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The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is home to more than 30 million people. It is a mountainous country with a diverse population of many ethnic groups. The largest of these, Pahstuns, make up just over 40 percent of the population, followed by 27 percent Tajiks and smaller numbers of Hazara, Uzbek, Aimak, Turkmen, Baloch and others. It is equally diverse in languages with two official languages-Afghan Persian or Dari, the mother tongue of 50 percent of the population, and Pashto, the native language of 35 percent of the population. Another 11 percent of the population speaks Turkic languages and another 30 languages can be found in wide use.

History and Social Structure

In 1747, Ahmad Shah Durrani unified Pahtun tribes to create Afghanistan. During the 19th ...

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