Kabul History

Kabul History; The city of Kabul is thought to be established between 2000 BCE and 1500 BCE. In the Rig Veda (composed between 1700–1100 BCE) the word 'Kubha' is mentioned, which appears to refer to Kabul River.
There is a reference to a settlement called Kabura by the Persian Achaemenids around 400 BCE which may be the basis for the use of the name Kabura by Ptolemy but not only Kahbura, Kabul was also called by Chabolo, Kophene, Gaofu, as well as some other names.

Kabul history traces the conqures and invasions of several empires who fought in the region including Alexander the Great who conquered Kabul during his conquest of the Persian Empire. The city later became part of the Seleucid Empire before becoming part of the Mauryan (Mawaryan) Empire.
Then the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom captured Kabul from the Mauryans in the early 2nd century BCE, and then lost the city to their subordinates in the Indo-Greek Kingdom in the mid 2nd century BCE. Indo-Scythians expelled the Indo-Greeks by the mid 1st century BCE, but lost the city to the Kushan Empire nearly 100 years later. It was conquered by Kushan Emperor Kujula Kadphises in the early 1st century CE and remained Kushan territory until at least the 3rd century CE and the city was one of the two capital cities of Kushans.

Around 230 CE the Kushans were defeated by the Sassanid Empire and were replaced by Sassanid (Sasani ha) vassals known as the Kushanshas or Indo-Sassanids. In 420 CE the Kushanshahs (Kushan kings) were driven out of Afghanistan by the Chionites tribe known as the Kidarites, who were then replaced in the 460s by the Hephthalites.

The Hephthalites were defeated in 565 CE by a coalition of Persian and Turkish armies, and most of the realm fell to those Empires. The city became part of the surviving Kushano-Hephthalite Kingdom of Kapisa, who was also known as Kabul-Shahan. The rulers of Shahan built a huge defensive wall between the city to protect it from invaders. This wall has partly survived until today and is considered a historical site and the indication of Kabul history. Around 670 CE the Kushano-Hephthalites were replaced by the Shahi or Hindu-Shahi dynasty.

Nadir Shah of Persia known as Qoli Khan and the founder of Afsharid dynasity captured the city in 1736 but he was assassinated a few years later in 1747. After the assassination of Nader Shah Afshar, Ahmad Shah Durrani which was born as Ahmad Shah Abdali and the founder of Duranni Empire as well as the founder of modern Afghanistan became the Amir or king of Khorasan.

Later he became the ruler of his own Duranni empire and asserted Pashtun rules and further expanded his new Afghan Empire. His son Timor Shah Durrani, after inheriting power, transferred the capital of Afghanistan from Kandahar to Kabul in 1776. Timor Shah died in 1793 and his son Zaman Shah Durrani was succeeded and came to power.

As the Kabul histroy indicates, in 1826, the kingdom was claimed by Dost Mohammed Khan and taken from him by the British Indian Army in 1839 and installed the non-popular puppet Shah Shujah. On 1841 local uprising resulted in the loss of the British mission and the subsequent Massacre of Elphinstone's army of approximately 16,000 people, which included civilians and camp followers on their reaction from Kabul to Jalalabad. In 1842 the British returned, plundering Bala Hissaar in revenge before retreating back to India and Dost Mohammad returned to the throne.

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British invaded in 1878 as the city was under Amir Shir Ali Khan's control which in result, several British residents were massacred again. The invaders came again in 1879 under General Roberts, and partially destroyed Bala Hissar before retreating to India. Afterward, Amir Abdur Rahman Khan got the control of the region.

Kabul history opened a fresh new page In the early 20th century when King Amanullah Khan the third son of Amir Habibullah Khan rose to power. Amanullah Khan was already installed as the governor of Kabul and was in control of the army and the treasury. He quickly seized power, imprisoned any relatives with competing claims to the Kingship, and gained the allegiance of most of the tribal leaders.

