"Pakistan is the most dangerous country in the world...Yet most Americans don't realize how much of the Pakistani peril is our own fault. The Duel ... should be read for an understanding of, first, what role America has played in creating this dangerous mix and, second, why many Pakistanis see us as responsible for their problems." The Washington Post
The Duel: Pakistan on the Flight Path of American Powerby Tariq Ali
Now in paperback, from a writer with unrivalled access and knowledge, a riveting portrait of America’s closest ally in the war on terror as it spirals into political chaos.The sixth most populous country in the world, Pakistan is the only Islamic state to have nuclear weapons. Its border with Afghanistan extends over 1,000 miles and is the likely hideout of
Now in paperback, from a writer with unrivalled access and knowledge, a riveting portrait of America’s closest ally in the war on terror as it spirals into political chaos.The sixth most populous country in the world, Pakistan is the only Islamic state to have nuclear weapons. Its border with Afghanistan extends over 1,000 miles and is the likely hideout of Osama bin Laden. Yet it is the linchpin in the United States’ war on terror, receiving over $10 billion of American aid since 2001 and purchasing more than $5 billion of U.S. weaponry in 2006 alone.
With unilateral incursions into Pakistan by U.S. troops pursuing Taliban fighters, and surveys indicating that more than seventy percent of Pakistanis fear America as a military threat, relations between the two countries remain tense. The scion of a famous Punjabi political family, with extraordinary contacts inside the country and internationally, Tariq Ali has long been acknowledged as a leading commentator on Pakistan. In The Duel, he combines deep understanding of the country’s history with extensive firsthand research and unsparing political judgment to weigh the prospects of those contending for power today.
The Washington Post
In his latest examination of Pakistan, Ali (Conversations with Edward Said) takes on the role of political storyteller. The turbulent Pakistani political landscape is both the setting and the protagonist in this study of a country in crisis. Spanning the rule of Pakistan's founder, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, to the Bhutto dynasty and Pervez Musharraf's military control, this work is less an analysis of Pakistan-U.S. relations than a tale of the Pakistani people's struggle for political autonomy and representation. Much like an embedded reporter who becomes a part of his story, Ali is not simply a recorder of events. As an active participant in many of Pakistan's internal political struggles, he cannot separate himself from the living history of his home country. His incisive scholarship on Pakistan's inception and subsequent leadership is peppered with personal anecdotes, biting commentary, and forcefully opinionated prose, effectively demonstrating that objectivity is not a necessary precursor to insightful analysis. Although the storytelling sometimes suffers from chronological breaks and the occasional tangent, Ali's passion for Pakistan and its political future ultimately makes his book an engaging (and often enraging) political story. Recommended for academic libraries.
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Meet the Author
Writer, journalist and film-maker Tariq Ali was born in Lahore and was educated at Oxford University, where he was president of the Oxford Union (a position subsequently occupied by Benazir Bhutto). He was a prominent leader of opposition to the war in Vietnam. Today he writes regularly for a range of publications including The Guardian, The Nation and The London Review of Books and is on the editorial board of New Left Review. He has written more than a dozen books including non-fiction such as Can Pakistan Survive? The Clash of Fundamentalisms, Bush in Babylon and Pirates of the Caribbean, and fiction including Shadows of the Pomegranate Tree, The Stone Woman and A Sultan in Palermo, as well scripts for both stage and screen. He lives in London.
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