By Angelo Rasanayagam
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Additional info for Afghanistan: A Modern History
Habibullah did not survive to see this last constraint on Afghan independence removed: he was assassinated during a hunting trip, another of his passions, in February 1919. The identity of his assailants remained a secret, but suitable scapegoats were found and executed. Amanullah (1919-29) Amanullah was the first Afghan ruler determined at all costs to pull his nation into the twentieth century. But he lacked the shrewd political sense of his father and grandfather. His clumsy and insensitive efforts to modernize the country came to grief and ended in anarchy.
The oratorical skills of unlettered refugee spokesmen have impressed international humanitarian aid workers and visitors in Afghan refugee camps in Pakistan. The 1964 Loya Jirga was therefore not a rubber-stamp assetnbly, with the delegates given a choice between a 'yes' or a 'no', but a genuine debating forum, where dissenters overruled by the majority were even permit, ted to have their opinions recorded in writing. THE DEMOCRATIC EXPERIMENT 39 Amendments to some articles were proposed and adopted.
Curzon resigned as viceroy later that year, to the applause of Afghan and Indian nationalists, as well as liberals in London. Habibullah visited India in 1907 as a guest of the new viceroy, the liberal Lord Minto, and was received with due pomp and ceremony; indeed he was taken on the obligatory tiger shoot arranged by the British Raj for visiting dignitaries. He refused, however, to consider the provisions relating to Afghanistan in the St Petersburg Coi~ventionof 1907 as binding, on the grounds that his country had not been a party to the treaty.
Afghanistan: A Modern History by Angelo Rasanayagam