Kabul is the capital of Afghanistan. It is situated in the middle of the country on the Kabul River. Its height of about 1800m (5900ft) makes Kabul one of the highest capital cities in the world. Kabul counts around 1 million inhabitants, the population is composed of a majority group of Tajiks and an important minority of Pashtuns.
In the past Kabul has been a very important economic and cultural centre because
of its closeness to the Khyber Pass located in the mountains dividing Afghanistan
from Pakistan. Some of the typical manufacturing products of Kabul are: textiles,
processed food, chemicals and wood products.
Kabul has an University founded in 1932. It was the most important and best known centre of higher education all over the region in the years between 1970 and 1980, unfortunately it got closed because of the war in 1992. Today it ha been reopened in part, but only a few students are attending it. For having the same success as in the past it would need to be reconstructed.
In 1504 Kabul got its great importance when it was made capital of the Moghul
Empire by the conqueror Babur. In 1526 Delhi replaced Kabul as the imperial
capital but Kabul kept its importance as Moghul centre until it was captured
by the Persian ruler named Nadir Shah in 1738.
In 1747 Kabul became part of an independent Afghan state and in the 1770s it replaced Quandahar as the capital of Afghanistan. In the 19th century it was of great importance for British, Persian and Russian rivalry because of the control of the Khyber Pass, it was twice occupied by British troops, in 1839-1842 and 1879-1880. After 1940 the city of Kabul grew as an industrial centre.
In 1979 Kabul was also occupied by troops of Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and they left Afghanistan only in February 1989. But the most disastrous event in its history was the civil war between 1992 and 1996, Kabul lost over 50.000 people. From 1996 to 2001 the city was controlled by the Taliban government, when they withdrew the Northern Alliance took over Kabul. The role of UN and World community are very important in bringing a stable government in Kabul.
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