Today Afghanistan is called the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. In the past it was also called:
- Emirate of Afghanistan 1823-1926
- Kingdom of Afghanistan 1926-1973
- Republic of Afghanistan 1973-1978 ( again from 1987 till 1992 )
- Democratic Republic of Afghanistan 1978-1987
- Islamic State of Afghanistan 1992-1996
- Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan 1996-2001
The first state founded in Afghanistan was the Emirate of Afghanistan in 1823. This state emerged out of the Durrani Empire. For 103 years Afghanistan was ruled as an absolute feudalistic monarchy. The Afghans were able to hold back the foreign imperialist forces that tried to occupy the nation. Nations like Russia and Great Britain tried to conquer Afghanistan but they all failed. Between 1839 and 1842 the Afghans fought against the British East Indian Trading Company, that tried to steal the resources of Afghanistan. After three years of fighting, the British capitalists were defeated and forced to retreat.
But the British imperialists did not leave Afghanistan completely. So a second war started in 1878, this war is called the second Anglo-Afgan War. After another victory by the Afghans, the British Indians were forced to leave Afghanistan. Yet the British Empire was allowed to control Afghanistan's foreign relations!
After a few years the Afghan government wanted complete independence from British imperialism. The first world war and the Russian Revolution weakened the power of the European colonialists. So in May 1919, the Afghan government again stood up against the British Empire. This led to a final third Anglo-Afghan war. This war only lasted a few months.
Finally after 1.700 British soldiers had died, did the British Empire accepted full independence and sovereignty of Afghanistan. The Emirate of Afghanistan was replaced by the Kingdom of Afghanistan in 1926. King Amanullah Khan wanted to reforms the feudalistic nation. But he western style reforms were not welcomed by the conservative tribes. After three years the tribes rose up against the king and he fled the nation!
Habibullah Kalakani was the tribe leader who led the revolt against Amanullah Khan. After the king fled to Europe, he became the next monarch. Unlike Amanullah Khan, Kalakani was a dogmatic Islamic monarch. He closed down woman schools and he banned western culture in Afghanistan. Kalakani wanted a pure Islamic Afghanistan. Yet the supporters of the old king did not surrendered. Top general Mohammed Nadir Shah led the forces loyal to the old king. He attacked the conservative tribe forces of Habibullah Kalakani and was able to defeat them. The city of Kabul was recaptured and Kalakani was executed. Soon general Mohammed Nadir Shah became the next king of Afghanistan. He rule for three years until he was murdered by a student in 1933!
Mohammed Zahir Shah was the son of Mohammed Nadir Shah and became king of Afghanistan at age 19. Under his rule Afghanistan started to modernize itself. After 1945 the king wanted to end the feudalistic nature of the nation. After sharing power with his uncles for many years, the king was able to rule for himself in the 1960’s. It was then that he created a new constitution. This new constitution gave political freedoms to the Afghans and by 1970 political parties were legalized!
It was the 60's that marked the foundation of the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan. This communist party was founded by Nur Muhammad Taraki and Babrak Karmal. The PDPA was based on stalinist principals like almost all communist parties. Taraki and Karmal were elected into the Parliament as representatives of the PDPA.
The party was not liked by the ruling monarchy. But what limited party growth was the sectarian nature of its internal factions. Taraki and Karmal both represented a fraction. In 1967 the party divided itself into these factions, the biggest being the Khalqs ( led by Tarki ) and the Parchams ( led by Karmal ) as well as the Setami Milli and Grohi Kar. These new divisions started because of ideological and economic reasons. Most of Khalqs supporters came from ethnic Pashtuns from the rural areas in the country. The Parchams supporters mostly came from urban citizens who supported social-economic reforms in the country!
Prime minister Sardar Mohammed Daoud ended the Kingdom of Afghanistan in 1973. While the king was in Europe, the prime minister took power and became the first president of the Republic of Afghanistan. Daoud was not loved by radical Muslims who hated the secular government that Daoud led. Soon fighting broke out between soldiers and Muslim extremists. In 1977 the president created the National Revolutionary Party and banned all political parties. Afghanistan became a single party state under president Daoud!
In April 1978, the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan had regrouped itself. The main factions were united and they were able to rally 2.000 people in Kabul against dictator Daoud. The president was shocked by the unity that PDPA leaders showed. Now he feared a coup because many soldiers in the army were sympathetic to the PDPA. Daoud ordered the arrest of communist leaders but he was too slow. It took him a week to arrest Nur Muhammad Taraki, while Babrak Karmal was able to flee!
