Talk:Mohammed Zahir Shah

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Who removed the text about the Helmand Valley project disaster, and total lack of economic development under the King? When he was deposed, there were only 50 miles of paved roads and 500 cars in the country, owned by his family and friends.


I found some of the weasel words in this article kind of questionable ('twisted his arm'?) so I put up an NPOV tag. - George

when did Mohammed Zahiar Shah die?

I suppose he hasn't died. :-) Mapple 09:45, 20 August 2005 (UTC)

POV editing[edit]

I made some POV edits, but clearly more are needed. LeoO3 15:34, 20 June 2006 (UTC)


hi there this man had a son called jaffa he attened the blue coat school in harbourne birmingham great britain later he returned to fight the russians the sunday times did a report of him —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 16:33, 15 August 2006 (UTC).

He has a son who lived in Rome with the shah. He is married and now lives in Africa on a hunting estate. The Shah's grandaughter Belquis would be about 35-40 and lives in Italy in seclusion. She has really not done much in her life, no real education or skills. At one point she was a trying to be a model but with no sucess.

Start classification[edit]

This article has been classified as a start due to its level of detail and organisation. Capitalistroadster 05:41, 23 July 2007 (UTC)


this guy is dead, not bed-ridden.

Name and Page move[edit]

His name is "Mohammed Zahir Shah" not "Mohammed Zahir Khan". Compare [1] and [2]. The page needs to be moved back 09:51, 23 July 2007 (UTC) He certainly seems to be "best known as" Mohammed Zahir Shah. Sadly, I just finished getting rid of the double-redirects, but they should be easy to undo. I will wait for the page move first. But an admin will have to the move because of the existing redirs are in the way...-- 10:22, 23 July 2007 (UTC)

This seems false[edit]

Cut from the page:

He is responsible for assasinating religious leaders like Sayed Ismael Balkhi, a Shia cleric, and Mawlana Faizani.[1]

Ignoring that the source is foreign language (and thus difficult for English-speaking people to find and/or read), it seems unlikely that Faizani, someone who the Communist authorities "disappeared" in 1979, was either killed by the then-in-exile former king or that this accusation was even made by someone (Ghobar) who died in 1978! Even someone who knows little about Afghan history can see the inaccuracy of this. It would be interesting to know what Afghanistan dar maseer Tarikh really says regarding this. In the meantime, this accusation seems directed at those reading his obits, not at being part of a long-standing encyclopedia entry. Calbaer 16:16, 23 July 2007 (UTC)

Not end of Barakzai[edit]

Someone wrote: "Following this coup, Zahir Shah abdicated rather than fight in August, ending the Barakzai Dynasty.[2]"

I found this questionable, because first of all the coup was by his cousin who was also of the same family vis-a-vi the same Barakzai Dynasty. So I looked into the article that was supposidly cited and it had nothing on the Barakzai Dynasty, so I removed that part. If anyone disagrees thats fine but find a ligit source.

Page title[edit]

Per all other monarchs, shouldn't this be at Mohammed Zahir of Afghanistan (<given name> of <country>), like Beatrix of the Netherlands or Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom? Chacor 06:29, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

I think Mohammed Zahir Shah (the current title) is fine. The reason is there is only Mohammed Zahir Shah while there is many Beatrixes and Elizabeth. --Behnam 07:02, 24 July 2007 (UTC)


  • “I will accept the responsibility of head of state if that is what the loya jirga demands of me, but I have no intention to restore the monarchy,” he said. “I do not care about the title of king. The people call me Baba, and I prefer this title.”[3]

By BARRY BEARAK Published: July 24, 2007 Mohammad Zahir Shah, Last Afghan King, Dies at 92 NY TIMES Bnguyen 05:31, 25 July 2007 (UTC)

Cleanup required.[edit]

There seems to be a lot of unverifiable claims in this article. Lots of bias and POV. If anyone can actually manage to correct anything in this article without having it reverted, please do so. I have tried, but certain individuals would prefer to keep the article in this state.

