Thursday, March 3, 2011

Chronological History of Afghanistan

Part III (1747 - 1978)


  • Rule of Ahmad Shah Abdali (Durrani).
  • Ahmad Shah consolidates and enlarges Afghanistan. He defeats the Moghuls in the west of the Indus, and he takes Herat away from the Persians. Ahmad Shah Durrani's empire extended from Central Asia to Delhi, from Kashmir to the Arabian sea. It became the greatest Muslim empire in the second half of the 18th century.
  • (1750) Khurasan----> Afghanistan.


  • Rule of Timur Shah
  • Capital of Afghanistan transferred from Kandahar to Kabul because of tribal opposition.
  • Constant internal revolts


  • Rule of Zaman Shah
  • Constant internal revolts
  • (1795) Persians invade Khurasan (province)


  • Rule of Mahmood
  • Constant internal revolts


  • Rule of Shah Shujah
  • (1805) Persian attack on Herat fails.
  • Internal fighting


  • Mahmood returns to the throne.
  • War with Persia--indecisive victory
  • Internal fighting


  • Sons of Timur Shah struggle for the throne--Civil War--anarchy--
  • Afghans lose Sind permanently


  • Dost Mohammad Khan takes Kabul, and establishes control.


  • Persia moves into Khurasan (province), and threatens Herat. Afghans defend Herat successfully.


  • (May)--Afghans lose Peshawar to the Sikhs; later they crushed the Sikhs under the leadership of Akbar Khan who defeated the Sikhs near Jamrud, and killed the great Sikh general Hari Singh. However, they failed to retake Peshawar due to disunity and bad judgment on the part of Dost Mohammad Khan.


  • Dost Mohammad Khan is proclaimed as Amir al-mu' minin (commander of the faithful). He was well on the road toward reunifying the whole of Afghanistan when the British, in collaboration with an ex-king (Shah Shuja), invade Afghanistan.


  • First Anglo-Afghan War
  • After some resistance, Amir Dost Mohammad Khan surrenders to the British and is deported to India.
  • Shah Shuja is installed as a "puppet king" by the British. (1839-1842)
  • April 1842--Shah Shuja killed by Afghans.
  • Afghans passionately continue their struggle against the British.
  • Akbar Khan--Afghan hero--victorious against the British.
  • In January 1842, out of 16,500 soldiers (and 12,000 dependents) only one survivor, of mixed British-Indian garrison, reaches the fort in Jalalabad, on a stumbling pony.


  • After the annihilation of British troops, Afghanistan once again becomes independent, and the exiled Amir, Dost Mohammad Khan comes back and occupies the royal throne (1843-1863).


  • Afghan hero, Akbar Khan dies


  • Dost Mohammad Khan signs a peace treaty with India.


  • British take Baluchistan, and Afghanistan becomes completely landlocked.


  • Sher Ali, Dost Mohammad Khan's son, succeeds to the throne.
  • (1865)--Russia takes Bukhara, Tashkent, and Samarkand.


  • Mohammad Afzal occupies Kabul and proclaims himself Amir.
  • October, 1867--Mohammad Afzal dies.


  • Mohammad Azam succeeds to the throne
  • 1868--Mohammad Azam flees to Persia
  • Sher Ali reasserts control (1868-1879).


  • Russia established a fixed boundary between Afghanistan and it's new territories.
  • Russia promises to respect Afghanistan's territorial integrity.


  • Start of second Anglo-Afghan War
  • The British invade and the Afghans quickly put up a strong resistance.


  • Sher Ali dies in Mazar-i-Shariff, and Amir Muhammad Yaqub Khan takes over until October 1879.
  • Amir Muhammad Yaqub Khan gives up the following Afghan territories to the British: Kurram, Khyber, Michni, Pishin, and Sibi. Afghans lose these territories permanently.


  • Battle of Maiwand
  • July 1880, Afghan woman named Malalai carries the Afghan flag forward after the soldiers carrying the flag were killed by the British. She becomes a heroine for her show of courage and valour.
  • Abdur Rahman takes throne of Afghanistan as Amir.
  • The British, shortly after the accession of the new Amir, withdraw from Afghanistan, although they retain the right to handle Afghanistan's foreign relations.
  • Abdur Rahman establishes fixed borders and he loses a lot of Afghan land.
  • Nuristan converted to Islam.


  • The Panjdeh Incident
  • Russian forces seize the Panjdeh Oasis, a piece of Afghan territory north of the Oxus River. Afghans tried to retake it, but was finally forced to allow the Russians to keep Panjdeh - Russians promised to honor Afghan territorial integrity in the future.


