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"Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong; they are the ones to attain felicity".
(surah Al-Imran,ayat-104)
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User Name: DrSajid
Full Name: Dr Sajid Khakwani
User since: 22/May/2010
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In The Name of Allah The Almighty

Mongolia

(11 July: National Day)

Dr Sajid Khakwani

Drsajidkhakwani@gmail.com

 Mongolia, country located in north-central Asia.. Mongolia is bounded on the north by Russia and on the south by China. It located deep within the interior of eastern Asia far from any ocean. It occupies an area of 604,000 square miles. Its measuring 1,486 miles  from west to east and, at its maximum, 782 miles from north to south . Mongolia has a marked continental climate, with long, cold winters and short, cool to hot summers. Its remarkable variety of scenery consists largely of upland steppes, semi deserts, and deserts, although in the west and north forested, high mountain ranges alternate with dry, lake-dotted basins. The Gobi is a typical rock-floored desert with gravel cover; only the extreme east has small areas of sandy desert. Mongolia is highland country, with an average altitude of 5,200 feet  above sea level. Nearly four-fifths of Mongolia's area consists of pasturelands, which support immense herds of grazing livestock; the remaining area is about equally divided between forests and barren deserts, with only a tiny fraction of the land in crops. The capital, Ulaanbaatar, by far the largest and most important urban centre, has a population of one-fourth of the population of the entire country. It lies on the north-central portion of Mongolia. The country  With a total population of slightly more than two million, Mongolia has one of the lowest population densities of any country in the world. However, since the 1950s the country has had one of Asia's highest rates of natural increase.

 The Mongols constitute one of the principal ethnographic divisions of Asian peoples. Their traditional homeland is centered in Mongolia, a vast plateau in Central Asia now divided politically into an autonomous region of the People's Republic of China (Inner Mongolia) and the independent country Mongolia (Outer Mongolia), which lies at the eastern end of what was a great corridor of migration between Northeast China (Manchuria) and Hungary throughout history. Nineteenth-century physical anthropologists introduced the terms Mongol and Mongolian as descriptive of “racial type” even though the Mongols exhibited a wide range of physical characteristics. Today the Mongols are recognized as a group of peoples bound together by a common language and a common nomadic tradition.

The Mongols have a long prehistory and a most remarkable history. Their ancestors were the Huns, a people who lived in Central Asia from the 3rd to the 1st century BC. A single Mongolian feudal state eventually was formed in the early 13th century AD from nomadic tribal groupings. Its leader, Genghis Khan, and his successors in the 13th century controlled a vast empire that included much of China, Russia, and Central Asia. From its independence from China on July 11, 1921, , Mongolia was closely tied to the Soviet Union until the end of the 1980s. It received technical, economic, and military assistance from the Soviet Union and generally followed Soviet guidance in political and cultural matters, both domestic and international. Symbolic of the profound changes in culture and society was the replacement in the 1940s of the traditional Mongolian alphabet with a new one based on the Cyrillic letters of the Russian alphabet. In the period 1990–92, however, Mongolia moved away from a monopoly of political power by the communist party to free multiparty elections, a coalition government, a new constitution, greater cultural and religious freedom with more emphasis on national Mongol traditions, and a neutral position in international relations, as well as toward some elements of a market economy. In the 1990s the traditional script was once again taught in schools, and store signs appeared in both Cyrillic and traditional forms.

 Human beings have long been in evidence in this part of what is sometimes called High Asia; and the ruins of long-abandoned cities, as well as archaeological remains dating back to the earliest days of prehistory, have attracted the attention of Mongolian and international scholars.  The northern forests harbour lynx, Asiatic red deer, elk, roe deer, musk deer, brown bears, snow leopards, wolverines, wild boars, squirrels, and sables. Domesticated animals include sheep, camels, cattle, the hairy highland yak, goats, dogs, and the famous Mongolian horses. Birdlife includes larks, partridges, cranes, pheasants, bustards, and falcons in the steppes; geese, ducks, gulls, pelicans, swans, and cormorants in the rivers and lakes; the snowy owl, the golden eagle, and the condor, which frequent some areas.

 Anthropologically, the Mongols are quite homogeneous, belonging to the classic physical type to which they lent their name. Within Mongolia, Khalkha-speaking Mongols constitute almost four-fifths of the population. Other Mongolian groups—including Dörbed, Buryat, Bayad, and Dariganga—account for about one-eighth of the population. By tradition the Mongols have been Buddhists. Much of the rest of the population consists of Turkic-speaking peoples, mainly Kazaks, who traditionally have been Muslims; located mainly in the western part of the country, they have been granted an autonomous area. A small but significant number of Russians live mainly in the cities. The Chinese, who were formerly important in cities, trade, and finance, have largely left the country.

