The second major Anglo-Afghan conflict began in 1878 when the Afghan leader Amir Sher Ali, refused to accept a British mission in Kabul. The war ended two years later when Amir Abdur Rahman assumed the Afghan throne with the ultimate result that Britain and Russia negotiated new boundaries that became the borders of modern-day Afghanistan and Britain assumed influence of Kabul’s foreign relations. This lasted until Afghanistan won its independence from Britain in 1919 after it launched a war on the British empire of India. The British made a determination to end the challenging history of hostilities with Afghanistan by relinquishment of control over foreign affairs in Kabul (CIA Factbook, 2009; Nyrop, 2001).
Over the next decade, King Amanullah sought to launch Afghanistan as a power in its own right by establishing diplomatic relations with countries in Europe and with Turkey. The interest in reaching out to other countries prompted a number of cultural changes at home as the King sought to lessen the hold Islamic law and values had on his country; among these were his effort to abolish the veil required of Muslim women in public and to institute coeducation in the nation’s schools in order to better reflect the norms espoused by Westerners (Dupree, 2002).
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