Saturday, June 11, 2005

The Idea of Pakistan--A Book Review

http://www.atimes.com

Jinnah's unfulfilled visionThe Idea of Pakistan by Stephen Cohen Reviewed by Ahmad Faruqui Stephen Cohen concludes his new book The Idea of Pakistan with an ominous sentence, to the effect that Washington has "one last opportunity to ensure that this troubled state will not become America's biggest foreign-policy problem in the last half of this decade". For those looking for inspiration to avail themselves of this opportunity to set things right in Pakistan, this book has much to offer. In the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, a plethora of books has been published on Pakistan. What makes Cohen's book noteworthy is that he is a veteran of South Asia. Currently serving as a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC, Cohen served in the policy planning staff of the US State Department during the administration of president Ronald Reagan and for years taught political science at the University of Illinois. In some ways, this book is a companion piece to Cohen's India: Emerging Power that appeared three years ago. But in other ways, it extends the work that began with The Pakistan Army, a book that was banned in Pakistan when it came out in 1984. Nothing generates more controversy among Pakistanis and Pakistan-watchers than the idea of Pakistan. Some opine that it was a bad idea to begin with, while others argue that it went awry because of faulty implementation. Virtually no one argues that it was successfully implemented. For the first quarter-century, it seems, Pakistan's primary problem was the failure to integrate the eastern and western wings of the country. But new problems arose during the second quarter-century. Cohen's book will not resolve the controversy about whether Pakistan was a good or bad idea, but it will give proponents on both sides fresh ammunition for debate. It is likely to get a cold reception in Pakistan, where anyone questioning the idea of Pakistan is viewed as unpatriotic. But it will be read with great interest in Britain, China, India, Iran, Japan, Saudi Arabia and, most particularly, in the United States. The book begins by reviewing the ideas that led to the birth of Pakistan in 1947 and then progresses to discussing how these ideas were implemented. Despite the title, most of the book is focused on the implementation of the idea rather than on the idea per se. Cohen discusses how the state of Pakistan came to be ruled by an oligarchy composed of the army, the civil bureaucracy and the landowning class (called feudal lords in Pakistan). Reflecting on Pakistan's troubled history, he is moved to quote from Aristotle, who in his classic work on Politics regarded oligarchy as the evil twin of aristocracy, one of three forms of government along with monarchy and polity. The book concludes with a presentation of future scenarios and an assessment of US policy options. From the Quaid to al-QaedaMuhammad Ali Jinnah, who came to be known as the Quaid-e-Azam (great leader), was the founder of Pakistan. He brought to fruition the idea of Pakistan that was first put forward by the great poet and philosopher of India, Allama Muhammad Iqbal. As Cohen says, the Quaid had the vision of a secular, liberal and democratic nation state that would serve the needs of the Muslims of British India. Iqbal's vision had stronger religious overtones. Over time, the delicate tension between these two visions was exploited by various ethnic, sectarian and religious groups to argue their own agendas. This was partly due to the death of the Quaid within a year of the nation's founding and partly to the death of his lieutenant, Liaquat Ali Khan, three years later. But this proliferation of visions may have been due in part to the ambiguity of the idea of Pakistan and also to the cunning of the rulers who inherited the mantle of power. The most notorious among them was a former civil servant, Ghulam Muhammad. While serving as governor general, he deposed a democratically elected prime minister, Khwaja Nazimuddin, on April 17, 1953. This unconstitutional act was carried out in concert with the army chief, General Ayub Khan, and the defense secretary, Iskander Mirza. The US looked the other way, since it was interested in enrolling Pakistan in the fight to contain communism. Democracy in Pakistan may be said to have died that year, even though Cohen places that date in 1955. In 1954, the US enrolled Pakistan in its Military Assistance Program and began to provide personnel training, hardware and munitions to field five and a half army divisions equipped with Patton tanks and heavy artillery pieces and a dozen air force squadrons equipped with F-86 fighter bombers, F-104 interceptors and B-57 night bombers. This heavy infusion of firepower strengthened the Pakistani military at the expense of other institutions and would lead to a military coup four years later. Three more coups would occur in the succeeding four decades. Citing the work of Mahnaz Ispahani, Cohen says there are at least three potentially conflicting visions of Pakistan: a state for the Muslims of South Asia, an Islamic state and a democratic state. Some would argue that this ambiguity and conflict are captured in the official name of the country, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Each of these visions poses its own problems. The first vision is based on the two-nation theory of statehood according to which the Muslims of South Asia would reside in Pakistan. At the time of partition, 400 million people lived in India, of whom 100 million were Muslims. When partition took place, a third of the Muslims wound up in West Pakistan, a third in East Pakistan and a third remained