Kandahar – long history, ignoble end

Founded by Alexander the Great in the fourth century before the Christian era, Kandahar is the historic centre of the Pashtun heartland.

The founder of the first dynasty of the Kingdom of Afghanistan(1747 – 1842), Ahmed Shah Durrani, made it the capital of a vast empire which stretched from Khorassan in modern Iran to Delhi, in India.

His son, Timur Shah, moved the capital to Kabul due to pressure from the British in the south. Kandahar was occupied by the British and integrated into British Indian territories in the last years of the nineteenth century but was assigned to Afghanistan by the Berand line.

The city saw some fierce fighting during the Soviet occupation in the 1980s, the Soviet troops using the airport, which the Americans built in the 1950s as a base.

In 1994, it was made the Taleban capital. Today, it stands as their last fortress, doubtless soon to be destroyed. Alexander the Great would turn in his grave.


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