Afghanistan - Country history and economic development

1893. The Durand Line, created by the British and Russia, creates the border between India and the kingdom of Afghanistan.

1894. Tarzi Amanollah seizes power, becomes king, and launches a successful war against British domination.

1923. Amanollah initiates constitutional reforms, bringing Afghanistan closer to the USSR.

1933. Zahir Shah is crowned king and remains in power for 40 years.

1973. President Mohammed Daoud assumes the presidency of Afghanistan after a military coup and abolishes the monarchy. King Zahir Shah is sent into exile.

1977. A new constitution is drawn up establishing a one-party parliamentary system with additional powers given to the president.

1978. The president and his family are murdered in a military coup, and Nur Mohammed Taraki becomes president of a new communist-style regime.

1979. Soviet troops invade Afghanistan and install a government.

1980. Armed tribal groups begin a jihad (holy war) against the Soviet-installed government; the Afghan refugee population in Pakistan reaches 1.5 million.

1980s. Armed mujahideen groups fight Soviet and government forces; hundreds of thousands of Afghans die in the struggle, and millions more become refugees.

1986. President Mohammed Najibullah takes office.

1989. Soviet troops withdraw from Afghanistan.

1989-1992. Conflicts increase between government and opposition forces.

1992. In April, President Najibullah is replaced by a 4-member council under a United Nations plan; later, an interim government led by Professor Sebghatollah Mojadedi, takes over. Refugees begin to return to Afghanistan.

1992-1995. Intertribal fighting spreads to all major cities.

1994. The Taliban emerge as a major force in the ongoing internal conflict.

1996. The Taliban gain control of Kabul.

1998. Taliban forces capture key Northern Alliance stronghold of Mazar-e Sharif.

1998. U.S. cruise missiles strike alleged terrorist bases in Afghanistan in response to attacks on U.S. diplomatic facilities by groups led by Osama bin Laden.

1999. The Taliban rule out Osama bin Laden's extra-dition, leading the UN Security Council to impose sanctions restricting flights and the sales of arms.

2000. UN Security Council imposes further sanctions on the Taliban. The destruction of Buddha statues in the Bamian province by the Taliban sparks worldwide condemnation, further isolating Afghanistan.

2001. Following a devastating terrorist attack on the U.S. World Trade Center and the Pentagon by al-Qaeda terrorists in September, U.S.-led military action against the Taliban and the al-Qaeda terrorist group begins. The Taliban is forced to surrender all of its territory after attacks by U.S. and British forces, in conjunction with the Northern Alliance, a rebel group of tribal chieftains.

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