Sunday, July 23, 2017

Mohammad Zahir Shah 1914 - 2007 | World news | The Guardian

Monday 23 July 2007 

Mohammad Zahir Shah, the last king of Afghanistan who returned from three decades of exile to support his war-battered country's moves towards democracy, died today, aged 92.

"With paramount grief, I would like to inform my countrymen that ... Mohammad Zahir Shah has bid farewell to this mortal world," Afghanistan's president, Hamid Karzai, said.

The Reuters news agency reported that state television interrupted its normal broadcast for a woman, dressed in black, to announce the death. Prayers and recitals from the Qur'an followed.

Describing him as the founder of Afghanistan's democracy and a symbol of national unity, Mr Karzai announced three days of national mourning for the former king and ordered flags to be flown at half-mast. 

Born in 1914, Zahir Shah was proclaimed monarch at the age of 19 within hours of witnessing the assassination of his father, King Mohammad Nadir Shah.

But his neutral foreign policy and limited liberalisation of a conservative society managed to keep the peace - a golden age in the eyes of many Afghans pained by the extremism and slaughter that followed.More

Last king of Afghanistan Mohammad Zahir Shah dies

Mohammad Zahir Shah 1914 - 2007 | World news | The Guardian


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