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Having a an arid climate,during dry season most rivers in Afghanistan become little rivulets. The rivers are mostly supported by mountain streams. These rivers had good amount of water in spring season, when snow on the mountain melts. Most Afghan rivers end in salty swamps. Most of the rivers flow in Afghanistan depends on the success of annual rain/snowfalls. The snow cover extend in Afghanistan at different period of the year (winter, early summer and autumn). When snow begins to melt in late winter and spring, the rivers rise. The Rivers in Afghanistan generally have a peak of flow at the end of the winter/spring and a minimum flow in summer/autumn.
Afghanistan is characterised by a continental climate, although the presence of mountains causes many local variations. The typical climate varies from arid in the South and Southwest to semi-arid in most other parts of the country. The high mountain ranges of Hindu Kush and Pamir are moderate humid and covered by permanent snow and glaciers at altitudes above 5,000 m. With a few exceptions of some locations receiving sufficient rainfall in spring (Northern slopes of Hindu Kush above 1,000m altitude), the climate is not favourable for rainfed agriculture. During winter, temperatures are low and precipitation occurs in form of snow whereas during summer, temperatures are high and rainfall is virtually zero. Without irrigation supplies, these arid to semi arid areas cannot support any irrigation.
Although Afghanistan is located in half deserted atmosphere, it is still rich in water resources mainly due to the series of high mountains such as Wakhan, Hindukush and Baba covered by snow. Over 80 per cent of the country’s water resources have their origin in the Hindu
Kush mountain ranges at altitudes above 2,000 m which function as a natural storage of water in form of snow during winter and thus support perennial flow in all major rivers by snow melt during summer.
Howsoever , there are primarily four river systems; 1) Kabul: An exception among Afghan rivers, Kabul river is always full of water. It flows east into Pakistan to merge into the Indus River, 2) Amu Darya: This river, located on the norther border, is the country's only largely navigable river. Two main tributaries of Amu Darya are Panj and Vakhsh, 3) Harirud River: Rising in Central Afghanistan, Harirud River moves to west and north-west direction where the border with Iran exists. Water of Harirud River is extensively for irrigation purposes in Herat region, 4) Helmand River: Longest among the rivers in Afghanistan, Helmand River originates in Central Hindu Kush mountains. The river flows past the south-west region of the country, ending in Iran. This river is also widely used for irrigation. There are very few lakes and marshland areas in Afghanistan. Because of their rarity, existing wetlands are particularly valuable for people as sources of water.
Being part of traditional irrigation system, Karezes (Qanat) are underground galleries that tap ground water from the aquifers of alluvial fans. Underground tunnels with gentle slopes carry water from the source to the settled areas. The technique has been used for thousands of years in Afghanistan, Iran, the Middle East and North Africa. It is one of the most economical methods of tapping groundwater for irrigation purposes. It is environmentally safe and water is drawn by use of gravity. There are 6741 karezes in the country. These karezes irrigate about 163,000 ha of land. Karen irrigation is common in the south and southwest of the country and less in the north of the

The phenomenon or concept of nationalism has always been debatable. There are many rival views about what constitutes a nation. A nation comprise a mixture of objective and subjective features, blend of cultural and political characteristics. In objective terms , nations are cultural entities : group of people who speak the same language, have the same religion, shares similar values, heritage and culture as well as are bound by same past and so on.
The idea that nation is essentially an ethnic cultural entity ha been described as the primary concept of nation. Its roots can be traced back to late eighteenth-century Germany and the writings of figures such as Herder and Fichte. For Herder, the innate character of each national group was ultimately determined by its natural environment, climate and physical geography, their lifestyle, working habits, attitudes, language, distinctive traditions and historical memories. later on, Anthony Smith in “The Ethnic Origin Of Nation” highlighted the continuity between modern nationals and pre modern ethnic communities, which they called ‘ethnies’.
As an example, Afghanistan has been a multi-ethnic society and country’s ethnic makeup has greater implications towards nation building. There are eight major ethnic groups.Within Afghanistan each Afghan is first a Pashtun, Hazara, Uzbek, or Tajik.
A nation-state for the ethnic group derives political legitimacy from its status as homeland of that ethnic group, from its protective function against colonization, persecution, or racism, and from its claim to facilitate the shared cultural and social life, which may not have been possible under the ethnic group's previous status as an ethnic minority.
The international order does affect the ethnic core of a society or nation. The Yugoslav wars of the 1990s,explains that members of ethnic diasporas living in Western states such as Australia, Canada, and the United States, significantly contributed to the Yugoslav conflict. Albanian, Croat and Serb diasporas were engaged in homeland conflicts through financial, political and, sometimes military support. Moreover, these ethnic groups lobbied politicians in their host countries to influence the conduct of foreign policy vis-a-vis their home countries.

