As soon as the Americans started the military operation in Afghanistan, the question pertaining to the return of the monarchy was raised in this country. It is not a widely discussed issue, it went into the background after the establishment of the interim government, but the recent events in Afghanistan showed that there were those, who supported the idea of monarchy and those, who were against it. Several thousands of Afghans from the Pashtun tribes descended from the mountains to the Khost region. The new governor was appointed there, who stood against the monarchy. The Pashtuns were wielding rifles, daggers and the up-to-date Chinese machine-guns – they came to protect their king, whom they have not seen for many years. They think there is a conspiracy developing in the country, the goal of which is not to allow Zahir Shah to ascend the throne.
The Pashtuns marched to the American army base and demanded the “Taliban yoke liberators” should observe the neutral side in the dispute regarding the king. So here are the opposing parties: the Pashtun followers of Zahir Shah and the Northern Alliance. King’s supporters believe that the Americans are rather actively cooperating with their adversaries – Tajiks and Uzbeks from the Northern Alliance.
Zahir Shah left Afghanistan to undergo the medical treatment in Great Britain in 1973 and was dethroned. Many of his followers are concerned now: there is no Taliban movement in the country anymore, but Zahir Shah has not come back to his country. Prince Mirwais Shah said that his father could come to Kabul on March 21, when the new year begins in Afghanistan. Zahir Shah’s adversaries claim that the 80-year-old king will not be able to rule the country. Those, who love the king, say that the king will be just one of the major symbols. He will not have to do anything, but to be the symbol of peace and stability in Afghanistan.
The Pashtun tribes of the east of Afghanistan have been known for their loyalty towards the monarchs, they are even called king-makers sometimes. Will they make the king this time? The Americans will show only exterior loyalty in this issue, since Zahir Shah is a good figure for them. The events in the Khost province show that the return of the monarchy was really an issue in Afghanistan. The Tajiks and Uzbeks from the Northern Alliance are against having the king, so if Zahir Shah becomes the king of Afghanistan eventually, this county is not likely to turn to a little peaceful kingdom.
Sergey Borisov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov
The continued irresolution of the W.Sahara conflict: The right to self-determination vs. Realpolitik by Dr. Sidi Omar, Frente Polisario representative at the UN