Happy Independence Day, Afghanistan!

Afghanistan's Independence Day is celebrated on August 19th to commemorate the Treaty of Rawalpindi in 1919 which granted Afghanistan's independence from the Great Britain.

Reformist King of Afghanistan and father of Afghan Independence, Amanullah Khan
(reigned from 1919-1929)

"Afghanistan's Independence Day is celebrated on August 19th to commemorate the Treaty of Rawalpindi in 1919 which granted Afghanistan's independence from the Great Britain.The British Army invaded and was defeated three times in Afghanistan. The First Anglo-Afghan War(1839-1842) led to the massacre of the entire British invading forces by the Afghan forces in the city of Jalalabad. The Second Anglo-Afghan War(1888-1893) led to the British defeat in Kandahar's Maiwand province. The Third Anglo-Afghan War(May-August 1919) led the British to give up on their imperialist ambition to conquer Afghanistan", thus the young, bright, and reformist Afghan King, Shaha Amanullah Khan declared Afghanistan's independence on August 19, 1919. Had the reformist King, Amanullah Khan, who was heavily influenced by the young and energetic Turkish leader, Ataturk's political, economic, and cultural 'Reforms' in post Ottoman Empire Turkey, not been forced to abdicate by the pseudo-reactionary and fundamentalist Islamic groups in conspiracy with Tribal Chiefs, Afghanistan would have been a progressive nation today.

Amanullah was a unique Afghan King whose reformist ideas and visions were at least a century ahead of his time. The core of his reforms was based on granting and encouraging full women rights-which included abolition of Burqa and forced seclusion of women-, freedom of press, mandatory education for all citizen of Afghanistan, abolition of slavery and forced labor, fighting corruption, creation of first Afghan Constitution, civil right guarantees, national ID for all Afghan citizens, establishing of a democratic legislative assembly, abolition of all privileges for Tribal Chiefs and Royal Family, and the secularization of Afghan Judicial System based on the ideals of French Revolution's Liberté, Egalité, and Fraternité as opposed to Islamic Sharia Laws which resulted in Islamic fundamentalists' successful revolt against him.

As we celebrate Afghanistan's Independence Day, one question still remains unanswered: Will Karzai
be smart and courageous enough, in his second term as Afghan President, to reincarnate himself as the 21st century Amanullah Khan to rescue Afghanistan from the death-grips of Islamic fundamentalists,Warlords turned politicians, Tribal Chiefs in their drug infested fiefdoms, corrupt Afghan officials with suitcases full of dollars bound for Dubai, and the ever increasing violence and injustices against Afghan women, or will he continue to hide in Arg-e-Shahi Palace and act as the Mayor of Kabul?

King Amanullah & Queen Soraya in early 1920s

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