Amir Abdur Rahman Khan is credited as being the ruler responsible for the development of the modern state of Afghanistan. Abdur Rahman was an Afghan nationalist who was responsible for establishing absolute rule and solidifying Afghanistan within the framework of a modern nation state. Afghanistan since the days of its foundation has been a society strictly fragmented along diverse ethnic lines. This diversity has always made the country a ground for power politics where the ideology and nationalism of the country has become a matter of debate and discussion among rulers, subjects, academicians and international community. In the midst of all this Afghanistan found its ‘Iron Man’ Amir Abdur Rahman Khan who ruled the country from 1880-1901. He was the grandson of Dost Mohammad Khan, one of the prominent Pashtu rulers of Afghanistan. There are several grounds for which Abdur Rahman Khan was conferred with the title of ‘Iron Man.’ Briefing them, one of the for most reason was his ability to suppress various rebellions( mainly different ethnic/ religious rebels) which threatened Afghanistan’s national unity. He was responsible in creating provincial governorates which were different from the tribal boundaries. It has also been found from his autobiography that subjugating the tribes, extending government control through a strong, visible army were some of his primary objectives. Along with several reforms technological advancement was also another agenda during his reign. He paid a great deal of attention to develop technology in the country with the help of foreign assistance. In order to develop a comprehensive unity he broke all the major local centers of power so that the people instead of adhering to their tribal leaders could foster their allegiance to a centralized government. This alienation undoubtedly made Abdur Rahman a thorn in the eyes of these tribal leaders.

In many of the Islamic states political Islam has made its appearance through various regimes. States like Afghanistan and Pakistan are also no exception to it. Many rulers from time to time are seen using religion for various political activities. Since Abdur Rahman Khan believed that the heterogenic nature of Afghan society hindered the nation’s unity, he used religion to forge a unity in diversity. As majority of the population followed Islam, he believed that a common religion would be able to surpass ethnic differences. Amidst all these he also started declaring himself as the Muslim ruler of all Afghan people and claimed divine sanction for his rule. In many cases it was seen that he even used religion as a way to achieve political legitimacy. Claiming himself as a true follower of Islam and as a liberator of the Afghan people, he was seen using Islam against his Internal and External oppositions like the tribal leaders and external interventions. Viewing them as a threat to his power he termed many of these internal and external powers as ‘infidels’. He was often seen claiming that the role played by the tribal and foreign powers in the land of Afghanistan was contrary to the teachings of Islam and hence tribal boundaries were eliminated with provincial leaders. He was against of Afghanistan being used as a buffer state by international powers. All these effort were primarily made to eliminate his potential and actual opposition. Converting the land of Kaafirstan to Nooristan in the name of Religion helped him in cracking the powers of local leaders and bringing the religious establishments under his control and authority. Therefore where religion became a medium to achieve national unity it was also a path to political legitimacy during the rule of Amir Abdur Rahman Khan.

