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Paperback Pakistan: Deep Inside the World's Most Frightening State Book

ISBN: 0374532257

ISBN13: 9780374532253

Pakistan: Deep Inside the World's Most Frightening State

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Book Overview

No nation is more critical to U.S. foreign policy than nuclear-armed Pakistan. Wedged between India and Afghanistan, it is the second largest country in the Islamic world. But with militant Islamists... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

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A masterful storyteller paints a picture of Pakistan

Mary Anne Weaver is both a journalist and storyteller. The book is seven different stories that when combined paint a story of Pakistan over the last three decades. Through her interviews with Benazir Bhutto, the tribes in Baluchistan, the Arabic falconers who hunt houbara, the people involved in Kashmir and those involved in the Afghan jihand, Mrs. Weaver gives us both first hand and big picture accounts of this country. She jumps around chronologically in each chapter following the thread of a good story rather than giving a straight historical account. In addition to telling a masterful story, she makes a solid case for how the US, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan created the nemesis of internal Islamic terror in their zeal to confront the Russians in Afghanistan. She shows how Zia Al-Huq and the ISI turned the mainly sectarian conflicts in Afghanistan and Kashmir into holy wars that eventually spread throughout the world. This big picture is constantly interspersed with conversation with many of the key figures that were involved consciously or unwittingly in Pakistan's struggles. In great journalistic fashion she puts a human voice to Pakistan's frustrations and the actors who have created its monsters. This is a great book for understanding this turbulent country that is affecting their entire world.

This report considers its pivotal role in world politics

... This report considers its pivotal role in world politics, blending a history of the country through two decades of eyewitness reporting with portraits of its leaders. An excellent source for seeking an understanding of modern Pakistan.

war everlasting

Christian Science Monitor, Jan. 23, 2003By Ilene PrusherFor those who think that that other war - the one in Afghanistan - is over and done, think again. The characters and currents responsible for triggering the war on terror are as dedicated as they were a year ago, but the more likely battleground for years to come will be next door - in Pakistan, where much of the problem began. That is one of the most important theses colorfully presented by Mary Anne Weaver in "Pakistan: In the Shadow of Jihad and Afghanistan." Drawing on 20 years of reporting excursions in Pakistan and Afghanistan for The New Yorker and other publications, Weaver leads us on an illuminating journey that spans lawless tribal territory and presidential palaces alike. What we see when we look through her lens is a Pakistan more deeply troubled, more closely tied to the Taliban, and more rife with anti-American sentiment than anyone would like to admit.But lest we let ourselves believe that this is all Pakistan's fault, Weaver fleshes out a historical footnote to Al Qaeda that Washington would just as soon forget. Osama bin Laden and friends attracted Islamic militants from around the world and gave them training in Afghanistan with America's help during the cold war. One of "the most startling ironies of today's militant Islamist movement, not just in Pakistan but across the Muslim world," she points out, "is that the great majority of its leaders were funded, armed, and trained - with the same enthusiasm with which they [are] now being pursued - by the United States."Of all the rogues who benefited from Washington's patronage, Weaver says that the one who fared best was Gulbadin Hekmatyar, today considered perhaps the greatest threat to the transitional Afghan government led by Hamid Karzai. During the jihad years, Hekmatyar "received roughly 50 percent of the CIA's arms," Weaver writes, be- cause he was the darling of the ISI - Pakistan's intelligence agency - and the man who ruled Pakistan from the day he seized power in a military coup in 1977 until his mysterious death in a 1988 plane crash: Zia ul-Haq.For readers to whom Zia is a familiar name and for those to whom it is not, Weaver provides a revealing profile of the man who changed the face of Pakistan, and tells us why we should care. It was Zia who claimed to be resurrecting the unrealized dreams of founding father Mohammed Ali Jinnah by "Islamicizing" Pakistan and encouraging the growth of all-Islam, all-the-time education in the madrassahs. He wanted all of Pakistan's laws to conform to the Koran, even if many penalties would not be enforced. And he prioritized the development of Pakistan's then-nascent nuclear weapons program.In this, Weaver also helps us understand why Pakistan's fate is so tied up, for better or worse, with Afghanistan's. Zia - as well as Zulfikar Ali Bhutto before him and every leader of Pakistan - lives in fear that ethnic Pashtuns throughout northwestern Afghanistan will take up arms and dem

Nowhere Else But In This Book

I read everything I can find on India and Pakistan-- novels and non-fiction. This particular non-fiction work collects information about several areas of Pakistan that are hard to find elsewhere. As a writer for the New Yorker, Ms. Weaver has entree into circles closed to most of us. She is able to conduct personal interviews with fascinating people ranging from General Musharraf to Benazir Ali Bhutto to the nawabs, sardars and other colorful and important figures from Balochistan, the Northwest Fronteir and elsewhere. What they tell her is incredible. Each chapter contains jaw-dropping revelations. The chapter on the elite of various Arab countries hunting an endangered bird in Pakistan (where Pakistanis themselves are prevented by law from hunting the same bird) deserves a prize. In fact, I wondered several times whether Ms. Weaver will lose some of her sources as a result of writing this book. The chapter about Prime Minister Sharif trying to prevent Musharaff's plane from landing (thereby giving legitimacy to military intervention and the coup) puts one over the edge with suspense. The chapter on Bhutto leaves one with a sadness over the profound loss of opportunity and questioning whether she ever had a chance. Nowhere have I seen any writing approximating the depth of her analysis of Balochistan and its players. Ms. Weaver puts the pieces together so that one can readily see the different forces at work, pulling the country apart. Read it yourself and see if it doesn't completely captivate you. I hope our State Department and Department of Defense people read this book until they know it cold if they don't already.

UGLIEST TRUTHS about Pakistan

This book is the boldest attempt by Mary Anne to warn the world of the perils of ignoring the present situation in Pakistan.The pakistani economy is in shambles and Islamic extremism is on rise. MMA is in power in 2 states close to Afganistan and helping the residual Taliban agents. They are also trying to enforce Shariah which will push us back. We in Pakistan are being offended everyday by every country and its representatives who come here. This is fueling the extremism and I am afraid that within a few years Pakistan will become afganistan.I was realy offended when I read about the way Anthony Zinni gave Gen. Karamat a 10 minutes notice of the in-coming missiles fired by US warships.The story of Musharaff pushing Pakistan into Kargil war and subsequent defeat of Pakistan is something every Pakistani will be ashamed of. It is also frustrating to know that Mary anne found no positive points such as Pakistan's REMARKABLE ROLE as US ally in War on Terror. Without Pakistani help it would have been very difficult to fight it out.
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