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Shadow War: The Untold Story of Jihad in Kashmir [Hardcover]

Arif Jamal
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

May 19 2009

For nearly sixty years, India and Pakistan have battled over the territory of Kashmir. The two nuclear-armed states have fought three bloody wars in the region, but the countries have also fought in the shadows.

Having interviewed nearly a thousand militants in war-torn Kashmir, Arif Jamal presents a news-breaking account of Pakistan's secret battles with India. From the early 1980s, when the Kashmiri conflict lurked in the background of the CIA's proxy war in Afghanistan, to the eruption of insurgent violence in 1988, to recent Kashmiri connections to terrorist financing and training, Jamal brings much to light.

Jamal reveals that the Pakistani military has trained nearly half a million insurgents and, as a matter of defense policy, continued the conflict at great human cost. He also shows how CIA money destined for the Afghan mujahideen was funneled to Kashmiri jihadis, leading to a twenty-year insurgency rarely discussed in Western media.

A contributing writer to The New York Times, Arif Jamal is currently a fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard University. A leading Pakistani reporter, he has written for the Pakistan Times, The News, and international media such as Radio France International and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Melville House; First Edition Thus edition (May 19 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 193363359X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933633596
  • Product Dimensions: 3 x 15.3 x 22 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 522 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #451,992 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

A contributing writer to the New York Times, Arif Jamal is currently a fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights policy at Harvard. He has written for The Pakistan Times, The News, Radio France International, and the CBC.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By MD
Format:Hardcover
Militant insurgencies in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the Central Asian republics represent one the most important challenges in global security today. The tendency of the Pakistani military and ISI to use Islamic terrorism as an instrument of foreign policy is at the heart of the problem, yet there is paucity of well researched, concise information on the matter. Hence I was greatly anticipating the new book from Pakistani journalist Arif Jamal, some of whose articles I had previously read.

Shadow War was an excellent read. Indeed, I finished it in two sittings. In the introduction, Jamal describes the manner in which he sourced and verified his information. He spent hundreds of hours interviewing Kashmiri militants over eleven years(who struck me as surprisingly liberal with information given the activities they are involved in). He also used a wealth of secondary sources. He then goes on to paint a fascinating picture of the how several generations of Pakistani military, political, and intelligence officials used jihadi violence as a strategy to wrest Jammu and Kashmir from India and absorb it into Pakistan. In the process, Kashmiri society, which largely avoided communal riots at Partition, was convulsed into brutal violence, rising fundamentalism and communalism, and the flight of nearly the entire Hindu population from the Valley.

The book does not give much cause for optimism, but it is essential reading for those interested in learning more about this important conflict. Certainly those officials designing America's South Asia policy the new Obama administration would do well to read this book!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.4 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Brief Primer on Kashmir April 28 2011
By Michael Griswold - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Shadow War is a brief primer on Kashmir conflict and the interrelated links between the ISI and various jihadi groups waging jihad throughout the Kashmir region, but I can't help but feeling that something is missing. The story revolves around Pakistan with far few mentions of India. Further I was a little disappointed, the book really picks up in the second half when discussing the interplay between the ISI, Musharaff, and jihadi groups, but at points it feels like an exercise in alphabet soup keeping the names of the jihadi groups straight and the leaders and defections, I felt like many sections could've been fleshed out deeper than basic factual surface information, but that would've made the book longer, taking away its' brevity. Good for a start on the Kashmir problem, but for depth look elsewhere.
5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent June 16 2009
By haru - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Easy to read and understand. Very bold and brave. Deep insights and revealing information about Pakistani Army, ISI and terror organizations.
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Decent Book on Kashmir problem Jan. 2 2011
By Myo Maw Aye - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
A Decent Book on kashmir problem even though it is not my favourite book. You can see how complicated kashmir problem is by reading this book.
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Frankinstien Revisited Sept. 28 2011
By Clark Prasad - Published on Amazon.com
The book will not find any things surprising for people from India as India has been a victim of a proxy war. Though India has its share of misadventure in the past in the same area, its the scale which Pakistan is still conducting is the thing to worry about. The recent Haqanni network-Admiral Mullen disucssion has sparked the debate. If the world needs peace in long run this network has not to be stopped but crushed. There is a new axis of evil in town, but its the people of Pakistan to decide what they want.
In this book the details of General Zia and discussion around Kargil is interesting. Musharraf did try the misadventure in 1999 but the full scale war was avoided.
Do read this to know how it all started.
Suraj aka Clark Prasad
4 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading for anyone interested in that region July 26 2009
By Omar N. Ali - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
A very good summary of how Pakistan became jihad central. Arif says that the army has managed to train about half a million terrorists. I see no reason to doubt his figures, so buckle up for a rough ride...
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