Timeline: Afghanistan's long and bloody journey to independence

Edited By: Palki Sharma WION
New Delhi, India Published: Aug 18, 2020, 09:15 PM(IST)

Representative Image Photograph:( DNA )

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Here’s a timeline of Afghanistan’s independence

Afghanistan celebrates its Independence Day on August 19. The country gained independence from the British more than a century ago.

It continues to be battered by violence and bloodshed. In the aftermath of independence, different factions battled for control of the country due to which common Afghans suffered the most.

On August 18, proud Afghans waved the national flag in Kabul on the eve of the country's Independence Day. Meanwhile, multiple rocket attacks caused chaos in the city’s diplomatic district. The attack forced embassies into lockdown and workers into safe rooms.

Here’s a timeline of Afghanistan’s independence

In 1747, Ahmad Shah Durrani captured Kandahar, Kabul and Ghazni. The former bodyguard of assassinated Persian ruler Nadir Shah conquered Kabul, Ghazni, Peshawar and much of modern Pakistan to lay the foundation of the Afghanistan we know today.

Durrani lost control of Punjab and Kashmir to Sikh rulers in 1819.

The death of Ayub Shah in 1823 is considered to be the end of the Durrani rule in Afghanistan

The British Indian Army invaded and conquered Kabul in 1838.

It was only in 1919 that Afghans declared independence with Emir Amanullah Khan at the helm.

In 1933, Zahir Shah became the king but the monarchy lasted only 40 years until Mohammad Daud seized power in 1973. Daud was killed 5 years later.

In 1979, Soviets invaded and installed a communist government in the country, and that is when the modern history of Afghanistan began.

In 1980, as a response to Soviets, the Americans, Saudis, Iranians, Chinese, and Pakistanis provided support to the Mujahideen fighters

Some of these radical Islamic fighters eventually banded together between 1980-1989 to give rise to the Taliban.

Other ethnic groups formed the northern alliance and fought the Taliban for control of the country.

The Soviets withdrew a decade later in 1989, and the Soviet appointed Najibullah government fell soon after.

1996 saw the Taliban capture Kabul and introduce a strict Islamic rule. As part of this, women were barred from work, and punishments like public executions, amputations, and stoning to death were introduced.

Despite the atrocities committed by them, Pakistan & Saudi Arabia recognised Taliban as the legitimate government of Afghanistan in 1997.

On September 9, 2001, Ahmad Shah Masood, the leader of the opposition northern alliance was assassinated.

Two days later, terror attacks at the World Trade Center in New York reshaped the destiny of Afghanistan. The terror attack prompted the US led “war on terror” which marked the start of the end of the Taliban rule in Afghanistan. However, the bloodshed between the US assisted Afghan forces and the Taliban continues to this day.

Hamid Karzai and later Ashraf Ghani have tried to run coalition governments to provide stability in the country between 2001-14. Ghani was sworn in as the president of Afghanistan in 2014.

However, the Taliban violently opposes any government in Kabul amid US troop withdrawal. A peace deal with the terror group has failed to find a permanent solution as the Taliban continues violent opposition towards the government.

As Afghans celebrate more than a century of independence, there is no freedom yet from violence and bloodshed.

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