AFGHANISTAN: Coup at the Crossroads

After 40 years as monarch of Afghanistan, King Mohammed Zahir Shah, 58, presumably thought it safe to take a holiday in Italy to soak up some sun and get treatment for a troublesome eye condition. That, as it turned out last week, was a royal mistake. While the King was bathing his eyes with mud and mineral water at a thermal spa on the isle of Ischia off Naples, his kingdom was peremptorily converted into a republic. Leading the coup was his cousin and brother-in-law, ex-Prime Minister Sardar Mohammed Daoud Khan.

Although there had been growing discontent over government inertia...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


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

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

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