Mohammed Daoud Khan

Mohammed Daoud Khan

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Sardar
Sardar
Sardar is a title of Indo-Aryan origin that was originally used to denote feudal princes, noblemen, and other aristocrats. It was later applied to indicate a Head of State, a Commander-in-chief, and an Army military rank...

 Mohammed Daoud Khan
or Daud Khan (July 18, 1909 – April 28, 1978) was Prime Minister of Afghanistan
Prime Minister of Afghanistan
The Prime Minister of Afghanistan is a currently defunct post in the Afghan Government.The position was created in 1927, and was appointed by the king, mostly as an advisor, until the end of the monarchy in 1973...

 from 1953 to 1963 and later becoming the President of Afghanistan
President of Afghanistan
Afghanistan has only been a republic between 1973 and 1992 and from 2001 onwards. Before 1973, it was a monarchy that was governed by a variety of kings, emirs or shahs...

. He overthrew the monarchy of his first cousin Mohammed Zahir Shah
Mohammed Zahir Shah
Mohammed Zahir Shah was the last King of Afghanistan, reigning for four decades, from 1933 until he was ousted by a coup in 1973...

 and declared himself as the first President of Afghanistan
President of Afghanistan
Afghanistan has only been a republic between 1973 and 1992 and from 2001 onwards. Before 1973, it was a monarchy that was governed by a variety of kings, emirs or shahs...

 from 1973 until his assassination in 1978 as a result of the Saur Revolution
Saur Revolution
The Saur Revolution is the name given to the Communist People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan takeover of political power from the government of Afghanistan on 28 April 1978. The word 'Saur', i.e...

 led by the Communist
Communism
Communism is a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of a classless, moneyless, revolutionary and stateless socialist society structured upon common ownership of the means of production...

 People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan
People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan
The People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan was a communist party established on the 1 January 1965. While a minority, the party helped former president of Afghanistan, Mohammed Daoud Khan, to overthrow his cousin, Mohammed Zahir Shah, and established Daoud's Republic of Afghanistan...

 (PDPA). Daoud Khan was known for his Socialist policies, especially in relation to the rights of women such as , for initiating two five-year modernization plans which increased the increased the labour force by about 50 percent. but he was also critiqued for being repressive and not tolerating any opposition and promoting Nepotism
Nepotism
Nepotism is favoritism granted to relatives regardless of merit. The word nepotism is from the Latin word nepos, nepotis , from which modern Romanian nepot and Italian nipote, "nephew" or "grandchild" are also descended....

 

Early life


HRH Prince Mohammed Daoud (also spelled Daud) was born at Kabul, the eldest son of the diplomat HRH Prince Mohammed Aziz Khan (1877–1933) (an older half-brother of King Mohammed Nadir Shah
Mohammed Nadir Shah
Mohammed Nadir Shah was King of Afghanistan from 15 October 1929 until his assassination in 1933. Previously, he served as Minister of War, Afghan Ambassador to France, and as a general in the military of Afghanistan...

). He lost his father to assassination in Berlin in 1933, while his father was serving as the Afghan Ambassador to Germany. He and his brother Naim Khan (1911–78) then came under the tutelage of their uncle HRH Prince Hashim Khan (1884–1953). Daud proved to be an apt student of politics. Educated in France, he served as the Governor of the Eastern Province from 1934–35 and in 1938–39, and was Governor of Kandahar from 1935–38.

In 1939, Daud was promoted to Lieutenant-General, and commander of the important Kabul Army Corps until 1946. From 1946–48, he served as Minister of Defence, then Minister of the Interior from 1949-1951. In 1948, he served as Ambassador to France. In 1951, he was promoted to General and served in that capacity as Commander of the Central Forces in Kabul from 1951–53.

Royal Prime Minister



He was appointed Prime Minister
Prime minister
A prime minister is the most senior minister of cabinet in the executive branch of government in a parliamentary system. In many systems, the prime minister selects and may dismiss other members of the cabinet, and allocates posts to members within the government. In most systems, the prime...

 in September 1953 in an intra-family transfer of power that involved no violence. His ten-year tenure was noted for his foreign policy turn to the Soviet Union, the completion of the Helmand Valley
Helmand River
The Helmand River is the longest river in Afghanistan and the primarily watershed for the endorheic Sistan Basin....

 project, which radically improved living conditions in southwestern Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

, and tentative steps towards the emancipation of women.

