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The Taliban Phenomenon: Afghanistan (1994-1997) (Oxford Pakistan Paperbacks) Paperback – 14 Dec 2000

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 306 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Pakistan; New edition edition (14 Dec. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195792742
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195792744
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 1.8 x 13.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,086,029 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
'The Taliban Phenomenon' was written pre-september 11th and therefore gives a look back at the problems relating towards the political and religious groups of the area. The book also highlights how Afganistan is courted and argued over by outside powers that are hungry for the geographic position it plays in the world of global economics. While reading this book after September 11th, it dawned on me that it could be Kuwait 1990 all over again, the power of oil.
A highly informative book, worth reading, and it does not have any leaning towards any political or reglious view. I congratulate the author.
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Format: Paperback
This is a crucial work if you wish to understand the early Taliban leadership, their mentality and objectives, and the various networks and alliances that made up their movement (both in Afghanistan and abroad).

The author provides a very detailed description of the birth of the Taliban. He correctly states that the movement was in effect a creation of the Pakistani ISI which provided financial and logistical support to handpicked Afghan warlords. These men then became the ISI's proxies across the border. When this book first appeared in 2000 or thereabouts, the connection between the Taliban leadership and Pakistan was still an embarrassing secret in diplomatic circles (although declassified cables show the CIA reported on this as early as 1994).

What is well-emphasized in this work is how the war-weariness of the Afghan people allowed the Taliban to successfully enlist the support of large sections of the Pashtun population in the South. By fighting off corrupt warlords who lorded it over civilians, the Taliban succeeded in passing themselves off as the party of "law and order". More importantly, the author clearly points out that once in power, the Taliban's policy towards the Afghan mafia was designed to further their own interests. The myth that opium and heroine production disappeared under their administration is rightly dismissed. An agreement was signed with the UNDCP, but this did not prevent the Taliban from selling drugs when they needed money or political support. Ahmed Rashid also points out in his books that much of the early activities of the Taliban were aimed at establishing control over the Truck mafia running the Kandahar-Herat Highway.
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