On that time Russia had recently undergone its Communist Revolution leading to strained relations between the country and the United Kingdom. Amanullah Khan recognized the opportunity to use the situation to gain Afghanistan's independence over its foreign affairs. He led a surprise attack against the British in India on 13-May-1919 beginning the The-Third-Anglo-Afghan-War.
After an initial successes, the war quickly became a stalemate as the United Kingdom was still dealing with the costs of World-War-I and Afghanistan became an independent nation.

King Amanullah Khan enjoyed quite a bit of his early popularity within Afghanistan, and he used his influence to modernize the country. Shah Amanullah Khan created new cosmopolitan schools for both boys and girls in the region, included installing electricity in the city, overturned the centuries-old traditional and many other good things for the region.

His service and reforms recorded in Kabul history or in general in the Afghanistan history including building a close diplomatic relationship with europe. He was living in his famous residential palace called 'Darul Aman Palace' which is currently destroyed during the conflict and it's almost gone to the dogs.

In 1919, after the Third Anglo-Afghan War, King Amanullah Khan announced Afghanistan's independence from foreign interventions at Eidgah Mosque in kabul. In 1929, Ammanullah Khan left the city because of a local uprising and his brother Nadir Khan took the control. King Nader Khan was assassinated in 1933 and his 19-year-old son, Zahir Shah, became the long lasting King of Afghanistan for 40 years. During that time Kabul University was established in early 1930s, and in 1940s, the city began to grow as an industrial center. In the 1960s, the city largely developed.

In July 1973, Zahir Shah was ousted in a bloodless coup and Mohammad Daoud Khan became the new President. In 1975 he built and provided an east-west electric trolleybus system, which provided public transportation across the city.

In December 24, 1979 Russians invaded Afghanistan and the Red Army occupied the capital. They turned the city into their command center during the 10-year conflict between the Soviet-allied government and the Mujahideen. When the war started the foreign embassies closed, including the American Embassy on January 1989, and diplomats left the country. In 1992 the city fell into the hands of local militias after the collapse of Dr. Najibullah's pro-communist government. The Afghan war begun when these local militias were divided into several groups. As a result thousands of people were either killed or immigrated to neighboring countries.

The city came to a halt and the system of 800 public buses which was providing transportation services also stopped. By 1993 electricity and water in the city was completely destroyed and people lived in dark nights for several years. At this time, Burhannudin Rabbani's militias (Jamiat-e Islami) held to power but the nominal prime minister Gulbuddin Hekmatyar (Hezb-e Islami) begun the fighting and shelling the city, which lasted until mid 1996.
The city was factionalized and fighting continued between Jamiat-e Islami, let by Burhannudin Rabani, (Junbesh Milli) by Abdul Rashid Dostum and (Hezbi Wahdat) the Hazaras militias which led by Abdul Ali Mazari which in result, thousands of civilians were killed and many more fled the country as refugees.

Kabul history turned to a darker period when the Taliban captured kabul in late September 1996. They publicly hanged the ex-President Dr. Najibullah and his brother at the square of Presidential Palace (ARG). They shut down the girls schools and forbid women from working outside the home. During this time, all the fighting between rival groups came to an end.

Burhannudin Rabbani, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, Abdul Rashid Dostum, Ahmad Shah Massoud, and the rest all escaped from the city. In October of 2001, after the 9/11 attack in New York and Pentagon, the United States invaded Afghanistan by merging from the air by bombarding the Taliban bases until they withdrew in the same year. The Afghan Northern Alliance (former Mujahideen or militias) came and recaptured and took control of the city. On December 20, 2001, the city became the capital of the Afghan Transitional Administration, which transformed to the present government of Afghanistan which is currently led by President Hamid Karzai.

There is a lot more to write about Kabul history, but I will try to write more in details about the history of Kabul Afghanistan in near future.

We hope you enjoyed this brief page on history of Kabul. If you did not find enough information about Kabul history on this page, please use the search box to get more info. I will try to write some more chunks of information about Kabul history on a different page in near future but for now just this narrowed kabul history page is available for my visitors.

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