Geo-power which involves two basic words ‘geography’ and ‘power’ elucidates on to explain the appropriation of power in the pursuit of controlling or to reign over a piece of land or a defined geography. The struggle for power over a geographical area involves conflicts, material force and struggle between what it is idealized to be and what it is in reality. The politics over a land involves struggle and re-organization of the space which may involve rewriting of the history. Geo-power is the variation on influence of power on the basis of location or space. Geo-power ensures a state legitimacy through its definition of territory. Location is the most important component in defining state’s position of power. Critics believe that the concept of geo-power has led to the division of land between what they term as ‘us’ and ‘them’. The politics over geography or geo-power may involve internal a well as international rivalry and powers in the region. However the concept of geo-power fits in the case of Afghanistan if one takes into account the power struggles and the continuous efforts by internal and external powers in reshaping and remapping Afghanistan’s territory and land.
Peripheral part of any state easily succumbs or rather is made to succumb to the state-centric changes over re-mapping of a particular land. For example in case of Afghanistan and its immediate neighbor Pakistan the problem of ‘Durand line’ has always been the bone of contention. This disputed border has led to the problem of ‘territorial trap’ because of the same ethnic, religious composition on both sides of the border. Geo politics has led to such territorial divisions, especially among the peripheral regions that continuous atrocities, secession, separatism, insecurities have become a part and parcel of people living along the borders.
The definition of border is not entirely an international phenomenon. Borders may even include federated states or sub national entities. But these borders are mainly unguarded. But an ‘International’ border which divides two sovereign states is maintained legally and follows International norms. Therefore a border (boundary) can be both an internal as well as an international phenomenon.

Amir Abdur Rehman is regarded as the father of modern Afghanistan. He is also known as the “Iron Amir” because during his reign he weakened all the challenges surrounding him and his country. In order to gain power he initially killed his rival cousins and several leaders of the Pakhtun tribes especially the Ghilzai Pakhtuns. He was also the person who brought the idea of Afghanistan as a buffer zone between the British India and Tsarist Russia. He was also to a great extent successful in building a centralized Afghan state. The Amir used force to gain control over the entire country and by 1884 almost the whole Afghanistan came under his jurisdiction. After assuming power he started changing the age old structure of administration in which previously the urban centers and some of the tribal areas remained autonomous. He immediately removed the autonomous status of these regions and directly ruled and levied taxes on his subjects living there. Though during his time there were a number of uprisings against him yet he brutally suppressed all of them. He used the British subsidies to curb his internal opponents. It is to be mentioned that Amir Abdur Rehman was the creator of modern Afghanistan. Before his coming to the throne the country was divided into distinct regions and tribal areas, but the Amir destroyed the power of the regional elites and formed a unitary and a unified Afghan state.

Abdur Rehman was the first leader in the history of Afghanistan who used religion as an instrument of political power. He used political Islam as a mean to oppress the minorities. He used Sunni hanafi school of Islam to incorporate non Sunni areas of Hazarajat and Kafirstan which were never under the control of Kabul government before. He declared the Shia hazaras as infidels and therefore ordered his troops to enslave and killed them and confiscated their properties to accommodate the Pakhtuns in those areas. Similarly he used Islam as an opportunity to control Kafirstan of eastern Afghanistan since the area was vulnerable to Russian and British influence. As a true Islamic ruler he started the conversion process of the kafirs and changed the name of kafirstan to Nuristan. Through religion he established direct communication with the common Afghan population and therefore the age old practice of appeasing the tribal and ethnic elite was reduced during his reign. Before the rise of Abdur Rehman as the new Amir of Afghanistan, Sufi Islam was more widespread in Afghanistan. But from 1880s onwards ideological Islam became prominent due to his policies. However during those years Islamic awakening was also coupled with the resistance to colonial rule as the British and the Russian empire were exerted their influence in the region. The Amir declared himself as the “light of the nation and religion” and therefore the Muslim population became more obliged towards the Amir. Likewise during his regime the religion became an instrument of state polity.

