Afghanistan timeline 1956-1960

From Academic Kids

Timeline of Afghan history

January 27, 1956

King Zahir approves the new cabinet still headed by Mohammad Daud Khan, a king's cousin, who also holds the portfolio of defense; Naim Khan, another king's cousin, continues as foreign minister and second deputy premier; Ali Mohammad Khan becomes first deputy premier. Daud has thus finally succeeded in ousting from the government the supporters of Gen. Mohammad Arif, minister of defense, who was dismissed and put under arrest at the beginning of December 1955. At the same time more than 70 other persons, both army officers and civilians, were also arrested.

January 28, 1956

A joint Soviet-Afghan statement says that the U.S.S.R. will ensure delivery of "equipment and materials" on account of the $100,000,000 credit granted in December 1955, and will also grant "other services connected with technical assistance in building certain installations" in many branches of Afghan economy. According to Pakistani sources, $40,000,000 of the Soviet credits is earmarked for arms from the U.S.S.R. and Czechoslovakia and $60,000,000 for building airports and roads.

March 21-22, 1956

On his way to India, Anastas Mikoyan stays in Kabul.

July 1956

Adnan Menderes, the Turkish prime minister, pays a five-day visit to Afghanistan.

August 1956

Maj.Gen. Iskandar Mirza, the president of Pakistan, stays four days in the Afghan capital. It is believed that both Menderes and Mirza discussed at Kabul the possibility of Afghanistan's joining the Baghdad Pact, the problems of the Pathan or Pakhtu tribesmen, and their aspiration for a "Pakhtunistan" state.

November 1956

Mohammad Daud, the Afghan prime minister, visits Karachi, Pakistan. No mention is made thereafter in Afghan official statements of the "Pakhtunistan" question, that is, Afghan plans to create a separate state for Pakhtu-speaking peoples in Pakistan.

April and May 1957

Mohammad Daud visits Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Turkey, and Egypt.

June 8-11, 1957

H.S. Suhrawardi, the prime minister of Pakistan, visits Kabul and, as a result of his conversation with Mohammad Daud, the two governments agree to restore full diplomatic relations between the two countries.

July 17-31, 1957

King Mohammad Zahir Shah, accompanied by Mohammad Naim, deputy premier and minister of foreign affairs (also a cousin of the king and his brother-in-law), pays a state visit to the U.S.S.R. After a few days in Moscow, the king tours the Soviet Union. On his return to Moscow he and Kliment Voroshilov, chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, sign on July 30 a joint communiqué emphasizing the desire of their governments "to develop and promote the welfare of their countries"; the king explains to the Soviet statesmen "the neutral policy of Afghanistan" and the two parties affirm that "the principle of peaceful coexistence between all the nations" is in tune with the principles of the UN Charter. A statement is issued on July 31 that Soviet technicians will assist Afghanistan in prospecting for oil in the Maiman and Mazar-i-Sharif areas, near the Soviet frontier. On August 31 Mohammad Naim announces at Kabul that Afghanistan will receive about $25,000,000 worth of Soviet military material.

August 26, 1957

King Mohammad Zahir arrives in Turkey for a 15-day official visit.

Autumn 1957

Mohammad Daud Khan, the prime minister, pays a visit to Burma and to the People's Republic of China where, on October 25, Mao Zedong gives a banquet to honour the representative of a nation "that valiantly resisted colonialism."


The five-year development plan, begun in 1957, is being revised on the basis of experience gained. The total expenditure envisaged amounts to 5,708,600,000 afghanis at an average yearly rate of 1,141,700,000 afghanis. This means a rate of investment equal to 8% of the national income. Three-fourths of the total development plan is to be financed from national sources, and the remainder from foreign assistance. The total foreign exchange requirement is estimated at $196,000,000. According to the U.S. International Cooperation Administration, Afghanistan received from the United States $18,300,000 of economic aid in 1955-56 and $14,400,000 in 1956-57. The amount for 1957-58 is estimated at $5,800,000.

February 1, 1958

King Mohammad Zahir Shah pays an official visit to Pakistan. He also visits India in February. In his speech at the banquet given by Pres. Rajendra Prasad, the king speaks of the "traditionally neutral policy" of his country and of the "lasting friendship" between India and Afghanistan.