--Khampalak 02:01, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

This article is about Zahir Shah[edit]

Why is there a long-winded paragraph about his father here? First of all, that paragraph is in serious need of verification. Secondly, such details probably belong in an article about Nadir Shah. --Khampalak 02:46, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

Origin section[edit]

I will be revising the Origin section later tonight, hopefully. There seems to be quite a bit of redundant information about his father and obscure references to events that may or may not have occurred many generations earlier. The section should be about his upbringing, education, linguistic and culture heritage, as well as his ascent to power.--Khampalak 19:08, 10 August 2007 (UTC)

Claims of ethnocentrism[edit]

I have serious questions about these claims. I do not think an opinion piece from a Canadian newspaper is sufficient for making this statement here. The piece from The Ottawa citizen was not written by an expert on Zahir Shah, nor did he provide any sources for his claims of ethnocentrism and persecution of Persian speakers. Further, the claims make absolutely no sense given that Zahir Shah and much of his family speak Persian as their first language. I think these claims constitute POV, as does the source material. My opinion is that this information should be edited out. --Khampalak 19:13, 10 August 2007 (UTC)

We have provided books on his ethnocentrism. His family persecuated Hazaras and Tajiks. People like Abdul Hai Habibi and Gul Muhamad Khan Momand had Great Influence on him.(ref: Afghanistan dar Maseer Tarikh vol.2),(Khaterat Sayed Qasem Rishtia).) --Anoshirawan 21:14, 10 August 2007 (UTC)

Haha sure. Whatever you say. Either way, that doesn't support your claim that HE was ethnocentric. I'm convinced that when you come up with these claims, you are merely looking in the mirror. My facts are based on first hand accounts from people who lived during his reign, people of ALL backgrounds. I'm sorry to inform you, but you don't know what you are talking about. --Khampalak 21:39, 10 August 2007 (UTC)

Mir Ghulam Muhammad Ghobar, Sayed Qasem Rishtia, Fayz Muhamad Kateb, Mir Seddiq Farhang,Asef Ahang were all Historians which served in Zahir's court. Muhamad Zahir's closest companion was Sayed Qasem Rishtia. I advice you to go and learn some Farsi first then come and argue with us. --Anoshirawan 22:21, 10 August 2007 (UTC)

So I don't speak Farsi? Besides, I am familiar with Ghobar and Reshtia. They are known enemies of Zahir Shah and his family. I have read what they've said and it's BS. Besides, speaking Farsi is not a prerequisite for knowing one's history. The most pathetic thing about the two of you is this... you accuse Pashtuns of everything imaginable. You accuse them of trying to impose their culture on you. But in reality it is you, Beh-nam, and other's like you who are pushing your anti-Pashtun agenda here, on youtube, on Myspace, and on just about every Afghan forum. If I'm not mistaken, Pashtuns are not doing this sort of thing to anyone let alone in such an organized and pre-meditated way. So keep playing the victim, while on the other hand being the anti-Pashtun and anti-Afghan propagandist that you are. I really don't care. At the end of the day, history will not have changed. Your bitterness will still be eating you up inside. We Pashtuns will still have every bit of history, culture, and pride...completely unaffected by your campaign against us. Again, no matter what you say or what you do, you cannot achieve whatever goal it is you are working towards. Why? Because nobody in Afghanistan buys into this shit. I have seen people like you try to convince Afghan Tajiks that they aren't Afghan. I have yet to see a single person turn. So keep it up. --Khampalak 23:37, 10 August 2007 (UTC)

Sayed Qasem Rishtia was Muhamad Zahir's close friend and his brothers(farhang...ect) were also court historians. Mir Ghulam Muhamad Ghobar was alos close to Zahir. Please stop these personal attacks, this wont take you anywhere but will get you blocked again. --Anoshirawan 23:46, 10 August 2007 (UTC)

Awwwww...cry me a river. Still playing victim I see. Every article you edit becomes a personal attack on it's subject(s). Request a block on me. It's not like any of my edits will ever stick. You and I both know that. I have a life and a job actually. I don't have time to play these games. That's exactly what this is for you. A game. So do whatever you want. As I said before, you can't change history by corrupting online articles and citing sources from the endless collection of distorted literature that you idiots have been sharing. --Khampalak 00:01, 11 August 2007 (UTC)

I see this is still a game to some.[edit]

I advice anyone to examine the edits on this article. It should be clear to see what is going on here. --Khampalak 04:08, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

