Monday, July 18, 2011

Quickie: Aatish Taseer Explains Pakistan's Special Edge

Aatish Taseer, British-born writer-journalist (b.1980), and the son of Indian journalist Tavleen Singh and late Pakistani politician/businessman Salmaan Taseer assassinated earlier this year by his guard  explains Pakistan's special edge in a recent article in the Wall Street Journal. Mr. Taseer is the author of "Stranger to History: A Son's Journey Through Islamic Lands." His second novel, "Noon," will be published in the U.S. in September. Excerpts below:

To understand the Pakistani obsession with India, to get a sense of its special edge—its hysteria—it is necessary to understand the rejection of India, its culture and past, that lies at the heart of the idea of Pakistan. This is not merely an academic question. Pakistan's animus toward India is the cause of both its unwillingness to fight Islamic extremism and its active complicity in undermining the aims of its ostensible ally, the United States.
The primary agent of this decline has been the Pakistani army. The beneficiary of vast amounts of American assistance and money—$11 billion since 9/11—the military has diverted a significant amount of these resources to arming itself against India. In Afghanistan, it has sought neither security nor stability but rather a backyard, which—once the Americans leave—might provide Pakistan with "strategic depth" against India.
In order to realize these objectives, the Pakistani army has led the U.S. in a dance, in which it had to be seen to be fighting the war on terror, but never so much as to actually win it, for its extension meant the continuing flow of American money. All this time the army kept alive a double game, in which some terror was fought and some—such as Laskhar-e-Tayyba's 2008 attack on Mumbai—actively supported.

Read the whole thing in WSJ: Why My Father Hated India.

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