Daud supported a nationalistic and one-sided reunification of the Pashtun people
Pashtun people
Pashtuns or Pathans , also known as ethnic Afghans , are an Eastern Iranic ethnic group with populations primarily between the Hindu Kush mountains in Afghanistan and the Indus River in Pakistan...

 with Afghanistan, but this would have involved taking a considerable amount of territory from the new nation of Pakistan and was in direct antagonism to an older plan of the 1950s whereby a confederation between the two countries was proposed. The move further worried the non-Pashtun populations of Afghanistan such as the minority Tajik and Uzbek who suspected Daud Khan's intention was to increase the Pashtun's disproportionate hold on political power. During that time, the Pashtuns (or Afghans) consisted roughly 65 - 72 percent of Afghanistan's ethnic demographics but they represented over 80 percent of the government and held all important ministries, such as the Ministries of the Interior, Foreign Affairs, Economic Affairs, Defense and even most of the banks.

With the creation of an independent Pakistan, the Durand line
Durand Line
The Durand Line refers to the porous international border between Pakistan and Afghanistan, which has divided the ethnic Pashtuns . This poorly marked line is approximately long...

 conflict with the British colonialists was inherited by the two countries.

In 1961, as a result of Daoud's antagonistic policies and support to militias in areas along the Durand Line, Pakistan closed its borders with Afghanistan causing an economic crisis and greater dependence on the USSR. The USSR became Afghanistan's principal trading partner. Within a few months, the USSR had sent jet airplanes, tank
Tank
A tank is a tracked, armoured fighting vehicle designed for front-line combat which combines operational mobility, tactical offensive, and defensive capabilities...

s, heavy and light artillery for a heavily discounted price tag of $25 million.

In 1962, Daud sent troops across the international border into the Bajaur region of Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

 in an attempt to manipulate events in that area and to press the Pashtunistan issue, but the Afghan military forces were routed by Pakistani military. During this period the propaganda war from Afghanistan, carried on by radio, was relentless.

The crisis was finally resolved with the forced resignation of Daud Khan in March 1963 and the re-opening of the border in May. Pakistan has continued to remain suspicious of Afghan intentions and Daud's policy has left a negative impression in the eyes of many Tajik tribesmen who felt they were being disenfranchised for the sake of Pashtun Nationalism.

In 1964, King Zahir introduced a new constitution, for the first time excluding all members of the royal family from the council of ministers. Daud had already stepped down. As well as having been prime minister, Daoud had also held the portfolios of Minister of Defence and Minister of Planning until 1963.

President of the Republic


On July 17, 1973, Daoud seized power from his cousin (and brother-in-law) King Zahir
Mohammed Zahir Shah
Mohammed Zahir Shah was the last King of Afghanistan, reigning for four decades, from 1933 until he was ousted by a coup in 1973...

 in a bloodless coup. Departing from tradition, and for the first time in Afghan history, Daoud did not proclaim himself Shah
Shah
Shāh is the title of the ruler of certain Southwest Asian and Central Asian countries, especially Persia , and derives from the Persian word shah, meaning "king".-History:...

, establishing instead a republic
Republic
A republic is a form of government in which the people, or some significant portion of them, have supreme control over the government and where offices of state are elected or chosen by elected people. In modern times, a common simplified definition of a republic is a government where the head of...

 with himself as President
President
A president is a leader of an organization, company, trade union, university, or country.Etymologically, a president is one who presides, who sits in leadership...

.

In 1974, Daoud signed one of two economic packages that would enable Afghanistan to have a far more capable military because of increasing fears of lacking an up-to-date modern army when compared to the militaries of Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 and Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

.

Zahir Shah's democratic constitution with elected organs and the separation of powers was replaced by a now largely nominated Loya Jirga
Loya jirga
A loya jirga is a type of jirga regarded as "grand assembly," a phrase in the Pashto language meaning "grand council." A loya jirga is a mass meeting usually prepared for major events such as choosing a new king, adopting a constitution, or discussing important national political or emergency...

. A new constitution backed by a Loya Jirga was promulgated in February 1977, but failed to satisfy all political factions.

