gilgit–Baltistan is an autonomous self-governing region that was established as a single administrative unit in 1970, formed by the amalgamation of the Gilgit Agency, the Baltistan region and the former princely states of Hunza andNagar. It covers an area of 72,971 km² (28,174 mi²) and is highly mountainous. It has an estimated population approaching 1,000,000. Its capital city is Gilgit (population 216,760). TOSHIBA Satellite L505D-S6948 Laptop Keyboard

The territory was part of the Delhi Sultanate until it fell to the Mughal Empire in the early half of the 16th century. By 1757, suzerainty of the region was obtained from the Mughals by Ahmad Shah Durrani under an agreement[7] and became part of Afghanistan[8] (also known as the Durrani Empire)[9][10][11] until Ranjit Singh invaded and took control from theAfghans in 1819.[12] It became a princely state with the name "Jammu and Kashmir" around 1847. After the partition of British India in 1947, Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

Jammu and Kashmir initially remained an independent state. After the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947, Pakistani control was established on territories captured by Pakistan to the north and west of the cease-fire line. In 1970, the name "Northern Areas" (today's Gilgit–Baltistan, 72,971 km²) was applied to the areas that had previously been known as the Gilgit Agency and Baltistan. The name "Northern Areas" ACER Aspire 2023WLMi Laptop Keyboard

was actually first used by the United Nationsto refer to the northern areas of Kashmir. A small part of the Northern Areas, the Shaksgam tract, was provisionally ceded by Pakistan to China in 1963. SONY VAIO VGN-FZ21S Laptop Keyboard

The territory of present-day Gilgit–Baltistan became a separate administrative unit in 1970 under the name Northern Areas, formed by the amalgamation of the Gilgit Agency, the Baltistan District of the Ladakh Wazarat, and the states ofHunza and Nagar. It presently consists of seven districts, has a population approaching one million, and an area of approximately 28,000 square miles (73,000 km2), and shares borders with Pakistan, China, Afghanistan, and India. FUJITSU Amilo Mini Ui 3520 Laptop Keyboard

While ruled by Pakistan since 1947, it had never been formally integrated into the Pakistani state and does not participate in Pakistan's constitutional political affairs until 2009.[13][14] On 29 August 2009, the Gilgit-Baltistan Empowerment and Self-Governance Order, 2009, was passed by the Pakistani cabinet and later signed by the President of Pakistan. The order granted self-rule to the people of Gilgit-Baltistan, Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

by creating, among other things, an electedGilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly. Gilgit–Baltistan thus gained de facto province-like status without constitutionally being a province.[13][15] Officially, Pakistan has rejected Gilgit–Baltistani calls for further integration on the grounds that it would prejudice its international obligations over the Kashmir dispute. COMPAQ Presario C700 Laptop Keyboard

Some militant Kashmiri nationalist groups, such as the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front, claim Gilgit–Baltistan as a part of a future independent Kashmir rather than as a future integral part of Pakistan.[16] TOSHIBA Satellite M645-S4070 Laptop Keyboard

On September 29, 2009, the Pakistani prime minister, while addressing a huge gathering in Gilgit–Baltistan, announced a multi-billion-rupee development package aimed at the socio-economic uplifting of the people of the area. Development projects are slated to include the areas of education, health, agriculture, tourism, and the basic needs of life.[17][18] TOSHIBA NSK-TBD01 Laptop Keyboard

An attempt in 1993 by the High Court of Azad Jammu and Kashmir to annex Gilgit–Baltistan was quashed by the Supreme Court of Pakistan, after protests by the predominantly Shia population of Gilgit–Baltistan, who feared domination by the Sunni Kashmiris.[16] HP Mini 110-3501tu Laptop Keyboard

Gilgit–Baltistan borders the Wakhan Corridor of Afghanistan to the northwest, China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region to the northeast, the Indian-administered state of Jammu and Kashmir to the south and southeast, the Pakistan-administered Azad Jammu and Kashmir to the south, and Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province to the west. SONY VAIO VGN-SZ220 Laptop Keyboard

Gilgit–Baltistan is home to five of the "eight-thousanders" and to more than fifty peaks above 7000 meters. Gilgit andSkardu are the two main hubs for expeditions to those mountains. The region is home to some of the world's highest mountainranges. The main ranges are the Karakoram and the western Himalayas. The Pamir mountains are to the north, and the Hindu Kushlies to the west.  Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

Amongst the highest mountains are K2 (Mount Godwin-Austen) and Nanga Parbat, the latter being one of the most feared mountains in the world.

Three of the world's longest glaciers outside the polar regions are found in Gilgit–Baltistan: the Biafo Glacier, theBaltoro Glacier, and the Batura Glacier. There are, in addition, several high-altitude lakes in Gilgit–Baltistan: SONY VAIO VGN-CS160J/W laptop keyboard

The Deosai Plains, are located above the tree line and constitute the second-highest plateau in the world at 4,115 meters (14,500 feet)after Tibet. The plateau lies east of Astore, south of Skardu and west of Ladakh. SAMSUNG NP-N150-JP0C laptop keyboard

The area was declared as a national park in 1993. The Deosai Plains cover an area of almost 5,000 square kilometres. For over half the year (between September and May), Deosai is snow-bound and cut off from rest of Astore and Baltistan in winters. The village of Deosai lies close to Chilum chokki and is connected with the Kargil district of Ladakh through an all-weather road. TOSHIBA Satellite M105-S3004 laptop keyboard

There are more than 50,000 pieces of rock art (petroglyphs) and inscriptions all along the Karakoram Highway in Gilgit–Baltistan, concentrated at ten major sites between Hunza and Shatial. The carvings were left by various invaders, traders, and pilgrims who passed along the trade route, as well as by locals. ASUS X53S laptop keyboard

The earliest date back to between 5000 and 1000 BCE, showing single animals, triangular men and hunting scenes in which the animals are larger than the hunters. These carvings were pecked into the rock with stone tools and are covered with a thick patina that proves their age. The ethnologist Karl Jettmar has pieced together the history of the area from various inscriptions and recorded his findings in Rock Carvings and Inscriptions in the Northern Areas of Pakistan[20] Packard Bell Easynote TK85 laptop keyboard

and the later released Between Gandhara and the Silk Roads – Rock Carvings Along the Karakoram Highway.[21] Many of these carvings and inscriptions will be inundated and/or destroyed when the planned Basha-Diamir dam is built and the Karakoram Highway is widened.

The climate of Gilgit–Baltistan varies from region to region, surrounding mountain ranges creates sharp variations in weather. Compaq Presario CQ71-410EP laptop keyboard

The eastern part has the moist zone of the western Himalayas, but going toward Karakoram and Hindu Kush, the climate dries considerably.[22]

There are towns like Gilgit and Chilas that are very hot during the day in summer, yet cold at night, and valleys like Astore, Khaplu, Yasin, Hunza, and Nagarwhere the temperatures are cold even in summer. SAMSUNG N150 laptop keyboard

The economy of the region is primarily based on a traditional route of trade through the historic "Silk Road." The China Trade Organization was the leading economic forum through which most of barter trade activity made a phenomenal change in the general economic outlook of the area, which, being the remotest region under Pakistani control, was neglected for over a quarter of a century. SONY VAIO VGN-FS485B laptop keyboard

The participation of all ethnic groups and the active force behind this activity, the legendary economist of the area Ashraf Khan, brought a great change in the region. Later, the establishment of a chamber of commerce and the Sost dry port(in Gojal Hunza) are milestones. The rest of the economy is shouldered by mainly agriculture and tourism. Agricultural products are wheat, corn (maize), barley, and fruits. SONY VAIO VGN-FS215B laptop keyboard

Tourism is mostly in trekking and mountaineering, and this industry is growing in importance.[23][24]

In early September 2009, Pakistan signed an agreement with the People's Republic of China for a major energy project in Gilgit–Baltistan which includes the construction of a 7,000-megawatt dam at Bunji in the Astore District.[25] Compaq Presario CQ62-215DX laptop keyboard

SONY Vaio VGN-AW190 laptop keyboard


Kabul (Kābul) (pron.: /ˈkɑːbəl/, /ˈkɑːbuːl/; Pashto: کابل‎ Kābəl, IPA: [kɑˈbəl]; Persian: کابل‎ Kābol, IPA: [kɒːˈbol]),[2]also spelled Cabool, Caubul, Kabol, or Cabul, mostly in historical contexts, is the capital and largest city of Afghanistan. It is also the capital of Kabul Province, located in the eastern section of Afghanistan. According to a 2012 estimate, the population of the city is 3,289,000.[1] TOSHIBA Satellite L300 Laptop Keyboard

Kabul is the 64th largest[3] and the 5th fastest growing city in the world.[4]

The city serves as the nation's cultural and learning centre, situated 1,791 metres (5,876 ft) above sea level in a narrow valley, wedged between the Hindu Kush mountains along the Kabul River. It is linked with Kandahar,Herat and Mazar-e Sharif via the circular Highway 1 that stretches across Afghanistan. SONY Vaio PCG-K35 Laptop Keyboard

It is also the start of the main road to Jalalabad and further to Peshawar in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The Kabul International Airport is located about 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) from the center of the city, next to the Wazir Akbar Khan neighborhood.Bagram Airfield is about 25 miles (40 km) northeast of Kabul.[5] TOSHIBA NB200 Laptop Keyboard

Kabul's main products include fresh and dried fruit, nuts, beverages, Afghan rugs, leather and sheep skin products, furniture, antique replicas, and domestic clothes. The wars since 1978 have limited the city's economic productivity but after the establishment of the Karzai administration in late 2001 some progress has been made. SONY 148044221 Laptop Keyboard

Kabul is over 3,500 years old; many empires have long fought over the valley for its strategic location along the trade routes of South and Central Asia. It made up the eastern end of the Median Empire before becoming part of the Achaemenid Empire. In 331 BC, Alexander the Great defeated the Achaemenids and the area became part of the Seleucid Empire followed by the Maurya Empire. By the 1st century AD it became the capital of the Kushan Empire. FUJITSU Amilo Mini Ui 3520 Laptop Keyboard

It was later controlled by the Kabul Shahis, Saffarids, Ghaznavids, Ghurids, and others.[6]

Between 1504 and 1526 AD, it served as the capital of Babur, founder of the Mughal Empire. It remained under the rule of the Mughal Emperors as the western capital until 1738 when Nader Shah and his Afsharid forces seized it from the Mughals.[7] After the death of Nader Shah Afsharid in 1747, SONY AEGD1E00010 Laptop Keyboard

the city fell to Ahmad Shah Durrani, who added it to his new Afghan Empire.[8] In 1776, Timur Shah Durrani made it the capital of the modern state of Afghanistan. It was invaded several times by neighboring British-Indian forces during the Anglo-Afghan wars in the 19th century. After the outbreak of the Third Anglo-Afghan War in 1919, the city was air raided by the Royal Air Force of British India.[9][10] Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

Since the Marxist revolution in 1978, the city has been a target of Pakistan-backed militant groups such as themujahideen, Taliban, Haqqani network, Hezbi Islami, and others. While the Afghan government tries to rebuild the war-torn city, insurgents have continued to stage major attacks not only against the Afghan government and NATO-led forces but also against foreign diplomats and Afghan civilians.[11] SAMSUNG N148 Laptop Keyboard

The word "Kubhā" is mentioned in Rigveda and the Avesta and appears to refer to the Kabul River.[12] The Rigveda praises it as an ideal city, a vision of paradise set in the mountains.[13] The area in which the Kabul valley sits was ruled by the Medes before falling to the Achaemenids. There is a reference to a settlement called Kabura by the rulers of the Achaemenid Empire,[citation needed] which may be the basis for the future use of the name Kabura (Κάβουρα) byPtolemy.[12] HP AEUT5U00010 Laptop Keyboard

It became a centre of Zoroastrianism followed by Buddhism and Hinduism.[citation needed] Alexander the Great explored the Kabul valley after hisconquest of the Achaemenid Empire in 330 BC but no record has been made of Kabul, which may have been only a small town and not worth writing about.[6] The region became part of the Seleucid Empire but was later gifted to the Indian Maurya Empire. HP AETT9U00010 Laptop Keyboard

The Greco-Bactrians captured Kabul from the Mauryans in the early 2nd century BC, then lost the city to their subordinates in the Indo-Greek Kingdom around the mid-2nd century BC. Indo-Scythians expelled the Indo-Greeks by the mid 1st century BC, but lost the city to the Kushan Empire about 100 years later.[14] HP 597635-001 Laptop Keyboard

Some historians ascribe Kabul the Sanskrit name of Kamboja (Kamboj).[15][16] It is mentioned as Kophes or Kophene in some classical writings. Hsuan Tsang refers to the name as Kaofu[17] in the 7th century AD, HP Mini 110-3001tu Laptop Keyboard

which is the appellation of one of the five tribes of the Yuezhi who had migrated from across the Hindu Kush into the Kabul valley around the beginning of the Christian era.[18] It was conquered by Kushan Emperor Kujula Kadphises in about 45 AD and remained Kushan territory until at least the 3rd century AD.[19][20] The Kushans were Indo-European-speaking Tocharians from the Tarim Basin.[21] Dell Inspiron 8100 Laptop Keyboard

Around 230 AD, the Kushans were defeated by the Sassanid Empire and replaced by Sassanid vassals known as the Indo-Sassanids. During the Sassanian period, the city was referred to as "Kapul" in Pahlavi scripts.[12] HP Mini 210-1014TU Laptop Keyboard

In 420 AD the Indo-Sassanids were driven out of Afghanistan by the Xionite tribe known as the Kidarites, who were then replaced in the 460s by the Hephthalites. It became part of the surviving Turk ShahiKingdom of Kapisa, also known as Kabul-Shahan.[22] According to Táríkhu-l Hind by Al-Biruni, Kabul was governed by princes of Turkic lineage whose rule lasted for about 60 generations. HP Pavilion dv5-1104tu Laptop Keyboard

"Kábul was formerly governed by princes of Turk lineage. It is said that they were originally from Tibet. The first of them was named Barhtigín, * * * * and the kingdom continued with his children for sixty generations. * * * * * The last of them was a Katormán, and his minister was Kalar, aBráhman. COMPAQ Presario C700 Laptop Keyboard

This minister was favoured by fortune, and he found in the earth treasures which augmented his power. Fortune at the same time turned her back upon his master. The Katormán's thoughts and actions were evil, so that many complaints reached the minister, who loaded him with chains, and imprisoned him for his correction. In the end the minister yielded to the temptation of becoming sole master, Lenovo 3000 Y500 Laptop Keyboard

and he had wealth sufficient to remove all obstacles. So he established himself on the throne. After him reigned the Bráhman(s) Samand, then Kamlúa, then Bhím, then Jaipál, then Anandpál, then Narda-janpál, who was killed in A.H. 412. His son, Bhímpál, succeeded him, after the lapse of five years, HP Pavilion dv3-2310er Laptop Keyboard

and under him the sovereignty of Hindbecame extinct, and no descendant remained to light a fire on the hearth. These princes, notwithstanding the extent of their dominions, were endowed with excellent qualities, faithful to their engagements, and gracious towards their inferiors..."[22]

—Abu Rayhan Biruni, 978-1048 ADTOSHIBA 9J.N7482.901 Laptop Keyboard

The Kabul rulers built a long defensive wall around the city to protect it from enemy raids. This historical wall has survived until today.

The Islamic conquest reached modern-day Afghanistan in 642 AD, at a time when Kabul was independent.[23] A number of failed expeditions were made to Islamize the region. In one of them, SAMSUNG NP-NB30-KP01 laptop keyboard

Abdur Rahman bin Samana arrived to Kabul from Zaranj in the late 7th century and managed to convert 12,000 local inhabitants to Islam before abandoning the city. Muslims were a minority untilYa'qub bin Laith as-Saffar of Zaranj conquered Kabul in 870 and established the first Islamic dynasty in the region. It was reported that the rulers of Kabul were Muslims with non-Muslims living close by. SONY VAIO PCG-FX770K laptop keyboard

"Kábul has a castle celebrated for its strength, accessible only by one road. In it there are Musulmáns, and it has a town, in which are infidels from Hind."[24]

—Istahkrí, 921 ADSONY VAIO VGN-N31Z/W laptop keyboard

Over the centuries to come, the city was successively controlled by the Samanids, Ghaznavids, Ghurids, and Khiljis. In the 13th century the Mongol horde passed through and caused massive destruction in the area. Report of a massacre in the close by Bamiyanis recorded around this period,  Compaq Presario CQ56 laptop keyboard

where the entire population of the valley was annihilated by the Mongol troops as a revenge for the death of Genghis Khan's grandson. During the Mongol invasion, many natives of Afghanistan fled to India where some established dynasties in Delhi.

Following the era of the Khilji dynasty in 1333, the famous Moroccan scholar Ibn Battuta was visiting Kabul and wrote: SONY VAIO VGN-NW50JB laptop keyboard

"We travelled on to Kabul, formerly a vast town, the site of which is now occupied by a village inhabited by a tribe of Persians called Afghans. They hold mountains and defiles and possess considerable strength, and are mostly highwaymen. Their principle mountain is called 

In the 14th century, HP Mini 110-1033cl Laptop Keyboard

Kabul became a major trading centre under the kingdom of Timur (Tamerlane). In 1504, the city fell to Baburfrom the north and made into his headquarters, which became one of the principal cities of his later Mughal Empire. In 1525, Babur described Kabulistan in his memoirs by writing that: Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

"In the country of Kābul there are many and various tribes. Its valleys and plains are inhabited by Tūrks, Aimāks, andArabs. In the city and the greater part of the villages, the population consists of Tājiks (called "Sarts" by Babur). Many other of the villages and districts are occupied by Pashāis, Parāchis, Tājiks, Berekis, and Afghans. In the hill-country to the west, reside the Hazāras and Nukderis. Lenovo Thinkpad X220i Laptop Keyboard

Among the Hazāra and Nukderi tribes, there are some who speak the Moghul language. In the hill-country to the north-east lies Kaferistān, such as Kattor and Gebrek. To the south is Afghanistān... There are eleven or twelve different languages spoken in Kābul: Arabic, Persian, Tūrki, Moghuli, Hindi, Afghani, Pashāi, Parāchi, Geberi, Bereki, and Lamghāni..."[26]

—Baburnama, 1525HP G61-420SL Laptop Keyboard

Mirza Muhammad Haidar Dughlat, a poet from Hindustan who visited at the time wrote: "Dine and drink in Kabul: it is mountain, desert, city, river and all else." It was from here that Babur began his 1526 conquest of Hindustan, which was ruled by theAfghan Lodi dynasty and began east of the Indus River in what is present-day Pakistan. SAMSUNG Q320 Laptop Keyboard

Babur loved Kabul due to the fact that he lived in it for 20 years and the people were loyal to him, including its weather that he was used to. His wish to be buried in Kabul was finally granted. The inscription on his tombcontains penned Persian words which state: اگرفردوس روی زمین است همین است و همین است و همین است (If there is a paradise on earth, it is this, it is this, it is this!)[27] TOSHIBA 48.N5601.001A Laptop Keyboard

Nader Shah Afshar invaded and occupied the city briefly in 1738 but was assassinated nine years later. Ahmad Shah Durrani, commander of 4,000 Abdali Afghans, asserted Pashtun rule in 1747 and further expanded his new Afghan Empire. His ascension to power marked the beginning of Afghanistan. ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

His son Timur Shah Durrani, after inheriting power, transferred the capital of Afghanistan from Kandahar to Kabul in 1776,[7] and used Peshawar in what is today Pakistan as the winter capital. Timur Shah died in 1793 and was succeeded by his son Zaman Shah Durrani. Kabul's first visitor from Europe was Englishman George Foster, who described 18th-century Kabul as "the best and cleanest city in Asia".[13] SONY VAIO VGN-N325QE/W Laptop Keyboard

In 1826, the kingdom was claimed by Dost Mohammad Khan but in 1839 Shujah Shah Durrani was re-installed with the help ofBritish India during the First Anglo-Afghan War. An 1841 local uprising resulted in the loss of the British mission and the subsequent death of 16,500 British-led Indian forces, HP G42-164LA Laptop Keyboard

which included soldiers and camp followers while retreating from Kabulto Jalalabad. In 1842 the British returned, plundering Bala Hissar in revenge before fleeing back to British India (now Pakistan). Akbar Khan took to the throne from 1842 to 1845 who was followed by Dost Mohammad Khan.  HP G42-245BR Laptop Keyboard

The British-led Indian forces invaded in 1878 as Kabul was under Sher Ali Khan's rule, but the British residents were again massacred. The British returned in 1879 under General Roberts, partially destroying Bala Hissar before retreating to British India. Amir Abdur Rahman Khan was left in control of the country. HP COMPAQ NC6120 laptop keyboard

In the early 20th century King Amanullah Khan rose to power. His reforms included electricity for the city and schooling for girls. He drove a Rolls-Royce, and lived in the famous Darul Aman Palace. Lenovo 3000 Y510a 15303 laptop keyboard

In 1919, after the Third Anglo-Afghan War, Amanullah announced Afghanistan's independence from foreign affairs at Eidgah Mosque. In 1929 King Ammanullah left Kabul due to a local uprising orchestrated by Habibullah Kalakani. After nine months rule, Kalakani was imprisoned and executed by King Nader Khan. HP Pavilion dv6-3351sf laptop keyboard

Three years later, in 1933, the new king was assassinated by a Hazara student Abdul Khaliq during an award ceremony inside a school in Kabul. The throne was left to his 19-year-old son, Zahir Shah, who became the long lasting King of Afghanistan.

During this period between the two World Wars, HP G62-a40EV laptop keyboard

France and Germany worked to help develop the country in both the technical and educational spheres. Both countries maintained high schools and lycees in the capital and provided an education for the children of elite families.[28] Kabul University opened in 1932 and soon was linked to both European and American universities, as well as universities in other Muslim countries in the field of Islamic studies.[29] By the 1960s the majority of instructors at the university had degrees from Western universities.[29] HP Mini 210 laptop keyboard

When Zahir Shah took power in 1933 Kabul had the only 6 miles of rail in the country, few internal telegraph or phone lines and few roads. He turned to the Japanese, Germans and Italians for help developing a modern network of communications and roads.[30] A radio tower built by the Germans in 1937 in Kabul allowed instant communication with outlying villages.[31] A national bank and state cartels were organized to allow for economic modernization.[32] Textile mills, HP Pavilion dv6-2055so laptop keyboard

power plants and carpet and furniture factories were also built in Kabul, providing much needed manufacturing and infrastructure.[32]

In 1955, the Soviet Union forwarded $100 million in credit to Afghanistan, which financed public transportation, airports, a cement factory, mechanized bakery, a five-lane highway from Kabul to the Soviet border and dams.[33] HP G72-262NR laptop keyboard

In the 1960s, Kabul developed a cosmopolitan mood. The first Marks & Spencer store inCentral Asia was built there. Kabul Zoo was inaugurated in 1967, which was maintained with the help of visiting German zoologists. Many foreigners began flocking to Kabul with the increase in global air travels around that time. ACER Aspire One D150-1Bk laptop keyboard

The nation's tourism industry was starting to pick up rapidly for the first time. Kabul experimented with liberalization, dropping laws requiring women to wear the burka, restrictions on speech and assembly loosened which led to student politics in the capital.[34] Socialist, Maoist and liberal factions demonstrated daily in Kabul while more traditional Islamic leaders spoke out against the failure to aid the Afghan countryside.[34] SONY 148044221 laptop keyboard

In 1969 a religious uprising at the Pul-e Khishti Mosque protested the Soviet Union's increasing influence over Afghan politics and religion. This protest ended in the arrest of many of its organizers, includingMawlana Faizani, a popular Islamic scholar. In the early 1970s Radio Kabul began to broadcast in other languages besides Pashto which helped to unify those minorities that often felt marginalized. However, this was put to a stop after Daoud Khan's revolution in 1973.[35] HP Pavilion G7-1075DX laptop keyboard

In July 1973, while King Zahir Shah was visiting Europe, his cousin Daoud Khan who served as Prime Minister took over as leader in Kabul. This was supported by the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA), a pro-Soviet political party. Daoud named himself President and planned to institute reforms.[36] HP Pavilion G4-1050TU laptop keyboard

By 1975, the young Ahmad Shah Massoud and his followers initiated an uprising in Panjshir but were forced to flee to neighboring Pakistan where they received recruitment fromPakistani Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto to create unrest in Afghanistan with the help of Pakistan's ISI spy agency.[37]  HP NSK-H7A01 laptop keyboard

Bhutto paved the way for the April 1978 Saur Revolution in Kabul by making Daoud spread his armed forces to the countryside. "To launch this plan, Bhutto recruited and trained a group of Afghans in the Bala-Hesar of Peshawar, in Pakistan's North-west Frontier Province. Among these young men were Massoud, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, and other members of Jawanan-e Musulman. Massoud's mission to Bhutto was to create unrest in northern Afghanistan. It served Massoud's interests, Lenovo Thinkpad X220 laptop keyboard

which were apparently opposition to the Soviets and independence for Afghanistan. Later, after Massoud and Hekmatyar had a terrible falling-out over Massoud's opposition to terrorist tactics and methods, Massoud overthrew from Jawanan-e Musulman. He joinedRabani's newly created Afghan political party, Jamiat-i-Islami, in exile in Pakistan."[38] HP Pavilion dv6-3160ez laptop keyboard

Kabul's people describe the period before the April 1978 Revolution as sort of a golden age. All the different ethnic groups of Afghanistan lived together harmoniously and thought of themselves first and foremost as Afghans. They intermarried and mixed socially.[13] In the later years of his leadership, Daoud began to shift favour from the Soviet Union to Islamic nations, SONY VAIO VGN-NR21E/S Laptop Keyboard

expressing admiration for their wealth from oil and expecting economic aid from them to quickly surpass that of the Soviet Union.[39] The slow speed of reforms however frustrated both the Western educated elite and the Russian-trained army officers.[40] COMPAQ Presario C700 Laptop Keyboard

On April 28, 1978, President Daoud and his family along with many of his supporters were assassinated in Kabul. Pro-Soviet PDPA under Hafizullah Amin seized power and slowly began to institute reforms.[40] Private businesses were nationalized in the Soviet manner.[41] Education was modified into the Soviet model, with lessons focusing on teaching Russian, Leninism-Marxism and learning of other countries belonging to the Soviet bloc.[41] Foreign-backed rebel groups and army deserters took up arms in the name of Islam.[41] DELL Latitude D830 Laptop Keyboard

In February 1979, U.S. Ambassador Adolph Dubs was murdered after Afghan security forces burst in on his kidnappers. In neighboring Pakistan, President Zulfiqar Bhutto was executed in April 1979. In September 1979 Afghan President Nur Muhammad Taraki was assassinated by a team of Soviet Spetsnaz inside the Tajbeg Palace in Kabul.[42] TOSHIBA Satellite L300 Laptop Keyboard

HP Envy 15 Laptop Keyboard

On December 24, 1979, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan and Kabul was heavily occupied by Soviet Armed Forces. Following this invasion, Pakistani PresidentZia-ul-Haq chaired a meeting in Islamabad and was told by several cabinet members to refrain from interfering in Afghanistan.[43] Zia-ul-Haq, DELL NSK-D8001 Laptop Keyboard

fearing that the Soviets may be advancing into Pakistan, particularly Balochistan, made no secret about his intentions of aiding the mujahideen rebel groups. During this meeting, Director-General of the ISI Akhtar Abdur Rahman advocated for the idea of covert operation in Afghanistan by arming the Islamic extremists.[43] General Rahman was heard loudly saying: "Kabul must burn! Kabul must burn!",[44] HP G42-415DX Laptop Keyboard

and mastered the idea of proxy war in Afghanistan.[43] President Zia-ul-Haq authorised this operation under General Rahman, and it was later merged with Operation Cyclone, a programme funded by the United States. HP Mini 210-1070NR Laptop Keyboard

The Soviets turned the city of Kabul into their command centre during the 10-year conflict between pro-Soviet Afghan government and the Mujahideen rebels, who were funded by the United States and Saudi Arabia. Kabul remained relatively calm during that period as fighting was mostly in the countryside and in other major cities. In April 1988, the Geneva Accords were signed between Afghanistan and Pakistan, with the United States and the Soviet Union serving as guarantors. TOSHIBA Satellite M645-S4070 Laptop Keyboard

In August 1988, President Zia-ul-Haq, General Rahman and other top Pakistani officials, including U.S. Ambassador Arnold Lewis Raphel, were killed in a mysterious plane crash in neighboring Pakistan. The American Embassy in Kabul closed in January 1989. Compaq Presario CQ57-311 Laptop Keyboard

"The Mujahideen continued to fight against the government of Najibullah, the Soviet puppet president who had replaced Babrak Karmal in 1986. Najibullah had proposed cease fires during those years, but the rebels said they would not negotiate with puppets - and they gained ground strategically until the Soviets admitted defeat and left."[38] After the fall of Najibullah's Democratic Republic of Afghanistan in April 1992, HP Mini 110-1199EV laptop keyboard

leaders of the different mujahideen factions were unable to form a government so they resorted to fighting.

Pakistan supplied Hezbi Islami forces of Hekmatyar, Iran supported the Shi'a Hezbe Wahdat forces of Abdul Ali Mazari, and Saudi Arabia backed Abdul Rasul Sayyaf. "Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif held hotly contested meetings with the ISI chief, HP Pavilion dv6-2143ca laptop keyboard

his other ministers, and the Mujahideen in Peshawar and the Hezbi Islami faction, headed by Hekmatyar, who was deeply loyal to the Pakistani military dictatorship. Hekmatyar's troops started firing mortats into Kabul. Najibullah took refuge in the UN compound after being stopped by General Dostum's forces from boarding a United Nations airplane at the Kabul airport. On April 24, the Afghan army and the Mujahideen took Kabul peacefully, and throughout the city the various factions staked out zones of control."[45] Packard Bell Easynote TK85 laptop keyboard

The 1992 Peshawar Accords created the Islamic State of Afghanistan and appointed Burhanuddin Rabbani, an ethnic Tajik, as head of a transitional government to be followed by general elections.[46] Another ethnic Tajik, Ahmad Shah Massoud, became Defense Minister and the Pashtun Gulbuddin Hekmatyar as Prime Minister. After the interim period expired, Rabbani, founder and leader of Jamiat-e Islami, HP Pavilion DV6-1108sl laptop keyboard

which is connected to Pakistan's Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam, refused to step down and a full scale civil war began. Amin Saikal explains that under Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif "Pakistan was keen to gear up for a breakthrough in Central Asia. ... Islamabad could not possibly expect the new Islamic government leaders ... TOSHIBA Satellite P305-S8832 laptop keyboard

to subordinate their own nationalist objectives in order to help Pakistan realize its regional ambitions. ... Had it not been for the ISI's logistic support and supply of a large number of rockets, Hekmatyar's forces would not have been able to target and destroy half of Kabul."[47]

In December 1992, SONY VAIO VGN-SZ360P/C laptop keyboard

the last of the 86 city trolley buses in Kabul came to a halt because of the conflict. A system of 800 public buses continued to provide transportation services to the city. By 1993 electricity and water in the city was completely out. Initially the factions in the city aligned to fight off Hekmatyar but diplomacy inside the capital quickly broke down.[48] Saudi Arabia and Iran also guided Afghan factions.[47] HP Envy 17-2077ez Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

Additionally to the bombardment campaign conducted by Hekmatyar and Dostum, tension between the Shi'a Hazara forces of Abdul Ali Mazari and the Wahabi Ittihad-i Islami of Abdul Rasul Sayyaf soon escalated into a second violent conflict. The fighting between the two factions quickly took on aspects of "ethnic cleansing".[49] HP Envy 17-1190nr Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

According to Human Rights Watch, numerous Iranian agents were assisting Hezbe Wahdat, as "Iran was attempting to maximize Wahdat's military power and influence in the new government".[46][47][50] Saudi agents "were trying to strengthen the Wahhabi Abdul Rasul Sayyaf and his Ittihad-i Islami faction to the same end".[46][47] HP Pavilion DV7-3173nr laptop keyboard

A publication with the George Washington University describes "Outside forces saw instability in Afghanistan as an opportunity to press their own security and political agendas."[51] Human Rights Watchwrites that "Rare ceasefires, usually negotiated by representatives of Ahmad Shah Massoud, Sibghatullah Mojaddedi or Burhanuddin Rabbani (the interim government), or officials from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), commonly collapsed within days."[46]

In January 1994,  HP Mini 110-3105tu laptop keyboard

Dostum joined an alliance with Hekmatyar and conducted the worst bombardment of Kabul during that period, but were eventually repelled by forces of Ahmad Shah Massoud.[47] In late 1994, bombardment of the capital came to a temporary halt.[52][53][54] These forces took steps to restore law and order. Courts started to work again, convicting individuals inside government troops who had committed crimes.[55] HP Pavilion DV3560ev laptop keyboard

Massoud tried to initiate a nationwide political process with the goal of national consolidation and democratic elections, also inviting the Pashtun nationalist Taliban from southern Afghanistan to join the process but the idea was rejected by them.[56] COMPAQ Presario V3132TU laptop keyboard

The Taliban started shelling Kabul in early 1995 but were repelled at first by forces of Ahmad Shah Massoud.[53] (see video) Amnesty International, referring to the Taliban offensive, wrote in a 1995 report that "This is the first time in several months that Kabul civilians have become the targets of rocket attacks and shelling aimed at residential areas in the city."[53] The Taliban's early victories in 1994 were followed by a series of defeats that resulted in heavy losses.[57]Pakistan provided strong support to the Taliban.[47][58] TOSHIBA Satellite A15-SP1002 laptop keyboard

Many described the Taliban as developing into a proxy force for Pakistan's regional interests.[47]

On September 26, 1996, as the Taliban with military support by Pakistan and financial support by Saudi Arabia prepared for another major offensive, Massoud ordered a full retreat from Kabul and fled north.[59] SONY VAIO VGN-AR270 laptop keyboard

The Taliban seized Kabul on September 27, 1996, and established the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. The Taliban publicly lynched former president Najibullah and his brother to death, this made many Afghans angry. The Taliban also imposed on Afghans their political and judicial interpretation of Islam issuing edicts especially targeting women.[60] The Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) analyze: HP G61-420CA laptop keyboard

"To PHR’s knowledge, 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."[60]

The Taliban, without any real court or hearing, conducted amputations against common thieves. Taliban hit-squads from the infamous "Ministry for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice" watched the streets conducting arbitrary brutal and public beatings of people.[60] TOSHIBA Satellite L675D-S7015 laptop keyboard

Massoud and his former enemy Dostum later formed the Northern Alliance against the Pakistani-backed Taliban who were violating human rights on a mass scale. The National Geographic concluded that "The only thing standing in the way of future Taliban massacres is Ahmad Shah Massoud."[61] Many at first welcomed the Taliban but later began to realize that they were another Pakistani-created force determined to turn Afghans into slaves and ultimately end Afghanistan. SONY VAIO VGN-FS415M laptop keyboard

Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf – then as Chief of Army Staff – was responsible for sending large number of Pakistanis to fight alongside the Taliban.[56][58][61][62] According to regional expert Ahmed Rashid, "between 1994 and 1999, an estimated 80,000 to 100,000 Pakistanis trained and fought in Afghanistan" on the side of the Taliban.[63] During that period many Afghan women were being kidnapped and then sold to Arab or Pakistani men.[64] ASUS X88S Laptop Keyboard

The al-Qaedaof Osama Bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri became a state within the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, with Bin Laden controlling Kabul and the eastern city ofJalalabad.[65] In the meantime, Taliban supreme leader Mohammed Omar stayed in Kandahar and has never been to Kabul. SONY 148738121 Laptop Keyboard

In October 2001, US-led forces provided air support to the Northern Alliance (United Front) forces during Operation Enduring Freedom. The Taliban began abandoning Kabul while the United Front was heading to take control of the government. In December 2001, the Karzai administration under President Hamid Karzai officially took over the government.  Lenovo 3000 Y500 Laptop Keyboard

In early 2002, a NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) was deployed in the city and from there they spread to other parts of the country. The war-torn city began to see some positive development as millions of ex-pats returned to the country. The city's population has grown from about 500,000 in 2001 to 3 million by 2007. Many foreign embassies re-opened, including the U.S. Embassy. HP Pavilion G6-1223TX Laptop Keyboard

Afghan government institutions were also renovated. Since 2008 the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) are in charge of security in the city.

were killed and over 160 injured.[11][72][73] Many other similar attacks took place after the 2008 ISAF hand-over of security to Afghan security forces. Some of the targets were the Kabul International Airport, Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

Serena Hotel, Kabul City Center, Inter-Continental Hotel, UN guest house, the Presidential Palace, Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Justice, Indian Embassy, Afghan National Police stations, supermarkets, residence ofBurhanuddin Rabbani, guest house of Asadullah Khalid, and other top Afghan officials. ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

According to Transparency International, the government of Afghanistan is the third most-corrupt in the world.[74] Many decision makers in Kabul are not only poorly educated but negatively influenced by neighboring Iran and Pakistan.[75][76][77][78][79][80][81] Experts believe that the poor decisions of Afghan politicians contribute to the unrest in the region. HP 535689-001 Laptop Keyboard

This also prevents foreign investment in Afghanistan, especially by Western countries. When five American soldiers burned several copies of Quran at nearby Bagram Airfield in 2012, politicians in Kabul showed their personal anger in the media. Ordinary Afghans may have taken cues from their leaders and taken more offense at the incident than they otherwise might have. ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

As the Afghan government rushes into taking over security responsibility from NATO the security situation in the country is deteriorating. In 2012, it forced the United States to hand over control of the Parwan Detention Facility where thousands of militants are held. The United States had favored a gradual transition of the facility until 2014. HP Compaq NC8430 Laptop Keyboard

The Mayor of the city is selected by the President of Afghanistan, who engages in planning and environmental work. The police belong to the Afghan Ministry of Interior and are arranged by city districts. The Chief of Police is selected by the Minister of Interior and is responsible for law enforcement and security of the city. HP 9J.N0Y82.H01 Laptop Keyboard

Muhammad Yunus Nawandish was appointed as Mayor of Kabul by the President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in January, 2010, and governs a City of an estimated five million in population. Since taking office, the Mayor has initiated an aggressive program of municipal improvements in streets, parks, greenery, revenue collection, environmental control, and solid waste management. ASUS A8M Laptop Keyboard

The population of Kabul has fluctuated since the early 1980s to the present period. It was believed to be around 500,000 in 2001 but then many Afghan expats began returning from Pakistan and Iran where they had taken refuge from the decades of wars.[83] According to a 2012 official estimate, the total population of the city was 3,289,000.[1] The World Factbook estimated in 2009 that Kabul's population was little over 3.5 million[84] DELL V119525BS1 Laptop Keyboard

The population of the city reflects the general multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, and multi-lingual characteristics of Afghanistan. There is no official government report on the exact ethnic make-over. According to a 2003 report in the National Geographic, the population of the city consisted of 45% Tajiks, 25% Hazaras, Lenovo 3000 N200 Laptop Keyboard

25% Pashtuns, 2% Uzbeks, 1% Baloch, 1% Turkmen, and 1% Hindu.[85] Dari (Afghan Persian) and Pashto are the most widely used languages in the city,[86] although Afghan Persian serves as the lingua franca. HP G72-a10SV Laptop Keyboard

Nearly all the people of Kabul are Muslim, which includes the majority Sunnis and minority Shias. A small number of Sikhs,Hindus, and Christians are also found in the city.

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Kabul International Airport, located 25 kilometres (16 mi) from the centre of Kabul, is the country's main airport. It is a hub to Ariana Afghan Airlines, the national airlines carrier of Afghanistan, as well as private airlines such as Kam Air,Pamir Airways, and Safi Airways. Regional airlines such as Turkish Airlines, Gulf Air, Indian Airlines, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), Iranian Airlines, SONY VAIO VGN-FZ220E/B Laptop Keyboard

and others also make frequent stops at Kabul International Airport. A new international terminal was built by the government of Japan and began operation since 2008, which is the first of three terminals to be opened so far. The other two will open once air traffic to the city increases. Passengers coming from most foreign nations use mostly Dubai for flights to Kabul. Kabul Airport also has a military terminal and a section of airport is used by the United States armed forces and the Afghan National Air Force. DELL Latitude D830 Laptop Keyboard

NATO also uses the Kabul Airport, but most military traffic is based at Bagram Airfield, situated north of Kabul. The Afghan Border Police and the Afghan National Police are in charge of the airport security. LENOVO 25-011427 Laptop Keyboard

Kabul has no train service yet but the government plans to build rail lines to connect the city with Mazar-i-Sharif in the north and Jalalabad-Torkham in the east. It also plans to build a metro rail in the future. HP Mini 110-3105tu Laptop Keyboard

Long distance road journeys are made by private Mercedes-Benz coach buses or various types of vans, trucks and cars. Although a nation wide bus service is available from Kabul, flying is safer, especially for foreigners. The city's public bus service (Milli Bus / "National Bus") was established in the 1960s to take commuters on daily routes to many destinations. The service currently has about 800 buses, HP G62-371DX Laptop Keyboard

but it is gradually expanding and upgrading the fleet. The Kabul bus system has recently discovered a new source of revenue in whole-bus advertising from MTN similar to "bus wrap" advertising on public transit in more developed nations. There is also an express bus that runs from the city centre to Kabul International Airport for Safi Airways passengers. There are also white and yellow older model Toyota Corolla taxicabs just about every where in the city. DELL 1R28D Laptop Keyboard

Private vehicles are on the rise in Kabul, with Toyota, Nissan, and other dealerships in the city. People are buying new cars as the roads and highways are being improved. Most drivers in Kabul prefer owning a Toyota Corolla, one of Afghanistan's most popular cars. It has been reported that up to 90% of cars in Kabul are Corollas.[87][88] Gas stations are mainly private-owned and the fuel comes from Pakistan, Iran and Kazakhstan. Bicycles on the road are a common sight in the city. Compaq Presario CQ42-228LA Laptop Keyboard

There are approximately 16 licensed banks in Kabul: including Da Afghanistan Bank, Afghanistan International Bank, Kabul Bank, Azizi Bank, Pashtany Bank, Afghan United Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Punjab National Bank, Habib Bank and others.Western Union offices are also found in many locations throughout the city. TOSHIBA P205-S6267 Laptop Keyboard

About 4 miles (6 km) from downtown Kabul, in Bagrami, a 22-acre (9 ha) wide industrial complex has completed with modern facilities, which will allow companies to operate businesses there. The park has professional management for the daily maintenance of public roads, internal streets, common areas, parking areas, 24 hours perimeter security, access control for vehicles and persons.[89] A number of factories operate there, including the $25 million Coca-Cola bottling plant and the Omaid Bahar juice factory. HP Probook 4515S Laptop Keyboard

A number of indoor shopping centers have opened in the last decade. This includes the Kabul City Center, which also serves as a 4-star holel (Safi Landmark Hotel). The Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) opened a 5-star Serena Hotel in the same year, while the landmark Inter-Continental has been refurbished. The AKDN was also involved in the restoration work of the Bagh-e Babur (Babur Gardens). Another 5-star Marriott Hotel is under construction next to the U.S. Embassy. HP Mini 110-3098nr Laptop Keyboard

GSM/GPRS mobile phone services in the city are provided by Afghan Wireless, Etisalat, Roshan and MTN. In November 2006, the Afghan Ministry of Communicationssigned a $64.5 million US dollar deal with ZTE on the establishment of a countrywide fibre optical cable network to help improve telephone, internet,  FUJITSU Amilo Mini Ui 3520 Laptop Keyboard

television and radio broadcast services not just in Kabul but throughout the country.[90] Internet cafes were introduced in 2002 and has been expanding throughout the country. As of 2012, 3G services are also available. SAMSUNG NP-N150-JP01 Laptop Keyboard

The city has many local-language radio and television stations, including in Pashto and Dari (Persian). The Afghan government has become increasingly intolerant of foreign channels and the un-Islamic culture they bring, and has threatened to ban some.