Afghanistan in addition to its mountains also possesses river systems whose source lies in the countries high central mountains. The four major river systems in Afghanistan are 1) The Amu Darya or the Oxus system: Located on the northern border of the country, this river is largely navigable in character. Panj and Vaksh are the two man tributaries of the Amu Darya which originates in the Pamirs. All the Northern river basins of northern Afghanistan are part of the Amu Darya basin. Since the Amu Darya River is passable in nature it helps in transportation of goods to and from Afghanistan. 2) Hari Rud system: This river system irrigates some of Afghanistan’s productive and cultivated land. Much of the water from the Hari Rud River is used for irrigation purposes in the Herat region. The Hari Rud River in Afghanistan bends north to form a natural border between Iran and Afghanistan. 3) Hilmand- Arghandab system: Being the longest river in Afghanistan, Hilmand encompasses a wide area in the country. The water drains from Bamiyan to Siestan basin and to the Iranian border, covering 43 percent of the total land area. This water is extensively used for irrigation and is essential for farmers in Afghanistan. The chief tributary of Helmand is the Arghandab River which has a major dam in the north of Kandahar. 4) Kabul River System: The Kabul river basin located in the Eastern Central part of the country is surrounded mostly by mountains. It is a shared river with Pakistan. Much of the discharge of Kabul water is the result of snow that gets accumulated during the winter season. Along with the capital city Kabul, seven other provinces in Afghanistan are located in the Kabul river basin. This river joins the Indus in the northwest of Islamabad.
Topography as the name itself suggest is the detailed mapping of the surface features of a particular land. Afghanistan being a landlocked mountainous country has attracted invaders since centuries due its location at the crossroads of several trade routes. The massive Hind Kush Mountain forms a barrier between the Northern provinces and the rest of the country, dividing it into three distinct regions namely: Central highlands, Northern plains and the Southwestern plateau. Topography has always played a very important role in determining the water utility and its flow in Afghanistan. As agriculture is the dominant sector of Afghan economy, development of the water sector has been one of the prime objectives of the Government. 80% of Afghanistan’s water originates from the Hind Kush mountains. One of the major topographical changes that affect the water flow in Afghanistan is the greatest stream flow in the late spring and in the early summer with snowfall from the mountains finally accelerating the dangers of flood in the country. As the climate is desert and Mediterranean types, there is a very long dry season from May to October and a cold rainy season from November to April. The rainy season of Afghanistan which falls in the winter season does not coincide with the agriculturally active season, thus making the agricultural system totally dependent on irrigation.
‘Qanat’ or (Karez) systems are underground galleries that tap underground water. These are underground tunnels that carry water from the source to the settles areas. This system is mainly used for irrigation purpose and also for drinking water supply. These underground channels carry water from aquifers in highlands to the surface in lowlands. More than 15% of Afghanistan’s irrigated lands get water from the Qanats. However 60 to70% of the ‘Kareez’ are not in use mainly because of low precipitation, which is adversely affecting the people dependent on these systems.

Nation generally consists of a group of people who are united on the basis of a number of shared values. The concept or the idea of nation state which arose due to the emergence of industrial capitalism in the west can’t be regarded as a universal phenomenon. However, generally the process started since 17th century onwards. For the perennial thinkers nation is viewed as a cultural community while for the modernists a nation is a political community. Some of the generic natures of a nation are as follows:
Like a state a nation also consists of population, a defined territory, a stable and an effective government and the power of sovereignty. However ethnic homogeneity or ethnic bonding can exhibit an important influence in the building up of a nation. Absence of internal ethnic strife can lead to the development and prosperity of a nation without much hindrance. Another important feature is religion which provides a significant role in the formation of a nation. Common religion can become a unifying force for the growth of national identity among the people. Thirdly shared historical experiences and a common past can manifest a constructive role in the emergence of a nation. The ethno-history of the dominant ethnic elite exercises an influential role in the nation building process.
In the due course of time ethnic core presents its case as a national idea in various societies. It has been seen that due to politicization and ethnic mobilization, sometimes the minority ethnic group in a society becomes the dominant ethnic group in the newly formed state. Once aroused on the lines of ethnicity, the neglected or the peripheral ethnic groups can become the master in their homeland once their own state or the nation is formed. If there are other minority groups present in the newly born state then sometimes the recently dominant ruling ethnic group of the state try to impose their majority culture, language or religion on the former. It has been observed that even in various multicultural societies the process of cultural homogenization was started by the ethnic core of that society. In these cases the status of some ethnic groups are undermined while the others have upgraded. However a strong ethnic network, common symbols, shared values, cultures and traditions can mobilize the people and develop the spirit of oneness among them. On the one hand sometimes people have identified their ethno cultural bases right up from the past and on the other hand collective interests or collective identity can become a marker in the development of the concept of nation state in the present times. But there is no doubt that all these help in the formation of a nation and the nation building process. Therefore ethnic core or the dominant ethnic group in a society can exercise a significant role in developing the idea of a nation.
The international order does affect the ethnic core in a society or a nation. Sometimes international involvement can also encourage rivalry between the ethnic groups in a society. For example it can be observed that during the time of Soviet invasion of Afghanistan (during the cold war period) international forces exercised a major role in influencing one ethnic group against the other. At that time Pakistan was in support of the Pakhtun mujahedeen groups while the Tajiks and Uzbeks were supported by some of the Central Asian Republics and many other countries of the region. In such a scenario one ethnic group can be used against the other in a society. International players can sometimes play an important role in the ethnic mobilization of a particular group or community. Pakhtuns who are the predominant ethnic group in Afghanistan and are the largest minority group in Pakistan are most of the time influenced by the policies of the Pakistani government. Especially during the Taliban era (Talibans were mostly Pakhtuns) in Afghanistan, Pakistan was one of the major countries which exerted great impact on Afghanistan. Therefore international situation can have a deep implication on the ethnic core of a state.

