Aryan tribes in Aryana (Ancient
The City of Kabul is thought to have been established during this time.
Rig Veda may have been created in Afghanistan around this time.
Evidence of early nomadic iron age in Aq Kapruk IV.
600 BC (There is some speculation
about this date)
Zoroaster introduces a new religion in
(Zoroastrianism--Monotheistic religion) (about 522 BC)
Zoroaster dies during nomadic invasion near Balkh.
522 BC-486 BC
Darius the Great expands the
Achaemenid (Persian) empire to its peak, when it takes most
of Afghanistan., including Aria (Herat), Bactriana (Balk, and present-day
Mazar-i-Shariff), Margiana (Merv), Gandhara (Kabul, Jalalabad and Peshawar),
Sattagydia (Ghazni to the Indus river), Arachosia (Kandahar, and Quetta), and Drangiana
The Persian empire was plagued by constant bitter and bloody tribal revolts
from Afghans living in Arachosia (Kandahar, and Quetta)
After conquering Persia, Afghanistan is
invaded by Alexander the Great. Alexander conquers Afghanistan, but fails to really
subdue its people.
Constant revolts plague Alexander.
170 BC-160 BC
Kushan rule, under King Kanishka
Graeco-Buddhist Gandharan culture reach its height.
Invasion of the White Huns. They
destroy the Buddhist culture, and leave most of the country in ruins.
Islamic era established with the Ghaznavid
Afghanistan becomes the center of Islamic power and civilization.
Ibn Sina (Afghan scientist) is born in Balkh (980)
Mahmud Ghazni dies.
Conflicts between various Ghaznavid rulers arise and as a result the empire starts to
Ghorid leaders from central Afghanistan
capture and burn Ghazni, then move on to conquer India.
Invasion of Afghanistan by Genghis Khan
Destruction of Irrigation systems by Genghis Khan, which turned fertile soil into
An Afghan named Buhlul invades Delhi,
and seizes the throne. He finds the Lodi dynasty.
Babur, founder of the Moghul dynasty takes
control of Kabul
Bayazid Roshan (Afghan intellectual)
revolts against the power of the Moghul government. Roshan was killed in a battle
with the Moghuls in 1579--but his struggle for independence continued.
Khushhal Khan Khattak (Afghan warrior-poet)
initiates a national uprising against the foreign Moghul government.
Mir Wais (forerunner of Afghan
independence) makes Kandahar independent of Safavid Persia that had ruled it since 1622.
Mir Wais dies peacefully, and lies in a
mausoleum outside of Kandahar.
Mir Wais' son, Mir Mahmud, invades Persia
and occupies Isfahan. At the same time, the Durranis revolt, and terminate the
Persian occupation of Herat.
(April 25)--Mir Mahmud is mysteriously
killed after going mad.
Afghans start to lose control of Persia.
Nadir Shah (head of Persia) occupies
southwest Afghanistan, and southeast Persia.
Nadir Shah is assassinated, and
the Afghans rise once again. Afghans, under the leadership of Ahmad Shah
Abdali retake Kandahar, and establish modern Afghanistan.
Rule of Ahmad Shah Abdali (Durrani).
Ahmad Shah consolidates and enlarges Afghanistan. He defeats the Moghuls in the west
of the Indus, and he takes Herat away from the Persians. Ahmad Shah Durrani's empire
extended from Central Asia to Delhi, from Kashmir to the Arabian sea. It
became the greatest Muslim empire in the second half of the 18th century.
(1750) Khurasan----> Afghanistan.
Rule of Timur Shah
Capital of Afghanistan transferred from Kandahar to Kabul because of tribal opposition.
Constant internal revolts
Dost Mohammad Khan takes Kabul, and
Persia moves into Khurasan (province), and
threatens Herat. Afghans defend Herat successfully.
(May)-Afghans lose Peshawar to the Sikhs;
later they crushed the Sikhs under the leadership of Akbar Khan who defeated
the Sikhs near Jamrud, and killed the great Sikh general Hari Singh. However,
they failed to retake Peshawar due to disunity and bad judgment on the
part of Dost Mohammad Khan.
