Ahmed Rashid Quotes
“Dr Leila Gupta found that most children had witnessed extreme violence and did not expect to survive. Two-thirds of the children interviewed had seen somebody killed by a rocket and scattered corpses or body parts. More than 70 per cent had lost a family member and no longer trusted adults. ‘They all suffer from flashbacks, nightmares and loneliness. Many said they felt their life was not worth living anymore,’ said Dr Gupta. Every norm of family life had been destroyed in the war.”
“They had no memories of the past, no plans for the future while the present was everything. They were literally the orphans of the war, the rootless and the restless, the jobless and the economically deprived with little self-knowledge. They admired war because it was the only occupation they could possibly adapt to. Their simple belief in a messianic, puritan Islam which had been drummed into them by simple village mullahs was the only prop they could hold on to and which gave their lives some meaning. Untrained for anything, even the traditional occupations of their forefathers such as farming, herding or the making of handicrafts, they were what Karl Marx would have termed Afghanistan's lumpen proletariat.”
“Thirdly, Casey committed CIA support to a long-standing ISI initiative to recruit radical Muslims from around the world to come to Pakistan and fight with the Afghan Mujaheddin. The ISI had encouraged this since 1982 and by now all the other players had their reasons for supporting the idea. President Zia aimed to cement Islamic unity, turn Pakistan into the leader of the Muslim world and foster an Islamic opposition in Central Asia. Washington wanted to demonstrate that the entire Muslim world was fighting the Soviet Union alongside the Afghans and their American benefactors.”
“Within a few short, dramatic months Afghanistan had been catapulted into the centre of the intensified Cold War between the Soviet Union and the USA. The Afghan Mujaheddin were to become the US-backed, anti-Soviet shock troops. But for the Afghans the Soviet invasion was yet another attempt by outsiders to subdue them and replace their time-honoured religion and society with an alien ideology and social system. The jihad took on a new momentum as the USA, China and Arab states poured in money and arms supplies to the Mujaheddin. Out of this conflict, which was to claim 1.5 million Afghan lives and only end when Soviet troops withdrew from Afghanistan in 1989, would emerge a second generation of Mujaheddin who called themselves Taliban (or the students of Islam.)”
“The USA and Unocal were essentially faced with a simple question in Afghanistan. Was it preferable to rely on Pakistan and Saudi Arabia to deliver the Taliban and obtain a temporary Afghan concensus in the old-fashioned way by reconquering the country? Or was it preferable for the USA to engage in peacemaking and bring the Afghan ethnic groups and factions together to form a broad-based government, which might ensure lasting stability? Although Washington's broad-brush policy was to support a widely based, multi-ethnic government in Kabul, the USA for a time believed in the Taliban and when it ceased to do so, it was not willing to rein in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.”
- Date of birth: June 09, 1948
- Born: in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.
- Description: Son of Ahmed (an engineer) and Piari (a homemaker) Rashid; married Angeles Espino Perez- Hurtado, 1982; children: Raphael, Sara Bano. Education: Attended Government College, Lahore, Pakistan, 1966- 68, and Cambridge University, 1968-70; earned B.A. and M.A. Religion: Muslim. Addresses: Homeoffice: Lahore Cant., Pakistan. E-mail: [email protected]
Career: Journalist and broadcaster. Correspondent for Daily Telegraph, London, England, and formerly for Far Eastern Economic Review, Hong Kong; broadcaster for international radio and television networks such as British Broadcasting Corporation and Cable News Network. Member, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.
Ahmed Rashid is a Pakistani journalist and best-selling author. Rashid attended Malvern College, England, Government College Lahore, and Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge. He serves as the Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asia correspondent for the Far Eastern Economic Review and the Daily Telegraph. He also writes for the Wall Street Journal, The Nation, and academic journals. He appears regularly on international TV and radio networks such as CNN and BBC World.
Rashid's 2000 book, Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia, was a New York Times bestseller for five weeks, translated into 22 languages, and has sold 1.5 million copies since the September 11, 2001 attacks. The book was used extensively by American analysts in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.
His latest book, "Descent into Chaos: The United States and the Failure of Nation Building in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asia", is a scathing critique of both America and Europe's failure to invest in rebuilding Afghanistan and Pakistan's role in allowing Taliban and Al-Qaeda elements to regroup in Pakistan.
His commentary also appears in the Washington Post's PostGlobal segment.
Rashid lives in Lahore, Pakistan with his wife and two children.