Nov 5, 2021 • 34M

Benazir's dream and the Taliban

What did Benazir's desire for a natural gas pipeline from Turkmenistan to Pakistan have to do with the rise of the Taliban? Sudarshan Garg and I talk about it in this episode.

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Shaunak Agarkhedkar
Espionage& narrates famous and not-so-famous stories of real spies from around the world. This podcast complements an espionage-focused Substack at
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The Soviet Union withdrew from Afghanistan, and Pakistan went hard at Mohammad Najibullah’s government. After aid from the Soviet Union dried up in 1992-1993, the Najibullah regime fell, leading to the Afghan Civil War. This set the conditions for Benazir Bhutto and Maj Gen Naseerullah Babar (retd.) to fuel the rise of the Taliban.

Benazir Bhutto (L) and Naserullah Babar (centre)

Sudarshan Garg joins me to talk about the conditions that resulted in the rise of the Taliban.

Previous episodes in this series

Panjshir, Afghanistan: Resistance then and now
Listen now (82 min) | Sudarshan Garg (@SudsG5 on Twitter) joins me for a freewheeling, historically grounded discussion about Afghanistan. We look at the anti-Taliban resistance led by Ahmad Massoud and Amrullah Saleh in the Panjshir Valley today and compare it with Ahmad Shah Massoud’s legendary resistance, first against the USSR and then…
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The end of the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan
Listen now (27 min) | The Soviet Union withdrew its troops from Afghanistan by 15 February 1989, with their commander General Boris Gromov leading the last units across the Friendship Bridge over the Amu Darya river. What they left behind was an Afghan government of Mohammad Najibullah Ahmadzai. The ISI and the CIA…
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You might also enjoy reading my spy novels: Let Bhutto Eat Grass & Let Bhutto Eat Grass: Part 2 deal with nuclear weapons espionage in 1970s India, Pakistan, and Europe.