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Mohammed Daoud Khan

President of Afghanistan

Died when: 69 years 284 days (837 months)
Star Sign: Cancer


Mohammed Daoud Khan

Mohammed Daoud Khan (Pashto: محمد داود خان‎), also romanized as Daud Khan or Dawood Khan (18 July 1909 – 28 April 1978), was an Afghan politician and General who served as Prime Minister of Afghanistan from 1953 to 1963 and, as leader of the 1973 Afghan coup d'état which overthrew the monarchy, became the first President of Afghanistan in 1973, establishing an autocratic one-party system.

Born into the Afghan royal family, Khan started as a provincial governor and later a military commander before being appointed as Prime Minister by his cousin, King Mohammed Zahir Shah.

Having failed to persuade the King to implement a one-party system, Khan overthrew the monarchy with the backing of Afghan Army officers, and proclaimed himself the first President of the Republic of Afghanistan.

Khan was known for his autocratic rule, and for his educational and progressive social reforms.Under his regime, he headed a purge of communists in the government, and many of his policies also displeased the religious conservatives, the liberals who were in favor of restituting the multiparty system that existed under the monarchy, and ethnic minorities who resented what they perceived as a favoritism towards Pashtuns.

Social and economic reforms implemented under his ruling were thought to be relatively successful, but his foreign policy led to tense relations with neighbouring countries.

In 1978, he was deposed and assassinated during the Saur Revolution, led by the Afghan military and the communist People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA).

His body was discovered 30 years later, identified by a small golden Koran he always carried; he received a state funeral.

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