October 1, 1964 (9 Meezan 1343)
(King Mohammad Zahir Shah)
We, Mohammad Zahir Shah, the King of Afghanistan, in the name of Almighty God, do herewith sign the new Constitution of Afghanistan approved by the Loya Jirga in its session in Kabul beginning on the 18th and ending on the 28th of Sumbullah, 1343. We promulgate this new Constitution today throughout the entire State.
From today we declare the Abrogation of the Constitution approved by the Loya Jirga of 1369 prior to this day in force in the country and all amendments thereto.
Mohammad Zahir Shah
King of Afghanistan
9 Meezan 1343
1 October 1964
In the name of God, the Almighty and the Just,
To reorganize the national life of Afghanistan according to the requirements of the times and on the basis of the realities of national history and culture;
To achieve justice and equality;
To establish political, economic and social democracy;
To organize the functions of the state and its branches to ensure liberty and welfare of the individual and the maintenance of the general order;
To achieve a balanced development of all phases of life in Afghanistan; and to form, ultimately, a prosperous and progressive society based on social cooperation and preservation of human dignity;
We, the People of Afghanistan, conscious of the historical changes which have occurred in our life as a nation and as a part of human society, while considering the above mentioned values to be the right of all human societies, have, under the leadership of His Majesty Mohammad Zahir Shah, the King of Afghanistan and the leader of its national life, framed this Constitution for ourselves and the generations to come.
Afghanistan is a Constitutional monarchy; an independent, unitary, and indivisible state. Sovereignty in Afghanistan belongs to the Nation. The Afghan Nation is composed of all those individuals who possess the citizenship of the state of Afghanistan in accordance with the provisions of the law. The word Afghan shall apply to each such individual.
Islam is the sacred religion of Afghanistan. Religious rites performed by the state shall be according to the provisions of the Hanafi doctrine. Non-Muslim citizens shall be free to perform their rituals within the limits determined by laws for public decency and public peace.
From amongst the languages of Afghanistan, Pashtu and Dari shall be the official languages.
The flag of Afghanistan is tri color (black, red, and green) all pieces joined together vertically from left to right in equal proportions; the breadth of each strip equalling half of its length, having in the middle the insignia of the mehrab and the mender in white, flanked by two flags and ensconced in two sheaves of wheat.
[NOTE: A mehrab is an arch in a mosque where the praying congregation stands, facing the kaaba in Mecca. A mender is a many tiered pulpit placed to the right of the mehrab in a mosque, from which addresses are delivered.]
The capital of Afghanistan is the city of Kabul.
In Afghanistan the King personifies the sovereignty.
The King is the protector of the basic principles of the sacred religion of Islam, the guardian of Afghanistan’s independence and territorial integrity, the custodian of its Constitution are the center of its national unity.
The King shall be an Afghan National, a Muslim and a follower of the Hanafi doctrine.
The King has the following rights and duties:
(1) Holds supreme command of the armed forces of Afghanistan.
(2) Declares war and armistice.
(3) Summons and inaugurates the Loya Jirga (Great Council).
(4) Inaugurates the ordinary session of the Shura (Parliament).
(5) Summons and inaugurates the extraordinary sessions of the Shura (Parliament).
(6) Dissolves the Shura (Parliament) and decrees new elections, which shall be held within three months from the date of the dissolution of the Shura (Parliament).
(7) Signs laws and proclaims their enforcement.
(8) Issues ordinances.
(9) Grants credentials for conclusion of international treaties, in accordance with the provisions of the law.
(10) Signs international treaties.
(11) Appoints the Prime Minister and accepts his resignation. Appoints ministers on the recommendation of the Prime Minister and accepts their resignations.
(12) Appoints the nonelected members of the Meshrano Jirga (House of the Elders) and appoints its President from amongst its members.
(13) Appoints the Chief Justice and justices of the Supreme Court.
(14) Appoints judges and high ranking civil and military officials and grants them retirement in accordance with the provisions of the law.
(15) Accredits the heads of Afghanistan’s diplomatic missions to foreign states; appoints permanent representatives of Afghanistan to international organizations and accepts the credentials of foreign diplomatic representatives.
(16) Proclaims and ends the state of emergency.
(17) Remits and pardons sentences.
Coin is minted in the name of the King.
The name of the King is mentioned in khutbas.
[NOTE: The khutba is an address delivered as a religious rite on occasions specified in the Islamic religion.]
Medals are awarded by the King in accordance with the terms of the law. The award of medals shall not carry any material benefit.
