Dowlat-e Shahanshahi-ye Afganistan-e Bozorg/Imperial State of Great Afghanistan





Head of State

His Imperial Majesty, Padishah Mohammed Zahir Shah (from 1933)

Ruling Party

Afgan Mellat/Afghan National Socialist Party (from 1964)

Head of Government

Sardar Mohammad Hashim Khan (1929-1946), Sardar Shah Mahmud Khan (1946-1953), Sardar Mohammad Daoud Khan (1953-1963), Ghulam Mohammad Farhad (from 1963)

System of Government

Absolutist monarchy, adopting a National Socialist constitution after 1963. The ethnic supremacy of the Pashtuns and related 'Aryan' ethnic groups constitutionally recognised. Some minority groups, notably the Hazara, stripped of any civil rights.


A strong Axis ally and supporter of pan-Aryan unity, the Musahiban Padishah of Afghanistan claims sovereignty over all Iranian peoples, including those of Iran, Pakistan and Germany’s eastern territories (the former Soviet Republic of Tajikistan). A deeply conservative, feudal country, politics is traditionally dominated by the immediate family and clan of the emperor. The premiership was in the hands of two uncles and a cousin to the emperor for the first two decades of his reign. Only in the 1960s with the ascendency of Ghulam Mohammad Farad and the creation of his Afghan Mellat, did the regime start to create anything like a mass base of support.

Ghulam Mohammad Farad was the first Aghan to hold the position of Prime Minister who was not a member of the royal family. Fiercely pro-German, he attempted to develop Afghanistan along the most modern, National Socialist lines.

The majority Pashtun people occupy the role of Herranvolk, along with related Iranian peoples, such as the Tajiks, Pamiris, Nuristanis, Baloch and to a lesser extent the Aimaks. As well as ethnic divisions, Afghanistan is a country of religious divisions, with the majority practising Sunni Islam, the Pamiris Shiism and the Nuristanis a form of ancient polytheism.

At the bottom of the ethnic hierarchy are the Hazara, distinguished from their neighbours by their Mongol appearance and their Shiite religion. The Hazara are rumoured to be descendents of the army of Genghis Khan, just as the Nuristanis and (according to one tradition) Pashtuns are supposed descendents of the army of Alexander the Great. Many Hazaras have been driven west into Iran or east into the Japanese puppet state of East Turkistan.

Afghanistan made small territorial gains during the war, mainly in the Ismaili Pamiri-inhabited Gorno-Badakhshan region of the former Soviet Russia, as well as small gains from China. Afghan ambitions in Pakistan and Iran went unrealised, despite Afghanistan's backing of a major Baloch rebellion in the late 1940s. Continuing low-level Afghan support for Baloch separatists in Pakistan led to a state of war between the two countries between 1971 and 1973, as Afghanistan tried to take advantage of the Bengali uprising and subsequent India-Pakistan war.