Understanding the historical role of central governance in Afghanistan
Marcelo, Abraham B.
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Three of the most iconic rulers of Afghanistan are Ahmad Khan Durrani, Abdur Rahman, and Mohammad Zahir Shah. The efforts of Ahmad Khan Durrani and Abdur Rahman were focused on building an Afghan nation and development of a central government authority that possessed some capacity to rule over the Afghan territories. Neither ruler sought to politically include the Afghan population in the affairs of the state beyond the cooperation of the tribal leaders who possessed the ability to commit or withdraw the manpower and resources of their tribes, which were necessary to militarily sustain their respective regimes. It was not until the reign of Mohammad Zahir Shah that central government in Afghanistan attempted to politically include the Afghan population in state affairs. However, this was only accomplished on a limited basis. The international community and President Hamid Karzai have been attempting to implement 220 years of nation-building and central governance development in Afghanistan over the past nine years. If successful, these efforts would create a government and a state that has never before existed in Afghanistan's history. This thesis argues that current efforts should be informed and mindful of the experiences of these three iconic rulers.
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