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Durham University

School of Government & International Affairs

Staff Profile

Publication details for Professor Shaun Gregory

Gregory, Shaun (2013). Pakistan: Security Perspectives on Afghanistan. In The Regional Dimensions to Security: Other Sides of Afghanistan. Snetkov, Aglaya & Aris, Stephen Houndsmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan. 61-82.

Author(s) from Durham

Abstract

It is doubtful that many in the West paid much attention to the reinterring of the body of the Afghan poet Ustad Khalilullah Khalili on 30 May 2012, in a quiet corner of the Kabul University campus.2 His body had been moved, at the request of Afghan president Hamid Karzai, from its previous resting place in Peshawar in Pakistan, as part of an ongoing process of Afghan national cultural reassertion. The life and work of Khalili — like that of Allama Mohammed Iqbal, Abdul Rahman Baba and others before them — ought to have been more widely observed, because it holds an important lesson. While for the West, the “Af-Pak” relationship is predominantly viewed through the lens of contemporary security preoccupations, for the leaderships and peoples of Afghanistan and Pakistan those preoccupations are an important, but transitory element of a far deeper and more complex relationship woven from cultural, historical, economic, ethnic, religious and tribal kinship threads. It is a relationship, furthermore, from which neither party has the option of strategic withdrawal.

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