Afghanistan Recent History
Afghanistan means country of the Afghans but the inhabitants call it “Roh” which means mountainous country.
The first ancient inhabitants of the country were the Pacti, of whom we have received news through the writings of the Greek historian Herodotus. According to Abbreviationfinder, they were there until the time of Alexander the Great’s conquests in Asia, between 334 and 327 BC. There were the Thracians and the Macedonians and then the Mongols arrived. In 645 AD, the country was invaded by Muslims but rebelled, under the leadership of Abu Muslim, and regained its independence in 751.
For a very long period then various dynasties followed, among which the most important was that of the Ghaznavids, at the court of which scholars and scholars from all over the Asian continent agreed.
At the beginning of the thirteenth century, however, this civilization was brought down by the Mongolian Genghis Khan and his descendants continued to repress all the riots that broke out in various regions. Until Emperor Rukh came to power, from 1429 to 1472, and that was a period of peace and independence.
Around 1500 the plains of the country were divided between Persia and India. In 1747 the shah Amhed was crowned king of Candahar and founded the Sedzai dynasty, which ruled until the death of the shah Timur, in 1793, the year in which tremendous civil wars broke out, which caused the ruin of the empire with the invasion of the 1818 and with the victories of Bunjet-Sing, king of Lahore.
But from the beginning of the nineteenth century the Russians began to arrive in the Caucasus and the British in the Himalaya. The slow but steady progress of the Russians towards India, through Afghanistan, made Japan so jealous that it resolved to oppose it by occupying the plateau in 1839.
Faced with growing Russian influence, the United Kingdom did not hesitate to send 35,000 men to Afghanistan in 1878 to defend the western borders of India. And after a somewhat uncertain struggle, in 1879 British troops prevailed and occupied Kabul, dethroning Emir Yakub, and recognizing Emir Abdur Rahman as king of Afghanistan. In the following years (1881, 1884, 1885) he managed, with British help, to become absolute master of the whole territory. Thus the United Kingdom was able to consolidate its influence and halt the advance of Russia.
In 1887 a Russian-British agreement was made with which the Russians became masters of Pendscedeh and a part of Badghis. In 1893 an Afghan-British agreement was made for the southern border. Through the “Durand Line”, whose name was given by the negotiator, the so-called “no man’s land” was cut in half, leaving the Pathan tribe a little here and a little beyond this line. A new Russian-British agreement of 1895 established that the Russian-Afghan border was made up of a line going to Dschisa on the Amu-Daria.
Abdur Rahman, in 1901, was succeeded by his Anglophile son Habib Ullà Can who was assassinated in 1919. He was succeeded by his son Aman Ullà Can, who declared the country’s independence from any foreign interference. In 1946 the Emir assumed the title of King. Attempts to modernize the customs and customs, after a long journey by Aman in Europe, they had a disastrous effect.
Mixed Russian-Germanic and British interests collided with each other and the country fell in 1928/29, in a chaotic civil war. The sovereign abdicated and left the country to settle in Rome.
The rebel leader, Basciai Sacao, became sovereign with the name of Abib Ullà. But on 6 October 1929 he was dethroned and later, on 2 November, he was shot. But as early as 18 October the people had proclaimed King Muhammad Nadir Can, from the same ruling house as Aman Ullà.
In 1946/48 Afghanistan regulated the demarcation of the borders with the Soviet Union. In 1951 a technical assistance agreement was concluded with the United States and friendship agreements were made with Kabul with Jordan, Syria and Lebanon.
In 1952, the construction of roads and other works on the border with the Soviet Union, financed by the United States, in September, caused exchanges of notes between Washington and Moscow.
In December 1953 an already existing commercial treaty with the Soviet Union was expanded which thus provided showy capitals for public works, oil research, machinery, manufactured goods, oil and technical assistance.
After a trip to Kabul undertaken by the two top Soviet leaders Bulganin and Khrushchev, other important pacts were signed until May 1959 for several million dollars.
Then Afghanistan also turned to the United Nations for aid and I will take in considerable foreign capital from Czechoslovakia, India, Japan and western Germany.
In 1955 a strong tension developed with Pakistan for the southern borders; it was about to start a war but some nations intervened and the danger was averted, but the problem remained.
As for foreign policy, Afghanistan always took great care of relations with the Soviet Union but never wished to be dependent and therefore also tightened relations with the United States and other western countries. However, it declared itself a “non-aligned” country and therefore equidistant from the two blocks.
Throughout the 1950s and early 1960s, thanks to the energetic government of Prime Minister Muhammad Daud Khan, uncle of King Zahir Shah, there was considerable progress in the social field; for example the veil of women was abolished and their conditions were greatly improved.
But the thorn in the side of this country, which tried in every way to progress, remained the question of Pakhtunistan, that is that area of the southern borders with Pakistan. And when in 1961 some Afghans broke through and were severely rejected, the two countries broke off relations and nothing worse happened with the mediation conducted by Iran.
In 1963 Muhammad Daud resigned and much of the political power passed into the hands of the king. On October 1, 1964, he promulgated a new constitution which established that members of the royal family should not carry out political positions, contrary to what had been until then.
In 1965, the first elections were held in the manner of the West, even if organized parties had never existed. A conservative government was formed and this was also after the 1969 elections.
But in the context of the gradual development of the country, there were also negative results, above all for the legislative unpreparedness of the king, who did not even manage to apply the Constitution, especially in the field of local autonomies.