Dost Mohammad Khan is proclaimed as Amir
al-mu' minin (commander of the faithful). He was well on the road toward reunifying
the whole of Afghanistan when the British, in collaboration with an ex-king (Shah
Shuja), invade Afghanistan.
First Anglo-Afghan War
After some resistance, Amir Dost Mohammad Khan surrenders to the British and is deported
Shah Shuja is installed as a "puppet king" by the British. (1839-1842)
April 1842-Shah Shuja killed by Afghans.
Afghans passionately continue their struggle against the British.
Akbar Khan-Afghan hero-victorious against the British.
In January 1842, out of 16,500 soldiers (and 12,000 dependents) only one survivor, of
mixed British-Indian garrison, reaches the fort in Jalalabad, on a stumbling pony.
After the annihilation of British
troops, Afghanistan once again becomes independent, and the exiled Amir, Dost Mohammad
Khan comes back and occupies the royal throne (1843-1863).
Afghan hero, Akbar Khan dies
British take Baluchistan, and Afghanistan
becomes completely landlocked.
Sher Ali, Dost Mohammad Khan's son,
succeeds to the throne.
(1865)-Russia takes Bukhara,
Tashkent, and Samerkand.
Mohammad Afzal occupies Kabul and proclaims
October, 1867-Mohammad Afzal dies.
Russia established a fixed boundary between
Afghanistan and it's new territories.
Russia promises to respect Afghanistan's territorial integrity.
Start of second Anglo-Afghan War
The British invade and the Afghans quickly put up a strong resistance.
Sher Ali dies in Mazar-i-Shariff, and Amir
Muhammad Yaqub Khan takes over until October 1879.
Amir Muhammad Yaqub Khan gives up the following Afghan territories to the British: Kurram,
Khyber, Michni, Pishin, and Sibi. Afghans lose these territories permanently.
Battle of Maiwand
July 1880, Afghan woman named Malalai carries the Afghan flag forward after the
soldiers carrying the flag were killed by the British. She becomes a heroine for her
show of courage and valour.
Abdur Rahman takes throne of Afghanistan as Amir.
The British, shortly after the accession of the new Amir, withdraw from Afghanistan,
although they retain the right to handle Afghanistan's foreign relations.
Abdur Rahman establishes fixed borders and he loses a lot of Afghan land.
Nuristan converted to Islam.
The Panjdeh Incident
Russian forces seize the Panjdeh Oasis, a piece of Afghan territory north of the Oxus
River. Afghans tried to retake it, but was finally forced to allow the
Russians to keep Panjdeh, and the Russians promised to honor Afghan territorial integrity
in the future.
The Durand line fixes borders of
Afghanistan with British India, splitting Afghan tribal areas, leaving half of these
Afghans in what is now Pakistan.
Abdur Rahman dies, his son Habibullah
Slows steps toward modernization
Russia and Great Britain sign the
convention of St. Petersburg, in which Afghanistan is declared outside Russia's sphere of
Mahmud Tarzi (Afghan Intellectual)
introduces modern Journalism into Afghanistan with the creation of several newspapers.
Habibullah is assassinated, and succeeded
by his son Amanullah (The reform King)
The first museum in Afghanistan is instituted at Baghe Bala.
Third Anglo-Afghan war
Once again, the British are defeated, and Afghanistan gains full control of
her foreign affairs.
Treaty of Ranalpindi
Amanullah Khan initiates a series of ambitious efforts at social and political
Amanullah Khan is overthrown by Habibullah
After the fall of Amanullah Khan, Mahmud Tarzi seeks asylum in Turkey.
The Rise and Fall of Habibullah Kalakani, popularly known as "Bache Saqaw"
Nadir Khan takes the throne; his tribal army loots government buildings and houses
of wealthy citizens because the treasury was empty.
