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The Development of Literacy and the Conflict of Powers among Pashtuns on the Eve of State Formation

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Based on original sources, the paper gives a brief account of how the development of literacy and learning served first the legitimisation and then the conflict of powers within the Pashtun tribal society in the times preceding the foundation of the first Afghan state in 1747. The author discusses two main zones of social and political conflicts: between competing religious communities headed by tribal spiritual authorities, on the one hand, and between spiritual leaders and tribal military-administrative rulers, on the other.


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