Corridors of Power

THE ONCE AND (ALMOST) CURRENT KING — Afghan President Hamid Karzai took time away from his country’s growing problems earlier this week to report to parliament on King Zahir’s improving condition following his hospitalization in India on Feb 4. King who? After living in exile in Rome for 27 years, 92-year-old former King Zahir Shah returned to Kabul in 2002 following the defeat of the Taliban. But for U.S. republican sensitivities he might well have ended up as Afghanistan’s restored monarch. In the loya jirga (tribal conference) that determined Afghanistan’s political future, the idea of restoration had strong support. Older […]

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