Apocalyptic Realm Jihadists in South Asia Dilip Hiro

Publication date:
21 Feb 2012
Yale University Press
320 pages: 234 x 156 x 37mm
8-page black & white section of illustrations

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This hard hitting and timely book explores the roots of militant Islam in South Asia and how it has grown to become a source of profound global alarm. Dilip Hiro tracks the growth of the jihadist movement from its first violent activities in Afghanistan in 1980 to the present day, challenging previous understandings of the roles of the main players in the region - Afghanistan, Pakistan, the U.S., India, and the Soviet Union - and warning that the Line of Control in Kashmir, where jihadists seek to incite war between Pakistan and India, is today the most dangerous border in the world.

With evidence from a full range of sources including newly released Kremlin archives and classified U.S. Embassy documents published by WikiLeaks, the author compiles the first complete and accurate history of Islamist terrorism throughout South Asia. He chronicles the historic links among Pakistan, Afghanistan, and India and sets forth their varying degrees of destabilization at the hands of the jihadists. He sheds fascinating light on such topics as the Al-Qaeda/Taliban alliance while also providing a broad analysis of the impact of international ambitions in the region. Compact, comprehensive, and fast-paced, this book lays bare the causes of today's escalating terrorist threat, corrects historical misunderstandings, and discusses fresh possibilities for breaking the hold of jihadi extremism.

Dilip Hiro is the author of more than 30 books, including After Empire: The Birth of the Multipolar World and Inside Central Asia, listed by the Financial Times as one of the best history books of 2009. He lives in London.

'Dilip Hiro’s new book is a detailed, meticulously researched and felicitously written account of the nature and causes of religious militancy and terrorism in South Asia. It is full of some surprising bits of information and provides an objective and coherent narrative of this troubled region. A most welcome addition to the current literature on the subject.' - Bhikhu Parekh, author of A New Politics of Identity: Political Principles for an Interdependent World

'Over forty years Dilip Hiro has written thirty-odd serious political commentaries, focusing mainly but not exclusively on events in the Middle East and in Central and South Asia. His approach has always been admirably non-partisan and polemic-free. Providing  a compelling context for (amongst other groups) the Taliban, Apocalyptic Realm is a welcome addition to an oustandingly disciplined  body of work.' - Justin Wintle, author of Perfect Hostage: A Life of Aung San Suu Kyi

"Mr. Hiro ought to be commended for attempting to bring a regional lens to a subject too often written about in narrower terms."—Sadanand Dhume, Wall Street Journal