Troubling prospects in Afghanistan (The Hindu, GS-1, History about Afghanistan)

Context:-  The United States handed over the Bagram airbase to the Afghan authorities which made a symbolic end to its military presence, we know that U.S. forces complete their withdrawal well ahead of the September 11 deadline as  announced by American President . A familiar air of uncertainty surrounds Kabul as the Afghans ponder over the future of their land, ravaged by conflict for nearly 50 years. 

A history of Afghanistan :-

  • Afghanistan has a long history of domination by foreign conquerors and fights among internally warring factions in the state. It is the gateway between Asia and Europe and this land was conquered by Darius I of Babylonia circa 500 B.C. further Alexander the Great of Macedonia captured it in 329 B.C.. Mahmud of Ghazni who was an 11th century conqueror, created an empire from Iran to India, His empire is considered the greatest of Afghanistan’s conquerors. Genghis Khan took over the territory in the 13th century but the area was united as a single country by the 1700s. By 1870 Islam had taken root , when the area was invaded by various Arab conquerors.
  • During the 19th century Britain attempted to annex Afghanistan to protect its Indian empire from Russia which resulted in a series of British-Afghan Wars (1838-42, 1878-80, 1919-21).
  • Afghanistan became an independent nation in 1921 The British were defeated in the Third British-Afghan War (1919-21). Amir Amanullah Khan begins a rigorous campaign of socioe-conomic reform on the pretext that Afghanistan has fallen behind the rest of the world.
  • In 1926:- Amanullah declared Afghanistan a monarchy and proclaimed himself king. He launched a series of modernization plans that attempted to limit the power of the Loya Jirga. Some people and Critics got frustrated by Amanullah’s policies and took up arms in 1928 and by 1929, the king had to abdicate and leave the country.
  • In 1933:- Zahir Shah became king. The new king brought stability to the country and he ruled for the next 40 years.
  • In 1934 The United States formally recognized Afghanistan.
  • In 1953:- The pro-Soviet Gen. Mohammed Daoud Khan became prime minister and looked to the communist nation for economic and military assistance. He introduced a series of social reforms which include,  allowing women a more public presence.
  • In 1956:- The Soviet Head Nikita Khrushchev agreed to help Afghanistan and the outcome was, two countries became close allies.
  • In 1957:- As part of Afghan Head Daoud’s reforms the women were allowed to attend university and enter the workforce.
  • In 1965:- The Afghan Communist Party secretly formed. The group’s principal leader was Babrak Karmal assisted by Nur Mohammad Taraki.
  • In 1973:- Daud Khan overthrew the last king Mohammed Zahir Shah in a military coup. The People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan under Khan’s regime came to power. Khan abolished the monarchy and named himself president. The Republic of Afghanistan was established with good ties with the USSR.
  • In 1975-1977:- Khan proposed a new constitution that granted women rights and works to modernize the largely communist state. He also brought casualty down on opponents and  forced many suspects of not supporting Khan out of the government.
  • In 1978:- Khan was killed in a communist coup. Nur Mohammad Taraki who was one of the founding members of the Afghan Communist Party and took control of the country as president and Babrak Karmal was named deputy prime minister. Both proclaimed independence from Soviet influence, and declared their policies to be based on Islamic principles, Afghan nationalism and socioeconomic justice. Taraki signed a friendship treaty with the Soviet Union. But a rivalry between Taraki and Hafizullah Amin and another influential communist leader led to fighting between the two sides. At the same time, conservative Islamic and ethnic leaders who objected to social changes introduced by Khan began an armed revolt in the countryside. In June, the guerrilla movement Mujahadeen was created to battle the Soviet-backed government.
  • In 1979:- American Ambassador Adolph Dubs was killed. The United States choked assistance to Afghanistan. A power struggle between Taraki and Deputy Prime Minister Hafizullah Amin came to the forefront. Taraki was killed in September in a confrontation with Amin supporters.
  • The USSR invaded Afghanistan in December 1979 to bolster the faltering communist regime.