 In the early 1990s Mongolia experienced great economic difficulties as it moved from a command economy to a system with elements of a market economy. About one-third to one-half of the budget had previously come from the now-defunct Soviet Union. Mongolia's international debt was extremely high. The low national income per capita sank even lower as the population grew rapidly. Mongolia possesses mineral resources. Geologic surveys have confirmed the existence of large deposits of coal and iron, tin, copper, gold, and silver ore and a number of lesser known minerals.

 Livestock raising—based on millions of head of sheep, goats, cattle, and horses and including a large number of camels—accounts for about 70 percent of the value of agricultural production. Livestock are widely distributed throughout the entire country. The number of horses and cattle reach their greatest concentrations in the wetter north-central regions, whereas goats and camels are proportionately more numerous in the drier west and south. Most of the livestock belong to agricultural cooperatives. The principal manufactured products are processed foods (meat, beverages, dairy products, and flour); articles of clothing and footwear made from wool, hides, skins, and furs; and lumber, paper, matches, and furniture. About half of the industrial employment is in Ulaanbaatar, which is the centre of light industry. Heavy industry is concentrated in Darhan, and forest products are processed in Sühbaatar.

  Mongolia's most important transportation artery is the Trans-Mongolian Railway, which runs north-south through the central part of the country; it links Mongolia to Russia and to China and provides the shortest overland route between Moscow and Peking. Camels are still used in the sparsely populated desert areas of the south, and yaks and oxen still haul some goods in the rugged mountains of the west. Air service is particularly suitable for passenger movement in Mongolia because distances between population centers are great, population density is low, and weather conditions generally are favorable for flying. Ulaanbaatar has an international airport, and the capital has regularly scheduled service to the province centers. Special medical and veterinary flights also are arranged.

  From the founding of an independent Mongolia on July 11, 1921, the country followed Soviet leadership for nearly seven decades; it was the first Soviet satellite and remained the longest. The Soviet army became Mongolia's main defense force, and party and governmental structures closely followed the Soviet models of a one-party political system. The economy was transformed gradually into a communist command economy with government ownership of the means of production and with an emphasis on mining and industry.

During the 1980s the party leadership underwent change. And in March 1990; there were multiparty elections in July 1990, and subsequently a coalition government was formed. A new constitution became effective on February 12, 1992, and was amended in 2001. Power is divided among independent legislative, executive, and judicial organs, with human rights guaranteed by law, with separation and mutual noninterference of state and religion, and with the authorization of private ownership of land, except for pastures used by nomadic herders. The land (except that given to the citizens of Mongolia for private possession), water, forests, fauna, and underground resources are the property of the state, which also regulates the economy.

 The constitution provides for a strong, directly elected president, who nominates the prime minister and who has the power to veto legislation. The requirement that the president must be at least 45 years old places the position out of the reach of young reformers. The constitution also created a unicameral legislature, the State Great Horal, with 76 members elected for four-year terms. Parliament by a two-thirds vote can overturn a presidential veto. The country is divided administratively into 22 provinces, including the capital city, Ulaanbaatar, which has independent administrative status. Further local subdivisions include districts and villages.     Justice is administered through an independent system of courts: Supreme Court, province courts (including a capital city court), and district courts. Special courts such as criminal, civil, and administrative ones may be formed. Matters relating to the interpretation of the constitution are decided by an independent Constitutional Court. Amendments to the constitution require a three-fourths vote of members of the Great Hural.

            Mongolia maintains only limited military forces, consisting of infantry divisions and support aircraft. Soviet troops were withdrawn in the early 1990s. The 1992 constitution prohibits the presence of foreign troops. From the foundation of the modern state, educational development has been regarded as important. Education is compulsory for 10 years, beginning at age six. Illiteracy has been almost eradicated. The Academy of Sciences coordinates research institutions, experimental stations, and other scientific establishments and supervises scholarly work.

 Islam in Mongolia is mainly practised by the ethnic Kazakhs and Khovd, living primarily in the western Mongolia. In addition, a number of small Kazakh communities can be found in various cities and towns spread throughout the country. Some of the major population centres with a significant Muslim presence include the national capital Ulan Bator.

Islam first gained the notice of the Mongols, after Genghis Khan had conquered into Afghanistan. In 1222 he, on his way back to Mongolia, he visited Bukhara in Transoxiana where it was believed he inquired about Islam. The earliest evidence of Islam in Mongolia is dated to 1254, when two mosques were built. Therefore, historians date the arrival of Islam to Mongolia to between 1222 and 1254. By AD 1330's three of the four major khanates of the Mongol Empire had become Muslim. The Yuan Empire also embraced Muslim.

 As a result of historically high birth rates, the Muslim population in Mongolia increased between 1956-1989. However, there was a decline in the Muslim population in 1990-1993 due to the large wave of repatriation of ethnic Kazakhs to Kazakhstan following the break-up of the Soviet Union. Islam is freely practised in the country since Mongolia became a democracy in 1990.

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