Before the American troops and their NATO allies landed in Afghanistan, days after the 9/11 twin tower attack in 2001, Afghans’ respected Americans. They had helped them fight the Soviet occupation through Pakistan and literally undo the USSR. The Kabul-Washington relation had evolved over the decades if not centuries.
There might have been a lot of contacts between the two cultures separate by faith and high seas but the first recorded one was somewhere in the 1830s when Josiah Harlan, an American adventurer and a Pennsylvania political activist sailed to India with the wildest imagination of becoming the King of Afghanistan.
Soon after his arrival, the situation in the region evolved so fast that becoming a king of Afghanistan seemed not a tall order. There were two claimants to the Durrani throne - Shuja Shah Durrani and Dost Mohammad Khan. This led to the first war between British India and Afghanistan, known as the First Anglo-Afghan War (1838–1842). The war, however, was not an ordinary one. From around 16500 invading the British army only one returned home alive – Dr William Brydon.
Before the war, Harlarn had worked for both the claimants and is credited for fighting many battles for Dost Mohammad till he became the Prince of Ghor. Harlarn is the one around whom Rudyard Kipling’s short story, the man who would be king was written. In 2002, Ben Macintyre, an editor at The Times London authored an extensive book The Man Who Would Be King: The First American in Afghanistan. This marked the beginning of contact between the two nations.
The second contact is barely a century old when in 1911, a former General Electric employee, AC Jewett reached Afghanistan with a modest objective of building a powerhouse in Kabul. He became the Chief Engineer for King Habibullah Khan and helped electrify parts of Jalalabad and Kabul.
British managed to create a friendly regime in Afghanistan after the Second Anglo-Afghan War (1878–80) but the protectorate rebelled in 1919 (the third Anglo-Afghan War) that eventually led the Empire to surrender Afganistan’s foreign affairs, the only authority they had had for around four decades.
Somewhere in 1921, Afghanistan signed the Treaty of Rawalpindi with British India. Afghan diplomats visited the American mission and sought to establish diplomatic contact. The then US President Warren G Harding sent his good wishes to Kabul and some aid started flowing to the desert country.
The diplomatic contact was established but the American envoy would operate from Tehran. William Harrison Hornibrook was the envoy in absentia for two years till 1936. Louis Goethe Dreyfus served for another two years till 1942. Then Americans started travelling to the region with Major Gordon Enders becoming the first military attaché to Kabul, followed by Cornelius Van Hemert Engert represented and Ely Eliot Palmer between 1945 and 1948.
THE ONSET OF COLD WAR
The onset of the cold war between the USA and the USSR marked the beginning of a stronger relationship as US President Harry S Truman visualised. Kabul sent Habibullah Khan Tarzi as the first full-fledged ambassador to Washington in 1953 and the US Louis Goethe Dreyfus as its Ambassador to Afghanistan from 1949 to 1951.
In 1953, Richard Nixon, then the Vice President, flew to Kabul, met residents and strolled around. Five years later, Afghanistan Prime Minister Daoud Khan spoke to US Congress in Washington in 1958. During this visit, he met President Eisenhower, signed a cultural exchange agreement. Though Khan sought defence cooperation, Washington preferred economic assistance.
It was the era of the Cuban crisis. During the Cuban Revolution between 1953 and 1959, the USSR would support Fidel Castro, and the US would focus on Afghanistan, as its strategic partner in the region as the desert country was in the immediate vicinity of the USSR. The idea was to checkmate Communism. It was simply because of these compelling factors that
President Eisenhower flew to Kabul in December 1959. Landing at the Bagram Airfield, Eisenhower drove in a huge cavalcade to Kabul, where he met King Zahir Shah, his Prime Minister Daoud Khan and other Pathan notables.
In 1963, the Kabul king went on a return visit. This visit helped Kabul to cement its relations with the John F Kennedy administration. Habibullah Karzai, Hamid Karzai’s uncle, was part of the king’s team.
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Before The Kabul Retreat
Described as the ‘Graveyard of Empires’, Afghanistan was always termed to be at peace when it was at war. But the land-locked desert country that was always in turmoil and one of the worst targets of the Great Game suffered immensely throughout, especially in the last 40 years, Masood Hussain writes
Almost everybody in academia and politics that Khalid Bashir Gura spoke to, the response over Kabul happens was simple – wait and watch
Parliamentary Committee In Srinagar
The visiting 28-member Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs have had detailed interactions with top civil administration and discussed developmental scenario and people’s welfare measures in Jammu and Kashmir. It is on a 4-day visit. Congress leader and MP Anand Sharma is heading the committee.