May 30, 1958

In Kabul, the representatives of Pakistan and Afghanistan sign an agreement guaranteeing reciprocal transit rights across each other's territory.

June 24, 1958

The Afghan prime minister arrives in Washington, where he addresses both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate.

September 2, 1958

Viliám Siroký, the prime minister of Czechoslovakia, arrives in Kabul.

September 12-20, 1958

Celal Bayar, president of Turkey, is the guest of King Mohammad Zahir.

October 1, 1958

Kliment Voroshilov, chairman of the presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the U.S.S.R., makes a return visit of friendship to Afghanistan.


The budget estimates for September 23, 1958-September 22, 1959 (1337-38 in the Afghan calendar), amount to a revenue of 1,455,122,000 afghanis (including 521,192,000 afghanis from foreign loans) and to an expenditure of 1,455,107,962 afghanis. (The afghani is worth about five U.S. cents.) Between the fiscal years 1955-56 and 1957-58 the amounts of Afghan exports rose from 1,527,000,000 afghanis to 1,984,000,000 afghanis, the main destinations being India, the U.S.S.R., the United States, the United Kingdom, and Poland.


Emancipation of women comes about with the abolition of the veil and the chadri (the shroud-like head-to-toe gown).

February 1959

The Afghan prime minister visits New Delhi.

May 1959

The Afghan prime minister is on an official visit in Moscow, where he confers with Nikita Khrushchev. An agreement on the expansion of Soviet-Afghan economic and technical cooperation is signed on May 28. Among other things, it provides for Soviet assistance in the construction of the Kushka-Herat-Kandahar motor road, more than 740 km long.

May 1959

The reconstruction of the Kabul airport starts with Soviet help.

August 24, 1959

Speaking at Kabul on the Afghan national day, King Mohammad Zahir Shah comments, traditionally, on the problem of Pashtunistan, "still awaiting a peaceful and just solution." Mohammad Daud Khan, the prime minister, explains to the correspondent of a Japanese press agency that the Pashtun problem has existed for a century and arose when part of Afghanistan was annexed to British India - the Pakistan of today.

September 1959

Jawaharlal Nehru, the Indian prime minister, pays a return visit to Kabul.

September 1959

Mohammad Naim, Afghan foreign minister, pays an official visit to Peking.

September 1959

The Ariana Afghan Airlines extend their services from Kabul to Frankfurt, Germany, through Ankara, Turkey, and Prague, Czechoslovakia.


The U.S.S.R. has by this year spent or committed about $300,000,000 in economic aid to Afghanistan. The latest Soviet enterprise is the building of the Salang highway across the Hindu Kush range to shorten the route between Kabul and the northern provinces by 190 km. The Soviet government promises $22,400,000 in aid to construct the Jalalabad dam on the Kabul river to provide electricity to the capital. Soviet technicians find petroleum in the area of Mazar-i-Sharif, on the Afghan side of the Amu Darya (Oxus) river. United States economic aid to Afghanistan totals by 1960 about $165,000,000, including a loan of $50,000,000. The National Assembly approves the budget estimate for the year 1960-61, balanced at 4,500,000,000 afghanis. Abdullah Malikyar, minister of finance, declares that a total of 2,540,000,000 afghanis of the budget expenditure will be used to implement the last year of the 1957-61 development plan.

January 1960

Mohammad Naim visits Karachi, Pakistan. In late February he holds a press conference at Kabul, in which he complains of the "completely negative attitude" of Pakistan toward the Afghan claim to Pashtunistan (the former North-West Frontier Province in which, according to Kabul, 7,000,000 Pathan tribesmen are anxious to join Afghanistan).

March 2-5, 1960

Nikita Khrushchev, the prime minister of the U.S.S.R., visits Kabul. In a joint statement Khrushchev and Mohammad Daud, the Afghan prime minister, declare that in order to establish peace in the Middle East "the application of the principle of self-determination" is the reasonable way to solve the problems of Pashtunistan.

August 1960

At Kabul, a ten-year Sino-Afghan treaty of friendship is signed by Mohammad Daud and Chen Yi, the deputy premier and foreign minister of Communist China.

September 1960

Speaking at the UN General Assembly Mohammad Naim, the deputy prime minister and foreign minister, describes his country's position as "most impartial and independent in international affairs," its only alliance being its membership in the United Nations.

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