  • The Durand line fixes borders of Afghanistan with British India, splitting Afghan tribal areas, leaving half of these Afghans in what is now Pakistan.


  • Afghanistan's northern border is fixed and guaranteed by Russia


  • Abdur Rahman dies, his son Habibullah succeeds him.
  • Slows steps toward modernization


  • Russia and Great Britain sign the convention of St. Petersburg, in which Afghanistan is declared outside Russia's sphere of influence.


  • Mahmud Tarzi (Afghan Intellectual) introduces modern Journalism into Afghanistan with the creation of several newspapers.


  • Habibullah is assassinated, and succeeded by his son Amanullah (The reform King)
  • The first museum in Afghanistan is instituted at Baghe Bala.


  • Third Anglo-Afghan war
  • Once again, the British are defeated, and Afghanistan gains full control of her foreign affairs.
  • Amanullah Khan initiates a series of ambitious efforts at social and political modernization.


  • Amanullah Khan changes his title from Amir to Padshah (King).


  • Amanullah Khan is overthrown by Habibullah Kalakani.
  • After the fall of Amanullah Khan, Mahmud Tarzi seeks asylum in Turkey.
  • The Rise and Fall of Habibullah Kalakani, popularly known as "Bache Saqao"
  • Nadir Khan takes the throne; his tribal army loots government buildings and houses of wealthy citizens because the treasury was empty.
  • Habibullah Kalakani, along with his supporters, and a few supporters of Amanullah Khan are killed by Nadir Khan. Now Nadir Khan establishes full control.


  • (May) Pro-Amanullah Khan uprising put down by Nadir Khan.
  • Nadir Khan abolishes reforms set forth by Amanullah Khan to modernize Afghanistan.


  • Nadir Khan assassinated by a college student, and his son, Zahir, inherits the throne. He rules until 1973.
  • Zahir Shah's uncles serve as prime ministers and advisors until 1953.
  • Mahmud Tarzi dies in Turkey at the age of 68 with a heart full of sorrow and despair toward his country.


  • The United States of America formally recognizes Afghanistan


  • Da Afghanistan Bank (State Bank of Afghanistan) is incorporated.


  • Minor pro-Amanullah Khan uprising (January 15)


  • Zahir Shah proclaims Afghanistan as neutral during WW2


  • Britain withdraws from India. Pakistan is carved out of Indian and Afghan lands.


  • Afghanistan's Parliament denounces the Durand Treaty and refuses to recognize the Durand line as a legal boundary between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
  • Pashtuns in Pashtunistan (Occupied Afghan Land) proclaim an independent Pashtunistan, but their proclamation goes unacknowledged by the world community.


  • Prince Mohammad Daoud becomes Prime Minister.


  • The U.S. rejects Afghanistan's request to buy military equipment to modernize the army.


  • Daoud turns to the Soviet Union (Russia) for military aid.
  • The Pashtunistan (occupied Afghan land) issue flares up.


  • Kruschev and Bulgaria agree to help Afghanistan.
  • Close ties between Afghanistan and USSR.


  • The Purdah is made optional, women begin to enroll in the University which has become co-educational.
  • Women begin to enter the workforce, and the government.


  • Pakistan and Afghanistan come close to war over Pashtunistan.


  • Zahir Shah demands Daoud's resignation. Dr. Mohammad Yusof becomes Prime Minister.


  • The Afghan Communist Party was secretly formed in January. Babrak Karmal is one of the founders.
  • In September, first nationwide elections under the new constitution.
  • Karmal was elected to the Parliament, later instigates riots.
  • Zahir and Yussof form second government.


  • Second nationwide elections.
  • Babrak and Hafizullah Amin are elected.


  • Mohammad Moussa becomes Prime Minister.


  • July 17th: Zahir Shah is on vacation in Europe, when his government is overthrown in a military coup headed by Daoud Khan and PDPA (Afghan Communist Party).
  • Daoud Khan abolishes the monarchy, declares himself President---Republic of Afghanistan is established.


  • UNESCO names Herat as one of the first cities to be designated as a part of the worlds cultural heritage.


  • Daoud Khan presents a new constitution. Women's rights confirmed.
  • Daoud starts to oust suspected opponents from his government.


  • Bloody Communist coup: Daoud is killed, Taraki is named President, and Karmal becomes his deputy Prime Minister. Tensions rise.
  • Mass arrests, tortures, and arrests takes place.
  • Afghan flag is changed.
  • Taraki signs treaty of friendship with the Soviet Union.
  • June--Afghan guerrilla (Mujahideen) movement is born.



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