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Journals & Publications

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Kandahar of the Arab Conquest

Old Kandahar is a large, impressive ruin field near Afghanistan's modern 'second' city, bearing the same name. For years the site has been central to many arguments about the most ancient geography and history of the region. It has been identified with an Alexandria/ Alexandropolis, referring to the conquest of Alexander the Great.

For the Islamic period the excavations on behalf of the Society for Afghan Studies have revealed some striking new evidence, particularly for the period of the Arab Conquest during the later 7th and early 8th century. This paper outlines some of these emerging new arguments and suggests some tentative additions to the long story of the toponymy of Central Asian cities.

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Dying Languages; Special Focus on Ormuri

Some languages have a population of its native speakers numbering at millions while most of the languages have lesser speakers ranging from a few thousand to a few hundred only. Dr. Tove Skutnabb-Kangas of Roskilde University presents yet a gloomier picture of the world languages that are spoken by relatively few people; the median number of speakers of a languages is probably 5,000-6,000. There are fewer than 300 languages with more than one million native users; half of all languages have fewer than 10,000 users and a quarter of the worlds spoken languages and most of the sign languages have less than 1,000 users.

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Aspect of Colonial Encounter on the Frontier; Akbar S. Ahmad

THE STORY of colonization is not a pretty one. To the Pathans living in the North-west Frontier Province of what is now Pakistan, and particularly in its Tribal Area, it has meant destroyed villages, water-tanks and grain stores and a never ending series of "butcher and bolt" raids: an almost total failure in communication between two systems. Colonization scars the colonized as it dehumanizes the colonizer.[1] To The Pathan in the Tribal Areas it meant a complete rejection of the twentieth century which in his eyes the British represented; for instance in 1947 when the British left there was not a single school, dispensary, electric bulb or government post in, for example (what is now) the Mohmand Agency area. Here was one of the most barren meetings of cultures possible. The lack of synthesis does not indicate an inherent structural flaw or weakness in either culture, it merely reflects on the form of the encounter. Nevertheless, a miasma of romance and mystification enveloped the encounter on the Frontier. I shall examine in this paper the causal factors that created this mystification and the social needs they satisfied.

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Afghanistan Crisis & Pakistan's Security Dilemma; Parvez Iqbal Cheema

The revolution in Iran, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and the ongoing Iraq-Iran war have not only invoked fears of an uncertain future in Southwest Asia but have also injected urgency into Pakistani discussions of an old problem: the question of security in the area. The spotlight, however, was quickly focused on Afghanistan by Pakistan's security planners as the Afghan crisis profoundly and directly threatened Pakistan's security. From its inception, Pakistan has never really enjoyed what can be termed friendly or even correct relations with Afghanistan, mainly because of the Afghani irredentist claim to Pakhtoonistan; the adjoining areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan inhabited by the Pakhtoon community.

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Afghanistan Under Daud; Dilip Mukerjee

THE JULY 1973 coup d'etat in Afghanistan has neither eroded the country's traditional neutralism nor brought about any drastic change in its economic system. The fears of a tilt towards the Soviet Union and of sweeping socialist reforms have proved unfounded. The shadowy central committee which assumed power after deposing King Zahir Shah remains as shadowy as ever, while Mohammad Daud, President and Prime Minister, runs the country in much the same authoritarian style as when he was the King's Prime Minister between 1953 and 1963.

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