Geography or the space is considered to be about power. Geography is the product of struggle between competing authorities to have control over a particular space or territory. The concept of geo power refers to the use of territory as an instrument of state power. It implies the legitimacy of the state from its territorial subjects. Though the birth of a state (in a particular territory) is comparatively a new phenomenon but the history of a territory inhabited by the people dates back to thousands of years. With the history, the cultural practices followed by the people in a territory are also closely related. Therefore once the political boundary of a state is demarcated and the people surrounding the border areas who share the common ethnic or religious linkages are divided between the two territories as a part of the division, the problem arises which leads to frequent border skirmishes and conflicts. For example in case of the Af-Pak (Afghanistan-Pakistan border area) region this problem is acute. Here the importance is given to the territory as the peoples affinity lie with that territory rather than with the newly formed state and the population living in the peripheries are mostly affected by it and therefore most of the time they try to resist this ‘territorial trap’.
State impacts the lives of the people living in the peripheries to a great extent. Usually the people of the peripheries share common cultural bondings with the people of the other side of the border and this particular fact make them more inclined towards their cultural brothers rather than the state they belong to. People residing in these peripheries view that along with the state they also have the right to define the borders. Therefore there is always a contest between the people and the state. In various instances geography becomes the identity of the people. Therefore a state tries to institutionalize new rules and laws to control its population. However there is no doubt about the fact that the state is the primary and the only sovereign institution and no other institutions can be above the state within a territory. Thus people sometimes recourse to violence in order to pressurize the government to fulfill their long standing demands.
Border or boundary can be termed as both domestic as well as international issue. Legitimacy to the state is important not only internally but externally as well.