There are a number of post offices throughout the city. Package delivery services like FedEx, TNT N.V., and DHL are also available. FUJITSU Amilo Mini Ui 3520 Laptop Keyboard

The old part of Kabul is filled with bazaars nestled along its narrow, crooked streets. Cultural sites include: the National Museum of Afghanistan, notably displaying an impressive statue of Surya excavated at Khair Khana, the ruined Darul Aman Palace, the tomb of Mughal Emperor Babur at Bagh-e Babur, HP G71-449WM Laptop Keyboard

and Chehlstoon Park, the Minar-i-Istiqlal (Column of Independence) built in 1919 after the Third Afghan War, the mausoleum of Timur Shah Durrani, and the imposingId Gah Mosque (founded 1893). Bala Hissar is a fort destroyed by the British in 1879, in retaliation for the death of their envoy, now restored as a military college. The Minaret of Chakari, destroyed in 1998, had Buddhist swastika and both Mahayana and Theravada qualities. TOSHIBA Satellite L505D-S6948 Laptop Keyboard

Other places of interest include Kabul City Center, which is Kabul's first shopping mall, the shops around Flower Street and Chicken Street, Wazir Akbar Khan district, Kabul Golf Club, Kabul Zoo, Abdul Rahman Mosque, Shah-Do Shamshira and other famous mosques, the National Gallery of Afghanistan, the National Archives of Afghanistan, Afghan Royal Family Mausoleum, the OMAR Mine Museum, Bibi Mahro Hill, Kabul Cemetery, and Paghman Gardens. Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

Tappe-i-Maranjan is a nearby hill where Buddhist statues and Graeco-Bactrian coins from the 2nd century BC have been found. Outside the city proper is a citadel and the royal palace. Paghman and Jalalabad are interesting valleys north and east of the city.

In late 2007 the government announced that all the residential houses situated on mountains would be removed within a year so that trees and other plants can be grown on the hills. ACER Aspire 2023WLMi Laptop Keyboard

The plan calls for a greener city and to provide residents with a more suitable place to live, on a flat surface. Once implemented it will provide water supply and electricity to each house. All the city roads will also be paved under the plan, which is to solve transportation problems.[95]

The Afghan capital Kabul, symbolizing the spirits of all Afghans and international cooperation, sets at the heart of this highly resourceful region, with great potential to turn into a business hub for all. SONY VAIO VGN-FZ21S Laptop Keyboard

After 2002, the new geo-political dynamics and its subsequent business opportunities, rapid urban population growth and emergence of high unemployment, triggered the planning of urban extension towards the immediate north of Kabul, in the form of a new city.

In 2006, Engineer Mohammad Yousef Pashtun the then Minister of Urban Development got the approval from President Hamid Karzai to establish an Independent Board for the Development of Kabul New City. FUJITSU Amilo Mini Ui 3520 Laptop Keyboard

The Board brings together key stakeholders, including relevant government agencies, as well as representation from private sector and urban specialists and economists, with cooperation from the government of Japan and French Private sector, the board prepared a master plan for the city in the context of Greater Kabul. The master plan and its implementation strategy for 2025 were endorsed by the Afghan Cabinet in early 2009. Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

Soon, as a top priority, the initiative turned into one of the biggest commercially viable national development project of the country, expected to be led by the private sector.[96] A number of high rise buildings are being planned and constructed across Kabul, as part of the attempt to modernize the city.[97] COMPAQ Presario C700 Laptop Keyboard

An initial concept design called the City of Light Development, envisioned by Dr. Hisham N. Ashkouri, for the development and the implementation of a privately based investment enterprise has been proposed for multi-function commercial, historic and cultural development within the limits of the Old City of Kabul, along the southern side of the Kabul River and along Jade Meywand Avenue,[98] TOSHIBA Satellite M645-S4070 Laptop Keyboard

revitalizing some of the most commercial and historic districts in the City. Also incorporated in the design is a new complex for the National Museum of Afghanistan. A Memorandum of understanding has been signed between Dr. Ashkouri and Said Tayeb Jawad to undertake the project and to develop it for actual implementation over the next 20 years. Dr. Ashkouri has also presented the plan to President Karzai and has received a letter of support from the president and the Minister of Urban Development. TOSHIBA Satellite M645-SP4132 Laptop Keyboard

The Mayor of Kabul Muhammad Yunus Nawandish has brought many municipal reform efforts by the U.S. Agency for International Development’s “Kabul City Initiative” project, the World Bank, Japanese Government JICA and other International Donors to build municipal capacity, improve service delivery and infrastructure, TOSHIBA NSK-TBD01 Laptop Keyboard

and increase municipal revenue for a cleaner and greener Kabul. The city's major Projects include a Kabul cable car, connecting the city to Shirdarwaza mountain, a tunnel though mountains close to Kabul university to reduce traffic jams, building more flyovers in the city with the city's first fly-over being built with the help of Turkey; in addition to providing more trucks and lorries for the municipality. HP Mini 110-3501tu Laptop Keyboard

Numerous non-governmental organizations (NGOs), both national and international, are based in Kabul, conducting various activities to assist development in Afghanistan and provide humanitarian relief to the many victims which 30 years of war have produced. SONY VAIO VGN-SZ220 Laptop Keyboard

Afghanistan Information Management Services (AIMS) provides software development, capacity development, information management, and project management services to the Afghan Government and other NGOs, thereby supporting their on-the-ground activities.

The We Are the Future (WAF) Center is a child care centre whose aim is to give children a chance to live their childhoods and develop a sense of hope. The centre is managed under the direction of the mayor's office and the international NGO.  Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

Glocal Forum serves as the fundraiser, program planner and coordinator for the WAF centre. Launched in 2004, the program is the result of a strategic partnership between the Glocal Forum, the Quincy Jones Listen Up Foundation and Mr. Hani Masri, with the support of the World Bank, UN agencies and major companies. SONY VAIO VGN-CS160J/W laptop keyboard

Bagram Airfield[1] is one of the largest U.S. military bases in Afghanistan. It is located next to the ancient city ofBagram, 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) southeast of Charikar in the Parwan Province of Afghanistan. The airfield comes with a dual-runway capable of handling any size military aircraft, including Boeing C-17 Globemaster III and Antonov An-225. The base is mainly occupied by the U.S. Armed Forces, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and minimally by themilitary of Afghanistan. SAMSUNG NP-N150-JP0C laptop keyboard

Bagram Air Base is currently maintained by the Combined Joint Task Force 1st Infantry Division (CJTF-1), having taken over from the 1st Cavalry Division in the Spring of 2012. It is also maintained by 10th Combat Aviation Brigade (Task Force Falcon) and 3-10 GSAB (Task Force Phoenix) of the U.S. TOSHIBA Satellite M105-S3004 laptop keyboard

Army, with the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing of the U.S. Air Force and other U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Coast Guard, and ISAF units having sizable tenant populations. In addition, the U.S. government regional platform for the east is at the base, staffed by civilians.

The ICAO ID is OAIX and it is specifically at 34.944N, 69.259E at 1,492 metres (4,895 ft) above sea level. One of Bagram's runways is 3,003 metres (9,852 ft) long and the other is 3,500ASUS X53S laptop keyboard

metres (11,500 ft) long,[2] which was built and completed by the United States in late 2006. There are a number of large hangars, a control tower, numerous support buildings, and various housing areas. There are also more than 32 acres (130,000 m²) of ramp space and five aircraft dispersal areas, with over 110 revetments. Many support buildings and base housing built by the Soviet Armed Forcesduring their occupation were destroyed by years of fighting between various warring Afghan factions after the Soviets left. Packard Bell Easynote TK85 laptop keyboard

New barracks and office buildings are being constructed at the present time, and the base is slowly expanding.

The Kabul International Airport is about 25 miles (40 km) south of Bagram, connected by two separate roads. Also, theParwan Detention Facility is located somewhere around the base at Bagram. It has been criticized in the past for itsabusive treatment of prisoners. In May 2010, the International Committee of the Red Cross revealed that since August 2009 it was informed about inmates of a second prison where detainees are held in isolation and without access to the International Red Cross that is usually guaranteed to all prisoners.[3] Compaq Presario CQ71-410EP laptop keyboard

Experts believe that this will revolutionize the economy of the region. Opium production in Afghanistansoared to a record in 2007 with about 3 million people reported to be involved in the business[209] but then declined significantly in the years following.[210] The government started programs to help reduce cultivation of poppy, and by 2010 it was reported that 24 out of the 34 provinces were free from poppy grow. SAMSUNG N150 laptop keyboard

In June 2012, India strongly advocated for private investments in the resource rich country and creation of suitable environment therefor.[211]

Michael O'Hanlon of the Brookings Institution explains that if Afghanistan generates about $10 bn per year from its mineral deposits, its gross national productwould double and provide long-term funding for Afghan security forces and other critical needs.[212] The United States Geological Survey (USGS) estimated in 2006 that northern Afghanistan has an average 2.9 billion (bn) barrels (bbl) of crude oil, SONY VAIO VGN-FS485B laptop keyboard

15.7 trillion cubic feet (440 bn m3) of natural gas, and 562 million bblof natural gas liquids.[213] In December 2011, Afghanistan signed an oil exploration contract with China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) for the development of three oil fields along the Amu Darya river in the north.[214] SONY VAIO VGN-FS215B laptop keyboard

Other reports show that the country has huge amounts of lithium, copper, gold, coal, iron ore and other minerals.[51][52][215] The Khanashin carbonatite inHelmand Province contains 1,000,000 metric tons (1,100,000 short tons) of rare earth elements.[216] In 2007, a 30-year lease was granted for the Aynak copper mine to the China Metallurgical Group for $3 billion,[217] making it the biggest foreign investment and private business venture in Afghanistan's history.[218] Compaq Presario CQ62-215DX laptop keyboard

The state-run Steel Authority of India won the mining rights to develop the huge Hajigak iron ore deposit in central Afghanistan.[219] Government officials estimate that 30% of the country's untapped mineral deposits are worth between $900 bn and $3 trillion.[54][53][55] One official asserted that "this will become the backbone of the Afghan economy" and a Pentagon memo stated that Afghanistan could become the "Saudi Arabia of lithium".[SONY Vaio VGN-AW190 laptop keyboard

In a 2011 news story, the CSM reported, "The United States and other Western nations that have borne the brunt of the cost of the Afghan war have been conspicuously absent from the bidding process on Afghanistan's mineral deposits, leaving it to mostly to regional powers."[223]

Afghanistan has about 53 airports, with the biggest ones being the Kabul International Airport, serving the capital and nearby regions followed Kandahar International Airport in the south, Herat International Airport in the west, HP Pavilion DV7-3173nr laptop keyboard

and Mazar-i-Sharif Airport in the north. Ariana Afghan Airlines is the national carrier, with domestic flights between Kabul, Kandahar, Herat and Mazar-i-Sharif. International flights include to United Arab Emirate, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Turkey, India, Iran, Pakistan and a number of other Asian destinations.[224] SONY 147963021 Laptop Keyboard

There are also domestic and international flight services available from the locally owned Kam Air, Pamir Airways and Safi Airways. Airlines from a number of regional nations such as Turkish Airlines, Gulf Air, Air Arabia, Air India, PIA and others also provide services to Afghanistan. Flights between Dubai and Kabul take roughly 2 hours to reach. FUJITSU Amilo Mini Ui 3520 Laptop Keyboard

The country has limited rail service with Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan in the north. The government plans to extended the rail line to the capital and then to the eastern border town of Torkham by 2014, connecting with Pakistan Railways.[225] Long distant road journeys are made by older model company-owned Mercedes-Benz coach buses or carpool and private cars. Newer automobiles have recently become more widely available after the rebuilding of roads and highways. Lenovo 0A62039 Laptop Keyboard

They are imported from the United Arab Emirates through Pakistan and Iran. As of 2012, vehicles that are older than 10 years 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. Afghanistan's postal and package services such as FedEx, DHL and others make deliveries to major cities and towns. Lenovo 04W2236 Laptop Keyboard

Telecommunication services in the country are provided by Afghan Wireless, Etisalat, Roshan, MTN Group and Afghan Telecom. In 2006, the Afghan Ministry of Communications signed a $64.5 million agreement with ZTE for the establishment of a countrywide optical fiber cable network. As of 2011, Afghanistan has around 17 million GSM phone subscribers and over 1 million internet users. ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboar

It only has about 75,000 fixed telephone lines and little over 190,000 CDMA subscribers.[226]3G services are provided by Etisalat and MTN Group. The Afghan government announced that it will send expressions of interest to international companies to attract funding will launch its first ever space satellite by October 2012.  Lenovo 0A62075 Laptop Keyboard

According to the Human Development Index, Afghanistan is the 15th least developed country in the world. The average life expectancywas estimated in 2012 to be 49.72 years.[233] Afghanistan has the 9th highest total fertility rate in the world, at 5.64 children born/woman (according to 2012 estimates).[234] DELL Inspiron 1750 Laptop Keyboard

Afghanistan has the highest maternal mortality rate in the world, estimated in 2008 at 1,400 deaths/100,000 live births,[235] and the highest infant mortality rate in the world (deaths of babies under one year), estimated in 2012 to be 121.63 deaths/1,000 live births.[236] Data from 2010 suggests that one in 10 children in Afghanistan dies before they are five years old.[237] While these statistics are tragic, DELL PVDG3 Laptop Keyboard

the government plans to further cut the infant mortality rate to 400 for every 100,000 live births by 2020.[238] The country currently has more than 3,000 midwives with an additional 300 to 400 being trained each year.[239] FUJITSU Amilo Mini Ui 3520 Laptop Keyboard

A number of new hospitals and clinics have been built over the last decade, with the most advanced treatments being available in Kabul. The French Medical Institute for Children and Indira Gandhi Childrens Hospital in Kabul are the leading children's hospitalsin the country. Some of the other main hospitals in Kabul include the 350-bed Jamhuriat Hospital and the Jinnah Hospital, which is still under construction. There are also a number of well-equipped military-controlled hospitals in different regions of the country. APPLE A1278 Laptop Keyboard

It was reported in 2006 that nearly 60% of the population lives within two hours by foot to the nearest health facility, up from 9% in 2002.[240] Latest surveys show that 57% of Afghans say they have good or very good access to clinics or hospitals.[239] The nation also has one of the highest incidences of people with disabilities, Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

with an estimated one million handicapped people.[241] About 80,000 citizens have lost limbs, mainly as a result of landmines.[242][243] Non-governmental charities such as Save the Children andMahboba's Promise assist orphans in association with governmental structures.[244] Demographic and Health Surveys is working with the Indian Institute of Health Management Research and others to conduct a survey in Afghanistan focusing on Maternal death, among other things.[245HP Envy 15 Laptop Keyboard

As of 2011, about 82,000 students are enrolled in different universities around the country.[247] Kabul University reopened in 2002 to both male and female students. In 2006, the American University of Afghanistan was established in Kabul, with the aim of providing a world-class, English-language, DELL Vostro 3500 Laptop Keyboard

co-educational learning environment in Afghanistan. The capital of Kabul serves as the learning center of Afghanistan, with many of the best educational institutions being based there. Major universities outside of Kabul include Kandahar University in the south, Herat University in the northwest, Balkh Universityin the north, Nangarhar University and Khost University in the eastern zones, as well as a number of others. IBM Lenovo Thinkpad X201 Laptop Keyboard

The National Military Academy of Afghanistan, modeled after the United States Military Academy at West Point, is a four-year military development institution dedicated to graduating officers for the Afghan armed forces. The $200 million Afghan Defense University is under construction near Qargha in Kabul. 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.[247] HP Pavilion dv6-3125sc Laptop Keyboard

Literacy rate of the entire population is low, around 28%.[248] Female literacy may be as low as 10%. In 2010, the United States began establishing a number of Lincoln learning centers in Afghanistan. They are set up to serve as programming platforms offering English language classes, library facilities, programming venues, Internet connectivity, educational and other counseling services. SAMSUNG N140 Laptop Keyboard

A goal of the program is to reach at least 4,000 Afghan citizens per month per location.[249][250] The military and national police are also provided with mandatory literacy courses.[248] In addition to this, Baghch-e-Simsim (based on the American Sesame Street) was launched in late 2011 to help Afghan children learn from preschool and onward. HP pavilion DV7-1000 Laptop Keyboard

As of 2012, the population of Afghanistan is around 30,419,928,[251] which includes the roughly 2.7 million Afghan refugees still living in Pakistan and Iran. In 1979, the population was reported to be about 15.5 million.[252] The only city with over a million residents is its capital, Kabul. The other largest cities in the country are, in order of population size, Kandahar, Herat, Mazar-i-Sharif, Jalalabad, TOSHIBA Satellite A305 Laptop Keyboard

Lashkar Gah, Taloqan, Khost, Sheberghan, Ghazni, and so on. Urban areas are experiencing rapid population growth following the return of over 5 million expats. According to the Population Reference Bureau, the Afghan population is estimated to increase to 82 million by 2050.[253]

Pashto and Dari (Persian) are the official languages of Afghanistan, making bilingualism very common.[1] Compaq Presario CQ62-203AX laptop keyboard

Both are Indo-European languages from the Iranian languages sub-family. Persian has always been the prestige language and as the main means of inter-ethnic communication, maintaining its status of lingua franca. It is the native tongue of the Tajiks, Hazaras, Aimaks and Kizilbash.[264] Pashto is the native tongue of the Pashtuns, although many Pashtuns often use Persian and some non-Pashtuns are fluent in Pashto.

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Minor languages also include Pamiri(Shughni, Munji, Ishkashimi and Wakhi), Brahui, Hindko, Kyrgyz, etc. Small percent of Afghans are also fluent in Arabic, Urdu, English, and other languages.

The Afghan culture has been around for over two millennia, tracing record to at least the time of the Achaemenid Empire in 500 BCE.[273][274] It is mostly a nomadic and tribal society, with different regions of the country having their own tradition, reflecting the multi-cultural and multi-lingual character of the nation. SAMSUNG NP-Q320-JS03UK laptop keyboard

In the southern and eastern region the people live according to the Pashtun culture by following Pashtunwali, which is an ancient way of life that is still preserved.[275] The remaining of the country is culturally Persian and Turkic. Some non-Pashtuns who live in close proximity with Pashtuns have adopted Pashtunwali[276] in a process called Pashtunization (or Afghanization) while some Pashtuns have been Persianized. Millions of Afghans who have been living in Pakistan and Iran over the last 30 years have been influenced by the cultures of those neighboring nations. HP Pavilion dv4-1131tx laptop keyboard

Afghans display pride in their culture, nation, ancestry, and above all, their religion and independence. Like other highlanders, they 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.[277] SONY N860-7676-T101 laptop keyboard

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. Tony Heathcote 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.[277] There are an estimated 60 major Pashtun tribes,[278] and the Afghan nomads are estimated at about 2–3 million.[279] FUJITSU Amilo Mini Ui 3520 laptop keyboard

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 recent wars.[280] The two famous Buddhas of Bamiyan were destroyed by the Taliban, who regarded them as idolatrous. Despite that archaeologists are still finding Buddhist relics in different parts of the country, some of them date back to the 2nd century.[ ACER Aspire 2920-1A2G16Mi laptop keyboard

This indicates that Buddhism was widespread in Afghanistan. Other historical places include the cities of Herat, Kandahar, Ghazni, Mazar-i-Sharif, and Zarang. The Minaret of Jam in the Hari River valley is a UNESCO World Heritage site. 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. ACER Aspire 1410-2920 laptop keyboard

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 Hazrat Ali, believed by many to be the location where Ali was buried. The Afghan Ministry of Information and Culture is renovating 42 historic sites in Ghazni until 2013, when the province will be declared as the capital of Islamic civilization.[284] SONY VAIO VGN-AR670 laptop keyboard

The National Museum of Afghanistan is located in Kabul.

Although literacy level is low, classic Persian and Pashto poetry play an important role in the Afghan culture. Poetry has always been one of the major educational pillars in the region, to the level that it has integrated itself into culture. Some notable poets include Rumi, Rabi'a Balkhi, Sanai, Jami, SONY VGN-FE21S laptop keyboard

Khushal Khan Khattak, Rahman Baba, Khalilullah Khalili, and Parween Pazhwak.[285]

The Afghan mass media began in the early 20th century, with the first newspaper published in 1906. By the 1920s, Radio Kabulwas broadcasting local radio services. Afghanistan National Television was launched in 1974 but was closed in 1996 when the media was tightly controlled by the Taliban.[286]  Packard Bell Easynote LM85 laptop keyboard

Since 2002, press restrictions were gradually relaxed and private media diversified. Freedom of expression and the press is promoted in the 2004 constitution and censorship is banned, thoughdefaming individuals or producing material contrary to the principles of Islam is prohibited. In 2008, Reporters Without Borders listed the media environment as 156 out of 173, with the 1st being most free. 400 publications were registered, at least 15 local Afghan television channels and 60 radio stations.[287] HP G61-430EF laptop keyboard

Foreign radio stations, such as Voice of America, BBC World Service, and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) broadcast into the country.

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Ahmad Zahir, Nashenas, Ustad Sarahang,Sarban, Ubaidullah Jan, Farhad Darya, and Naghma are some of the notable Afghan musicians but there are many others.[288]Most Afghans are accustomed to watching Bollywood films from India and listening to its filmi hit songs. Many of the Bollywood film stars have roots in Afghanistan, including Madhubala, Feroz Khan, Kader Khan, Shahrukh Khan, Aamir Khan, HP Mini 110-3501tu laptop keyboard

Salman Khan, Naseeruddin Shah, Fardeen Khan, Sohail Khan, Celina Jaitley and many others. In addition, several Bollywood films such as Dharmatma, Khuda Gawah, Escape from Taliban and Kabul Expresshave been shot inside Afghanistan. DELL Latitude D620 Laptop Keyboard

The Afghanistan national football team has been competing in international football since 1941 and currently has a world ranking of 179. 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 World Cup. The country also has a national team in the sport of futsal, a 5-a-side variation of football. SAMSUNG NP-N150-JP01 Laptop Keyboard

Cricket, which is a newly introduced sport in Afghanistan fuelled by the success of the Afghan national cricket team is growing in popularity.[289] Afghanistan participated in the 2009 ICC World Cup Qualifier, 2010 ICC World Cricket League Division One, and 2010 ICC World Twenty20 where they played India and South Africa. It won the ACC Twenty20 Cup in 2007, 2009, and 2011. More recently the under-19 team played in the 2012 ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup.[290] HP Pavilion dv3-2106tu Laptop Keyboard

The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) is the official governing body of the sport and is headquartered in Kabul. The Ghazi Amanullah Khan International Cricket Stadium serves as the nation's main cricket stadium, followed by the Kabul National Cricket Stadium. Several other stadiums are under construction.[291] Domestically, cricket is played between teams from different provinces. Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

Some of the other popular sports in Afghanistan include basketball, volleyball, taekwondo, and bodybuilding.[292] Buzkashi is a traditional sport, mainly among the northern Afghans. It is similar to polo, played by horsemen in two teams, each trying to grab and hold a goat carcass. Afghan Hounds (a type of running dog) originated in Afghanistan and was originally used in the sport of hunting. TOSHIBA Satellite M645-S4070 Laptop Keyboard

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Afghanistan (i/æfˈɡænɨstæn/; Persian: افغانستان‎; Pashto: Afġānistān‎), officially the Islamic Republicof Afghanistan, is a landlocked sovereign state forming part of South Asia,[8] Central Asia,[9] TOSHIBA Satellite L675D-S7015 laptop keyboard

and to some extent Western Asia. It has a population of around 30 million inhabiting an area of approximately 647,500 km2(250,001 sq mi), making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world. It is bordered byPakistan in the south and the east, Iran in the west, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan in the north, and China in the far northeast. SONY VAIO VGN-FS415M laptop keyboard

Afghanistan has been an ancient focal point of the Silk Road and human migration. Archaeologists have found evidence of human habitation from as far back as the Middle Paleolithic. Urban civilization may have begun in the area as early as 3,000 to 2,000 BCE.[10] Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

Sitting at an important geostrategic location that connects the Middle East culture with Central Asia and the Indian subcontinent,[11] the land has been home to various peoples through the ages[12] and witnessed many military campaigns, notably by Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, and in modern era Western forces. ASUS X88S Laptop Keyboard

SONY 148738121 Laptop Keyboard [13]

The political history of the modern state of Afghanistan begins in 1709, when the Hotaki dynasty was established in Kandahar followed by Ahmad Shah Durrani's rise to power in 1747.[3][14][15]  Lenovo 3000 Y500 Laptop Keyboard

In the late 19th century, Afghanistan became a buffer state in the "Great Game" between the British and Russian empires. Following the 1919 Anglo-Afghan War, King Amanullah began a European style modernization of the country but was stopped by the ultra-conservatives. HP Pavilion G6-1223TX Laptop Keyboard

During the Cold War, after the withdrawal of the British from neighboring India in 1947, the United States and the Soviet Union began spreading influences in Afghanistan,[16] which led to a bloody war between the US-backed mujahideen forces and the Soviet-backed Afghan government in which over a million Afghans lost their lives.[17][18] Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

This was followed by the 1990s civil war, the rise and fall of the extremist Taliban government and the 2001–present war.[19] In December 2001, theUnited Nations Security Council authorized the creation of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) to help maintain security in Afghanistan and assist the Karzai administration.[20] ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

Three decades of war made Afghanistan one of the world's most dangerous countries,[21] including the largest producer of refugees and asylum seekers. While the international community is rebuilding war-torn Afghanistan,terrorist groups such as the Haqqani Network and Hezbi Islami[22] SONY VAIO VGN-NR21E/S Laptop Keyboard

are actively involved in a nationwideTaliban-led insurgency,[23] which includes hundreds of assassinations and suicide attacks.[24] According to theUnited Nations, the insurgents were responsible for 80% of civilian casualties in 2011 and 2012.

The name Afghānistān (Persian: افغانستان‎, COMPAQ Presario C700 Laptop Keyboard

 [avɣɒnestɒn])[27] means "Land of the Afghans",[28] which originates from the ethnonym "Afghan". Historically, the name "Afghan" mainly designated the Pashtun people, the largest ethnic group of Afghanistan.[29] This name is mentioned in the form of Abgan in the 3rd century CE by the Sassanians[30] DELL Latitude D830 Laptop Keyboard

and asAvagana (Afghana) in the 6th century CE by Indian astronomer Varahamihira.[29] A people called the Afghans are mentioned several times in a 10th century geography book, Hudud al-'alam, particularly where a reference is made to a village: "Saul, a pleasant village on a mountain. In it live Afghans."[31] TOSHIBA Satellite L300 Laptop Keyboard

Al-Biruni referred to them in the 11th century as various tribes living on the western frontier mountains of the Indus River, which would be the Sulaiman Mountains.[32] Ibn Battuta, a famous Moroccan scholar visiting the region in 1333, writes:

"We travelled on to Kabul, HP Envy 15 Laptop Keyboard

formerly a vast town, the site of which is now occupied by a village inhabited by a tribe of Persians called Afghans. They hold mountains and defiles and possess considerable strength, and are mostly highwaymen. Their principle mountain is called Kuh Sulayman."[33] DELL NSK-D8001 Laptop Keyboard

One prominent 16th-century Persian scholar explains extensively about the Afghans. For example, he writes:

"The men of Kábul and Khilj also went home; and whenever they were questioned about the Musulmáns of the Kohistán (the mountains), and how matters stood there, they said, "Don't call it Kohistán, HP G42-415DX Laptop Keyboard

but Afghánistán; for there is nothing there but Afgháns and disturbances." Thus it is clear that for this reason the people of the country call their home in their own languageAfghánistán, and themselves Afgháns."[34] HP Mini 210-1070NR Laptop Keyboard

—Firishta, 1560–1620 AD

It is widely accepted that the terms "Pashtun" and Afghan are synonyms.[29] In the writings of the 17th-century Pashto poet Khushal Khan Khattak it is mentioned:

"Pull out your sword and slay any one, that says Pashtun and Afghan are not one! Arabs know this and so do Romans: Afghans are Pashtuns, Pashtuns are Afghans!"[35] TOSHIBA Satellite M645-S4070 Laptop Keyboard

The last part of the name, -stān is a Persian suffix for "place". The name "Afghanistan" is described by the 16th century Mughal Emperor Babur in his memoirs as well as by the later Persian scholar Firishta and Babur's descendants, referring to the traditional ethnic Pashtun territories between the Hindu Kush mountains and the Indus River.[36] In the early 19th century, Compaq Presario CQ57-311 Laptop Keyboard

 Afghan politicians decided to adopt the name Afghanistan for the entire Afghan Empire after its English translation had already appeared in various treaties with Qajarid Persia and British India.[37] In 1857, in his review of J.W. Kaye's The Afghan War, Friedrich Engels describes "Afghanistan" as: DELL V119525BS1 Laptop Keyboard

"an extensive country of Asia ... between Persia and the Indies, and in the other direction between the Hindu Kush and the Indian Ocean. It formerly included the Persian provinces of Khorassan and Kohistan, together with Herat, Beluchistan, Cashmere, and Sinde, and a considerable part of thePunjab ... Its principal cities are Kabul, the capital, Ghuznee, Peshawer, and Kandahar."[38] Lenovo 3000 N200 Laptop Keyboard

The Afghan kingdom was sometimes referred to as the Kingdom of Kabul, as mentioned by the British statesman and historian Mountstuart Elphinstone.[39]Afghanistan was officially recognized as a sovereign state by the international community after the Anglo-Afghan Treaty of 1919 was signed.[40][41] HP G72-a10SV Laptop Keyboard

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.[44] Aside from the usual rain falls, Afghanistan receives snow during winter in the Hindu Kush andPamir Mountains, and the melting snow in the spring season enters the rivers, lakes, and streams.[45][46] LENOVO IdeaPad S10 20015 Laptop Keyboard

 However, two-thirds of the country's water flows into neighboring countries of Iran, Pakistan, and Turkmenistan. The state needs more than US$2 billion to rehabilitate its irrigation systems so that the water is properly managed.[47] SONY VAIO VGN-FZ220E/B Laptop Keyboard

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.[48] They can be deadly and destructive sometimes, causinglandslides in some parts or avalanche during winter.[49] DELL Latitude D830 Laptop Keyboard

 The last strong earthquakes were in 1998, which killed about 6,000 people in Badakhshan near Tajikistan.[50] This was followed by the 2002 Hindu Kush earthquakes in which over 150 people of various regional countries were killed and over 1,000 injured. The 2010 earthquake left 11 Afghans dead, over 70 injured and more than 2,000 houses destroyed. LENOVO 25-011427 Laptop Keyboard

The country's natural resources include: coal, copper, iron ore, lithium, uranium, rare earth elements, chromite, gold,zinc, talc, barites, sulfur, lead, marble, precious and semi-precious stones, natural gas, and petroleum among other things.[51][52] In 2010, US and Afghan government officials estimated that untapped mineral deposits located in 2007 by the US Geological Survey are worth between $900 bn and $3 trillion.[53][54][55] HP Mini 110-3105tu Laptop Keyboard

At 652,230 square kilometres (251,830 sq mi),[56] Afghanistan is the world's 41st largest country,[57] slightly bigger than France and smaller than Burma, about the size of Texas in the United States. 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. HP G62-371DX Laptop Keyboard

Excavations of prehistoric sites by Louis Dupree and others suggest that humans were living in what is now Afghanistan at least 50,000 years ago, and that farming communities in the area were among the earliest in the world.[58][59] An important site of early historical activities, many believe that Afghanistan compares to Egypt in terms of the historical value of its archaeological sites.[60] DELL 1R28D Laptop Keyboard

The country sits at a unique nexus point where numerous civilizations have interacted and often fought. It has been home to various peoples through the ages, among them the ancient Iranian peoples who established the dominant role of Indo-Iranian languages in the region. Compaq Presario CQ42-228LA Laptop Keyboard

At multiple points, the land has been incorporated within large regional empires, among them the Achaemenid Empire, the Macedonian Empire, the Indian Maurya Empire, the Islamic Empire and the Sassanid Empire. HP Envy 17-2077ez Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

Many kingdoms have also risen to power in what is now Afghanistan, such as the Greco-Bactrians, Kushans, Hephthalites,Kabul Shahis, Saffarids, Samanids, Ghaznavids, Ghurids, Kartids, Timurids, Mughals, and finally the Hotaki and Durranidynasties that marked the political origins of the modern state. HP Envy 17-1190nr Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

Archaeological exploration done in the 20th century suggests that the geographical area of Afghanistan has been closely connected by culture and trade with its neighbors to the east, west and north. HP Pavilion DV7-3173nr laptop keyboard

Artifacts typical of the Paleolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic,Bronze, and Iron ages have been found in Afghanistan.[61] Urban civilization is believed to have begun as early as 3000 BCE, and the early city of Mundigak (near Kandahar in the south of the country) may have been a colony of the nearby Indus Valley Civilization.[59] HP Mini 110-3105tu laptop keyboard

After 2000 BCE, successive waves of semi-nomadic people from Central Asia began moving south into Afghanistan, among them were many Indo-European-speaking Indo-Iranians.[58] HP Pavilion DV3560ev laptop keyboard

These tribes later migrated further south to India, west to what is now Iran, and towards Europe via the area north of the Caspian.[62] The region as a whole was called Ariana.[58][63][64] COMPAQ Presario V3132TU laptop keyboard

The ancient religion of Zoroastrianism is believed by some to have originated in what is now Afghanistan between 1800 and 800 BCE, as its founder Zoroaster is thought to have lived and died inBalkh. TOSHIBA Satellite A15-SP1002 laptop keyboard

By the middle of the 6th century BCE, the Achaemenid Persians overthrew the Medes and incorporated Afghanistan (Arachosia, Aria and Bactria) within its boundaries. Aninscription on the tombstone of King Darius I of Persia mentions the Kabul Valley in a list of the 29 countries that he had conquered.[68] SONY VAIO VGN-AR270 laptop keyboard

Alexander the Great and his Macedonian army arrived to the area of Afghanistan in 330 BCE after defeating Darius III of Persia a year earlier in the Battle of Gaugamela.[65] Following Alexander's brief occupation, the successor state of the Seleucid Empire controlled the area until 305 BCE when they gave much of it to the Indian Maurya Empire as part of an alliance treaty. HP G61-420CA laptop keyboard

"Alexander took these away from the Aryans and established settlements of his own, but Seleucus Nicator gave them to Sandrocottus(Chandragupta), upon terms of intermarriage and of receiving in exchange 500 elephants."[69]  FUJITSU Amilo Mini Ui 3520 Laptop Keyboard

—Strabo, 64 BC – 24 AD

The Mauryans brought Buddhism from India and controlled the area south of the Hindu Kush until about 185 BCE when they were overthrown.[70] Their decline began 60 years after Ashoka's rule ended, leading to the Hellenistic reconquest of the region by the Greco-Bactrians. SAMSUNG NP-N150-JP01 Laptop Keyboard

Much of it soon broke away from the Greco-Bactrians and became part of the Indo-Greek Kingdom. The Indo-Greeks were defeated and expelled by the Indo-Scythians in the late 2nd century BCE. FUJITSU Amilo Mini Ui 3520 Laptop Keyboard

During the 1st century BCE, the Parthian Empire subjugated the region, but lost it to their Indo-Parthian vassals. In the mid to late 1st century CE the vastKushan Empire, centered in modern Afghanistan, became great patrons of Buddhist culture. The Kushans were defeated by the Sassanids in the 3rd century CE. HP G71-449WM Laptop Keyboard

Although various rulers calling themselves Kushanshas (generally known as the Indo-Sassanids) continued to rule at least parts of the region, they were probably more or less subject to the Sassanids.[71] TOSHIBA Satellite L505D-S6948 Laptop Keyboard

The late Kushans were followed by the Kidarite Huns[72] who, in turn, were replaced by the short-lived but powerful Hephthalites, as rulers.[73] The Hephthalites were defeated by Khosrau I in CE 557, who re-established Sassanid power in Persia. However, in the 6th century CE, the successors to the Kushans and Hepthalites established a small dynasty in Kabulistan called Kabul Shahi. Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

Between the 4th and 19th centuries the northwestern area of modern Afghanistan was referred to by the regional name asKhorasan.[74][75] Two of the four capitals of Khorasan (Herat and Balkh[33]) are now located in Afghanistan, while the regions of Kandahar, Zabulistan, Ghazni, Kabulistan and Afghanistan formed the frontier between Khorasan and Hindustan. ACER Aspire 2023WLMi Laptop Keyboard

Arab Muslims brought the message of Islam to Herat and Zaranj in 642 AD and began spreading eastward, some of the native inhabitants they encountered accepted it while others revolted.[77]The people of Afghanistan was multi-religious, which included Zoroastrians, SONY VAIO VGN-FZ21S Laptop Keyboard

Buddhists,worshippers of the sun, Hindus, Christians, Jews, and others.[78] The Zunbil and Kabul Shahi were defeated in 870 AD by the Saffarid Muslims of Zaranj. Later, the Samanids extended their Islamic influence into south of the Hindu Kush. It is reported that Muslims and non-Muslims still lived side by side in Kabul before the Ghaznavids rose to power. FUJITSU Amilo Mini Ui 3520 Laptop Keyboard

"Kábul has a castle celebrated for its strength, accessible only by one road. In it there areMusulmáns, and it has a town, in which are infidels from Hind."[79]

—Istahkrí, 921 ADCompaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

Afghanistan became one of the main centers in the Muslim world during the Islamic Golden Age.[80][58] By the 11th century SultanMahmud of Ghazni had finally Islamized all of the remaining non-Muslim areas, COMPAQ Presario C700 Laptop Keyboard

with the exception of the Kafiristan region. The Ghaznavids were replaced by the Ghurids who expanded and advanced the already powerful empire. In 1219 AD, Genghis Khan and hisMongol army overran the region. His troops are said to have annihilated the Khorasanian cities of Herat and Balkh as well asBamyan.[81] TOSHIBA Satellite M645-S4070 Laptop Keyboard

The destruction caused by the Mongols depopulated major cities and forced many of the locals to revert to an agrarian rural society.[82] Mongol rule continued with the Ilkhanate in the northwest while the Khilji dynasty controlled the Afghan tribal areas south of the Hindu Kush, until the invasion of Timur who established the Timurid dynasty in 1370.[83] During the Ghaznavid, Ghurid, TOSHIBA Satellite M645-SP4132 Laptop Keyboard

and Timurid eras, Afghanistan produced many fine Islamic architectural monuments as well as numerous scientific and literary works.

