Thursday 25 August 2016
facebook.com/Outlookindia twitter.com/outlookindia digimag.outlookindia.com instagram.com/outlookindia youtube.com/user/OutlookMagazine

Ladders Coiled With Snakes

Covers familiar ground but significantly adds to our understanding of a neighbour near yet distant
AP
Endgame In Afghanistan: For Whom The Dice Rolls
By Hiranmay Karlekar
Sage Publications | Pages: 380 | Rs. 495

There have been several seminal works on Afghanistan, the Taliban and Al Qaeda, including a recent book by a member of the US Navy SEALS team that took out Osama bin Laden in his Abbottabad hideout. Now another book, but this one is by an Indian author, noted journalist and veteran editor Hiranmay Karlekar. This is his first work on Afghanistan and builds on an earlier book, titled Bangladesh: The Next Afghanistan, published six years ago.

The thrust of Karlekar’s narrative is the threat posed by a resurgent Taliban-Al Qaeda takeover of Afghanistan. India, he warns, will be “the first to  feel the aggressive consequences” of such a takeover, as Pakistan, compromised by its links with the Taliban, will escalate Ghazwa-e-Hind or the Battle for India, which began in the 1980s with terror strikes. It could even force a conventional war in which the threat of using nuclear weapons could come into play. Karlekar explores the motives and intentions of the many players in the Afghanistan game, including the US and Pakistan. He documents Washington’s failures and Islamabad’s  accurate weighing of how far Uncle Sam would be willing to stretch his neck out in this desolate Asian backwater.

One would have liked to read more about India in the Afghan context, how the MEA sees the Afghan checkerboard playing out, how it plans to defend the $1 billion it has invested in scores of goodwill projects, whether it is looking at military options, and whether any contact has been initiated with the Taliban. (The MEA says no, but Afghans talk of why the Taliban may not have targeted Indian projects.) Those who follow Afghanistan may be especially interested in a reading of how Indian policy for Afghanistan may shape out post-2014. Does Pakistan want a resurgent Taliban in Kabul? In Track-ii meetings, retired ISI officers have reportedly told their Indian counterparts that they’d prefer an Afghanistan with a weak man at the top, not the Taliban, which would seek to expand into Pakistan’s Pushtoon territories.

Karlekar’s research is extensive. He covers familiar ground but significantly adds to our understanding of a neighbour near yet distant. Perhaps we can look forward to another work on some of the more Indiacentric issues that Afghanistan throws up.

READ MORE IN:
PLACES: Afghanistan
SECTION: Books
SUBSECTION: Reviews
OUTLOOK: 11 February, 2013
Download the Outlook ​Magazines App. Six magazines, wherever you go! Play Store and App Store

Post a Comment

You are not logged in, please Log in or Register
  • Daily Mail
THE LATEST ISSUE
CLICK IMAGE FOR CONTENTS
REVIEW
Extract
How a brutal LTTE directive was lost in the static of intelligence
MAGAZINE August 18, 2016
Review
A RBI governor remembers his doughty fights, but cuts down on the math
MAGAZINE August 11, 2016
Book Extract
Abused by a relative at six, Laxmi saw how patriarchy tried to crush her femininity. And she made it come back to crush them, ‘those straight men with wives and kids’.
MAGAZINE August 10, 2016
Review
Woven around the many facets of Shashi Kapoor whom most readers would have known only as a star.
MAGAZINE August 04, 2016
Review
The value of Visvanathan’s essays lie in their playfully fresh insights
MAGAZINE August 04, 2016
read more>>>
OUTLOOK ON TWITTER
POLLS

Finally, political parties came together to pass the Goods and Services Tax in the Rajya Sabha. The much-vaunted tax reform is said to have turned India into one common market. It is said that the GST will replace more than 15 state and federal taxes. So will GST lead to #AchcheDin?

POLL STARTED ON: Aug 04, 2016
Quiz
Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro is hosting the 31st Olympic Games from August 5 to 21. This is the first Olympics being held in South America and is going on even as a majority Brazilians are unhappy with their rulers. Here’s a quiz on some random Olympic facts and related trivia.
QUIZ STARTED ON: Aug 11, 2016
Advertisement