Harrison focuses on Afghanistan's "shadow"-neighboring Baluchistan. He gives a detailed history of the Baluch nationalist movement in Pakistan (where the overwhelming majority [3.65 million] of the Baluch live), and in Iran (one million). Only about 90,000 are native to the border areas of southern Afghanistan. The author also considers Moscow's "Baluch card" and concludes that the Kremlin's attitude toward Baluch separatism has been ambivalent because the Soviets still believe that there is a reasonable chance to replace the Zia regime in Pakistan and the Islamic fundamentalist government in Iran with more compliant regimes.
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