Babur, a descendant of both Timur and Genghis Khan, arrived from Fergana and captured Kabul from the Arghun dynasty, and from there he began to seize control of the central and eastern territories of Afghanistan. HP 535689-001 Laptop Keyboard

He remained in Kabulistan until 1526 when he and his army invaded Delhi in India to replace the Afghan Lodi dynasty with the Mughal Empire. From the 16th century to the early 18th century, Afghanistan was part of three regional kingdoms: the Khanate of Bukhara in the north, the Shi'aSafavids in the west and the remaining larger area was ruled by the Mughal Empire. ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

Mir Wais Hotak, seen as Afghanistan's George Washington,[84] successfully rebelled against the Persian Safavids in 1709. He overthrew and killed Gurgin Khan, and made the Afghan region independent from Persia. By 1713, Mir Wais had decisively defeated two larger Persian armies, HP Compaq NC8430 Laptop Keyboard

one was led by Khusraw Khán (nephew of Gurgin) and the other by Rustam Khán. The armies were sent by Sultan Husayn, the Shah in Isfahan (now Iran), to re-take control of the Kandahar region.[85] Mir Wais died of a natural cause in 1715 and was succeeded by his brother Abdul Aziz, who was killed by Mir Wais' son Mahmud as a national traitor. In 1722, HP 9J.N0Y82.H01 Laptop Keyboard

Mahmud led an Afghan army to the Persian capital of Isfahan, sacked the city after the Battle of Gulnabad and proclaimed himself King of Persia.[85] The Persians were disloyal to the Afghan rulers, and after the massacre of thousands of religious scholars, nobles, and members of the Safavid family, the Hotaki dynasty was ousted from Persia after the 1729 Battle of Damghan.[86] ASUS A8M Laptop Keyboard

In 1738, Nader Shah and his Afsharid forces captured Kandahar from Shah Hussain Hotaki, at which point the incarcerated 16 year old Ahmad Shah Durrani was freed and made the commander of Nader Shah's four thousand Abdali Afghans.[87] From Kandahar they set out to conquer India, ASUS A8M Laptop Keyboard

passing through Ghazni, Kabul, Peshawar, and Lahore, and ultimately plundering Delhi after the Battle of Karnal. Nader Shah and his army abandoned Delhi but took with them huge treasure, which included the Koh-i-Noor and Darya-ye Noordiamonds.[88] SONY VAIO VGN-SZ220 Laptop Keyboard

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After the death of Nader Shah in 1747, the Afghans chose Ahmad Shah Durrani as their head of state. Regarded as the founder of modern Afghanistan,[89][90][91] Durrani and his Afghan army conquered the entire present-day Afghanistan, Pakistan, Khorasan and Kohistan provinces of Iran, along with Delhi in India.[38] He defeated the Indian Maratha Empire, one of his biggest victories was the1761 Battle of Panipat. SONY VAIO VGN-CS160J/W laptop keyboard

In October 1772, Ahmad Shah Durrani died of a natural cause and was buried at a site now adjacent to theShrine of the Cloak in Kandahar. He was succeeded by his son, Timur Shah, who transferred the capital of Afghanistan from Kandahar to Kabul in 1776. After Timur Shah's death in 1793, the Durrani throne was passed down to his son Zaman Shah followed by Mahmud Shah, Shuja Shah and others. SAMSUNG NP-N150-JP0C laptop keyboard

The Afghan Empire was under threat in the early 19th century by the Persians in the west and the Sikhs in the east. The western provinces of Khorasan and Kohistan were taken by the Persians in 1800. Fateh Khan, leader of the Barakzai tribe, had installed 21 of his brothers in positions of power throughout the empire. TOSHIBA Satellite M105-S3004 laptop keyboard

After his death, they rebelled and divided up the provinces of the empire between themselves. During this turbulent period, Afghanistan had many temporary rulers until Dost Mohammad Khan declared himself emir in 1826.[92] The Punjab region was lost to Ranjit Singh, who invaded Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and in 1834 captured the city of Peshawar. ASUS X53S laptop keyboard

 [93][94] By this time the British were advancing from the east and the First Anglo-Afghan War, one of the first major conflicts during the Great Game, was initiated.[95]

Following the 1842 Massacre of Elphinstone's Army and victory of Afghan forces, led by Akbar Khan, the British establisheddiplomatic relations with the Afghan government but withdrew all forces from the country. Packard Bell Easynote TK85 laptop keyboard

They returned during the Second Anglo-Afghan War in the late 1870s for about two-year military operations, which was to defeat Ayub Khan and assist Abdur Rahman Khanestablish authority. The United Kingdom began to exercise a great deal of influence after this and even controlled the state'sforeign policy. Compaq Presario CQ71-410EP laptop keyboard

In 1893, Mortimer Durand made Amir Abdur Rahman Khan sign a controversial agreement in which the ethnic Pashtunand Baloch territories were divided by the Durand Line. 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. SAMSUNG N150 laptop keyboard

After the Third Anglo-Afghan War and the signing of the Treaty of Rawalpindi in 1919, KingAmanullah Khan declared Afghanistan a sovereign and fully independent state. He moved to end his country's traditional isolation by establishing diplomatic relations with the international community and, following a 1927–28 tour of Europe and Turkey, introduced several reforms intended to modernize his nation. SONY VAIO VGN-FS485B laptop keyboard

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 1923 constitution, which made elementary education compulsory. The institution of slavery was abolished in 1923.[96] SONY VAIO VGN-FS215B laptop keyboard

Some of the reforms that were actually put in place, such as the abolition of the traditional burqafor 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 1929 after Kabul fell to rebel forces led by Habibullah Kalakani. Compaq Presario CQ62-215DX laptop keyboard

Prince Mohammed Nadir Shah, Amanullah's cousin, in turn defeated and killed Kalakani in November 1929, and was declared King Nadir Shah. He abandoned the reforms of Amanullah Khan in favor of a more gradual approach to modernisation but was assassinated in 1933 by Abdul Khaliq, a Hazara school student.[97] SONY Vaio VGN-AW190 laptop keyboard

Mohammed Zahir Shah, Nadir Shah's 19-year-old son, succeeded to the throne and reigned from 1933 to 1973. Until 1946 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, HP Pavilion DV7-3173nr laptop keyboard

Shah Mahmud Khan, became Prime Minister in 1946 and began an experiment allowing greater political freedom, but reversed the policy when it went further than he expected. He was replaced in 1973 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. SONY 147963021 Laptop Keyboard

Afghanistan remained neutral and was neither a participant in World War II, nor aligned with either power bloc in the Cold War. 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. In 1973, while King Zahir Shah was on an official overseas visit, Daoud Khan launched a bloodless coup and became the first President of Afghanistan. FUJITSU Amilo Mini Ui 3520 Laptop Keyboard

In April 1978, the communist People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) seized power in Afghanistan in the Saur Revolution. Within months, opponents of the communist government launched an uprising in eastern Afghanistan that quickly expanded into a civil war waged by guerrilla mujahideen against government forces countrywide. TOSHIBA P205-S6267 Laptop KeyboardThe Pakistani government provided these rebels with covert training centers, while the Soviet Union sent thousands of military advisers to support the PDPA government.[98] HP Mini 110-3098nr Laptop Keyboard

Meanwhile, increasing friction between the competing factions of the PDPA — the dominant Khalq and the more moderate Parcham — resulted in the dismissal of Parchami cabinet members and the arrest of Parchami military officers under the pretext of a Parchami coup. By mid-1979, the United States had started a covert program to assist the mujahideen.[99] HP Probook 4515S Laptop Keyboard

In September 1979, Khalqist President Nur Muhammad Taraki was assassinated in a coup within the PDPA orchestrated by fellow Khalq member Hafizullah Amin, who assumed the presidency. Distrusted by the Soviets, Amin was assassinated by Soviet special forces in December 1979. Lenovo 0A62039 Laptop Keyboard

A Soviet-organized government, led by Parcham's Babrak Karmal but inclusive of both factions, filled the vacuum. Soviet troops were deployed to stabilize Afghanistan under Karmal in more substantial numbers, although the Soviet government did not expect to do most of the fighting in Afghanistan. As a result, however, the Soviets were now directly involved in what had been a domestic war in Afghanistan.[100] Lenovo 04W2236 Laptop Keyboard

At the time some believed the Soviets were attempting to expand their borders southward in order to gain a foothold in theMiddle East. The Soviet Union had long lacked a warm water port, and their movement south seemed to position them for further expansion toward Pakistan in the East, ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboar

and Iran to the West. American politicians, Republicans and Democrats alike, feared the Soviets were positioning themselves for a takeover of Middle Eastern oil. Others believed that the Soviet Union was afraid Iran's Islamic Revolution and Afghanistan's Islamization would spread to the millions of Muslims in the USSR.  Lenovo 0A62075 Laptop Keyboard

The PDPA prohibited usury, made statements on women's rights by declaring equality of the sexes[101] and introducing women to political life.[101]

After the invasion, President Jimmy Carter announced what became known as the Carter Doctrine: that the U.S. DELL Inspiron 1750 Laptop Keyboard

would not allow any other outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf. He terminated the Soviet Wheat Deal in January 1980, which was intended to establish trade with USSR and lessen Cold War tensions. DELL PVDG3 Laptop Keyboard

The grain exports had been beneficial to people employed in agriculture, and the Carter embargo marked the beginning of hardship for American farmers. That same year, Carter also made two of the most unpopular decisions of his entire Presidency: prohibiting American athletes from participating in the1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, FUJITSU Amilo Mini Ui 3520 Laptop Keyboard

and reinstating registration for the draft for young males. Following the Soviet invasion, the United States supported diplomatic efforts to achieve a Soviet withdrawal. In addition, generous U.S. contributions to the refugee program in Pakistan played a major part in efforts to assist Afghan refugees. APPLE A1278 Laptop Keyboard

The Reagan administration increased arming and funding of the mujahideen as part of the Reagan Doctrine, thanks in large part to the efforts of Charlie Wilson and CIA officer Gust Avrakotos. Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

Early reports estimated $6–20 billion[102] but more recent reports suggest that up to $40 billion were provided by the U.S. and Saudi Arabia to Pakistan.[103][104] This was in the forms of cash and weapons, which included over two thousand FIM-92 Stinger surface-to-air missiles. HP Envy 15 Laptop Keyboard

The 10-year Soviet war resulted in the deaths of over 1 million Afghans, mostly civilians.[17][18][105] About 6 million fled toPakistan and Iran, and from there tens of thousands began emigrating to the European Union, United States, Australia and other parts of the world.[106] DELL Vostro 3500 Laptop Keyboard

Faced with mounting international pressure and great number of casualties, the Soviets withdrew in 1989 but continued to support Afghan President Mohammad Najibullahuntil 1992.[107] IBM Lenovo Thinkpad X201 Laptop Keyboard

After the fall of Najibullah's government in 1992, the Afghan political parties agreed on a peace and power-sharing agreement (the Peshawar Accords). The accords created the Islamic State of Afghanistan and appointed an interim government for a transitional period to be followed by general elections. According toHuman Rights Watch: HP Pavilion dv6-3125sc Laptop Keyboard

The sovereignty of Afghanistan was vested formally in the Islamic State of Afghanistan, an entity created in April 1992, after the fall of theSoviet-backed Najibullah government ... With the exception of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar's Hezb-e Islami, all of the parties ... were ostensibly unified under this government in April 1992 ... SAMSUNG N140 Laptop Keyboard

Hekmatyar's Hezb-e Islami, for its part, refused to recognize the government for most of the period discussed in this report and launched attacks against government forces and Kabul generally ... Shells and rockets fell everywhere.[108] HP pavilion DV7-1000 Laptop Keyboard

Gulbuddin Hekmatyar received operational, financial and military support from Pakistan.[109] Afghanistan expert Amin Saikal concludes in Modern Afghanistan: A History of Struggle and Survival: TOSHIBA Satellite A305 Laptop Keyboard

Pakistan was keen to gear up for a breakthrough in Central Asia ... Islamabad could not possibly expect the new Islamic government leaders ... to subordinate their own nationalist objectives in order to help Pakistan realize its regional ambitions ... Had it not been for the ISI's logistic support and supply of a large number of rockets, Hekmatyar's forces would not have been able to target and destroy half of Kabul.[110] TOSHIBA NSK-TBD01 Laptop Keyboard

In addition, Saudi Arabia and Iran – as competitors for regional hegemony – supported Afghan militias hostile towards each other.[110] According to Human Rights Watch, Iran was backing the Shia Hazara Hezb-i Wahdat forces of Abdul Ali Mazari to "maximize Wahdat's military power and influence".[108][110][111] HP Mini 110-3501tu Laptop Keyboard

Saudi Arabia supported the Wahhabite Abdul Rasul Sayyaf and his Ittihad-i Islami faction.[108][110] A publication by the George Washington University suggests "outside forces saw instability in Afghanistan as an opportunity to press their own security and political agendas".[112] Conflict between the two militias soon escalated into a full-scale war. FUJITSU Amilo Mini Ui 3520 laptop keyboard

Due to the sudden initiation of the war, working government departments, police units or a system of justice and accountability for the newly created Islamic State of Afghanistan did not have time to form. Atrocities were committed by individuals of the different armed factions while Kabul descended into lawlessness and chaos as described in reports by Human Rights Watch and the Afghanistan Justice Project.[108][113] ACER Aspire 2920-1A2G16Mi laptop keyboard

Because of the chaos, some leaders increasingly had only nominal control over their (sub-)commanders.[114] For civilians there was little security from murder, rape and extortion.[114] ACER Aspire 1410-2920 laptop keyboard

An estimated 25,000 people died during the most intense period of bombardment by Hekmatyar's Hezb-i Islami and the Junbish-i Milli forces of Abdul Rashid Dostum, who had created an alliance with Hekmatyar in 1994.[113] Half a million people fled Afghanistan.[114] Human Rights Watch writes: SONY VAIO VGN-AR670 laptop keyboard

Rare ceasefires, usually negotiated by representatives of Ahmad Shah Massoud, Sibghatullah Mojaddedi or Burhanuddin Rabbani [the interim government], or officials from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), commonly collapsed within days.[108] SONY VGN-FE21S laptop keyboard

Southern and eastern Afghanistan was under the control of local commanders such as Gul Agha Sherzai and others. In 1994, the Taliban (a movement originating from Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-run religious schools for Afghan refugees in Pakistan) also developed in Afghanistan as a political-religious force.[115]  Packard Bell Easynote LM85 laptop keyboard

When the Taliban took control of the city in 1994, they forced the surrender of dozens of local Pashtun leaders.[114] In 1994, the Taliban took power in several provinces in southern and central Afghanistan. HP G61-430EF laptop keyboard

In late 1994, most of the militia factions (Hezb-i Islami, Junbish-i Milli and Hezb-i Wahdat) which had been fighting in the battle for control of Kabul were defeated militarily by forces of the Islamic State's Minister of Defense Ahmad Shah Massoud. Bombardment of the capital came to a halt.[113][116][117] HP Pavilion dv6-2118tx laptop keyboard

The Islamic State government took steps to restore law and order.[118] Courts started to work again.[118] Massoud tried to initiate a nationwide political process with the goal of national consolidation and democratic elections, also inviting the Taliban to join the process but they refused as they did not believe in a democratic system.[119] HP Mini 110-3501tu laptop keyboard

The Taliban started shelling Kabul in early 1995 but were defeated by forces of the Islamic State government under Ahmad Shah Massoud.[116][120] Amnesty International, referring to the Taliban offensive, wrote in a 1995 report: "This is the first time in several months that Kabul civilians have become the targets of rocket attacks and shelling aimed at residential areas in the city."[116] DELL Latitude D620 Laptop Keyboard

The Taliban's early victories in 1994 were followed by a series of defeats that resulted in heavy losses which led analysts to believe the Taliban movement had run its course.[114] But Pakistan provided increased support to the Taliban.[110][121] Many analysts like Amin Saikal describe the Taliban as developing into a proxy force for Pakistan's regional interests.[110] SAMSUNG NP-N150-JP01 Laptop Keyboard

 On 26 September 1996, as the Taliban with military support by Pakistan and financial support by Saudi Arabia prepared for another major offensive, Massoud ordered a full retreat from Kabul.[122] The Taliban seized Kabul on 27 September 1996, and established the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. They imposed on the parts of Afghanistan under their control their political and judicial interpretation of Islam issuing edicts especially targeting women.[123] HP Pavilion dv3-2106tu Laptop Keyboard

According to Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), "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."[123] Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

After the fall of Kabul to the Taliban on 27 September 1996, Ahmad Shah Massoud and Abdul Rashid Dostum, two former enemies, created the United Front (Northern Alliance) against the Taliban that were preparing offensives against the remaining areas under the control of Massoud and those under the control of Dostum.[124] SONY 550102H01-035-G Laptop Keyboard

The United Front included beside the dominantly Tajik forces of Massoud and the Uzbek forces of Dostum, Hazara factions under the command of leaders such asHaji Mohammad Mohaqiq and Pashtun forces under the leadership of commanders such as Abdul Haq or Haji Abdul Qadir. The Taliban defeated Dostum's Junbish forces militarily by seizing Mazar-i-Sharif in 1998. Dostum subsequently went into exile. SONY Vaio PCG-K33 Laptop Keyboard

According to a 55-page report by the United Nations, the Taliban, while trying to consolidate control over northern and western Afghanistan, committed systematic massacres against civilians.[125][126] SONY 147977821 Laptop Keyboard

UN officials stated that there had been "15 massacres" between 1996 and 2001 and that "[t]hese have been highly systematic and they all lead back to the [Taliban] Ministry of Defense or to Mullah Omar himself."[125][126] The Taliban especially targeted people of Shia religious or Hazara ethnic background.[125][126]  HP 646568-001 Laptop Keyboard

Upon taking Mazar-i-Sharif in 1998, 4,000–6,000 civilians were killed by the Taliban and many more reportedtortured.[127][128] The documents also reveal the role of Arab and Pakistani support troops in these killings.[125][126] HP G62-140US Laptop Keyboard

Bin Laden's so-called 055 Brigade was responsible for mass-killings of Afghan civilians.[129] The report by the UN quotes "eyewitnesses in many villages describing Arab fighters carrying long knives used for slitting throats and skinning people".[125][126] SONY VAIO VGN-AR170 Laptop Keyboard

President Pervez Musharraf – then as Chief of Army Staff – was responsible for sending thousands of Pakistanis to fight alongside the Taliban and bin Laden against the forces of Massoud.[119][121][130][131] ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

According to Pakistani Afghanistan expertAhmed Rashid, "between 1994 and 1999, an estimated 80,000 to 100,000 Pakistanis trained and fought in Afghanistan" on the side of the Taliban.[132] In 2001 alone, there were believed to be 28,000 Pakistani nationals, many either from the Frontier Corps or army, fighting inside Afghanistan.[119] TOSHIBA Satellite L300 Laptop Keyboard

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An estimated 8,000 Pakistani militants were recruited in madrassas filling the ranks of the estimated 25,000 regular Taliban force.[129] A 1998 document by the U.S. State Department confirms that "20–40 % of [regular] Taliban soldiers are Pakistani."[121] The document further stated that the parents of those Pakistani nationals "know nothing regarding their child's military involvement with the Taliban until their bodies are brought back to Pakistan."[121] Lenovo 45N2141 laptop keyboard

From 1996 to 2001 the al-Qaeda terrorist network of Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri became a state within Afghanistan.[133] Bin Laden sent Arab recruits to join the fight against the United Front.[133][134] 3,000 fighters of the regular Taliban army were Arab and Central Asian militants.[129] In total, of roughly 45,000 Pakistani, Taliban and al-Qaeda soldiers fighting against the forces of Massoud in mid-2001, only 14,000 were Afghans.[119][129] SONY 148084811 laptop keyboard

Ahmad Shah Massoud remained the only leader of the United Front in Afghanistan. In the areas under his control Massoud set up democratic institutions and signed the Women's Rights Declaration.[135] Human Rights Watch cites no human rights crimes for the forces under direct control of Massoud for the period from October 1996 until the assassination of Massoud in September 2001.[136] Compaq Presario CQ62-203AX laptop keyboard

As a consequence many civilians fled to the area of Ahmad Shah Massoud.[130][137] In total, estimates range up to one million people fleeing the Taliban.[138] National Geographic concluded in its documentary "Inside the Taliban": "The only thing standing in the way of future Taliban massacres is Ahmad Shah Massoud."[130] HP Pavilion DV6-1210sa laptop keyboard

In early 2001 Massoud addressed the European Parliament in Brussels asking the international community to provide humanitarian help to the people of Afghanistan.[138] He stated that the Taliban and al-Qaeda had introduced "a very wrong perception of Islam" and that without the support of Pakistan and bin Laden the Taliban would not be able to sustain their military campaign for up to a year.[139] SAMSUNG NP-Q320-JS03UK laptop keyboard

On this visit to Europe he also warned that his intelligence had gathered information about a large-scale attack on U.S. soil being imminent.[140]

On 9 September 2001, Ahmad Shah Massoud was assassinated by two Arab suicide attackers inside Afghanistan and two days later about 3,000 people were killed in the September 11 attacks in the United States. HP Pavilion dv4-1131tx laptop keyboard

The US government identified Osama bin Laden, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the Al-Qaeda organization based in and allied to the Taliban's Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan as the perpetrators of the attacks. From 1990 until this date over 400,000 Afghan civilians had already died in the wars in Afghanistan.[141] SONY N860-7676-T101 laptop keyboard

The Taliban refused to hand over bin Laden to US authorities and to disband al-Qaeda bases in Afghanistan.[142] Bin Laden later claimed sole responsibility for the September 11 attacks and specifically denied any prior knowledge of them by the Taliban or the Afghan people.[143] Packard Bell NEW95 laptop keyboard

 In October 2001, Operation Enduring Freedom was launched as a new phase of the war in Afghanistan in which teams of American and British special forces worked with ground forces of the United Front (Northern Alliance) to remove the Taliban from power and dispel Al-Qaeda.[144] ACER Aspire 4315 laptop keyboard

At the same time the US-led forces were bombing Taliban and al-Qaida targets everywhere inside Afghanistan with cruise missiles. These actions led to the fall of Mazar-i-Sharif in the north followed by all the other cities, as the Taliban and al-Qaida fled over the porous Durand Line border into Pakistan. Acer eMachines G730ZG laptop keyboard

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In December 2001, after the Taliban government was toppled and the new Afghan government under Hamid Karzai was formed, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) was established by the UN Security Council to help assist the Karzai administration and provide basic security to the Afghan people.[145][146] SAMSUNG Q330-JS02 Laptop Keyboard

While the Taliban began regrouping inside Pakistan, more coalition troops entered the escalating US-led war. Meanwhile, the rebuilding of war-torn Afghanistan kicked off in 2002.[147][148] ACER Aspire One D150-1920 Laptop Keyboard

The Afghan nation was able to build democratic structures over the years, and some progress was made in key areas such as governance, economy, health, education, transport, and agriculture. NATO is training the Afghan armed forces as well its national police. ISAF and Afghan troopsled many offensives against the Taliban but failed to fully defeat them. DELL Precision M4500 Laptop Keyboard

By 2009, a Taliban-led shadow government began to form in many parts of the country complete with their own version of mediation court.[149] After U.S. President Barack Obama announced the deployment of another 30,000 soldiers in 2010 for a period of two years, Der Spiegel published images of the US soldiers who killed unarmed Afghan civilians.[150] DELL Vostro 1510 Laptop Keyboard

At the 2010 International Conference on Afghanistan in London, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said he intends to reach out to the Taliban leadership (including Mullah Omar, Sirajuddin Haqqani and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar). Supported by NATO, Karzai called on the group's leadership to take part in a loya jirga meeting to initiate peace talks. SONY 147963021 Laptop Keyboard

These steps have resulted in an intensification of bombings, assassinations and ambushes.[151] Some Afghan groups (including the former intelligence chief Amrullah Saleh and opposition leader Dr. Abdullah Abdullah) believe that Karzai plans to appease the insurgents' senior leadership at the cost of the democratic constitution, the democratic process and progress in the field of human rights especially women's rights.[152] Dr. Abdullah stated:  HP Probook 4515S Laptop Keyboard

I should say that Taliban are not fighting to be accommodated. They are fighting to bring the state down. So it's a futile exercise, and it's just misleading. ... There are groups that will fight to the death. Whether we like to talk to them or we don't like to talk to them, they will continue to fight. So, for them, TOSHIBA Satellite M645-S4070 Laptop Keyboard

I don't think that we have a way forward with talks or negotiations or contacts or anything as such. Then we have to be prepared to tackle and deal with them militarily. In terms of the Taliban on the ground, there are lots of possibilities and opportunities that with the help of the people in different parts of the country, we can attract them to the peace process; HP pavilion DV7-1000 Laptop Keyboard

provided, we create a favorable environment on this side of the line. At the moment, the people are leaving support for the government because of corruption. So that expectation is also not realistic at this stage.[153] TOSHIBA Satellite L775-S7245 Laptop Keyboard

Over five million Afghan refugees were repatriated in the last decade, including many who were forcefully deported fromNATO countries.[154][155] This large return of Afghans may have helped the nation's economy but the country still remains one of the poorest in the world due to the decades of war, lack of foreign investment, ongoing government corruption and the Taliban insurgency.[156][157] HP 633183-001 Laptop Keyboard

 According to a report by the United Nations, the Taliban and other militants were responsible for 76% of civilian casualties in 2009,[158] 75% in 2010,[25] 80% in 2011, 80% in 2012.[159] In 2011 a record 3,021 civilians were killed in the ongoing insurgency, the fifth successive annual rise.[160] Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

After the May 2011 death of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, many prominent Afghan figures began being assassinated, including Mohammed Daud Daud, Ahmed Wali Karzai, Jan Mohammad Khan, Ghulam Haider Hamidi, Burhanuddin Rabbani and others. Compaq Presario CQ42-228LA Laptop Keyboard

This led to the United States warning Pakistan of a possible military action against the Haqqanis in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas.[162] The U.S. blamed Pakistan's government, mainly Pakistan Army and its ISI spy network as the masterminds behind all of this.[23] SONY VAIO VGN-NW250D/W Laptop Keyboard

In choosing to use violent extremism as an instrument of policy, the government of Pakistan, and most especially the Pakistani army and ISI, jeopardizes not only the prospect of our strategic partnership but Pakistan's opportunity to be a respected nation with legitimate regional influence. SONY VAIO VGN-N31Z/W laptop keyboard

They may believe that by using these proxies, they are hedging their bets or redressing what they feel is an imbalance in regional power. But in reality, they have already lost that bet.[163] Lenovo 0A62075 laptop keyboard

—Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan, Cameron Munter, told Radio Pakistan that "The attack that took place in Kabul a few days ago, that was the work of the Haqqani Network. There is evidence linking the Haqqani Network to the Pakistan government. This is something that must stop."[164] HP Pavilion dv6-2125ss laptop keyboard

Other top U.S. officials such asHillary Clinton and Leon Panetta made similar statements.[165][23] On 16 October 2011, "Operation Knife Edge" was launched by NATO and Afghan forces against the Haqqani Network in south-eastern Afghanistan. Afghan Defense Minister, Abdul Rahim Wardak, explained that the operation will "help eliminate the insurgents before they struck in areas along the troubled frontier".[166] HP Pavilion dv6-2025ss laptop keyboard

In anticipation of the 2014 NATO withdrawal and a subsequent expected push to regain power by the Taliban, the anti-Taliban United Front (Northern Alliance) groups have started to regroup under the umbrella of the National Coalition of Afghanistan (political arm) and the National Front of Afghanistan (military arm).[167][168] Lenovo 04W2236 laptop keyboard

Afghanistan is an Islamic republic consisting of three branches, executive, legislative and judicial. The nation is currently led by Hamid Karzai as the President and leader since late 2001. The National Assembly is the legislature, a bicameral body having two chambers, the House of the People and the House of Elders.  Lenovo 3000 G430 4152 laptop keyboard

The Supreme Court is led by Chief Justice Abdul Salam Azimi, a former university professor who had been a legal advisor to the president.[169] The current court is seen as more moderate and led by more technocrats than the previous one, which was dominated by fundamentalist religious figures such as Chief Justice Faisal Ahmad Shinwari who issued several controversial rulings, including seeking to place a limit on the rights of women. HP Pavilion dv6-2135ev laptop keyboard

According to Transparency International's corruption perceptions index 2010 results, Afghanistan was ranked as the third most-corrupt country in the world.[170] A January 2010 report published by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimerevealed that bribery consumes an amount equal to 23% of the GDP of the nation.[171] IBM Lenovo ThinkPad R51 1829 laptop keyboard

A number of government ministries are believed to be rife with corruption, and while President Karzai vowed to tackle the problem in late 2009 by stating that "individuals who are involved in corruption will have no place in the government",[172] top government officials were stealing and misusing hundreds of millions of dollars through the Kabul Bank. HP 365485-001 laptop keyboard

Although the nation's institutions are newly formed and steps have been taken to arrest some,[173] the United States warned that aid to Afghanistan would be reduced to very little if the corruption is not stopped.[174] HP COMPAQ NC6320 laptop keyboard

The 2004 Afghan presidential election was relatively peaceful, in which Hamid Karzai won in the first round with 55.4% of the votes. However, the 2009 presidential election was characterized by lack of security, HP COMPAQ NC6130 laptop keyboard

low voter turnout and widespread electoral fraud.[175][176] The vote, along with elections for 420 provincial council seats, took place in August 2009, but remained unresolved during a lengthy period of vote counting and fraud investigation.[177] Lenovo 0A62075 laptop keyboard

Two months later, under international pressure, a second round run-off vote between Karzai and remaining challenger Abdullahwas announced, but a few days later Abdullah announced that he is not participating in the 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 5-year term.[176] SONY 147915321 Laptop Keyboard

In the 2005 parliamentary election, among the elected officials were former mujahideen, Islamic fundamentalists, warlords, communists, reformists, and several Taliban associates.[178] ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

In the same period, Afghanistan reached to the 30th nation in terms of female representation in parliament.[179] The last parliamentary election was held in September 2010, Lenovo Thinkpad T520 Laptop Keyboard

but due to disputes and investigation of fraud, the sworn in ceremony took place in late January 2011. After the issuance of computerized ID cards for the first time, which is a $101 million project that the Afghan government plans to start in 2012, it is expected to help prevent major fraud in future elections and improve the security situation.[180] SONY VAIO VGN-AR170P Laptop Keyboard

Administrative divisions

Afghanistan is administratively divided into 34 provinces (wilayats), with each province having its own capital and a provincial administration. The provinces are further divided into about 398 smaller provincial districts, each of which normally covers a city or a number of villages. HP Envy 15 Laptop Keyboard

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. The provincial governors are representatives of the central government in Kabul and are responsible for all administrative and formal issues within their provinces. TOSHIBA Satellite M645-S4070 Laptop Keyboard

There are also provincial councils which are elected through direct and general elections for a period of four years.[181] The functions of provincial councils are to take part in provincial development planning and to participate in monitoring and appraisal of other provincial governance institutions. Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

According to article 140 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. As for the capital city of Kabul, the mayor is appointed by the President of Afghanistan. Compaq Presario CQ42-228LA Laptop Keyboard

The Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs is responsible for managing the foreign relations of Afghanistan. The nation has been a member of the UN since 1946, and has maintained good relations with the United States and other NATO member states since the signing of the Anglo-Afghan Treaty in 1919. Lenovo 3000 N200 Laptop Keyboard

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) was established in 2002 under United Nations Security Council Resolution 1401 to help the nation recover from decades of war and establish a normal functioning government. Today, more than 22 NATO nations deploy about 100,000 troops in Afghanistan as part of the International Security Assistance Force(ISAF). TOSHIBA Qosmio F45-AV411 Laptop Keyboard

Apart from close military links, the country also enjoys strong economic relations with NATO members and their allies. It also has diplomatic relations with neighboring Pakistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, the People's Republic of China, including regional states such as India, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Russia, United Arab Emirate, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Egypt, Japan, South Korea, and others. HP 640436-001 Laptop Keyboard

Afghanistan–Pakistan relations have been negatively affected by issues related to the Durand Line, the 1978–present war(i.e. Mujahideen, Afghan refugees, Taliban insurgency, and border skirmishes), including water and the growing influence of India in Afghanistan.[182][183] Compaq Presario CQ42-228LA Laptop Keyboard

Afghan officials often allege that Pakistani and Iranian intelligence agencies are involved in terrorist attacks inside Afghanistan, by training and guiding terrorists to carry out attacks.[184][185][186] HP 633183-001 Laptop Keyboard

Afghanistan has always depended on Pakistani trade routes for import and export but this has changed in the last decade with the opening of Central Asian and Iranian routes.[187] Conversely, Pakistan depends onAfghan water and considers Afghanistan as the only trade route to Central Asian resources.[188] ASUS F81 laptop keyboard

India and Iran have actively participated in reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan,[189] with India being the largest regional donor to the country.[190] Since 2002, India has pledged up to $2 billion in economic assistance to Afghanistan and has participated in multiple socio-economic reconstruction efforts, including power, roads, agricultural and educational projects.[190][191] COMPAQ 442887-001 laptop keyboard

There are also military ties between Afghanistan and India, which is expected to increase after the October 2011 strategic pact that was signed by President Karzai and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.[192][193] DELL Inspiron N4050 laptop keyboard

The military of Afghanistan is under the Ministry of Defense, which includes the Afghan National Army (ANA) and the Afghan Air Force (AAF). It currently has about 200,000 active soldiers and is expected to reach 260,000 in the coming years. HP Pavilion dv5-1133la laptop keyboard

They are trained and equipped by NATO countries, mainly by the United States Department of Defense. The ANA is divided into 7 major Corps, with the 201st Selab ("Flood") in Kabul followed by the 203rd in Gardez, 205th Atul ("Hero") in Kandahar, 207th in Herat, 209th in Mazar-i-Sharif and the 215th in Lashkar Gah. SONY Vaio VGN-FW290N laptop keyboard

The ANA also has a commando brigade which was established in 2007. The National Military Academy of Afghanistan serves as the main educational institute for the militarymen of the country. A new $200 million Afghan Defense University (ADU) is under construction near the capital. HP Pavilion dv3-2310ea laptop keyboard

The National Directorate of Security (NDS) is the nation's domestic intelligence agency, which operates similar to that of the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and has between 15,000 to 30,000 employees. SONY VAIO VGN-FS965F laptop keyboard

The nation also has about 126,000 national police officers, with plans to recruit more so that the total number can reach 160,000.[194] The Afghan National Police (ANP) is under the Ministry of the Interior, which is based in Kabul and headed by Bismillah Khan Mohammadi. Lenovo Ideapad G565 laptop keyboard

The Afghan National Civil Order Police is the main branch of the Afghan National Police, which is divided into five Brigades and each one commanded by a Brigadier General. These brigades are stationed in Kabul, Gardez, Kandahar, Herat, and Mazar-i-Sharif. Compaq Presario CQ71-230SA laptop keyboard

Every province of the country has a provincial Chief of Police who is appointed by the Ministry of the Interior and is responsible for law enforcement in all the districts within the province. Compaq Presario CQ42-205AU laptop keyboard

The police are being trained by NATO countries through the Afghanistan Police Program. According to a 2009 news report, a large proportion of police officers are illiterate and are accused of demanding bribes.[195] Jack Kem, deputy to the commander of NATO Training Mission Afghanistan and Combined Security Transition Command Afghanistan, HP Pavilion dm1-1010ef laptop keyboard

stated that the literacy rate in the ANP will rise to over 50% by January 2012. What began as a voluntary literacy program became mandatory for basic police training in early 2011.[194] HP Mini 110-3504tu laptop keyboard

Approximately 17% of them test positive for illegal drug use. In 2009, President Karzai created two anti-corruption units within the Interior Ministry.[196] Former Interior Minister Hanif Atmarsaid that security officials from the U.S. (FBI), Britain (Scotland Yard) and the European Union will train prosecutors in the unit. HP Pavilion dm1-1010st Laptop Keyboard

The south and eastern parts of Afghanistan are the most dangerous due to the flourishing drug trade and militancy. These areas in particular are often patrolled by Taliban insurgents, and in many cases they plan attacks by using suicide bombers and planting improvised explosive devices (IEDs) on roads. SONY 147915321 Laptop Keyboard

Kidnapping and robberies are also often reported. Every year many Afghan police officers are killed in the line of duty in these areas. The Afghan Border Police are responsible for protecting the nation's airports and borders, especially the disputed Durand Line border which is often used by members of criminal organizations and terrorists for their illegal activities. HP Pavilion dv5-1104tu Laptop Keyboard

Reports in 2011 suggested that up to 3 million people are involved in the illegal drug business in Afghanistan, many of the attacks on government employees and institutions are carried out not only by the Taliban militants but also by powerful criminal gangs.[197] HP G72-b60US Laptop Keyboard

Drugs from Afghanistan are exported to Iran, Pakistan, Russia, India, the United Arab Emirate, and the European Union. The Afghan Ministry of Counter Narcotics is dealing with this problem. Recently, the people mustered courage and took to streets in Kabul to protest against gruesome killing of a woman accused of adultery by suspected Taliban in the Parwan province.[198] Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

Afghanistan is an impoverished and least developed country, one of the world's poorest due to the decades of war and nearly complete lack of foreign investment. The nation's GDP stands at about $29 billion with an exchange rate of $18 billion, and the GDP per capita is about $1,000. The country's export was $2.6 billion in 2010. Its unemployment rate is about 35% and roughly the same percentage of its citizens live below the poverty line.[2] HP Pavilion dv7-4169wm Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

About 42% of the population live on less than $1 a day, according to a 2009 report.[199] The nation has less than $1.5 billion external debt and is recovering by the assistance of the world community.[2]  GATEWAY M-6846 Laptop Keyboard

The Afghan economy has been growing at about 10% per year in the last decade, which is due to the infusion of over $50 billion dollars in international aid and remittances from Afghan expats.[2] HP 317443-001 Laptop Keyboard

It is also due to improvements made to thetransportation system and agricultural production, which is the backbone of the nation's economy.[200] The country is known for producing some of the finest pomegranates, grapes, apricots, melons, and several other fresh and dry fruits, including nuts.[201] TOSHIBA 6037B0017206 Laptop Keyboard

While the nations's current account deficit is largely financed with the 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. SONY NSK-S8101 Laptop Keyboard

The Afghan Ministry of Finance is focusing on improved revenue collection and public sector expenditure discipline. For example, government revenues increased 31% to $1.7 billion from March 2010 to March 2011. SONY VAIO PCG-F16/BP Laptop Keyboard

Da Afghanistan Bank serves as the central bank of the nation and the "Afghani" (AFN) is the national currency, with an exchange rate of about 47 Afghanis to 1 US dollar. Since 2003, over 16 new banks have opened in the country, includingAfghanistan International Bank, Kabul Bank, Azizi Bank, Pashtany Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, First Micro Finance Bank, and others. SONY VAIO VGN-NW250D/W Laptop Keyboard

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. For the first time since the 1970s, TOSHIBA 9J.N9282.W01 laptop keyboard

Afghans have involved themselves in construction, one of the largest industries in the country.[202]Some of the major national construction projects include the $35 bn New Kabul City next to the capital, the Ghazi Amanullah Khan City near Jalalabad, and the Aino Mena in Kandahar.[203][204][205] Similar development projects have also begun in Heratin the west, Mazar-e-Sharif in the north and in other cities.[206] Lenovo 0A62075 laptop keyboard

In addition, a number of companies and small factories began operating in different parts of the country, which not only provide revenues to the government but also create new jobs. Improvements to the business-enabling environment have resulted in more than $1.5 billion in telecom investment and created more than 100,000 jobs since 2003.[207SONY VAIO VGN-N38Z/W laptop keyboard

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] The Afghan rugs are becoming popular again and this gives many carpet dealers around the country to expand their business by hiring more workers.

Afghanistan is a member of SAARC, ECO and OIC. It is hoping to join SCO soon to develop closer economic ties with neighboring and regional countries in the so-called New Silk Road trade project. Foreign Minister Zalmai Rassoul told the media in 2011 that his nation's "goal is to achieve an Afghan economy whose growth is based on trade, private enterprise and investment".[208] HP Pavilion dv6-2010ep laptop keyboard

Lenovo 04W2236 laptop keyboard


Pakistan (i/ˈpækɨstæn/ or i/pɑːkiˈstɑːn/; Urdu: پاكِستان‎) (Urdu pronunciation: [paːkɪˈst̪aːn] ( listen)), officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan (Urdu: اسلامی جمہوریۂ پاكِستان‎), is a sovereign country inSouth Asia. With a population exceeding 180 million people, it is the sixth most populous country in the world. Located at the crossroads of the strategically important regions of South Asia, Lenovo 04W2236 Laptop Keyboard

Central Asia and Western Asia, Pakistan has a 1,046-kilometre (650 mi) coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by India to the east, Afghanistan to the west and north, Iran to the southwest and China in the far northeast. It is separated from Tajikistan by Afghanistan's narrow Wakhan Corridor in the north, and also shares a marine border with Oman. ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboar

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The area has been ruled by numerous empires and dynasties, including the Indian Mauryan Empire, the Persian Achaemenid Empire, the Arab Umayyad Caliphate, the Mongol Empire, the Mughal Empire, the Durrani Empire, the Sikh Empire and the British Empire. DELL Inspiron 1750 Laptop Keyboard

As a result of thePakistan Movement led by Muhammad Ali Jinnah and India's struggle for independence, Pakistan was created in 1947as an independent nation for Muslims from the regions in the east and west of India where there was a Muslim majority. Initially a dominion, Pakistan adopted a new constitution in 1956, becoming an Islamic republic. Acivil war in 1971 resulted in the secession of East Pakistan as the new country of Bangladesh. DELL PVDG3 Laptop Keyboard

Pakistan is a federal parliamentary republic consisting of four provinces and four federal territories. It is anethnically and linguistically diverse country, with a similar variation in its geography and wildlife. FUJITSU Amilo Mini Ui 3520 Laptop Keyboard

Aregional and middle power,[10][11] Pakistan has the seventh largest standing armed forces in the world and is also a nuclear power as well as a declared nuclear weapons state, being the only nation in the Muslim world, and the second in South Asia, to have that status. It has a semi-industrialised economy which is the 27th largest in the world in terms of purchasing power and 47th largest in terms of nominal GDP. APPLE A1278 Laptop Keyboard

Pakistan's post-independence history has been characterised by periods of military rule, political instability and conflicts with neighbouring India. The country continues to face challenging problems, including terrorism,poverty, HP Envy 15 Laptop Keyboard

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illiteracy and corruption. It is a founding member of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (now the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation) and is a member of the United Nations, the Commonwealth of Nations, theNext Eleven Economies, SAARC, ECO, D8 and the G20 developing nations. Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

Some of the earliest ancient human civilisations in South Asia originated from areas encompassing present-day Pakistan. The earliest known inhabitants in the region wereSoanian during the Lower Paleolithic, of whom stone tools have been found in the Soan Valley of Punjab.[17] IBM Lenovo Thinkpad X201 Laptop Keyboard

The Indus region, which covers most of Pakistan, was the site of several successive ancient cultures including the Neolithic Mehrgarh[18] and the Bronze Age Indus Valley Civilisation (2800–1800 BCE) at Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro.[19][20] HP Pavilion dv6-3125sc Laptop Keyboard

The Vedic Civilization (1500–500 BCE), characterised by Indo-Aryan culture, laid the foundations of Hinduism, which would become well established in the region.[21][22]Multan was an important Hindu pilgrimage centre.[23] The Vedic civilisation flourished in the ancient Gandhāran city of Takṣaśilā, now Taxila in Punjab.[18] Successive ancient empires and kingdoms ruled the region: SAMSUNG N140 Laptop Keyboard

the Persian Achaemenid Empire around 519 BCE,Alexander the Great's empire in 326 BCE[24] and the Maurya Empire founded by Chandragupta Maurya and extended by Ashoka the Great until 185 BCE.[18] The Indo-Greek Kingdom founded by Demetrius of Bactria (180–165 BCE) included Gandhara and Punjab and reached its greatest extent under Menander (165–150 BCE), prospering the Greco-Buddhist culture in the region.[18][25] Taxila had one of the earliest universities and centres of higher education in the world. HP pavilion DV7-1000 Laptop Keyboard

The Medieval period (642–1219 CE) is defined by the spread of Islam in the region. During this period, Sufi missionaries played a pivotal role in converting a majority of the regional Buddhist and Hindu population to Islam.[30] TOSHIBA Satellite A305 Laptop Keyboard

The Rai Dynasty (489–632 CE) of Sindh, at its zenith, ruled this region and the surrounding territories.[31] The Pala Dynasty was the last Buddhist empire that under Dharampala and Devapala stretched across Indian subcontinent from what is now Bangladesh through Northern India to Pakistan and later to Kamboj region in Afghanistan. TOSHIBA NSK-TBD01 Laptop Keyboard

The Arab general Muhammad bin Qasim conquered Sindh and Multan in southern Punjab in 711CE.[32] The Pakistan government's official chronology identifies this as the point where the "foundation" of Pakistan was laid.[32] This conquest set the stage for the rule of several successive Muslim empires in the region, HP Mini 110-3501tu Laptop Keyboard

including the Ghaznavid Empire (975–1187 CE), the GhoridKingdom and the Delhi Sultanate (1206–1526 CE). The Lodi dynasty, the last of the Delhi Sultanate, was replaced by the Mughal Empire (1526–1857 CE). The Mughals introduced Persian literature and high culture, establishing the roots of Indo-Persian culture in the region.[33] SONY VAIO VGN-SZ220 Laptop Keyboard

The gradual decline of the Mughal Empire in the early eighteenth century enabled Sikh rulers to control large areas until the British East India Company gained ascendancy over South Asia.[34]  Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

TheIndian Rebellion of 1857, also known as the Sepoy Mutiny, was the region's major armed struggle against the British.[1] The largely non-violent freedom struggle led by the Indian National Congress engaged millions of protesters in mass campaigns of civil disobedience in the 1920s and 1930s.[35][36] HP Pavilion DV6-1210sa laptop keyboard

The All-India Muslim League rose to popularity in the late 1930s amid fears of under-representation and neglect of Muslims in politics. In his presidential address of 29 December 1930, Muhammad Iqbalcalled for "the formation of a consolidated North-West Indian Muslim State"SAMSUNG NP-Q320-JS03UK laptop keyboard

consisting of Punjab, North-West Frontier Province, Sind and Baluchistan.[37] Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, espoused the two-nation theory and led the Muslim League to adopt the Lahore Resolution of 1940, popularly known as the Pakistan Resolution.[34] In early 1947, HP Pavilion dv4-1131tx laptop keyboard

Britain announced the decision to end its rule in India. In June 1947, the nationalist leaders of British India—including Jawaharlal Nehru and Abul Kalam Azad representing the Congress, Jinnah representing the Muslim League, and Master Tara Singh representing the Sikhs—agreed to the proposed terms of transfer of power and independence.[38] SONY N860-7676-T101 laptop keyboard

The modern state of Pakistan was established on 14 August 1947 (27 Ramadan 1366 in the Islamic Calendar) in the eastern and northwestern regions of British India, where there was a Muslim majority. It comprised the provinces of Balochistan, East Bengal, the North-West Frontier Province, FUJITSU Amilo Mini Ui 3520 laptop keyboard