MUSIC IN MUD HOUSE
Deep into north Kashmir, Faheem Mir meet a small community that sings and lives on folk music but is facing a tense situation in the last few years
THE KABUL SPILLOVER?
Security experts are divided over the possible impact of the Kabul situation on Kashmir. But the dramatic Taliban triumph has altered the region’s geopolitics, for the time being, writes Riyaz Wani
Durga Bhawan At Katra
To enhancing facilities for the convenience of the Vaishno Devi pilgrims, Lt Governor Manoj Sinha laid the foundation for the Durga Bhawan, a high utility pilgrim-centric facility worth Rs 24.4 crore. The facility will accommodate 4000 pilgrims.
In the first, 480 talented girls from Jammu and Kashmir were included in the degree and diploma courses of the Pragati Scholarship. Jammu and Kashmir has also got nine scholarships under the Saksham Scheme for Persons with Disabilities.
‘SOME HISTORIANS BELIEVE THAT AFGHANISTAN CONFLICT IS THE OUTCOME OF INDIA AND PAKISTAN KASHMIR STAND-OFF'
Foreign policy expert and editor of HardNews magazine, Sanjay Kapoor believes that Taliban 2.0 has more legitimacy unlike in the past as it had signed a deal with the US and negotiated with other countries of the region, but the final verdict can be passed only after it manages ticklish issues involving half of its population, the women
Boredom Is Creative?
Getting bored is not as boring as it gets, writes Azra Hussain
LG In Bangus
Lt Governor, Manoj Sinha inaugurated the Bungus Awaam Mela amidst grand arrangements for village games, exhilarating local performances, and other activities to celebrate the 75th year of Independence.
Biden's Benghazi Moment
How the deadly Kabul AIRPORT ATTACK and bungled Afghanistan pullout could HAUNT HIS PRESIDENCY–and cost him the midterms.
Kabul's Iron Lady
Nargis Nehan is working to reform a troubled ministry and get Afghanistan’s vast mineral resources out of the ground.
US offers to pay family of those killed in botched Kabul strike
An Afghan woman whose father and fiancé both died in a US drone strike in Kabul.
Prepared for Turbulence
MAPS & MINEFIELDS: Insights on concerns, triumphs & India’s foreign policy priorities
Pak airline suspends Afghan ops citing Taliban interference
Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) suspended flights to Kabul on Thursday after what it called heavy-handed interference by Taliban authorities.
Testimonio de una joven afgana “Los talibanes me quieren matar”
Mediante mensajes de texto, una joven afgana narra a la reportera el horror de ser mujer y vivir en un país dominado por los talibanes. La muchacha, que pudo estudiar ciencias políticas en el anterior régimen, afirma que ella y su familia están en peligro de muerte, de ser descubiertos... “estamos en una lista negra y nos están buscando para matar a toda la familia”, asegura a Proceso.
Protests get harder for women in Afghanistan amid risks and red tape
WOMEN IN Afghanistan who object to what the Taliban have said and done since returning to power are finding it harder to protest, now that impromptu demonstrations have been banned and previous rallies were broken up by gunfire and beatings.
काबुल में मस्जिद के बाहर धमाका,पांच मरे
तालिबान के गृह मंत्रालय के एक प्रवक्ता ने कहा कि रविवार को यहां एक मस्जिद के प्रवेश स्थल पर हुए बम विस्फोट में कम से कम पांच नागरिकों की मौत हुई है।
अफगानिस्तान मुद्दे पर भारत-जर्मनी में करीबी सहयोग दिखेगा
भारत में जर्मनी के राजदूत वाल्टर जे लिंडनर ने रविवार को कहा कि अफगानिस्तान के मुद्दे पर भारत और जर्मनी का रुख एक जैसा है और दोनों देश इस संबंध में करीबी सहयोग देखेंगे।
Blast Outside Kabul Mosque Kills 5
Taliban’s Zabihullah Mujahid Was Holding A Memorial Service At Time Of Attack; IS-K Role Suspected; 3 Held