I’ve heard Pakistani propaganda several times, including first hand from a Pakistani Rotarian that my father hosted a dinner for, about Afghanis being a race which has never been ruled by an outsider. They often cite the common cliche that “British governed Afghanistan during the day, and the tribe leaders at night”; or cite the Soviets’ defeat in Afghanistan to prove the insurmountable war-hardiness of the Afghan people.

I have tremendous respect for the Afghan people, and have been myself been raised on such stories – “Kabuliwala”, “Khuda Gawah” (the movie), apart from my grandfather sharing many such stories during my childhood (he was from Sargoda, now in Baluchistan, Pakistan).

Yet, truth must be separated from propaganda. So, a piece of history. Afghanistan was ruled for many years by several kings, including Indian and non-Muslim ones during its history. Two prominent ones i know of are:

  1. Emperor Kanishka : his empire covered Central Asia, parts of northern China, a large part of the plains of India going down to modern Bihar and Central India, all of Afghanistan (and ofcourse the now Pakistan), and parts of Iran. There are prominent castles claiming his presence in Afghanistan, statues and other relics were destroyed under, the fanatical, Mullah Omar’s orders during the Taliban rule of that country. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kanishka
  2. Maharaja Ranjeet Singh : A sikh king who ruled Kashmir (and Ladakh) and Afghanistan; even his capital was, Kabul, through the years of his reign. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ranjit_Singh

Maps depicting the territories are given below.