West Punjab and Sindh.[34][38] The partition of the Punjab and Bengal provinces led to communal riots across India and Pakistan; millions of Muslims moved to Pakistan and millions of Hindus and Sikhs moved to India.[39] Dispute over Jammu and Kashmir led to the First Kashmir War.[40][41] ACER Aspire 2920-1A2G16Mi laptop keyboard

After independence, the President of the Muslim League, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, became the new nation's first Governor-General, and the Secretary General of the Muslim League, NawabzadaLiaquat Ali Khan became the first Prime Minister. From 1947 to 1956, Pakistan was a dominion in the Commonwealth of Nations under two monarchs.[42] ACER Aspire 1410-2920 laptop keyboard

In 1947, King George VI relinquished the title of Emperor of India and became King of Pakistan. He retained that title until his death on 6 February 1952, after which Queen Elizabeth II became Queen of Pakistan.[42] She retained that title until Pakistan became an Islamic and Parliamentary republic in 1956,[43] but civilian rule was stalled by a military coup led by the Army Commander-in-Chief, SONY VAIO VGN-AR670 laptop keyboard

General Ayub Khan. The country experienced exceptional growth until a second war with India took place in 1965 and led to economic downfall and internal instability.[44][45] Ayub Khan's successor, General Yahya Khan(President from 1969 to 1971), had to deal with a devastating cyclone which caused 500,000 deaths in East Pakistan.[46] SONY VGN-FE21S laptop keyboard

In 1970, Pakistan held its first democratic elections since independence, that were meant to mark a transition from military rule to democracy, but after the East Pakistani Awami Leaguewon, Yahya Khan and the ruling elite in West Pakistan refused to hand over power.[47][48] There was civil unrest in the East, and thePakistan Army launched a military operation on 25 March 1971,  Packard Bell Easynote LM85 laptop keyboard

aiming to regain control of the province.[47][48] The genocide carried out during this operation led to a declaration of independence and to the waging of a war of liberation by the Bengali Mukti Bahiniforces in East Pakistan, with support from India.[48][49] However, in West Pakistan the conflict was described as a Civil War as opposed to War of Liberation.[2] HP G61-430EF laptop keyboard

Independent estimates of civilian deaths during this period range from 300,000 to 3 million.[50] Attacks on Indian military bases by the Pakistan Air Force in December 1971 sparked the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, which ended with the formal secession of East Pakistan as the independent state of Bangladesh.[48] HP Pavilion dv6-2118tx laptop keyboard

With Pakistan's defeat in the war, Yahya Khan was replaced by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto as Chief Martial Law Administrator. Civilian rule resumed from 1972 to 1977.[51] During this period Pakistan began to buildnuclear weapons; the country's first atomic power plant was inaugurated in 1972.[52][53] HP Mini 110-3501tu laptop keyboard

Civilian rule ended with a military coup in 1977, and in 1979 General Zia-ul-Haq became the third military president. Military government lasted until 1988, during which Pakistan became one of the fastest-growing economies in South Asia.[54] Zia consolidated nuclear development and increased Islamization of the state.[55]During this period, Pakistan helped to subsidise and distribute US resources to factions of theMujahideen movement against the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.[56][57] DELL Latitude D620 Laptop Keyboard

Zia died in a plane crash in 1988, and Benazir Bhutto, daughter of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, was elected as the first female Prime Minister of Pakistan. She was followed by Nawaz Sharif, and over the next decade the two leaders fought for power, alternating in office while the country's situation worsened; economic indicators fell sharply, SAMSUNG NP-N150-JP01 Laptop Keyboard

in contrast to the 1980s. This period is marked by political instability, misgovernance and corruption.[58][59] In May 1998, while Sharif was Prime Minister, India tested five nuclear weapons and tension with India heightened to an extreme: Pakistan detonated six nuclear weapons of its own in the Chagai-I and Chagai-II tests later in the same month. Military tension between the two countries in the Kargil district led to the Kargil War of 1999, after which General Pervez Musharraf took over through a bloodless coup d'état and assumed vast executive powers.[60][61] HP Pavilion dv3-2106tu Laptop Keyboard

Musharraf ruled Pakistan as head of state from 1999 to 2001 and as President from 2001 to 2008, a period of extensive economic reform[62] and Pakistan's involvement in the US-led war on terrorism. On 15 November 2007, Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

Pakistan's National Assembly became the first to completed its full five-year term, and new elections were called.[63] After the assassination of Benazir Bhutto in December 2007, her Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) won the largest number of seats in the2008 elections, and party member Yousaf Raza Gillani was sworn in as Prime Minister.[64] Lenovo 0A62039 Laptop Keyboard

Musharraf resigned from the presidency on 18 August 2008 when threatened with impeachment, and was succeeded by Asif Ali Zardari, the current President.[65][66][67] Gillani was disqualified from membership of parliament and as prime minister by the Supreme Court of Pakistan in June 2012.[68] TOSHIBA Satellite M645-S4070 Laptop Keyboard

By its own estimates, Pakistan's involvement in the war on terrorism has cost up to $67.93 billion,[69][70] thousands of casualties and nearly 3 million displaced civilians.[71]

Pakistan is a democratic parliamentary federal republic with Islam as the state religion. The first Constitution of Pakistan was adopted in 1956 but suspended by Ayub Khan in 1958. HP pavilion DV7-1000 Laptop Keyboard

The Constitution of 1973—suspended by Zia-ul-Haq in 1977 but reinstated in 1985—is the country's most important document, laying the foundations of the current government.[72] TOSHIBA Satellite L775-S7245 Laptop Keyboard

The bicameral legislature comprises a 100-member Senate and a 342-member National Assembly. The President is the head of state and commander-in-chief of the armed forces and is elected by an electoral college. The prime minister is usually the leader of the largest party in the National Assembly. HP 633183-001 Laptop Keyboard

Each province has a similar system of government, with a directly elected Provincial Assembly in which the leader of the largest party or alliance becomes Chief Minister.Provincial governors are appointed by the President.[72] The Pakistani military establishment has played an influential role in mainstream politics throughout Pakistan's political history. Presidents brought in by military coups ruled in 1958–1971, 1977–1988 and 1999–2008.[73] SONY 550102H01-035-G Laptop Keyboard

Pakistan's foreign policy focuses on security against threats to national identity and territorial integrity, and on the cultivation of close relations with Muslim countries. A 2004 briefing on foreign policy for Pakistani Parliamentarians says, "Pakistan highlights sovereign equality of states, SONY Vaio PCG-K33 Laptop Keyboard

bilateralism, mutuality of interests, and non-interference in each other's domestic affairs as the cardinal features of its foreign policy."[74] The country is an active member of the United Nations. It is a founding member of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), in which it has promoted Musharraf's concept of "Enlightened Moderation".[75][76][77] SONY 147977821 Laptop Keyboard

Pakistan is also a member of Commonwealth of Nations,[78] the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), theEconomic Cooperation Organisation (ECO)[79][80] and the G20 developing nations.[81] India's nuclear tests were seen as a threat to Pakistan and led it to establish itself as a nuclear power.[82] Pakistan now maintains a policy of "credible minimum deterrence".[83]  HP 646568-001 Laptop Keyboard

Pakistan maintains good relations with all Arab and most other Muslim countries. Since the Sino-Indian War of 1962, Pakistan's closest strategic, military and economic ally has been China. The relationship has survived changes of governments and variations in the regional and global situation.[84][85][86] HP G62-140US Laptop Keyboard

Pakistan and India continue to be rivals. The Kashmir conflict remains the major point of rift; three of their four wars were over this territory.[87] Pakistan has had mixed relations with the United States. As an anti-Soviet power in the 1950s and during Soviet-Afghan War in the 1980s, SONY VAIO VGN-AR170 Laptop Keyboard

Pakistan was one of the closest allies of the US,[74][88] but relations soured in the 1990s when the US imposed sanctions because of Pakistan's possession and testing of nuclear weapons.[89] The US war on terrorism led initially to an improvement in the relationship, but it was strained by a divergence of interests and resulting mistrust during the war in Afghanistan and by issues related to terrorism.[90][91][92][93] ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

Since 1948, there has been an ongoing, and at times fluctuating, violent conflict in the southwestern province of Balochistan between various Baloch separatist groups, who seek greater political autonomy, and the central government of Pakistan.[94] TOSHIBA Satellite L300 Laptop Keyboard

Foreign relations of Pakistan Pakistan is the second largest Muslim country (after Indonesia), and its status as a declared nuclear power, being the only Islamic nation to have that status, plays a part in its international role. Lenovo 0A62039 Laptop Keyboard

Pakistan has a fierce independent foreign policy, especially when it comes to issues such as development of nuclear weapons, construction of nuclear reactors, foreign military purchases and other issues that are vital to its national interests. Pakistan has a strategic geo-political location at the corridor of world major maritime oil supply lines, Lenovo 45N2141 laptop keyboard

and has close proximity to the resource and oil rich central Asian countries. Pakistan is an important member of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), is ranked by the US as a major non-NATO ally in the war against terrorism, and has a highly disciplined military, which is the world's eighth-largest standing military force. SONY 148084811 laptop keyboard

Pakistan is a federation of four provinces: Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, as well as the Islamabad Capital Territory and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas in the northwest, which include the Frontier Regions. Compaq Presario CQ62-203AX laptop keyboard

The government of Pakistan exercises de facto jurisdiction over the western parts of the disputed Kashmir region, organised into the separate political entities Azad Kashmir and Gilgit–Baltistan (formerly Northern Areas). The Gilgit–Baltistan Empowerment and Self-Governance Order of 2009 assigned a province-like status to the latter, giving it self-government.[95] HP Pavilion dv6-2135ev laptop keyboard

Local government follows a three-tier system of districts, tehsils and union councils, with an elected body at each tier.[96] There are about 130 districts altogether, of which Azad Kashmir has ten[97] and Gilgit–Baltistan seven.[98] The Tribal Areas comprise seven tribal agencies and six small frontier regions detached from neighbouring districts.[99] IBM Lenovo ThinkPad R51 1829 laptop keyboard

Law enforcement in Pakistan is carried out by federal and provincial police agencies. The four provinces and the Islamabad Capital Territory each have a civilian police force with jurisdiction limited to the relevant province or territory. At the federal level, there are a number of civilian agencies with nationwide jurisdictions; including the Federal Investigation Agency, the National Highways and Motorway Police, and several paramilitary forces such as thePakistan Rangers and the Frontier Corps.[100] HP 365485-001 laptop keyboard

The court system of Pakistan is organised as a hierarchy, with the Supreme Court at the apex, below which are High Courts, Federal Shariat Courts (one in each province and one in the federal capital), District Courts (one in each district), Judicial Magistrate Courts (in every town and city), Executive Magistrate Courts and Civil Courts. Pakistan's penal code has limited jurisdiction in the Tribal Areas, where law is largely derived from tribal customs. HP COMPAQ NC6320 laptop keyboard

The armed forces of Pakistan are the eighth largest in the world in terms of numbers in full-time service, with about 617,000 personnel on active duty and 513,000 reservists in 2010.[102] They came into existence after independence in 1947, and the military establishment has frequently been involved in the politics of Pakistan ever since.[73] HP COMPAQ NC6130 laptop keyboard

 The Chairman joint chiefs(the current chairman is General Shameem Wynne) is the highest principle officer in the armed forces, and the chief military adviser to the government though the chairman has no authority over the three branches of armed forces. Lenovo 0A62075 laptop keyboard

The three main branches are the Army (headed by General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani[103]), the Navy (headed by Admiral Asif Sandila), and the Air Force (headed by Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt), and they are supported by a number of paramilitary forces.[104] Packard Bell NEW95 laptop keyboard

TheNational Command Authority is responsible for employment, for control of the development of all strategic nuclear organisations and for Pakistan's nuclear doctrine under the nuclear defence theory. Pakistan's defence forces maintain close military relations with China and the United States and import military equipment mainly from them.[105] ACER Aspire 4315 laptop keyboard

The defence forces of China and Pakistan carry out joint military exercises.[104][106][107] Conscription may be introduced in times of emergency, but it has never been imposed.[108] Acer eMachines G730ZG laptop keyboard

Since independence, Pakistan has been involved in four wars with neighbouring India, beginning in 1947 with the First Kashmir War, when Pakistan gained control of present-day Azad Kashmir and Gilgit–Baltistan. The two countries were at war again in 1965 and in 1971,[109] Lenovo 45N2141 laptop keyboard

and most recently in the Kargil War of 1999.[60] The Army has also been engaged in several skirmishes with Afghanistan on the western border: in 1961, it repelled a major Afghan incursion.[110] During the Soviet war in Afghanistan, Pakistan shot down several intruding pro-Soviet Afghan communist aircraft and provided covert support to factions of the Afghan mujahideen through the Inter-Services Intelligenceagency.[111] SAMSUNG Q330-JS02 Laptop Keyboard

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Apart from its own conflicts, Pakistan has been an active participant in United Nations peacekeeping missions. It played a major role in rescuing trapped American soldiers from Mogadishu, Somalia, in 1993 in Operation Gothic Serpent.[112][113][114]Pakistani armed forces are the largest troop contributors to UN peacekeeping missions.[115] DELL Precision M4500 Laptop Keyboard

War in October 1973, PAF pilots volunteered to go to the Middle East to support Egypt and Syria, which were in a state of war with Israel; they shot down ten Israeli planes in the Six-Day War.[112] In 1979, DELL Vostro 1510 Laptop Keyboard

at the request of the Saudi government, commandos of the Pakistani Special Service Group were rushed to assist Saudi forces in Mecca to lead the operation of theGrand Mosque Seizure.[118] In 1991 Pakistan got involved with the Gulf War and sent 5,000 troops as part of a US-led coalition, specifically for the defence of Saudi Arabia.[119] SONY 147963021 Laptop Keyboard

Pakistani armed forces have been engaged in a war in North-West Pakistan since 2001, mainly against the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan.[120][121] Major operations undertaken by the Army include Operation Black Thunderstorm and Operation Rah-e-Nijat.[122][123]  HP Probook 4515S Laptop Keyboard

Kashmir conflict Main article: Kashmir conflict

The Kashmir conflict is a territorial dispute between India and Pakistan over the Kashmir region, the most northwesterly region of South Asia. The two countries have fought at least three wars over Kashmir—the Indo-Pakistani Wars of 1947, 1965 and 1999—and several skirmishes over the Siachen Glacier.[87] TOSHIBA Satellite M645-S4070 Laptop Keyboard

 India claims the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir and administers approximately 45.1% of the region, including most of Jammu, the Kashmir Valley, Ladakh, and the Siachen Glacier. India's claim is contested by Pakistan, which controls approximately 38.2% of Kashmir, consisting of Azad Kashmir and the northern areas of Gilgit andBaltistan.[87][124] Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

The conflict of Kashmir has its origin in 1947, when British India was separated into the two states of Pakistan and India. As part of the partition process, both countries had agreed that the rulers of princely states would be allowed to opt for membership of either Pakistan or India, Compaq Presario CQ42-228LA Laptop Keyboard

or in special cases to remain independent.[125] India claims Kashmir on the basis of the Instrument of Accession, a legal agreement with Kashmir's leaders executed by Maharaja Hari Singh, then ruler of Kashmir, agreeing to accede the area to India.[126][127] Lenovo 3000 N200 Laptop Keyboard

Pakistan claims Kashmir on the basis of a Muslim majority and of geography, the same principles that were applied for the creation of the two independent states.[128][129] India referred the dispute to the United Nations on 1 January 1948.[130] TOSHIBA Qosmio F45-AV411 Laptop Keyboard

In a resolution in 1948, the UN asked Pakistan to remove most of its troops. A plebiscite would then be held. However, Pakistan failed to vacate the region. A ceasefire was reached in 1949 and a Line of Control was established, dividing Kashmir between the two countries.[125] HP 640436-001 Laptop Keyboard

Pakistan's position is that the people of Jammu and Kashmir have the right to determine their future through impartial elections as mandated by the United Nations.[131] India has stated that it believes that Kashmir is an integral part of India, referring to the 1972 Simla Agreement and to the fact that elections take place regularly.[132] Certain Kashmiri independence groups believe that Kashmir should be independent of both India and Pakistan.[87] Compaq Presario CQ42-228LA Laptop Keyboard

Pakistan covers an area of 796,095 km2 (307,374 sq mi), approximately equal to the combined land areas of France and the United Kingdom. It is the 36th largest nation by total area, although this ranking varies depending on how the disputed territory of Kashmir is counted. Pakistan has a 1,046 km (650 mi) coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south[133] HP 633183-001 Laptop Keyboard

 and land borders of 6,774 km (4,209 mi) in total: 2,430 km (1,510 mi) with Afghanistan, 523 km (325 mi) with China, 2,912 km (1,809 mi) with India and 909 km (565 mi) with Iran.[72] It shares a marine border with Oman,[134] and is separated from Tajikistan by the cold, narrow Wakhan Corridor.[135] Pakistan occupies a geopolitically important location at the crossroads of South Asia, the Middle East and Central Asia.[136] Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

Geologically, Pakistan overlaps the Indian tectonic plate in its Sindh and Punjab provinces; Balochistan and most of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are within the Eurasian plate, mainly on the Iranian plateau. Gilgit–Baltistan and Azad Kashmir lie along the edge of the Indian plate and hence are prone to violent earthquakes. Ranging from the coastal areas of the south to the glaciated mountains of the north, Pakistan's landscapes vary from plains to deserts, forests, hills and plateaus .[137] Compaq Presario CQ42-228LA Laptop Keyboard

Pakistan is divided into three major geographic areas: the northern highlands, the Indus River plain and the Balochistan Plateau.[138] The northern highlands contain the Karakoram, Hindu Kush and Pamir mountain ranges (see mountains of Pakistan), which contain some of the world's highest peaks, SONY VAIO VGN-NW250D/W Laptop Keyboard

including five of the fourteen eight-thousanders (mountain peaks over 8,000 metres or 26,250 feet), which attract adventurers and mountaineers from all over the world, notably K2 (8,611 m or 28,251 ft) and Nanga Parbat (8,126 m or 26,660 ft).[139] The Balochistan Plateau lies in the west and the Thar Desert in the east. The 1,609 km (1,000 mi) Indus River and its tributaries flow through the country from the Kashmir region to the Arabian Sea. There is an expanse of alluvial plains along it in Punjab and Sindh.[140]

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There is a monsoon season with frequent flooding due to heavy rainfall, and a dry season with significantly less rainfall or none at all. There are four distinct seasons: a cool, dry winter from December through February; a hot, HP Pavilion dv6-2125ss laptop keyboard

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dry spring from March through May; the summer rainy season, or southwest monsoon period, from June through September; and the retreating monsoon period of October and November. Lenovo 04W2236 laptop keyboard


The diversity of landscapes and climates in Pakistan allows a wide variety of trees and plants to flourish. The forests range from coniferous alpine and subalpine trees such as spruce, pine and deodar cedar in the extreme northern mountains, through deciduoustrees in most of the country (for example the mulberry-like shisham found in the Sulaiman Mountains),  Lenovo 3000 G430 4152 laptop keyboard

  to palms such as coconut anddate in southern Punjab, southern Balochistan and all of Sindh. The western hills are home to juniper, tamarisk, coarse grasses and scrub plants. Mangrove forests form much of the coastal wetlands along the coast in the south.[143] Lenovo 0A62075 laptop keyboard

Coniferous forests are found at altitudes ranging from 1,000 to 4,000 metres in most of the northern and northwestern highlands. In the xeric regions of Balochistan, date palm and Ephedra are common. In most of Punjab and Sindh, the Indus plains support tropical and subtropical dry and moist broadleaf forestry as well as tropical and xeric shrublands. These forests are mostly of mulberry,acacia, SONY VAIO VGN-FS965F laptop keyboard

and eucalyptus.[144] About 2.2% or 1,687,000 hectares (16,870 km2) of Pakistan was forested in 2010.[145] Lenovo Ideapad G565 laptop keyboard

The fauna of Pakistan reflects its varied climates too. Around 668 bird species are found there:[146][147] crows, sparrows, mynas,hawks, falcons, and eagles commonly occur. Palas, Kohistan, has a significant population of Western Tragopan.[148] Many birds sighted in Pakistan are migratory, coming from Europe, Central Asia and India.[149] Compaq Presario CQ71-230SA laptop keyboard

The southern plains are home to mongooses, civets, hares, the Asiatic jackal, the Indian pangolin, thejungle cat and the desert cat. There are mugger crocodiles in the Indus, and wild boar, deer, porcupinesand small rodents are common in the surrounding areas. The sandy scrublands of central Pakistan are home to Asiatic jackals, striped hyenas, wildcats and leopards.[150][151] Compaq Presario CQ42-205AU laptop keyboard

The lack of vegetative cover, the severe climate and the impact of grazing on the deserts have left wild animals in a precarious position. The chinkara is the only animal that can still be found in significant numbers in Cholistan. A small number of nilgai are found along the Pakistan-India border and in some parts of Cholistan.[150][152] HP Pavilion dm1-1010ef laptop keyboard

A wide variety of animals live in the mountainous north, including the Marco Polo sheep, the urial (a subspecies of wild sheep), Markhor and Ibex goats, the Asian black bear and the Himalayan brown bear.[150][153][154] Among the rare animals found in the area are the snow leopard,[153] the Asiatic cheetah[155] HP Mini 110-3504tu laptop keyboard

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and the blind Indus river dolphin, of which there are believed to be about 1,100 remaining, protected at the Indus River Dolphin Reserve in Sindh.[153][156] In total, 174 mammals, 177 reptiles, 22 amphibians, 198 freshwater fish species and 5,000 species of invertebrates (including insects) have been recorded in Pakistan.[146][147] SONY 147915321 Laptop Keyboard

The flora and fauna of Pakistan suffer from a number of problems. Pakistan has the second-highest rate of deforestation in the world. This, along with hunting and pollution, is causing adverse effects on the ecosystem. The government has established a large number of protected areas, wildlife sanctuaries, and game reserves to deal with these issues.[146][147] HP Pavilion dv5-1104tu Laptop Keyboard

Pakistan is a rapidly developing country[157][158][159] and is one of the Next Eleven, the eleven countries that, along with the BRICs, have a high potential to become the world's largest economies in the 21st century.[160] The economy is semi-industrialized, with centres of growth along the Indus River.[161][ HP G72-b60US Laptop Keyboard

162][163] The diversified economies of Karachi and Punjab's urban centres coexist with less developed areas in other parts of the country.[162] Pakistan's estimated nominal GDP as of 2011 is US$202 billion. The GDP by PPP is US$488.6 billion. The estimated nominal per capita GDP is US$1,197, GDP (PPP) per capita is US$2,851 (international dollars), and debt-to-GDP ratio is 55.5%.[164][165] SONY 147915321 Laptop Keyboard

A 2010 report by RAD-AID positioned Pakistan's economy at 27th largest in the world by purchasing power and 45th largest in absolute dollars.[163] It is South Asia's second largest economy, representing about 15 percent of regional GDP.[166][167] ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

Pakistan's economic growth since its inception has been varied. It has been slow during periods of civilian rule, but excellent during the three periods of military rule, although the foundation for sustainable and equitable growth was not formed.[45] The early to middle 2000s was a period of rapid reform; Lenovo Thinkpad T520 Laptop Keyboard

the government raised development spending, which reduced poverty levels by 10% and increased GDP by 3%.[72][168] The economy cooled again from 2007.[72] Inflation reached 25% in 2008[169] and Pakistan had to depend on an aggressive fiscal policy backed by the International Monetary Fund to avoid possible bankruptcy.[170][171] A year later, the Asian Development Bank reported that Pakistan's economic crisis was easing.[172] The inflation rate for the fiscal year 2010–11 was 14.1%.[173] SONY VAIO VGN-AR170P Laptop Keyboard

Pakistan is one of the largest producers of natural commodities, and its labour market is the 10th largest in the world. Around 600,000 Pakistanis went abroad to work in 2009. Expatriate workers send remittances of close to US$8 billion annually—the largest source of foreign exchange apart from exports.[174] HP Envy 15 Laptop Keyboard

According to the World Trade Organization Pakistan's share of overall world exports is declining; it contributed only 0.128% in 2007.[175] The trade deficit in the fiscal year 2010–11 was US$11.217 billion.[176] GATEWAY M-6846 Laptop Keyboard

The structure of the Pakistani economy has changed from a mainly agricultural to a strong service base. Agriculture now[when?] accounts for only 21.2% of the GDP. Even so, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, Pakistan produced 21,591,400 metric tons of wheat in 2005, HP 317443-001 Laptop Keyboard

more than all of Africa (20,304,585 metric tons) and nearly as much as all of South America (24,557,784 metric tons).[177] Between 2002 and 2007 there was substantial foreign investment in Pakistan's banking and energy sectors.[178] TOSHIBA 6037B0017206 Laptop Keyboard

Other important industries include clothing and textiles (accounting for nearly 60% of exports), food processing, chemicals manufacture, iron and steel.[179] There is great potential for tourism in Pakistan, but it is severely affected by the country's instability.[180] SONY NSK-S8101 Laptop Keyboard

The transport sector accounts for 10.5% of Pakistan's GDP.[181] Its road infrastructure is better than those of India, Bangladesh and Indonesia, but the rail system lags behind those of India and China, and aviation infrastructure also needs improvement.[182] There is scarcely any inland water transportation system, and coastal shipping only meets minor local requirements.[183] SONY VAIO PCG-F16/BP Laptop Keyboard

Roads form the backbone of Pakistan's transport system; a total road length of 259,618 km accounts for 91% of passenger and 96% of freight traffic. Road transport services are largely in the hands of the private sector, which handles around 95% of freight traffic. SONY VAIO VGN-NW250D/W Laptop Keyboard

The National Highway Authority is responsible for the maintenance of national highways and motorways. The highway and motorway system depends mainly on north–south links, connecting the southern ports to the populous provinces of Punjab and NWFP. Although this network only accounts for 4.2% of total road length, it carries 85 percent of the country's traffic.[184][185] TOSHIBA 9J.N9282.W01 laptop keyboard

Pakistan Railways, under the Ministry of Railways, operates the railroad system. Rail was the primary means of transport till 1970. In the two decades from around 1990, there was a marked shift in traffic from rail to highways. Now the railway's share of inland traffic is only 10% for passengers and 4% for freight traffic. The total rail track decreased from 8,775 km in 1990–91 to 7,791 km in 2011.[184][186] Pakistan expects to use the rail service to boostforeign trade with China, Iran and Turkey.[187][188] Lenovo 0A62075 laptop keyboard

Pakistan had 35 airports in 2007–8. The state-run Pakistan International Airlines is the major airline; it carries about 73% of domestic passengers and all domestic freight. Karachi's Jinnah International Airport is the principal international gateway to Pakistan, although Islamabad and Lahore also handle significant amounts of traffic. Pakistan's major seaports areKarachi, Muhammad bin Qasim and Gwadar, which is still[when?] under construction.[184][186] SONY VAIO VGN-N38Z/W laptop keyboard

Pakistan is active in physics and mathematics research. Every year, scientists from around the world are invited by thePakistan Academy of Sciences and the Pakistan Government to participate in the International Nathiagali Summer College on Physics.[189] HP Mini 110-3504tu laptop keyboard

Pakistan hosted an international seminar on Physics in Developing Countries for International Year of Physics 2005.[190] Pakistani theoretical physicist Abdus Salam won a Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on the electroweak interaction.[191] HP Pavilion dv6-2010ep laptop keyboard

In medicine, Salimuzzaman Siddiqui was the first Pakistani scientist to bring the therapeutic constituents of the Neem tree to the attention of natural products chemists.[192][193][194] Pakistani neurosurgeon Ayub Ommaya invented the Ommaya reservoir, a system for treatment of brain tumours and other brain conditions.[195] Lenovo 04W2236 laptop keyboard

Pakistan has an active space program led by its space research agency, SUPARCO. Polish-Pakistani aerospace engineer W. J. M. Turowicz developed and supervised the launch of the Rehbar-I rocket from Pakistani soil, making Pakistan the first South Asian country to launch a rocket into space.[196] ASUS F81 laptop keyboard

Pakistan launched its first satellite, Badr-I, from China in 1990, becoming the first Muslim country and second South Asian country to put a satellite into space.[197] In 1998, Pakistan became the seventh country in the world to successfully develop its own nuclear weapons.[198] COMPAQ 442887-001 laptop keyboard

Pakistan is one of a small number of countries that have an active research presence in Antarctica. The Pakistan Antarctic Programme was established in 1991. Pakistan has two summer research stations on the continent and plans to open another base, which will operate all year round.[199] DELL Inspiron N4050 laptop keyboard

Electricity in Pakistan is generated and distributed by two vertically integrated public sector utilities: the Karachi Electric Supply Corporation (KESC) for Karachi and the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) for the rest of Pakistan.[200] HP Pavilion dv5-1133la laptop keyboard

Nuclear power in Pakistan is provided by three licensed commercial nuclear power plants under Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC).[201] Pakistan is the first Muslim country in the world to embark on a nuclear power program.[202] Commercial nuclear power plants generate roughly 3% of Pakistan's electricity, compared with about 64% from thermal and 33% from hydroelectric power.[200] SONY Vaio VGN-FW290N laptop keyboard

The constitution of Pakistan requires the state to provide free primary and secondary education.[203] At the time of independence Pakistan had only one university, the University of the Punjab.[204] As of September 2011 it has 136 universities, of which 74 are public universities and 62 are private universities.[205] It is estimated that there are 3193technical and vocational institutions in Pakistan,[206HP Pavilion dv3-2310ea laptop keyboard

 and there are also madrassahs that provide free Islamic education and offer free board and lodging to students, who come mainly from the poorer strata of society.[207] After criticism over terrorists' use of madrassahs for recruitment, efforts have been made to regulate them.[208]  Dell Inspiron 2500 Laptop Keyboard

Education in Pakistan is divided into six main levels: pre-primary (preparatory classes); primary (grades one through five);middle (grades six through eight); high (grades nine and ten, leading to the Secondary School Certificate); intermediate (grades eleven and twelve, leading to a Higher Secondary (School) Certificate); HP 605344-001 Laptop Keyboard

and university programmes leading to graduate and postgraduate degrees.[206] Pakistani private schools also operate a parallel secondary education system based on the curriculum set and administered by the Cambridge International Examinations. Some students choose to take the O level and A level exams conducted by the British Council.[209] ACER NSK-AEA1D Laptop Keyboard

The government is in a development stage[timeframe?], in which it is extending English medium education to all schools across the country.[210] Meanwhile, by 2013 all educational institutions in Sindh will have to provide Chinese language courses, reflecting China's growing role as a superpower and Pakistan's close ties with China.[211] SAMSUNG N140 Laptop Keyboard

The literacy rate of the population above ten years of age in the country is 58.5%. Male literacy is 70.2% while female literacy rate is 46.3%.[173] Literacy rates vary by region and particularly by sex; for instance, female literacy in tribal areas is 3%.[212] The government launched a nationwide initiative in 1998 with the aim of eradicating illiteracy and providing a basic education to all children.[213] HP 597635-001 Laptop Keyboard

Through various educational reforms, by 2015 the ministry of education expects to attain 100% enrolment levels among children of primary school age and a literacy rate of 86% among people aged over 10.[214] TOSHIBA Satellite L300 Laptop Keyboard

With 180.1 million residents reported in 2012, Pakistan is the sixth most populated country in the world, behind Brazil and ahead of Bangladesh. Its 2.03% population growth rate is the highest among the SAARC countries and gives an annual increase of 3.6 million. The population is projected to reach 210.13 million by 2020 and to double by 2045. In 1947, Pakistan had a population of 32.5 million.[174][215] TOSHIBA Mini NB 505-SP0160 Laptop Keyboard

 From 1990 to 2009 it increased by 57.2%.[216] By 2030 it is expected to surpass Indonesia as the largest Muslim-majority country in the world.[217][218][219] Pakistan is a 'young' nation, with a median age of about 22 and 104 million people under 30 in 2010. Pakistan's fertility rate stands at 3.07, higher than its neighbours India(2.57) and Iran(1.73). Around 35% of the people are under 15[174] ACER ZU2 Laptop Keyboard

The majority of southern Pakistan's population lives along the Indus River. Karachi is its most populous city. Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

During 1990–2008, city dwellers made up 36% of Pakistan's population, making it the most urbanised nation in South Asia.[72][174] Furthermore, 50% of Pakistanis live in towns of 5,000 people or more.[221] HP Pavilion G6-1223TX Laptop Keyboard

Expenditure on health was 2.6% of GDP in 2009.[222] Life expectancy at birth was 65.4 years for females and 63.6 years for males in 2010. The private sector accounts for about 80% of outpatient visits. Approximately 19% of the population and 30% of children under five are malnourished.[163] Mortality of the under-fives was 87 per 1,000 live births in 2009.[222] About 20% of the population live below the international poverty line of US$1.25 a day.[223] HP Pavilion dv6-2112sa Laptop Keyboard

More than sixty languages are spoken in Pakistan, including a number of provincial languages. Urdu, the lingua franca and a symbol of Muslim identity and national unity, is the national language and is understood by over 75% of Pakistanis.[136][224] English is the official language of Pakistan, HP Pavilion dv4-1225ee Laptop Keyboard

used in official business, government, and legal contracts;[72] the local dialect is known as Pakistani English. Punjabi is the most common native language in Punjab and has many native speakers. Saraiki is mainly spoken in South Punjab. Pashto is the provincial language of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindhi is the provincial language of Sindh, and Balochi is dominant in Balochistan.[4][34][225] HP Mini 110-3006tu Laptop Keyboard

The population comprises several ethnic groups. As of 2009, the Punjabi population dominates with 78.7 million (44.15%), followed by 27.2 million (15.42%) Pashtuns, 24.8 million (14.1%) Sindhis, 14.8 million (10.53%) Seraikis, 13.3 million (7.57%) Muhajirs and 6.3 million (3.57%) Balochs. The remaining 11.1 million (4.66%) belong to various ethnic minorities.[227] There is also a large worldwide Pakistani diaspora, numbering over seven million.[228] TOSHIBA Mini NB 505-SP0160 Laptop Keyboard

Pakistan's census does not include immigrant groups such as the 1.7 million registered refugees from neighbouring Afghanistan, who are found mainly in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA areas, with small numbers in Karachi andQuetta.[229][230] ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

As of 1995, there were more than 1.6 million Bengalis, 650,000 Afghans, 200,000 Burmese, 2,320 Iranians andFilipinos and hundreds of Nepalese, Sri Lankans and Indians living in Karachi.[231][232] Pakistan hosts more refugees than any other country in the world.[233] Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

Pakistan is the second most populous Muslim-majority country[234] and has the second largest Shi'a population in the world.[235] About 97% of Pakistanis are Muslim. The majority are Sunni, with an estimated 5–20% Shi'a.[34][236][237] A further 2.3% are Ahmadis,[238] who are officially considered non-Muslims by virtue of a 1974 constitutional amendment.[239] There are also several Quraniyoon communities.[240][241] HP Pavilion dv7-4169wm Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

Sectarian violence among Muslim denominations has increased in recent times with over 400 targeted deaths of Shias in the year 2012 alone. After theQuetta blast in 2013, there were country-wide protests by Shia Muslims supported by fellow Sunni Muslims calling an end to sectarian violence in the country and urging for Shia-Sunni unity in the country.[242][243] ACER Aspire 5610Z Laptop Keyboard

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Sufism, a mystical Islamic tradition, has a long history and a large popular following in Pakistan. Popular Sufi culture is centered on Thursday night gatherings at shrines and annual festivals which feature Sufi music and dance. HP 636191-001 Laptop Keyboard

Contemporary Islamic fundamentalists criticize its popular character, which in their view, does not accurately reflect the teachings and practice of the Prophet and his companions. There have been terrorist attacks directed at Sufi shrines and festivals, five in 2010 that killed 64 people.[244][245] SONY VGN-FE41M Laptop Keyboard

After Islam, Hinduism and Christianity are the largest religions in Pakistan, each with 2,800,000 (1.6%) adherents in 2005.[34] They are followed by the Bahá'í Faith, which has a following of 30,000, then Sikhism, Buddhism and Parsis, each claiming 20,000 adherents,[236] and a very small community of Jains. HP Envy 15 Laptop Keyboard

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Culture and society

Main article: Culture of Pakistan

Pakistani society is largely hierarchical, emphasising local cultural etiquettes and traditional Islamic values that govern personal and political life. The basic family unit is the extended family,[246] although there has been a growing trend towards nuclear families for socio-economic reasons.[247] Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

The traditional dress for both men and women is the Shalwar Kameez; trousers and shirts are also popular among men.[23] The middle class has increased to around 35 million and the upper and upper-middle classes to around 17 million in recent decades, and power is shifting from rural landowners to the urbanised elites.[248]  Packard Bell PEW91 laptop keyboard

 Pakistani festivals like Eid ul-Fitr, Eid al-Adha and Ramadan are mostly religious in origin.[246] Increasing globalisation has resulted in Pakistan ranking 56th on theA.T. Kearney/FP Globalization Index.[249] Packard Bell Easynote TM81 laptop keyboard

The shalwar kameez is the national dress of Pakistan and is worn by men and women in all four provinces Punjab, Sindh,Baluchistan, Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa and FATA in the country and in Azad Kashmir. Each province has its own style of wearing the Shalwar Qameez. Pakistanis wairclothes range from exquisite colors and designs to the type of fabric (silk, chiffon, cotton, etc.).[250] SONY Vaio PCG-K315M laptop keyboard

Pakistani fashion has flourished well in the changing environment of fashion world. Since Pakistan came into being its fashion has been historically evolved from different phases and made its unique identity apart from Indian fashion and culture. At this time, Pakistani fashion is a combination of traditional and modern dresses and it has become the cultural identification of Pakistan. HP Pavilion dv6-2163sl laptop keyboard

Despite of all modern trends, the regional and traditional dresses have developed their own significance as a symbol of native tradition. This regional fashion is not static but evolving into more modern and pure forms. SONY VAIO PCG-792L laptop keyboard

The Pakistan Fashion Design Council based in Lahore organizes Fashion Week and Fashion Pakistan based in Karachi organizes fashion shows in that city. Pakistan’s first fashion week was held in November 2009.[251]  FUJITSU Lifebook S6240 laptop keyboard

State-owned Pakistan Television Corporation (PTV) and Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation for radio were the dominant media outlets until the start of the 21st century. The end of PTV's monopoly led to a boom in electronic media, which gained greater political influence. There are now numerous private television channels that enjoy a large degree of freedom of speech.[252] HP Mini 210 laptop keyboard

 In addition to the national entertainment and news channels, foreign television channels and films are also available to most Pakistanis via cable and satellite television.[252][253] There is a small indigenous film industry based in Lahore and Peshawar, known as Lollywood. While Bollywood films were banned from public cinemas from 1965 until 2008, they have remained important in popular culture.[254][255] Acer eMachines G730G laptop keyboard

Pakistani music ranges from diverse provincial folk music and traditional styles such as Qawwali and Ghazal Gayaki to modern forms fusing traditional and western music, such as the blend of Qawwali and western music by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.[256][257] COMPAQ Presario CQ60-209TU laptop keyboard

Pakistan has many famous folk singers, such as the late Alam Lohar, who is also well known in Indian Punjab. The arrival of Afghan refugees in the western provinces has stimulated interest in Pashto music, although there has been intolerance of it in some places. FUJITSU Lifebook P1510 laptop keyboard

Pakistan has literature in Urdu, Sindhi, Punjabi, Pushto, Baluchi, Persian, English and many other languages.[259] Before the 19th century it consisted mainly of lyric and religious poetry, mystical and folkloric works. During the colonial age, native literary figures influenced by western literary realism took up increasingly varied topics and narrative forms. Prose fiction is now very popular.[260][261] SONY VAIO VGN-CR13/B laptop keyboard

The national poet of Pakistan, Muhammad Iqbal, wrote poetry in Urdu and Persian and is read in Afghanistan, Iran, Indonesia, India and the Arab world. He was a strong proponent of the political and spiritual revival of Islamic civilisation and encouraged Muslims binding all over the world to bring about successful revolution.[262][263][264] Packard Bell Easynote TK85 laptop keyboard

Well-known representatives of contemporary Pakistani Urdu literature include Faiz Ahmed Faiz. Sadequain is known for his calligraphy and paintings.[261] Sufi poets Shah Abdul Latif, Bulleh Shah, Mian Muhammad Bakhsh and Khawaja Farid are very popular in Pakistan.[265] Mirza Kalich Beg has been termed the father of modern Sindhi prose.[266] Lenovo 0A62075 laptop keyboard

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Pakistani architecture has four recognised periods: pre-Islamic, Islamic, colonial and post-colonial. With the beginning of the Indus civilisation around the middle of the 3rd millennium BCE,[267] an advanced urban culture developed for the first time in the region, with large buildings, some of which survive to this day.[268] Mohenjo Daro, Harappa and Kot Diji are among the pre-Islamic settlements that are now tourist attractions.[139] Lenovo 45N2240 laptop keyboard

 The rise of Buddhism and the Persian and Greek influence led to the development of the Greco-Buddhist style, starting from the 1st century CE. The high point of this era was reached at the peak of the Gandhara style. An example of Buddhist architecture is the ruins of the Buddhist monastery Takht-i-Bahi in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.[269] SONY VGN-FE31Z laptop keyboard

The arrival of Islam in today's Pakistan meant a sudden end of Buddhist architecture in the area and a smooth transition to the predominantly pictureless Islamic architecture. The most important Persian-style building still standing is the tomb of the Shah Rukn-i-Alam in Multan. During the Mughal era, HP Pavilion DV7-2177cl laptop keyboard

design elements of Persian-Islamic architecture were fused with and often produced playful forms of Hindustani art. Lahore, occasional residence of Mughal rulers, exhibits many important buildings from the empire. Most prominent among them are the Badshahi mosque, the fortress of Lahore with the famous Alamgiri Gate, HP Pavilion DV6-1040ej laptop keyboard

the colourful, Persian-styleWazir Khan Mosque, the Shalimar Gardens in Lahore and the Shahjahan Mosque in Thatta. In the British colonial period, predominantly functional buildings of the Indo-European representative style developed from a mixture of European and Indian-Islamic components. Post-colonial national identity is expressed in modern structures like the Faisal Mosque, the Minar-e-Pakistan and the Mazar-e-Quaid.[270] SONY VAIO VGN-AR820E laptop keyboard

Pakistani cuisine is a blend of cooking traditions from different regions of the Indian subcontinent, originating from the royal kitchens of sixteenth-century Mughal emperors. It has similarities to North Indian cuisine, although Pakistan has a greater variety of meat dishes. TOSHIBA Satellite L750-ST4N02 Laptop Keyboard

Pakistani cooking uses large quantities of spices, herbs and seasoning. Garlic, ginger, turmeric, red chilli and garam masala are used in most dishes, and home cooking regularly includes curry. Chapati, a thin flat bread made from wheat, is a staple food, served with curry, meat, vegetables and lentils. Rice is also common; it is served plain or fried with spices and is also used in sweet dishes.[136][271][272] Compaq Presario CQ42-228LA Laptop Keyboard

