Project Khorasan: Rebuild & Re-Integrate Central Asia by AL ANsar Ul Haq.
We live in exponential times, everything as you know is changing, financial institutes, IT (Cloud), services all becoming heterogenous and consolidated, is this globalisation or is it consolidation. Even at a nation level to move forward you can no longer be a lone power but confederates, unions, blocks, trade agreements essentially a consolidation of regional resources, labour, infrastructure and then sharing amongst each other, thus building a more integrated framework. This is nothing new it has happened for years under empires but today we can exist autonomous and independence and enjoy the benefits of empires but as equals, the greatest modern example is Europe. However the rest of the world have lived within an anomaly through the facade of The Cold War, the US capitalised and controlled regions and held a monopoly without even conquering each and every region. Facades are great as long as the culprit remains masked and the wider public remain oblivious and confused, thankfully today people are wiser.
Nations of tomorrow must exist in blocks for prosperity, development and security and Central Asia should be the beginning of where this begins. Central Asian states must first come free from the legacy of european imperialism and the cold war and understand their rich and shared common history. A history that should not worry the Chinese and Russia because a rich and vibrant connected central asia benefits them more so anyone else.
Central Asian states are very similar and need to reclaim their common history and only then can they move forward and appreciate the legacy of that great history. Our common history begins long ago since the dawn of man, when men organised themselves and set forward to trade amongst communities and build civilisations and amny great civilisations were born. I title this project, project Khorasan because this is the story of the greatest era in the history of the vibrant Central Asian era. Through this common knowledge and history of Khorasan central Asia shares avery strong historic, cultural, geographic, linguistic, ethnic, security and commerce bond that needs to once again be re-created.
What is Khorasan.
Khorasan was a great Central Asian empire that began in the the last eastern province of the Persian Empire. In Persian it is defined as “lands of the rising sun” a term we are all very familiar with for a rich, strong, mystical East. The great Khorasani emperor the father of the last Khorasani Empire – The Mughal Empire, Emperor Babur wrote in his memoirs that the people and kingdoms beyond the East of the Indus ( Modern name India ), beyond the Punjab referred to anyone of the Indus and beyond as Khorasanis. The people of the Ganges basin and more central Hind referred to 2 focal points on their travels or engagements with the people of Khorasan. They wrote “On the road between Hind and Khorasan, there are two great aggregate points / cities one being Qabul & the other Qandahar. Even in those ancient times as known by the letters of Alexander to his mother these people were very well known as a civilised people but also extremely fierce.
This is the focal point of Khorasan, the heart of Khorasan what is known as Afghanistan today but the borders are vast going deep into the Oxus and touching the Caspian Basin to the heights of the Everest and down to the warm waters of the Arabian Sea. Here lived a plethora of people, skilled merchants, warriors, horse riders, nation builders with a vast rich history and often in conflict linked to trade. When the Persian Empire fell to The Muslims and these lands adopted the faith of Islam, they spiritually became one, linked by a common bond and it is here that we saw rise of great cities and great strength of this region. The modern heartlands of this region are as follows;
During various periods in history these borders encroached deep across the Caspian basin. The Seljuk Turks too were from this region and when they conquered Byzantine they encroached deep into the Baltic States and into Eastern Europe known formerly as the Ottoman Empire. On the Eastern front of Khorasan the Mughals crossed deep east across The Indus and had influence right across the Asia Pacific and to the north on the borders of Russia and to the greater East into China. Part of the Islamic civilisation commonly known as the northern crescent of the Islamic civilisation, it was a great, rich and vibrant region. The largest part of the ancient Khorasan was what is known today as Afghanistan. The present day cities of these modern countries would give a better idea of the geographical spread of ancient Khorasan, these wre great rich and powerful cities. The cities of Nishapur and Tus in Iran.
Herat, Balkh, Ghazni, Qabul, Khujandh, Panjakandh, Merv, Sanjan, Samarqandh, Bukhara, Pekhawar, Balochistan, Zabulistan and many more.
This was not only a myriad of people but great civilisations that had a common history and geography. I am not calling for a confederation and a dilution of power to once central region. I propose that these cities rise again as being very rich and vibrant linked through road and rails to the wider region to Moscow, to Ankara, to Beijing, to Islamabad.
This will become a great interlocutor of commerce, trade and the great trade routes of the past can once more emerge and help build a prosperoud, strong region. Even in a Brookings report it was discussing the potential of Central Asia as becoming the hub of trade, industry and opportunity.
“Central Asia has assumed a new role in the era of globalization: During the 19th Century the imperial powers Great Britain and Russia saw the region as the prize of their “Great Game”; during the 20th Century it was the backyard of the Soviet Union, neglected by the rest of the world; today it is the hub of economic integration of the super-continent of Eurasia, home to the most rapidly growing economies of the globe”. Johannes Linn, Brookings Scholar and Special Adviser to the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation Program (CAREC), .
Central Asia has always been a prize for outsiders in modern terms America, previously the Soviets and The Europeans very keen to always keep a foot hold in this historic region. Surely it makes sense for the nations of this region to then come together and integrate for a common good rather be exploited by outsiders.
“For example, intense attention is now focused on developing and creating access to the energy resources of the region, especially the oil and gas reserves of the Caspian Basin. Russia is interested in maintaining its transport monopoly and preferential access to Central Asia’s oil and gas. Europe and the US want to see more diversified energy transport routes towards the west through Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey. China is looking to develop the pipeline infrastructure towards the east, and India and Pakistan are eager to tap Central Asia’s energy resources towards the south. Central Asian countries compete for limited water resources as upstream countries (Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan) want to develop their headwaters for hydro power, while downstream countries (Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan) want to ensure maximum use of water for their vast irrigation schemes”.
Article | November 29, 2007 – Brookings
With the end of the Afghanistan war the region needs to look at how to create an opportunity one that is inclusive for all nations, faiths and ethnicities that exist acros this region. Engage China and Russia but a common consensus must be agreed on how to build this region, I call it Project Khorasan