Business as usual – instability in Pakistan

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 and Ahmed Rashid with their respective books “The Duel” & “Descent into Chaos” help expain the background  and events leading up to todays instability; among them the continuation of the Great Game; Inheritance of Colonialsm; and the Rise of the Mullah.

The country has  had a reputation for venality and corruption politicians since its inception in 1947. A state with its  boundaries drawn on a map across traditional tribal homelands by diplomats and cartographers far away; it is only surprising that Pakistan has lasted as long as it has. In fact it hasn’t as the bloody secessionist 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. The British should know better after their unsuccesful Afghan ventures of the 19th century, and the Americans should have 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

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

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