Book Review: Abubakar Siddique. 2014. The Pashtuns: The Unresolved Key to the Future of Pakistan and Afghanistan

Published date01 August 2015
Date01 August 2015
Subject MatterBook Reviews
232 Book Reviews
rather it is interested in developing its own critical infrastructure. India has not
come up with a well-defined strategy for the Indian Ocean; however, she will
continue to build her strategic plans and expand her zone of influence. India is
cautious of the fact that any miscalculation by them vis-à-vis China in the Indian
Ocean can go against its interest.
Overall, India’s Ocean: The Story of India’s Bid for Regional Leadership is a
very fresh perspective on the Indian Ocean wherein the author has included per-
spective from all quadrants. It is a detailed objective analysis on the subject with
outstanding footnoting.
Teshu Singh
Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies, New Delhi, India
Abubakar Siddique. 2014. The Pashtuns: The Unresolved Key to the
Future of Pakistan and Afghanistan. London, UK: Hurst and Company,
271 pp. ISBN: 978-1-8490-4292-5
DOI: 10.1177/2347797015586133
The attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar on 16 December 2014 ushered
Pakistan’s relations with Afghanistan into a new phase. The Chief of Army Staff
Raheel Sharif visited Afghanistan and discussed means of countering militancy
that had finally directed targeted children in the country. The talks took place
against the backdrop of understanding that the distinction between good and bad
Taliban, so far adhered to by Islamabad, was no longer relevant. The related
assumption was the identification of Taliban with Pashtun identity and the need to
counter the growing militancy among them through collaboration between
Afghanistan and Pakistan. The Pashtuns: The Unresolved Key to the Future of
Pakistan and Afghanistan by Abubakar Siddique deals directly with the phenom-
enon that underpins the developments leading to these assumptions and identifi-
cation of the border regions between Pakistan and Afghanistan as the locale of
jihadi ideas. With a focus on the history, culture and the web of relationships
between tribes across the Durand Line, their interaction with governments of their
respective countries and those on the other side and their role in global
developments through the jihad against the Soviet invasion and the War on Terror
forms the focus of this book.
Siddique provides an intriguing picture of the interaction of local and global
interests and their impact on the Pashtuns, an ethnic community that he identifies
as ‘one of the world’s largest displaced population’ (p. 16). Straddling the border
regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan, he argues, the Pashtuns have a rich history
marked by diverse religious and intellectual notions of their identity. After the
introductory chapter on Pashtuns, the second chapter provides an interesting
account of this diversity by contrasting Pir Roshan’s ideas with those of Akhund

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT