Afghanistan is in a state of decay and there is no recovery in sight. To my knowledge it is the only country where high Government officials and the educated when appearing on the media of the west mispronounce the name of their country.
A few centuries ago many well-known scholars, Sufis and rulers of India came from Afghanistan. Some of these were Ali Hajvery (990-1077) known as Daata Ganj Baksh who was buried in Lahore, Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti (1141-1230) buried in Ajmer, Maulana Rumi (1207-1273) buried in Konya Turkey and father of Amir Khusro (1253-1325). The Chisti Sufi order was founded in 930 in Chist, near Heart, by Shaikh Abu Ishaq Shami. Several rulers of India such as Mahmood Ghazni (971-1030), dynasties of Khilji (1290 – 1320), Lodi(1451-1526) and Shair Shah Suri in 1540 came from Afghanistan. Shair Shah Suri started the postal service, established the Rupee as a currency and extended the GT road from Delhi to Calcutta. Afghanistan also had a rich Buddhist period.
Nations like people have a destiny; some are taken down and others rise and prosper. For those that have gone down, the recovery is painful, chaotic and slow. The key to recovery lies in good quality education available to all, along with nurturing of values such as a sense of justice, fairness, equality and respect for the civil liberties of each and every individual. Countries that have achieved these qualities and provide access to good health care and social supports have succeeded*. Others lack equality. When good quality education (not even at secondary school level) and services are only available to the elite and well to do, the country will have a long and difficult road ahead. Ignorance breeds more ignorance. It promotes distrust, misinformation and hate. When it is combined with a lack of jobs and opportunities and a poor justice system, it creates an environment where radicals and hate groups can easily exploit.
Note: The last 50 years have shown that countries where high quality education is only accessible to the elite and well to do have not progressed. It widens the equality gap and creates disdain and mistrust. The privileged disdain the poor and the underprivileged distrust the educated elite. The majority of those who demand civil liberties would prefer to restrict it to the educated and well to do elite. Also a large segment of them have little faith in political solutions to the problems and often force is the preferred option and only when it fails, then political solutions are seriously considered.
*US is an exception. It does not have universal health coverage and high quality education in comparison to some European countries is unaffordable to many.