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New Left Review I/112, November-December 1978


Fred Halliday

Revolution in Afghanistan

On 27 April 1978 the world heard that there had been a successful military coup in Afghanistan. The régime headed by Mohammad Daud, which had itself come to power through a coup in July 1973, had been suddenly overthrown by tanks and jet planes that struck in the Afghan capital, Kabul. At first it seemed as if this was yet another military intervention which, although violent and abrupt, involved no major shift in the policies, social character or international alignment of those in power: a change comparable to Daud’s own coup, or to others in neighbouring Pakistan, Bangladesh, and the Arab world. Yet within days it became clear that the announcements of radical change coming over Radio Kabul were more than just the ritual demagogy of military coups: something rather more substantial had occurred.

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