Angelo Rasanayagam's Afghanistan: A Modern History PDF

By Angelo Rasanayagam

ISBN-10: 1417564431

ISBN-13: 9781417564439

ISBN-10: 1860648460

ISBN-13: 9781860648465

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Sample text

There were other modest attempts to liberalize the regime, leading to the election in 1949 of a parliament in which 26 AFGHANISTAN: A MODERN HISTOKY some 40 per cent of the 120 members were educated, reform-minded Afghans who took their parliamentary duties seriously. According to the 1931 constitution, government ministers were in principle responsible to parliament for the policies of the government in general and of the ministries under their charge in particular. Ministry budgets had become a notorious source of graft and influence-peddling.

Before the war, the Afghans had accepted economic assistance only from countries that were geographically remote enough (like Germany, Italy and Japan but not Britain and Russia) not to be able to influence their political independence. In 1936 the German government loaned DM 27 million in return for the purchase of arms. German advisers and technicians prospected for minerals and, with the Italians and Japanese, carried out irrigation projects. O n the eve of the war the German presence was substantial.

Radio Afghanistan had for many weeks introduced and explained the major provisions of the draft. But the Afghans have a long tradition of being very articulate in their local shuras (councils). It is a truism that in non-literate communities, verbal skills, including a penchant for oral poetry, are well developed. Examples can be found in all ages and places, from Homeric times to pre-Islamic Arabia. The oratorical skills of unlettered refugee spokesmen have impressed international humanitarian aid workers and visitors in Afghan refugee camps in Pakistan.

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Afghanistan: A Modern History by Angelo Rasanayagam


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