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The Pashtun Question: The Unresolved Key to the Future of Pakistan and Afghanistan


The Pashtun Question: The Unresolved Key to the Future of Pakistan and Afghanistan Cover


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Publisher Comments:

Most contemporary journalistic and scholarly accounts of the instability gripping Afghanistan and Pakistan have argued that violent Islamic extremism, including support for the Taliban and related groups, is either rooted in Pashtun history and culture, or finds willing hosts among their communities on both sides of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

Abubakar Siddique sets out to demonstrate that the failure, or even unwillingness, of both Afghanistan and Pakistan to absorb the Pashtuns into their state structures and to incorporate them into the economic and political fabric is central to these dynamics, and a critical failure of nation- and state-building in both states.

In his book he argues that religious extremism is the product of these critical failures and that responsibility for the situation lies to some degree with the elites of both countries. Partly an eye-witness account and partly meticulously researched scholarship, The Pashtun Question describes a people whose destiny will shape the future of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

About the Author

Abubakar Siddique is a senior correspondent for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL). Based in Prague, he covers the Middle East, South Asia, and Central Asia, with a particular focus on Afghanistan and Pakistan. Siddique holds master's degrees in journalism and anthropology. He was a Fulbright Scholar at New York University in 2005-2006, and worked at the Center on International Cooperation. Siddique speaks English, Pashto, Urdu and other languages of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Table of Contents

Part One Theatre of Conquest


Twenty-first Century Pashtuns: Continuity Amid Catastrophe

Who are the Pashtuns?

The Great Tribal Maze

An Evolving Social Tapestry

A Shattered Homeland

From Kandahar to Swat


From Peaceful Borderlands to Incubator of Extremism

The Enlightened Teacher

The Rigid Mullah

The Warrior Poet

Afghan Empire

Frontier Jihads

The Great Game

The Cold War and Pashtunistan

The Globalisation of Jihad

Arab Revolutionaries


The Taliban in Power

Student Militias Ascendant

Ruling by Decree

Pashtun Nationalists?

Pakistani Proxies?

Bridge to Extremism

Part Two Pakistan


War in Waziristan

Rise of the Pakistani Taliban

Ideology and Paths of Action

The Haqqanis

A New Abode for Al-Qaeda

Islamabad's Stepchildren


Vanishing Tribes

Every Valley Burns

Hatred Under the White Mountain

Collective Punishment

Too Little, Too Late


Terror in Pakhtunkhwa

Revolutionary Politics

From Paradise to Hell

The Military's Pashtun Wars


Simmering Balochistan: a Taliban Haven

Taliban Redux

Divided Deobandis

Balochistan: Crossroads of Conflict

Part Three Afghanistan


Old and New Islamists in Loy Nangarhar

Archetype Mullah

Salafism in Kunar


Tribes, Communists and Generational Jihadists in Loya Paktia

Marx Among the Tribes

Jihad in Blood

Changing Tribal Landscape


The New Taliban in Loy Kandahar

A Dying Nation

The Book of Rules

A Shadowy Organisation

Taliban Utopia

Making Peace with the Taliban

The Nationalist Card

Part Four Conclusion


Crafting a Peaceful Pashtun Future

Uncle Sam in Pashtunistan

A Democratic Pakistan

The Future of Afghanistan

A Permanent Peace

Product Details

Siddique, Abubakar
Hurst & Co.
History, World | Asian
World History - India
Publication Date:
5.8 x 8.8 x 1 in

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Asia » India » Ancient and General
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » Islamic Studies
History and Social Science » World History » India

The Pashtun Question: The Unresolved Key to the Future of Pakistan and Afghanistan New Hardcover
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