Afghanistan is one of the world's poorest countries, wrecked by decades of conflict which led to the rise of the Islamist fundamentalist movement, the Taliban.
Despite the fall of the Taliban after the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, the security situation remains tense as extremists continue to stage regular attacks.
Afghanistan marks the 100th anniversary of its independence on August 19. DW spoke with Afghan Princess India, who has been living in Italy for decades. The 90-year-old princess talked about her father, King Amanullah Khan, and shared some memories about her life in exile.
India's move to scrap Kashmir's special status has angered neighboring Pakistan, which claims the region as its own. Islamabad is now busy dealing with the Kashmir issue. Could it hamper Pakistan's efforts to broker a peace deal between the US and the Taliban?
The UN has urged forces in Afghanistan to immediately "reduce the terrible harm being inflicted" on civilians. The US and allied forces in Afghanistan have killed 717 civilians during the first half of the year.