Ahmed Rashid Quotes
Ahmed Rashid (Urdu:???? ????; born 1948) is a former Pakistani militant, a journalist and best-selling foreign policy author of several books about Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Central Asia
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There's a sense of desperation in Afghanistan because of the lack of funding and the fact that the U.S. only has a one-track military strategy. It doesn't have an economic and political game plan.
I met a lot of the senior Taliban, and I asked them precisely [about Mullah Omar]. The most common answer was he is humble. And that was very true. We never had reports of Mullah Omar living luxuriously or making money in large quantities or anything like that.
We should remember that the Pashtuns are the largest ethnic group in Afghanistan. Of course, many of them did support the Taliban. But you cannot equate all Pashtuns with the Taliban.
I think within a year or so, perhaps, if 9/11 had not happened, in Afghanistan would have been a very broad-based general uprising against the Taliban.
Despite all the dire predictions made in 2001, the Afghans have given the international community, its aid workers and soldiers a large window of opportunity to repair the damage done by 25 years of war. That window, which has stayed open for nearly five years, with amazing good will from the Afghans, is threatening to close unless the world wakes up and deals with the crisis.
The key to breaking the Taliban taboo against women and the cultural brainwashing that the Taliban imposed upon many Afghans is to get women back into the workforce.
Pashtun nationalism is reasserting itself. Its political history spans several hundred years. The Pashtuns are angry at the Americans because, one, they're still being bombed, and two, they perceive that the Americans are backing the Tajik faction, which controls the army and security forces in Kabul.
The strategy for peace-building in Afghanistan is economic aid, reconstruction, international security forces. On those lines, the U.S. has been extremely slow. And it has even blocked expanding security forces from Kabul to other cities.
[Mullah Omar] gave himself this religious title. So it was something that all those people there who swore an oath of loyalty to him as a religious leader could not easily get rid of.
The idea of a permanent U.S. military presence in Afghanistan, as opposed to an economic presence, is going to create a new wave of hostility toward the United States.
“What we are seeing right now is a huge intelligence effort similar to the one that captured Saddam Hussein, which involved hundreds of people on the American side. It wasn't just a few special forces wandering around and I think for that they need a great deal of Pakistani cooperation.”
“Hizb ut-Tahrir does not advocate a violent overthrow of Muslim regimes... Instead HT believes in winning over mass support, believing that one day these supporters will rise up in peaceful demonstrations and overthrow the regimes of Central Asia.”
“All Muslims were repulsed by the cartoons, even non-practicing ones whose Muslim identity is more cultural than religious. That doesn't mean there hasn't been manipulation.”
“We're seeing a complete breakdown of law and order. The army is holed up in its barracks or in its bunkers.”
“They've gone in with a steam roller in an area which is extremely pro-Taliban and pro-al Qaeda.”