Rivers play a pivotal role in the history of human civilization. Afghanistan, a landlocked country located at the heart of Asia is also no exception to this. In the present times the river valleys and the river systems exercise a major role in the livelihood of the people of Afghanistan. Principally there are four major river systems that have been existing in the country. 1) Amu Darya (Oxus) system; 2) Hari Rud system; 3)Hilmand Arghandab system; 4) Kabul river system. One of the important features of the river systems in Afghanistan is that most of the rivers in the country are a part of inland river system (excluding the Kabul river which is a subsystem of Indus river system)and they don’t have the outlet to sea. 1)Amu Darya System: Amu Darya has several major tributaries like for example Kokcha, kunduz, Balkh Ab, the Sar-i-pul , Ab-i-Quisar which perform a crucial role in the daily life of the people of the country. The Amu Darya river system is also a major transit route for the supply of goods to and from Afghanistan. A number of significant ports are also situated across the river. Sher Khan Bandar is one among them. After crossing Afghanistan, the Amu Darya River enters the Central Asian Republics and Russia and finally joins the Aral sea. 2) Hari Rud System: The length of the Hari Rud river is around 650 kilometres in Afghanistan. Kao Rud is an important tributary of it which joins Hari Rud from the south near Obeh. Though the two rivers don’t meet but Murghab is considered as a major river in the Hari Rud system. 3) Hilmand Arghandab system: The Hilmand river has no outlet to the sea. The river has several tributaries like Kaj Rud, Rud-i-Musa Qala, Tirin etc. A major and an important river of this system is Arghandab which joins Hilmand at Qala Bist. The distribution of Hilmand water is a major bone of contention between Afghanistan and neighbouring Iran. 4) Kabul river system: The Kabul river is a part of the greater Indus river system which flows through the Kabul valley to the Peshawar valley. The Panjsher river, Kunar and the two Laghman rivers namely Alishang and Alingar are important tributaries of the Kabul river.
Topography plays a pivotal role in the water use of a country like Afghanistan. As the amount of arable land is sparse in Afghanistan therefore vegetation is a key component of the Afghan society. Since the area of vegetation is small, water is a major recruitment for the people to carry out their agricultural activities as the Afghan society is primarily an agriculture based society. But the topography of the country plays a major role in this regard as all the provinces of Afghanistan don’t receive the equal and substantial amount of water. Mostly it has been seen that the peripheries receive more water than the central part of Afghanistan and thus population of the country is also mostly oriented towards the peripheries. Most of the water resources in Afghanistan are derived from the snowmelt in the hind Kush Mountain. Due to topography and the high mountain areas the country also has the potential of hydro power generation though the progress in this regard is comparatively low. Even the conflict in the country also arises in most of the cases regarding the use and the sources of water. People try to inhabit in the areas where water is available for use. Down course of a river is very important as the volume of water is more there. Sometimes nomads also try to settle in the river valleys where they usually face confrontation with the local population. Another important feature is that due to the topography (high altitudes in some areas) rivers more often diverge their flows from their original or supposed directions. It also impacts the water use in a particular area. It is because of the topography qanats are built throughout Afghanistan for irrigation purpose.
Qanats are manmade water system existed in eastern, southern and south-western Afghanistan. The qanat system helps in bringing water to the surface through wells connected by tunnels to intercept the water table for their use in the irrigation process. The wells or the shafts are usually 30 to 50 feet high. The qanat system is greatly useful for the agricultural activities especially in the marginalized areas. However the qanats need to be cleaned annually because of silt accumulation. For agricultural activities qanats play a vital role especially in the mountainous areas of Afghanistan.

Why Amir Abdur Rahman Khan is known as the Iron Amir. How the religion became instrument of state polity during his regime.

Compare the two wars between the East India Company (Imperial Britain) and the Afghan Amirs. What were the European causes of this conflict.

Discuss the generic nature of nation and how the ethnic core present its case as national idea. The international order affects the ethnic core, do you agree?

Discuss the concept of Geo-power. How does state affect the people's lives on periphery. Is border (boundary) a domestic or an international phenomena.

Discuss the river systems present in Afghanistan. How does the topography affect the water-use in Afghanistan, explain the qanat system.

Discuss the major regions of Afghanistan and draw salient features for at least two of them. What impact does the Hindukush mountains have being in the central part of Afghanistan.

Answer 2:

The Sheikhs and Shayads in the earlier period have respect, they do the institutional arrangements. Kabilas are the smaller units, they are the locational generic identity of a Qom, Qom is a referance group actually there identity is based on Kabilas. Qom and Kabilas are idealised group. Kabilas hold the location ( Village settlements are instituted by Kabilas ). Individuals came in that reference, practising certain codes of behaviour.

Pashtunwali is set of Behavioural codes that give reference to both Qom and Kabilas. In 18th century however no modern family / institution aspire for statehood. Amir ruled autonomous units, they are the spiritual leaders. He has binding force for the Qom , leadership qualities. When we try to define nation as nation-state then problem arise because there are many groups – Tajikhs, Hajaras, Ujbekhs etc. The period is divided into three groups from 1748 – 1828 – Pashtun ruled , then later 1828 – 1848 Amirs are the spiritual leaders , after that 1848 – 1878 King become a hereditary monarch, where power transmitted from father to son. New Amir is appointed through law and order.

