/ æfɡænəstæn /
Množina reči Afghanistan je Afghanistans.
Afghanistan · Islamic State of Afghanistan
A mountainous country in central Asia; bordered by Iran to the west and Russia to the north and Pakistan to the east and south.
Mountainous, landlocked country in S central Asia, bounded N by Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, W by Iran, and S and E by Pakistan and China.
In Nov 1987 a grand national assembly (Loya Jirgah) of indirectly elected elders from various ethnic groups approved a new permanent constitution, establishing Islam as the state religion and creating a multiparty, presidential system of government. Under the terms of this constitution, the president, who was elected for a seven-year term by the Loya Jirgah, appointed the prime minister and was empowered to approve the laws and resolutions of the elected two-chamber national assembly (Meli Shura). The constitution was suspended following the withdrawal of Soviet troops Feb 1989 and an emergency military–People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) regime was established.
After mujaheddin forces took control April 1992, an interim administration was set up, and in Jan 1993 a 250-member interim parliament, the Council of Resolution and Settlement (Shura-e Ahl-e Hal wa Aqd), was appointed pending the drafting of a permanent constitution.
Part of the ancient Persian Empire, the region was used by Darius I and Alexander the Great as a path to India; Islamic conquerors arrived in the 7th century, then the Mongol leaders Genghis Khan and Tamerlane in the 13th and 14th centuries respectively. Afghanistan first became an independent emirate 1747 under Ahmed Shah Durrani. During the 19th century two Afghan Wars were fought in which imperial Britain checked Russian influence extending toward India. The Anglo-Russian treaty 1907 gave autonomy to Afghanistan, with independence achieved by the Treaty of Rawalpindi 1919 following the third Afghan War. The kingdom was founded 1926 by Emir Amanullah.
During the 1950s, Lt Gen Sardar Mohammed Daud Khan, cousin of King Mohammed Zahir Shah (ruled 1933–73), governed as prime minister and introduced a program of social and economic modernization with Soviet aid. Opposition to his authoritarian rule forced Daud's resignation 1963; the king was made a constitutional monarch, but political parties were outlawed.
After a famine 1972, General Daud Khan overthrew the monarchy in a Soviet-backed military coup 1973. The king fled to exile, and a republic was declared. President Daud, after steering a centrist course, was assassinated 1978 in a military coup, and Nur Mohammed Taraki, the imprisoned leader of the radical Khalq (masses) faction of the banned communist People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA), took charge as president of a revolutionary council. A one-party constitution was adopted, a Treaty of Friendship and Mutual Defense signed with the USSR, and major land and social reforms introduced. Conservative Muslims opposed these initiatives, and 5 million refugees fled to Iran and Pakistan.
Taraki was replaced 1979 by prime minister Hafizullah Amin.
Internal unrest continued, and the USSR organized a further coup Dec 1979. Amin was executed and Babrak Karmal (1929– ), the exiled leader of the gradualist Parcham (banner) faction of the PDPA, was installed as leader. The numbers of Soviet forces in Afghanistan grew to over 120,000 by 1985 as Muslim guerrilla resistance by the mujaheddin (“holy warriors”) continued. A war of attrition developed, with the USSR failing to gain control of rural areas.
Faced with high troop casualties and a drain on economic resources, the new Soviet administration of Mikhail Gorbachev moved toward a compromise settlement 1986. Karmal was replaced as PDPA leader May 1986 by Najibullah Ahmadzai (1947– ), and several noncommunist politicians joined the new government. In 1987 the Afghan government announced a unilateral cease-fire and a new multiparty Islamic constitution was ratified in an attempt to promote “national reconciliation”. Concurrently, the USSR carried out a phased withdrawal of its troops. On its completion Feb 1989, a state of emergency was imposed by the Najibullah government. It was faced with a mounting military onslaught by the mujaheddin, who continued to resist the PDPA regime’s power-sharing proposals. The PDPA was renamed the Homeland Party (Hezb-i-Watan) June 1990, with President Najibullah as its chair.
areas of respective control
In March 1991, the garrison of Khost, near the Pakistan border, fell to the mujaheddin. It was a significant victory for the guerrillas, who had reportedly received logistic support from the US Central Intelligence Agency and Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) directorate. The mujaheddin also controlled 90% of the mountainous Afghan countryside but, apart from Khost, all of Afghanistan's significant urban centers were still controlled by the Najibullah regime.
United Nations peace plan
The Najibullah government accepted a UN peace plan May 1991, but it was rejected by the mujaheddin. In Oct 1991 the USSR withdrew its demand to play a key role in any transitional arrangement for President Najibullah. This encouraged the mujaheddin to enter into peace talks with the Russians and the Kabul government. From Jan 1992, Pakistan, the US, and the USSR halted all weapons supplies to the contending parties.
seizure of power by mujaheddin
The Najibullah regime collapsed April 1992 when Kabul was captured by mujaheddin forces; Najibullah was placed under UN protection. An interim government under the moderate Sibghatullah Mojadidi failed to restore order to Kabul and power was transferred to guerrilla leader Burhanuddin Rabbani, with Hezb-i-Islami representative Abdul Sabur Farid as prime minister. Rabbani, a member of Afghanistan's Tajik minority, pledged to seek unity between the country's warring guerrillas and abolished all laws contrary to shari'a (Islamic law). Tensions between the government and Hezb-i-Islami fundamentalists culminated Aug 1992 in indiscriminate and heavy bombardment of the city by the rebel forces. Rabbani counterattacked by removing Farid from the premiership and banning Hezb-i-Islami from all government activity. In Dec 1992 Rabbani was elected president for a two-year term by the country's constituent assembly, and in Jan 1993 an interim parliament, the Council of Resolution and Settlement (Shura-e Ahl-e Hal wa Aqd).
dissident forces continue attacks
In March 1993 a peace agreement between President Rabbani and Hezb-i-Islami leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar followed two months of intense fighting around Kabul, which claimed 1,000 lives; Hekmatyar became prime minister under this agreement June 1993. Kabul came under renewed bombardment Jan 1994 when Hekmatyar formed an alliance with ex-communist mujaheddin leader, Rashid Doestam, in a further attempt to oust the Rabbani government. More than 400 people were estimated to have been killed in the first two weeks of fighting, taking the total to 11,000 since the mujaheddin came to power. By June government troops had succeeded in driving the rebel forces from Kabul.