A long history of foreign invasions and domestic strife can be seen in the area that is now known as the time in Afghanistan. This area, located at the crossroads of Asia and Europe, was captured by Darius I of Babylonia in 500 B.C. and Macedonian Alexander the Great in 329 B.C.
Mahmud of Ghazni, an 11th-century conqueror who established an empire stretching from Iran to India, is regarded as Afghanistan’s greatest conqueror.
The land was taken over by Genghis Khan in the 13th century, but it wasn’t until the 1700s that it was unified as a single country. Islam had taken root in the area by 1870 after it had been conquered by numerous Arab invaders.
In the nineteenth century, Britain sought to conquer time in Afghanistan in order to safeguard its Indian empire against Russian invasion, culminating in a series of British-Afghan Wars (1838-42, 1878-80, 1919-21).
Political change in Afghanistan and the beginning of a war
The British, battered by World War I, are defeated in the Third British-Afghan War (1919-21), and Afghanistan gains independence. Concerned that Afghanistan has slipped behind the rest of the world, Amir Amanullah Khan embarks on a rigorous socioeconomic reform effort.
Amanullah declares time in Afghanistan a monarchy rather than an emirate and calls himself king in 1926. He implements a number of modernizing programs and seeks to restrict the influence of the Loya Jirga or National Council. Dissatisfied with Amanullah’s policies, critics take up arms in 1928, and by 1929, the monarch has abdicated and left the kingdom.
Zahir Shah ascends to the throne. The new monarch restores some stability to the country and will govern for the next 40 years.
Afghanistan has been formally recognized by the United States.
Britain withdraws from India in 1947, resulting in the creation of India, a largely Hindu but secular state, and Pakistan, an Islamic state. Pakistan shares a lengthy, mostly uncontrolled border with Afghanistan.
The king’s cousin, the pro-Soviet Gen. Mohammed Daoud Khan is elected Prime Minister and seeks economic and military assistance from the communist country. He also implements a variety of social reforms, such as letting women be more visible in public.
Nikita Khrushchev, the Soviet Premier, decides to aid Afghanistan, and the two countries become close friends.
Women are now permitted to attend university and work as a result of Daoud’s changes.
The Afghan Communist Party emerges in secret. Babrak Karmal and Nur Mohammad Taraki are the group’s primary leaders.
In a military revolution in 1973, Khan deposes the last king, Mohammed Zahir Shah. The People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan, led by Khan, takes power. Khan declares himself president and abolishes the monarchy. The Republic of Afghanistan has been founded, with strong links to the Soviet Union.
Khan proposes a new constitution that provides women’s rights and tries to reform the country’s predominantly communist government. He also pushes down on critics, pushing many people who are suspected of not backing Khan out of the administration.
Khan is assassinated in a communist takeover in 1978. Nur Mohammad Taraki, a founding member of the Afghan Communist Party, is elected president, while Babrak Karmal is chosen deputy prime minister. They assert their independence from Soviet influence and state that their programs are founded on Islamic values, Afghan nationalism, and socioeconomic fairness. Taraki forms a contract of friendship with the Soviet Union. However, a feud between Taraki and Hafizullah Amin, another powerful communist leader, leads to bloodshed between the two.
At the same time, traditionalist Islamic and ethnic leaders who oppose Khan’s social reforms launch an armed uprising in the countryside. In June, the guerrilla movement Mujahadeen is formed to oppose the Soviet-backed government.
Adolph Dubs, the American ambassador, is assassinated. The United States suspends aid to Afghanistan. Taraki and Deputy Prime Minister Hafizullah Amin begin a power struggle. Taraki is assassinated on September 14 after a clash with Amin loyalists.
On December 24, the Soviet Union invades time in Afghanistan to shore up the communist rule. Amin and several of his followers are killed on December 27. Babrak Karmal, the Deputy Prime Minister, is appointed Prime Minister. Violent public demonstrations erupt as a result of widespread resistance to Karmal and the Soviets.
By early 1980, the Mujahadeen rebels had banded together to fight the Soviet invaders and the USSR-backed Afghan Army.
Approximately 2.8 million Afghans have fled the conflict to Pakistan, with another 1.5 million fleeing to Iran. Afghan insurgents seize control of rural regions, while Soviet soldiers maintain control of metropolitan districts.
Osama bin Laden, a Saudi Islamist, makes his first recorded journey to Afghanistan to help anti-Soviet troops, although claiming to have gone there soon after the Soviet invasion.
The UN examines allegations of human rights abuses in Afghanistan.
In September, Osama bin Laden and 15 other Islamists create al-Qaida, or “the base,” to continue their jihad, or holy war, against the Soviets and those who they claim oppose their objective of a clean society controlled by Islam. They claim victory in their first battle, believing that the Soviet Union’s faltering war in Afghanistan was directly attributable to their fighting, but they also begin to shift their focus to America, claiming that the remaining superpower is the main obstacle to the establishment of an Islamic state.
In Geneva, the United States, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the Soviet Union sign peace treaties ensuring Afghan independence and the departure of 100,000 Soviet soldiers. Following the exit of the Soviet Union, the Mujahadeen have maintained their fight against the Soviet-backed rule of communist president Dr. Mohammad Najibullah, who was elected president of the puppet Soviet state in 1986. Afghan insurgents appoint Sibhatullah Mojadidi as the leader of their exiled government.