by Max Barry

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Region: Commonwealth of Liberty

          𝙵𝚎𝚋𝚛𝚞𝚊𝚛𝚢 𝟷𝚜𝚝, 𝟷𝟿𝟺7
          ᴋɪɴɢᴅᴏᴍ ᴏꜰ ᴀꜰɢʜᴀɴɪꜱᴛᴀɴ - ١٩٤٢

In 1946, the uncompromising Prime Minister Hashim Khan stepped down. He was replaced by his more open brother Shah Mahmud Khan. The context of this change in the Prime Ministership would be the effects of the 2nd World War on Afghanistan. During the war, Afghanistan's economy took the brunt of the rising prices of essential goods and housing. House rent went up 313%, clothing 325%, and foodstuffs total 361%. Such conditions agitated the populace of Afghanistan and even the Afghan intellectual class. As a result, WW2 convinced the Afghan modernists that reform was no longer an ideological conviction between the traditionalists or progressives but a matter of the nation's survival. The ruling dynasty of Afghanistan, the Musahibans, while not to blame for the conditions, had undoubtedly planted the seeds of doubt in the minds of the intellectual class on the royalties' right to rule if they could not solve the problems of staggering socio-economic woes. With this evergrowing social upheaval, the Musahibans would abandon the notion of a slow march toward progress that the former Afghan King, Nadir Shah, had pursued. To stop the risk of a potential power struggle from the agitated intellectual class, the monarchy decided to delegate a degree of authority to some form of representative democracy. Resulting in what is now referred to as the 'first democratic period in Afghanistan.'

The mark of this new period in Afghanistan came in two forms. The birth of the Wikh Zalmiyan and the Tribal Revolts of 44-47. The Wikh Zalmiyan was a political movement birthed from the major literacy institutions; the movement had a broad agenda united by a liberal outlook that sought to enact political and social reforms. But as in often the case in poor underdeveloped countries, the transition has not been well handled. The MP's newfound power saw them introducing a torrent of changes that the political status quo was unwilling to tolerate, igniting various tribal revolts in the Khost Province. The causes of the uprisings lay in the worsening conditions of farmers, changes in conscription laws, the elimination of the power of Safi tribal leaders, Amanullah loyalism, trading monopolies, government surveillance, taxation, and poverty. The conflict began when government forces clashed with the forces of a tribal leader named Mazrak, who led the Zadran tribe in revolt. Further uprisings followed the Zadran uprising by the Safi and Mangal, the former of which elected their own king, Salemai. Faqir Ipi, a tribal leader from Waziristan (part of British India), also fought for the restoration of former king Amanullah Khan alongside other rebels.