In 1976 under pressure from PDPA Daud and to increase domestic pashtun support he took a stronger line on Pashtunistan issue and promoted a proxy war in Pakistan. Trade and transit agreements with Pakistan where subsequently severely affected
Soon after Daud's army and police faced a a growing Islamic fundamentalist movement, whose leaders fled to Pakistan. There they were supported by Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and encouraged to continue the fight against Daud. However Daud was successful is suppressing the movement . However in later 1978 when Daud's was promoting his new foreign policy doctrine he came to a tentative agreement to on a solution to the Pashtunistan problem with Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.
In 1977 Daud Khan presented a new constitution to the National Assembly, which wrote in several new articles and amended others.He also began to moderate his socialist policies.

In 1978, in a rift with the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan. Internally, Daoud attempted to distance himself from the communist elements within the coup.He was concerned about the tenor of many communists in his government and Afghanistan's growing dependency on the Super Power Soviet Union These moves were highly criticized by Moscow
Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

, which feared that Afghanistan would soon become closer to the West, especially the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

; the Soviets had always feared that the United States could find a way to influence the government in Kabul.

A coup against Daud, which may have been planned before he took power, was repressed shortly after his seizure of power. In October 1973, Mohammad Hashim Maiwandwal
Mohammad Hashim Maiwandwal
Mohammad Hashim Maiwandwal was an Afghan politician during the reign of Zahir Shah.-Biography:After graduating from high school, Mohammad Hashim became a journalist, editing several newspapers...

, a former prime minister and a highly respected former diplomat, died in prison at a time when Parchamis controlled the Ministry of Interior under circumstances corroborating the widespread belief that he had been tortured to death. One of the Army generals arrested under suspicion of this plot with Maiwandwal was Mohammed Asif Safi
Mohammed Asif Safi
General Mohammed Asif Safi was an Army General in the Afghan National Army during King Zahir Shah's rule in Afghanistan, and later during the 1970s era of President Mohammed Daoud Khan...

, who was later released and Daoud Khan personally apologized to him for the arrest.

Daud wanted to lessened the country's dependence on the Soviet Union and attempted to promote a new foreign policy.He went to Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

, India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

, and Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 for aid. Surprisingly, he did not renew the Pashtunistan agitation; relations with Pakistan improved thanks to interventions from the US and Iran.

The following year, he established his own political party, the National Revolutionary Party, which became the focus of all political activity. In January 1977, a loya jirga
Loya jirga
A loya jirga is a type of jirga regarded as "grand assembly," a phrase in the Pashto language meaning "grand council." A loya jirga is a mass meeting usually prepared for major events such as choosing a new king, adopting a constitution, or discussing important national political or emergency...

 approved the constitution establishing a presidential, one-party system of government.

Diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union



President Daud met Leonid Brezhnev
Leonid Brezhnev
Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev  – 10 November 1982) was the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union , presiding over the country from 1964 until his death in 1982. His eighteen-year term as General Secretary was second only to that of Joseph Stalin in...

 on a state visit to Moscow from April 12 to 15, 1977. He had asked for a private meeting with the Soviet leader, to discuss with him the increased pattern of Soviet actions in Afghanistan. In particular the intensified Soviet attempt to unite the two factions of the Afghan communist parties, Parcham
Parcham
Parcham was the name of one of the factions of the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan. The Parcham faction seized power in the country after toppling Hafizullah Amin....

 and Khalq
Khalq
Khalq was a faction of the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan. Its historical leaders were Presidents Nur Muhammad Taraki and Hafizullah Amin. It was also the name of the leftist newspaper produced by the same movement. It was supported by the USSR and was formed in 1965 when the PDPA was born...

.

Brezhnev described Afghanistan's non-alignment as important to the USSR and essential to the promotion of peace in Asia, but warned him about the presence of experts from NATO countries stationed in the northern parts of Afghanistan.

In 1977 President Daoud made plans that the Government in Kabul would no longer have any personal relationships with the Soviet Union and try to make Afghanistan closer to the West, especially with other oil rich Middle-East nations. Afghanistan signed a co-operative military treaty with Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 and by 1977 the Afghan military and police force were being trained by Egyptian Armed forces. This angered the Soviet Union because Egypt took the same route in 1974 and distanced itself from the Soviets.

