This book examines the rise of religious extremism in Pakistan, particularly since 1947, and analyzes its connections to the Pakistani army's corporate interests and U.S.-Pakistan relations. It includes profiles of leading Pakistani militant groups with details of their origins, development, and capabilities. The author begins with an historical overview of the introduction of Islam to the Indian sub-continent in 712 AD, and brings the story up to the present by describing President Musharraf's handling of the war on terror. He provides a detailed account of the political developments in Pakistan since 1947 with a focus on the influence of religious and military forces. He also discusses regional politics, Pakistan's attempt to gain nuclear power status, and U.S.-Pakistan relations, and offers predictions for Pakistan's domestic and regional prospects.
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Hassan Abbas, a former police officer from Pakistan, is currently a Research fellow at the Harvard Law School and a PhD. candidate at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, USA. His articles have been published in leading Pakistani and U.S. newspapers.From Publishers Weekly:
Nuclear, unstable, fundamentalist, Islamic—these adjectives are often used in frightening combination when the media turns to the topic of modern-day Pakistan, a critical but volatile ally in the fight to eradicate al Qaeda. With the sensibilities of both an insider and a scholar, Abbas, a Harvard fellow and former officer in President Pervez Musharraf’s anti-corruption police force, adds an important measure of sophistication to the popular understanding of Pakistan’s dangers and dysfunctions. His detailed analysis works through the country’s complicated history, starting in 1947 with the wrenching partition of British colonial India and ending with today’s impoverished, graft-addled government, which seems closer to falling into a maelstrom of religious radicalism every day. An important thread running through this history is the way American foreign policy—at times misguided or self-serving—magnified Pakistan’s homegrown ills. During the early 1980s, for instance, Pakistan’s pro-Western popular opinion appeared rock solid. "Only indifference, myopia and incompetence of flawless pedigree could have reversed this," Abbas writes. "But Pakistan and the United States would combine to produce the missing ingredient"—a policy of statewide "Islamization" orchestrated by Pakistan’s then leader, General Zia Ul-Haq, and amplified by Washington’s parallel support of the anti-Soviet mujahideen movement. Abbas offers valuable descriptions of today’s most active jihadi movements in Pakistan. More importantly, he shows how the Kashmir conflict, South Asia’s most aggravated political wound, has come to express numerous, overlapping national humiliations—often underestimated by Washington and exploited by Islamabad. "If Pakistan is to be saved from its future," Abbas concludes, "It must start by coming to a sincere accommodation with India over Kashmir."
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