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Kabul is the capital and largest city of Afghanistan, located in the eastern section of the country. It is located high up in a narrow valley between the Hindu Kush mountains and bounded by the Kabul River, with an elevation of 1,790 metres (5,873 ft) making it one of the highest capitals in the world. The city is said to be over 3,500 years old, mentioned since at least the time of the Achaemenid Empire. Located at crossroads in Asia – roughly halfway between Istanbul in the west and Hanoi in the east – it is in a strategic location along the trade routes of South and Central Asia, and a key location of the ancient Silk Road.
- Afghanistan never has had, and never can have, the cohesion and consistency of a regular monarchical government. The nation consists of a mere collection of tribes, of unequal power and with divergent habits, which are held together, more or less closely, according to the personal character of the chief who rules them. The feeling of patriotism, as known in Europe, cannot exist among the Afghans, for there is no common country... There is no natural or ethnical reason why Herat and Candahar should be attached to Cabul. Herat is inhabited by races entirely alien to the Afghans, by Jamshidis, Eymaks, and Hazrehs; while at Candahar, though the lands were parcelled out by Nadir Shah in the middle of the last century among the Durrani aristocracy, and their descendants still exist as a privileged class, the peasantry are everywhere of Persian, or Tajik, or Turkish descent, and have no community of felling with the northern and eastern Afghans.
- Henry Rawlinson, as quoted in Modern Afghanistan: A History of Struggle and Survival (2004), by Amin Saikal, p. 30
- The Arab traveller-geographer-chronicler al-Istakhri gives the following picture of Kabul in 921.
Kábul has a castle celebrated for its strength, accessible only by one road. In it there are Musulmáns, and it has a town, in which are infidels from Hind
- Sir H.M. Elliot, The Hindu Kings of Kabul (London: Packard Humanities Institute, 1869), 3. quoted from Balakrishna, S. Invaders and infidels: From Sindh to Delhi : the 500- year journey of Islamic invasions. New Delhi : BloomsBury, 2021. also quoted in Balakrishna, S., Lessons from Hindu History in 10 Episodes (2020)
- Encyclopedic article on Kabul on Wikipedia