Pakistan continues to wobble.

It’s Another Colonial Failure

As the hybrid state of Pakistan wobbles between dangerous to anarchic and threatens to plunge the world into even more horror;
it is probably worth while trying to understand its history.

Two Pakistani authors; Tariq Ali & Ahmed Rashid with their respective books “The Duel” & “Descent into Chaos”

help expain the background and lead up to todays events; among them the continuation of the Great Game; Inheritance of Colonialism; and the Rise of the Mullah.
Nicholas Schmidle is a young US journalist who spent two years from 2006 living and traveling in Pakistan. He has written an excellent book “To Live or to Perish Forever” which also helps throw light on what is presently happening.

Pakistan has long had a reputation for venal and corrupt politicians since its inception. Pakistan was arrived at by a compromise with boundaries drawn on a map across traditional tribal homelands by diplomats and cartographers far away. It is only surprising that it has lasted as long as it has. In fact it hasn’t as the bloody successionist war of 1971 resulted in the state of Bangladesh.

The paranoia of the military with its hatred of its larger more sucessful eastern neighbour has helped keep Pakistan in an state of permanent undeclared war with India.On the Western border lies the lawless tribal region bordering Afghanistan. Once again  Western political and armed forces are meddling. You would think the British would know better after their unsuccesful Afghan ventures of the C19th. and the Americans should have also learnt from the Russian morass in Afghanistan.
Armed force results in nothing except grief unless there is a greater political force to repair and rebuild the wreckage.
This is argued coherently and brilliantly  by Thomas Barnett in his presentation:
The Pentagon’s new map for war and peace.

The noble sentiments expressed as excuses for stabilizing Afghanistan; democracy; human rights; education; release of women from purdah have degenreated into an unwanted occupation. Peace in Afghanistan rests on peace between India and Pakistan; As Graham Usher points out in The LRB in his article Taliban vs. Taliban The road out of Kabul goes through Kashmir.

Reviews for “The Duel” : Tariq Ali
The Independent
India Today
The Spectator
Guardian

Reviews for “Descent into Chaos” : Ahmed Rashid
Independent
New York Times
Atlantic Free Press

Reviews for “To Live or to Perish Forever” : Nicholas Schmidle
New York Times
Five Rupees blogspot


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