In modern state there were two instrument of power
1) Rise of Bureaucracy
2) Rise then decline of Polygamy

In a modern state Jirga indulge in polygamous institution weakened. In 20th century there was a effort to do away with Kinship, rise of bureaucracy was there and decline of polygamous structure. The monarch created institutions, from Amanullah there is a system of constitutional monarchy.
Therefore there is a transition of Afghan state from tribe – nation corollary to state citizenship norm during 19th to 20th century.

Answer 1:

Afghanistan is an Islamic state that is embroiled between three basic principles –Traditionalism, Fundamentalism and Modernism. By traditionalism we mean the desire to freeze society so that it confirms to the memory of what it once was – it is society as described by our grand parents. Fundamentalism refers to go back to the fundamental things of a particular religion whereas by modernism we refers to the modern state. In Afghan society there is duality of power system and four types of group who claim authority. They are Traditional authority that is authority described by our grand-parents, second is the Religious authority holders like the Mullahs and Alims. The third claimant group is the Representative authority of the modern nation state and the fourth is the Radical pressure groups that is of the Taliban’s and Al-Qaeda.

In urban areas state intervention is accepted, whereas in rural areas there was extended brotherhood, the Maliks and Khans were known for personnal loyality systems. Mullah and Alims are the religious authorities. They both behave in a lot more pragmatic way. Communism became a influencing idea in Afganisthan due to the Urban – Rural divide. Monarchy technically get abolished in 1964 , the last monarch was Mohammed Zahir Shah. The Durrani Pashtuns were the rulers of Afghanistan. After that Afghanistan became a democracy where religion become important tool in Nation- building. Tribes, language and religion are three pillars of Afghan nation-building.

Afghan situation is compared with Iran and Pakistan. In Pakistan there were Pashtuns in North west due to which there were frequent border conflicts. Pakistan a religious identity with nation state and Iran on the basis of traditional society and modernity. There were a good number of persian speaking people in Afghanistan which is a native language of Iran. The British annexed Peshawar, Habiullah tried to capitalize on his restraint by asking the british to return voluntarily the Pashtun territories. So the rulers both Amanullah and Habiullah both wanted to bring modernity to cross the tribal identity.

Therefore these 2x4 scheme of sources to power and contest among various groups are seriously challenged with increasing globalisation and with the advent of free-market economy.


Afghanistan is an Islamic state that is rule by the Shariat law. In Afghanistan we can distinguish the rural and urban setting. The rural part of Afghanistan is mainly found in the tribal chief and Khan but in the urban side of Afghanistan is mainly found on modernity and new notions of thinking. In Afghanistan we can also see the different power position in between the rural and the urban sides. In rural side of Afghanistan the main power is in the hand of the Khan but in the urban area the main power is in the hand of the bureaucrats.
There is the duality of power system in Afghan society. There are two sources of power: the first one is related to the countryside which is based on customs and rule followed in the tribal areas by the tribal chief and Khan and the other one is the modern state or the bureaucratic which is being followed in the urban areas. There are four claimants to the power such as the Traditional authority, the religious authority, the representative authority or the modern state and the radical pressure group. The traditional authority is based on Khans and the tribal chiefs. The religious authority is based on the clergical class like the Mullahs, Ulamas and Alims and these groups are strongly emphasized their religious practices. The Mullah of the village side is quite different from the urban because they are not mastered on the law. The Mullah of the village are traditionalist and not fundamentalist. The Modern state or the representative authority, like the Nation-state which comes out as a secular ideologies and it brings modernization to reject the tribalism as a form of primitivism. The last one is the Radical pressure groups like the Al-Qaeda and the Taliban.
The modernization and the ethnic diversity in Afghanistan is the cause of the confrontation between the tribal and non tribal regions for their identity. It can be compare Afghanistan to other state like Iran a traditional, religious authority as well as the modern state. The transition period in Afghan history is during the period of influences of Habibullah khan and Amanullah khan which replicates the efforts and attempts of the Afghan monarchy to cross over the tribal identity into a modern nation state and both the rulers wanted to bring modernity in Afghan society.
The arrival of modernity, globalization, free market and free flow of goods and resources or capital, this 2x4 scheme of sources of power are critically challenged for the ethnic diversity state like Afghanistan.


