Advertisement
Tuesday, Dec 07, 2021
Outlook.com
Review

A Nation On The Unmake

Two seasoned journos extend a sympathetic but an eyes-wide-open look at Pakistan

A Nation On The Unmake
A Nation On The Unmake
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Lest this seem like familiar Indian propaganda, it is a picture that emerges from the books under review, written by individuals long familiar with Pakistan and broadly sympathetic to it, though with eyes wide open. Both are journalists who have gone uncommonly deep into their subject. In sometimes overlapping accounts, each has much to say and together they provide an arresting account of today's Pakistan.

Jones sets out to write a history, and his is a more structured effort. He looks at the sense of insecurity vis-a-vis India that affected Pakistan from the start and that leads to a constant quest for offsetting friendships. Hence its tangled tie with America. Also afflicting it from the start are the problems of governance that have repeatedly led to army intervention. Jones takes a cool look at the army, politically dominant but always unsuccessful in war, its generals unable to think through the consequences of the actions they initiate. Kargil is a case in point, where the tactics were smart but hopelessly inadequate, decision-making meant there was no exit plan from the inevitable trouble to follow. Unanswered questions like the role of Islam and Kashmir remain salient, the regions pull apart, the nation's structure is brittle. Democracy has been undermined by the agencies that should have held it together: civil service, judiciary, politicians, army, intelligence. The army rank-and-file is becoming radicalised. It is a sombre picture.

Advertisement

Outlook Newsletters

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Read More from Outlook

Nagaland Ambush: Clamour Grows For Revocation Of AFSPA As Death Toll Touches 15

Nagaland Ambush: Clamour Grows For Revocation Of AFSPA As Death Toll Touches 15

Nagaland civilian killings are likely to derail the peace process at a time when New Delhi was fast-tracking talks with several political groups in the insurgency-hit region.

Putin Sends Out A Strong Message By Coming For A In-Person Meeting With PM Modi

Putin Sends Out A Strong Message By Coming For A In-Person Meeting With PM Modi

Prime Minister Modi and Vladimir Putin have a clear vision of the India-Russia relations and are unlikely to be battered by ties with third countries (China-Russia or India-US).

How To Regain Ashes? KP Has Few Tips For Root’s England

How To Regain Ashes? KP Has Few Tips For Root’s England

England’s Test record in Australia is abysmal – nine defeats in the last 10 matches. The Three Lions last won the Ashes in 2011.

Article 370: Can Farooq Abdullah Save His Father Sheikh Abdullah's Political Legacy In J&K?

Article 370: Can Farooq Abdullah Save His Father Sheikh Abdullah's Political Legacy In J&K?

National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah paid tributes to his father Sheikh Abdullah on his birth anniversary in Srinagar.

Advertisement