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‘The Students’

A “must-read” for foreign policy planners and practitioners in the subcontinent and elsewhere.

‘The Students’
Talibanisation Of Pakistan: From 9/11 To 26/11
By Amir Mir
Pentagon Press | 422 pages | Rs 995

Pakistan’s sincerity in dealing with terrorists operating from its soil has always been a subject of speculation. The doubts remain despite the Pakistani army’s operation in South Waziristan against the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan. The outcome is difficult to predict. But few are certain whether the taming of the TTP will bring an end to terrorist activities in Pakistan. As India prepares for some serious stocktaking on the first anniversary of 26/11, concerns remain about the possibility of similar terrorist attacks being launched from Pakistan in the future.

Pakistani journalist Amir Mir shows how “Talibanisation” began with President Zia-ul-Haq and continued to flourish even under the man who joined America’s war on “global terror”—General Pervez Musharraf. Describing the terrorist outfits—particularly those involved in Kashmir and elsewhere in India—as the “civilian face of the Pakistani army”, Mir details the nexus between these terror organisations, the Taliban/Al Qaeda network and the Pakistani intelligence agencies.

Starting from the preparation and planning of the Mumbai attack to the current fight against the Pakistani army in South Waziristan, Mir takes us through the long journey that many key terrorist leaders like Hafiz Saeed, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi and ‘Mullah Radio’ Fazlullah made in the world of jehad. He also acknowledges how the current situation in Pakistan is a direct result of Islamabad using terrorism as a foreign policy tool to deal with India and in its quest for geostrategic depth in the region.

While tighter editing would have improved this impressive work, it remains a “must-read” for foreign policy planners and practitioners in the subcontinent and elsewhere.

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