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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

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

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09/20/2013

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I
Foreword
Obscure Dimensions of the Afghan War:
Fought at the climax of the Cold War, the battle betweenthe Soviet-supported leftist and the US and Western supported political Islamists in Afghanistan was supposed to be the ‘mother of all ideological battle’. The whole world was led to believe by both sides that they were fighting to defend their lofty principlessymbolized by the ‘revolutionaries’ and the ‘
mujs
’, an affectionatenickname given to
 Mujahideen
 by the by the western press at thattime. Couched in very high-sounding ideological concepts, the powerful propaganda of the big powers dominated the minds of most of the people. It was only during the post-Cold War developments in international politics that some of the inlaiddimensions of the Afghan war have come to light, enabling many people to reconsider the history of the Afghan war in a moreobjective way.A huge body of literature has appeared in a variouscountries regarding the devastating armed conflict in Afghanistanin recent years, providing new insights about the actual objectives,
 
IImotives, and strategic interests of different regional andinternational players in the conflict, beyond their official rhetoric.For example, there is hardly anything secret anymore about theformation and execution of the Soviet policy in Afghanistan, asmost of the previously secret material has been declassified and published by various authors, including some of the senior militaryofficers who had actually conducted the war. Minutes of themeeting of Political Bureau of the Soviet Communist Party, inwhich the decision to send the Red Army into Afghanistan wasmade, are not only published in Russian; their Pashto translationhas also been available for quite some time. This is also the casewith the US and other Western countries, where a number of  publications have laid bare the actual chain of events that hadremained behind the screen. Among others, books like
UnholyWars
 by John. K. Cooly,
Charlie Wilson’s War 
by George Crile,and
Ghost Wasrs
 by Steve Coll present a graphic pictures of thereal motives and roles of different institutions and individuals notexactly corresponding with the pious noises that they had beenmaking during the war.It is very interesting to note, however, that there is verylittle in terms of research about the role of Pakistan, whichhappened to be the most important regional player in the Afghanconflict. Some foreign authors have discussed the part played byPakistan in the Afghan war, but there is not much available interms of indigenous research on the subject. Apart from the well-known book 
Taliban
, by the reputed independent author Ahmad
 
IIIRashid, most of the other books published on the subject representthe official version. By now it is quite well known that Pakistan’sAfghan policy has remained the sole domain of Pakistan Army andthe country’s premier intelligence agency, Inter ServiceIntelligence (ISI), which played a fundamental role in shaping andexecuting the said policy; that is why it has remained by and largea clandestine affair. Even the country’s civilian Chief Executivesin the 80s and 90s had no say in formulating our Afghan policy.The situation has not changed even today. Therefore, there has been no meaningful or informed public debate on the country’s policy towards Afghanistan. The experience of the last few yearshas decisively proved that Pakistan’s Afghan policy isfundamentally flawed and counterproductive, as it has turned thecountry into a hub of international terrorism, religious extremism,and the drug trade, and has filled Pakistan with dangerous weaponsin private possession, apart from brining Pakistan on the wrongside of Afghan national sentiments. But how can any governmentreform the aforementioned policy and take corrective measureswith out first critically analyzing it and holding a public debate onit?In this context, the publication of the present researchwork,
 From Muhajir 
to
 Mujahid 
 by well-known scholar andAfghanologist Dr. Fazal-ur-Rahim Marwat, is a welcomedevelopment. This important work is expected to go a long way toshed light on some dimensions of Pakistan’s Afghan policy that

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