7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
fine book describing the nature and origins of the current crisis in Pakistan,
This review is from: The Duel: Pakistan on the Flight Path of American Power (Hardcover)
I heartily recommend this book to everyone for the light it sheds on the relationship between the West and Pakistan. Ali's style is very accessible and his affection for the Pakistani people if not their inveterately corrupt leaders is clear. Detailing the reasons for the birth of Pakistan from British India - essentially the fears of Indian Muslems that they would not have any jobs or influence in the independent India, Ali goes on to explain the reasons for the numerous military dictatorships in Pakistan and the Pakistani military's embrace of the new imperial power in the region, the US. The duel is now, as it always has been, between the ordinary people and their corrupt, parasitical ruling class, which, with the support of the US has armed and funded militant Islam to the hilt to keep itself in power. The way that this impacted on Cold War politics eg the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan is well covered.
Also the tragic splitting of East and West Pakistan, and the attendant genocidal attack on the Bengali people, about which I am ashamed to say, I knew virtually nothing, is examined and discussed.
The author knows or knew personally many of the key players in Pakistan, including Benazir Bhutto. He also has a nice sense of humor, as well as an appreciation of some of the great poets of the region which he shares with us in this most rounded and insightful analysis.