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The paper begins by surveying the cultural, linguistic, occupational and sectarian diversity of Afghanistan's population, going on to discuss the origins of the modern Afghan state in the reign of Amir Abdur Rahman Khan in the late 19th century. It explains that it has almost always been dominated by Pashtuns, particularly Durranis, and that this has often been resented by non-Pashtuns. It looks at the way that starting in the 1920s efforts were made to link Afghan national identity with Pashtun culture and values. Opposition to King Amanullah's modernisation programme led to his departure in 1928. For a brief period in 1929 a Tajik ruler, Habibullah II, held power, but Amanullah's third cousin, Nadir Khan, soon restored the Durrani monarchy. A renewed emphasis on the Pashtun character of the Afghan state followed, with for instance Pashtu being proclaimed the official language in 1937. After drawing attention to the significance of the Prime Minister Daud Khan's support for an independent Pashtun state, Pashtunistan, in the 1950s, the paper looks at the emergence of a somewhat more inclusive ethos and a stronger sense of a shared national identity in the 1960s. Finally it examines the impact of the Saor Revolution in April 1978, the anti-Soviet jihad of the 1980s and the rise of Taliban in the mid-1990s on identity, concluding that ethnic divisions and tensions became more marked in the last quarter of the 20th century.
|Item Type:||Book Chapter|
|Copyright Holders:||2002 The Author|
|Academic Unit/Department:||Arts > Religious Studies
|Depositing User:||Hugh Beattie|
|Date Deposited:||21 Jul 2010 15:54|
|Last Modified:||23 Feb 2016 18:01|
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