The Struggle for Pakistan: A Muslim Homeland and Global Politics (Hardback)Ayesha Jalal (author)
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Established as a homeland for India's Muslims in 1947, Pakistan has had a tumultuous history that has unfolded in the vortex of dire regional and international conflicts. Beset by assassinations, coups, ethnic strife, and the breakaway of Bangladesh in 1971, the country has found itself too often contending with religious extremism and military authoritarianism. Now, in a probing biography of her native land amid the throes of global change, Ayesha Jalal provides an insider's assessment of how this nuclear-armed Muslim nation evolved as it did and explains why its dilemmas weigh so heavily on prospects for peace in the region.
Attentive to Pakistan's external relations as well as its internal dynamics, Jalal shows how the vexed relationship with the United States, border disputes with Afghanistan in the west, and the conflict with India over Kashmir in the east have played into the hands of the generals who purchased security at the cost of strong democratic institutions. Combined with domestic ethnic and regional rivalries, such pressures have created a siege mentality that encourages military domination and militant extremism.
Since 9/11, the country has been widely portrayed as a breeding ground for Islamic terrorism. Assessing the threats posed by Al-Qaeda and the Taliban as American troops withdraw from Afghanistan, Jalal contends that the battle for Pakistan's soul is far from over. Her definitive biography reveals how pluralism and democracy continue to struggle for a place in this Muslim homeland, where they are so essential to its future.
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Number of pages: 420
Weight: 826 g
Dimensions: 243 x 161 x 35 mm
How to restore that collective sense of identity, and its commitment to Pakistan is a challenge, which needs further analysis. Additionally, how to create a similar South Asian identity, and a commitment towards that is another key challenge. This book, particularly its attempt to reflect on the interface of politics and history, provides some clue about striving towards such a goal. Scholars of South Asia will profit from reading The Struggle for Pakistan, which excels in the art of writing simultaneously about the politics and history of a country whose normal life is vital for global peace.--Shaikh Mujibur Rehman"Hindustan Times" (02/28/2015)
[An] important book... Ayesha Jalal has been one of the first and most reliable [Pakistani] political historians [on Pakistan]... The Struggle for Pakistan [is] her most accessible work to date... She is especially telling when she points to the lack of serious academic or political debate in Pakistan about the role of the military.--Ahmed Rashid"New York Review of Books" (04/02/2015)
Perceptive and learned... [Jalal] shows that Pakistan never went off the rails; it was, moreover, never a democracy in any meaningful sense. For its entire history, a military caste and its supporters in the ruling class have formed an 'establishment' that defined their narrow interests as the nation's... While it is tempting to blame the generals for everything that has gone wrong in Pakistan, Jalal makes it clear that the civilian leadership has been corrupt, petty and small-minded, putting politics above the principle of civilian supremacy, especially when opponents are in power... The Struggle for Pakistan traces Pakistan's decline all the way up to the present.--Isaac Chotiner"Wall Street Journal" (12/26/2014)
The Struggle for Pakistan will be the definitive history of Pakistan for decades to come. The author's prose is clean, the book is thoughtfully structured, and the research is as close to exhaustive as one could imagine... Anyone attempting to see into Pakistan's future or better understand its complex past should read The Struggle for Pakistan... Jalal has accomplished something remarkable in presenting the history of Pakistan in such an engaging, comprehensive, and readable manner.--Zachary Stockill"PopMatters" (02/02/2015)
Written by the world's most respected, prolific, and authoritative historian of Pakistan, The Struggle for Pakistan provides a thorough analysis of the country's politics from its creation to the present. It is the most useful point of departure for anyone who seeks to better understand Pakistan's military, religious, regional, and international politics today.--David Ludden, author of India and South Asia: A Short History