Contents: Preface. Introduction. 1. Geopolitical importance of Afghanistan/V.D. Chopra. 2. Specific feature of the development of feudalism in Afghanistan/Igor Reisner. 3. Afghanistan's independent development/An Afghan Scholar. 4. The Taliban takeover in Afghanistan/Kalim Bahadur. 5. The Russian and Central Asian response to Taliban takeover of Kabul/Devendra Kaushik. 6. Russian perception of the Afghanistan crisis/O.N. Mehrotra. 7. American role in Afghanistan/Chintamani Mahapatra. 8. The US renewed interest in Afghanistan/P. Stobdan. 9. The Afghanistan crisis and its impact on South Asia and South-west Asia/Uma Singh. 10. Taliban poses a dilemma to Muslim world/Jagdish P. Sharma. 11. Weapons and narcotics in Afghanistan: strategies and ambitions in a light weapon war/Tara Kartha. 12. Afghanistan crisis: geopolitical aspects/Nasser Saghafi-Ameri. 13. Oil factor in Afghanistan crisis/V.D. Chopra. 14. Religious fundamentalism and ethnic conflicts/V.D. Chopra. 15. Common heritage of India and Afghanistan/V.D. Chopra. 16. India's stand on Afghanistan crisis/V.D. Chopra. 17. Contemporary Afghanistan/Fred Halliday. Index.
"This book has been compiled when Afghanistan is once again passing through a most critical period of its history. In this study for the first time an attempt has been made to critically examine the genesis of crises in Afghanistan, its historical roots, conflicting geopolitical interest of big powers in the post cold war period. Its proximity to Central Asia which has rich oil resources, role of Islamic card and theory of 'civilizational conflicts' in the new phase, all these factors have been taken into account in this book.
In this sense it seeks to analyse current and cross-current developments in Afghanistan within a non-conformist framework. What is new in this book is that it does not stick to old dogmas, like exclusive emphasis of geopolitical interest of one big power or the other or nature of the Afghan society. It presents a picture in totality and close interrelationship of various factors. The book highlights that the road of building modern nation-states in backward societies with rich civilizational heritage has its own problems. Perhaps, western models do not fit into such societies. This is the running theme of this book though various scholars and specialists have contributed their articles based on their independent studies. The book therefore, merits attention of experts on Asia, diplomats and policymakers of the developed countries." (jacket)