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Afghanistan and Pakistan: Conflict, Extremism, and Resistance to Modernityby Riaz Mohammad Khan
Synopses & Reviews
This timely study surveys the conflict in Afghanistan from Pakistan's point of view and analyzes the roots of Pakistan's ambiguous policy — supporting the United States on one hand and showing empathy for the Afghan Taliban on the other. The author, a former foreign secretary of Pakistan, considers a broad range of events and interweaves his own experiences and perspectives into the larger narrative of the Afghanistan-Pakistan relationship.
Beginning with the 1989 departure of Soviet troops — and especially since the 2001 NATO invasion — Riaz Mohammad Khan examines the development of Afghanistan and surveys the interests of external powers both there and in Pakistan. He discusses the rise of extremism and religious militancy in Pakistan and its links with ongoing conflicts in Afghanistan. Ultimately, Khan argues, Pakistan reveals a deep confusion in its public discourse on issues of modernity and the challenges the country faces, an intellectual crisis that Pakistan must address to secure the country's survival, progress, and constructive role in the region.
Book News Annotation:
Pakistani diplomat Khan (Foreign Secretary from 2005 to 2008, among other positions) presents a "broad-brush treatment" of events relating to Afghanistan and Pakistan from the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan in 1989 to, essentially, 2009 (although some 2010 events were incorporated into the discussion following substantial completion). This "broad brush" treatment is supplemented by incorporating his own personal experiences, perspectives, and conclusions into the larger narrative, which focuses on issues related to the post-Soviet dynamics of the Afghan conflict, the fragmentation of Afghanistan under warlords, the accentuation of ethnic divisions, the rise of the Taliban, the US invasion and occupation, and the spilling over of the conflict into Pakistan. Distributed in the US by Johns Hopkins University Press. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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