Lassi is a traditional drink in the Punjab region. Black tea with milk and sugar is popular throughout Pakistan and is taken daily by most of the population.[23][273] SAMSUNG R522 Laptop Keyboard

The national sport of Pakistan is hockey, in which it has won three gold medals (1960, 1968, and 1984).[274]Pakistan has also won the Hockey World Cup a record four times (1971, 1978, 1982, 1994).[275] Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

Cricket, however, is the most popular game across the country.[276] The national cricket team has won the Cricket World Cup once (in 1992), been runners-up once (in 1999), and co-hosted the tournament twice (in 1987 and 1996). SONY Vaio PCG-K35 Laptop Keyboard

Pakistan were runners-up in the inaugural 2007 ICC World Twenty20 in South Africa and won the 2009 ICC World Twenty20 in England. Lately, however, Pakistani cricket has suffered severely because teams have refused to tour Pakistan for fear of terrorism. No teams have toured Pakistan since March 2009, when militants attacked the touringSri Lankan cricket team.[277] TOSHIBA Satellite L750-ST4N02 Laptop Keyboard

In Squash, world-class players such as Jahangir Khan, widely considered the greatest player in the sport's history,[278] and Jansher Khan won the World Open Squash Championship several times during their careers.[279]Jahangir Khan also won the British Open a record ten times. TOSHIBA Satellite L300 Laptop Keyboard

 [280] Pakistan's Olympic medal tally stands at 10 of which 8 were earned in hockey.[281] The Commonwealth Games and Asian Games medal tallies stand at 65 and 160 respectively.[citation needed][282] ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

At national level, football and polo are popular, with regular national events in different parts of the country. Boxing, billiards, snooker, rowing, kayaking, caving, tennis, contract bridge, golf and volleyball are also actively pursued, and Pakistan has produced regional and international champions in these sports.[21][279][280] HP 599572-001 Laptop Keyboard

 Saul was probably located near Gardez, in the Paktia province of Afghanistan.[13] Ḥudūd al-ʿĀlam also speaks of a king in "Ninhar" (Nangarhar), who shows a public display of conversion to Islam, even though he has over 30 wives, which are described as "Muslim, Afghan, and Hindu" wives. HP G62-225DX Laptop Keyboard

It should be noted that some of these names were used as geographical terms. For example, Hindu (or Hindustani) has been used historically as a geographical term to describe someone who was native from the region known as Hindustan (Indian subcontinent). Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

Al-Utbi, the Ghaznavid chronicler, in his Tarikh-i Yamini records that many Afghans and Khiljies (possibly modern Ghilzais) enlisted in the army of Sabuktigin after Jayapala was defeated. HP Probook 4510S Laptop Keyboard

"The Afghans and Khiljies who resided among the mountains having taken the oath of allegiance to Subooktugeen, many of them were enlisted in his army, after which he returned in triumph to Ghizny."[14] HP Pavilion dv3-2108tu Laptop Keyboard

Al-Utbi further states that Afghans and Ghilzais made a part of Mahmud Ghaznavi's army and were sent on his expedition toTocharistan, while on another occasion Mahmud Ghaznavi attacked and punished a group of opposing Afghans, as also corroborated by Abulfazl Beyhaqi.[15] TOSHIBA Satellite L300 Laptop Keyboard

 In the 11th century, Afghans are mentioned in Al-Biruni's Tarikh-ul Hind ("History of India"), which describes groups of rebellious Afghans in the tribal lands west of the Indus River in what is today Pakistan.[13][16] It is recorded that Afghans were also enrolled in the Ghurid Kingdom (1148–1215).[17] SONY VAIO PCG-FRV25 Laptop Keyboard

By the beginning of the Khilji dynasty in 1290, Afghans have been well known in northern India. Ibn Battuta, a famous Moroccan traveler, visiting Afghanistan following the era of the Khilji dynasty in 1333 writes. HP Pavilion dv6-3192sf Laptop Keyboard

"We travelled on to Kabul, formerly a vast town, the site of which is now occupied by a village inhabited by a tribe of Persians called Afghans. They hold mountains and defiles and possess considerable strength, and are mostly highwaymen. Their principal mountain is called Kuh Sulayman. It is told that the prophet Sulayman [Solomon] ascended this mountain and having looked out over India, which was then covered with darkness, returned without entering it."[18] DELL Latitude D830 Laptop Keyboard

—Ibn Battuta, 1333

A 16th century Muslim historian writing about the history of Muslim rule in India states:

"He [Khalid bin Abdullah son of Khalid bin Walid] retired, therefore, with his family, and a number of Arab retainers, into the Sulaiman Mountains, situated between Multan and Peshawar, where he took up his residence, DELL Precision M4500 Laptop Keyboard

and gave his daughter in marriage to one of the Afghan chiefs, who had become a proselyte to Mahomedism. From this marriage many children were born, among whom were two sons famous in history. HP 636376-001 Laptop Keyboard

The one Lodhi, the other Sur; who each, subsequently, became head of the tribes which to this day bear their name. I have read in the Mutla-ul-Anwar, a work written by a respectable author, and which I procured at Burhanpur, a town of Khandesh in the Deccan, SONY VGN-FE41M Laptop Keyboard

that the Afghans are Copts of the race of the Pharaohs; and that when the prophet Moses got the better of that infidel who was overwhelmed in the Red Sea, many of the Copts became converts to the Jewish faith; but others, stubborn and self-willed, refusing to embrace the true faith, leaving their country, came to India, and eventually settled in the Sulimany mountains, where they bore the name of Afghans."[1]  IBM Thinkpad Z61m laptop keyboard

The etymological view supported by numerous noted scholars is that the name Afghan evidently derives from Sanskrit Aśvakasqv. the Assakenoi of Arrian.[24] This view was propounded by scholars like Christian Lassen,[25] J. W. McCrindle,[26] M. V. de Saint Martin,[27] and É. Reclus,[28] Packard Bell Easynote LM85 laptop keyboard

and has been supported by numerous modern scholars.[29][30][31][32][33]

In Sanskrit, the word ashva (Iranian aspa, Prakrit assa) means "horse", and ashvaka (Prakrit assaka) means "horseman",[34] "horse people",[35] "land of horses",[36] as well as "horse breeders".[37] SONY VAIO VGN-NR32Z/T laptop keyboard

Pre-Christian times knew the people of the Hindukush region as Ashvakas (horsemen), since they raised a fine breed of horses and had a reputation for providing expert cavalrymen. The 5th-century-BCE Indian grammarian Pāṇini calls them Ashvakayana[38] and Ashvayana.[39][40] HP G72-a10SV Laptop Keyboard

Mahabharata mentions them as Ashvaka(na). Classical writers, however, use the respective equivalents Aspasioi (or AspasiiHippasii) and Assakenoi (orAssaceni/AssacaniAsscenus) etc. The Aspasioi/Assakenoi (Ashvakas = Cavalrymen) is stated to be another name for the Kambojas of ancient texts because of theirequestrian characteristics.[41] ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

 Alexander Cunningham and a few other scholars identify these designations with the modern name Afghan.[42]

The Indian epic Mahabharata speaks about Kambojas among the finest horsemen,[43] and ancient Pali texts describe their lands as the land of horses.[44][45][46] SONY 148084122 Laptop Keyboard

Kambojas spoke Avestan language and followed Zoroastrianism.[47][48] Some scholars believe Zoroastrianism originated in land of Kambojas.[49]

The former Aspins of Chitral and Ashkuns (Yashkuns) of Gilgit are identified as the modern representatives of the Pāṇinian Aśvakayanas (Greek: Assakenoi); and the Asip/Isap (cf. IBM Lenovo Thinkpad X201 Laptop Keyboard

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Aspa-zai > Yusufzai) in the Kabul valley (between the rivers Kabul and Indus) are believed to be modern representatives of the PāṇinianAśvayanas (Greek: Aspasioi) respectively. HP 519265-001 Laptop Keyboard

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Maldives,[8] officially the Republic of the Maldives[nb 1] and also referred to as the Maldive Islands, is anisland nation in the Indian Ocean consisting of a double chain of twenty-six atolls, oriented north-south, that lie between Minicoy Island (the southernmost part of Lakshadweep, India) and the Chagos Archipelago. The chains stand in the Laccadive Sea, about 700 kilometres (430 mi) south-west of Sri Lanka and 400 kilometres (250 mi) south-west ofIndia. SAMSUNG Q330-JS02 Laptop Keyboard

For the majority of its history, the Maldives has been a free nation, despite three instances during which it was ruled by outside forces. In the mid-15th century, for fifteen years, the Maldives was dominated by the Portuguese Empire. In the mid-17th century, the Dutch Empire (Malabar) dominated Maldives for four months. Finally, in the late 19th century, on the brink of war, the Maldives became a British protectorate from 1887 until 1965. ACER Aspire One D150-1920 Laptop Keyboard

The Dutch referred to the islands as the "Maldivische Eilanden" (pronounced [mɑlˈdivisə ˈɛi̯lɑndə(n)]),[citation needed] while the British anglicised the local name for the islands first to the "Maldive Islands" and later to the "Maldives". The islands gained independence from the British in 1965 and became a republic in 1968 ruled by a president and anauthoritarian government. DELL Precision M4500 Laptop Keyboard

The Maldives archipelago is located on top of the Chagos-Maldives-Laccadive Ridge, a vast submarine mountain range in the Indian Ocean. Maldives also form a terrestrial ecoregion together with the Chagos and the Lakshadweep.[9] The Maldives atolls encompass a territory spread over roughly 90,000 square kilometres (35,000 sq mi), making the country one of the world's most geographically dispersed. DELL Vostro 1510 Laptop Keyboard

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Its population of 328,536 (2012) inhabits 192 of its 1,192 islands.[10] In 2006, Maldives' capital and largest city Malé, located at the southern edge of North Malé Atoll, had a population of 103,693.[11][12] Malé is one of the Maldives' administrative divisions and, traditionally, it was the "King's Island" where the ancient Maldive royal dynasties were enthroned.  HP Probook 4515S Laptop Keyboard

The Maldives is the smallest Asian country in both population and land area. With an average ground level of 1.5 metres (4 ft 11 in) above sea level, it is the planet's lowest country.[13] It is also the country with the lowest natural highest point in the world, at 2.4 metres (7 ft 10 in).[13] Forecasts of Maldives' inundation is a great concern for the Maldivian people. TOSHIBA Satellite M645-S4070 Laptop Keyboard

The name Maldives may derive from mālādvīpa, in Sanskrit or maalai theevu (மாலை தீவு ) in Tamil. The Maldivian people were called Dhivehin. The word Dheeb/Deeb (archaic Dhivehi, related to Sanskrit dvīpa (द्वीप)) means "island", and Dhives (Dhivehin) means "islanders" (i.e., Maldivians). During the colonial era, HP pavilion DV7-1000 Laptop Keyboard

the Dutch referred to the country as Maldivische Eilanden in their documentation, while Maldive Islands is the anglicised version of the local name used by the British, which later came to be written as "Maldives".[citation needed] TOSHIBA Satellite L775-S7245 Laptop Keyboard

The ancient Sri Lankan chronicle Mahawamsa refers to an island called Mahiladiva ("Island of Women", महिलादिभ) in Pali, which is probably a mistranslation of the same Sanskrit word meaning "garland". The Mahawamsa is derived from an even older Sinhalaword dating back to the 2nd century BC.[citation needed] HP 633183-001 Laptop Keyboard

Some[who?] theorise that the name Maldives derives from the Sanskrit mālādvīpa (मालाद्वीप), meaning "garland of islands". In Malayalam, "Garland of Islands" can be translated as Maladhweepu (മാലദ്വീപ്). In Tamil, "Garland of Islands" can be translated as MalaiTheevu (மாலைத்தீவு).[14] SONY 550102H01-035-G Laptop Keyboard

 None of these names is mentioned in any literature, but classical Sanskrit texts dating back to the Vedic period mention the "Hundred Thousand Islands" (Lakshadweepa), a generic name which would include not only the Maldives, but also the Laccadives, Aminidivi Islands, Minicoy and the Chagos island groups.[15] SONY Vaio PCG-K33 Laptop Keyboard

Some medieval travellers such as Ibn Batuta called the islands Mahal Dibiyat (محل دبيأت) from the Arabic word Mahal ("palace"), which must be how the Berbertraveller interpreted the local name, having been through Muslim North India, where Perso-Arabic words were introduced into the local vocabulary .[16] This is the name currently inscribed on the scroll in the Maldive state emblem. The classical Persian/Arabic name for Maldives is Dibajat.[17][18] SONY 147977821 Laptop Keyboard

The name Maldives also might have come from the Sinhalese word මාල දිවයින Maala Divaina ("Necklace Islands"), perhaps referring to the shape of the archipelago. The same name is still used today by Sinhalese when referring to the Maldives, and it is widely believed that ancient Sinhalese were amongst the first settlers on the island archipelago.[2]  HP 646568-001 Laptop Keyboard

Comparative studies of Maldivian oral, linguistic and cultural traditions and customs indicate that the first settlers were Dravidian people[19] from Kerala in the Sangam period (300 BC–AD 300), most probably fishermen from the southwest coasts of what is now the south of the Indian Subcontinent and the western shores of Sri Lanka. One such community is the Giraavaru people descended from ancient Tamils. They are mentioned in ancient legends and local folklore about the establishment of the capital and kingly rule in Malé. HP G62-140US Laptop Keyboard

A strong underlying layer of Dravidian population and culture survives in Maldivian society, with a clear Dravidian-Malayalam substratum in the language, which also appears in place names, kinship terms, poetry, dance, and religious beliefs. Malabari seafaring culture led to Malayali settling of the Laccadives, SONY VAIO VGN-AR170 Laptop Keyboard

and the Maldives were evidently viewed as an extension of that archipelago. Some argue (from the presence of Jat, Gujjar Titles and Gotra names) that Sindhis also accounted for an early layer of migration. Seafaring from Debal began during the Indus valley civilisation. The Jatakas and Puranas show abundant evidence of this maritime trade; ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

the use of similar traditional boat building techniques in Northwestern South Asia and the Maldives, and the presence of silver punch mark coins from both regions, gives additional weight to this. There are minor signs of Southeast Asian settlers, probably some adrift from the main group ofAustronesian reed boat migrants that settled Madagascar.[2] TOSHIBA Satellite L300 Laptop Keyboard

The earliest written history of the Maldives is marked by the arrival of Sinhalese people, who were descended from the exiled Magadha Prince Vijaya from the ancient city known as Sinhapura. He and his party of several hundred landed in Sri Lanka, and some in the Maldives circa 543 to 483 BC. According to theMahavansa, one of the ships that sailed with Prince Vijaya, SONY VAIO VGN-NW250D/W Laptop Keyboard

who went to Sri Lanka around 500 BC, went adrift and arrived at an island called Mahiladvipika, which is the Maldives. It is also said that at that time, the people from Mahiladvipika used to travel to Sri Lanka. Their settlement in Sri Lanka and the Maldives marks a significant change in demographics and the development of the Indo-Aryan language Dhivehi, which is most similar in grammar, phonology, and structure to Sinhala, and especially to the more ancient Elu Prakrit, which has less Pali. SONY VAIO VGN-N31Z/W laptop keyboard

Alternatively, it is believed that Vijaya and his clan came from western India – a claim supported by linguistic and cultural features, and specific descriptions in the epics themselves, e.g. that Vijaya visited Bharukaccha (Bharuch in Gujarat) in his ship on the voyage down south.[2] Lenovo 0A62075 laptop keyboard

Philostorgius, a late antique Greek historian, wrote of a hostage among the Romans, from the island called Diva, which is presumed to be the Maldives, who was baptised Theophilus. Theophilus was sent in the 350s to convert the Himyarites to Christianity, and went to his homeland from Arabia; he returned to Arabia, visited Axum, and settled in Antioch.[20] HP Pavilion dv6-2125ss laptop keyboard

uddhism came to the Maldives at the time of Emperor Ashoka's expansion, and became the dominant religion of the people of the Maldives until the 12th century AD. The ancient Maldivian Kings promoted Buddhism, and the first Maldive writings and artistic achievements, HP Pavilion dv6-2025ss laptop keyboard

in the form of highly developed sculpture and architecture, are from that period. Before embracing Buddhism as their way of life, Maldivians had practised an ancient form of Hinduism, ritualistic traditions known as Śrauta, in the form of venerating the Surya (the ancient ruling cast were of Aadheetta or Suryavanshi origins). Lenovo 04W2236 laptop keyboard

The first archaeological study of the remains of early cultures in the Maldives began with the work of H.C.P. Bell, a Britishcommissioner of the Ceylon Civil Service. Bell was shipwrecked on the islands in 1879, and returned several times to investigate ancient Buddhist ruins. He studied the ancient mounds, called havitta or ustubu (these names are derived fromchaitiya and stupa) (Dhivehi: ހަވިއްތަ)  Lenovo 3000 G430 4152 laptop keyboard

by the Maldivians, which are found on many of the atolls. Although Bell asserted that the ancient Maldivians had followed Theravada Buddhism, many local Buddhist archaeological remains now in the Malé Museum in fact also display elements of Mahayana and Vajrayana iconography. HP Pavilion dv6-2135ev laptop keyboard

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In the early 11th century, the Minicoy and Thiladhunmathi, and possibly other northern Atolls, were conquered by the medieval Chola Tamil emperor Raja Raja Chola I, thus becoming a part of the Chola Empire. HP 365485-001 laptop keyboard

According to a legend from Maldivian folklore, in the early 12th century AD, a medieval prince named Koimala, a nobleman of the Lion Race from Sri Lanka, sailed to Rasgetheemu island (literally "Town of the Royal House", or figuratively "King's Town") in the North Maalhosmadulu Atoll, HP COMPAQ NC6320 laptop keyboard

and from there to Malé, and established a kingdom. By then, the Aadeetta (Sun) Dynasty (the Suryavanshi ruling cast) had for some time ceased to rule in Malé, possibly because of invasions by the Cholas of Southern India in the 10th century. Koimala Kalou (Lord Koimala), who reigned as King Maanaabarana, was a king of the Homa(Lunar) Dynasty (the Chandravanshi ruling cast), HP COMPAQ NC6130 laptop keyboard

which some historians call the House of Theemuge. The Homa (Lunar) dynasty sovereigns intermarried with the Aaditta (Sun) Dynasty. This is why the formal titles of Maldive kings until 1968 contained references to "kula sudha ira", which means "descended from the Moon and the Sun". Lenovo 0A62075 laptop keyboard

No official record exists of the Aadeetta dynasty's reign. Since Koimala's reign, the Maldive throne was also known as the Singaasana (Lion Throne).[21] Before then, and in some situations since, it was also known as the Saridhaaleys (Ivory Throne).[22] Some historians credit Koimala with freeing the Maldives from Tamil Chola rule. Packard Bell NEW95 laptop keyboard

Several foreign travellers, mainly Arabs, had written about a kingdom of the Maldives ruled over by a queen. This kingdom pre-dated Koimala's reign. al-Idrisi, referring to earlier writers, mentions the name of one of the queens, Damahaar, who was a member of the Aadeetta (Sun) dynasty. ACER Aspire 4315 laptop keyboard

The conversion to Islam is mentioned in the ancient edicts written in copper plates from the end of the 12th century AD.

The famous Moroccan traveller Ibn Batutta, who visited the Maldives in the 14th century, wrote how a Moroccan, oneAbu Barakat the Berber, was believed to have been responsible for spreading Islam in the islands. Even though this report has been contested in later sources, it does explain some crucial aspects of Maldivian culture. Acer eMachines G730ZG laptop keyboard

For instance, historically Arabic has been the prime language of administration there, instead of the Persian and Urdu languages used in the nearby Muslim states. Another link to North Africa was the Maliki school of jurisprudence, used throughout most of North-Africa, which was the official one in the Maldives until the 17th centry.[23] Lenovo 45N2141 laptop keyboard

Some scholars have suggested the possibility of Ibn Battuta misreading Maldive texts, and have posited another scenario where this Abu Barakat might have been a native of Berbera, a significant trading port on the Somaliancoast.[24] This scenario would also help explain the usage of the Arabic language and the predominance of the Maliki school on the islands. ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

Another interpretation, held by some of the islanders, is that Abu Barakat was an Iranian from Tabriz. In the Arabic script the words al-Barbari and al-Tabrizi are very much alike, owing to the fact that Arabic has no letters to represent vowels. The first reference to an Iranian origin dates to an 18th-century Persian text.[25] Lenovo Thinkpad T520 Laptop Keyboard

Over the centuries, the islands have been visited, and their development influenced, by sailors and traders from countries on the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal. The main export of medieval Maldivians was cowrie shell, which they cultivated by floating branches of coconut palms in the sea, to which the shells attached themselves.[citation needed] SONY VAIO VGN-AR170P Laptop Keyboard

The Maldives was the first landfall for traders from Basrah, sailing to Sri Lanka or Southeast Asia. In the Maldives, ships could take on fresh water, fruit and the delicious, basket-smoked red flesh of the black bonito, HP Envy 15 Laptop Keyboard

a delicacy exported to Sindh, China and Yemen. The people of the archipelago were described as gentle, civilised and hospitable. They produced brass utensils as well as fine cotton textiles, exported in the form of sarongs and turban lengths. These local industries must have depended on imported raw materials. TOSHIBA Satellite M645-S4070 Laptop Keyboard

The other essential product of the Maldives was coir, the fibre of the dried coconut husk. Cured in pits, beaten, spun and then twisted into cordage and ropes, coir's salient quality is its resistance to saltwater. It stitched together and rigged the dhows that plied the Indian Ocean. Maldivian coir was exported to Sindh, China, Yemen, and the Persian Gulf. Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

"It is stronger than hemp", wrote Ibn Battuta, "and is used to sew together the planks of Sindhi and Yemeni dhows, for this sea abounds in reefs, and if the planks were fastened with iron nails, they would break into pieces when the vessel hit a rock. The coir gives the boat greater elasticity, so that it doesn't break up." Compaq Presario CQ42-228LA Laptop Keyboard

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On 16 December 1887, the Sultan of the Maldives signed a contract with the British Governor of Ceylon turning the Maldives into a British protected state, thus giving up the islands' sovereignty in matters of foreign policy, but retaining internal self-government. The British government promised military protection and non-interference in local administration in exchange for an annual tribute, so that the islands were akin to an Indian princely state. TOSHIBA Qosmio F45-AV411 Laptop Keyboard

In 1953, there was an abortive attempt to form a republic, but the sultanate survived. In 1957 the British established an air base in the strategic southernmost atoll of Addu, paying £2000 a year, employing hundreds of locals. Nineteen years later, the British government (Labour's Harold Wilson) gave up the base, as it was too expensive to maintain.[26] HP 640436-001 Laptop Keyboard

In 1959, objecting to Ibrahim Nasir's centralism, the inhabitants of the three southernmost atolls protested against the government. They formed the United Suvadive Republic and elected Abdullah Afeef as president and chose Hithadhoo as capital of this republic.[26] Compaq Presario CQ42-228LA Laptop Keyboard

During the 1950s and 1960s, the British presence east of Suez was in steep decline. On 26 July 1965 an agreement was signed on behalf of His Majesty the Sultan by Ibrahim Nasir Rannabandeyri Kilegefan, Prime Minister, and on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen by Sir Michael Walker, British Ambassador designate to the Maldive Islands, HP 633183-001 Laptop Keyboard

which ended the British responsibility for the defence and external affairs of the Maldives. The islands thus achieved full political independence, with the ceremony taking place at the British High Commissioner's Residence in Colombo. After this, the sultanate continued for another three years underMuhammad Fareed Didi, who declared himself King rather than Sultan. Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

On 15 November 1967, a vote was taken in parliament to decide whether the Maldives should continue as a constitutional monarchyor become a republic. Of the 44 members of parliament, forty voted in favour of a republic. On 15 March 1968, a national referendum was held on the question, Compaq Presario CQ42-228LA Laptop Keyboard

and 93.34% of those taking part voted in favour of establishing a republic. The republic was declared on 11 November 1968, thus ending the 853-year-old monarchy, which was replaced by a republic under the presidency of Ibrahim Nasir. As the King had held little real power, this was seen as a cosmetic change and required few alterations in the structures of government. Lenovo 0A62075 laptop keyboard

Tourism began to be developed on the archipelago by the beginning of the 1970s. The first resort in the Maldives was Kurumba Maldives which welcomed the first guests on 3 October 1972. The first accurate census was held in December 1977 and showed 142,832 persons residing in Maldives.[27] SONY VAIO VGN-N38Z/W laptop keyboard

However, political infighting during the '70s between Nasir's faction and other political figures led to the 1975 arrest and exile of elected prime minister Ahmed Zaki to a remote atoll. Economic decline followed the closure of the British airfield at Gan and the collapse of the market for dried fish, an important export. HP Mini 110-3504tu laptop keyboard

Maumoon Abdul Gayoom began his 30-year role as President in 1978, winning six consecutive elections without opposition. His election was seen as ushering in a period of political stability and economic development in view of Gayoom's priority to develop the poorer islands. Tourism flourished and increased foreign contact spurred development. However, Gayoom's rule was controversial, with some critics saying Gayoom was an autocrat who quelled dissent by limiting freedoms and political favouritism.[28] HP Pavilion dv6-2010ep laptop keyboard

A series of coup attempts (in 1980, 1983, and 1988) by Nasir supporters and business interests tried to topple the government without success. While the first two attempts met with little success, Lenovo 04W2236 laptop keyboard

the 1988 coup attempt involved a roughly 80-person mercenary force of the PLOTE Tamil militant group who seized the airport and caused Gayoom to flee from house to house until the intervention of 1600 Indian troops airlifted into Malé restored order. The November 1988 coup was headed by Muhammadu Ibrahim Lutfee, a small businessman. On the night of 3 November 1988, ASUS F81 laptop keyboard

the Indian Air Force airlifted a parachute battalion group fromAgra and flew them over 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) to the Maldives. The Indian paratroopers landed at Hulule and secured the airfield and restored the government rule at Malé within hours. The brief, bloodless operation, labelled Operation Cactus, also involved the Indian Navy. COMPAQ 442887-001 laptop keyboard

On 26 December 2004, following the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake, the Maldives were devastated by a tsunami. Only nine islands were reported to have escaped any flooding,[29][30] while fifty-seven islands faced serious damage to critical infrastructure, fourteen islands had to be totally evacuated, DELL Inspiron N4050 laptop keyboard

and six islands were destroyed. A further twenty-one resort islands were forced to close because of serious damage. The total damage was estimated at more than US$400 million, or some 62% of the GDP.[31][32] HP Pavilion dv5-1133la laptop keyboard

102 Maldivians and 6 foreigners reportedly died in the tsunami.[28] The destructive impact of the waves on the low-lying islands was mitigated by the fact there was no continental shelf or land mass upon which the waves could gain height. The tallest waves were reported to be 14 feet (4.3 m) high.[33] SONY Vaio VGN-FW290N laptop keyboard

During the later part of Gayoom's rule, independent political movements emerged in Maldives, which challenged the then-rulingDhivehi Rayyithunge Party (Maldivian People's Party) and demanded democratic reform. These movements brought about significant change in political structure. In 2008 a new constitution was approved and the first direct presidential elections occurred, HP Pavilion dv3-2310ea laptop keyboard

which were won by Mohamed Nasheed and Mohammed Waheed Hassan (as Vice-President) in the second round. The 2009 parliamentary election saw the Maldivian Democratic Party of President Nasheed receive the most votes with 30.81%, gaining 26 seats, however the Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party with 24.62% of the vote received the most seats (28). SONY VAIO VGN-FS965F laptop keyboard

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The government of President Mohamed Nasheed faced many challenges, including the huge debts left by the previous government, the economic downturn following the 2004 tsunami, overspending (by means of overprinting of local currency Ruffiya) during his regime, unemployment, corruption, and increasing drug use.[34][unreliable source?] Compaq Presario CQ71-230SA laptop keyboard

Taxation on goods was imposed for the first time in the country, and import duties were reduced in many goods and services. Social welfare benefits were given to those above 65 years of age, single parents and those with special needs. On 10 November 2008, Compaq Presario CQ42-205AU laptop keyboard

Nasheed announced an intent to create a sovereign wealth fundwith money earned from tourism that could be used to purchase land elsewhere for the Maldives people to relocate should rising sea levels due to climate changeinundate the country. The government reportedly considered locations in Sri Lanka and India due to cultural and climate similarities, and as far away as Australia.[28] HP Pavilion dm1-1010ef laptop keyboard

On 23 December 2011, the opposition held a mass symposium with as many as 20,000 people in the name of protecting Islam, which they believed Nasheed's government was unable to maintain in the country. The mass event became the foundation of a campaign that brought about social unrest within the capital city. HP Mini 110-3504tu laptop keyboard

On 16 January 2012,[35] the Maldives military, on orders from President Nasheed, un-constitutionally arrested Judge Abdulla Mohamed, the chief justice of the Maldives Criminal Court, HP Pavilion dm1-1010st Laptop Keyboard

on charges he was blocking the prosecution of corruption and human rights cases against allies of former President Gayoom. On 7 February, Nasheed ordered the police and army to subdue the anti-government protesters and use force against the public. Police came out to protest against unlawful orders given to them.[36] SONY 147915321 Laptop Keyboard

President Mohamed Nasheed resigned on 7 February 2012 by letter, and followed that with a televised public address informing Maldivians of his resignation and reasons thereof. However, within hours, Nasheed told foreign media that he was deposed by a military coup led by President Waheed. HP Pavilion dv5-1104tu Laptop Keyboard

There have been disputes over exactly what happened that day. Nasheed's vice president, Mohammed Waheed Hassan, was sworn in as President in accordance with the Constitution at the Peoples majlis in front of the Chief Justice.[37] HP G72-b60US Laptop Keyboard

On 23 February 2012, the Commonwealth suspended the Maldives from its democracy and human rights watchdog while the ousting was being investigated, and backed Nasheed's call for elections before the end of 2012.[38] SONY 147915321 Laptop Keyboard

Though in March 2012 the new regime promised new elections; in April the state minister of foreign affairs announced that elections would not be held in the near future.[39] Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

On 8 October, Nasheed was arrested after failing to appear in court to face charges that he ordered the illegal arrest of a judge while in office. However, his supporters claim that this detention was politically motivated in order to prevent him from campaigning for the 2013 presidential elections.[40] HP Pavilion G6-1223TX Laptop Keyboard

Maldives consists of 1,192 coral islands grouped in a double chain of 26 atolls, along the north-south direction, spread over roughly 90,000 square kilometres (35,000 sq mi), making this one of the world's most dispersed countries. It lies between latitudes 1°S and 8°N, and longitudes 72° and 74°E. HP Pavilion dv6-2112sa Laptop Keyboard

The atolls are composed of live coral reefs and sand bars, situated atop a submarine ridge 960 kilometres (600 mi) long that rises abruptly from the depths of the Indian Ocean and runs north to south. Only near the southern end of this natural coral barricade do two open passages permit safe ship navigation from one side of the Indian Ocean to the other through the territorial waters of Maldives. HP Pavilion dv4-1225ee Laptop Keyboard

For administrative purposes the Maldivian government organised these atolls into twenty one administrative divisions. The largest island of Maldives is Gan, which belongs to Laamu Atoll or Hahdhummathi Maldives. In Addu Atoll the westernmost islands are connected by roads over the reef (collectively called Link Road) and the total length of the road is 14 km (9 mi). HP Mini 110-3006tu Laptop Keyboard

Maldives is the lowest country in the world, with a maximum natural ground level of only 2.4 metres (7 ft 10 in), with the average being only 1.5 metres (4 ft 11 in) above sea level, although in areas where construction exists, this has been increased to several metres. However, more than 80 per cent TOSHIBA Mini NB 505-SP0160 Laptop Keyboard

The weather in Maldives is affected by the large landmass of South Asia to the north. The presence of this landmass causes differential heating of land and water. These factors set off a rush of moisture-rich air from the Indian Ocean over South Asia, resulting in the southwest monsoon. Two seasons dominate Maldives' weather: the dry season associated with the winter northeastern monsoon and the rainy season which brings strong winds and storms. ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

The shift from the moist southwest monsoon to the dry northeast monsoon occurs during April and May. During this period, the northeast winds contribute to the formation of the northeast monsoon, which reaches Maldives in the beginning of June and lasts until the end of August. However, the weather patterns of Maldives do not always conform to the monsoon patterns of South Asia. The annual rainfall averages 254 centimetres (100 in) in the north and 381 centimetres (150 in) in the south.[42] Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

According to the president of Nauru, the Maldives are ranked the third most endangered nation due to flooding from climate change.[43][44] In March and April 2012 the previous President of the Maldives Mohamed Nasheed stated: "If carbon emissions were to stop today, HP Pavilion dv7-4169wm Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

the planet would not see a difference for 60 to 70 years," Nasheed said. "If carbon emissions continue at the rate they are climbing today, my country will be underwater in seven years." He called for moreclimate change mitigation action while on the American television shows The Daily Show [45] and the Late Show with David Letterman.[46]  GATEWAY M-6846 Laptop Keyboard

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's 2007 report predicted the upper limit of the sea level rises will be 59 centimetres (23 in) by 2100, which means that most of the republic's 200 inhabited islands may need to be abandoned.[47] At least one study appears to show that the sea level in the Maldives dropped 20–30 centimetres (8–12 in) throughout the 1970s and '80s, although later studies failed to back this up.[48] HP 317443-001 Laptop Keyboard

In November 2008, President Mohamed Nasheed announced plans to look into purchasing new land in India, Sri Lanka, and Australia because of his concerns about global warming, and the possibility of much of the islands being inundated with water from rising sea levels. The purchase of land will be made from a fund generated by tourism.[49] The President has explained his intentions: TOSHIBA 6037B0017206 Laptop Keyboard

"We do not want to leave the Maldives, but we also do not want to be climate refugeesliving in tents for decades".[50] On 22 April 2008, then President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom pleaded for a cut in global greenhouse gas emissions, warning that rising sea levels could submerge the island nation of Maldives.[51][52] SONY NSK-S8101 Laptop Keyboard

By 2020, Maldives plans to eliminate or offset all of its greenhouse gas emissions. At the 2009 International Climate Talks, President Mohamed Nasheed explained that: "For us swearing off fossil fuels is not only the right thing to do, it is in our economic self-interest… Pioneering countries will free themselves from the unpredictable price of foreign oil; they will capitalize on the new green economy of the future, and they will enhance their moral standing giving them greater political influence on the world stage."[53] SONY VAIO PCG-F16/BP Laptop Keyboard

Other environmental issues are waste disposal. Although the Maldives are kept relatively pristine and little litter can be found on the islands, no good waste disposal sites exist. Most trash is simply dumped at Thilafushi.[54] SONY VAIO VGN-NW250D/W Laptop Keyboard

Maldives waters are home to several ecosystems, but are most noted for their variety of colourful coral reefs, home to 1100species of fish, 5 species of sea turtles, 21 species of whales and dolphins, 187 species of corals, 400 species of molluscs, and 83 species of echinoderms. Many crustacean species are there as well: 120 copepod, 15 amphipod as well as over 145 crab and 48 shrimp species.[55] TOSHIBA 9J.N9282.W01 laptop keyboard

Among the many marine families represented are Pufferfish, Fusiliers, Jackfish, Lionfish, Oriental Sweetlips, reef sharks,Groupers, Eels, Snappers, Bannerfish, Batfish, Humphead Wrasse, Spotted Eagle Rays, Scorpionfish, Lobsters, Nudibranches,Angelfish, Butterflyfish, Squirrelfish, Soldierfish, Glassfish, Surgeonfish, Unicornfish, Triggerfish, Napoleon wrasses, andBarracudas.[56] Packard Bell Easynote TM81 laptop keyboard

These coral reefs are home to a variety of marine ecosystems that vary from planktonic organisms to whale sharks. Sponges have gained importance as five species have displayed anti-tumor and anti-cancer properties.[57] SONY Vaio PCG-K315M laptop keyboard

In 1998, sea-temperature warming of as much as 5 °C (9.0 °F) due to a single El Niño phenomenon event caused coral bleaching, killing 2/3 of the nation's coral reefs.[58] HP Pavilion dv6-2163sl laptop keyboard

In an effort to induce the regrowth of the reefs, scientists placed electrified cones anywhere from 20–60 feet (6.1–18 m) below the surface to provide a substrate for larval coral attachment. In 2004, scientists witnessed corals regenerating. Corals began to eject pink-orange eggs and sperm. SONY VAIO PCG-792L laptop keyboard

The growth of these electrified corals was five times faster than ordinary corals.[58] Scientist Azeez Hakim stated, "before 1998, we never thought that this reef would die. We had always taken for granted that these animals would be there, that this reef would be there forever.  FUJITSU Lifebook S6240 laptop keyboard

El Niño gave us a wake-up call that these things are not going to be there forever. Not only this, they also act as a natural barrier against the tropical storms, floods and tsunamis. Seaweeds grow on the skeletons of dead coral"."[56] The corals reefs are like the rainforest for marine life.[59] HP Mini 210 laptop keyboard

Maldives is a presidential republic, with the President as head of government and head of state. The President heads the executive branch and appoints the cabinet which is approved by the People's Majlis (Parliament). Following the introduction of a new constitution in 2008, direct elections for the President take place every five years, with a limit of two terms in office for any individual. Acer eMachines G730G laptop keyboard

The current President is Mohammed Waheed Hassan.[60] Members of the unicameral Majlis serve five-year terms, with the total number of members determined by atoll populations. At the 2009 election, 77 members were elected. The People's Majlis, located in Male, houses members from all over the country.[3] FUJITSU Lifebook P1510 laptop keyboard

The republican constitution came into force in 1968, and was amended in 1970, 1972, and 1975. On 27 November 1997 it was replaced by another Constitution assented to by the President Gayoom. This Constitution came into force on 1 January 1998. All stated that the president was the Head of State, Head of Government and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and the Police of the Maldives. A third Constitution was ratified on 7 August 2008, which separated the judiciary from the head of state. COMPAQ Presario CQ60-209TU laptop keyboard

The requirement to adhere to a particular religion and prohibition of public worship following other religions is contrary to Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to which Maldives has recently become party[63SONY VAIO VGN-CR13/B laptop keyboard

] and was addressed in Maldives' reservation in adhering to the Covenant claiming that "The application of the principles set out in Article 18 of the Covenant shall be without prejudice to the Constitution of the Republic of the Maldives."[64]  Dell Inspiron 2500 Laptop Keyboard

The Supreme Court of Maldives is headed by a Chief Justice, who is the head of judiciary. As of 2008 the President had appointed 5 judges, who were approved by the Parliament. The interim court will sit until a new permanent Supreme Court is nominated under the constitution. HP 605344-001 Laptop Keyboard

Underneath the Supreme Court sit a High Court and a Trial court. The constitution requires an odd number of judges in the High Court of Maldives, leading to the current three appointed justices. Verdicts must be reached by a majority, but must also include a minority report. ACER NSK-AEA1D Laptop Keyboard

Magistrate courts are located in the administrative divisions of the atolls of the Maldives, with a Magistrate Court in each inhabited island. At the moment, there are 194 Magistrate Courts in the country. SAMSUNG N140 Laptop Keyboard

An appointed Prosecutor General (PG) is responsible for initiating court proceedings on behalf of the government, overseeing how investigations are being conducted and having a say in criminal prosecutions, duties previously held by the Attorney General. The PG has the power to order investigations, monitor detentions, lodge appeals and review existing cases. The PG is appointed by the President and has to be approved by the Parliament. HP 597635-001 Laptop Keyboard

The Maldives, in cooperation with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), wrote the world's first Islamic criminal code. As of 2008 the code awaited action by the parliament. TOSHIBA Satellite L300 Laptop Keyboard

According to the Constitution of Maldives, "The judges are independent, and subject only to the constitution and the law. When deciding matters on which the Constitution or the law is silent, judges must consider Islamic Shari'ah." Article 15 of the Act Number 1/81 (Penal Code) allows for hudud punishments.[61]Article 156 of the constitution states that law includes the norms and provisions of sharia.[62] TOSHIBA Mini NB 505-SP0160 Laptop Keyboard

Islam is the official religion of the Maldives and open practice of any other religion is forbidden and liable to prosecution. Article 2 of the revised constitution says that the republic "is based on the principles of Islam." Article nine says that "a non-Muslim may not become a citizen"; Article ten says that "no law contrary to any principle of Islam can be applied". Article nineteen states that "citizens are free to participate in or carry out any activity that is not expressly prohibited by sharia [Islamic law] or by the law." ACER ZU2 Laptop Keyboard

In February 2013, the judiciary sentenced a fifteen year old girl to 100 lashes and house arrest for 8 months in Vilimale's orphanage for engaging in premarital sex. The international media caught the story when her fornication case came alongside her rape case. Charges were brought against her in 2012 after police investigated accusations that her stepfather had raped her and killed their baby. TOSHIBA Satellite L750-ST4N02 Laptop Keyboard

He is still to face trial. Prosecutors stated her conviction did not relate to the rape case; she was sentenced for fornication, "which is a different matter."[65][66] The case generated a global petition which may damage the Maldivian tourism industry.[67] Compaq Presario CQ42-228LA Laptop Keyboard

An American citizen linked to the Bangladeshi who was caught bringing books on Christianity written in Dhivehi into the country, has been blacklisted and banned from entering the Maldives. Maldives Customs said that the American, Kevin Thomas Greenson, SAMSUNG R522 Laptop Keyboard

was blacklisted following the collection of sufficient evidence by the Police of his connection with the Bangladeshi, Jathis Biswas, 44. Jathis Biswas has also been deported, following accusations of spreading other religions in Maldives in cooperation with a group of Maldivians. Customs found 11 books on Christianity with Jathis Biswas, who arrived in Maldives on 27 September 2012 on Sri Lankan Airlines.[68] Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

The Maldives ranks high on the list of governments that restrict religious freedom. In 2011, a mob destroyed a monument with an engraved image of the Buddha in it. In 2012, 35 Buddhist and Hindu artifacts, from the 6th century BC, were destroyed from the Maldives' National Museum by suspected Islamic law enforcers.[69]Ali Waheed (the director of National Museum of the Maldives) stated: SONY Vaio PCG-K35 Laptop Keyboard

"The collection was totally, totally smashed. The whole pre-Islamic history is gone."[70]Pieces destroyed, included the "Bohomala sculptures, Hanuman statues, and a sculpture of the Hindu water god, Makara. The two five-faced statues from Male were also brutally damaged. This five-faced male was the only remaining archaeological evidence of a Buddhist era in Maldives and it too was destroyed, completely destroying any true history of the country. TOSHIBA Satellite L750-ST4N02 Laptop Keyboard

In addition an 11th-century coral stone of the Lord Buddha was also wiped out.[71] After that, Scholars and museums in a number of countries offered help in restoring the damaged statues. TOSHIBA Satellite L300 Laptop Keyboard

The Maldives National Defence Force is the combined security organisation responsible for defending the security and sovereignty of the Maldives, having the primary task of being responsible for attending to all internal and external security needs of the Maldives, including the protection of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and the maintenance of peace and security. The MNDF component branches are the Coast Guard, Marine Corps, Special Forces, Service Corps and the Corps of Engineers. ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

