Government of Afghanistan

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In Afghanistan at the present time there exists one government, called the Taliban, which occupies 95% of the territory, called the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. As of October 2001, only Pakistan recognizes this government, though Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have in the past. The remaining 5% belongs to the rebel forces constituting the Islamic State of Afghanistan, which the United Nations recognizes as the official government in exile.

conventional short form: Afghanistan local long form: Dowlat-e Eslami-ye Afghanestan local short form: Afghanestan former: Republic of Afghanistan

ISO 3166 country code: AF

Government type: no functioning central government, administered by factions

Capital: Kabul

Administrative divisions: 30 provinces (velayat, singular - velayat); Badakhshan, Badghis, Baghlan, Balkh, Bamian, Farah, Faryab, Ghazni, Ghowr, Helmand, Herat, Jowzjan, Kabol, Kandahar, Kapisa, Konar, Kondoz, Laghman, Lowgar, Nangarhar, Nimruz, Oruzgan, Paktia, Paktika, Parvan, Samangan, Sar-e Pol, Takhar, Vardak, Zabol note: there may be two new provinces of Nurestan (Nuristan) and Khowst

Independence: August 19, 1919 (from United Kingdom control over Afghan foreign affairs)

National holiday: Victory of the Muslim Nation, April 28; Remembrance Day for Martyrs and Disabled, May 4; Independence Day, 19 August

Constitution: none

Legal system: a new legal system has not been adopted but all factions tacitly agree they will follow Shari'a (Islamic law)

Suffrage: NA; previously males 15-50 years of age

Executive branch: on September 27, 1996, the ruling members of the Afghan Government were displaced by members of the Islamic Taliban movement; the Islamic State of Afghanistan has no functioning government at this time, and the country remains divided among fighting factions. Note: the Taliban have declared themselves the legitimate government of Afghanistan; however, the UN still recognizes the government of Burhanuddin Rabbani; the Organization of the Islamic Conference has left the Afghan seat vacant until the question of legitimacy can be resolved through negotiations among the warring factions; the country is essentially divided along ethnic lines; the Taliban controls the capital of Kabul and approximately two-thirds of the country including the predominately ethnic Pashtun areas in southern Afghanistan; opposing factions have their stronghold in the ethnically diverse north

Legislative branch: non-functioning as of June 1993

Judicial branch: non-functioning as of March 1995, although there are local Shari'a (Islamic law) courts throughout the country

Political parties and leaders:

  • Afghan Mellat Party ( Afghan social democratic Party )based in Peshawar ,Pakistan [ Leader : Shams ul Huda shams ]
  • Harakat-i-Islami (Islamic Movement) [Mohammed Asif MOHSENI]
  • Harakat-Inqilab-i-Islami (Islamic Revolutionary Movement) [Mohammad Nabi MOHAMMADI]
  • Hizbi Islami-Gulbuddin (Islamic Party) [Gulbuddin HIKMATYAR faction]
  • Hizbi Islami-Khalis (Islamic Party) [Yunis KHALIS faction]
  • Hizbi Wahdat-Akbari faction (Islamic Unity Party) [Mohammad Akbar AKBARI]
  • Ittihad-i-Islami Barai Azadi Afghanistan (Islamic Union for the Liberation of Afghanistan) [Abdul Rasul SAYYAF]
  • Jabha-i-Najat-i-Milli Afghanistan (Afghanistan National Liberation Front) [Sibghatullah MOJADDEDI]
  • Mahaz-i-Milli-Islami (National Islamic Front) [Sayed Ahamad GAILANI]
  • Taliban (Religious Students Movement) [Mohammad OMAR]
  • United Islamic Front for the Salvation of Afghanistan, comprised of
    • Jumbesh-i-Melli Islami (National Islamic Movement) [Abdul Rashid DOSTAM]
    • Jamiat-i-Islami (Islamic Society) [Burhanuddin RABBANI and Ahmad Shah MASOOD (died in Sep 2001)]
    • Hizbi Wahdat-Khalili faction (Islamic Unity Party) [Abdul Karim KHALILI]

Political pressure groups and leaders: Afghan refugees in Pakistan, Australia, the United States, and elsewhere have organized politically; Afghan Mellat Party(Afghan Social Democratic Party) [leader Shams Ul Huda Shams) presently based in Peshawar, Pakistan; Peshawar, Pakistan-based groups such as the Coordination Council for National Unity and Understanding in Afghanistan or CUNUA [Ishaq GAILANI]; tribal elders represent traditional Pashtun leadership; Writers Union of Free Afghanistan or WUFA [A. Rasul AMIN]

International organization participation: AsDB, CP, ECO, ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Intelsat, IOC, IOM (observer), ITU, NAM, OIC, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WMO, WToO

Flag description

three equal horizontal bands of green (top), white, and black with a gold emblem centered on the three bands; the emblem features a temple-like structure with Islamic inscriptions above and below, encircled by a wreath on the left and right and by a bolder Islamic inscription above, all of which are encircled by two crossed scimitars. Note: the Taliban uses a plain white flag or a white flag with the shahada, see http://www.fotw.ca/flags/af.html