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Administration & Social Conditions

Written by AfghanSite Network. Posted in Afghanistan History

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Until the middle of the 20th century, Afghanistan was ruled by the absolute power of the king. Two constitutions were promulgated, in 1923 and 1931, both affirming the power of the monarchy. The constitution of 1964, however, provided for a constitutional monarchy, based on the separation of executive, legislative, and judicial authorities. A military coup in 1973 overthrew the monarchy, abolished the constitution of 1964, and established the Republic of Afghanistan. The Grand National Assembly (Loya Jirgah) adopted a new constitution in February 1977, but it was abrogated in 1978 when another coup established the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan, governed by the Afghan Revolutionary Council. Political turmoil continued, marked by a third coup in September 1979, a massive invasion of troops from the Soviet Union, and the installation of a socialist government in December 1979. A new constitution promulgated in 1987 changed the name of the country back to the Republic of Afghanistan and reaffirmed its nonaligned status, strengthened the post of president, and permitted other parties to participate in government. 
The highest government authority is vested in the Grand National Assembly, a body defined as "the highest manifestation of the will of the people of Afghanistan" and made up of members of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches. The Grand National Assembly has the power to elect the president, amend and interpret the constitution, declare war, and adopt decisions on "the most important questions concerning the country's national destiny." The head of state and commander in chief of the armed forces is the president, who is elected for a seven-year term. The Council of Ministers is the highest executive body and is responsible for domestic and foreign policy. The National Assembly is the highest legislative body and comprises a 192-member council of elders and a 234-member council of representatives. 
Afghanistan has a centralized system of local government. For administrative purposes the country is divided into provinces, each administered by a centrally appointed governor. The provinces are further subdivided into districts and sub-districts, headed by appointed commissioners. 
In April 1992 The communist government was overthrown by the various Islamist Parties that established the first Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. This regime was driven out as result of internal warfare by the student militia of Taliban which established the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in September 1996.

Armed Forces & Education

Regular army officers are trained in a military school in Kabul. There is a small air force, with bases at Bagram , Shindand, and Jalalabad. A secret police force was organized in the late 1970s.Currently there are no military structure or military education facility left as a result of the the internal warfare between former Mujahideen group during 1992 to 1996. 
Education was free at all levels, and elementary education was officially compulsory wherever it is provided by the state. Nonetheless, fewer than one-fourth of all Afghan children attended school. There was primary schools throughout the country but secondary schools only in the provincial and in some district centers. Less than one-fourth of the population is literate. Kabul University was founded in 1946 by the incorporation of a number of faculties, the oldest of which is the faculty of medicine, established in 1932. The University of Nangarhar was formed in Jalalabad in 1963. Under the rules of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan from 1992 till 1996 and Islamic Emirate Of Afghanistan 1996 till Today the education structure have was completely destroyed and none of theses government have tried to recover the lose in the field of education. The education system is currently in a very dire shape.

Health and Welfare

Health care and the availability of hospitals, doctors, and nurses are extremely limited in Afghanistan. Medical training is almost nonexistent, and the medical aid that is available is provided principally by foreign countries. The major proportion of medical services is concentrated in Kabul, and many rural areas do not have hospitals or doctors. The lack of health care accounts in large part for a high mortality rate among young children. Welfare measures offered by the government are minimal.

Social Divisions

The bulk of the population in the rural areas consists of small farmers exploiting their tiny plots of land. The majority of the city and town dwellers are artisans, small traders, or government employees. The industrial labor force, though small, has grown. There is also a business community of merchants and industrialists. Since the 1960s the wearing of a veil by women has been voluntary, and women have found employment in offices and shops. Some Afghan women have received a university education

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