Beh-nam, this is an encyclopedia, not a tabloid. Gossip and unverifiable claims and accusations do not belong. I am warning you. If you continue to remove sourced biographical information and replace it with unverifiable, slanderous claims I will be forced to report you for repeated vandalism. The key word here is verifiability. Until you bring forward specific, documented examples of persecution against individuals and groups, your claims should stay out. --Khampalak 04:17, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

I forgot to mention, you should keep your language "encyclopedic" in tone in accordance with Wikipidia policies. This means maintaining neutrality and objectiveness and avoiding accusative language. The article will be purged of such language. If you continue to revert legitimate edits, you will be in violation. --Khampalak 04:21, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

Anushirvan, Khampalak is just hurted that he is persinized. Don´t take him serious. These Pashtuns never can see the truth instead they are calling thieves, murders Heros and heros thives...typical for kuchis.. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Aspandyar Agha (talkcontribs) 17:56, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

Beh-nam & Anoshirawan[edit]

Thank you

--Khampalak 05:08, 13 August 2007 (UTC)


Concerning the execution of Habibullah Ghazi, I removed "after taking an oath on the Quran not to" as unsubstantiated, and definitely libelious (if alive). --Bejnar 15:04, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

Why would you remove it if it is common knowledge and well documented? --Behnam 16:18, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
The material you claim is common knowledge is nothing more than unfounded criticisms among Setami/Parcham supporters. And you've been warned about these sources that you keep alluding to. It's no wonder this article is marked as requiring additional sources and verification. --Khampalak 17:16, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
¿"well-documented"? There is no footnote for it. --Bejnar 17:41, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Also the statement is relative surplusage, since the article is not about the acts of his father. --Bejnar 17:41, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

Dost Mohammad Khan[edit]

With regard to the activities of Mohammed Zahir Shah's half-uncle, I deleted "who sold Peshawar for gold and sided with Maharaja Ranjit Singh of Sarkar Khalsa against his half brother Dost Muhamad", on the basis that the first part is not from a NPOV, and the whole is rather irrelevant to the article, which is about Mohammed Zahir Shah. If it were relevant,it should be brought up in the relevant context and not in back ground. --Bejnar 15:04, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

Yeah I agree, it would be better in the Mohammed Nadir Shah article. --Behnam 16:19, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
As usual you have filtered out the bit where NPOV was mentioned. Simply moving inappropriate text from one article to another will only solve nothing. --Khampalak 17:17, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

Ethnocentrism ?[edit]

I moved this paragraph here from the article because it needs discussion. The three cited references do not support all of the claims as stated. --Bejnar 17:24, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

