Reformation under king Amanullah Khan post independence

By: Lailuma Noori

President Ghani said that now it’s the time to complete historical chapter of King Amanullah Khan. Our political freedom has been gained by the sword of National Hero Ghazi Amanullah Khan.
The president appreciated the founder of Afghanistan independence more than every other political leader. There are ideas today that didn’t exist in several previous decades’ governments, including changing of Afghanistan to a regional transit crossroad, creation of transit road for central Asia, construction of a railway from Central Asia into Afghanistan… etc. some of these ideas have been implemented while others have not been implemented due to security reasons.
Attention to economy, including mines extraction that based on historical documents, it has been one of the basic temptations of King Amanullah, which are now the main priority for president Ghani.
Beside those, rebuilding of Dar-ul-Aman palace at the instruction of president Ghani and relocation of government bodies in its vicinity was another efforts of president Ghani who tried to complete another dream of King Amanullah Khan.
One of the similarities between President Ashraf Ghani and King Amanullah Khan is their common and joint goals. Efforts of both concentrated on changing of Afghanistan. None of these political leaders have malevolent intention to western civilization and culture and follow western nation-state building example. Its reason might have been their acquaintance with Western civilization and culture. Although the King Amanullah Khan at his young age had only once visited the west while President Ashraf Ghani is a western trained and educated and is directly and effectively acquired with the texture of western societies.
King Amanullah’s reforms
In the wake of gaining Afghanistan’s Independence in Aug 19. 1919 (Asad 28th 1298), the king started reforms in the country. In 1923 he changed his title of Amir to King and appointed Abdul Qudous Khan and Mahmood Tarzi as prime minister and minister of foreign affairs respectively.
Social and political reforms
Emphasize on the nation’s freedom and independence, establishment of a lawful administration, approval and confirmation of the constitution were the key works done at his time. For the first time this constitution was approved in a Loya Jirga on Feb 29th 1924 in Jalalabad with the participation of 872 delegates. It was later confirmed in Loya Jirga, Paghman in 1928. Obedience of people from law was another reform.
Cultural reforms:
Emphasize on compulsory primary education, construction of schools, including Amani and Isteqlal boy’s and Mastoorat and Esmat girls schools as the latter was later changed to Malalai, sending of students to abroad, publication of Ershad-un-Naswan magazine for women, were among other innovations of this reformist ruler plus industrial development, improvement of agriculture, paving the way of Afghan businessmen presence and involvement in the world markets.
Establishment of new cities, development of capital Kabul, construction of urban roads, provincial highways, extension of telephone and telegraph lines between capital city and provincial capitals, agreement with Frenches on construction of railway on the south and north of Kabul were remarkable steps that were taken by the then progressive King.
Foreign policy
Informing of foreign countries from assassination of his father, Amir Habibullah Khan and Amanullah Khan Emirate, introducing of Afghanistan as an independent and free country, holding of contracts with different countries with respect to independence of the country, disagreement with British policies and approaching to Soviet government, official recognition of new Russian government, signing of friendship treaty with Soviet Union on Feb 21.1921 which was the beginning point of Afghan-Soviet relations; Exploitation of balanced strategy between Britain and the then Soviet Union, signing of friendship treaty with Iran in 1920 as well as with Turkey, Egypt, Italy, Japan, Poland, Switzerland, Finland, Libya…etc.
King Amanullah wanted the Afghan people to live among other people of the world with dignity and he was committed and loyal to peaceful co-existence and good neighborliness with other countries.
King Amanullah Khan had always emphasized that the young generation of this territory should be fostered with spirit of patriotism and knowledge to protect independence of Afghanistan and should be aware of plots and conspiracies of enemies of this land.
In 1929, king Amanullah faced with extensive disagreements and riots and had to give up thrown and leave the country, departed to Bombay and went to Italy and spent rest of his life there. Ghazi Amanullah Khan died on Apr 26.1960 in Italy and his funeral was transferred to Afghanistan and buried close to his father’s grave in Jalalabad city.
Our people may remember this indefatigable leader forever and his soul may rest in peace.

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