Communist coup and assassination



The April 19, 1978 funeral of Mir Akbar Khyber
Mir Akbar Khyber
Mir Akbar Khyber was an Afghan intellectual and a leader of the Parcham faction of the communist People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan...

, the prominent Parcham
Parcham
Parcham was the name of one of the factions of the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan. The Parcham faction seized power in the country after toppling Hafizullah Amin....

i ideologue who had been murdered, served as a rallying point for the Afghan communists. An estimated 1,000 to 3,000 persons gathered to hear the stirring speeches by PDPA leaders such as Nur Muhammad Taraki
Nur Muhammad Taraki
Nur Muhammad Taraki was an Afghan politician and statesman during the Cold War. Taraki was born near Kabul and educated at Kabul University, after which he started his political career as a journalist...

, Hafizullah Amin
Hafizullah Amin
Hafizullah Amin was the second President of Afghanistan during the period of the communist Democratic Republic of Afghanistan....

 and Babrak Karmal
Babrak Karmal
Babrak Karmal was the third President of Afghanistan during the period of the communist Democratic Republic of Afghanistan. He is the best known of the Marxist leadership....

.

Shocked by this demonstration of communist unity, Daoud ordered the arrest of the PDPA leaders, but he reacted too slowly. It took him a week to arrest Taraki, Karmal managed to escape to the USSR, and Amin was merely placed under house arrest. According to PDPA documents, Amin sent complete orders for the coup from his home while it was under armed guard using his family as messengers.

The army had been put on alert on April 26 because of a presumed "anti-Islamic" coup. On April 27, 1978, a coup d'état beginning with troop movements at the military base at Kabul International Airport
Kabul International Airport
-Facilities:The airport has two terminal buildings, the modern for international flights and the Soviet built one for domestic flights. Several hangars along the runway are for military aircraft...

, gained ground slowly over the next twenty-four hours as rebels battled units loyal to Daud Khan in and around the capital.

Death


Daoud and most of his family were assassinated
Assassination
To carry out an assassination is "to murder by a sudden and/or secret attack, often for political reasons." Alternatively, assassination may be defined as "the act of deliberately killing someone, especially a public figure, usually for hire or for political reasons."An assassination may be...

 during a coup by the communist People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan
People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan
The People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan was a communist party established on the 1 January 1965. While a minority, the party helped former president of Afghanistan, Mohammed Daoud Khan, to overthrow his cousin, Mohammed Zahir Shah, and established Daoud's Republic of Afghanistan...

. The coup happened in the presidential palace on 28 April 1978. His death was not publicly announced after the coup. Instead, the new government declared that President Daoud had "resigned for health reasons." (In 1979 Taraki was killed by Amin, who, in turn, was killed by the KGB; Karmal died in 1996 of cancer in Moscow).

On June 28, 2008, the body of President Daoud and those of his family were found in two separate mass graves in the Pul-e-Charkhi area, District 12 of Kabul city. Initial reports indicate that sixteen corpses were in one grave and twelve others were in the second. (Source: Azadi Radio/BBC News). On December 4, 2008, the Afghan Health Ministry announced that the body of Daoud had been identified on the basis of teeth moulds and a small golden Quran found near the body. The Quran was a present he had received from the king of Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

. On March 17, 2009 Daoud was given a state funeral.

Personal life


In 1934, Daoud married HRH Princess Zamina Begum (1917 — 28 April 1978), sister of King Zaher Shah. The couple had four sons and four daughters:
  • 1. Zarlasht Daud Khan
  • 2. Khalid Daud Khan (1947–1978). Had a son:
    • Tariq Daud Khan
  • 3. Wais Daud Khan (1947–1978). Had four children
    • Turan Daud Khan (1972-)
    • Ares Daud Khan (1973 – k. 1978)
    • Waygal Daud Khan (1975 – k. 1978)
    • Zahra Khanum (1970-).
  • 4. Muhammad 'Umar Daud Khan (k. 1978). Had two daughters:
    • Hila Khanum (1961 – k. 1978)
    • Ghazala Khanum (1964 – k. 1978)
  • 5. Dorkhanai Begum
  • 6. Zarlasht Khanum (k. 1978)
  • 7. Shinkay Begum (k. 1978)
  • 8. Torpekay Begum

External links