Afghanistan is an Islamic state which governs by Shariat law. In case of Afghanistan we can see there are three main characteristic of Afghan society such as traditionalism, fundamentalism and modernism. So, the history of afghan society has unique traits. In Afghanistan there are two source of power with existing four types of claimant group. The dual structure of power the first power is related to countryside which is derived from custom and rule and it is based on loyalty system towards tribal chief and Khan of tribal region. Even as rural afghan society has seen this type of power and have traditional authority. Other hand, other source of power is related to afghan state/ modern state/ bureaucratic system which are also existed in urban area. There are four types of group which is claim its own authority the first one is the traditional authority like Khan which confirm memories and society as described by our grandfather. The second one is the religious authority like Mullah, Alim and Ulama. They are emphasized strict religious practices but here, the village Mullah is different from the Alim because who have not mastered the whole corpus of the law are traditionalist and not fundamentalist. The third one is the representative state like the Nation-state. The emergence of Nation-state founded on secular ideologies may once have seemed to be the root which societies must necessarily take it they were to undergo modernization, rejecting tribalism as a form of primitivism. The fourth one is the radical pressure group like Taliban and Al-Qaeda. This situation in Afghanistan is the cause of Soviet influence. The ethnic diversity and their norms of the afghan people which origin power and identity conflict between rural and urban, tribal and non-tribal etc. Afghan situation is compared to other countries like Iran a traditional society as well as a modern state and Pakistan is religious identities with Nation-state. The transition period of Afghan history reflects the affords and attempt the Afghan monarch to cross over the tribal identity in to a modern Nation-state. The ruler of Amanullah and Habiullah both wanted to brings modernity to cross the tribal identity. The radical Islamist like Rabbani to enjoyed new benefit of power and also take the religious role and authority through bargaining to state.

Daniel Patrick Moynihan “Towards a general theory” tells that what is ethnicity or ethnic group? What are the differences between all ethnic group and new emerging ethnic group? Why the conflicting is occurs within ethnic group and what are the main causes behind the power relations? Why de-socialization is emerged and what is the difference between urban and rural ethnicity setting? How does create Diaspora, ethno-nationalism and duality of ethnicity?

According to Moynihan ethnicity have various terms such as culture, religion, national, linguistic, social etc. we cannot defined as one word. Ethnicity is a sub-group of the society and it is based on cultural tradition and it is running by its inheritance process. This process is based on death and birth. He also tells about survival and new identity. People who loosed on its old identity and getting new identity is called new-ethnicity like melting pot. Moynihan tells that the conflicting occurs within ethnic group is mainly on two causes first is the primordial and the second one is the power relation. Primordial is based on cultural tradition and power relation is based on new- ethnicity as the notion of majority and minority.

Ethnic group is based on the demand for prestige, respect, civil rights, political power and access to economic opportunity. When the state does not fulfill their demands then the group tried to get state hood which is ethno-nationalism, example: Jammu and Kashmir. Other side, some ethnic group played role as an interest group and want to capture politics. According to Moynihan social status which related to two types of norms are in the society such as ascribes and the other is achievistics. This social status depends on availability of the resources. He said that the social stratification which based on success may bring the hierarchy among the group in the society. Success is transformed from achievistic to ascriptive model. Moynihan talks about the group stereotype problem are not in terms of norms but also material wealth. He also talks about reverse discrimination and positive things of group stratification.

Moynihan creates differences between urban and rural ethnicity. Rural ethnicity concern of the culture and urban ethnicity concern of the class. Diaspora role in maintaining the ethnic identity through language etc. example: the American society. He also tells us about duality of ethnicity, example: territorial identity.

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