Pakistan: Between Mosque and Military by Husain Haqqani
Perhaps the most significant reverberations of the suicide bombings in London this past July were felt in far-off Islamabad. After it became known that three of the perpetrators were originally from Pakistan, and that two of them had recently spent time “studying” in Islamist institutions there, Pakistan’s president, Pervez Musharraf, publicly admitted that he had not done much, if anything, to live up to his solemn commitment after 9/11 to curtail his country’s extensive networks of hate-preaching madrassas and jihadist organizations. The lapse, Musharraf now explained, was the result of a lack of power; nevertheless, this time he promised to get the job done. As peculiar as was this mea culpa on the part of a military dictator normally given to bravado, it may also have been to some extent sincere. But Musharraf’s vacillations have had little to do with an insufficiency of power. Rather, the constraints operating on Pakistan’s leader are those of a system of which he is at once prime mover and subject. To understand these constraints is to understand why, four years after 9/11, Pakistan remains a major breeding ground of Islamist fanaticism and terror. For gaining a grasp of the situation and its implications for the United States, there may be no better place to begin than Pakistan: Between Mosque and Military. As its title implies, this book is largely a study of the evolving relationship between the military and Islam from the very inception of the Pakistani state. Its author, Husain Haqqani, is a journalist and scholar now living in self-imposed exile in the United States; he 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.
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