|This controversial first-hand
account of Taliban rule from 1996-2001 is based on S. Iftikhar Murshed's experiences
as Pakistan's special envoy to Afghanistan. His mandate was to help bring the
Taliban and the Northern Alliance to the negotiating table, entailing shuttle
missions at times life-threatening between the warring factions.
Drawing on his close interaction with the leadership of both sides of the political
divide, the author vividly brings to life the unfolding drama of a tragic struggle.
His personal dealings with top-ranking international politicians and government
officials, combined with a deep understanding of the region's history, offers
an informative and global perspective to the conflict, and provides a rare glimpse
into the mindset of Afghanistan's near neighbours as well as that of Russia, the
United States and the United Nations. |
The failure of the international
community to constructively engage with the Taliban, the author argues, squandered
a realistic opportunity to create stability in Afghanistan, with far-reaching
consequences for the rest of the world. The result was not only a perpetuation
of the country's endemic violence but an ominous intensification of global terrorism
and Islamic religious extremism a pressing concern which Murshed explores
with authority and insight.
S. Iftikhar Murshed was a senior diplomat in
the Foreign Service of Pakistan, serving as special envoy to Afghanistan from
1996-2000 and ambassador to the Russian Federation from 2000-2005. He is also
a foreign policy analyst, poet and playwright.
336 pages with
by Bennett & Bloom, 2006