SAGE Publishing has released Masood Khalini’s Whispers of Wars: An Afghan Freedom Fighter’s Account of the Soviet Invasion. Launch of the book in New Delhi was flanked by a host of eminent guests comprising Shakti Sinha, president, Nehru Memorial Museum & Library as moderator alongside IP Khosla, member secretary, Indian Council for South Asian Co-operation and former Indian ambassador to Afghanistan; Dr Vishal Chandra, research fellow, Institute for Defense Study and Analyses and among other dignitaries.

In Whispers of Wars, author Masood Khalini narrates his first-hand account of Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. In the summer of 1986, he was barely 30 and he kept a diary while travelling through northern Afghanistan. That record has yielded this elegiac book on the Afghan people in the midst of their war of resistance against the then Soviet Union. But Whispers of War is a memoir, not a diary of self. It is a group portrait of the Afghan nation and its diverse, resilient culture in a season of extreme pressure. Masood’s journey in the book unfolds with conversations and eyewitness encountered with farmers, refugees, horsemen, villagers, and commanders.

“I encountered the pain of war through extraordinary voices—children lost to random gunfire, volunteer fighters suffering from wounds that cannot be treated properly and many such agonies,” said Masood, recalling the anguish that still lingers in his mind. Whispers of War offers an additional corrective, step by step, day by day as the book’s journey carries the humane heart of Afghanistan, to its suffering, beauty, poetry, and aspirations for peace. Masood, son of the famous Persian poet laureate Ustad Khalilullah Khalili, had reportedly spent five years in India and studied at Kirori Mal College of Delhi University in the seventies.



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