Background of stamps in Afghanistan

Since long years, Afghanistan has been at focus of majority of the world media due to devastating conflicts, terrorism and terrorist groups.
But amid this, countless cultural and historical proverbs of Afghanistan have been untold. It is clear to all of us that historical and cultural bed of present geography of Afghanistan with multi-thousands background was victimized by few recent centuries particularly post-Islamic era and roots of culture and civilization in this geography relaxed even to that extent that today no one in the thick of the war and suicide attacks bother to track the lost culture and even nostalgic issues also don’t affect the people’s hearts.
Stamps are one of the forgotten historical and cultural elements of Afghanistan as recently no attention was invited to it and disappeared from the people memory. The main reason behind this negligence was lack of essential resources for flourishing of stamp industry in Afghanistan.
Homes without postal codes, streets without name…etc have caused the people to fail to exploit postal possibilities properly, while in the past Afghanistan was attempting to have access to a standard postal system.
Since 1187 to 2009 number of 2184 posts were published and used. The cost of unused stamps were estimated over $ 1000 while from that of used stamps were estimated to over $ 600.
The first stamp was published in 1871 during the reign of late Amir Sher Ali Khan while domestic post offices were already established in Jalalabad, Kabul, Peshawar and Kholm of Tashqorghan. These stamps enjoyed only internal reputation because of Afghanistan had not joined World Postal Union until 1928.
Since (1971-1878) the printed stamps were decorated with the head of Lion which was symbol of Amir Sher Ali Khan with different colors of black and purple.
After 1879 and defeat of Amir Sher Ali Khan against Britain and his death and with taking over of reign of affairs by Abdurrahman in 1880 and formation of Afghanistan royal government, the form of stamps changed.
Symbol of the head of Lion was removed and its circular form was changed to rectangular and the sentence of Kabul Royal Court was replaced by Afghanistan Royal Government and later symbols of mosque, pulpit and sanctuary were scanned on stamps. In 1928 Afghanistan joined the World Postal Union. Until 1960 every year a new stamp was printed and published for celebration of independence.
Like other countries in Afghanistan too, photos of kings, rulers or presidents was common on stamps. Photo of Mohammad Nader Shah was the first one which appeared on the face of a stamp in 1937, that was later followed respectively by photos of Mohammad Zahir Shah, Mohammad Daud Khan, Noor Mohammad Taraki, Ahmad Shah Baba, Sultan Mohammad Ghaznavi, Mirwais Khan Hotak, Ahmad Shah Masoud.
Hamid Karzai was the last political figures in 2004 whose photo appeared on a stamp.
Daud Nejrabi

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