History of Afghanistan ?

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    America has spent near about 2 trillion dollars on Afghanistan and was stationed in Afghanistan for 20 years. Now, as the US army is leaving Afghanistan, Taliban is gaining a hold on the country. By now, the situation his so critical that less than 50% of the Afghanistan area is under the control of Afghan government and may be very soon Afghan government is overthrown by the Taliban. It is huge crisis whose effects are felt even in India as India is not very far from Afghanistan.

    But to understand this complex geopolitical crisis properly, we must know the history….

    Danish Siddiqui was an award winning India photojournalist who was killed by Talibanis in Afghanistan. He presented the truth to us by putting his life on the line.

    Afghanistan is known as Graveyard of Empires because many superpower countries enter Afghanistan and return after defeating themselves. The Britishers came in the 19th century and return with humiliated defeat. In the 20th century, Soviet Union came to Afghanistan and also returned after 9 years with a defeat. And in the 21st century, the USA came to Afghanistan and now returning. It does not not mean Afghanistan had never been conquered before, let’s take several examples of this. Macedonian ruler Alexander, The Arabs, Mughal rulers Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb had done it. And the Sikh king Raja Ranjit Singh had also done it. But it is believed that Afghan warriors make it difficult for any foreign ruler to rule Afghanistan.

    Now we start history from the 1800s as this period is more relevant to today’s situation. There was a large Russian empire in the north at that time and the British empire in the South as India in the South was the occupied by the British. And in the middle there was Afghanistan. Now Russia and Britain were scared of other country to occupy Afghanistan and creating problems for them. Initially, western countries did not know much about Afghanistan. When a Scottish explorer Alexander Burnes went there and safely returned, he wrote a book on Afghanistan “Travels into Bokhara” and became a best seller.

    In 1838, British Raj very confident of occupying Afghanistan and about their victory. Then there was a king in Afghanistan whose name was Emir Dost Mohammad. The British started the war and overthrew Emir Dost Mohammad from the throne. And placed Shah Shujah on the throne. There was not an army in Afghanistan at that time but, there were thousands of small and isolated villages. And a chief in each village. The chiefs of the villages led some of the boys from the villages to fight. And all these villagers started a war against British that lasted for three years. The Britishers had advanced weapons, even then the British were defeated and Shah Shujah was murdered. Dost Mohammad again was placed on the throne. This is known as first Anglo-Afghan war (1839-1842).

    That was followed by second Anglo-Afghan war in 1878. British attacked Afghanistan again. This time, the Britishers won the war and occupied Afghanistan. But they didn’t intend to occupy entire Afghanistan. They supported a new Emir named Abdul Rahman that later came to called as Irin Emir. The British let the internal rule remain in Afghanistan. They merely wanted to have an influence on the Afghanistan with the Russian empire. To have friendly relations. And thus they remained stability in Afghanistan. In 1893, an international Border Line was drawn between Afghanistan and British India which was known as Durand Line. In 1907, there was an agreement between British and Russian empires wherein Russia recognized that Afghanistan lied under the British sphere of influence. And Russia promised to stay away from Afghanistan. After a year, third Anglo-Aghan war took place in 1919. That is known as the war of Independence in Afghanistan. Because Afghanistan fought the British to gain full independence. The ruler of Afghanistan, King Emir Amanullah khan, had won this war against the British. His wife Soraya Tarzi bring new revolution for women in Afghanistan. That king and queen progressive reforms were:

    - Compaigned against polygamy which means multiple marriages. - Education of girls and started schools. - Worked for equal rights for women. - Right to divorce - strict dress codes for women was also removed. In 1928, rebellion again king was successful . The king and the queen fled to the British India. And at that time India was under British Raj.

    • 28 Aug 2021 @ 05:36


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