Afghanistan, officially the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central Asia and South Asia. Referred to as the Heart of Asia, it is bordered by Pakistan to the east and south, Iran to the west, Turkmenistan to the northwest, Uzbekistan to the north, Tajikistan to the northeast, and China to the northeast and east. Occupying of land, the country is predominantly mountainous with plains in the north and the southwest, which are separated by the Hindu Kush mountain range. Kabul is the country's largest city and serves as its capital. , Afghanistan's population is 40.2 million (officially estimated to be 32.9 million).
Human habitation in Afghanistan dates back to the Middle Paleolithic era, and the country's strategic location along the historic Silk Road has led it to being described, picturesquely, as the 'roundabout of the ancient world'. Popularly referred to as the graveyard of empires, the land has historically bee