The Face of Aftghanistan (3) - A History, and a Chronicle
If Afghanistan was a person, its history would be a clinical case.
At the beginning of the 20th century, protracted hostilities between the British Empire, Russia, and Afghanistan for the control of the Afghan territory lead to failed treaties, conventions, and open war. In 1921 the third Anglo-Afghan war ensues with both parties suffering heavy losses and results in England abandoning its plans of control. In 1929 king Kalakani is deposed and assassinated by Nadir Kahn, whose tribal forces loot the country. In 1933 Nadir is killed and Zahir Shah, age 19, takes the throne. He will rule until 1973 and will keep Afghanistan neutral during the Second World War.
In 1973 Daoud Khan overthrows him, abolishes monarchy, and declares him-self president of the Republic of Afghanistan. In 1978 he is killed in a communist coup, where Taraki takes power, backed by the USSR. Taraki will be killed the following year.
In June, 1978, the Mujahiddeen guerrilla was born, backed by the CIA in an effort to contain the USSR’s influence in the region. Hafizullah Amin takes the presidency in a state of chaos where civil war starts; the US ambassador is killed, and Amin himself is executed. Karmal takes power, only to be replaced by Najibullah when the URSS occupies the country. It is December 1979. The last Soviet tank will leave ten years later, ten years of guerrilla and destruction. In April 1992 the Mujahiddeen takes control of Kabul while Najibullah finds shelter within the UN compound. Rabbani takes power backed by Masood. Infightings between Mujahiddeens’ factions intensify and much of Kabul is finally reduced to rubble.In 1996 Taliban militia force President Rabbani out. After the capture of Kabul, the Taliban break into the UN compound, execute Najibullah, and crack down on resistance in the provinces through widespread repression and often even ethnic cleansing. Masood himself is killed in 2001. After Sep 11, 2001, a US-led coalition overthrows the Taliban and in December appoints Hamid Karzai as head of the interim Afghan government. In 2005 the first democratic election is held.
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