But in the Afghan National Army, supporters of the PDPA started a revolt. Soldiers attacked troops loyal to the president. On April 28 of 1978, soldiers loyal to the PDPA attacked the presidential palace. Killing dictator Daoud and his family. Their bodies were put into a mass-grave and not found until 2008! After the death of president Daoud, the army gave power to the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan. Nur Muhammad Taraki of the Khalqs became the chairman of the Revolutionary Council and started to purge the party of his opponents. The Khalqs wanted a radical socialist transformation of Afghanistan, while the Parchams said that Afghanistan was not ready for a socialist society. The Republic of Afghanistan was renamed into the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan. A hypocrite name since the nation was a single party dictatorship!
Both the land reforms and the social reforms were met with huge hostility. The conservative tribes opposed the land reforms and hated the progressive ideals spread by Taraki. Woman were giving freedoms they never had before, but Islamic leaders opposed that. They prevented young girls from going to school and refused to give them any rights at all. As a result the supporters of Taraki attacked religious leaders and buildings. They burned the Koran and destroyed Mosques. His angered the deeply religious population of Afghanistan!
Outside capital the anticommunist tribes formed a resistance movement called the Mujaheddin. These Mujaheddin were supported by conservative Islamic nations like Pakistan, Saudi-Arabia and other Islamic groups. The United States of America would also donate millions to the Mujaheddin of Afghanistan. These Islamic fighters were called ''freedom fighters'' by the western media!
Nur Muhammad Taraki radicalism was opposed by almost all Afghans who lived outside the capital. Even members of the PDPA felt he went too far. Hafizullah Amin was a close ally of Taraki, but he too started to oppose the chairman of the Revolutionary Council. Amin talked with Soviet leaders and they too had enough of Taraki's radicalism. So in September 1979, Nur Muhammad Taraki was murdered by soldiers loyal to Hafizullah Amin. Hoping he had Soviet support, Amin became the new leader of the Revolutionary Council.
Hafizullah Amin ended state-atheism. He even started to use Islamic words in his speeches. He went so far by saying that the Islam and socialism were equal. But most Afghans did not buy his story. Under Nur Muhammad Taraki it was Hafizullah Amin, who supported the killing of religious people and the destruction of Mosques. The Mujaheddin did not stopped with fighting and kept growing in numbers!
The Soviet-Union feared that the Mujaheddin would soon destroy the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan. They no longer trusted the promises of Hafizullah Amin. Soviet leaders gave support to the outcast Babrak Karmal of the Parchams. But in Afghanistan, Hafizullah Amin remained committed to the idea that the Soviet-Union supported him. Yet the USSR wanted him death, so Soviet troops were ordered to attack the Tajbeg Palace. On December 27 of 1979, Operation Storm-333 was put into action. Until the last moment did Hafizullah Amin believed that the Soviet-Union was on his side. Even the soldiers of the Soviet Army had a hard time to believe that the chairman of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan was a ''CIA collaborator''.
But the attack went on and chairman Hafizullah Amin was killed. His daughter was wounded but survived. Out of 600 Soviets soldiers, 100 died. The 2.000 man strong guards of Hafizullah Amin were all slaughtered by the Soviets. With his death came an end to Khalq rule in the PDPA. The moderate Parchams were put into power by the invading Soviet Army!
Babrak Karmal became the next chairman of the Revolutionary Council. He ended the radical politics of the Khalqs. But the Islamic Mujaheddin said that Babrak Karmal was a Soviet puppet and that he was just another ''atheist''. So the Islamic rebels kept fighting. They also got support from some elements of the revolutionary left ( maoists ) who opposed the dictatorship of the PDPA. Supporters of Mao Zedong were called public enemies by the PDPA. The Afghanistan Liberation Organisation is founded in 1973 and is still fighting against the current Islamic government of Afghanistan. When the PDPA took power they banned the Afghanistan Liberation Organisation. Many supporters of the ALO were arrested and tortured by the secret police of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan.
The People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan was purged of all Amin supporters. Also the Soviets wanted to make sure that the radical Khalqs never took power again. Only technocrats, opportunists and people the Soviets trusted were allowed to have power. The Khalqs were still popular in the party, so the Parchams made sure that party rules were changed to serve the demands of the Soviet-Union!
More then 100.000 Soviet troops aided the army of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan in their fight against the Islamic Mujaheddin. The Soviets were responsible for many crimes against the Afghan people. They destroyed villages and burned down religious buildings. As a result the Mujaheddin also committed crimes by murdering Afghans who did not supported Islamic morality. Females who worn none-Islamic clothing were attacked, some were murdered. The most radical Islamic fighters would kill anyone who would not follow their theocratic believes. Meanwhile the western wold was supporting the Mujaheddin. US president Ronald Reagan made sure his government would sell guns to the Afghan anticommunist Mujaheddin.
