PASHTUNS IN AFGHANISTANS POLITICAL LANDSCAPE

Rakhmatullo ABDULLOEV


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


ABSTRACT

For the past fifty years, academics and politicians have been discussing the problem of Pashtun domination in the political life and state structures of Afghanistan. From the very beginning (the Afghan state appeared in 1747), supreme power belonged to members of several Pashtun clans, not counting the two brief periods when ethnic Tajiks filled the highest post: Habibullah Khan Kalakani in 1929 and Burhanuddin Rabbani in 1992-2002.

Until 1973, when Afghanistan ceased to be a monarchy, members of the Pashtun political elite ruled the country as emirs and kings; Pashtuns resided at the very top of the pyramid of power. They owed their exalted position to the prevailing opinion that Pashtuns created the state of Ahmad Shah Durrani.

This is true: the main Pashtun tribal groups and unions set up the Afghan state and remained the pillar of its rulers; their fighting force and military skills were the main factors that added strength to the power of the emir (king) and the key elements of the armed forces of Afghanistan.

Keywords: Afghanistan, Pashtuns, the political system, mojahedeen, the Taliban, the Afghan conflict.

Introduction

In the 1930s, the nationalist chauvinist ideology of the rulers of Afghanistan made the political hegemony of the Pashtuns one of the countrys cornerstones. Academics spared no effort to prove that the Pashtuns had every reason to dominate the countrys politics and every other sphere of life; they refused to take into account that there were other peoples and ethnicities in the country. Igor Reysner, who dedicated his life to Afghan studies, wrote that the Afghan chauvinists tried to expand the space of the Afghans historical homeland at the expense of lands which belonged to other, non-Afghan, tribes and.


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