The Journey

 Afghanistan Timeline

1843–63 Dost Mohammad founded the country currently known as Afghanistan.
1919 Afghanistan regains independence from British occupying forces.
1933 Zahir Shah becomes king and Afghanistan remains a monarchy for the next four decades.
1953 General Mohammed Daud becomes prime minister, implementing a number of social reforms such as the abolition of purdah, the practice of secluding women from public view.
1978 Daud is overthrown and killed in a coup by the leftist People’s Democratic Party. Conservative leaders revolt in the country, while leftist leaders struggle for power in Kabul. The Soviet Union sends in troops to intervene.
1980 Babrak Kamal, a People’s Democratic Party leader, becomes the country’s leader, backed by Soviet troops. Violence and resistance intensifies, with various groups fighting the Soviets with money and weapons supplied by the United States and other nations, as the Cold War is fought in Afghanistan.
1986 The United States begins to supply rebels with Stinger missiles to shoot down Soviet helicopters.
1988 The last Soviet troops leave Afghanistan, but the civil war continues to rage.
1994 The Pashtun-dominated Taliban group becomes a challenge to the new government, which is ruled by ethnic Tajiks.
1996 The Taliban seize control of Kabul, implementing a version of militant Islam that bans women from working outside the home and introducing Islamic punishments such as stoning and amputations.
1998 Earthquakes kill thousands of people. The Taliban now controls two-thirds of the country. The United States accuses Osama bin Laden of bombing embassies in Africa and launches missile strikes at suspected bases.
1999 The United Nations imposes sanctions to force Afghanistan to release bin Laden for trial.
2001 The United States and Great Britain launch air strikes on Afghanistan after the Taliban refuses to hand over bin Laden, who is accused of masterminding the September 11 attacks on America. The Taliban is ousted from power, and Pashtun royalist Hamid Karzi becomes the head of a United Nations-sanctioned interim government.
2002 Foreign peacekeepers arrive. The first post-Taliban loya jirga, or grand council, affirms Karzai’s leadership by electing him for another two-year term. Karzai chooses the members of his administration, but vice-president Haji Abdul Qadir is later assassinated in Kabul.
2004 The loya jirga adopts a new constitution. After postponements due to widespread violence, the country’s first post-Taliban elections take place in October, electing Hamid Karzai as president.

Timeline Sources:

BBC News: Timeline: Afghanistan

Federal Foreign Office, Germany: Afghanistan History


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