Countries of the World and Their Leaders Yearbook 2009 by Gale

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In 1967, the PDPA split into two major rival factions: the Khalq (Masses) faction headed by Nur Muhammad Taraki and Hafizullah Amin and supported by elements within the military, and the Parcham (Banner) faction led by Babrak Karmal. The split reflected ethnic, class, and ideological divisions within Afghan society. Zahir’s cousin, Sardar Mohammad Daoud, served as his Prime Minister from 1953 to 1963. During his tenure as Prime Minister, Daoud solicited military and economic assistance from both Washington and Moscow and introduced controversial social policies of a reformist nature.

In 2005 Afghanistan and its South Asia neighbors held the first annual Regional Economic Cooperation Conference (RECC) promoting intra-regional relations and economic cooperation. Pakistan The 1978 Marxist coup strained relations between Pakistan and Afghanis t a n . Pa k i s t a n t o o k t h e l e a d diplomatically in the United Nations, the Non-Aligned Movement, and the Organization of the Islamic Conference in opposing the Soviet occupation. During the war against the Soviet occupation, Pakistan served as the primary logistical conduit for the Afghan resistance.

Km. (249,935 sq. ); slightly smaller than Texas. ). ; current figures are probably significantly higher)—Kandahar (226,000); Herat (177,000); Mazar-e-Sharif (131,000); Jalalabad (58,000); Konduz (57,000). Terrain: Landlocked; mostly mountains and desert. Climate: Dry, with cold winters and hot summers. People Nationality: Noun and adjective— Afghan(s). ). 5 million Afghans live outside the country, mainly in Pakistan and Iran, although over 5 million have returned since the removal of the Taliban.

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