Waziristan, a region on the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, has in recent years become a flash point in the so-called ‘War on Terror’. Hugh Beattie looks at the history of this region, examining British attempts to manage the tribes from 1849 until Pakistan’s declaration of independence in 1947. He explores British attempts to divide the frontier region into separate British and Afghan spheres of influence. In the minds of British policymakers, this demarcation would secure the position of the Empire, and so Beattie highlights the various policy initiatives towards the frontier region over the period in question. Crucially, he analyses how the British perceived the local tribes, what constituted authority within tribal frameworks, and the military and political ramifications of these perceptions. As he also explores the contemporary relevance of this region, taking into account the resurgence of the Taliban in Waziristan, Beattie’s analysis is vital for those interested in the history and security implications of the Afghan frontier with Pakistan.
Empire and Tribe in the Afghan Frontier Region Custom, Conflict and British Strategy in Waziristan until 1947