Courtesy Reuters

THE history of Afghanistan has been dominated by the geographical fact that it lies on the route of invasion to India. Cyrus and the Persians, Alexander and the Macedonian phalanxes, the barbarian Scythians, free-booting Turanian knights -- all these passed through the land of the Afghans to reach the fabulous wealth of the Indian peninsula. They plundered freely, for such was the nature of their expeditions. So great were their ravages that when in the seventh century the Arabs conquered the land in the name of Islam there truly was nothing left to despoil. A period of comparative peace and

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