After seven years of rule, Babrak Karmal was removed from power by the head of the Afghan secret police. Dr. Mohammad Najibullah took power in the PDPA and ended the single party state. Babrak Karmal lost his Soviet friends as they saw that Karmal bought not genuine changes. They exiled him to Moscow and gave him a house and a dacha. The nation was named back to Republic of Afghanistan and secular none-extremist parties were allowed to participate in the elections!
In 1988, the Revolutionary Council was disbanded and Dr. Mohammad Najibullah became president of the Republic of Afghanistan. Opposition parties were allowed to enter the elections. Yet the Mujaheddin boycotted them, they wanted to destroy the PDPA and the secular government. So the Afghan Civil War did not ended with the removal of Babrak Karmal!
Dr. Mohammad Najibullah abandoned socialism, as stalinism collapsed around him. By 1990, the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan dropped the communist ideology and changed it's name to Homeland Party. With the collapse of the Soviet-Union, the Afghan government lost its main investor. Meanwhile the Islamic Mujaheddin were paid millions by the Saudi-Arabians and the Americans. One Islamic leader used that money to create an international network of radical Mujaheddin fighters. This network got the name Al-Qaeda and its leader became Osama Bin Laden!
With all that money from Saudi's and Americans, the Mujaheddin were finally able to defeat the government of Dr. Mohammad Najibullah. General Abdul Rashid Dostum defected to the Mujaheddin as the secular government collapsed. In April 1992, the government surrendered to the forces of Abdul Rashid Dostum, now a supporter of the Islamic State of Afghanistan. The army of the Republic of Afghanistan was not out of weapons or ammunition. They still owned many airplanes and tanks. But with the defection of general Abdul Rashid Dostum, many military commanders choose to flee!
The new Islamic State of Afghanistan soon entered a civil war of its own. The fight was based around the radical Muslims and the moderate ones. For the moderate Muslims the Islamic State of Afghanistan should be like the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. But the radical Muslims wanted a return to the days of the Emirate of Afghanistan. Soon the radicals created the Taliban, a group of extremists who still fight for a Islamic theocracy!
Dr. Mohammad Najibullah lived four years in the United Nations compound in Kabul. As the moderate Muslims fought the Taliban, he negotiated for his exile to India. But in 1996 the Taliban conquered the capital. Najibullah was dragged out of the UN compound and hanged by Taliban forces. With his death a wave of terror began. Islamic dogmatism was imposed and woman were forced to cover themselves completely. Men were forced to grow a beard and all things related to western culture were banned!
A new nation was founded by the Taliban. They created the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, with Mohammed Omar as supreme leader. The moderate Islamists founded the United Islamic Front for the Salvation of Afghanistan. This anti-Taliban group was able to control the provinces in the north. That is why this alliance of moderates was called the Northern Alliance by western journalists!
After the attacks on 9/11 in the USA, the Americans wanted revenge. They claimed that the Taliban were hiding Osama Bin Laden. The Americans demanded that they turned him over to them. Taliban leadership wanted to bring Bin Landen to their own court and the Americans were allowed to bring evidence of his guilt. But that was refused as the Americans wanted war and not a fair trail. So American forces attacked the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and drove the Taliban away from Kabul!
The United Islamic Front for the Salvation of Afghanistan, took power and put Hamid Karzai up as president of the new Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. In the year 2004 this new moderate Islamic republic was founded. Hamid Karzai is now president for over nine years. But like the Soviet puppets he is a puppet of the Americans. Win out their money and soldiers, his Islamic Republic of Afghanistan would collapse to the growing Taliban!
Afghans have suffered a lot. Even today there is no freedom or peace in Afghanistan. Taliban forces are still terrorizing the people, but the corrupt government is no alternative. Political parties who oppose Islamic morality are banned. Members of the former PDPA are still hated en excluded from society by the Karzai regime. The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is build by the supporters of the moderate Mujaheddin and they still hate the ex-PDPA!
Supporters of Hamid Karzai claim that Afghanistan is a free nation. But in reality it is not. The Afghans are still oppressed by a corrupt Islamic government led by a puppet of US imperialism. This is why the Taliban is growing again. People have enough of Hamid Karzai who did nothing to end poverty and inequality. Today only a few remember the days when woman were free to cloth themselves. Stalinist Afghanistan may not have brought workers rule or genuine socialism. But it did liberated females from Islamic morality. Unfortunate that morality rules again in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan!