Silk Road Books & Photos

Afghanistan Part 4 1929-1943 The Muhammadzai

In Jan 1929 Amanullah was overthrown by armed rebels and Amanullah went into exile in Italy. Amanullah’s former War Minister Nadir Khan led a tribal army that re-took Kabul in Oct 1929 and Amanullah stated “If the Afghan people wish me to return with my programme of progress, I am always ready.”  However, Nadir rejected Amanullah’s reforms  and was proclaimed King in Sept 1930 by a loyah jirga.

Nader Khan  King of Afghanistan assassinated by Amanullah loyalists on 8.11.33.

Centre HM Zahir Shah, Right hand side H.R.H Sirdar Mohammed Hashim khan Prime Minister and left hand side H.R.H Sirdar Shah Mahmud Khan Field Marshall and War Minister of Afghanistan. The death of Nader Khan ushered in the rule of his son Zahir Shah whose uncles helped him rule Afghanistan.

For ordinary people far from Kabul life remained untouched by changes at Kabul, above is a photo of an Afghan nomad child entering the Khyber Pass 27.12.1933.

On 24th Aug 1937 a Junker JU 52 departed from Kabul on an expedition flight over the Pamirs to China and the crew successfully returned to Kabul on 27 Sept and eventually received a hearty welcome on their return to Berlin above.

Dated 1.9.1940 Caption: A crude telephone system spans the major cities of the country this man a district official responsible for upkeep of about 75 miles of line, makes a test call after repairing damaged wires. The extent to which Nazis have gained a foothold is best illustrated by the fact Berlin is the only European capital with which Kabul is connected by a radio telephone.

June 9 1943, Kabul City

9 June  1943

2/10/43 Afghanistan independence day Afghan troops march past Zahir Shah below:

In 1973 Zahir Shah left Afghanistan on the pretext of seeking medical treatment abroad and it was agreed by Zahir Shah that his charismatic Pashtun nationalist cousin, Mohammed Daoud Khan would take power through a military coup. In April 1978 Mohammed Daoud Khan was overthrown by a communist coup initiated by military officers trained in the Soviet Union, these same officers had ironically assisted Daoud in his 1973 coup. Daoud had sought the return of Pashtun territories from Pakistan and to do this he rather fatally relied on Soviet support and training for Afghan armed forces. Popular resistance against the Communist regime led to the Soviet invasion of Dec 1979 which has ushered in a period of warfare and turmoil in Afghanistan.