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As a water-bound nation much of the security concerns lie at sea. Almost 99% of the country is covered by sea and the remaining 1% land is scattered over an area of 800 km (497 mi) × 120 km (75 mi), with the largest island being not more than 8 km2 (3 sq mi). Therefore the duties assigned to the MNDF of maintaining surveillance over Maldives' waters and providing protection against foreign intruders poaching in the EEZ and territorial waters, ACER Aspire 5610Z Laptop Keyboard

are immense tasks from both logistical and economic view points. Hence, for carrying out these functions, it is the Coast Guard that plays a vital role. To provide timely security its patrol boats are stationed at various MNDF Regional Headquarters. Coast Guard is also assigned to respond to the maritime distress calls and to conduct search and rescue operations in a timely manner. Maritime pollution control exercises are conducted regularly on an annual basis for familiarisation and handling of such hazardous situations. HP G42-364LA Laptop Keyboard

Since 1996, the Maldives has been the official progress monitor of the Indian Ocean Commission. In 2002, the Maldives began to express interest in the Commission but as of 2008 had not applied for membership. Maldive's interest relates to its identity as a small island state, especially economic development and environmental preservation, and its desire for closer relations with France, HP 636191-001 Laptop Keyboard

a main actor in the IOC region. The Maldives is a founding member of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, SAARC, and as former protectorate of Great Britain, joined the Commonwealth in 1982, some 17 years after gaining independence from Great Britain. The Maldives enjoys close ties with Commonwealth members Seychelles and Mauritius. The Maldives and Comoros are also both members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. SONY VGN-FE41M Laptop Keyboard

The Maldives has twenty-six natural atolls and few island groups on isolated reefs, all of which have been divided into twenty-one administrative divisions (twenty administrative atolls and Malé city).[72] HP Envy 15 Laptop Keyboard

Each atoll is administered by an Atoll Chief (Atholhu Veriyaa) appointed by the President. The Ministry of Atoll Administration and its Northern and Southern Regional Offices, Atoll Offices and Island Offices are collectively responsible to the President for Atolls Administration. The administrative head of each island is the Island Chief (Katheeb), appointed by the President. The Island Chief's immediate superior is the Atoll Chief. Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

The Maldives has 7 provinces each consisting of the following administrative divisions (the capital Malé is its own administrative division):

In addition to a name, every administrative division is identified by the Maldivian code letters, such as "Haa Alif" forThiladhunmati Uthuruburi (Thiladhunmathi North); and by a Latin code letter. Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

The first corresponds to the geographical Maldivian name of the atoll; the second is a code adopted for convenience. As there are certain islands in different atolls that have the same name, for administrative purposes this code is quoted before the name of the island, for example: Baa Funadhoo, Kaafu Funadhoo, Gaafu-Alifu Funadhoo. Since most Atolls have very long geographical names it is also used whenever the long name is inconvenient, for example in the atoll website names.[73]  Packard Bell PEW91 laptop keyboard

The introduction of code-letter names has been a source of much puzzlement and misunderstandings, especially among foreigners. Many people have come to think that the code-letter of the administrative atoll is its new name and that it has replaced its geographical name. Under such circumstances it is hard to know which is the correct name to use.[73] SONY VAIO PCG-FRV25 Laptop Keyboard

In ancient times the Maldives were renowned for cowry shells, coir rope, dried tuna fish (Maldive Fish), ambergris(Maavaharu), and coco de mer (Tavakkaashi). Local and foreign trading ships used to load these products in Sri Lanka and transport them to other harbours in the Indian Ocean. HP Pavilion dv6-3192sf Laptop Keyboard

Historically Maldives provided enormous quantities of cowry shells, an international currency of the early ages. From the 2nd century AD the islands were known as the 'Money Isles' by the Arabs.[74] Monetaria moneta were used for centuries as a currency in Africa, and huge amounts of Maldivian cowries were introduced into Africa by western nations during the period ofslave trade.[75] The cowry is now the symbol of the Maldives Monetary Authority. DELL Latitude D830 Laptop Keyboard

The Maldivian government began an economic reform program in 1989, initially by lifting import quotas and opening some exports to the private sector. Subsequently, it has liberalised regulations to allow more foreign investment. Real GDP growth averaged over 7.5% per year for more than a decade. Today, the Maldives' largest industry is tourism, accounting for 28% of GDP and more than 60% of the Maldives' foreign exchange receipts. Fishing is the second leading sector. DELL Precision M4500 Laptop Keyboard

The Maldivian economy is to a large degree based on tourism. In late December 2004, the major tsunami left more than 100 dead, 12,000 displaced, and property damage exceeding $400 million. As a result of the tsunami, the GDP contracted by about 3.6% in 2005. A rebound in tourism, post-tsunami reconstruction, and development of new resorts helped the economy recover quickly and showed an 18% increase on 2006. 2007 estimates show Maldivians enjoy the highest GDP per capita $4,600 (2007 est) among south Asian countries. HP 636376-001 Laptop Keyboard

Agriculture and manufacturing continue to play a lesser role in the economy, constrained by the limited availability of cultivable land and the shortage of domestic labour. Tourism gave a major boost to the country's fledgling traditional cottage industries such as mat weaving, lacquer work, handicraft, and coir rope making. New industries that have since emerged include printing, production of PVC pipes, brick making, marine engine repairs, bottling of aerated water, and garment production. SONY VGN-FE41M Laptop Keyboard

Maldives was largely terra incognita for tourists until the early 1970s. Only 185 islands are home to its 300,000 inhabitants. The other islands are used entirely for economic purposes, of which tourism and agriculture are the most dominant. Tourism accounts for 28% of the GDP and more than 60% of the Maldives' foreign exchange receipts. Over 90% of government tax revenue comes from import duties and tourism-related taxes. IBM Thinkpad Z61m laptop keyboard

The development of tourism fostered the overall growth of the country's economy. It created direct and indirect employment and income generation opportunities in other related industries. The first tourist resorts were opened in 1972 with Bandos island resort and Kurumba Village,[76] which transformed the Maldives economy. Packard Bell Easynote LM85 laptop keyboard

According to the Ministry of Tourism, the emergence of tourism in 1972 transformed the economy, moving rapidly from dependence on fisheries to tourism. In just three and a half decades, the industry became the main source of income. Tourism was also the country's biggest foreign currency earner and the single largest contributor to the GDP. As of 2008, 89 resorts in the Maldives offered over 17,000 beds and hosted over 600,000 tourists annually.[77] SONY VAIO VGN-NR32Z/T laptop keyboard

The number of resorts increased from 2 to 92 between 1972 and 2007. As of 2007, over 8,380,000 tourists had visited Maldives.[78] Visitors to Maldives do not need to apply for a visa pre-arrival, regardless of their country of origin, provided they have a valid passport, proof of onward travel, and the money to be self-sufficient while in the country.[79] Packard Bell Easynote TK85 laptop keyboard

Most visitors arrive at Malé International Airport, on Hulhulé Island, adjacent to the capital Malé. The airport is served by flights to India, Sri Lanka, Doha,Dubai, Singapore, Istanbul, and major airports in South-East Asia, as well as charters from Europe. Gan Airport, on the southern atoll of Addu, also serves an international flight to Milan several times a week. Lenovo 0A62075 laptop keyboard

For many centuries the Maldivian economy was entirely dependent on fishing and other marine products. Fishing remains the main occupation of the people and the government gives priority to the fisheries sector. TOSHIBA Satellite L755D-S5162 laptop keyboard

The mechanisation of the traditional fishing boat called dhoni in 1974 was a major milestone in the development of the fisheries industry. A fish canning plant was installed on Felivaru in 1977, as a joint venture with a Japanese firm. In 1979, a Fisheries Advisory Board was set up with the mandate of advising the government on policy guidelines for the overall development of the fisheries sector. Lenovo 45N2240 laptop keyboard

Manpower development programs began in the early 1980s, and fisheries education was incorporated into the school curriculum. Fish aggregating devices and navigational aids were located at various strategic points. Moreover, the opening up of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the Maldives for fisheries has further enhanced the growth of the fisheries sector. SONY VGN-FE31Z laptop keyboard

As of 2010, fisheries contributed over 15% of the country's GDP and engaged about 30% of the country's work force. Fisheries were also the second-largest foreign exchange earner after tourism. HP Pavilion DV7-2177cl laptop keyboard

The Maldivian ethnic identity is a blend of the cultures reflecting the peoples who settled on the islands, reinforced by religion and language. The earliest settlers were probably from southern India and Sri Lanka. They are linguistically and ethnically related to the people in the Indian subcontinent. They are ethnically known as Dhivehis. HP Pavilion DV6-1040ej laptop keyboard

Some social stratification exists on the islands. It is not rigid, since rank is based on varied factors, including occupation, wealth, Islamic virtue, and family ties. Instead of a complex caste system, there was merely a distinction between noble (bēfulhu) and common people in the Maldives. Members of the social elite are concentrated in Malé. SONY VAIO VGN-AR820E laptop keyboard

A census has been recorded since 1905, which shows that the population of the country remained around 100,000 for the following sixty years. Following independence in 1965, the rate of population growth rose due to improving health. The population doubled by 1978, and the population growth rate peaked at 3.4% in 1985. ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

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At the 2006 census, the population had reached 298,968,[80] although the census in 2000 showed that the population growth rate had declined to 1.9%. Life expectancy at birth stood at 46 years in 1978, and later rose to 72. Infant mortality has declined from 12.7% in 1977 to 1.2% today, and adult literacy reached 99%. Combined school enrollment reached the high 90s. IBM Lenovo Thinkpad X201 Laptop Keyboard

As of April 2008, more than 70,000 foreign employees, along with 33,000 illegal immigrants, comprised more than one third of the Maldivian population. They consisted mainly of people from the neighbouring South Asian countries of India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Nepal. Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

After the long Buddhist[81] period of Maldivian history, Muslim traders introduced Sunni Islam. Maldivians converted to Islam by the mid-12th century. The island has a long history of Sufic orders, as can be seen in the history of the country such as the building of tombs. HP 519265-001 Laptop Keyboard

They were used until as recent as the 1980s for seeking the help of buried Saints. They can be seen today next to some old mosques and are considered today as cultural heritage. Other aspects of tassawuf, such as ritualiseddhikr ceremonies called Maulūdu (Mawlid)--SAMSUNG X20 Laptop Keyboard

the liturgy of which included recitations and certain supplications in a melodical tone—existed until very recent times. These Maulūdu festivals were held in ornate tents specially built for the occasion. At present Sunni Islam is the official religion of the entire population, as adherence to it is required for citizenship. Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

According to Moroccan traveller Ibn Battuta, the person responsible for this conversion was a Sunni Muslim visitor named Abu al Barakat sailing from Morocco. He is also referred to as Tabrizugefaanu. His venerated tomb now stands on the grounds of the Friday Mosque, or Hukuru miskiy, in Malé. Built in 1656, this is the country's oldest mosque. HP G62-470CA Laptop Keyboard

The official and common language is Dhivehi, an Indo-European language having some similarities with Elu, the ancient Sinhalese language. The first known script used to write Dhivehi is Eveyla akuru script which is found in historical recording of kings (raadhavalhi). Later a script called Dhives akuru was used for a long period. The present-day script is called Thaana and is written from right to left. Thaana is said to have been introduced by the reign of Mohamed Thakurufaanu. English is used widely in commerce and increasingly in government schools. TOSHIBA Satellite L655-S5160 Laptop Keyboard

In 2008, in an attempt of decentralization, the Nasheed government divided the country into seven provinces. This maneuver was the first time that governing power has been moved away from the capital Male' since 1117 A.D. However, the bill submitted by the government to decentralize the country according to this system was rejected by the opposition-majority parliament, who amended the bill, Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

restricting decentralization as seven provinces. The final bill that was passed by the parliament and ultimately ratified by the president, saw the decentralization of the country as 21 constituencies.
The seven provinces were:- COMPAQ Presario CQ41-204TX Laptop Keyboard

Authoritarianism is characterized by highly concentrated and centralized power maintained by political repression and the exclusion of potential challengers. It uses political parties and mass organizations to mobilize people around the goals of the regime.[2] Lenovo 3000 Y500 Laptop Keyboard

Authoritarianism emphasizes arbitrary law rather than the rule of law, it often includes election rigging, political decisions being made by a select group of officials behind closed doors, a bureaucracy that sometimes operates independently of rules,[dubious – discussDELL NSK-D8001 Laptop Keyboard

which does not properly supervise elected officials, and fails to serve the concerns of the constituencies they purportedly serve. Authoritarianism also tends to embrace the informal and unregulated exercise of political power, a leadership that is "self-appointed and even if elected cannot be displaced by citizens' free choice among competitors," the arbitrary deprivation of civil liberties, and little tolerance for meaningful opposition.[2] HP G62-225DX Laptop Keyboard

A range of social controls also attempt to stifle civil society, while political stability is maintained by control over and support of the armed forces, a bureaucracy staffed by the regime, and creation of allegiance through various means ofsocialization and indoctrination.[2] Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

Authoritarian political systems may be weakened through "inadequate performance to demands of the people."[2] Vestal writes that the tendency to respond to challenges to authoritarianism through tighter control instead of adaptation is a significant weakness, HP Probook 4510S Laptop Keyboard

and that this overly rigid approach fails to "adapt to changes or to accommodate growing demands on the part of the populace or even groups within the system."[2] Because the legitimacy of the state is dependent on performance, authoritarian states that fail to adapt may collapse.[2] HP Pavilion dv3-2108tu Laptop Keyboard

Authoritarianism is marked by "indefinite political tenure" of the ruler or ruling party (often in a single-party state) or other authority.[2] The transition from an authoritarian system to a more democratic form of government is referred to asdemocratization.[2] TOSHIBA Satellite L300 Laptop Keyboard

John Duckitt of the University of the Witwatersrand suggests a link between authoritarianism and collectivism, asserting that both stand in opposition to individualism.[3] Duckitt writes that both authoritarianism and collectivism submerge individual rights and goals to group goals, expectations and conformities.[4] Others argue that collectivism, properly defined, has a basis of consensus decision-making, the opposite of authoritarianism. Compaq Presario CQ71-410ED laptop keyboard

Any list of such states is bound to be controversial; certain indices have striven to ascertain the openness or democratic quality of countries based on a somewhat simplistic tick-box method, the notion of index itself being economically oriented. Within the present world system, unsurprisingly the "soft power" countries of major western power centers often come out at the top of such lists. SONY VAIO VGN-CS31Z/Q laptop keyboard

On the other hand, places like Armenia North Korea, Belarus, Iran, Syria, Zimbabwe, Saudi Arabia, andBurkina Faso appear as strongly authoritarian. For a list see, for example, The Economist magazine's democracy index, though this is an economic-liberal magazine – but indexes compiled from other points of view such as Amnesty International orFreedom House are available from time to time. Packard Bell PEW91 laptop keyboard

It is often the more wealthy countries that come out at the top of such lists and the poorer ones that fall toward the end; whether this is a cause or result of their political systems is open to debate. TOSHIBA V000120280 laptop keyboard

Another way of looking at the problem of trying to make a list of authoritarian regimes is not to compare the apparent forms of government (for example, whether direct election as in the Swiss Cantons or by collegiate representation etc.) but, in making such a list, to compare the balance of power between the political elite and the general populace. Such an index asks questions as to whether or not a given government allows the direct influence of its subjects in the decision making process, Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 laptop keyboard

whether or not it suppresses Freedom of speech, imprisons them in Gulags or other such prison systems or behaves in a belligerent manner towards more democratic nations or allows poor work conditions to flourish or even allows forms of slavery.

The Government of the People's Republic of China is generally considered to be a modern authoritarian government.  HP Pavilion dv6171CL laptop keyboard

The PRC is ruled by one party only, known as the Communist Party of China (or the Chinese Communist Party). Policies in China are created in high-level meetings, in which the general population has no input into the choices that are made for them. The government of China keeps watch over the Chinese internet meticulously, looking for anything that may be considered politically sensitive. SONY VAIO VPCF121GX laptop keyboard

China is also on Reporters Without Borders' "Enemies of the Internet" blacklist.[16] They also block major social networking websites such as Facebook and Twitter, as they are concerned that citizens may use these sites to organize public demonstrations. Furthermore, some citizens who have posted information on the Internet that is pro-democratic have been harassed and are sometimes even imprisoned.[17] HP Pavilion DV7-3085dx laptop keyboard

Another measure that the government of China has taken which many argue infringes on the rights of its citizens is the enforcement of the one-child policy of 1979, which limits each couple who are ethnic Han Chinese living in urban areas to one child. While this was done for purposes of population control, HP Pavilion DV7-3186cl laptop keyboard

it has led to the killing or abandonment of many female babies (so that the couple may instead have a son to carry on their family name). Also, there have been multiple consequences for parents who have more than one child, including fines, pressure to abort, and forced sterilization.[18] SONY VAIO VGN-NW70JB laptop keyboard

The communist Vietnamese government is also commonly described as authoritarian.[19] Vietnam is ruled by the Vietnamese Communist Party, the only legal political party in the country. Policies and laws are all made unilaterally by the Party, with the general public having no power in the decision-making process. Any political opposition is prohibited, like the Bloc 8406, SONY VAIO PCG-FX90G/K laptop keyboard

Viet Tan and Viet Nam Quoc Dan Dang; dissidents, such as the singer and composer Viet Khang and poet Nguyen Chi Tien, are routinely arrested and imprisoned, with the government frequently charging dissidents for "subverting the State", "endangering State security" or attempting to "overthrow the "People's socialist government".[20] Compaq Presario CQ56-110US laptop keyboard

 Protests in Vietnam are carefully monitored by the government, most notably the protests on supporting Vietnamese sovereignty of the Paracel Islandsand Spratly Islands in the summer of 2011 in the cities of Hanoi and Saigon,[21] and smaller protests on the government's confiscation of land. The Internet is heavily censored, most sites that having anti-communist content, critical or opposing the government, Lenovo 39T7385 laptop keyboard

or in support of the former Republic of Vietnam being blocked by the government firewall. Social networking sites, including Facebook, have also been blocked.[22] Vietnam is also on Reporters Without Borders' "Enemies of the Internet" blacklist.[16] After the Vietnam War, hundreds of thousands of South Vietnamese were sent to the "reeducation camps", where they were forced to work under meager living conditions.[23] TOSHIBA Satellite M645-SP6001L laptop keyboard

Common attributes of authoritarianism are becoming evident in Russia after numerous reports of vote rigging during Parliament election in 2011, as well as Presidential election in 2012. Combined with the privileged position of United Russia(Единая Россия), a pro-Kremlin majority political party, repeatedly biased court decisions, regulations that complicate the development of meaningful opposition, SONY VAIO VGN-FS415E laptop keyboard

and controversial legitimacy of the third term of President Vladimir Putin, it shows tendency for authoritarian development in Russian political system. HP Pavilion dv6-2147el laptop keyboard

Outcome of recent statements made by both President (ex-Prime Minister) Putin and Prime Minister (ex-President) Medvedev regarding liberalization of the political system is yet to be seen, and such discourse may be perceived as a populistic attempt to cope with the social discontent. DELL Precision M4500 Laptop Keyboard

Many different forms of authoritarianism have served as the norm in many polities and in most periods from the dawn of recorded history. Tribal chiefs and god-kings often gave way to despots and emperors, then to enlightened monarchs and juntas. Even superficially democratic constitutions or those claiming to be such can allow the concentration of power or domination by strong-men or by small groups of political elites. HP G72-a10SV Laptop Keyboard

In contrast to the varying manifestations of authoritarianism, more democratic forms of governance as a standard mode of political organization became widespread only after the Industrial Revolution had established modernity. Packard Bell Easynote TK85 laptop keyboard

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Tyrants and oligarchs bracketed the flourishing of democracy in ancient Athens; andkings and emperors preceded and followed experimentation with democratic forms in the Roman Republic. In the 15th century, Vlad Dracula is credited for being the first ruler of Wallachia and Transylvania to rule by Authoritarianism.[24] ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

With the decline of authoritarianism as a legitimate method of government after World War II and the commencement of the Nuremberg Trials in Germany, psychologists from around the world began to ask questions as to how individuals from Germany and other authoritarian states were compelled to commit crimes against humanity. ACER Aspire 5810T-8929 Laptop Keyboard

One experiment by Yale University psychologist Stanley Milgram attempted to answer whether or not accomplices in the Holocaust were acting with a shared sense of morality (i.e. All accomplices believed that the individuals in the Holocaust deserved to die) or if they were acting according to the situations they were exposed to (i.e. Soldiers, expected to follow orders, did so, ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

even if those orders directly contradicted their personal beliefs). The initial results of theMilgram experiment identified that 65% of its participants would lethally harm another human being if they were ordered to do so.[25] Variations of this experiment were conducted around the world with similar results.[26] Milgram hypothesised that these results were due to two separate factors: ACER Aspire 5740 Laptop Keyboard

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Colombo (Sinhala: කොළඹ, pronounced [ˈkolombo]; Tamil: கொழும்பு) is the largest city and the commercial, industrial and cultural capital of Sri Lanka. It is located on the west coast of the island and adjacent to Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte suburb or the parliament capital of Sri Lanka. HP Mini 110-3504tu laptop keyboard

Colombo is also the administrative capital ofWestern Province, Sri Lanka and the district capital of Colombo District. Colombo is often referred to as the capital since Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte is a satellite city of Colombo. HP Pavilion dm1-1010st Laptop Keyboard

Colombo is a busy and vibrant place with a mixture of modern life and colonial buildings and ruins[2] with a population of about 752,993 in the city limits. It was the political capital of Sri Lanka, before Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte. SONY 147915321 Laptop Keyboard

Due to its large harbour and its strategic position along the East-West sea trade routes, Colombo was known to ancient traders 2,000 years ago. It was made the capital of the island when Sri Lanka was ceded to the British Empire in 1815,[3] HP Pavilion dv5-1104tu Laptop Keyboard

and its status as capital was retained when the nation became independent in 1948. In 1978, when administrative functions were moved to Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, Colombo was designated as the commercial capital of Sri Lanka. HP G72-b60US Laptop Keyboard

Like many cities, Colombo's urban area extends well beyond the boundaries of a single local authority, encompassing other municipal and urban councils. The main city is home to a majority of Sri Lanka's corporate offices, restaurants and entertainment venues.[4] Famous landmarks in Colombo include the Galle Face Green, the Viharamahadevi Park, Mount Lavinia beach as well as the National Museum. SONY 147915321 Laptop Keyboard

The name "Colombo", first introduced by the Portuguese in 1505, is believed to be derived from the classical Sinhalesename කොලොන් තොට Kolon thota, meaning "port on the river Kelani".[5] Another belief is that the name is derived from the Sinhalese name කොල-අඹ-තොට Kola-amba-thota which means "Harbour with leafy mango trees".[4] ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

The author of the oldest Sinhalese grammar, Sidatsangarava, written in the 13th century wrote about a category of words that exclusively belonged to early Sinhalese. It lists naramba (to see) and kolamba (ford or habor) as belonging to anindigenous source. Kolamba is the source of the name of the commercial capital Colombo.[6][7] Lenovo Thinkpad T520 Laptop Keyboard

As Colombo possesses a natural harbour, it was known to Greeks, Persians, Romans, Arabs, and Chinese traders over 2,000 years ago. Traveller Ibn Batuta who visited the island in the 14th century, referred to it as Kalanpu.[8] SONY VAIO VGN-AR170P Laptop Keyboard

 Muslim Moors whose prime interests were trade, began to settle in Colombo around the 8th century AD mostly because the port helped their business and controlled much of the trade between the Sinhalese kingdoms and the outside world. Their descendants now comprise the local Sri Lankan Moor community.[3][9] HP Envy 15 Laptop Keyboard

Portuguese explorers led by Dom Lourenço de Almeida first arrived in Sri Lanka in 1505. During their initial visit they made a treaty with the King of Kotte Parakramabahu VIII (1484–1508) enabling them to trade in the islands' crop of cinnamon, which lay along the coastal areas of the island, TOSHIBA Satellite M645-S4070 Laptop Keyboard

including in Colombo.[10] As part of the treaty, the Portuguese were given full authority over the coastline in exchange for the promise of guarding the coast against invaders. They were allowed to establish a trading post in Colombo.[10] Within a short time, however, they then expelled the Muslim inhabitants of Colombo and began to build a fort there in 1517. Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

The Portuguese soon realized that control of Sri Lanka was necessary for protection of their coastal establishments in India and they began to manipulate the rulers of the Kotte kingdom to gain control of the area. After skilfully exploiting rivalries within the royal family, they took control of a large area of the kingdom and the Sinhalese King Mayadunne established a new kingdom at Sitawaka, Compaq Presario CQ42-228LA Laptop Keyboard

a domain in the Kotte kingdom.[10] Before long he annexed much of the Kotte kingdom and forced the Portuguese to retreat to Colombo, which was repeatedly besieged by Mayadunne and the later kings of Sitawaka, forcing them to seek reinforcement from their major base in Goa, India. Following the fall of the kingdom in 1593, the Portuguese were able to establish complete control over the coastal area, Lenovo 3000 N200 Laptop Keyboard

with Colombo as their capital.[10][11] This part of Colombo is still known as Fort and houses the presidential palace and the majority of Colombo'sfive star hotels. The area immediately outside Fort is known as Pettah (Sinhala පිට කොටුව pia kouva, "outer fort") and is a commercial hub. TOSHIBA Qosmio F45-AV411 Laptop Keyboard

In 1638 the Dutch signed a treaty with King Rajasinha II of Kandy which assured the king assistance in his war against the Portuguese in exchange for a monopoly of the island's major trade goods. The Portuguese resisted the Dutch and the Kandyans but were gradually defeated in their strongholds beginning in 1639.[12] The Dutch captured Colombo in 1656 after an epic siege, HP 640436-001 Laptop Keyboard

at the end of which a mere 93 Portuguese survivors were given safe conduct out of the fort. Although the Dutch (e.g.,Rijcklof van Goens) initially restored the captured area back to the Sinhalese kings, they later refused to turn them over and gained control over the island's richest cinnamon lands including Colombo which then served as the capital of the Dutch maritime provinces under the control of the Dutch East India Company until 1796.[12][13] Compaq Presario CQ42-228LA Laptop Keyboard

Although the British captured Colombo in 1796, it remained a British military outpost until the Kandyan Kingdom was ceded to them in 1815 and they made Colombo the capital of their newly created crown colony of British Ceylon. Unlike the Portuguese and Dutch before them, whose primary use of Colombo was as a military fort, the British began constructing houses and other civilian structures around the fort, giving rise to the current City of Colombo.[3] HP 633183-001 Laptop Keyboard

Initially, they placed the administration of the city under a "Collector", and John Macdowell of the Madras Service was the first to hold the office. Then, in 1833, the Government Agent of the Western Province was charged with the administration of the city. Centuries of colonial rule had meant a decline of indigenous administration of Colombo, Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

and in 1865 the British conceived a Municipal Council as a means of training the local population in self-governance. The Legislative Council of Ceylon constituted the Colombo Municipal Council in 1865 and the Council met for the first time on the January 16, 1866. At the time, the population of the region was around 80,000.[3] Compaq Presario CQ42-228LA Laptop Keyboard

During the time they were in control of the Colombo, the British were responsible for much of the planning of the present city. In some parts of the city tramcar tracks and granite flooring laid during the era are still visible today.[13][14] TOSHIBA 9J.N9282.W01 laptop keyboard

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This era of colonialism ended peacefully in 1948 when Ceylon gained independence from Britain.[15] Due to the tremendous impact this caused on the city's inhabitants and on the country as a whole, the changes that resulted at the end of the colonial period were drastic. An entire new culture took root. SONY VAIO VGN-N38Z/W laptop keyboard

Changes in laws and customs, clothing styles, religions andproper names were a significant result of the colonial era.[15] These cultural changes were followed by the strengthening of the island's economy. Even today, the influence of the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British is clearly visible in Colombo's architecture, names, clothing, food, language and attitudes. HP Mini 110-3504tu laptop keyboard

Buildings from all three eras stand as reminders of the turbulent past of Colombo. The city and its people show an interesting mix of European clothing and lifestyles together with local customs.[15] HP Pavilion dv6-2010ep laptop keyboard

Historically, Colombo referred to the area around the Fort and Pettah Market which is famous for the variety of products available as well as the Khan Clock Tower, a local landmark. At present, it refers to the city limits of the Colombo Municipal Council.[16] More often, the name is used for the Conurbation known as Greater Colombo, which encompasses severalMunicipal councils including Kotte, Dehiwela and Colombo. Lenovo 04W2236 laptop keyboard

Although Colombo lost its status as the capital of Sri Lanka in the 1980s, it continues to be the island's commercial centre. Despite the official capital of Sri Lanka moving to the adjacent Sri Jayawardanapura Kotte, most countries still maintain their diplomatic missions in Colombo.[17] ASUS F81 laptop keyboard

Colombo's geography is a mix of land and water. The city has many canals and, in the heart of the city, the 65-hectare (160-acre) Beira Lake.[18] The lake is one of the most distinctive landmarks of Colombo, and was used for centuries by colonists to defend the city.[18] COMPAQ 442887-001 laptop keyboard

It remains a popular attraction, hosting regattas,[19] and theatrical events on its shores. The Northern and North-Eastern border of the city of Colombo is formed by the Kelani River, which meets the sea in a part of the city known as the Modera (mōdara in Sinhala) which means river delta. DELL Inspiron N4050 laptop keyboard

Colombo features a tropical monsoon climate under the Köppen climate classification. Colombo's climate is fairly temperate all throughout the year. From March to April the temperature averages around 31 degrees Celsius (88 degrees Fahrenheit) maximum.[20] The only major change in the Colombo weather occurs during the monsoon seasons from May to August and October to January. HP Pavilion dv5-1133la laptop keyboard

This is the time of year where heavy rains can be expected. Colombo sees little relative diurnal range of temperature, although this is more marked in the drier winter months, where minimum temperatures average 22 degrees Celsius (72 degrees Fahrenheit). Rainfall in the city averages around 2,400 millimetres (94 in) a year.[21] SONY Vaio VGN-FW290N laptop keyboard

Colombo's geography is a mix of land and water. The city has many canals and, in the heart of the city, the 65-hectare (160-acre) Beira Lake.[18] The lake is one of the most distinctive landmarks of Colombo, and was used for centuries by colonists to defend the city.[18] It remains a popular attraction, hosting regattas,[19] and theatrical events on its shores. HP Pavilion dv3-2310ea laptop keyboard

The Northern and North-Eastern border of the city of Colombo is formed by the Kelani River, which meets the sea in a part of the city known as the Modera (mōdara in Sinhala) which means river delta. SONY VAIO VGN-FS965F laptop keyboard

Colombo features a tropical monsoon climate under the Köppen climate classification. Colombo's climate is fairly temperate all throughout the year. From March to April the temperature averages around 31 degrees Celsius (88 degrees Fahrenheit) maximum.[20] Lenovo Ideapad G565 laptop keyboard

 The only major change in the Colombo weather occurs during the monsoon seasons from May to August and October to January. This is the time of year where heavy rains can be expected. Colombo sees little relative diurnal range of temperature, although this is more marked in the drier winter months, Compaq Presario CQ71-230SA laptop keyboard

where minimum temperatures average 22 degrees Celsius (72 degrees Fahrenheit). Rainfall in the city averages around 2,400 millimetres (94 in) a year.[21] Compaq Presario CQ42-205AU laptop keyboard

Colombo is a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural city. The population of Colombo is a mix of numerous ethnic groups, mainlySinhalese, Sri Lankan Moors and Tamils. There are also small communities of people with Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch, Malay andIndian origins living in the city, HP Pavilion dm1-1010ef laptop keyboard

as well as numerous European expatriates. Colombo is the most populous city in Sri Lanka, with 642,163 people living within the city limits.[25] In 1866 the city had a population of around 80,000.[26] According to the census of 2001 the demographics of urban Colombo by ethnicity is as follows.[25] ACER ZU2 Laptop Keyboard

Colombo is a charter city, with a Mayor Council form of government. Colombo's mayor and the council members are elected through local government elections held once in five years. For the past 50 years the city had been ruled by the United National Party (UNP), a rightleaning party, Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

whose business friendly policies resonate with the population of Colombo. However the UNP nomination list for the 2006 Municipal elections was rejected,[27] and an Independent Group supported by the UNP won the elections.[28] Uvais Mohamed Imitiyas was subsequently appointed Mayor of Colombo.[29] HP Pavilion G6-1223TX Laptop Keyboard

The city government provides sewer, road management and waste management services, in case of water, electricity and telephone utility services the council liaises with the water supply and drainage board, the Ceylon electricity board and telephone service providers. HP Pavilion dv6-2112sa Laptop Keyboard

Colombo was the capital of the coastal areas controlled by the Portuguese, Dutch and the British from the 1700s to the 1815 when the British gained control of the entire island following the Kandian convention. From then until the 1980s the national capital of the island was Colombo. HP Pavilion dv4-1225ee Laptop Keyboard

During the 1980s plans were made to move the administrative capital to Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte and thus move all governmental institutions out of Colombo to make way for commercial activities. As a primary step theParliament was moved to a new complex in Kotte and several ministries and departments were also moved. HP Mini 110-3006tu Laptop Keyboard

However the move was never completed. Today many governmental institutions still remain in Colombo. These include the President's House, Presidential Secretariat, Prime Minister's House (Temple Trees), Prime Minister's Office, the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka, TOSHIBA Mini NB 505-SP0160 Laptop Keyboard

Central Bank of Sri Lanka, important government ministries and departments; such as Finance (Treasury),Defence, Public Administration & Home affairs, Foreign affairs, Justice and the Military headquarters, Naval headquarters (SLNS Parakrama), Air Force headquarters (SLAF Colombo) and Police national and field force headquarters.[31][32] ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

The great majority of Sri Lankan corporations have their head offices in Colombo including Ceylinco Corporation, Stassen group of companies, John Keells Holdings, Hemas Holdings and Akbar Brothers. Some of the industries include chemicals, textiles, glass, cement, leather goods, furniture, and jewellery. In the city centre is located The World Trade Centre. Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

The 40 story Twin Tower complex is the centre of important commercial establishments, situated in the Fort district, the city's nerve center. Right outside the Fort area is Pettah which is derived from the Sinhalese word pita which means out or outsideas it is outside the Fort.[33] HP Pavilion dv7-4169wm Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

The Colombo Metropolitan area has a GDP of $35 Billion dollars making it the core of the Sri Lankan economy. The per capita income of Colombo Metro area stood at USD $5358 and purchasing power per capita of $10,000, making it one of the most prosperous regions in South Asia.[34]  GATEWAY M-6846 Laptop Keyboard

The Colombo Metropolitan (CM) area is the most important industrial, commercial and administrative centre in Sri Lanka. A major share of the country’s export oriented manufacturing takes place in the Colombo Metropolitan area which is the engine of growth for Sri Lanka. HP 317443-001 Laptop Keyboard

The Western province contributes more than 50% to the GDP and about 80% of industrial value additions although it accounts for only 5.7% of the country’s geographic area. Given its importance as the primary international gateway for Sri Lanka and as the main economic driver of the country, TOSHIBA 6037B0017206 Laptop Keyboard

the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) has launched an ambitious program to transform Colombo and its metropolitan area into a metropolis of international standards. A number of bottlenecks are preventing the Colombo metropolitan area from realizing its full economic potential. SONY NSK-S8101 Laptop Keyboard

In order to facilitate the transformation of Colombo, the government has to address these bottlenecks which have for long been obstructing economic and physical urban regeneration of the city.[35] SONY VAIO PCG-F16/BP Laptop Keyboard

Pettah is more crowded than the fort area. Pettah's roads are always packed and pavements are full of small stalls selling from delicious Sherbat to Shirts. Main Street consists mostly of clothes shops and the cross roads, which are literally known as Cross Streets where each of the five streets specializes in a specific business. SONY VAIO VGN-NW250D/W Laptop Keyboard

Most of these businesses in Pettah are dominated by Muslim traders. At the end of the main street further away from Fort is the Sea Street, Sri Lanka's Gold market – dominated by Tamil interests. This mile-long street is full of jewellery shops.[33]

At one time Air Lanka (now SriLankan Airlines) had its head office in Colombo.[36] SONY Vaio PCG-K315M laptop keyboard

The Sri Lanka Police the main law enforcement agency of the island liaise with the municipal council, but is under the control of the Ministry of Defence of the central government.[37] HP Pavilion dv6-2163sl laptop keyboard

Policing in Colombo and its suburbs falls within theMetropolitan Range headed by the Deputy Inspector General of Police (Metropolitan), this also includes the Colombo Crime Division.[38] As with most Sri Lankan cities, the magistrate court handles felony crimes, the district court handles civil cases. SONY VAIO PCG-792L laptop keyboard

As in other large cities around the world, Colombo experiences certain levels of street crime and bribery. Indeed the corruption extends to the very top, with the Sri Lankan president himself, US reports show.  FUJITSU Lifebook S6240 laptop keyboard

 [39][40] The LTTE has been linked to most of the bombings and assassinations in the city.[41] Welikada Prison is situated in Colombo and it is one of the largest maximum-security prisons in the country.[42] HP Mini 210 laptop keyboard

Colombo Harbour is the largest and one of the busiest ports in Sri Lanka. Colombo was established primarily as a port city during the colonial era, with an artificial harbour that has been expanded over the years. The Sri Lanka Navy maintains a naval base, SLNS Rangalla, within the harbour. Acer eMachines G730G laptop keyboard

The Port of Colombo handled 3.75 million twenty-foot equivalent units in 2008, 10.6% up on 2007 (which itself was 9.7% up on 2006), bucking the global economic trend. Of those, 817,000 were local shipments with the rest transshipments. The port is close to its capacity for container handling. An expansion project, the South Harbour project, will increase the port's capacity.[44] FUJITSU Lifebook P1510 laptop keyboard

Colombo has most of the amenities that a modern city has. Compared to other parts of the country, Colombo has the highest degree of infrastructure. Electricity, water and transport to street lamps, COMPAQ Presario CQ60-209TU laptop keyboard

phone booths and etc. have a considerably good standard. The majority of the major shopping malls in Sri Lanka are in the city, of which all are wi-fi enabled. Apart from that, many luxurious hotels, clubs and restaurants are in the city. In recent times there's been an outpour ofhigh rise condominiums, mainly due to the very high land prices.[43] SONY VAIO VGN-CR13/B laptop keyboard

Colombo has an extensive public transport system based on buses operated both by private operators and the government owned Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB). The three primary bus terminals — Bastian Mawatha, Central, and the Gunasinghapura Bus Terminal — are in Pettah. Bastian Mawatha handles long distance services whereas Gunasinghapura and Central handle local services.  Dell Inspiron 2500 Laptop Keyboard

Train transport in the city is limited since most trains are meant for transport to and from the city rather than within it and are often overcrowded. However, the Central Bus Stand and Fort Railway Station function as the island's primary hub for bus and rail transport respectively. HP 605344-001 Laptop Keyboard

Up until the 1970s the city had tram services, which were discontinued. Other means of transport includes auto rickshaws (commonly called "three wheelers") and taxicabs. Three wheelers are entirely operated by individuals and hardly regulated whilst cab services are run by private companies and are metered. ACER NSK-AEA1D Laptop Keyboard

Construction of the Colombo Metro Rail, a Mass Rapid Transit railway system, similar to that of other advanced Asian cities has begun. The project was established to control the excessive traffic. The project is carried out by NEB Rapid Infrastructure Projects Pvt. Ltd., an Indian and Singaporean collaboration.[45][46] SAMSUNG N140 Laptop Keyboard

Post-war development in the Colombo area also involves the construction of numerous expressway grade arterial road routes. The first of these constructed is the Southern Expressway, which goes from Kottawa, HP 597635-001 Laptop Keyboard

a southern suburb of Colombo, to Matara in the south of the country. Expressways under construction in the Colombo metropolitan area include the Colombo–Katunayake Expresswaywhich is due to be opened at the end of 2012 and the Colombo orbital bypass Arthur C. Clarke Expressway which is due to be opened in 2014.[47][48] TOSHIBA Satellite L300 Laptop Keyboard

The two World Trade Centre towers used to be the most recognized landmarks of the city. Before they were completed in 1997, the adjacent Bank of Ceylon tower was the tallest structure and the most prominent city landmark. Before the skyscrapers were built it was the Old Parliament Building that stood majestically in the Fort district with the Old Colombo Lighthouse close to it. Another important landmark is the Independence Hall at Independence Square in Cinnamon Gardens. TOSHIBA Mini NB 505-SP0160 Laptop Keyboard

 Even before the parliament was built some claim that the Jami Ul-Alfar Mosque was recognized as the landmark of Colombo bysailors approaching the port. The mosque is still one of the most visited tourist sites in Colombo. TOSHIBA Mini NB 505-SP0160 Laptop Keyboard

 Another landmark is St.Paul's Church Milagiriya, one of the oldest churches in Sri Lanka, first built by the Portuguese and re-built by the British in 1848.

