When Travel Ideal was hitting the trail of Asia by land in the 1970s, Afghanistan was known for its mountain scenery and the unique hospitality of its people. At the turn of the 21st century the country was synonymous with war and terrorism, the image of a failed state. The fall of the Taliban regime in 2001 and subsequent reconstruction efforts have done much to address this point of view, but in early 2007 the future of Afghanistan remained on the edge of a razor.
Although it remains a volatile area, often hostile, Afghanistan has some amazing treasures. Kabul, provides a vibrant rhythm and Mazar-e Sharif and north of Afghanistan is home to the holiest place in the country. Samangan (Aibak) is the place to the caves and hermitages of Takht-e Rostam, a hidden gem Buddhist while the wanton destruction of the Bamiyan Buddha statues still resonates, its ruins, situated in a serene valley, are an inspiring view.
After being bled for ten years of Soviet occupation, Afghanistan was launched by the international community almost the minute the last tank of the Red Army withdrew in 1989, allowing it to fall into the chaos of civil war and the Taliban. You agree not to repeat the same mistake 13 years later showed average at best. Progress in the development of education and political processes (which have been successful presidential and parliamentary elections) are quite real. Kabul and other cities have soared with increased trade and new construction. Most of the country is at peace, but the state remains dangerously weak. The return to power of many of the warlords rejected from the 1990’s has been cynically Afghans apparently can have peace or justice, but not both. The economic boom has stopped playing the field, where most Afghans live and development programs have ignored the agricultural sector of central importance, especially in the Pashtun regions that originally generated the Taliban.
Afghanistan’s rugged landscape and tribes that never has allowed a strong central government and attempts by the international community to build one have been mixed. The aid-dependent economy, and in 2006 domestic revenues rose by only U.S. $ 13 per capita. This pales in comparison to the 6,100 tons of opium produced in the same period-more than half the value of the legal economy. Opium erodes the fragile state, leading to bribe the police provincial centers of power in Kabul and out in the developed world. Over 90% of the heroin on the streets of the UK comes from Afghanistan.