Mohammad Zahir Shah has died yesterday in Kabul. Lawyers, Guns and Money provides a capsule summary of the history of the dynasty.* This will, in all likelihood, have absolutely no impact on Afghan politics, which had long since passed him by. A well-intentioned man, he was not a strong ruler, and had long since become merely a symbol of a better time, an era before the birth of much, perhaps most, of the current population of Afghanistan and its diaspora.
It was good that he got to go home, at the end. May he rest in peace.
*: Farley omits the fact that the man who overthrew Zahir Shah in 1973 and declared himself president of the new republic of Afghanistan was his cousin, the former premier Mohammad Daoud Khan. One may thus quibble as to whether Zahir or Daoud was the last member of the family to rule from Kabul.
Posted at July 24, 2007 13:13 | permanent link