The Fort district has the famous Cargills & Millers complex that is protected by a special government law from demolition. This is done mainly to preserve the historic beauty of the Fort area. TOSHIBA Satellite L750-ST4N02 Laptop Keyboard

The Galle Face Green is the city's largest and most elegant promenade. Lined with palm trees and adjacent to the coast, this mile-long stretch in the heart of the city is a constant beehive of activity. Compaq Presario CQ42-228LA Laptop Keyboard

The green is especially busy on Fridays and Saturdays. In the evenings it plays host to families and children playing sports and flying kites, lovers embracing under umbrellas and health enthusiasts taking their evening walks. There are numerous small food stalls and a small stretch of beach. SAMSUNG R522 Laptop Keyboard

The green was recently[when?]given a makeover and since then has been even more popular with the local community. The Green frequently hosts international and local concerts and performances, such as the recently concluded World Drum Festival. Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

Cannons that were once mounted on the rampart of the old fort of Colombo laid out for observance and prestige at the Green, giving a colonial touch to the city. SONY Vaio PCG-K35 Laptop Keyboard

The hotel has played host to distinguished guests including the British Royal Family and other royal guests and celebrities. After a stayed at the hotel, Princess Alexandra of Denmark commented that "the peacefulness and generosity encountered at the Galle Face Hotel cannot be matched."[51] TOSHIBA Satellite L750-ST4N02 Laptop Keyboard

Also facing Galle Face Green is the Ceylon Inter-Continental Hotel, Sri Lanka's firstfive-star hotel. Around the corner from Galle Face are prominent coffee bars, chic bars and boutiques. TOSHIBA Satellite L300 Laptop Keyboard


Education institutions in Colombo have a long history. Colombo has many of the prominent public schools in the country, some of them government-owned and others private. Most of the prominent schools in the city date back to the 1800s when they were established during the British colonial rule,[52] ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

such as the Royal College Colombo (1835). Certain urban schools of Sri Lanka have some religious alignment; this is partly due to the influence of British who established Christian missionary schools.[53][54] These include the Anglican, Bishop's College(1875); the Buddhist, Ananda College (1886); HP 599572-001 Laptop Keyboard

the Muslim, Zahira College (1892); the Catholic, St. Joseph's College (1896). The religious alignments do not affect the curriculum of the school except for the demographics of the student population.[53] ACER Aspire 5610Z Laptop Keyboard

Colombo has many prominent International Schools and the students studying in these schools sit for Edexcel and Cambridge examinations and thousands of students from International schools are studying in the USA, HP G42-364LA Laptop Keyboard

UK, Australia and Canada. Top International schools include: Colombo International school, Asian International School, Wycherley International School, Elizabeth Moir International School, Lyceum International School, Gateway College, Ilma International School and several other International schools. HP 636191-001 Laptop Keyboard

Higher education in the city has a long history, beginning with the establishment of the Colombo Medical College (1870), the Colombo Law College (1875), School of Agriculture (1884) and the Government Technical College (1893). SONY VGN-FE41M Laptop Keyboard

The first step in the creation of a University in Colombo was taken in 1913 with the establishment of the University College Colombo which prepared students for the external examinations of the University of London. This was followed by the establishment of the University of Ceylon in Colombo.[55] HP Envy 15 Laptop Keyboard

 Today the University of Colombo and the University of the Visual & Performing Arts are state universities in the city. The Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology has a metropolitan campus in the city centre. There are several private higher education institutions in the city. Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

Colombo has wildly varying architecture that span centuries and depict many styles. Colonial buildings influenced by the Portuguese,Dutch and British exist alongside structures built in Buddhist, Hindu, Islamic, Indian and Contemporary architectural styles. No other place is this more evident in the Fort area. Here one may find new towering skyscrapers as well as historic buildings dating far back as the 1700s.[56][57] Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

There are none of the buildings of the Portuguese era and only a few from the Dutch period. These include the oldest building in the fort area, the former Dutch Hospital, the Dutch House which is now the Colombo Dutch Museum and several churches.  Packard Bell PEW91 laptop keyboard

ThePresident's House (formerly the Queen's House)was originally the Dutch governor's house, and successive British governors made it their office and residence. However, it has undergone much change since the Dutch period. Adjoining the President's House are the Gordon Gardens, now off limits to the public.[56][57][58] Packard Bell Easynote TM81 laptop keyboard

The Portuguese were the first colonists to settle in Colombo; establishing a small trading post, they had laid the foundations for a small fort which in time became the largest colonial fort in the island. The Dutch expanded the fort thus creating a well old fortified harbour. SONY VAIO PCG-FRV25 Laptop Keyboard

This came into the possession of the British in the late 1700s and by the late 19th century the seeing no threat to theColombo Harbour, began demolishing the ramparts to make way for the development of the city. Although now there is nothing left of the fortifications, the area which was once the fort is still referred to as Fort. The area outside is Pettah or pita-koutuwa in Sinhalese which means outer fort.[56][57] HP Pavilion dv6-3192sf Laptop Keyboard

Much of the old buildings of the fort area and in other parts of the city date back to the British times, these include governmental, commercial buildings and private houses. Some of the notable government building of British colonial architecture includes; the old Parliament building which is now the Presidential Secretariat, the Republic Building which houses the Ministry of Foreign affairs, DELL Latitude D830 Laptop Keyboard

but once housed the Ceylon Legislative council, the General Treasury Building, the old General Post Office an Edwardian style building opposite the President's House, the Prime Minister's Office, the Central Telegraph Office, the Mathematics department of the University of Colombo (formally the Royal College, Colombo).[59] Notable commercial buildings of the British era include the Galle Face Hotel, Cargills & Millers' complex, and Grand Oriental Hotel.[56][57] DELL Precision M4500 Laptop Keyboard

Colombo's most beautiful festival is the celebration of Buddha's birth, enlightenment and death all falling on the same day.[60] In Sinhala this is known as Vesak.[60] During this festival, much of the city is decorated with lanterns, lights and special displays of light (known as thoran). The festival falls in mid May and lasts a week. Many Sri Lankans visit the city to see the lantern competitions and decorations. HP 636376-001 Laptop Keyboard

During this week people distribute, rice, drinks and other food items for free in dunsal which means charity place. These dunsal are popular amongst visitors from the suburbs. SONY VGN-FE41M Laptop Keyboard

Since there is a large number of Muslims in Colombo. Eid Ul Fitr and Eid Ul Adha are two Islamic festivals that are celebrated in Colombo. Many businesses flourish during the eventual countdown for Eid Ul Fitr which is a major Islamic festival celebrated by Muslims after a month long fasting. Colombo is generally very busy during the eve of the festivals as people do their last minute shopping.  IBM Thinkpad Z61m laptop keyboard

Christmas is another major festival. Although Sri Lanka's Christians make up only just over 7% of the population, Christmas is one of the island's biggest festivals. Most streets and commercial buildings light up from the beginning of December and festive sales begin at all shopping centres and department stores. Caroling and nativity plays are frequent sights during the season. Packard Bell Easynote LM85 laptop keyboard

The Sinhala and Hindu Aluth Awurudda' is a cultural event that takes place on 13 and 14 April. This is the celebration of the Sinhala and Hindu new year. The festivities include many events and traditions that display a great deal of Sri Lankan culture. SONY VAIO VGN-NR32Z/T laptop keyboard

Several old clubs of the city gives a glimpse of the British equestrian life style, these include the Colombo Club, Orient Club, the 80 Club, the Colombo Cricket Club. Packard Bell Easynote TK85 laptop keyboard

Colombo has several performing arts centers which are popular for their musical and theatrical performances. The most famous performing arts centers are the Lionel Wendt Theatre, the Elphinstone, and Tower Hall, all of which have a very rich history and made for western style productions. The Navarangahala found in the city is the country's first national theatre designed and build for Asian and local style musical and theatrical productions. Lenovo 0A62075 laptop keyboard

The Nelum Pokuna Performing Arts Theatre is a world-class theatre that opened in December 2011.[61] Designed in the form of the Lotus Pond in Polonnaruwa, the theatre is a major theatre destination.[62][63] TOSHIBA Satellite L755D-S5162 laptop keyboard

The National Museum of Colombo, established on 1 January 1877 during the tenure of the British Colonial Governor Sir William Henry Gregory, is in the Cinnamon Gardens area.[64] The museum houses the crown jewels and throne of the last king of the kingdom of Kandy, Sri Vikrama Rajasinha.[64] Lenovo 45N2240 laptop keyboard

There is also the Colombo Dutch Museum detailing the Dutch colonial history of the country. Colombo does not boast a very big art gallery. There is a small collection of Sri Lankan SONY VGN-FE31Z laptop keyboard

Undoubtedly the most popular sport in Sri Lanka is cricket. The country emerged as champions of the 1996 Cricket World Cupand became runners up in 2007 and 2011. In the ICC World Twenty20 2009 they became runners up again. The sport is played in parks, playgrounds, HP Pavilion DV7-2177cl laptop keyboard

beaches and even in the streets. Colombo is the home for two of the country's most popular international cricket stadiums, Sinhalese Sports Club's cricket stadium and R. Premadasa Stadium (named after late president Premadasa). HP Pavilion DV6-1040ej laptop keyboard

Colombo has the distinction of being the only city in the world to have four cricket test venues in the past: Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu Stadium, Sinhalese Sports Club Ground, Colombo Cricket Club Ground and Ranasinghe Premadasa Stadium. TheSugathadasa Stadium is an international standard stadium for athletics, SONY VAIO VGN-AR820E laptop keyboard

 swimming and football, also held the South Asian Games in 1991 and 2006. Situated in Colombo the Royal Colombo Golf Club is one of the oldest in Asia. Other sporting clubs in Colombo include Colombo Swimming Club, Colombo Rowing Club and the Yachting Association of Sri Lanka. SONY VAIO VGN-AR820E laptop keyboard

Rugby is also a popular sport at the club and school level. Colombo has its own local football team Colombo FC and the sport is being developed as a part of the FIFA Goal program. SONY 148084122 Laptop Keyboard

The Colombo Port City is to include a new Formula One track, constructed in the vicinity of the Colombo Harbour. According to Dr. Priyath Wickrama, the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority, says an eight lane F1 track will “definitely” be a part of the New Port City.This would host The Sri Lankan Grand Prix. IBM Lenovo Thinkpad X201 Laptop Keyboard

Almost all major media businesses in Sri Lanka operate from Colombo. The state media has its offices in Bullers Road and carry out regional transmission from there: this includes the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC), Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

formerly known as Radio Ceylon and the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation. The SLBC is the oldest radio station in South Asia and the second oldest in the world. Many of the private broadcasting companies have their offices and transmission stations in or around Colombo. HP 519265-001 Laptop Keyboard

trade route is a logistical network identified as a series of pathways and stoppages used for the commercial transport of cargo. Allowing goods to reach distant markets, a single trade route contains long distance arteries, which may further be connected to smaller networks of commercial and noncommercial transportation routes. Among notable trade routes was the Amber Road, SAMSUNG X20 Laptop Keyboard

which served as a dependable network for long-distance trade.[1] Maritime trade along the Spice Route became prominent during the Middle Ages, when nations resorted to military means for control of this influential route.[2] During the Middle Ages, organizations such as the Hanseatic League, aimed at protecting interests of the merchants, and trade became increasingly prominent.[3] Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

In modern times, commercial activity shifted from the major trade routes of the Old World to newer routes between modern nation-states. This activity was sometimes carried out without traditional protection of trade and under international free-tradeagreements, which allowed commercial goods to cross borders with relaxed restrictions.[4] HP G62-470CA Laptop Keyboard

 Innovative transportation of modern times includes pipeline transport and the relatively well-known trade involving rail routes, automobiles, and cargo airlines. TOSHIBA Satellite L655-S5160 Laptop Keyboard

Maritime trade began with safer coastal trade and evolved with the manipulation of the monsoon winds, soon resulting in trade crossing boundaries such as the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal.[11] Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

South Asia had multiple maritime trade routes which connected it to Southeast Asia, thereby making the control of one route resulting in maritime monopoly difficult.[11] Indian connections to various Southeast Asian states buffered it from blockages on other routes.[11] COMPAQ Presario CQ41-204TX Laptop Keyboard

By making use of the maritime trade routes, bulk commodity trade became possible for the Romans in the 2nd century BCE.[13]A Roman trading vessel could span the Mediterranean in a month at one-sixtieth the cost of over-land routes.[14] Lenovo 3000 Y500 Laptop Keyboard

The peninsula of Anatolia lay on the commercial land routes to Europe from Asia as well as the sea route from the Mediterranean to the Black Sea.[15] Records from the 19th century BCE attest to the existence of an Assyrianmerchant colony at Kanesh in Cappadocia (now in modern Turkey).[15] DELL NSK-D8001 Laptop Keyboard

Trading networks of the Old World included theGrand Trunk Road of India and the Incense Road of Arabia.[5] A transportation network consisting of hard-surfaced highways, HP G62-225DX Laptop Keyboard

using concrete made from volcanic ash and lime, was built by the Romans as early as 312 BCE, during the times of the Censor Appius Claudius Caecus.[16] Parts of the Mediterranean world, Roman Britain, Tigris-Euphratesriver system and North Africa fell under the reach of this network at some point of their history.[16] Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

According to Robert Allen Denemark (2000):[17]

"The spread of urban trading networks, and their extension along the Persian Gulf and eastern Mediterranean, created a complex molecular structure of regional foci so that as well as the zonation of core and periphery (originally created around Mesopotamia) there was a series of interacting civilizations: Mesopotamia, HP Probook 4510S Laptop Keyboard

Egypt, the Indus Valley; then also Syria, central Anatolia (Hittites) and the Aegean (Minoans and Mycenaeans). Beyond this was a margin which included not only temperate areas such as Europe, HP Pavilion dv3-2108tu Laptop Keyboard

but the dry steppe corridor of central Asia. This was truly a world system, even though it occupied only a restricted portion of the western Old World. Whilst each civilization emphasized its ideological autonomy, all were identifiably part of a common world of interacting components." TOSHIBA Satellite L300 Laptop Keyboard

These routes - spreading religion, trade and technology - have historically been vital to the growth of urban civilization.[18] The extent of development of cities, and the level of their integration into a larger world system, has often been attributed to their position in various active transport networks.[19] TOSHIBA Satellite L300 Laptop Keyboard

The Incense Route served as a channel for trading of Indian, Arabian and East Asian goods.[20] The incense trade flourished from South Arabia to the Mediterranean between roughly the 3rd century BCE to the 2nd century CE.[21] This trade was crucial to the economy of Yemen and the frankincense and myrrh trees were seen as a source of wealth by the its rulers.[22] SONY VAIO VGN-CS31Z/Q laptop keyboard

Ptolemy II Philadelphus, emperor of Ptolemaic Egypt, may have forged an alliance with the Lihyanites in order to secure the incense route at Dedan, thereby rerouting the incense trade from Dedan to the coast along the Red Sea to Egypt.[23]IPackard Bell PEW91 laptop keyboard

. E. S. Edwards connects the Syro-Ephraimite War to the desire of the Israelites and the Aramaeans to control the northern end of the Incense route, which ran up from Southern Arabia and could be tapped by commanding Transjordan.[24] TOSHIBA V000120280 laptop keyboard

Gerrha - inhabited by Chaldean exiles from Babylon - controlled the Incense trade routes across Arabia to the Mediterranean and exercised control over the trading of aromatics to Babylon in the 1st century BC.[25] The Nabateansexercised control over the routes along the Incense Route, and their hold was challenged - without success - byAntigonus Cyclops, emperor of Syria.[26] The Nabatean control over trade further increased and spread in many directions.[26] Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 laptop keyboard

The replacement of Greece by the Roman empire as the administrator of the Mediterranean basin led to the resumption of direct trade with the East and the elimination of the taxes extracted previously by the middlemen of the south.[27]According to Milo Kearney (2003) " HP Pavilion dv6171CL laptop keyboard

The South Arabs in protest took to pirate attacks over the Roman ships in the Gulf of Aden. In response, the Romans destroyed Aden and favored the Western Abyssinian coast of the Red Sea."[28] Indian ships sailed to Egypt as the maritime routes of Southern Asia were not under the control of a single power.[27] SONY VAIO VPCF121GX laptop keyboard

Some similarities between the Mesoamerican and the Andean cultures suggest that the two regions became a part of a wider world system, as a result of trade, by the 1st millennium BCE.[29] The current academic view is that the flow of goods across the Andean slopes was controlled by institutions distributing locations to local groups, who were then free to access them for trading.[30] HP Pavilion DV7-3085dx laptop keyboard

HP Pavilion DV7-3186cl laptop keyboard

This trade across the Andean slopes - described sometimes as "vertical trade" - may have overshadowed the long distance trade between the people of the Andes and the neighboring forests.[30] The Callawaya herbalists traded in tropical plants between 6th and the 10th centuries, while copper was dealt by specialized merchants in the Peruvian valley of Chincha.[30] Long distance trade may have seen local elites resorting to struggle in order for manipulation and control.[30] SONY VAIO VGN-NW70JB laptop keyboard

Prior to the Inca dominance, specialized long distance merchants provided the highlanders with goods such as gold nuggets, copper hatches, cocoa, salt etc. for redistribution among the locals, and were key players in the politics of the region.[31] Hatchet shaped copper currency was produced by the Peruvian people, in order to obtain valuables from pre Columbian Ecuador.[31] SONY VAIO PCG-FX90G/K laptop keyboard

A maritime exchange system stretched from the west coast of Mexico to southernmost Peru, trading mostly in Spondylus, which represented rain and fertility and was considered the principal food of the gods by the people of the Inca empire.[31] Spondylus was used in elite rituals, and the effective redistribution of it had political effect in the Andes during the pre-Hispanic times.[31] Compaq Presario CQ56-110US laptop keyboard

Cultural interactions patronized often by powerful emperors, such as Kanishka, led to development of art due to introduction of a rich variety of influences.[32] Buddhist missions thrived along the Silk Roads, partly due to the conducive intermixing of trade and cultural values, Lenovo 39T7385 laptop keyboard

which created a series of safe stoppages for both the pilgrims and the traders.[33] Among the frequented routes of the Silk Route was the Burmese route extending from Bhamo, which served as a path for Marco Polo's visit to Yunnan and Indian Buddhist missions to Canton in order to establish Buddhist monasteries.[34] This route - often under the presence of hostile tribes - also finds mention in the works of Rashid-al-Din Hamadani.[34] TOSHIBA Satellite M645-SP6001L laptop keyboard

The Grand Trunk Road - connecting Calcutta in India to Peshawar in Pakistan - has existed for over two and a halfmillennia.[35] One of the important trade routes of the world, this road has been a strategic artery with fortresses, halting posts, wells, post offices, milestones and other facilities.[35] Part of this road through Pakistan also coincided with the Silk Road.[35] SONY VAIO VGN-FS415E laptop keyboard

This highway has been associated with emperors Chandragupta Maurya and Sher Shah Suri, the latter became synonymous with this route due to his role in ensuring the safety of the travelers and the upkeep of the road.[36] Emperor Sher Shah widened and realigned the road to other routes, and provided approximately 1700 roadside inns through his empire.[36]These inns provided free food and lodgings to the travelers regardless of their status.[36] DELL Precision M4500 Laptop Keyboard

The British occupation of this road was of special significance for the British Raj in India.[37] Bridges, pathways and newer inns were constructed by the British for the first thirty-seven years of their reign since the occupation ofPunjab in 1849.[37] The British followed roughly the same alignment as the old routes, and at some places the newer routes ran parallel to the older routes.[37] HP G72-a10SV Laptop Keyboard

The Amber Road was a European trade route associated with the trade and transport of amber.[1] Amber satisfied the criteria for long distance trade as it was light in weight and was in high demand for ornamental purposes around the Mediterranean.[1] Before the establishment of Roman control over areas such asPannonia, the Amber Road was virtually the only route available for long distance trade.[1] ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

Towns along the Amber Road began to rise steadily during the 1st century AD, despite the troop movements under Titus Flavius Vespasianus and his son Titus Flavius Domitianus.[39] Under the reign of Tiberius Caesar Augustus, the Amber Road was straightened and paved according to the prevailing urban standards.[40]Roman towns began to appear along the road, initially founded near the site of Celtic oppida.[40] ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

The 3rd century saw the Danube river become the principal artery of trade, eclipsing the Amber Road and other commercial routes.[1] The redirection of investment to the Danubian forts saw the towns along the Amber Road growing slowly, though yet retaining their prosperity.[41] The prolonged struggle between the Romans and the barbarians further left its mark on the towns along the Amber Road.[42] SONY KFRMBA151B Laptop Keyboard

Via Maris, literally Latin for "the way of the sea,"[43] was an ancient highway used by the Romans and the Crusaders.[44]The states controlling the Via Maris were in a position to grant access for trade to their own citizens and collect tolls from the outsiders to maintain the trade route.[45] SONY VAIO VGN-C2S Series Laptop Keyboard

The name Via Maris is a Latin translation of a Hebrew phrase related to Isaiah.[44] Due to the biblical significance of this ancient route, many attempts to find its present-day location have been made by Christian pilgrims.[44] 13th century traveler and pilgrim Burchard of Mount Zion refers to the Via Maris route as a way leading along the shore of the Sea of Galilee.[44] HP Pavilion G6-1223TX Laptop Keyboard

Early Muslim writings confirm that the people of West Africa operated a sophisticated network of trade, usually under the authority of a monarch who levied taxes and provided bureaucratic and military support to his kingdom.[47]Sophisticated mechanisms for the economic and political development of the involved African areas were in place beforeIslam further strengthened trade, towns and government in western Africa.[47] HP Compaq NC8430 Laptop Keyboard

The capital, court and trade of the region find mention in the works of scholar Abū 'Ubayd 'Abd Allāh al-Bakrī; the mainstay of the trans Saharan trade was gold and salt.[47] HP 636376-001 Laptop Keyboard

The powerful Saharan tribes, Berber in origin and later adapting to Muslim and Arab cultures, controlled the channels to western Africa by making efficient use of horse-drawn vehicles and pack animals.[47] The Songhai engaged in a struggle against the Sa'di dynasty of Morocco over the control of the trans Saharan trade, resulting in damage on both sides and a weak Moroccan victory, further strengthening the uninvolved Saharan tribes.[47] TOSHIBA Satellite L755-SP5102CL Laptop Keyboard

Struggles and disturbances continued till the 14th century, by which the Mandé merchants were trading with the Hausa, between Lake Chad and the Niger.[47]Newer trade routes developed following extension of trade.[47] DELL Latitude D620 Laptop Keyboard

The Ptolemaic dynasty had initiated Greco-Roman maritime trade contact with India using the Red Sea ports.[48] The Roman historian Strabo mentions a vast increase in trade following the Roman annexation of Egypt, indicating that monsoon was known and manipulated for trade in his time.[49] By the time of Augustus up to 120 ships were setting sail every year from Myos Hormos to India,[50] ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

 trading in a diverse variety of goods.[51] Arsinoe,[52] Berenice Troglodytica and Myos Hormos were the principal Roman ports involved in this maritime trading network,[53] while the Indian ports includedBarbaricum, Barygaza, Muziris and Arikamedu.[51] ACER Aspire 5810T-8929 Laptop Keyboard

The Indians were present in Alexandria[54] and the Christian and Jewish settlers from Rome continued to live in India long after the fall of the Roman empire,[55] which resulted in Rome's loss of the Red Sea ports,[56] previously used to secure trade with India by the Greco-Roman world since the time of the Ptolemaic dynasty.[52] ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

Shortly before the 12th century the Germans played a relatively modest role in the north European trade.[57] However, this was to change with the development of Hanseatic trade, as a result of which German traders became prominent in theBaltic and the North Sea regions.[58] Following the death of Eric VI of Denmark, ACER Aspire 5740 Laptop Keyboard

German forces attacked and sacked Denmark, bringing with them artisans and merchants under the new administration which controlled the Hansa regions.[59]During the third quarter of the 14th century the Hanseatic trade faced two major difficulties: economic conflict with the Flanders and hostilities with Denmark.[3] Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

These events led to the formation of an organized association of Hanseatic towns, which replaced the earlier union of German merchants.[3] This new Hansa of the towns, aimed at protecting interests of the merchants and trade, was prominent for the next hundred and fifty years.[3] FUJITSU Lifebook E8110 Laptop Keyboard

Philippe Dollinger associates the downfall of the Hansa to a new alliance between Lübeck, Hamburg and Bremen, which outshadowed the older institution.[60] He further sets the date of dissolution of the Hansa at 1630[60] and concludes that the Hansa was almost entirely forgotten by the end of the 18th century.[61] Scholar Georg Friedrich Sartorius published the first monograph regarding the community in the early years of the 19th century.[61] Packard Bell Easynote TK85 laptop keyboard

The trade route from the Varangians to the Greeks (Russian: Путь «из варяг в греки», Put iz varyag v greki, Swedish: Vägen från varjagerna till grekerna, Greek: Εμπορική Οδός Βαράγγων - Ελλήνων) was a trade route that connected Scandinavia, Kievan Rus' and the Byzantine Empire. The route allowed traders along the route to establish a direct prosperous trade with Byzantium, and prompted some of them to settle in the territories of present-day Belarus, Russia and Ukraine. HP Mini 210-2006sa laptop keyboard

The route began in Scandinavian trading centres such as Birka, Hedeby, and Gotland, crossed the Baltic Sea entered the Gulf of Finland, followed the Neva River into the Lake Ladoga. Then it followed the Volkhov River, upstream past the towns of Staraya Ladoga and Velikiy Novgorod, crossed Lake Ilmen, HP Pavilion dv6-2147el laptop keyboard

and up the Lovat River. From there, ships had to be portaged to the Dnieper River near Gnezdovo. A second route from the Baltic to the Dnieper was along the Western Dvina (Daugava) between the Lovat and the Dnieper in the Smolensk region, and along the Kasplya River to Gnezdovo. Along the Dnieper, the route crossed several major rapids and passed through Kiev, and after entering the Black Sea followed its west coast to Constantinople. Compaq Presario CQ71-410ED laptop keyboard

The economic growth of Europe around the year 1000, together with the lack of safety on the mainland trading routes, eased the development of major commercial routes along the coast of the Mediterranean. The growing independence of some coastal cities gave them a leading role in this commerce: Compaq Presario CQ71-410ED laptop keyboard

 Maritime Republics (Italian "Repubbliche Marinare") of Venice,Genoa, Amalfi, Pisa and Republic of Ragusa developed their own "empires" in the Mediterranean shores. From the 8th until the 15th century, they held the monopoly of European trade with the Middle East. The silk and spice trade, involvingspices, incense, herbs, ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

drugs and opium, made these Mediterranean city-states phenomenally rich. Spices were among the most expensive and demanded products of the Middle Ages. They were all imported from Asia and Africa. Muslim traders—mainly descendants of Arab sailors from Yemen and Oman—dominated maritime routes throughout the Indian Ocean, ACER NSK-H361D Laptop Keyboard

tapping source regions in the Far East and shipping for trading emporiums in India, westward to Ormus in Persian Gulf and Jeddahin the Red Sea. From there, overland routes led to the Mediterranean coasts. Venetian merchants distributed then the goods through Europe until the rise of the Ottoman Empire, that eventually led to the fall of Constantinople in 1453, barring Europeans from important combined-land-sea routes. DELL PVDG3 Laptop Keyboard

As trade between India and the Greco-Roman world increased[62] spices became the main import from India to the Western world,[63] bypassing silk and other commodities.[64] The Indian commercial connection with South East Asia proved vital to the merchants of Arabia and Persia during the 7th century and the 8th century.[65] DELL Inspiron 6400 Laptop Keyboard

The Abbasids used Alexandria, Damietta, Aden and Siraf as entry ports to India and China.[66] Merchants arriving from India in the port city of Aden paid tribute in form of musk, camphor, ambergris and sandalwood to Ibn Ziyad, the sultanof Yemen.[66] Moluccan products shipped across the ports of Arabia to the Near East passed through the ports of India andSri Lanka.[67] SONY VAIO VGN-N38Z/W laptop keyboard

Indian exports of spices find mention in the works of Ibn Khurdadhbeh (850), al-Ghafiqi (1150 AD), Ishak bin Imaran (907) and Al Kalkashandi (14th century).[67] After reaching either the Indian or the Sri Lankan ports, spices were sometimes shipped to East Africa, where they were used for many purposes, including burial rites.[67] GATEWAY M-6846 laptop keyboard

On the orders of Manuel I of Portugal, four vessels under the command of navigator Vasco da Gama rounded the Cape of Good Hope, continuing to the eastern coast of Africa to Malindi to sail across the Indian Ocean to Calicut.[68] The wealth of the Indies was now open for the Europeans to explore; the Portuguese Empire was one of the early European empires to grow from spice trade.[68] TOSHIBA 9J.N5682.701 laptop keyboard

The modern times saw development of newer means of transport and often controversial free trade agreements, which altered the political and logistical approach prevalent during the Middle Ages. Newer means of transport led to the establishment of new routes, and countries opened up borders to allow trade in mutually agreed goods as per the prevailing free trade agreement. Some old trading route were reopened during the modern times, although in different political and logistical scenarios.[69] TOSHIBA Satellite l25-s119 laptop keyboard

The entry of harmful foreign pollutants by the way of trade routes has been a cause of alarm during the modern times.[70] A conservative estimate stresses that future damages from harmful animal and plant diseases may be as high as 134 billion US dollars in the absence of effective measures to prevent the introduction of unwanted pests through various trade routes.[70] ACER NSK-H361D laptop keyboard

The 1844 Railway act of England compelled at least one train to a station every day with the third class fares priced at a penny a mile.[72] Trade benefited as the workers and the lower classes had the ability to travel to other towns frequently.[73] Suburban communities began to develop and towns began to spread outwards.[73] HP Pavilion dv6-2141ee laptop keyboard

The British constructed a vast railway network in India, but it was considered to serve a strategic purpose in addition to the commercial purpose.[74] The efficient use of rail routes helped in the unification of the United States of America.[75] SONY Vaio PCG-K45 laptop keyboard

The modern times saw nations struggle for the control of rail routes: The Trans-Siberian Railway was intended to be used by the Russian government for control of Manchuria and later China; the German forces wanted to establish Berlin-Baghdad Railway in order to influence the Near East; and the Austrian government planned a route from Vienna to Salonika for control of the Balkans.[75] According to the Encyclopædia Britannica (2002): SONY KFRMBA151B laptop keyboard

Railroads reached their maturity in the early 20th century, as trains carried the bulk of land freight and passenger traffic in the industrialized countries of the world. By the mid-20th century, however, they had lost their preeminent position. The private automobile had replaced the railroad for short passenger trips, SONY VAIO VGN-FS115Z laptop keyboard

while the airplane had usurped it for long-distance travel, especially in the United States. Railroads remained effective, however, for transporting people in high-volume situations, such as commuting between the centres of large cities and their suburbs, and medium-distance travel of less than about 300 miles between urban centres. COMPAQ Presario C700 Laptop Keyboard

Although railroads have lost much of the general-freight-carrying business to semi-trailer trucks, they remain the best means of transporting large volumes of such bulk commodities as coal, grain, chemicals, and ore over long distances. The development of containerization has made the railroads more effective in handling finished merchandise at relatively high speeds. Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

In addition, the introduction of piggyback flatcars, in which truck trailers are transported long distances on specially-designed cars, has allowed railroads to regain some of the business lost to trucking. GATEWAY NV-54 Laptop Keyboard

Networks, like the Santa Fe Trail and the Oregon Trail, became prominent in the United States with wagon trains gaining popularity as a mode of long distance overland transportation for both people and goods.[71] The Oregon-California routes were highly organized with planned rendezvous locations and essential supplies.[71] The settlers in the United States used these wagon trains - sometimes made up of 100 of more Conestoga wagons - for westward emigration during the 18th and the 19th centuries.[71] SONY VAIO VGN-FS742/W Laptop Keyboard

Among the challenges faced by the wagon route operators were crossing rivers, mountains and hostile Native Americans.[71]Preparations were also made according to the weather and protection of trade and travelers was ensured by a few guards on horseback.[71] Wagon freighting was also essential to American growth until it was replaced by the railroad and the truck.[71] HP 636376-001 Laptop Keyboard

A consistent shift from land based trade to sea based trade has been recorded since the last three millennia.[80] The strategic advantages of port cities as trading centers are many: they are both less dependent on vital connections and less vulnerable to blockages.[81] Oceanic ports can help forge trading relationships with other parts of the world easily.[81] TOSHIBA Satellite A205-S5823 Laptop Keyboard

Modern maritime trade routes - sometimes in the form of artificial canals like the Suez Canal - had visible impact on the economic and political standing of nations.[82] The opening of the Suez Canal altered British interactions with the colonies of the British Empire as the dynamics of transportation, trade and communication had now changed drastically.[82] TOSHIBA NSK-TAJ01 Laptop Keyboard

Other waterways, like the Panama Canal played an important role in the histories of many nations.[83]Inland water transportation remained significantly important even as the advent of railroads and automobiles resulted in a steady decline of canals.[84] Inland water transport is still used for the transportation of bulk commodities e.g. grains, coal, and ore.[85]  DELL NSK-DJD01 Laptop Keyboard

Waterway commerce was historically important to Europe, particularly to Russia.[84] According to the Encyclopædia Britannica (2002): "Russia has been a significant beneficiary. Not only have inland waterways opened vast areas of its interior to development, but Moscow-linked to the White, Baltic, Black, Caspian, and Azov seas by canals and rivers-has become a major inland port."[84] DELL Vostro 3450 Laptop Keyboard

Oil spills are recorded both in case of maritime routes and pipeline routes to the main refineries.[86] Oil spills, amounting to as much as 7.56 billion liters of oil entering the oceans every year, occur due to damaged equipment or human error.[86] ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

Air transport has become an indispensable part of modern society.[87] People have come to use air transport both for long and middle distances, with the average route length of long distances being 720 kilometers in Europe and 1220 kilometers in the US.[88] This industry annually carries 1600 million passengers worldwide, covers a 15 million kilometer network, and has an annual turnover of 260 billion dollars.[88] COMPAQ Presario C700 Laptop Keyboard

This mode of transportation links national, international and global economies, making it vital to many other industries.[88] Newer trends of liberalization of trade have fostered routes among nations bound by agreements.[88] One such example, the American Open Skies policy, led to greater openness in many international markets, but some international restrictions have survived even during the present times.[88] DELL Inspiron 8500 Laptop Keyboard

Express delivery through international cargo airlines touched US $20 billion in 1998 and, according to the World Trade Organization, is expected to triple in 2015.[89] In 1998, 50 pure cargo-service companies operated internationally.[89] HP 640436-001 Laptop Keyboard

Air transport partucularly favors light, expensive and small products: electronic media rather than books, for example, and refined drugs rather than bulk food. SAMSUNG N140 Laptop Keyboard

The economic importance of pipeline transport - responsible for a high percentage of oil and natural gas transportation - is often undermined by the general public due to the lack of visibility of this mode.[90] Generally held to be safer and more economical and reliable than the other modes of transport, this mode has many advantages over rival modes, such as trucks and railways.[90] Toshiba Satellite A200-1E1 Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

Examples of modern pipeline transport include Alashankou-Dushanzi Crude Oil Pipeline andIran-Armenia Natural Gas Pipeline. International pipeline transport projects, like the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, presently connect modern nation states—in this case, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey—through pipeline networks.[91] Toshiba Satellite A105-S271 Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

In some select cases, pipelines can even transport solids, such as coal and other minerals, over long distances; short distance transportation of goods such as grain, cement, concrete, solid wastes, pulp etc. is also feasible.[90] TOSHIBA Satellite M645-S4070 Laptop Keyboard


Dhaka (Bengali: ঢাকা pronounced: [ˈɖʱaka]; formerly spelled Dacca,[5] named Jahangirnagar[6] during the Mughal era) is the capital of Bangladesh and the principal city of Dhaka Division. Dhaka is a megacity and one of the major cities of South Asia. It is located on the banks of the Buriganga River. Dhaka, along with its metropolitan area, SONY VGN-FE31Z laptop keyboard

has an estimated population of over 12 million in 2008, making it the largest city in Bangladesh.[2] It is the 9th largest city in the world[7] and also 28th among the most densely populated cities in the world. Dhaka is known as the City of Mosques[8] and with 400,000 cycle rickshaws running on its streets every day, the city is also described as the Rickshaw Capital of the World.[9] HP Pavilion DV7-2177cl laptop keyboard

Under Mughal rule, the city was known as Jahangir Nagar (after Emperor Jahangir).[6] It was the capital of Bengaland the center of the worldwide muslin trade. The modern city, however, was developed chiefly under British rule in the 19th century, and became the second-largest city in Bengal, after Calcutta (presently Kolkata). HP Pavilion DV6-1040ej laptop keyboard

After the firstpartition of Bengal in 1905, Dhaka became the capital of the new province of Eastern Bengal and Assam, but lost its status as the regional capital after the partition was annulled in 1911. SONY VAIO VGN-AR820E laptop keyboard

After the partition of British India in 1947, Dhaka became the administrative capital of East Pakistan, and later, in 1971, the capital of an independent Bangladesh. During the intervening period, the city witnessed widespread turmoil; this included many impositions ofmartial law, the declaration of Bangladesh's independence, military suppression, devastation during war, and natural calamities. TOSHIBA Satellite L750-ST4N02 Laptop Keyboard

Dhaka is the seat of government, parliament and judiciary in Bangladesh; as well as numerous public and private-sector corporations, banks and financial institutions, the international development organization BRAC, Compaq Presario CQ42-228LA Laptop Keyboard

the Nobel-prize winning development organization Grameen Bank and Bangladeshi civil society organizations. Dhaka is also a cultural hub and the home of various cultural academies and art institutions. It hosts several cultural festivals, including the Bengal-ITC SRA Classical Music Festival, the Dhaka Art Summit, the Dhaka Hay Literature Festival, theChobi Mela and the Dhaka World Music Festival. SAMSUNG R522 Laptop Keyboard

However, Dhaka suffers from chronic urban problems such as pollution and overpopulation due to the increasing rural-to-urban migration in Bangladesh. In recent decades, the city has seen modernisation of transport, communications and public works. The city is attracting large foreign investments and greater volumes of commerce and trade. It is also experiencing an increasing influx of people from across the nation, which has reportedly made Dhaka the fastest growing city in the world.[10] Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

The word Dhaka is said to refer to the Dhak tree (Butea frondosa), once common in the area; or to Dhak (Bengali:ঢাক)-a huge membranophone instrument from South Asia which was beaten by order of Mughal Subahdar Islam Khan Iwhile inaugurating the capital in 1610;[11] or to Dhakeshwari ("The Hidden Goddess"),SONY Vaio PCG-K35 Laptop Keyboard

whose shrine is located in the south-western part of the city.[12] Some references also say that it was derived from a Prakrit dialect called Dhaka Bhasa; Dhakka used in the Rajtarangini for a watch-station; or it is the same as Davaka, mentioned in the Allahabadpillar inscription of Samudragupta as an eastern frontier kingdom.[13] TOSHIBA Satellite L750-ST4N02 Laptop Keyboard

The existence of a settlement in the area that is now Dhaka dates from the 7th century. The small area was ruled by theBuddhist kingdom of Kamarupa and the Pala Empire before passing to the control of the Hindu Sena dynasty in the 9th century.[14] The name of the city may have derived after the establishment of the Goddess Dhakeshwari's temple byBallal Sena in the 12th century.[15] TOSHIBA Satellite L300 Laptop Keyboard

 The town itself consisted of a few market centres like Lakshmi Bazar, Shankhari Bazar, Tanti Bazar, Patuatuli, Kumartuli, Bania Nagar and Goal Nagar. After the fall of the Sena Empire, Dhaka was successively ruled by the Sultanate of Bengalas well as interruption of governors from the Delhi Sultanate. ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

In 1576, much of Bengal came under the control of the Mughal Empire. At the time, Dhaka emerged as Mughal military base, prior to this, Chittagong was the leading city of Bengal.[16] The development of townships and housing had resulted into a significant growth in population, HP 599572-001 Laptop Keyboard

as the town was proclaimed the capital (Rajmahal) of Bengal under Mughal rule in 1608, during this time many mosques, forts and universites had been built and Muslims were excused from paying taxes, this allowed many Muslims from surrounding areas to swell up the town transforming it into a city, ACER Aspire 5610Z Laptop Keyboard

it was at this time Dhaka was known as a city rather than a town or Fort.[17][18][19] Mughal documents record subahdar Islam Khan as the first administrator of the city.[20] Islam Khan named the city "Jahangir Nagar" (شهر از جهانگیر; City of Jahangir) in honour of Emperor Jahangir, although this name was dropped soon after Jahangir's death. A major expansion of the city took place under the direction of a general Shaista Khan on orders from the Emperor Aurangzeb in the 17th century.[18][19] HP G42-364LA Laptop Keyboard

The city then measured 19 by 13 kilometres (12 by 8 mi), with a population of nearly one million people and over a 100 universities and hundreds of mosques.[21] Mughal rule was severely weakend after the death of Aurangzeb and control of the Bengal switched hands once more, however it is noted that Mughal expansion and influences can still be seen in the region, as it was under Mughal rule that Islam came to be dominant. HP 636191-001 Laptop Keyboard

The British East India Company in 1765 gained the right to collect revenue (Diwani right) and later took over governing in 1793 when the Nawabs of Bengal were forced to abdicate all their authority over Bengal, Bihar and Odisha, and the city passed on to total British control. The city's population shrank dramatically during this period as the prominence of Calcuttarose,[22] SONY VGN-FE41M Laptop Keyboard

but substantive development and modernisation eventually followed. A modern civic water supply system was introduced in 1874 and electricity supply launched in 1878.[23][24] The Dhaka Cantonment was established near the city, serving as a base for British and Bengali soldiers.[19] HP Envy 15 Laptop Keyboard

During the abortive Partition of Bengal in 1905, Dhaka was declared to be the capital of the newly established state of East Bengal and Assam, but Bengal was reunited in 1911.[17][18][19] Following the Partition of India in 1947, Dhaka became the capital of East Pakistan. Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

The city witnessed major communal violence following the partition of India.[19] A large proportion of the city's Hindupopulation departed for India, while the city received a large influx of Muslims. As the centre of regional politics, however, Dhaka saw an increasing number of political strikes and incidents of violence.[19] Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

The adoption of Urdu as the sole official language of Pakistan led to protest marches involving large crowds. Known as the Bengali Language Movement, the protests resulted in Pakistani police firing which killed a number of peaceful student demonstrators.[25] Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Dhaka remained a hotbed of political activity, and the demands for autonomy for the Bengali population. And this population gradually gained momentum.[26] Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

The 1970 Bhola cyclone devastated much of the region, killed an estimated 500,000 people.[27] More than half the city was flooded and millions of people were marooned.[28]With public anger growing against ethnic discrimination and poor cyclone relief efforts from the central government, HP Probook 4510S Laptop Keyboard

Bengali politician Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman held a nationalist gathering on 7 March 1971 at Ramna Racecourse.[19][25] An estimated one million people attended the gathering, leading to the 26 March declaration of Bangladesh's independence.[25] In response, the Pakistan Army launched Operation Searchlight, which led to the arrests, torture and killing of thousands of people.[29] HP Pavilion dv3-2108tu Laptop Keyboard

After nine months of bloody battle with Indian Army and Mitra Bahini, the Pakistani Army surrendered to the Joint Forces on 16 December marking the end of the independence war of Bangladesh.[30] As the nation's capital, Dhaka saw a rapid and huge growth of the city population in the post-independence period, as migrant workers from rural areas across Bangladesh moved to the city.[31] TOSHIBA Satellite L300 Laptop Keyboard

The growth of commerce and industry along with the city's population has created further challenges to the services and infrastructure.[32] A real estate boom has followed the expansion of city limits and the development of new settlements such asUttara, Mohammadpur, Baridhara, Mirpur and Motijheel.[33] SONY VAIO PCG-FRV25 Laptop Keyboard

Dhaka is located in central Bangladesh at 23°42′0″N 90°22′30″E, on the eastern banks of the Buriganga River. The city lies on the lower reaches of the Ganges Delta and covers a total area of 360 square kilometres (140 sq mi).[34] It consists of 41 thanas – Lalbagh, Kotwali, Hazaribagh, Sutrapur, Ramna, Motijheel, Paltan, Dhanmondi, Mohammadpur, HP Pavilion dv6-3192sf Laptop Keyboard

Tejgaon, Gulshan,Mirpur, Pallabi, Shah Ali, Turaag, Sabujbagh, Dhaka Cantonment, Demra, Shyampur, Badda, Kafrul, Kamrangir char, Khilgaon,Uttara etc. In total the city has 130 wards and 725 mohallas.[35] Dhaka District has an area of 1,463.60 square kilometres (565 sq mi) with a population of 18,305,671 in 2012; and is bounded by the districts of Gazipur, Tangail, Munshiganj,Rajbari, Narayanganj, Manikganj.[35] DELL Latitude D830 Laptop Keyboard

Tropical vegetation and moist soils characterize the land, which is flat and close to sea level. This leaves Dhaka susceptible to flooding during the monsoon seasons owing to heavy rainfall and cyclones.[36] DELL Precision M4500 Laptop Keyboard

There are many parks within Dhaka city, including Ramna Park, Suhrawardy Udyan, Shishu Park, National Botanical Garden,Baldha Garden, Chandrima Uddan, Gulshan Park and Dhaka Zoo. There are lakes within city, such as Crescent lake, Dhanmondilake, Baridhara-Gulshan lake, Banani lake, Uttara lake and Hatirjheel-Begunbari lake. HP 636376-001 Laptop Keyboard

