Rakhmatullo ABDULLOEV

Rakhmatullo Abdulloev, Research Fellow, Institute of Language, Literature, Oriental Studies, and Written Heritage, Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Tajikistan (Dushanbe, Tajikistan)


Throughout the 20th century, domestic policy in Afghanistan unfolded under the influence of the ethnic factor. In 1929, the mainly Tajik Habibullah Kalakani movement ended the rule of Amanullah Khan; the National Democratic Party of Afghanistan, which split along ethnic lines, was another factor that brought about his downfall.

In 1992, the mujahideen came to power; this ignited ethnic confrontation and the countrys de facto division into ethnically homogenous parts. The Islamist Taliban movement, which relied on the Pashtoon majority, established an unprecedentedly cruel regime and made the country the world center of terrorism and extremism.

In 2001, the International Conference on Afghanistan held in Bonn could not ignore the role of the ethnic factor; it figured prominently while the Constitution was discussed and later adopted, as well as during the parliamentary and presidential elections.

Keywords: Afghanistan; ethnic groups, political system; election campaigns, representation of ethnic groups, unity of the state.


Throughout its history, Afghanistan has been and remains a multinational state; today, it unites over 30 ethnic groups, the largest of them being the Pashtoons, Tajiks, Hazaras, Uzbeks, Turkmens, Balochi, Nuristanis, and Pashayi.

The history of Afghanistan is a history of wars of independence; a history of the struggle of national minorities for their rights and freedoms; a history of tribal feuds, ethnic separatism, and never-ending confrontation between the Pashtoons and other peoples. In the 20th century, these trends became even more vehement.

The following factors were behind the emergence and regular eruptions of ethnic contradictions broiling for a long time within Afghanistans borders:

Ethnic contradictions: in 1747 Ahmad Shah Durrani founded the Afghan state and triggered the process of its centralization, which ended in the late 19th century. This meant that for a one-and-a-half centuries, the Afghan rulers remained bogged down in brutal wars for.

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