Courtesy: TheMarkNews, Aug 17, 2009
by: Saeed Rahnema
Saeed Rahnema is a Professor of political science at York University and media commentator on the Middle East.
Travelling through Afghanistan in the mid-1970s – in every way a previous century – I was able to witness signs of development and the germination of some symbols of social change in a glaringly undeveloped society. This was when Davoud Khan had led a palace coup against his royal cousin, Zahir Shah in 1974, launching some gradual, though modest reforms. The radical communists soon toppled Davoud with the plan of bringing socialism to a backward feudal/tribal land. This was followed by superpower rivalries, the Soviet invasion, civil war, Mujahideen rule, anarchy, the birth of the Taliban, the U.S. invasion, and finally the installation of the present regime of Karzai-NATO. After nearly 40 years of unbelievable suffering and enduring misery, a female candidate for president, Shahla Atta, has pledged a return to the modernizing policies of Davoud Khan.