What do you think when you think of Afghanistan and its people? For most of us the image consists of burqa-clad women confined to homes, children living in fear and deprived of education. But the country was not like this always.

The war-torn nation was once peaceful, women could roam freely in dresses and short skirts and roads were adorned with nice cars.

These pictures from the 1950s-1980s show a different Afghanistan altogether and it hurts to see how war has ravaged the nation in every sense.

Most of these pictures were clicked by university professor Dr. Bill Podlich who was in Afghanistan on a 2-year assignment with the UNESCO along with his family.

1. Afghanistan had girls scouts in the 1950s and '60s where students learned about nature trails, camping and public safety.

Source: npr

2. The country once had strong and functional defence forces.

Source: npr

3. Women used to take their children to playgrounds without fear before it was considered unsafe.

Source: npr

4. Women had the freedom to venture out to record stores to buy the music of their choice.

Source: npr

5. Scenes from outside movie theatres that screened Hollywood movies.

Source: npr

6. This is how the infant ward in a Kabul hospital looked like in the 1960s.

Source: npr

7. Kindergarten dance was a thing.

Source: dailymail

8. Shopping scenes in Afghan villages.

Source: Daily Mail

9. Co-education was normal.

Source: Daily Mail

10. Picnics were all about fun and music with no fear.

Source: Daily Mail

11. Afghan villages had outdoor schools and education wasn't far-fetched.

Source: Daily Mail

12. Girls attended schools as well as college.

Source: Daily Mail

13. Women could roam around freely in public spaces like gardens.

Source: Daily Mail

14. Students studied in colleges with no restrictions.

Source: Daily Mail

15. Bus trip from Kabul to Peshawar.

Source: Daily Mail

16. An Afghani miltary band.

Source: Daily Mail

17. Looks like a chemistry lecture in a mud classroom.

Source: allthatsinteresting

18. Afghani men walking home.

Source: Daily Mail

19. Afghani people protesting for civil rights.

Unbelievable, right?