10Feb2010 Afghanistan Categories: Haiku Majestic landscape — Russian dust, U.S footprints Empire’s graveyard Abandoned Soviet tank - http://www.travelthewholeworld.com/sitebuilder/images/Afghanistan_Kabul_Tank-422x310.jpg Related 14 Comments on Afghanistan powerful images Reply I love it! U make me proud:p haha Nah, seriously, u really hit the note with “majestic landscape”, because when i was there in 2006 the landscape really had a huge impression on me…u can’t help but getting overwhelmed, it so powerfully dangerous, at the same time as u feel like wandering towards the mountains…we had a car accident in the midst of this landscape, thinking I would die:p have some great pictures if u’re ever interested, but I guess lots of great pics r out there on the net:) anyway: lovely piece! Reply Thanks – yes I have seen many pictures, its just sad it is so war-torn over the decades – it seems as one author put it, when the Afghans are not fighting foreigners they are fighting amongst themselves : But it still would be good to see original pictures, you should put them on your blog. Reply hmm, true, it’s a complex country, even more if you take a close look, but I won’t get into a analysis here:) But that was a good idea, it didn’t cross my mind that I should put up some of those pictures, I’ll do that whenever I have some words to attach to them:) Reply Yes your right, I have read to some extent the history of Afghanistan – and there are just so many diverse ethnic groups there – somewhat “artificially” forced together in one nation-state (but that tends to happen with nation-states) by the borders that were imposed on them by the Russians and the British during the “Great Game” of the 19th century – essentially Afghanistan acted as a buffer zone between the two powers as the borders were drawn. But as you say way too complex lol Reply well, you are are right about the diverse ethnic groups, but I would have to disagree on the fact that they’ve “artifically” forced together. The afghan identity amongst the groups is pretty strong, despite the different ethnicities, therefore making them stand strong towards an external enemy. Anyhow, there is a problem that biggest ethnic group is divided across border with Pakistan, a large group of the pakistani pashtuns struggling with a national identity and lacking a sense of belonging/loyality to either country. but yeah, not a discussion to be taken here:p Reply lol no doubt against an external enemy – but that is what exactly what I mean as the british imposed border interrupted the pashtun community – having split them between pakistan and afghanistan.. same applies to tajikis with taijikistan and uzbeks with uzbekistan, etc. This is what I mean by articifial – there is no doubt they are proud to be afghans though – however when there is no foreign enemy upon which they can unite – old ethnic rivalries are renewed. Of course there are the hazara mongloid community too. Reply well, that is right, and the idea of “Pashtunistan” and uniting the pashtuns have always been there, but as for the tajiks and uzbeks, you will find very few tajiks or uzbeks who want parts of Uzbekistan or Tajikistan as a part of Afghanistan. The tajiks and uzbeks are pretty much spread all around the country, and it’s never been an issue for them to want to return to Tajikistan or Uzbekistand, as they see themselves as Afghans. The issue with the pashtuns is that they feel they have lost land areas rightfully theirs, referring to the Durrand line which most afghans feel shouldn’t be there, as it’s pretty “recent” in historical terms. Personally I feel the biggest issue the creation on Pakistan, supported by the british, as a way of dimishing India as a power. Both India and Pakistan would have been a more powerful nation, has they never parted Hindustan. Saying that Pakistan is based on islamic values, and created for the muslims to get their own state is just fraud in my eyes, as Pakistan surely is a capitalistic state based on values far from Islam. And leaving Kashmir as an eternal problem between Pakistand and India, they weaken the region even more. seems like I got into a political discussion despite my efforts not to :p Sorry about that , but just some thoughts;) Reply well my About page does say I enjoy a politics so you have my attention 🙂 I agree about the tajk-uzbeks – they don’t want to turn it back to part of their respective nations – if anything they simply want a bit more in on the control and power – which is why they had formed an alliance – the Northern Alliance – as the king of Afghanistan had always been a Pashtun – which is why it is the Pashtuns who feel they have been dealt an unfair deal – even tho Karzai is Pashtun (don’t get me started with that guy lol) And I also agree about Pakistan – it is a case of divide and conquer – before the British ruled India it was largley under Muslim rule – this weakened the Muslims for sure – I do understand at the time of religious sectarian violence that the Muslims felt they would have better safety in numbers in their own state and would feel as a minority – but that didn’t stop many Muslims in India staying behind – in fact some estimates say there are MORE Muslims in India than Pakistan! Kashmir was deliberately left unresolved of course – to keep them fighting over it rather than unite. Had the Muslims remained maybe they would have had more influence than the Muslims in India do now. In over 60 years when you compare the acheivements, Pakistan is the underacheiver, and has had so much turmoil and instability since its founding. It is surprising they even managed to get nukes that’s the only thing, they have a strong military – but again its just a nation of many ethnic groups put together within borders – balochis, sindhis, panjabis, etc. The government lacks legitimacy in many tribal parts – as does the kabul government, nor do they have monopoly over violence – which are signs of a weak (or failing) state. Reply I just read my last post and realized I didn’t pay enough attention to the grammar, so a lot of confusion there, and with English not being my first language, u have to excuse my writing:p Back to the discussion, I agree with you all the above, so I am not going to repat your words. As for the Kabul government, it represents the occupation forces for many afghans, so naturally they lack legitimacy. I really wonder what will happen the years to come, because it’s difficult to see a sollution. But I question for you, I often feel that Pakistans national and cultural identity is mostly defined by the punjabis, and even if you see pakistani programs where they try to represent the other ethniticies and their culture, but it seem to remain very unfamiliar to the majority. It’s often not even done correctly, making me think that I that I know more about baluchi and pashtun culture than the pakistani people I’ve met or what’s being displayed on their national televison. I also get the feeling that there is lacking a real national identity compared to the national identity I see amongst afghans. Because despite our ethnicities, throughout history the cultural identity is there, and the people might not look alike, but they are similar because they share the same culture, and adapt the same cultural codes, making me feel that tajiks, pashtuns, hazara and uzbeks are pretty similar. So this might just be because I don’t have many experiences to base such a conclusion upon, but would be interesting to get your view on that, since ur half pakistani and half? Am I disillusioned?:p Reply Yes that is true, as panjabi is the dominant language, even though urdu is the national language. Many other ethnic groups feel marginalised though by the government, I myself have only been once and was too young to rememeber anything anyway. 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