The population of Ghazni City is multicultural and multi-ethnic, with approximately 50% Tajiks (Sunni Muslims) , 25% [[Pashtuns (Sunni Muslims), 20% Hazaras (Shia Muslims), and a small number (5%) of Hindus.
The city was sacked in 1151 by the Ghorid Ala'uddin but then made into their secondary capital from 1173. It again flourished but only to be permanently devastated, this time in 1221 by the Mongol armies of Genghis Khan led by his son Ögedei Khan.
Ghazni City is famous for its minarets built on a stellar plan. They date from the middle of the twelfth century and are the surviving element of the mosque of Bahramshah. Their sides are decorated with geometric patterns. Upper sections of the minarets have been damaged or destroyed. The most important mausoleum located in Ghazni City is that of Sultan Mahmud's. Others include the Tombs of poets and scientists, for example the Tomb of Al Biruni. The only ruins in Old Ghazni retaining a semblance of architectural form are two towers, about 43 m (140 ft) high and some 365 m (1,200 ft) apart. According to inscriptions, the towers were constructed by Mahmud of Ghazni and his son.
In the 1960s a 15-meter female Buddha was discovered lying on its back and surrounded by empty pillars that once held rows of smaller male Buddhas. Parts of the female Buddha have been stolen. In the 1980s a mud brick shelter was created to protect the sculpture, but the wood supports were stolen for firewood and the shelter partially collapsed.
During the First Anglo-Afghan War, the city was stormed and taken over by the British forces on July 23, 1839 in the Battle of Ghazni. The Civil war in Afghanistan and the continued conflict between the Taliban and the Northern Alliance during the 1990s put the relics of Ghazni in jeopardy.
Ghazni’s strategic position, both economically and militarily, assured its revival, albeit without its dazzling former grandeur. Through the centuries the city figures prominently as the all important key to the possession of Kabul.
Aid worker's murder tarnishes Afghan province; A death and a bombing prompted UN cutbacks this week in Ghazni and in provinces along the Pakistan border.(WORLD)
Nov 19, 2003; Byline: Halima Kazem Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor Ghazni, AFGHANISTAN -- The murder of a French UN aid...