1964-1973 History of Afghanistan 1978-1992

Afghanistan 1973-1978

Establishment of the Republic . In 1973, with Zahir Shah being in Italy for medical treatment, Afghan statesman Muhammad Daoud, a Pashto, seized power in a coup and proclaimed the republic. The country was transformed into a presidential democracy, with Daoud as president, and a one-party-state (National Revolutionary Party).

Foreign Policy . Under Daoud, Afghanistan entertained good relations with the USSR; in the UN, Afghanistan regularly voted with the Soviet bloc. Afghanistan sought cooperation with India, as both countries had a common enemy, Pakistan. Afghanistan sought good relations with wealthy Arab nations. Daoud tried to avoid overreliance on the USSR and in 1977-1978 pursued a policy of rapproachement with Pakistan, giving up Afghanistan's claim on the Pashtunistan region of Pakistan.

The Economy . In 1976, an ambitious Seven Year Development Plan was launched. Afghanistan depended heavily on foreign aid, the USSR being the largest donor; further aid came from wealthy Arab nations.
In 1976, Afghanistan had 19,800,000 inhabitants, capital Kabul 534,350, Qandahar 140,024; the GNP was 1880 million $ in 1974, per capita income 130 $. Main articles of export : fruits and nuts, natural gas, fur, cotton, wool, carpets, oilseeds.

Domestic Policy . When Daoud took power in 1973, he had done so in cooperation with the Khalq and Parcham factions of the PDPA (Communist Party). In the process of establishing his one-party-state, Daoud dismissed the Communist cabinet ministers and then banned the parties. The concentration of power in the hands of Daoud alienated many. Islamist fundamentalists experienced suppression. Women were encouraged to drop the veil.
TV broadcasting in Afghanistan began in 1978.
In 1978 Daoud was ousted in a coup, and assassinated.

Timetable History of Afghanistan, from BBC News
Afghanistan Timeline 1971-1975, 1976-1980, from Wikipedia
Articles Daoud's Republic of Afghanistan, Mohammed Daoud Khan, Timeline of the Introduction of Television in Countries, Pashtunistan, from Wikipedia
Sardar Mohammad Daoud Khan, from Afghanistan Online
DOCUMENTS Afghan Statesmen, from World Statesmen (B. Cahoon)
Historical Population Statistics : Afghanistan, from Population Statistics
Constitution of 1976, from Afghanistan Online
REFERENCE Gustav Fochler-Hauke (ed.), Der Fischer Weltalmanach 1978, Frankfurt/Main 1977, pp.30-31 (in German) [G]
Article : Afghanistan, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1973 p.59, 1974 pp.53-54, 1975 pp.45-46, 1976 p.105, 1977 pp.105-106, 1978 p.162, 1979 pp.157-158 [G]
Article : Afghanistan, in : The World in Figures 1st ed. 1976 pp.160-161, 2nd ed. 1978 pp.160-161 [G]
Article : Afghanistan, in : Americana Annual 1973 pp.64-65, 1974 p.74, 1976 p.68 [G]
Article : Afghanistan, in : Statesman's Yearbook 1975-1976 pp.727-731, 1976-1977 pp.733-738, 1978-1979 pp.67-72 [G]

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First posted on June 6th 2002, last revised on May 22nd 2007

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