Afghanistan History Timeline

According to estatelearning, Afghanistan, officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked state that is roughly in the center of Asia. The country is alternately referred to as geographically located in Central Asia, South Asia and the Middle East, and has religious, ethno-linguistic and geographical connections with most of its neighboring states. It borders Pakistan to the south and east, Iran to the west, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan to the north and the People’s Republic of China to the far northeast. The name Afghanistan means Afghan Country.


1919: Afghanistan becomes independent after three wars of independence against the British.

1921: The Soviet Union and Afghanistan conclude a treaty of friendship.

1926: Amanullah proclaims himself King of Afghanistan – supported by the Soviet Union.

1933: Zahir Shah becomes king and the country remains a monarchy for 40 years.

1953: General Mohammed Daud becomes Prime Minister and establishes close ties with the Soviet Union. He introduces social reforms – among other things, women are forbidden to show their face in public.

1963: Mohammed Daud is forced to resign.

1963: King Zahir Shah of Afghanistan visits US President John F. Kennedy. Watch video here.

1964: Afghanistan becomes a kingdom, but plagued by political power struggles.

1973: Mohammed Daud seizes power in a coup. He declares Afghanistan a republic.

1978: Mohammed Daud is killed in a coup by the left-wing “People’s Democratic Party”. However, the party is divided internally, and at the same time a revolt begins among militant Islamic groups in the countryside.

1979 – Hafizullah Amin of the People’s Democratic Party becomes the country’s leader, but the Afghan army is defeated by the rebels. The Soviet Union invades the country and then executes Hafizullah Amin.

1980: Babrak Kemal from the “People’s Democratic Party” becomes the new leader in Afghanistan. He is backed by Soviet troops, but the uprising continues. The rebels get money and weapons from the United States, Pakistan, China, Iran and Saudi Arabia.

1985: The Holy Warriors – the Mujahedin – form an alliance in Pakistan. Read a good article here about the Mujahedin before they became terrorists.

1986: The United States sends Stinger missiles to the rebels so they can shoot down Russian combat helicopters. Najibullah becomes the new leader of the country.

1988: The Soviet Union, Pakistan, and the United States enter into a peace treaty with the country, and Soviet troops begin to withdraw.

1989: The last Soviet troops are out of the country, thrown into civil war.

1992: Rebels take over Kabul and overthrow Najibullah.

1993: The Mujahideen agree on a government and Burhanuddin Rabbani becomes president.

1994: The deeply religious Taliban movement begins to challenge the government.

1996: The Taliban seize power in Kabul and introduce strict religious laws. However, the northern part of the country holds up.

1998: The United States launches a missile strike on Osama bin Laden, believed to be hiding in Afghanistan.

1999: The United Nations imposes sanctions on Afghanistan for the extradition of Osama bin Laden.

2001, March 5: The Taliban regime in Afghanistan blows up two unique Buddha statues, carved into the rocks. All statues in Afghanistan must be destroyed because they are wicked.

2001, April – September: Religious laws are tightened, historic Buddha statues are blown up, Muslims are not required to wear clothing and aid workers are arrested.

2001, October – December: US and UK attack Afghanistan in pursuit of Osama bin Laden following 9/11 terrorist attacks. The Taliban are ousted from power and Hamid Karzai is proclaimed interim leader of the country.

2002: The hunt for terrorists in Afghanistan continues. Hamid Karzai is appointing an interim government to run until elections are called in 2004.

2003: Talks with the Taliban continue and NATO takes control of security in Kabul.

2003 – February 4: Danish F-16 fighter jets come into direct combat action for the first time as they fire missiles at cave facilities in the mountains of Afghanistan, where rebels are believed to have hidden.

2004: Afghanistan adopts a new constitution, holding presidential elections, which Hamid Karzai wins by 55 percent. of the votes.

2005: Reports of American mistreatment of prisoners in Afghanistan create anger. In September, the first elections to parliament and the country’s provincial council will be held for over 30 years.

2006: A large number of people lose their lives during fighting in the country’s Helmland province. The fighting is one of the toughest since the American invasion in 2001. Danish soldiers are also taking part in the fighting, and must be withdrawn from the area after numerous attacks from the Taliban.

2008: Archeology. The remains of a series of approximately 1,400-year-old oil paintings have been found in Afghanistan’s famous Bamiyan Valley, where the Taliban destroyed a number of Buddha statues in 2001. Many of Bamiyan’s caves are adorned with murals, and it was during the restoration of these that researchers from i.a. Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties found remnants of oil paint. The researchers have now analyzed hundreds of samples using i.a. infrared microscopy, micro-X-ray diffraction and gas chromatography and have come to the conclusion that the images are about 500 years older than the hitherto oldest known oil paintings originating in Europe.

Afghanistan History Timeline