Pashtun ethnic agenda at heart of Afghan War

#1
KABUL — In a recent debate leading up to the presidential elections here, the first question was not about terrorism, or violence, or even opium. It was about how candidates viewed a jagged line casually drawn on a map 115 years ago by British colonial rulers.

For the West, this border separates Afghanistan from Pakistan, and it is a source of great frustration that neither country seems able or even willing to enforce it. But for many Pashtuns, the most powerful ethnic tribe here, the line runs through what they call "Pashtunistan" and is no more legitimate than the border that once divided East and West Germany.

The Pashtuns and their ethnic agenda are in many ways at the center of the upcoming elections and the armed conflicts in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. Like the Pashtun-dominated Taliban, many Pashtuns who have not taken up arms still share the dream of a united Pashtunistan. This dream grows stronger as the Pashtuns on both sides of the border get more disgruntled.

If the Pashtuns vote in large numbers in the Aug. 20 election, it will help current president Hamid Karzai, a Pashtun. If their turnout is low, possibly because of violence or Taliban threats, his rival, former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah, stands a better chance. Although half-Pashtun, Abdullah is identified with the ethnic Tajiks, and some analysts are concerned that Pashtuns would not accept his victory.

"Pashtuns are critical to the Afghan election," says Hassan Abbas, research fellow at Harvard University's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. "Pashtuns are at the heart of insurgency in both Pakistan and Afghanistan because they have been used and abused in the last three decades by regional as well as international players. Their social fabric has been torn to smithereens and their tribal ethos has been under severe stress and strain due to the rise of fanatical religious elements. Pashtuns today are a victim of circumstances."
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jLVaYirWiTko5N9FLZ5iC47oFNkQD99Q74DG0

First article I've seen in a long time addressing the thorny issue of Pashtun self-determination in Afghanistan.

I did make a post a long time ago, that perhaps part of the answer was the establishment of an autonomous Pashtun homeland.

Could the answer in part at least, really be as simple as that?

Overview of "Pashtunistan" and the current Durand line stalemate.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pashtunistan
 
#3
Not in the slightest.

Not only that, but we would have TWO conflicts to get into, (in the two different countries we create) technically, because giving them self determination would not stop the hard core Taliban movement?

God, with this and africa we made such a cock up of dividing up the old empire...
 
#4
PartTimePongo said:
KABUL — In a recent debate leading up to the presidential elections here, the first question was not about terrorism, or violence, or even opium. It was about how candidates viewed a jagged line casually drawn on a map 115 years ago by British colonial rulers.
More simplistic student Journo cr*p, the Durand line was drawn for a very good reason after a very long survey, it granted the British Empire and now the Pakistanis, the strategic high ground in case of a Russian Invasion of Afghanistan. Its effectiveness was very favorably commented upon by the Pakistanis at the time of the actual invasion of Afghanistan by the Russians.

At the time Durand was told by the Afghan rulers that splitting the Pashtuns was a grave error, but Russia was much the greater threat to GB at the time.

As to the Pashtuns, they are already carving out their own Country from Afghanistan and Pakistan, nominal elections in nominal democracies/failing States like Pakistan and Afghanistan have nothing to do with it.

Like the British, Americans, NATO etc. Pakistan's rule amongst the Pashtuns extends only as far as their guns will reach.

In their own time they will have their tribal lands and more besides.
 

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