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Human Rights, Democracy and Governance by ActionAid Asia ActionAid International Asia

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7

The Rise of Regionalism

For Europe, West Asia and Central Asia, Afghanistan has been the gateway to Southasia for millennia. Traders, invaders, scholars and migrants moved eastwards through the rugged terrain of fiercely independent tribes living together in these frontiers. In Southasian perception, Afghanistan has always had the image of being a frontier—in ‘the edge of land where people live and have built towns, beyond which the country is wild and unknown’ sense of the term. But whatever happens in Afghanistan invariably affects all of Southasia in due course of time.

Even by Afghan standards—where violence has not been frowned upon to settle family, tribal or group scores—the late seventies were tumultuous. Uncertainties had begun with ...

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