He is also known for being ethnocentric during his rule. Zahir Shah persecuted those whose native tongue was Farsi[2] as well other non-Pashtun groups such as the Hazaras, Nuristanis, Uzbeks, and others. Most government officials and MPs were of Pashtun origin and Pashtuns had more privilege than non-Pashtuns, which resulted in the creation of anti-government movements and parties, for instance, Sitam Milli headed by Tahir Badakhshi, Dr Abdur Rahman Mahmoudi's movement and many more.[3][4]
  • The first citation, Warren, David "The death of a king" The Ottawa Citizen 28 July 2007, says "For one thing, he was a peace-loving man. Unusual in a Pashtun -- especially one who was highly ethnocentric, impatient with the country's "diversity," and frankly prejudiced against those whose native language was Persian. But though he could sound rebarbative, he had a long record of giving the store away rather than fighting with anybody." It provides no data. In fact, it was Zahir’s brother-in-law and cousin, Muhammad Daud, who became prime minister in 1953, who pushed Pashtun interests. Because of Daud's Pashtun zeal, Zahir had to force Daud’s resignation in 1963 in order to restore relations with Pakistan, which had severed ties with Afghanistan after Daud espoused self-determination for Pashtuns living in Pakistan. --Bejnar 17:24, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
Beh-nam replied "rv, that is a respectable author on a respectable newspaper. i dont think you can contest it unless you provide a source that he was not ethno-centric"
I am contesting the ethnocentrism of Muhammad Zahir Shah. The single reference is in a newspaper editorial in the Ottawa Citizen by David Warren. You asked for an example for his non-ethnocentrism, here is one of many such. --Bejnar 18:13, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
"The late King was always fondly referred to by all Afghans, cutting across ethnic boundaries, as "Baba-e-Millat" or 'Father of the Nation', a position given to him in the country's Constitution passed in January 2004, about two years after the collapse of Taliban rule." "Last King of Afghanistan dies at 92"
Note that David Warren is not a "respected journalist" he is the former editor of the Idler Magazine and writes opinion pieces for the Ottawa Citizen. --Bejnar 18:13, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
  • The second citation is to the non-English language edition of Afghanistan in the course of history by Mir Gholam Mohammad Ghobar (Uniform author: Ghulām Muḥammad Ghubār), which was fortunately translated into English by Sherief A. Fayez, and published by All Prints Inc., Herndon, VA, in 2001, ISBN 0-9707964-0-4. A quick glance at this work (in English), does not seem to support the ethnocentrism charge. In fact, Mohammed Zahir appears rather cosmopolitan, especially when compared to his brother-in-law and cousin, Muhammad Daud. --Bejnar 17:24, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
  • The third citation, a primary source document, is a United States diplomatic memo from 1963 after twenty years of Mohammed Zahir's rule, Indications that RGA may place more emphasis on Pushtu July 13, 1963. It says "There are some indications that the RGA may intend to place more emphasis on Pushtu, but it is doubted that a really serious effort in this direction will be made." It goes on to say that although there was a pledge in 1933 to make Pushtu (Pashto) the official language of Afghanistan, that that had not happened, and that sources "generally dismissed the possibility that the name changes might point to a renewed interest in Pushtu." The citation has nothing to do with the textual sentence that precedes it.--Bejnar 17:24, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
  • The statement "Most government officials and MPs were of Pashtun origin" seems to be true, if by most you mean more than half; but the fact is entirely irrelevant for two reasons: (1) The king had no control over the elections for MP, and government officials (for the most part) were not appointed by the king. (2) By far the largest ethnic population in Afghanistan is Pashtun, even if a large percentage speak Dari as their native tongue. --Bejnar 17:24, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
  • I was unable to find evidence that "Pashtuns had more privilege than non-Pashtuns". As noted above, even the original attempt to make Pashto the official language was not pressed forward. It is true that Tahir Badakhshi did campaign for the amelioration of economic and educational conditions for all non-Pashtun poeple, and organized a party based on non-Pashtun ethnicity. --Bejnar 17:24, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

  • Beh-nam indicated that he wished to see documentation that Mohammed Zahir was not ethnocentric. Here are three statements: --Bejnar 20:49, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
“The BBC's Charles Haviland in Kabul says many see the former king as a symbol of the national unity since lost amid violence.“ "Afghanistan buries its last king" BBC

07/24/2007 available [4]

“Zahir Shah never did become a dynamic ruler, always seeming more like a gentleman farmer, at home on his property with a new breed of milk cows or fresh plantings of strawberries. But he did assert himself in the 1960s, introducing a constitutional monarchy and advocating greater political tolerance. Included in his reforms were new rights for women in voting, education and the work force.” Bearak, Barry (23 July 2007) "Obituary: Muhammad Zahir Shah, last king of Afghanistan" International Herald Tribune available [5]
“President Karzai announced the former King's passing at a news conference in Kabul , praising the king for bringing development and education to Afghanistan . "With paramount grief, I would like to inform my countrymen that Mohammad Zahir Shah has bid farewell to this mortal world?He was the friend of his people. He believed in the rule of the people and in human rights," said President Karzai.” "Embassy of Afghanistan Expresses Condolences to the Afghan People upon the Passing of Father of the Nation Mohammad Zahir Shah" Afghan Embassy, Washington, D.C., 23 July 2007,available [6] is a source written by Pashtuns who will obviously write in favour of him whereas the source I have provided is neutral. --Behnam 20:55, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
And Ghobar, Reshtia, Badakshi, and countless others who you constantly cite are known to be passionately anti-Zahir Shah. So what is your point? If we are debating about who's sources are more neutral and reliable, then clearly you will lose Beh-nam. This debate is about claims that you have made and are unable to substantiate. The burden of proof rests on the party making the claim, Beh-nam. You should know this. We have provided source after source which contradicts your claims and invalidates the single, opinion-based source that you have. --Khampalak 21:01, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
Furthermore, you have implied that by virtue of being written by Pashtuns, is biased in favor of Zahir Shah. This is naive and misguided thinking. Not all Pashtuns were pro-Zahir. Amin, Taraki, Ahmadzai, etc were all Pashtun. A significant portion of Khalq and Parcham were ethnic Pashtuns. So again, your logic here is not sound. --Khampalak 21:07, 13 August 2007 (UTC) is Nabil Ghamin Miskinyaar's website. he is a Pro zahir Shahi. Rishtia was a close friend of Zahir. Ghobar simply wrote the truth and has referenced everything he wrotein his book. --Anoshirawan 21:38, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

