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Afghanistan has been an area wrapped in violence,
religion and turmoil from its earliest days. We
hope to to provide a brief history of this region
from its earliest days until the Taliban take power.
This presentation is only meant to be a brief survey
of Afghanistan history.
50,000 BCE 1500 BCE
Historians have found early human
One of the first areas to have
This area was a crossroad between
Mesopotamia and other
Aryan tribes invade and settle.
The city of Kabul was created in
this period.
Rig Veda created here. It was a
collection of over 1,000 hymns,
which contain the mythology of the
Hindu gods and the origins of
600 BCE 652 BCE

Zoroaster introduces religion of

Darius of Persia conquers part of
Many wars between Persians and
tribal groups for control.
Alexander the Great invades. Many tribal Zoroaster
revolts against his empire.
Various other invasions and tribal wars for
control of Afghanistan, such as, Parthians,
Kushans, White Huns and Yaftalee.
Each invader brought new religious
beliefs to be forced on the Afghanistan

652 - 1774
Arabs introduce religion to Afghanistan and Afghanistan became the center of Islamic
power and civilization.
Genghis Khan invades Afghanistan, he destroyed the irrigation systems turning the
fertile soils into permanent deserts.
Marco Polo crosses Afghanistan on his way to China.
Various dynasties control Afghanistan with frequent wars for political control.
Many wars between Afghanistan and Persia as each takes a turn controlling this region.
Afghans retake Kandahar from the Persians and establish modern Afghanistan, 1774.

Marco Polo
1774 - 1921
Capital of Afghanistan transferred from Kandahar to Kabul because of tribal fighting.
Constant internal fighting inside Afghanistan.
First Anglo-Afghan War. The British in India try to control Afghanistan, this war ended
with the British force of 16,500 wiped out with only one survivor making it alive to a
British fort in Jalalabad.
Afghanistan is independent but the British take Baluchistan making Afghanistan a
landlocked country.
Second Anglo-Afghan War. The British take some territories from Afghanistan and
allows them to run their internal affairs but Britain handled Afghan Foreign Affairs.
Russia takes Afghan territory in the north.
Third Anglo-Afghan War. Afghanistan wins and gains full control of her Foreign
1921 - 1950

Many power struggles as tribes try

to obtain political power.
1929 Muhammad Khan became
King and tried to reform the
country but was assassinated.
United States formally recognizes
Afghanistan, 1934.
Many tribal leaders tried to unite
Afghanistan but violence prevailed.
Attempts at democracy failed.
Britain withdraws from India,
Pakistan is carved out of Indian
and Afghan lands.
1950 - 1979
Pakistan and Afghanistan come close to war over disputed lands.
Government instability leads to frequent riots and overthrows.
Daoud Khan and the Communist Afghan Party seize power and the Republic of
Afghanistan is born in 1973. Internal problems with this party cause Daoud to be killed.
Mass arrests, tortures and violence become common place in Afghanistan.
The Afghan guerrilla group (Mujahideen) formed to fight and resist government that
was backed by Communist Russia.
Mass killings and the murder of the U.S. Ambassador. Many human rights violations.

Mujahideen Freedom Fighters

1980 - 1994
Soviet Union invades Afghanistan with thousands of troops to support the
government in its struggle with the holy warriors called Mujahideen.
Five million Afghan refugees flee to Pakistan and Iran.
The Soviets with superior weapons could not defeat the guerrilla tactics of the rebels.
In 1988 the Soviets began withdrawing its troops from Afghanistan.
Fighting between the government and the Mujahideen continued until 1992 when the
rebels overthrew the government.
Fighting among the factions prevented the formation of a stable government.
By the late 1990s a Islamic group known as the Taliban had taken control of most of
Afghanistan and set up a Council of Ministers to rule the country.
1994 - 1999
The Taliban movement was formed in Kandahar in 1994 by Islamic students who take a
radical approach to interpreting Islam.
The Taliban captured Kabul in September 1996 from Mujaheedin regime. The
government of Burhan-ul Din Rabani ousted. The Taliban government in Kabul has been
recognized only by Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Republic.
The Taliban regime strongly have been supported by Pakistani military regime.
Anti-Taliban factions still hold about 15 percent of the country in the northern parts of
The United Nations and other international communities condemn the Taliban regime
because of its violation of human rights, particularly restrictions of women from outside
work and freedom.
On October 10, 1999, the United States government declare political and economical
sanctions against the Taliban regime in Afghanistan because of holding and supporting
Saudi billionaire Bin Laden.
October 25, 1999, Taliban offer talks between Afghanistan and the US Government
including the future of Osma Bin Laden.
October 28, 1999. Saudi Millionaire declared his desire to leave Afghanistan
November, 5, 1999: Bin Laden likely stay in Afghanistan
Taliban Rule

Between fighting, refugees The United Taliban isolated

have returned to homes Nations has Afghanistan from the
burned and destroyed by accused the world
the Taliban. Taliban of burning
homes and crops
to keep Afghan
refugees from
returning home. The Taliban

Taliban Justice
2000 - Today
Mohammed Omar, Taliban leader, continues to give aid and comfort to the
terrorist Bin Lauden.

September 11, 2001. Al Qaeda forces of Bin Laden

attack the United States.
United States and her allies declare war on terrorism.
Taliban Government driven into hiding, many Taliban and Al Quaeda forces
killed or captured by the United States and her allies.
The Taliban grip on Afghanistan and support for Bin Laden has ended.
The War on Terrorism continues.