Habibullah Kalakani, along with his supporters, and a few supporters of Amanullah Khan are
killed by Nadir Khan. Now Nadir Khan establishes full control.
(May) Pro-Amanullah Khan uprising put down
by Nadir Khan.
Nadir Khan abolishes reforms set forth by Amanullah Khan to modernize Afghanistan.
Nadir Khan assassinated by a college
student, and his son, Zahir, inherits the throne. He rules until 1973.
Zahir Shah's uncles serve as prime
ministers and advisors until 1953.
Mahmud Tarzi dies in Turkey at the age of 68 with a heart full of sorrow and despair
toward his country.
Afghanistan's Parliament denounces the
Durand Treaty and refuses to recognize the Durand line as a legal boundary between
Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Pashtuns in Pashtunistan (Occupied Afghan Land) proclaim an independent
Pashtunistan, but their proclamation goes unacknowledged by the world
Daoud turns to the Soviet Union
(Russia) for military aid.
The Pashtunistan (occupied Afghan land) issue flares up.
The Purdah is made optional, women begin to
enroll in the University which has become co-educational.
Women begin to enter the workforce, and the government.
The Afghan Communist Party was secretly
formed in January. Babrak Karmal is one of the founders.
In September, first nationwide elections under the new constitution.
Karmal was elected to the Parliament, later instigates riots.
Zahir and Yussof form second government.
July 17th: Zahir Shah is on vacation in
Europe, when his government is overthrown in a military coup headed by
Daoud Khan and PDPA (Afghan Communist Party).
Daoud Khan abolishes the monarchy, declares himself President---Republic of Afghanistan is
UNESCO names Herat as one of the first
cities to be designated as a part of the worlds cultural heritage.
Daoud Khan presents a new constitution.
Women's rights confirmed.
Daoud starts to oust suspected opponents from his government.
Bloody Communist coup: Daoud is killed,
Taraki is named President, and Karmal becomes his deputy Prime Minister. Tensions
Mass arrests, tortures, and arrests takes place.
Afghan flag is changed.
Taraki signs treaty of friendship with the Soviet Union.
June-Afghan guerrilla (Mujahideen) movement is born.
US ambassador killed
Taraki is killed and Hafizullah Amin takes the Presidency.
Amin is executed, and he is replaced with Babrak Karmal.
Soviet Union (Russia) invade in December.
Najibullah proposes ceasefire, but the
Mujahideen refuse to deal with a "puppet government".
Mujahideen make great gains, defeat of Soviets eminent.
Peace accords signed in Geneva.
Soviet Union defeated by Afghanistan, total withdrawal by the Soviets occurred on
Feb. 15, 1989.
Experts agree that at least 40,000-50,000 Soviets lost their lives in action, besides the
wounded, suicides, and murders.
Mujahideen continue to fight against Najibullah's regime.
May-Afghan guerrillas elect Sibhhatullah Mojadidi as head of their government-in-exile.
April 15-The Mujahideen take Kabul and
liberate Afghanistan, Najibullah is protected by UN.
The Mujahideen form an Islamic State-Islamic Jihad Council-elections.
Iranian and Pakistani interference increases-more fighting-
Professor Burhannudin Rabbani is elected President.
The Taliban militia are born, and advance
rapidly against the Islamic government.
Dostum and Hekmatyar continued to clash against Rabbani's government, and as a result
Kabul is reduced to rubble.
June: Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, head of
Hezbi-Islami, having been eliminated as a military power, signs a peace pact with Rabbani,
and returns to Kabul to rule as prime minister.
September 27: Taliban militia force President Rabbani and his government out of
Kabul. After the capture of Kabul, the Taliban execute Najibullah.
Alliance between Government, Hezbi Wahdat, and Dostum.
Oppression of women by the Taliban -
women must be fully veiled, no longer allowed to work, go out alone or even wear white
socks. Men are forced to grow beards. Buzkashi, the Afghan national sport is
Tensions rise as Afghan government accuse Pakistan of aiding the Taliban.
Massive human rights violations by the Taliban.
Last modified: 8/10/97