History Overview of Afghanistan

  • 1979

    Power struggle between liftist leaders Hafizullah Amin and Nur Mohammed Taraki in Kabul won by Amin. Revolts in countryside continue and Afghan army faces collapse. Soviet Union finally sends in troops to help remove Amin, who is executed
  • 1985

    Mujahendin come together inPakistan to form alliance against Soviet forces. Half of Afghan population now estimated to be displaced by war, with many fleeing to neighbouring Iran or Pakistan. New Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev says he will withdraw troops from Afghanistan.
  • 1988

    Afghanistan, USSR, the US and Pakistan sign peace accords and Soviet Union begins pulling out troops.
  • 1989

    Last Soviet troops leave, but civil war continues as Mujahedin puch to overthrow Najibllah.
  • 1996

    Taliban seize control of Kabul and introduce hardline version of Islam, banning women from work, and introducing Islamic punichments, which include stoning to death and amputations. Rabbani flees to join anti-Taliban northern alliance. Taliban under pressure.
  • 1999

    UN imposes an air embargo and financial sanctions to force Afghanistan to hand over Osama bin Laden for trial.
  • May 2001

    Taliban order religious minorities to wear tags identifying themselves as non-Muslims, and Hindu women to veil themselves like other Afghan women.
  • November 2001

    Oppositon forces seize Mazar-e Sharif and within days march into Kabul and other key cities. Taliban falls.
  • December 5, 2001

    Afghan groups agree deal in Bonn for interim government.
  • December 7, 2001

    Taliban finally give up last stronghold of Kandahar, but Mullah Omar remains large.
  • December 2002

    President Karzai and Pakistani, Turkmen leaders sign deal to build gas pipeline through Afghanistan, carrying Turkmen gas to Pakistan.
  • August 2003

    NATO takes control of security in Kabul, its first-ever operational commitment coutside Europe. New construction.
  • January 2004

    Grand assembly- or Loya Jirga- adopts new construction which provides for strong presidency.
  • October through November 2004

    Presidential elections: Hamid Karzai is declared the winner, with 55% of the vote. He is sworn in, amid tight security, in December
  • May through June 2006

    Scores of people are killed in bottles between Taliban fighters and Afghan and coalition forced in the south during an offensive known as Operation Mountain Thrust. NATO takes over.
  • October 2006

    NATO assumed responsibility for security across the whole of Afghanistan, taking command in the east from a US-led coalltion force.
  • May 2007

    Taliban's most senior military commannder, Mullah Ddullah, is killed during fighting with US, Afghan forces. Afghan and Pakistan troops clash on the border in the worst violence in decades in a simmering border dispute.