  • On 27 December 1979, Amin and many of his followers were executed. Now Babrak Karmal, who was Deputy Prime Minister, became prime minister. Widespread opposition to Karmal and the Soviets resulted in violent public demonstrations.
  • By early 1980:- the Mujahideen rebels had united against Soviet invaders and the USSR-backed Afghan Army. Afghan guerrillas gained control of rural areas and Soviet troops held urban areas and another era of civil unrest started.
  • In 1984:- Although he claimed to have traveled to Afghanistan immediately after the Soviet invasion, Saudi Islamist Osama bin Laden made his first documented trip to Afghanistan to aid anti-Soviet fighters. The United Nations investigated human rights violations in Afghanistan.
  • In 1986:- The Mujahideen were receiving arms from the United States, Britain and China via Pakistan.
  • In 1988:- In September, Osama bin Laden and 15 other Islamists form the group al-Qaida to continued their jihad (Holy war) against the Soviets and other who they say oppose their goal of a pure nation governed by Islam.
  • With their belief that the Soviet’s war in Afghanistan was directly attributable to their fighting Mujahideen claimed victory in their first battle, but also began to shift their focus to America because remaining superpower was the main obstacle to the establishment of a state based on Islam.
  • In 1989:- The U.S., Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the Soviet Union signed a peace accord in Geneva which gave the guarantee of Afghan independence and the withdrawal of 100,000 Soviet troops. After the Soviet withdrawal, the Mujahadeen continued their resistance against the Soviet backed regime of communist president Dr. Mohammad Najibullah who was an elected president of the puppet Soviet state in 1986.
  • Afghan guerrillas named Sibhatullah Mojadidi was head of their exiled government.
  • In 1992:- The Mujahideen and other rebel groups with the aid of  government troops stormed the capital Kabul, and ousted the coup against Najibullah from power. Ahmad Shah Masood who was a legendary guerrilla leader led the troops into the capital.
  • The United Nations offered protection to Najibullah. The Mujahadeen, a group already began to fracture as warlords fight over the future of Afghanistan.
  • In 1995:- the Taliban, a newly formed Islamic militia, rose to power on promises of peace. Most Afghans were exhausted by years of drought, famine and war, and approve of the Taliban for upholding traditional Islamic values. The Taliban started the cultivation of poppies for the opium trade, cracked down on crime, and curtailed the education and employment of women. Women are required to be fully veiled and are not allowed outside alone and subjected to restriction in the home. Islamic law is enforced via public executions and amputations according to their holy book Kuran. The United States refuses to recognize the authority of the Taliban.
  • By 1995-1999:- Continuing drought devastated the farmers and made many rural areas uninhabitable. More than 1 million Afghans fled to neighboring Pakistan, where they found ill equipped refugee camps. The Taliban publicly executed Najibullah. Ethnic groups in the north which were under Masood’s Northern Alliance and the south aided in part by Hamid Karzai that continued to battle the Taliban for control of the country.
  • In 1998:- After Al-Qaida’s bombings of two American embassies in Africa President Clinton ordered cruise missile attacks against bin Laden’s training camps in Afghanistan. The attack missed the Saudi and other leaders of the terrorist group.
  • In 2000:-  By now bin Laden was considered an international terrorist and was widely believed to be hiding in Afghanistan, where he was cultivating thousands of followers in terrorist training camps. The United States demands that bin Laden to be extradited to stand trial for the embassy bombings. The Taliban declined the request of the USA to extradite him. The United Nations punished Afghanistan with sanctions on  restricting trade and economic development.
  • In March 2001:- Ignoring international protests, the Taliban destroyed Buddhist statues in Bamiyan, Afghanistan as they said it was an affront to Islam.
  • In 2001:- The Taliban put eight international aid workers on trial for spreading Christianity. Under Taliban rule, proselytizing is punishable by death. The group is held in various Afghan prisons for months and finally released Nov.
  • Since then USA has been at war against the Taliban which has been concluded by USA retreat.
    • Will be continued in tomorrow article

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