July 31

Afghan King farewelled

  In “Great Constitutional Monarch Mourned ,”  24 July 2007, we reported that the great constitutional monarch, the former King of Afghanistan, Zahir Shah, had died on 23 July, 2007 at the age of 92.  Such was the honour and respect that he still enjoyed that the President, Hamid Karzai, immediately announced three days of morning. On 28 July, 2007, the BBC reported the-lying-in-state in these words :

”A silent, dignified crowd had already assembled when we arrived in the palace gardens for the lying in state of the former king of Afghanistan. Shaded from the fierce sun by huge plane trees, rows of dining room chairs had been placed in curved rows on a carpet of red Afghan rugs.  Dozens of tribal leaders and other VIPs sat impassively, a sea of turbans, bushy beards and seasoned craggy faces that watched impassively as this clumsy foreign female correspondent sweatily adjusted her slipping veil. A friendly Kabul journalist pointed out the former warlords who had come from all over the country to pay their respects. "In the civil war, these were the men who tore the country apart," he whispered. “But this extraordinary day was a moment of unity, to mark the passing of an era – the first and last royal funeral in Kabul since 1933.”

The country never before knew, and has never snce known, such a period of peace and stability as it experienced under the King.


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