a republic in central Asia bounded on the N by Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and, and Tajikistan, on the NE by China, on the E and S by Pakistan, and on the W by Iran. Currency: Afghani. 1750: a system of horse and foot messengers exists, the mounted couriers named ‘Chapirs’ or ‘Chuppers’, and the foot messengers or runners named ‘Qasids’ or ‘Cossids’. The couriers carrying the Amir’s official mails are known as ‘Qasidan Sarkari. 1838-1842: First Anglo-Afghan War. ca. Late 1860s-early 1870s: rudimentary courier or private messenger service possibly already in service. 1869, or earlier: Afghan family create private system of transporting mails by raft on the Kabul River from Lalpura, ca. 55 miles upstream from Peshawar; system in operation as late as 13 April 1883; amount of mail forwarded by the service not recorded, but documented examples number approximately a dozen. 1869: the idea of opening post offices in Afghanistan, and to issue postage stamps, arises from the visit of Sher Ali Khan, one of the two Afghan Amirs during this period (1871-1878), with the Viceroy of India; the visit eventually leads to technical assistance from the Viceroy of India to the Amir’s government for the production of postage stamps. 1871: first Kingdom of Kabul postage and revenue stamps issued during the rule of Amir Sher Ali Khan, the lithographed design featuring a tiger’s head, symbolizing the meaning of the Amir’s name: Sher (tiger). Postage stamps issued from 1871 to 1892 include the date of the Moslem year in their design. Afghan stamps issued imperforate and without gum; when applied for mailings, they are ‘cancelled’ by tearing off a corner piece from the stamp, or by scissor- or knife-cutting a portion of the stamp. 1878-1880: Second Anglo-Afghan War. 1880, 22 July: Abdur Rahman Khan, of the Mohammedzai branch, becomes the 11th Amir of ‘Kabul and its Dependencies’; the country is unified geographically as are the current day boundaries. 1890: name of the country standardized as the ‘Kingdom of Afghanistan’. 1881-1919: British domination during the 1890s; Amir Abdur Rahman Khan initiates foreign mail services. Mails to foreign destinations were collected in Kabul, then carried by post courier relays to Peshawar (British India), where the Afghan Treaty Post Office operated. 1901: Abdur Rahman Khan dies; succeeded by oldest son, Amir Habibullah Khan. 1904: Amir Habibullah Khan proposes that the stamps of Afghanistan be modeled in the format of those of the ‘European style’. 1906: postmaster at Peshawar, British India, Postal Agency reported removing Afghanistan stamps from mails forwarded from Kabul, and selling same to philatelists at ‘high prices’ (London Times, 6 March 1906); order issued declaring that stamps are not to be placed on letters, which will be marked with a 4-corner geometric handstamp denoting postage paid. Postage stamps are still found in limited use in late 1906 and early 1907. 1907, 14 February: as proposed by Amir Habibullah Khan in 1904, first ‘European-Style’ definitives set issued. 1908, November: first postal cards issued; 1912: last remainders of the 1891-1899 stamp issues sold by the Afghan Post Office. 1909: first official and parcel post stamps issued. 1919, 19 February: Amir Habibullah Khan assassinated. 1919, 26 February: Sirdar Amanullah Khan, Amir Habibullah Khan’s third son, coronated; he declares Kingdom of Afghanistan to be free and independent, both internally and externally; this date is now officially Afghan Independence Day. 1919, April: Third Anglo-Afghan War, the hostilities lasting one month. 1928: Afghanistan joins the Universal Postal Union. Previous to that date, Afghan stamps were valid only within the country, with mails for foreign destinations requiring the addition of the stamps of India. Foreign mail postmarks introduced; 1932: bi-lingual postmarks introduced. 1936: as a results of an improved highway network, mail bus services begin operations, becoming the most efficient and popular method of transporting the mails. 1938, 22 December: first postal tax stamp issued. 1939, 1 October: first air mail stamps issued. 1948, June: first airletter issued. 1952, 12 July: first semipostal stamp issued. 1952: first letter card issued. 1973, July: military officers depose Amir Muhammad Zahir Shah; Lt. Gen. Muhammad Daud Khan, the amir's cousin, becomes president and prime minister. 1973, 29 July: first Republic of Afghanistan-inscribed postage stamps issued. 1978: Lt. Gen. Muhammad Daud Khan deposed by Noor Mohammed Taraki, who institutes Marxist reforms, and aligns the country within the Soviet Union sphere of political influence. Country renamed the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan; country in state of civil war. 1978, 6 July: first postage stamps issued under the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan government. 1979, September: Noor Mohammed Taraki assassinated; Hafizullah Amin assumes power. 1979, December: outbreak of civil war in 1978 leads to Soviet Union invasion on side of the Marxists; Hafizullah Amin executed; Babrak Karmal becomes president. 1989: Soviet Union withdraws from Afghanistan. Beginning of the period (1989-2002) referred to as the years of ‘philatelic darkness’, during which no government-approved stamps were issued, although many postally non-valid and philatelically-inspired topical / thematic-related stamp sets exist in the market, all of which have been disavowed by the President of the Posts for the Postal Administration of Afghanistan, Mavlavai Allahdad Balkhi. 1994: after years of civil strife following the Soviet Union’s withdrawal, an impressive militia composed of Pashtun fundamentalist students, known as the Taliban, emerges as the dominant political force. 2001, October: United States launches attacks against the Taliban and Al Qeada after Taliban refusal to surrender terrorist Osama bin Ladin to U.S. authorities. 2002: first official Transitional Islamic State government postage stamp issued. 2004: Pakistan Post Office Dept. sends large numbers of personnel and new post office equipment to assist in the reconstruction and updating of the Afghanistan Post services.

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