Kabul is another world away from the rest of the country; the sole town which really merits the title of city, by its size and the sheer weight of the governmental presence; in Kabul every aspect of the state bureaucracy is concentrated, from ministries to the large education sector, with more than half of higher education places here too. Although the site is ancient, very little is left which is older than a century — a result partly of the burning of the great bazaar area by a British army in 1842, but also of the great expansion of Kabul as the central government gradually got power and wealth over the last decades. Much of the city has been built since the Second World War, in anarchic fashion, up steep hillsides, or along the roads leading out of the centre.


Total Export State Revenue Steep Hillside British Army Junior Officer 
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  1. 1.
    Peter Levi, The Light Garden of the Angel King (1972) p. 36.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    V. Gregorian, The Emergence of modern Afghanistan (Stanford, USA, 1969) pp. 345–68.Google Scholar
  3. 6.
    L. Dupree, Leftist movements in Afghanistan, American Universities field staff (AUFS) report 44 of 1979, p. 5.Google Scholar
  4. 7.
    Nake Kamrany, Peaceful competition in Afghanistan (Washington, USA, 1969) p. 51.Google Scholar
  5. 9.
    Types of MiGs, tanks and other weapons provided were often the latest models, instead of older ones out of service with Warsaw Pact armies. Useful comparisons of Soviet handling of Afghan arms contracts can be found in publications of SIPRI (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute), The arms trade with the Third World (1971), esp. pp. 501–5, and Pelican abridgement 1975. For a detached Arab view of Soviet arms trade and strategy for influence in the Middle East, see Mohamed Heikal, Sphinx and Commissar (London, 1978).Google Scholar
  6. 11.
    L. Dupree, A note on Afghanistan, 1971, AUFS, 1971, p. 23.Google Scholar
  7. 13.
    See Dr Heider Dawar, Die Bedeutung der Zollpolitik (Berlin, 1975).Google Scholar
  8. 14.
    Maxwell Fry, The Afghan Economy (Brill, Leiden, 1974) p. 48, and for causes of idle capital for investment, ch. 8 of this volume.Google Scholar
  9. 15.
    I have found very useful reports by Victor Segesvary, esp. Afghan Foreign Trade in 1356 (dated August 1978), copy in UNDP office, Kabul. Also confidential information.Google Scholar

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© Anthony Hyman 1992

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  • Anthony Hyman

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