Frontline Pakistan: The Struggle with Militant Islam / Edition 1

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Overview

After September 11, 2001, Pakistan's president, Pervez Musharraf, vowed to fight extremism in his country and has since established himself as a key ally in America's "global war on terror." But as veteran Pakistani journalist and commentator Zahid Hussain reveals in this book, Musharraf is in an impossible position. The Pakistani army and intelligence services are thoroughly penetrated by jihadists. In fact, the current government came into power through its support of radical Islamist groups, such as those fighting in Kashmir.

Based on exclusive interviews with key players and grassroots radicals, Hussain exposes the threads of Pakistan's complex political power web and the consequences of Musharraf's decision to support the U.S.'s drive against jihadism, which essentially took Pakistan to war with itself. He recounts the origins and nature of the jihadi movement in Pakistan and Afghanistan, the long-standing and often denied links between militants and Pakistani authorities, the weaknesses of successive elected governments, and the challenges to Musharraf's authority posed by politico-religious, sectarian, and civil society elements within the country.

The jihadi madrassas of Pakistan are incubators of the most feared terrorists in the world. Osama bin Laden himself is believed to be hiding close to the Pakistani border. Although the country's "war on terror" has so far been a stage show, a very real battle is looming, the outcome of which will have grave implications for the future security of the world.

Columbia University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Foreign Affairs
This book, by a veteran Pakistani journalist, offers a detailedand persuasive account of the received wisdom on Pakistan since 9/11: that General Pervez Musharraf's government, responding to a virtual ultimatum from Washington, agreed to join the U.S.-led campaign against "international terror." This volte-face was not popular with elements in the army, especially the intelligence services, or with the many varieties of Pakistani Islamists, from moderate to radical, or, for that matter, with the many Pakistanis who oppose the coup-created and authoritarian government of Musharraf. In the ongoing war on terrorism at home and abroad, his government has done less than Washington has wanted but more than most Pakistanis wished. Even a sharp economic upturn, in part because of the volte-face, has not sufficed to strengthen Musharraf's hand at home. Islamists, increasingly better organized, have gained in recent elections, and Pakistani areas bordering on Afghanistan have been turned over to tribal chiefs, making them a safe haven for the Taliban. Musharraf, the author concludes, is "living on borrowed time." This bleak conclusion, which does not seem to be part of Washington's received wisdom, cries out for consideration.
India Today
This book continues the excellent Pakistani journalistic tradition of writing contemporary history.

— Manvendra Singh

Foreign Affairs
[Hussain] offers a detailed and persuasive account of the received wisdom on Pakistan since 9/11.

— Carl Brown

Desicritics.org
A wonderful read that deserves to be read. Written in a dramatic narrative style, the book combines the virtues of being a compulsive page-turner with being informative.

— Vivek Balaraman

Choice

Hussain lucidly articulates the challenges and limitations faced by Musharraf... Highly Recommended.

Wall Street Journal Asia
[A] nuanced view of the political forces at work... It's a cautionary tale with lessons for other Asian countries.

— Mary Kissel and Hugo Restall

India Today - Manvendra Singh

This book continues the excellent Pakistani journalistic tradition of writing contemporary history.

Foreign Affairs - Carl Brown

[Hussain] offers a detailed and persuasive account of the received wisdom on Pakistan since 9/11.

Desicritics.org - Vivek Balaraman

A wonderful read that deserves to be read. Written in a dramatic narrative style, the book combines the virtues of being a compulsive page-turner with being informative.

Wall Street Journal Asia - Mary Kissel and Hugo Restall

[A] nuanced view of the political forces at work... It's a cautionary tale with lessons for other Asian countries.

Choice

Hussain lucidly articulates the challenges and limitations faced by Musharraf... Highly Recommended.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231142243
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 2/20/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Zahid Hussain is the Pakistan correspondent for the Times of London, the Wall Street Journal, and Newsweek.

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents


Preface     vii
Acknowledgements     xi
Prologue: Pakistan against Itself     1
Pakistan's Unholy Alliance: The Militants and the Military     12
Volte-Face     33
Inside Jihad: Army of the Pure     51
Nursery for Jihad     76
The Conflict Within     89
Kashmir: A General on a Tightrope     102
The War Comes Home: Al-Qaeda in Pakistan     119
The Tribal Warriors     141
Rogue in the Ranks: The Nuclear Black Market     154
The Siege Within: The Return of the Mullahs     172
Fault Lines     185
Timeline     193
Notes     199
Index     215
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