New Delhi: Failure of both Pakistan and Afghanistan to incorporate the Pashtuns into state structures and the economic and political fabric has compromised the security of both countries, says a new book.
Most contemporary 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.
In “The Pashtuns: The Unresolved Key to the Future of Pakistan and Afghanistan”, journalist 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 economic and political fabric is central to these dynamics, and a critical failure of nation-and state-building in both states.
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.
The author, a Pashtun himself, says that some 50 million Pashtuns have paid a steep price over the past 30 years due to such flawed analyses.