This paper is presented in three parts and several sections. The first part consists of a stocktaking of recent developments and dynamics that have engaged President Hamid Karzai's government ever since he came to power in December 2001. A mixed picture is presented which draws attention to many problems that have impeded reconstruction efforts in the country. Some positive developments have also occurred including, for example, the introduction of a new constitution, presidential and parliamentary elections, as well as resumption of schooling for children that by mid-2006 had numbered four million throughout the country. An overview of the previous constitutions and a brief historical perspective attempt to show how leadership flaws and internal differences in the royal household plunged Afghanistan into a succession of coups, foreign invasions, and catastrophic consequences for its people. Are there any lessons to be learnt? The second part of this essay focuses on a review and analysis of the 2004 constitution with special reference to Islam, and the last part takes a similar approach to women's rights.