Islamists, Leftists – and a Void in the Center.
Afghanistan's Political Parties and where they come from (1902-2006)
Thomas Ruttig presents a piece of work that is truly remarkable and unique in various regards. It is far more than a mere enumeration and characterization of political parties in Afghanistan, but rather an abstract of Afghan history with a particular focus on the development of organised political movements.
The essay "Afghanistan's Political Parties and where they come from" analyses the stream of political groupings and parties, neatly intertwining it with political events and developments in the course of the decades.
Using his knowledge of both Dari and Pashto, the author also introduces us to the emerging Afghan literature on this subject. Thus, he provides the reader with a deep and detailed insight into prevailing structures and determinants of political life in Afghanistan. Furthermore, his paper makes us aware that the history of an Afghanistan striving for political pluralism and democracy does certainly not begin only after the fall of the Taliban regime five years ago. This should broaden our knowledge of potential partners, who still are too often overlooked, in our common effort to build a peaceful Afghanistan.
Afghanistan, November 27, 2006