Fit For A King?

It may be a sign of how dire Afghanistan's future looks that its best hope for peace may rest with a reclusive 86-year-old deposed monarch who hasn't set foot in the country for nearly 30 years. Now living in exile in a Rome suburb, Mohammed Zahir Shah ruled, largely as a figurehead, from 1933 until he was ousted in a 1973 coup led by his cousin. Many Afghans recall the King's reign as a period of relative peace and prosperity. European diplomats hoping to capitalize on his status as a unifying symbol have visited the aging leader's four-bedroom home in efforts...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!