Mohammad Zahir Shah (Pashto/Dari: محمد ظاهر شاه, 15 October 1914 – 23 July 2007) was the last King of Afghanistan, reigning from 8 November 1933 until he was deposed on 17 July 1973. Serving for 40 years, Zahir was the longest-serving ruler of Afghanistan since the foundation of the Durrani Empire in the 18th century. He expanded Afghanistan's diplomatic relations with many countries, including with both sides of the Cold War. In the 1950s, Zahir Shah began modernizing the country, culminating in the creation of a new constitution and a constitutional monarchy system. Demonstrating nonpartisanism, his long reign was marked by peace in the country which was lost afterwards with the onset of the Afghan conflict.In 1973, while Zahir Shah was undergoing medical treatment in Italy, his regime was overthrown in a coup d'état by his cousin and former prime minister, Mohammad Daoud Khan, who established a single-party republic, ending more than 225 years of continuous monarchical government.
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