• Short Summary

    The armed forces in Afghanistan announced on Thursday (27 April) that they had over thrown the government of President Mohammed Daoud, who has ruled the country for the past five years.

  • Description

    1978: CU: President Daoud arriving in Delhi, and being greeted by President Reddy.

    SV: President Daoud garlanded by Mayor of Delhi.

    CU ZOOM OUT FROM: President Daoud standing with President Reddy of India

    1977: GV: President Daoud arrives in Moscow, and walks across tarmac with Premier Alexsel Kosygin

    GV: President Daoud and Soviet leaders waving to crowds as they walk across tarmac.

    SV INTERIOR: Leonid Brezhnev greeting President Daoud in the Kremlin, and they sit at table. (3 shots)

    1971: GV: Kabul, with mountains in the background (2 shots)

    GV: people walking in streets.

    SV: tribesmen carrying rifles walking in the streets. (3 shots)

    GV: Presidential palace.

    GV: government buildings.

    GV: city of kabul

    Kabul Radio announced on Thursday that a military revolutionary council had overthrown President Daoud. The broadcast, monitored in New Delhi India, said power was in the hands of the revolutionary council of the armed forces, headed by Lieutenant General Abdul Khadir. Reuter reports that the coup was sparked off by a radio announcement that seven communist leaders had been arrested. They were members of the pro-Moscow communist party Parcham, whose founder Mir Akbar was killed by unknown assassins ten days ago. His death led to a demonstration in Kabul on April 19 by 15,000 people who marched past the U.S. embassy in Kabul chanting anti-Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) slogans.

    Initials RH/2205

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: The armed forces in Afghanistan announced on Thursday (27 April) that they had over thrown the government of President Mohammed Daoud, who has ruled the country for the past five years. The announcement suggested President Daoud had been killed, and followed reports that there had been heavy fighting in the capital Kabul, with ??? and aircraft attacking the Presidential palace. President Daoud came to power when he deposed his cousin King Zahir in a coup in 1973, and, during his rule, made several visits to neighbouring countries to get aid and support for his predominantly mountainous and under privileged country.

    SYNOPSIS: His most recent visit to India last month was seen by political observers as the first step towards the formation of a South Asian Common Market. His visit was officially described as a goodwill visit, and, as well as discussions with Indian President, Neelam Reddy, President Daoud attended numerous civic functions. It was later reported that he had discussed with Indian officials their proposals for an Asian economic cooperation scheme. These had centred on the idea of an uninterrupted free-trade zone extending from Iran to the Indo-Chinese peninsula.

    In April last year President Daoud visited Moscow, where he had talks with Soviet Premier Aleksei Kosygin and President Leonid Brezhnev. The Soviet Union have been one of Afghanistan major foreign supporters. When he ousted his cousin from the throne, President Daoud did so with the aid of Soviet trained troops. And in 1975, when Pakistan and Afghanistan were almost at war over the sovereignty of Pakistan's north-west frontier province, it was the Soviet Union who acted as chief mediators.

    Afghanistan, a mountainous country about the size of Texas in the U.S,has been at the centre of international conflict for centuries because of its strategic location at the crossroads of central Asia. Squeezed between Iran, Pakistan, the Soviet Union and China, it was the subject of conflicting British and Russian interests during the 19th century when the British ruled India. With a population estimated at 20 million, it remains one of the world's most underdeveloped countries. The majority of the inhabitants are peasant farmers, although there are still a large number of nomadic tribesmen retaining traditional customs. A recent survey estimated the annual per-capital income of the people at about 43 pounds sterling (80 U.S. dollars). When President Daoud came to power, he vowed his regime would follow a policy of foreign non-alignment. He also found it necessary to take a similar path in his domestic policies, steering between the traditional conservation of the country's dominant Muslim leaders and the reformists among the young Soviet-trained army officers and technocrats.

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