In 1999, Afghanistan had an estimated population of around 24 million people. The majority of the population were ethnic Pashtuns and Tajiks, with smaller numbers of Hazaras, Uzbeks, and Turkmen. The economy was largely based on agriculture and animal husbandry, though there was a small manufacturing industry in Kabul and other major cities. Foreign relations were strained due to the ongoing civil war that had been taking place since 1992, with the majority of countries refusing to recognize the Taliban as the legitimate government. In terms of politics, Afghanistan was ruled by the Taliban who held control over most of the country apart from some areas in northern Afghanistan. They implemented a strict interpretation of Islamic law which included restrictions on women’s rights and freedoms. See ethnicityology for Afghanistan in the year of 2018.
Afghanistan. Clashes between the dominant Taliban militia and the previous government’s troops continued throughout the year without any significant change in strength. In April, an alliance of Shiite militias resumed the city of Bamian in the central highlands, which had been the stronghold of the Shi’a movement until it was conquered by the Taliban in September 1998. After only a few weeks, however, the city fell back into the Taliban’s hands.
A major Taliban offensive against opposition troops under former Defense Minister Ahmed Shah Massoud began in late July. The Taliban quickly entered the city of Charikar and the Bagram airbase north of Kabul, both important support points for opposition forces. Massoud’s troops retreated into the Panjshird Valley, where not even the Soviet forces could disrupt them during the war in the 1980s. In a surprisingly counter-offensive, Massoud recaptured both Charikar and Bagram after only a few days. The fighting put the civilian population in a desperate situation. The Taliban were said to have displaced up to 90,000 people during the days they held the area. Many went south to Kabul, but most of them fled into the Panjshir Valley, where the supply situation was described as very difficult during the late autumn.
Visit Countryaah official website to get information about the capital city of Afghanistan. Several foreign peace attempts were made, and at a March meeting in Turkmenistan, the Taliban and the opposition basically agreed to co-govern. Still, the fighting continued almost immediately, and in April, Taliban leader Mohammad Omar distanced himself from the idea of cooperation. A Pakistani peace initiative in August was rejected by the opposition, arguing that Pakistan’s support for the Taliban made the country impossible as a mediator.
- Also see Abbreviationfinder.org to see the acronym of AFG which stands for Afghanistan and other definitions of this 3-letter abbreviation.
In July, the United States suspended trade with Afghanistan as a punishment for the Taliban’s refusal to extradite the terrorist-suspected Saudi Usama bin Laden. The assets of the Afghan airline Ariana in the United States were seized. In November, the UN imposed financial sanctions on Afghanistan for the same reason. Ariana’s international traffic was stopped, and the Taliban government’s foreign accounts were blocked. The Taliban tried to break their isolation by, among other things, offer to reduce the record-breaking opium harvest of 4,600 tonnes by a third to 2000 in exchange for increased aid. A government reform in October was also believed to be aimed at creating better contacts with the western world. The new Foreign Minister Wakil Ahmed Mutawakil was described as more outgoing than his predecessor. However, the UN General Assembly decided to allow Afghanistan to be represented by the previous government for another year.
On March 8, Human Rights Watch released a report that was highly critical of US occupying forces. They were charged with detaining over 1,000 Afghans and other nationalities through 2002. The U.S. soldiers were charged with excessive use of violence in these arrests, often leading to injuries or deaths for innocent civilians. The report also accused the occupying forces of torture: of obstructing sleep, exposure to extreme temperatures and, in a number of cases, physical torture. The human rights organization finally accused the United States of carrying out a large number of arbitrary arrests.
The same month, the elections were postponed until September. Karzai declared that the parliamentary and presidential elections would be conducted simultaneously. Following the original schedule, the presidential election was due in June, but it had to be postponed due to the poor security situation and lack of voter registration. The UN had been voting registration since January and stated that many areas could not be visited due to lack of security.
In late March, Karzai traveled to Berlin to attend a donor conference. During the conference, the president declared that the country was rising from the ashes after 20 years of war, and at the same time asked for assistance in building schools, hospitals and roads. Acc. Karzai needed the country at least $ 28 billion US $ over the following 7 years to fund the reconstruction. The 4 billion US $ annually should be compared with the $ 13 billion US $ It costs the US and NATO in military spending to continue occupying the country.
Since the fall of the Taliban in 2001, economic development has been cautious and uncertainty has worsened in several parts of the country. At the same time, the UN warned that the country could be thrown into even greater chaos if it did not receive outside support. Opium production and drug trafficking have already increased dramatically since 2001 due to lack of economic alternatives.
At the donor conference in Berlin, Afghanistan was promised a total of 8.2 billion. US $ over the following 3 years by UK, US, Japan, Germany and UN. Karzai was also promised that 5 mixed civilian-military patrols would be sent to participate in the reconstruction in urban areas. In the same month, Afghanistan signed an agreement with its neighboring countries China, Pakistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan on the joint fight against drug trafficking.
In July, the presidential and parliamentary elections were postponed once again – this time until October. Representatives of the political parties declared that it was impossible to meet the requirement of publication of the election date 90 days before the election. The postponement was due to the deteriorating security situation in several parts of the country.