Source Pravda.Ru

Afghani queen dies in Italy

The wife of Former Afghani King Mohammad Zaher Shah, Homaira, died of cardiac arrest at the age of 86 in Rome on Wednesday.

Since 1973, the time when her husband was ousted from power, Homaira Shah has lived in Rome. Unlike Zaher Shah, the ex-queen never returned to Afghanistan; however, as her granddaughter, Homaira Wali, says, the ex-queen planned to return even despite her health problems. Homaira Shah is to be buried in the royal tomb on a hill overlooking Kabul. For reference:

The last king of Afghanistan came to the throne at the age of 19 and stayed in power for almost 40 years. By that time, Mohammad Zaher Shah received education in France, worked as Deputy Minister of Defense and Minister of Education; he also had hard times when his father King Nadir-Shah was assassinated.

Under the educated Zaher Shah, many European rules were introduced in Afghanistan: women took off the yashmaks; men began shaving beards, and the monarchy itself became constitutional in 1964. As it turned out later, the king made a fatal mistake in 1963 when he issued a decree on dismissal of the prime minister, his cousin Muhammad Daud Khan (Zaher Shah’s wife was his sister). Daud had a grudge against his cousin until 1973, when mass resentment of the people was too strong because of a three-year bad harvest. Then, Daud organized a bloodless coup, a result of which Afghanistan was declared republic and he declared himself the first president of the republic. At that time, Zaher Shah underwent medical treatment in Italy, people who were then by his side said that Zaher Shah received information about the coup rather calmly. The ex-King faced the following reqirement: his family may leave the country without difficulties if Zaher Shah abdicates the crown. The monarch took the ultimatum. the return of the Ex-King from political exile became possible only due to overthrow of the Taliban regime. Zaher Shah returned to Afghanistan as an individual person, not as a monarch. Unfortunately, his wife will not be lucky enough to see her subjects.

Dmitry Litvinovich PRAVDA.Ru

Translated by Maria Gousseva

Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2002/06/27/43348.html