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From Muhajir to Mujahid

From Muhajir to Mujahid

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Published by Qissa Khwani
"From refugee to holy warrior : How a generation of Afghans were radicalised"

by Dr F Marwat
Peshawar University
Book republished for educational purposes
"From refugee to holy warrior : How a generation of Afghans were radicalised"

by Dr F Marwat
Peshawar University
Book republished for educational purposes

More info:

Published by: Qissa Khwani on Dec 16, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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The Afghan upheaval of the of April Revolution in 1978 was aclassic example of a ‘developing country revolution’, implemented by a radical left in military, and enforced by its educated elite, withtypical radical ‘top-down’ reforms in all fields in a backwardAfghanistan. The inward-looking Afghan society resented thesereforms from ‘above’ for various reasons and the result was opendefiance in rural areas and cracks in the ruling PDPA. Thisantagonism in the rural areas was exploited by both internal andexternal enemies of the revolution, and resulted in the direct Sovietintervention in Afghanistan in 1979.The PDPA regime in Kabul rashly changed all institutions to fitcommunist patterns, and substituted a traditional political vocabularywith socialist rhetoric; while in Pakistan, Zia, under state policy,Islamized all constitutional and institutional aspects of thegovernment. In this fashion, both sides were indulging inextermination of the Afghan nation through an erosion of their language, culture, literature and history. Burning of books, selling of archaeological and historical artifacts, and destruction of museumswere all included in his conflict’s chain of events.The personal interests of Zia and those of Islamists in Pakistanand Afghanistan converged with the long and short rangeobjectives of the US in the region. Zia’s ‘carrot and stick’ policytoward the Afghan refugees, for all its rhetoric of peace,humanitarianism, Islamic brotherhood, and asylum and refuge in
(abode of peace), was covert aimed at a premeditated destabilization of Afghan state-
Darul Harb
(abodeof war) by creating the
or holy warriors.During this period, Zia’s Islamization drive and ‘
mania’in Pakistan were nothing but sub-agenda of an overall plan of theCIA and ISI. For the implementation of their plan, theseintelligence agencies, under the umbrella of Islam, created anumber of objective and subjective conditions both inside andoutside Afghanistan, and later, on the pretext of ‘ground realities’ justified their actions and reactions.The Afghan War had been posed as
for the Islamists;and
, or revenge for the common Afghan; but for the US, itwas an anti-Soviet resistance and for Pakistan it was a goldenchance to suppress Afghan / Pashtun nationalism and to create a‘Pakistani generation’ (which had been a perennial source of domestic opposition within Pakistan, where demands for Pashtunnational rights were often blended with critiques of powerfuleconomic and landed interests).The entire administrative pyramid for the Afghan refugees inPakistan was structured on an overall political bigotry, and amilitary strategy involving three organizations: ISI, the ‘Peshawar Seven’
, and the ARC. In this grand vicious pyramidanother rectangle of 
(religiousseminaries) and
 played its role of ideologicalindoctrination of the innocent refugees, to prepare them (bothmentally and physically) for the holy war. The refugee camps wereused for refuge and rest of the
and their families;similarly the
were producing raw
163material in the form of new recruits for 
On both sides of the Durand Line, educated and intellectualAfghans were excluded from the mainstream of the social and political system. Less-educated and self-educated low paidemployees were appointed governors in Afghanistan, and recruitedas
commanders in Pakistan. The traditional
and chiefs were forced to obey to their command. In thisentire adventure, some of the gains and losses from Islamabad’s point of view were:First, through US aid, Pakistan equipped its armed forces withmodern weapons, and despite US sanctions it developed a nuclear arsenal. Though the idea of ‘Strategic depth’ did not fullymaterialize, but it did avert a threat of Afghan aggression for thetime being. Eventually, Pakistan succeeded in the fragmentation of the Afghan State and its entire constitutional and institutionalfabric.Second, the threat of Afghan or Pashtun nationalism (real or imagined) and the Pashtunistan issue was diverted or suppressed by Pakistani authorities by propagating, encouraging and financingthe notions of Islamic
and Muslim brotherhood. The netresult of this was the legitimization and prolongation of Zia’s rule;the strengthening of Islamist groups (in particular the
 Jama’at-e- Islami
and JUI), the spreading of 
Tablighi Jamat 
, and the rise of MQM, a mushroom growth of sectarian groups and the weakeningof political forces in Pakistan.Third, during this period the Western and Middle Eastern aid inthe form of petro-dollars brought cosmetic economic prosperityand employment in Pakistan, which directly and indirectly

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