The royal expenditures shall be fixed in the state budget according to the law of the royal expenses.
The exercise of rights and duties described under this title shall be subject to the limits prescribed by the provisions of this Constitution.
The King is not accountable and shall be respected by all. He takes the following oath, in the presence of the members of the royal family, the members of the Government and the justices of the Supreme Court, in a joint sitting of both houses of the Shura (Parliament):
“In the name of God, the Great, I swear to be conscious of his omnipresence in all my actions, that I shall protect the sacred principles of the religion of Islam, shall guard the Constitution, shall protect the independence and territorial integrity of the country as well as the laws of the state and the rights of the people; and, invoking divine assistance, shall reign in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution of Afghanistan and devote my efforts to the well being and progress of the Afghan Nation.”
The succession to the throne of Afghanistan shall continue in the house of his majesty Mohammad Nadir Shah, the martyr, in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution.
Should the King resolve to abdicate, he shall inform a council consisting of the President of the Wolesi Jirga (House of the People), the President of the Meshrano Jirga (House of the Elders), the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice and the Minister of the Royal Court and, thereafter, convene a meeting of the Loya Jirga (Grand Council) within a period of seven days and announce therein his abdication in person or through the minister of court. If the Loya Jirga (Great Council) attests that the abdication has stemmed from the date of the attestation.
On the King’s abdication or death, the throne shall pass on to his eldest son. If the eldest son of the King lacks the qualifications set forth in this Constitution, the throne shall pass on to his second son and so on.
Whenever the King abdicates or dies without a son possessing the qualifications to become the King, the throne shall pass on to the oldest of the King’s brothers. In case the oldest of the King’s brothers lacks the qualifications needed, the throne shall pass on to the second brother in line and so on. If the King does not have a brother possessing the qualifications required for the King, his successor shall be elected from amongst the male lineal descendants of His Majesty Mohammad Nadir Shah, the Martyr. In this case the King shall be elected by an electoral college consisting of the Loya Jirga (Great Council), the Government, and the justices of the Supreme Court. This electoral college shall be summoned by the Prime Minister, in the case of the death of the King within 15 days from the date of the demise and in the case of abdication within 7 days from the date when the King’s abdication becomes effective. The decision of this electoral college shall be by a majority of votes of the members present and shall be considered effective upon the consent of the person chosen as the King. The minister of court shall act as regent from the time of the death of the King or the validation of his abdication until the election of his successor.
The King shall, when he decides to travel out of the country, appoint one or more persons to act as his regent or regents. This person or persons shall, during the absence of the King and on his behalf, discharge the royal functions in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution and within the limits of the authority delegated to him or them by the King. The following persons shall not be appointed as regent:
(1) The Prime Minister.
(2) The President of the Wolesi Jirga (House of the People).
(3) The President of the Meshrano Jirga (House of the Elders).
(4) The Chief Justice.
In case the King dies before his successor has completed 20 years of life, the Queen shall act as regent until his successor reaches the stipulated age. In case the Queen be not living, the electoral college, provided under Article 19 of this Constitution, shall elect someone from amongst the male lineal descendants of His Majesty Mohammad Nadir Shah, the Martyr, to act as regent.
Whenever the King abdicates and his successor has not completed 20 years of life, the electoral college, provided under Article 19 shall elect someone from amongst the male lineal descendants of His Majesty Mohammad Nadir Shah, the Martyr, to act as regent until the successor reaches the stipulated age.
The regent of the King must possess the qualifications specified in Article 8. The regent shall perform the royal functions in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution. In the case of the queen acting as regent, the exercise of the authority described in section two of Article 9, shall take place with the advice of the Government. The regent, during the tenure of his office, cannot engage in any other profession. The person elected as regent by virtue of Articles 21 and 22 of this Constitution shall never be elected as the King of Afghanistan. During the period of regency, the provisions relating to succession under the title “King” of this Constitution shall not be amended.
The royal house is composed of the sons, the daughters, the brothers and the sisters of the King and their husbands, wives, sons and daughters; and the paternal uncles and the sons of the paternal uncles of the King. In the official protocol of the sate, the royal house comes after the King and the queen. The expenditure of the royal house shall be fixed in the budget of the royal expenses. Titles of nobility are exclusively confined to the royal house and shall be assigned in accordance with the provisions of the law. Members of the royal house shall not participate in political parties, and shall not hold the following offices:
(1) Prime Minister or Minister.
(2) Member of the Shura (Parliament).
(3) Justice of the Supreme Court.
Members of the royal house shall maintain their status as members of the royal house as long as they live.