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Its border with British India, the Durand Line, was formed in 1893 but it is not recognized by the Afghan government and it has led to strained relations with Pakistan since the latter's independence in 1947.
It has been home to various peoples through the ages, among them the ancient Iranian peoples who established the dominant role of Indo-Iranian languages in the region.In more detail, it extended from what today is northwest Pakistan to northwest India and northeast Afghanistan.An Indus Valley site has been found on the Oxus River at Shortugai in northern Afghanistan.Urban civilization is believed to have begun as early as 3000 BCE, and the early city of Mundigak (near Kandahar in the south of the country) may have been a colony of the nearby Indus Valley Civilization.More recent findings established that the Indus Valley Civilisation stretched up towards modern-day Afghanistan, making the ancient civilisation today part of Pakistan, Afghanistan and India.Their decline began 60 years after Ashoka's rule ended, leading to the Hellenistic reconquest by the Greco-Bactrians.
Much of it soon broke away from them and became part of the Indo-Greek Kingdom.
The country has a population of 35 million, making it the 42nd most populous country in the world.
Afghanistan is bordered by Pakistan in the south and east; Iran in the west; Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan in the north; and China in the far northeast - it also borders Gilgit-Baltistan in this region which is claimed by India.
Its territory covers 652,000 square kilometers (252,000 sq mi), making it the 41st largest country in the world.
Human habitation in Afghanistan dates back to the Middle Paleolithic Era, and the country's strategic location along the Silk Road connected it to the cultures of the Middle East and other parts of Asia.
After 2000 BCE, successive waves of semi-nomadic people from Central Asia began moving south into Afghanistan; among them were many Indo-European-speaking Indo-Iranians.