Given the signal importance of Pakistan to U.S. foreign policy these days, the lack of informed commentary on the country is striking. This book fills a bit of that gap. Haqqani, a journalist and former diplomat, effectively and cogently argues that three key political choices the promotion of religious nationalism, the continual pursuit of a confrontation with India, and an attempt to secure Western (particularly U.S.) support have informed both the domestic and foreign policies of the independent Pakistani state. This analytic framework will not surprise most scholars of Pakistani politics. Haqqani's contribution lies in his careful documentation and use of evidence. One of the political choices on which he focuses religious nationalism may well determine the future of the Pakistani polity, and Haqqani illustrates its deep roots, which preceded the formation of the Pakistani state. The principal architect of Pakistan, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, actively courted the conservative Islamic clergy in an attempt to build support for his cause. The military leadership, which has ruled Pakistan for the bulk of its independent life, continued and expanded on this treacherous policy. The specter of religious radicalism born of this policy haunts Pakistani politics to this day.
"[Husain Haqqani] brings impressive credentials to the task of analyzing his native land, including a personal acquaintanceship with many of the key military and political personalities of the past two decades." Alex Alexiev, Center for Security Policy, Commentary, 12/1/2005
"a notable contribution to scholarship on South Asia" Kapil Gupta, Foreign Service Journal
"In this cogent, well-informed and extraordinarily informative book, Husain Haqqani describes in detail the unholy alliance between Islamists and military officers that has shaped Pakistan's past and may well determine its future. An important and disturbing tale, deftly told." Andrew J. Bacevich, author of THE NEW AMERICAN MILITARISM
"A well-written and authoritative account from someone who knows Pakistani politics from the inside." Peter Bergen, CNN Terrorism Analyst and author of HOLY WAR, INC.
"We are in Husain Haqqani's debt for providing the authoritative account of the linkages between Pakistan's powerful Islamists and its professional army.... This brilliantly researched and written book should be required reading for anyone who wishes to understand this increasingly important state." Stephen P. Cohen, Brookings Institution, and author of THE IDEA OF PAKISTAN
"Husain Haqqani has seen Pakistani politics close up. But his book is much more than a memoir: Haqqaani has produced a provocative and controversial history revealing the depth of the links between the army and the Islamic radicals. Required reading." Owen Bennett-Jones, BBC, and author of PAKISTAN: THE EYE OF THE STORM
"Husain Haqqani has written the most comprehensive account of the role of religion and the army in Pakistan's tangled history. It makes for fascinating and sobering reading. The challenge of maintaining a 'moderate Islamic' identicy at a time of national insecurity and religious passion remains one of the central problems confrontinc any Pakistan government." Teresita Schaffer, CSIS, and former U.S. Ambassador and Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia