Mohammed Zahir Shah Attends The Presidential Oath Ceremony of Hamid Karazi (2004)

Inauguration_of_President_Hamid_Karzai_in_December_2004

This picture taken in December of 2004 shows Hamid Karazi  taking the presidential oath for his second term. The former King of Afghanistan seated on the far right attended the ceremony. Mohammed Zahir Shah reigned from 1933 to 1973, During that period in the 20th century he expanded diplomatic relations of Afghanistan to numerous countries around the world. Afghanistan even had diplomatic relations with both the US and Soviet Union under his rule. King Mohammed Zahir Shah attempted to modernize Afghanistan along a Turkish model. There were also policy changes that enabled the formation of a parliament and the establishment of women’s rights. While the Zahir era was considered more peaceful compared to the following decades, there were still tribal and ethnic revolts. The monarchy ended with a coup by Mohammed Daoud Khan, which established a republic.  The reason he appeared during the presidential oath  ceremony was to act as a unifying force in a country divided by ethnic and religious lines. The Hamid Karazi presidency was not the unifying or uplifting force to keep Afghanistan at peace. The Soviet invasion, the Taliban takeover, and  America’s occupation of the country caused immense damage to the country. President Hamid Karazi had difficulty overcoming the image of being a US puppet during his administration.  Technically, President Karazi was an interim leader that  was only elected in 2004. Today Afghanistan faces challenges from armed insurgencies, terrorist organizations, US military aggression, and an underdeveloped economy.

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