Thus a rather difficult situation arose with strikes which also cost human lives.
Until Muhammad Daud made a coup d’état on 17 July 1973, without bloodshed, overthrew the monarchy and proclaimed the republic. At that moment the king was in Italy to heal himself; he made no mention of resistance and shortly afterwards officially renounced the throne.
The new regime was getting stronger and stronger and stronger were relations with the Soviet Union and China. At the same time, tension was growing again for Pakhtunistan.
In 1978 President M. Daud tried to downsize the Soviet presence in the country, both military and economic, as it was taking on an aggressive character. And for this he needed the help of Iran and the question with Pakistan had to be shelved once again.
Then some Communist leaders were arrested and this resulted in a coup d’état carried out by armored units and air forces on April 27, whose cadres had been fully trained in the Soviet Union. Daud was slaughtered along with 18 members of his family.
A Revolutionary Council was established whose president was NM Taraki, made up of two different communist factions: the Khalq (the people) and the Parcham (the flag).
The Soviet Union first recognized the new government but Taraki remained in office for a short time because his deputy H. Amin, with the coup d’état of February 14, 1979, deposed him and assumed power.
He applied harsh repressions, killed all opponents, tried to completely eradicate all traditional institutions and wanted to involve the rural world in an agrarian reform that practically harmed him. So that riots also occurred in the cities of Herat, Qandahar, Kabul. In particular, Herat, a cultural center of great renown, was almost destroyed and lost 25,000 inhabitants.
And on December 27, 1979 Soviet troops invaded Afghanistan. Amin was deposed and killed and his successor was B. Karmal.
All western states condemned the invasion by presenting grievances through the United Nations.
In 1980 Soviet troops occupied the Wakhan, that is, a narrow passage between Pamir and China. Inside it developed what the Muslims called holy war against the infidel Soviets.
The Soviets bombed and destroyed entire villages forcing the inhabitants to flee, especially to Iran, where they remained mixing and conforming to the local population. In 1980 there were 5 and a half million refugees including 2 million in Iran and the rest in Pakistan.
Depending on the ideologies, the country was radicalizing itself on two different essential positions: one communist which tended to destroy the other, fundamentalist Muslim.
With this situation, however, the literacy system was developed, the Koranic schools were restored, the red flag was lowered and the Islamic green one returned, and on the level of militarization, compulsory conscription was brought to three years. There were many cases of desertion. And the “Mujiahidin”, that is the leaders of the Afghan resistance, were always backed by Pakistan. While the Islamists felt closer to the Marxist-Leninists.
On May 16, 1985, the Islamic Alliance found itself united in Peshawar, Pakistan, to reaffirm its opposition to the Soviet occupation.
In 1986 R. Reagan, then President of the United States, sent Stinger-type anti-aircraft missiles, with which to prevent Soviet bombing. All this took place under the aegis of the Pakistani secret services.
But the event that was to bring about a clear change in the situation was the appointment of M. Gorbachev to the Soviet political summit. He implemented a strategy of relaxation and the new head of the Afghan government, Najibullah, made a wide openness to Islam.
With the Constitution of November 30, 1987 Islam was proclaimed an official religion.
The Soviet occupation lasted until 1989 when as a result of the political strategy of Gorbachev, the famous “perestroika”, all the peoples hitherto subjected were able to manage their country and enjoy their freedoms.
Economically, Afghanistan, largely dependent on the USSR, was affected by the interruption of some grandiose public works started in the north, in Soviet territory, such as the gas pipeline, industrial, energy and communication structures.
In 1991 an agreement entered into between the USSR and the United States also stopped the supply of war material to Afghanistan.
In May 1991 the United Nations proposed a self-determination government of the people to Afghanistan. After the Soviet occupation ended as early as February 1989, the civil war between the opposing factions of Islamic fundamentalists and pro-Soviet had continued.
In April 1992 Kabul fell into the hands of the Muslims. And in this political context characterized by the absence of a central power, a new armed group was born in 1994, called the “Taleban”, made up mostly of young students from the Koranic schools of Pakistan. This group was not immediately considered noteworthy but, in a short time, it conquered many southern provinces. The local populations, also in order to avoid bloodshed, did not offer resistance, so the Taleban was able to proceed north until it clashed with the army of President Rabban. At first he had some difficulties but then he passed easily to the conquest of Herat and then marched towards the capital Kabul in October 1995.
The defense of Kabul was strenuous but on 09/25/1996 it fell. In May 1997 the Taleban, which arrived in the north, controlled 90% of the national territory.
Between late 1997 and early 1998, President Rabban, still believed to be chief of the country, asked for help from the diplomats of Iran and Pakistan to conduct a moralization in order to end the civil war. But by now the Taleban launched in the country’s war of liberation, in August 1998, conquered Hazar-i-Sherif the stronghold of the resistance and completely decimated the population.
Among the victims were also found the corpses of some Iranian diplomats, for which Iran, after fiery declarations by Ayatollah Hene’i, had its troop positioned on the border with Afghanistan.
At the same time the United States, in response to the massacres committed in some of its embassies, such as that of Nairobi in Kenya and that of Dar-al-Salam in Tanzania, bombed the area of Khost, on the border with Pakistan, where the Saudi billionaire Osama bin Laden, suspected of being the financier of all fundamentalist attacks in the world. The Taleban never granted his extradition to the United States.