Again, please stop avoiding the obvious argument here. Even if you ignore the source, you still have no addressed any of the numerous things that have brought to your attention. You have a difficult task ahead of you. Lets not go off into irrelevant tangents here. --Khampalak 21:44, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
Hold on a second here. The link to is not even original content. This is the heading of the source article reads:
International Herald Tribune
By Barry Bearak
If I'm not mistaken, that makes your makes your objection to the source void. In addition, this Zahir Shah article itself cites a Barry Bearak article published in the New York Times. --Khampalak 21:50, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
e-Ariana will choose articles that ignore Zahir Shah negative sides and articles written by misinformed journalists.--Behnam 23:12, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

Don't misquote articles[edit]

The article quoted says nothing about Zahir Shah persecuting or oppressing non-Pashtun speakers. Azalea pomp 02:55, 28 September 2007 (UTC)

I provided a source already for this claim. --Anoshirawan 04:20, 28 September 2007 (UTC)

I read the article and it does not say anything about persecution or oppression. Please directly quote where his article lists this. Azalea pomp 07:28, 28 September 2007 (UTC)
Well spotted Azalea pomp, no the article doesn’t say anything about persecuting Persian speakers, so we should remove it unless a reliable source is provided to support the claim. - dwc lr 10:11, 28 September 2007 (UTC)

"Father of the Nation" in infobox[edit]

I don't want to start an edit war, so to reply to your last comment... the title wasn't given by a government since the government wasn't even formed yet. It was given by his fellow Mohammedzai loyalists who had influence over Karzai. There was no vote on this, it was just proceeded by his loyalists and family and everyone sort of went on with it. This title didn't have a function for him, other than providing him with a luxurious life in Kabul with $30,000 a month and a free expensive funeral from the money provided by Western countries to the people of Afghanistan. But main point, is that it was not given to him by a republican government, a real government was at that time. -- Behnam 03:09, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

That's only an argument as to why your personal opinion doesn't approve of it! --Counter-revolutionary 11:21, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
Well it's not my opinion that this was done at a time where a government wasn't even established yet. Regardless, the infobox is Infobox Monarch so we should only have details about his monarchy not other titles he had. -- Behnam 21:55, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not a place for your opinions. --Counter-revolutionary (talk) 13:23, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
It's not my opinion that it's a Monarch Infobox and thus only his title as a monarch can be mentioned and not any other titles he had (he had several more). -- Behnam (talk) 13:28, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

Likewise, any supposition like, "Had he not been deposed ..." doesn't belong in an encyclopedia. Perhaps there is a wiki somewhere for "What Might Have Been". There is a special place in hell for propagandists. (talk) 16:54, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

Fascism Template[edit]

How does this apply here? At first I wasn't sure if I read it correctly, but sure enough it's there. Are people vandalizing discussion pages now because this stuff isn't surviving on the article itself? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Shamsudin (talkcontribs) 19:55, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

Revert to old version by Anoshirawan[edit]

Anoshirawan why are you continually reverting to an old version of this article? - dwc lr (talk) 00:10, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

Dead or not?[edit]

The articles introduction says ".. in 2002 which he held until his death". The person summary says he died in 2007 and there is a picture of him from 2004 (where he is obviously alive). What is the correct time of death? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:14, 17 July 2013 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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  1. ^ Mir Ghulam Muhammad Ghobar, P: "Afghanistan dar maseer Tarikh".
  2. ^ Warren, David (2007-07-28). "The death of a king". The Ottawa Citizen (Ottawa). The Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved 2007-07-28. 
  3. ^ Mir Ghulam Muhammad Ghobar, P: "Afghanistan dar maseer Tarikh".
  4. ^ [ Indications that RGA may place more emphasis on Pushtu] July 13, 1963