Hatirjheel-Begunbari is a new place of recreation for city dwellers. Hatirjheel covering 320 acres is transformed into a place of festivity at night but with serenity settling down. Colorful lights illuminating the wide expanse of concrete structures, lake and waterfronts would take anyone to a world of fantasy. SONY VGN-FE41M Laptop Keyboard

 No wonder that within a few days since its inauguration on January 2 it has become a popular spot for city dwellers, who search for peace and beauty in their never-ending struggle in the concrete jungle of Dhaka. Hatirjheel seems to be a picture of Dhaka we could dream of. It is indeed a small piece of the capital that stood aloof from the rest. IBM Thinkpad Z61m laptop keyboard

The sight of its jam-free express roads, uncluttered footpaths, modern bridges, walkways along a lake stretching as far as our eyes can see would compel us to forget the city we hear, see and experience every day. The construction of a theater, park, garden and some other beautification projects has not yet been finished. Once the project is fully functional, the facilities would include an information centre, Packard Bell Easynote LM85 laptop keyboard

celebration point, viewing decks, benches at different points, game equipment for children, water taxi terminals and footbridges. Consultants from Civil Engineering Department of BUET and engineers of SWO of Bangladesh Army, Roads and Highways Department, Local Government Engineering Department and Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha have worked hard to turn this project into reality. SONY VAIO VGN-NR32Z/T laptop keyboard

Dhaka experiences a hot, wet and humid tropical climate. Under the Köppen climate classification, Dhaka has a tropical savanna climate. The city has a distinctmonsoonal season, with an annual average temperature of 25 °C (71 °F) and monthly means varying between 18 °C (64.4 °F) in January and 32 °C (90 °F) in May.[37] Approximately 87% of the annual average rainfall of 2,123 millimeters (83.5 in) Packard Bell Easynote TK85 laptop keyboard

Lenovo 0A62075 laptop keyboard

occurs between May and October.[37] Increasing air and water pollution emanating from traffic congestion and industrial waste are serious problems affecting public health and the quality of life in the city.[38] TOSHIBA Satellite L755D-S5162 laptop keyboard

Water bodies andwetlands around Dhaka are facing destruction as these are being filled up to construct multi-storied buildings and other real estate developments. Coupled with pollution, such erosion of natural habitats threatens to destroy much of the regional biodiversity.[38] Lenovo 45N2240 laptop keyboard

The Dhaka municipality was founded on 1 August 1864, and upgraded to "corporation" status in 1978.[42] The Dhaka City Corporation is a self-governing corporation which runs the affairs of the city. Recently(i.e. 2011), Dhaka City Corporation has been divided into two administrative parts – these are (1) Dhaka City Corporation-North and (2) TOSHIBA Satellite M645-SP6001L laptop keyboard

Dhaka City Corporation-South – for ensuring better civic facilities. These two corporations are headed by two administrators. The incorporated area is divided into several wards, which have elected commissioners. The Dhaka Education Board is responsible for administering all public schools and most private schools with the exception of English-medium schools and madrassahs.[43][44] All madrassahs in Bangladesh are governed by a central board while English-medium schools are under separate educational and governance structures.[45] SONY VAIO VGN-FS415E laptop keyboard

The Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) was established in 1976 and has 6,000 personnel in 12 police stations.[46] With the rapid growth of the city, the force has been raised to 23,000 personnel and the establishment of 41 police stations has been completed and the creation of another 10 police stations is underway.[47] DELL Precision M4500 Laptop Keyboard

The city is divided into 25 (i.e. 2011) parliamentary constituencies. The two main political parties are the Awami League and theBangladesh Nationalist Party. Ramna contains the Secretariat, which houses most of the government ministries. The Supreme Court of Bangladesh and the Dhaka High Court are located in the city. The Bangabhaban palace has served as the official residence of theViceroy of India, HP G72-a10SV Laptop Keyboard

the governor of East Pakistan and presently the President of Bangladesh.[48] The Jatiyo Sangshad Bhaban, designed by renowned architect Louis Kahn,[25] houses the unicameral national parliament. SONY 148084122 Laptop Keyboard

The Baitul Mukarram, developed with a design resembling the Kaaba of Mecca, is the national mosque.[49] Other historical monuments in the city include the Bara Katrapalace, the Lalbagh Fort, the Hoseni Dalan and the Ahsan Manzil.[50] ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

To fight rising traffic congestion and population, the national government has recently implemented a policy for rapidurbanization of surrounding areas and beyond by the introduction of a ten-year relief on income tax for new construction of facilities and buildings outside Dhaka.[51] IBM Lenovo Thinkpad X201 Laptop Keyboard

Aside from Chittagong, Dhaka has a water-borne sewage system, but this serves only 22% of the population while another 30% are served with septic tanks.[52] Only two-thirds of households in Dhaka are served by the city water supply system. More than 9.7 million tons of solid wastes are produced in Dhaka city each year. Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

While private and government efforts have succeeded in collecting refuse city-wide and using it as manure, most solid wastes are often dumped untreated in nearby low-lying areas and water bodies.[53] The utility in charge of water and sanitation in Dhaka, DWASA, addresses these challenges with a number of measures. It says that in 2011 it achieved a continuous water supply 24 hours per day 7 days a week, HP 519265-001 Laptop Keyboard

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an increase in revenues so that operating costs are more than covered, and a reduction of water losses from 53% in 2003 to 29% in 2010.[54] For these achievements DWASA, got a "Performer of the Year Award" at the Global Water Summit 2011 in Berlin.[55]In the future DWASA plans massive investment to replace dwindling groundwater resources with treated surface water from less polluted rivers located up to 160 km from the city.[54] Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

In 2011 Bangladesh's capital development authority, Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha, made rainwater harvesting for new houses mandatory in an effort to address water scarcity and reduce flooding. HP G62-470CA Laptop Keyboard

82% of the city's water supply is abstracted from groundwater through 577 deep tube wells, while four relatively small surface water treatment plants provide the remaining 18%.[56] Groundwater levels are dropping at two to three metres every year. The city's water table has sunk by 50 metres in the past four decades and the closest underground water is now over 60 meters below ground level.[ TOSHIBA Satellite L655-S5160 Laptop Keyboard

57][58] The Asian Development Bank estimated in 2007 that by 2015 a severe supply shortage would occur if the utility did not reduce groundwater abstraction.[59] Nevertheless, DWASA announced in 2012 that it will develop a new wellfield with 46 wells providing 150,000 cubic meters of water per day at a cost of 63 million USD, of which 45 million USD will be financed by the government of South Korea.[60] Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

The utility plans to substitute surface water for groundwater through the construction of four large water treatment plants until 2020 at a cost of1.8 billion USD (Saidabad Phase II and III, Padma/Pagla and Khilkhet). The treatment plants will draw water from more distant and less polluted rivers up to160 km from the city. The four plants are expected to have a combined capacity of 1.63 COMPAQ Presario CQ41-204TX Laptop Keyboard

million cubic meters per year, compared to a 2010 supply of2.11 million cubic meter per year that is mainly from groundwater. As of 2011, funding had been secured for the first plant which is under construction thanks to a 250 million USD contribution from Danish development assistance.[54] In 2012 the government signed a contract with a Chinese company to build a water treatment plant at Munshiganj on the Padma River. Lenovo 3000 Y500 Laptop Keyboard

The project costs 407 million USD, of which 290.8 million USD is financed by a soft loan from the Chinese government, the remainder coming from the Bangladeshi government.[61] DELL NSK-D8001 Laptop Keyboard

Dhaka is the commercial heart of Bangladesh.[62] The city has a growing middle class population, driving the market for modern consumer and luxury goods.[18][63] The city has historically attracted a large number of migrant workers.[64] Hawkers, peddlers, small shops, rickshaw transport, roadside vendors and stalls employ a large segment of the population[64][65] --HP G62-225DX Laptop Keyboard

rickshaw-drivers alone number as many as 400,000.[66] Half the workforce is employed in household and unorganised labour, while about 800,000 work in the textile industry. Even so, unemployment remains high at 19%.[67] As of 2009, Dhaka's Gross Municipal Product (GMP) is registered at $85 billion.[68] With an annual growth rate of 6.2%, the GMP is projected to rise to $215 billion by 2025.[68] FUJITSU Lifebook E8110 Laptop Keyboard

The annual per capita income of Dhaka is estimated at $1,350(USD), with 34% of households living below the poverty line,[69] including a large segment of the population coming from rural areas in search of employment,[63]with most surviving on less than $5 a day.[70] Packard Bell Easynote TK85 laptop keyboard

while Tejgaon and Hazaribagh are the major industrial areas.[71] Bashundhara-Baridhara is a developing economic area that will include high-tech industries, corporations and a large shopping precinct in about 5 years.[63] TheExport Processing Zone in Dhaka was set up to encourage the export of garments, HP Mini 210-2006sa laptop keyboard

textiles and other goods. Dhaka has two EPZs. They are home to 413 industries, which employ mostly women.[72] The Dhaka Stock Exchange is based in the city, including many large multinationals and BRAC are based in Dhaka.[73] Country's central bank Bangladesh Bank and Nobel Peace Prize winning organization Grameen Bank have their head-quarters in Dhaka.[74] HP Pavilion dv6-2147el laptop keyboard

Urban developments have sparked a widespread construction boom; new high-rise buildings and skyscrapers have changed the city landscape.[63] Growth has been especially strong in the finance, banking, manufacturing, telecommunications and services sectors, while tourism, hotels and restaurants continue as important elements in the economy of Dhaka.[64] Compaq Presario CQ71-410ED laptop keyboard

The population of Dhaka (areas under the jurisdiction of the Dhaka city corporation) stands at approximately 7.0 million. The city, in combination with localities forming the wider metropolitan area, is home to an estimated 12.8 million as of 2008.[2]The population is growing by an estimated 4.2% per year, SONY VAIO VGN-CS31Z/Q laptop keyboard

one of the highest rates amongst Asian cities.[64] The continuing growth reflects ongoing migration from rural areas to the Dhaka urban region, which accounted for 60% of the city's growth in the 1960s and 1970s. More recently, the city's population has also grown with the expansion of city boundaries, a process that added more than a million people to the city in the 1980s.[64] According to Far Eastern Economic Review, Dhaka will become a home of 25 million people by the year 2025.[76] Packard Bell PEW91 laptop keyboard

The literacy rate in Dhaka is also increasing fairly quickly. It was estimated at 62.3% in 2001. The literacy rate had gone up to 72.7% by 2010 which is significantly higher than the national average of 56.5%.[35] TOSHIBA V000120280 laptop keyboard

The city population is composed of people from virtually every region of Bangladesh. The long-standing inhabitants of the old city are known as Dhakaia and have a distinctive dialect and culture. Between 15,000 to 20,000 of the Rohingya, Santal,Khasi, Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 laptop keyboard

 Garo, Chakma and Mandi tribal peoples reside in the city.[77] Dhaka also has a large population of Chinese, Korean,Indian, Burmese and Nepali expatriates working in different industries,students on SAARC scholarship and volunteer work.  HP Pavilion dv6171CL laptop keyboard

Most residents of Dhaka speak Bengali, the national language. Many distinctive Bengali dialects and regional languages such as Chittagonian and Sylheti are also spoken by segments of the population. English is understood by a large segment of the population, especially for business purposes. SONY VAIO VPCF121GX laptop keyboard

There is a minority Urdu-speaking population, who are descendants of displacedMuslims from eastern India during 1947 and sought refuge in East Pakistan. The correct population is ambiguous; although official figures estimate at least 40,000 residents,[78] it is estimated that there are at least 300,000 Urdu-speakers in all of Bangladesh, mostly residing in refugee camps in Dhaka.[79][80] HP Pavilion DV7-3085dx laptop keyboard

Islam is the dominant religion of Dhaka's people. About 90% of the city practicing the faith of Islam; with a majority belonging to the Sunni sect. There is also a small Shia sect, and an Ahmadiya community. Hinduism is the second-largest religion, with about 9%, and smaller communities practice Buddhism and Christianity, both of about .5% each. HP Pavilion DV7-3186cl laptop keyboard

Annual events and celebrations of Independence Day (26 March), Language Martyrs' Day (21 February), Victory Day (16 December), Bengali New Year (14 April), Ekushey Book Fair (month of February), the Muslim festivals of Eid ul-Fitr and Eid ul-Adha, and the Hindu festivals including the Durga Puja and Kali Puja feature prominently in the city's cultural observances, events, SONY VAIO VGN-NW70JB laptop keyboard

and celebrations. Dhaka's people congregate at the Shaheed Minar and the Jatiyo Smriti Soudho to remember the national heroes of the Bengali Language Movement and the Bangladesh Liberation War. These occasions are observed with public ceremonies and rallies on public grounds. Many schools and colleges organise fairs, festivals and concerts in which citizens from all levels of society participate.[83] SONY VAIO PCG-FX90G/K laptop keyboard

Despite the growing popularity of music groups and rock bands, traditional folk music remains widely popular.[84] The works of the national poet Kazi Nazrul Islam and national anthem writer Rabindranath Tagore have a widespread following across Dhaka.[85] Lenovo 39T7385 laptop keyboard

The Baily Road area is known as Natak Para (Theatre Neighbourhood) which is the centre of Dhaka's thriving theatre movement.[86] Indian and Western music and films are popular with large segments of Dhaka's population.[87] Compaq Presario CQ56-110US laptop keyboard

Bangladesh Betar is the state-run primary provider of radio services, and broadcasts a variety of programming in Bengali and English. In recent years many private radio networks, especially FM radio services, have been established in the city such asRadio Foorti FM 88.0, Radio Today FM 89.6, Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

 Radio Amar FM 88.4, ABC Radio FM 89.2 etc. Bangladesh Television is the state-run broadcasting network that provides a wide variety of programmes in Bengali and English. Cable and satellite networks such asEkushey Television, Channel I, ATN Bangla, Desh TV, RTV, NTV, Banglavision, Channel 9 Bangladesh and Independent TV are amongst the most popular channels. GATEWAY NV-54 Laptop Keyboard

The main offices of most publishing houses in Bangladesh are based in Dhaka. The Prothom Alo and The Daily Ittefaq are the most popular amongst the large number of Bengali language dailies, periodicals and other publications in the city. The Daily Star and The Independent are the major English dailies published.[88] The telephone concentration in Bangladesh is estimated at around 50% and this is much higher in Dhaka.[89] SONY KFRMBA151B Laptop Keyboard

Along with Bangladeshi cuisine and South Asian variants, a large variety of Western and Chinese cuisine is served at numerous restaurants and eateries.[63] Though restaurants offering multinational cuisine and the international fast-food and hotel chains have opened up in the city, unique Dhakaiya delicacies like GlasseyHajir Biriyani (Haji's Biriyani), Nanna Biriyani, SONY VAIO VGN-C2S Series Laptop Keyboard

 Laban,Borhani etc. are still very popular amongst Dhakaiyas. These delicacies are even offered to state guests. Dhakaiya Bakarkhani is the traditional food/snack of the people of Old Dhaka. It is famous for its quality and taste and it was highly praised by the royal court of the Mughal Empire in Delhi.[90] HP Pavilion G6-1223TX Laptop Keyboard

Dhaka has the largest number of schools, colleges and universities of any Bangladeshi city. The education system is divided into 5 levels: Primary (from grades 1 to 5), Junior (from grades 6 to 8), Secondary (from grades 9 to 10), Higher Secondary (from grades 11 to 12) and tertiary.[92] HP Compaq NC8430 Laptop Keyboard

The five years of Primary education concludes with a Primary Education Completion (PEC) Examination, the three years of Junior education concludes with Junior School Certificate (JSC) Examination, and next two years of Secondary education concludes with a Secondary School Certificate (SSC) Examination. Students who pass this examination proceed to two years of Higher Secondary or intermediate training, which culminate in a Higher Secondary School Certificate (HSC) Examination.[92] HP 636376-001 Laptop Keyboard

Education is mainly offered in Bangla, but English is also widely taught and used. A large number of Muslim families send their children to attend part-time courses or even to pursue full-time religious education alongside other subjects, which is imparted in Bangla and Arabic in schools, colleges and madrasas.[92] TOSHIBA Satellite L755-SP5102CL Laptop Keyboard

There are 52 universities in Dhaka. The Dhaka College is the oldest institution of higher education in the city and amongst the earliest established in British India, founded in 1841. Since independence, Dhaka has seen the establishment of a large number of public and private colleges and universities that offer undergraduate and graduate degrees as well as a variety of doctoral programmes.[93] DELL Latitude D620 Laptop Keyboard

The University of Dhaka is one of the largest public university[94] in the nation with more than 30,000 students and 1,300 faculty staff. It was established in 1921 being the first university in the region. The university has 23 research centres and 70 departments, faculties and institutes.[95] Eminent seats of higher education includeBangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU), Jagannath University and Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University. Dhaka Medical College and Sir Salimullah Medical College are two famousmedical colleges in the nation.[96] Dhaka's college campuses are often hotbeds of political conflicts.[97] Protests and strikes, and violence amongst police, students and political groups frequently disrupt public university campuses.[98][99] ACER Aspire 5810T-8929 Laptop Keyboard

Alongside public institutes of higher education there are some forty-five private universities in Dhaka. Notable private universities include East West University, North South University, American International University - Bangladesh, BRAC University, United International University, ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

Daffodil International University, World University of Bangladesh, Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology and Independent University, Bangladesh (see:List of universities in Bangladesh), most of which are located in Mohakhali, Gulshan, Banani, Baridhara, Bashundhara, Uttara and Dhanmondi areas of the city. ACER Aspire 5740 Laptop Keyboard

The British Council plays an important role helping students to achieve GCSE and A Level qualifications from examination boards in the United Kingdom. This is in addition to holding several examinations for professional bodies in the United Kingdom, including the UK medical Royal Colleges and Accountancy. Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

Shopping in Dhaka is very easy. There are markets in almost every part of Dhaka, where household commodities are available. Shopping malls are also found in every major avenues; some of them are Dhaka New Market, Basundhara City, Karnafuly City Garden, Rapa plaza, Metro shopping mall, Toshiba Satellite A200-1E1 Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

Concord twin tower, BCS Computer City, Navana Tower, Pink city, Mouchak Market, Eastern Plaza, Fortune mall, Eastern plus, Banga bazar, Razdhani market, Gausia complex, Holland Centre, Suvastu Nazar Valley, Cofidence Tower, Mollah tower, Lutfun tower, Eastern Mallika, Muskut plaza, North Tower, Razlaksmi complex, Multiplan Center and many more. Toshiba Satellite A105-S271 Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

Kudrat E Khuda Avenue (former New Elephant Road) and its surrounding areas are very popular destination for shoppers. Jamuna Future Park is one of biggest shopping mall in the world with 4 million square feet shopping area. Chain shops like Shopno, Agora, Meena Bazar, Nandon, PQS are also found in most of the residential areas of the city. TOSHIBA Satellite M645-S4070 Laptop Keyboard

Cricket and football are the two most popular sports in Dhaka and across the nation.[100] Teams are fielded in intra-city and national competitions by a large number of schools, colleges and private entities. The Mohammedan Sports Club and Abahani are two of the most famous football and cricket teams, maintaining a fierce rivalry, ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

specially in Bangladesh Premier League (football).[101] Dhaka Metropolis cricket team represents Dhaka city in National Cricket League, a region based domesticFirst-class cricket competition in Bangladesh. In domestic Twenty20 cricket, Dhaka has a Bangladesh Premier League franchise known as Dhaka Gladiators. ACER NSK-H361D Laptop Keyboard

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Dhaka has the distinction of having hosted the first official Test cricket match of the Pakistan cricket team in 1954 against India.[102] The Bangabandhu National Stadium was formerly the main venue for domestic and international cricket matches, but now exclusively hosts football matches.[102] It was the host for the opening ceremony[103] of the 2011 Cricket World Cup while the Sher-e-Bangla Cricket Stadium hosted 6 matches of the tournament including 2 quarterfinals.[104] The Bangladesh Sports Control Board, DELL Inspiron 6400 Laptop Keyboard

responsible for promoting sports activities across the nation is based in Dhaka. Dhaka also has stadiums largely used for domestic events such as the Bangladesh Army Stadium, the Dhanmondi Cricket Stadium and the Outer Stadium Ground.[105] The Dhaka University Ground hosts many intercollegiate tournaments.[106] SONY VAIO VGN-N38Z/W laptop keyboard

Dhaka also hosted South Asian Games for three times in 1985, 1993 and 2010.[107] Dhaka is the first city to hold the games three times. The Bangabandhu National Stadium was the main venue for all three editions.[108] GATEWAY M-6846 laptop keyboard

Dhaka is known as the rickshaw capital of the world.[109][110][111] Approximately 400,000 rickshaws run each day.[112] Cycle rickshaws and auto rickshaws are the main mode of transport, with close to 400,000 rickshaws running each day – the largest number for any city in the world.[63][65] However, only about 85,000 rickshaws are licensed by the city government. TOSHIBA 9J.N5682.701 laptop keyboard

Public buses are operated by the state-run Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC) and by private companies and operators. Scooters, taxis and privately owned automobiles are rapidly becoming popular with the city's growing middle class. The government has overseen the replacement of two-stroke engine auto rickshaws with "Green auto-rickshaws" locally called CNG, which run on compressed natural gas.[114] TOSHIBA Satellite l25-s119 laptop keyboard

 Taxis plying in the Dhaka roads are of two types. Yellow taxis have slightly higher standards in terms of comfort but are more expensive. They are required to have air conditioning; the fleet consists mostly of Toyota Corollas. Blue and black taxis are cheaper and lack air conditioning; the fleet consists mostly of Maruti 800.[citation needed] ACER NSK-H361D laptop keyboard

the other parts of the country through highway and railway links. Highway links to the Indian cities of Kolkata and Agartalahave been established by the BRTC which also runs regular bus services to those cities from Dhaka.[116] HP Pavilion dv6-2141ee laptop keyboard

The Kamalapur Railway Station, Airport (Biman Bandar) Railway Station and the Cantonment Railway Station are the main railway stations providing trains on suburban & national routes operated by the state-run Bangladesh Railway.[117] Bangladesh Railway also runs a regular international train service between Dhaka and Kolkata. SONY Vaio PCG-K45 laptop keyboard

The Sadarghat Port on the banks of the Buriganga River serves for the transport of goods and passengers upriver and to other ports in Bangladesh.[118] SONY KFRMBA151B laptop keyboard

The Shahjalal International Airport, located 15 km north of Dhaka city centre, is the largest and busiest airport in the nation.[119] It handles 52% of the country's arrivals and departures. Domestic service flies to Chittagong, Sylhet, Rajshahi, Cox's Bazar,Jessore, Barisal, Saidpur and international services fly to major cities in Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and Western Europe.[citation needed] SONY VAIO VGN-FS115Z laptop keyboard

An elevated expressway system is under construction.[120] The Dhaka Elevated Expressway would run from Shahjalal International Airport-Kuril-Banani-Mohakhali-Tejgaon-Saatrasta-Moghbazar Rail Crossing-Khilgaon-Kamalapur-Golapbagh to Dhaka-Chittagong Highway at Kutubkhali Point. A longer second elevated expressway from airport-Ashulia is currently undergoing feasibility study.[121] COMPAQ Presario C700 Laptop Keyboard

The Dhaka Metro feasibility study has been completed. A 21.5 kilometer, $1.7 Billion Phase 1, metro route is being negotiated by the Government with Japan International Cooperation Agency. The first route will start from Pallabi, northern suburb of Dhaka to Sayedabad, southern section of Dhaka.[122] IBM ThinkPad T40p 2373 Laptop Keyboard

 In September 1974, Australian Prime Minister Gough Whitlam met with Suharto and indicated that he would support Indonesia if it annexed East Timor.[174] On 11 November 1975, the Whitlam government was dismissed. This placed restrictions on the caretaker government of Fraser. DELL PK130AF2B00 Laptop Keyboard

Until the results of the 13 December election were known any action required approval from both political parties and the Governor General.[175] On 4 December 1975 Australia unsuccessfully sought a UN resolution to determine the independence of East Timor, the Australian Government evacuated Australians and other foreign nationals from Dili.[176] TOSHIBA G83C0000EA10 Laptop Keyboard

José Ramos-Horta arrived in Darwin on 5 December saying that aid agencies the Australian Red Cross and Australian Society for Intercountry Aid Timor (ASIAT) had been banned from East Timor. In the same news conference Horta said that East Timor, Fretlin Government would not accept any UN assistance that included Australia.[177]

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 [178] Australia abstained from the 1976 and 1977 UN General Assembly Resolutions, and by 1978 became the only government to officially recognise East Timor as a province of Indonesia.[179]. IBM Lenovo Thinkpad X201 Laptop Keyboard

One year later, Australia and Indonesia began drafting a treaty to share resources in the Timor Gap. The treaty was signed in December 1989, with estimates ranging from one to seven billion barrels of oil to be secured.[180] This agreement, along with general economic partnership with Indonesia, is frequently cited as a crucial factor for the Australian government's position.[181] SONY VAIO VGN-FS550 Laptop Keyboard

 And yet given that nearly 60,000 East Timorese had died during the fighting between Australian and Japanese forces that followed the invasion of Timor by the Japanese during the Pacific War[10] some Australians believed their government owed a special debt to the former Portuguese colony. DELL NSK-DG101 Laptop Keyboard

James Dunn, a senior Foreign Affairs adviser to theAustralian Parliament before and during the occupation, condemned the government's position, saying later: "What had been of vital strategic value in 1941 was, in 1974, irrelevant and dispensable."[182] Some Australian World War II veterans protested the occupation for similar reasons.[183] SONY VAIO VGN-FS742/W Laptop Keyboard

Successive Australian governments saw good relations and stability in Indonesia (Australia's largest neighbour) as providing an important security buffer to Australia's north, but the East Timor issue complicated co-operation between the two nations.[184] Australia provided important sanctuary to East Timorese independence advocates like Jose Ramos-Horta (who based himself in Australia during his exile). HP 636376-001 Laptop Keyboard

Australia's trade with Indonesia grew through the 1980s and the Keating Labor Government signed a security pact with Indonesia in 1995 and gave relations with Jakarta a high priority.[185][186] The fall of Indonesian President Suharto and a shift in Australian policy by the Howard Government in 1998 helped precipitate a proposal for a referendum on the question of independence for East Timor.[165TOSHIBA Satellite A205-S5823 Laptop Keyboard

]In late 1998, Prime Minister John Howard and Foreign Minister Alexander Downer drafted a letter to Indonesia setting out a change in Australian policy, suggesting that East Timor be given a chance to vote on independence within a decade. The letter upset Indonesian President B. J. Habibie, who saw it as implying Indonesia was a "colonial power" and he decided to announce a snap referendum.[165] TOSHIBA NSK-TAJ01 Laptop Keyboard

A UN sponsored referendum held in 1999 showed overwhelming approval for independence, but was followed by violent clashes and a security crisis, instigated by anti-independence militia. Australia then led a United Nations backedInternational Force for East Timor to end the violence and order was restored. While the intervention was ultimately successful, Australian-Indonesian relations would take several years to recover.[165][187]  DELL NSK-DJD01 Laptop Keyboard

The Australian Labor Party altered its East Timor policy in 1999 and adopted a policy of support for East Timorese independence and opposition to the Indonesian presence there, through its Foreign Affairs spokesperson Laurie Brereton.[188] Breretons' credibility was attacked by the governing Liberal-National Coalition government and its Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer, DELL Vostro 3450 Laptop Keyboard

and Prime Minister Howard. They were assisted in their campaign by the then-Labor-backbencherKevin Rudd[188] (who would later lead the Labor Party to victory in the 2007 Australian federal election). ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

Owing it´s strong relation with Indonesia, the Philippines initially was cold in the issue. In fact, not only that it denied Jose Ramos-Horta entry in 1997 (when he was supposed to give a lecture to the University of the Philippines), the President back then even included him in the immigration blacklist.[189] COMPAQ Presario C700 Laptop Keyboard

However, with the wide spread support from various countries, the Philippines finally changed its policy. After the Timorese Independence, the Philippines contributed medical and logistics personnel to Interfet, rather than ground troops. The United Nations even named a Filipino, Lieutenant General Jaime Delos Santos, to command the full-fledged UN peacekeeping force which takes over from Interfet on Tuesday.[clarification needed] DELL Inspiron 8500 Laptop Keyboard

Sharing the same Roman Catholic heritage, the Philippines became a natural ally and has maintained good relationship until now. It has now lifted Jose Ramos-Horta from the blacklist, not to mention that he is frequently giving lectures in various universities in the Philippines, most notably in the University of the Philippines and Ateneo de Davao. HP 640436-001 Laptop Keyboard

The day after the invasion, Portugal cut diplomatic ties with Indonesia and went on to support UN resolutions condemning the invasion. However, in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the Portuguese government appeared reluctant to push the issue; American Indonesia specialist, Benedict Anderson suggests this stemmed from uncertainty at the time over its application to the European Community.[178] SAMSUNG N140 Laptop Keyboard

 Portugal's criticism mounted sharply from the mid-1980s, and due to public pressure, the country became one the highest profile campaigners in international forums for East Timorese self-determination.[190] Throughout the 1990s, Portugal took part in UN-brokered mediations with Indonesia.[191] ACER NSK-AL01D Laptop Keyboard

In the mid-1970s, the United States was completing a retreat from Indochina. A staunchly anti-communist Indonesia was considered by the United States to be an essential counterweight, and friendly relations with the Indonesian government were considered more important than a decolonization process in East Timor.[178][192] The United States also wanted to maintain its access to deep water straits running through Indonesia for undetectable submarine passage between the Indian and Pacific oceans.[178] SAMSUNG N140 Laptop Keyboard

On the day before the invasion, U.S. President Gerald R. Ford and U.S. Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger met with Indonesian president Suharto and reportedly gave their approval for the invasion.[193] In response to Suharto saying "We want your understanding if it was deemed necessary to take rapid or drastic action [in East Timor]." Ford replied, "We will understand and not press you on the issue. DELL INSPIRON 1464 Laptop Keyboard

We understand the problem and the intentions you have." Kissinger similarly agreed, though he had fears that the use of US-made arms in the invasion would be exposed to public scrutiny, talking of their desire to "influence the reaction in America" so that "there would be less chance of people talking in an unauthorised way."[194] The US also hoped the invasion would be swift and not involve protracted resistance. HP Pavilion DV7-4053 Laptop Keyboard

"It is important that whatever you do succeeds quickly," Kissinger said to Suharto.[195]Kissinger's main fear appears to have been that a violent take-over by the partly communist FRETILIN party might inspire similar Communist victories throughout Asia and possibly even lead to secessionist revolts threatening the very survival of Indonesia as a state.[196] HP Mini 210-1109TU Laptop Keyboard

The US supplied weapons to Indonesia during the invasion and the subsequent occupation. A week after the invasion of East Timor, theNational Security Council prepared a detailed analysis which found that the vast majority of the military equipment was U.S. supplied.[197] While the US government said they had suspended military assistance from December 1975 to June 1976,  ACER TravelMate 4600 Laptop Keyboard

military aid was actually above what the US Department of State proposed and the US Congress continued to increase it, nearly doubling it.[195]Between 1975 and 1980, when the violence in East Timor was at its climax, SAMSUNG N150 Laptop Keyboard

the United States furnished approximately $340 million in weaponry to the Indonesian government. US military aid and arms sales to Indonesia increased from 1974 and continued through to the Bush and Clinton years until it was stopped in 1999.[195] US arms provisions to Indonesia between 1975 and 1995 amounted to approximately $1.1 billion.[198] HP Pavilion dv6-3141ea laptop keyboard

The UN's Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation in East Timor (CAVR) stated in the "Responsibility" chapter of its final report that U.S. "political and military support were fundamental to the Indonesian invasion and occupation" of East Timor between 1975 and 1999. HP Pavilion dv6-3143sa laptop keyboard

The report (p. 92) also stated that "U.S. supplied weaponry was crucial to Indonesia's capacity to intensify military operations from 1977 in its massive campaigns to destroy the Resistance in which aircraft supplied by the United States played a crucial role."[199][200] ACER Aspire 5410 laptop keyboard

Evidence presented by Fretilin suggests that the degree of U.S. support for the Indonesian government's efforts in East Timor may have extended beyond that of diplomatic support and material assistance. A UPI report from Sydney, Australia dated 19 June 1978, quoted a Fretilin press release, TOSHIBA Satellite P300D-14A laptop keyboard

which stated: "American military advisers and mercenaries fought alongside Indonesian soldiers against FRETILIN in two battles ... In the meantime, American pilots are flying OV-10 Bronco aircraft for the Indonesian Air Force in bombing raids against the liberated areas under FRETILIN control."[201][202] TOSHIBA Satellite P300-18M laptop keyboard

The United States abstained from most of the UN resolutions censuring the Indonesian invasion.[178] Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the U.S. Ambassador to the UN at the time, wrote later in his memoirs: "The Department of State desired that the United Nations prove utterly ineffective in whatever measures it undertook. This task was given to me, and I carried it forward with no inconsiderable success."[203] DELL 0NC929 laptop keyboard

Britain, Canada, Japan, and other nations supported Indonesia during the occupation of East Timor. Britain abstained from all of the UN General Assembly resolutions relating to East Timor, and sold arms throughout the occupation. In 1978 Indonesia purchased eight BAE Hawk jet trainers, which were used during the "encirclement and annihilation" campaign. Britain sold dozens of additional jets to Indonesia in the 1990s.[204] HP G42-200XX laptop keyboard

Canada abstained from early General Assembly resolutions about East Timor, and opposed three. The Canadian government regularly sold weapons to Indonesia during the occupation, and in the 1990s approved over CDN$400 million in exports for spare weapons parts.[205] Japan voted against all eight General Assembly resolutions regarding East Timor.[206] GATEWAY M680 laptop keyboard

The Indian government also supported Indonesia, likening the occupation to its own seizure of Goa in 1961.[207] Some analysts remarked that Indonesia's delayed action also prevented peaceful transfer of East Timor to it, similar to the manner in which the French transferred Pondicherry to India in 1962.[208] Packard Bell NEW95 laptop keyboard

Member nations of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), consistently voted against the General Assembly resolutions calling for self-determination in East Timor.[209] IBM ThinkPad T42 2378 laptop keyboard

Precise estimates of the death toll are difficult to determine. The 2005 report of the UN's Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation in East Timor(CAVR) reports a figure of at least 90,800: 17,600 unlawful executions and 73,200 starvation deaths (applying the study's margin of error). CAVR did not estimate an upper limit though it speculated that this could have been as high as 202,600.[3] The truth commission held Indonesian forces responsible for about 70% of the violent killings.[3] Packard Bell Easynote TK81 laptop keyboard

Researcher Ben Kiernan says that "a toll of 150,000 is likely close to the truth," although one can throw out an estimate of 200,000 or higher.[210] The Center for Defense Information also estimated a total close to 150,000.[211] TOSHIBA Satellite A205-S5823 laptop keyboard

A 1974 Catholic church estimate of the population of East Timor was 688,711 people; in 1982 the church reported only 425,000. This led to an estimate of 200,000 people killed during the occupation, which was widely reported around the world.[212] Other sources such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch also support an estimate of over 200,000 killed.[213] HP 605344-001 Laptop Keyboard

According to specialist Gabriel Defert on the basis of statistical data available from the Portuguese and Indonesian authorities, and from the Catholic Church, between December 1975 and December 1981, approximately 308,000 Timorese lost their lives; this constituted about 44% of the pre-invasion population.[214]Similarly Indonesian Professor George Aditjondro, formerly of Salatiga University in Java, concluded from his study of Indonesian Army data that in fact 300,000 Timorese had been killed in the early years of the occupation.[215] HP 9Z.N4DUQ.001 Laptop Keyboard

Robert Cribb of the Australian National University argues that the toll was significantly exaggerated. He argues that the 1980 census that counted 555,350 Timorese, although "the most reliable source of all," was probably a minimum rather than a maximum estimate for the total population. "It is worth recalling that hundreds of thousands of East Timorese disappeared during the violence of September 1999, HP Pavilion DV7T-4100 Laptop Keyboard

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only to reappear later," he writes. The 1980 census becomes more improbable in the face of the 1987 census that counted 657,411 Timorese – this would require a growth rate of 2.5% per year, nearly identical to the very high growth rate in East Timor from 1970 to 1975, and a highly unlikely one given the conditions of the brutal occupation, including Indonesian efforts to discourage reproduction. Noting the relative lack of personal accounts of atrocities or of traumatized Indonesian soldiersLenovo Thinkpad T520 Laptop Keyboard

he further adds that East Timor "does not appear—on the basis of news reports and academic accounts—to be a society traumatized by mass death...the circumstance leading up to the Dili massacre of 1991...indicate a society which retained its vigor and indignation in a way which would probably not have been possible if it had been treated as Cambodia was treated under Pol Pot." Even Indonesian military strategy was based on winning the "hearts and minds" of the population, a fact that does not support charges of mass killing.[216] DELL Vostro 3550 Laptop Keyboard

Kiernan, starting from a base population of 700,000 Timorese in 1975 (based on the 1974 Catholic Church census) calculated an expected 1980 population of 735,000 Timorese (assuming a growth rate of only 1% per year as a result of the occupation). Accepting the 1980 count that Cribb regards as at least 10% (55,000) too low, Kiernan concluded that as many as 180,000 may have died in the war.[217] Dell Inspiron 2500 Laptop Keyboard

Cribb argued that the 3% growth rate suggested by the 1974 census was too high, citing the fact that the church had previously postulated a growth rate of 1.8%, which would have produced a figure in line with the Portuguese population estimate of 635,000 for 1974. DELL UW739 Laptop Keyboard

Although Cribb maintained that the Portuguese census was almost certainly an underestimate,[217] he believed it to be more likely correct than the church census, due to the fact that any church attempt to extrapolate the size of the total population "must be seen in light of its incomplete access to society" (less than half of Timorese were Catholic). Assuming a growth rate in line with the other nations of South East Asia, ACER TravelMate 3002WTCi Laptop Keyboard

then, would yield a more accurate figure of 680,000 for 1975, and an expected 1980 population of slightly over 775,000 (without accounting for the decline in the birth rate resulting from the Indonesian occupation).[217] The deficit remaining would be almost exactly 200,000. According to Cribb, Indonesian policies restricted the birth rate by up to 50% or more, HP 519265-001 Laptop Keyboard

thus around 45,000 of these were not born rather than killed; another 55,000 were "missing" as a result of the Timorese evading the Indonesian authorities who conducted the 1980 census.[187] A variety of factors—the exodus of tens of thousands from their homes to escape FRETELIN in 1974-5; the deaths of thousands in the civil war; the deaths of combatants during the occupation; HP Mini 110-3506tu Laptop Keyboard

killings by FRETELIN; and natural disasters—diminish further still the civilian toll attributable to Indonesian forces during this time.[187] Considering all this data, Cribb argues for a much lower toll of 100,000 or less, with an absolute minimum of 60,000, and a mere tenth of the civilian population dying unnaturally, for the years 1975–80.[218]  ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

Kiernan responded, however, by asserting that the influx of migrant workers during the occupation and the increase in the population growth rate typical of a mortality crisis justifies accepting the 1980 census as valid despite the 1987 estimate, and that the 1974 church census—though a "possible maximum"—cannot be discounted because the church's lack of access to society might well have resulted in an undercount.[217] HP Mini 210-1000 CTO Laptop Keyboard

He concluded that at least 116,000 combatants and civilians were killed by all sides or died "unnatural" deaths from 1975–80 (if true, this would yield the result that about 15% of the civilian population of East Timor was killed from 1975–80).[217] F. Hiorth separately estimated that 13% (95,000 out of an expected 730,000 when accounting for the reduction in birth rates) of the civilian population died during this period.[187] DELL Vostro 3550 Laptop Keyboard

Kiernan believes that the deficit was most probably around 145,000 when accounting for the reduction in birth rates, or 20% of East Timor's population.[217] The mid-value of the UN report is 146,000 deaths; R.J. Rummel, an analyst of political killings, estimates 150,000.[219] DELL Precision M4500 Laptop Keyboard

Many observers have called the Indonesian military action in East Timor an example of genocide.[220] In a study of the word's legal meaning and applicability to the occupation of East Timor, legal scholar Ben Saul concludes that because no group recognised under international law was targeted by the Indonesian authorities, a charge of genocide cannot be applied. However, he also notes: " Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

The conflict in East Timor most accurately qualifies as genocide against a ‘political group’, or alternatively as ‘cultural genocide’, yet neither of these concepts are explicitly recognised in international law."[221] The occupation has been compared to the killings of the Khmer Rouge, the Yugoslav wars, and the Rwandan Genocide.[222] SONY VAIO PCG-792L Laptop Keyboard

Accurate numbers of Indonesian casualties are not known, however, some estimate up to 10,000 Indonesian troops died during the 1976–80 period.[223] Rummel estimates that 10–15,000 Indonesians died in the war.[219] The complete names of around 2,300 Indonesian soldiers and pro-Indonesian militias killed during the entire occupation is engraved into the Seroja Monument located in Armed Forces Headquarters in Cilangkap, south of Jakarta.[citation needed] FUJITSU Lifebook T4220 Laptop Keyboard

Saul goes on to discuss prosecutions of responsible parties for "crimes against humanity, war crimes, and other gross violations of human rights".[221] In the years after the end of the occupation, a number of proceedings have been carried out to such an end. The 1999 UN Security Council resolution authorizing UNTAET described the history of "systematic, widespread and flagrant violations of international and human rights law" APPLE A1278 Laptop Keyboard

and demanded "that those responsible for such violence be brought to justice".[224] To achieve these ends, UNTAET established a Serious Crimes Unit (SCU), which has attempted to investigate and prosecute individuals responsible for such violence. However, the SCU has been criticised for accomplishing relatively little, presumably because it is funded inadequately, SONY VAIO VGN-N31Z/W Laptop Keyboard

limited in mandate to crimes committed only in 1999, and for other reasons.[225] Indonesian trials purporting to punish those responsible for the violence were described as "manifestly inadequate" by a UN commission.[6] DELL Vostro 3550 Laptop Keyboard

Deficiencies in these processes have led a number of organizations to call for an international tribunal to prosecute individuals responsible for killings in East Timor, similar to those established in Yugoslavia and Rwanda.[6][7] A 2001 editorial by the East Timor NGO La'o Hamutuk said: Lenovo 3000 Y500 Laptop Keyboard

An uncountable number of Crimes Against Humanity were committed during the 1975–1999 period in East Timor. Although an international court could not pursue all of them, it ... [would] confirm that the invasion, occupation and destruction of East Timor by Indonesia was a long-standing, systematic, SONY KFRMBA151B Laptop Keyboard

criminal conspiracy, planned and ordered at the highest levels of government. Many of the perpetrators continue to wield authority and influence in East Timor’s nearest neighbor. The future of peace, justice and democracy in both East Timor and Indonesia depends on holding the highest-level perpetrators accountable.[226] SONY VGN-FE28H Laptop Keyboard

In 2005, the Indonesia-Timor Leste Commission of Truth and Friendship was set up with the goal of establishing the truth relating to crimes under the occupation, and healing divisions between the countries. It has received criticism from NGOs and was rejected by the United Nations for offering impunity. HP Pavilion G6-1223TX Laptop Keyboard

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