By Anthony Hyman
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Additional resources for Afghanistan Under Soviet Domination, 1964–83
18 With the exception of Kabul, each of the cities is situated close to the Afghan borders, where trading possibilities have encour· aged the growth of towns into cities; close to the Soviet borders are Maimana, Mazar-i-Sharif and Kunduz, while Herat leads to the Iranian province of Khurasan, Kandahar leads to the Bolan Pass into the Pakistani province of Baluchistan and Jalalabad connects with Pakistan's North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) by the Khyber Pass. The choice of Kabul as capital by the Durrani Pushtun rulers was originally dictated by the need to escape from local Pushtun domination, to which Kandahar was subject.
5 million for building two silos and bakeries. Much of Soviet technical aid and loans was for small projects, often in the capital or towns, which had an immediate benefit to the local population, in such things as more regular bread supplies, or street-paving for Kabul. As an Afghan shrewdly observed in 1969, 'the Russian performance was visible and tangible, and many people were directly affected by it', unlike US aid. 7 The importance attached to Afghanistan by Moscow was shown in December 1955, when the Soviet leaders Khrushchev and Bulganin paid a flying visit to Kabul on returning from India, fixing terms for a loan for the enormous sum of $100 million.
This picture of local fragmentation, written in 1956, Society and Economy 33 had altered considerably by the 1970s, after the construction of 1500 miles of paved roads connecting the main towns. This was the main success of Soviet and US aid programmes, and by it transport costs were reduced dramatically, increasing both internal and external trade. Yet the economic benefits of this transformation were not spread around the rural population, accruing instead to traders and transport entrepreneurs.
Afghanistan Under Soviet Domination, 1964–83 by Anthony Hyman