By Angelo Rasanayagam

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Before the British held their referendum, the NWFP cabinet had voted to join India. It is possible that Indian Congress leaders had promised Pashtun autonomy within an indepeildent India. As the British journalist George Arney pointed out, Pashtunistan meant different things to different people: T o Ghaffar Khan, it may well have carried spiritual overtones. He had devoted his life, not just to independence, but to the moral regeneration of a people racked by blood feuds, bribery, fanlily disputes and degrading social customs.

In the tradition of Montesquieu in his Lettres persanes, or of Voltaire who, in the guise of observations on foreign countries based on the accounts of the ubiquitous Jesuit missionaries of his day, obliquely satirized the monarchical and despotic France of the ancien regime, Tarzi used the device of a young Turkish liberal who spoke his mind concerning his experiences of the Ottoman bureaucracy. The manuscript was passed from hand to hand and published in 1915, when it was recognized as a plea for social justice in Muslim countries.

Men were ordered to wear wide-brimmed hats, 'a device that was singularly designed to obstruct the rituals of Muslim prayer', as one writer said. Reza Shah had at his command a strong army and a subservient, centralized bureaucracy. While Amanullah was making his grand tour, photographs of Queen Soraya, unveiled and wearing evening dress at European state receptions, were circulated in Afghanistan, arousing the wrath of the mullahs. ^ After his return to Kabul in July 1928 Amanullah announced a series of reforms before a loya jirga composed of the country's leading tribal and religious leaders.

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