behind in India. After the secession of East Pakistan a quarter-century later, only a third of the Muslims of South Asia resided in the "new" Pakistan, making it difficult for Pakistani leaders to claim that the "two nation" theory on which the state was founded was still valid. Today's Pakistan cannot justify its existence on this vision, since there are almost as many Muslims in India and in Bangladesh. The fact that Bangladesh continues to exist as a separate state from India does not change the reality that the majority of the Muslims of South Asia now reside outside of Pakistan. Of course, this trifurcation of the South Asian Muslim population has not deterred the two-nation ideologues in Islamabad from calling for a plebiscite in Kashmir, the disputed territory with India. Cohen argues cogently that the pursuit of Kashmir has done more damage to the nation-state of Pakistan than any other single issue. In his other writings, he has argued that Pakistan's dispute with India is more than just a quarrel involving a piece of territory: it is a dispute about national ideology. One wishes he had expanded upon this line of reasoning in this book. Kashmir has caused Pakistan and India to fight two major wars and several minor wars. Recognizing the disparity in conventional forces between the two countries, the Pakistani army has adopted the strategy of waging a covert war in Kashmir. It has armed, trained and funded guerrillas that operate in Kashmir as "freedom fighters". Since the Afghan-Soviet war ended in 1989, these groups have increasingly drawn individuals into their fold who subscribe to a militant pan-Islamic ideology. Today, Pakistan is in the grip of a witches' brew of freedom fighters, militants and anarchists, including al-Qaeda fighters who regard terrorism as a legitimate weapon in asymmetric warfare. The Pakistani army has to shoulder the responsibility for bringing terrorism into the social fabric of the Pakistani nation-state, but the blame must also rest on the shoulders of Washington, which bought into the army's strategy of using the mujahideen in the covert war against the Soviets in Afghanistan. Cohen erroneously concludes that the al-Qaeda ideology stems in part from the writings of Maulana Maudoodi, one of the leading Muslim writers of the past century and a political icon in Pakistani history. Nowhere in Maudoodi's writings would one find a reference to the use of terrorist attacks on innocent civilians as a way of establishing an Islamic state. The second vision of Pakistan was that it would be an Islamic state. The problem is that there is no unique interpretation of an Islamic state, since there are numerous sects and sub-sects within the Islamic faith. Invariably, a single brand of Islam would come into power and seek to impose its vision over the others by using the authority of the state to declare other interpretations as un-Islamic and subject to criminal prosecution. Thus, and this is the big worry in the West, how would one prevent al-Qaeda from coming into power under the guise of creating an Islamic state in Pakistan but intent on exporting its militant ideology globally? The third vision of Pakistan was that it would be a democratic state. In such a state, the people would be sovereign, not the army. The elected government would control the army's budget and set the foreign policy and national security strategy. This vision has yet to be realized. It was attempted unsuccessfully during the early-to-mid-1970s by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and then again in the 1990s by Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif. Anyone who has traveled through Pakistan and talked to a cross-section of the 150 million people who reside there may be forgiven for concluding that there are not just three interpretations of Jinnah's vision but dozens. There is nothing unusual about that, since many other countries have a diversity of opinions about their national identity. What makes the situation in Pakistan dire is not the multiplicity of ideas but the exclusivity of these ideas. This leads to a culture of intolerance where the followers of different ideological schools, blinded by the certainty of their beliefs, are ready to impose them on every one else. Debate and competition allow for the co-existence of competing ideas in democratic countries and lead to their vitality and rebirth. Such "shock absorbers" have yet to be institutionalized in Pakistan's polity. Cohen contends that there was confusion from the very beginning about the idea of Pakistan but stops short of pronouncing judgment on whether the idea was good or bad to begin with. Others have been less circumspect in concluding that it was a bad idea. Altaf Hussain, who leads a large political party in Pakistan, gave a speech in New Delhi recently in which he said, "The idea of Pakistan was dead at its inception, when the majority of Muslims chose to stay back after partition, a truism reiterated in the creation of Bangladesh in 1971." A tradition of militarismA review of the historical record indicates that there was no consensus about what type of state Pakistan would was going to be. Thus it is no surprise that it took nine years for the Constituent Assembly to adopt the constitution. India, by contrast, adopted its constitution within two years of independence. The constitution that was nine years in the making only lasted for two years, when it was abrogated by the first military government of General Ayub Khan. Ayub provided his own constitution embodying the concept of "basic democracy" in 1962 and a presidential form of government. While reviewing the report of the Constitution Commission of Pakistan in 1961, Ayub noted, "politically, our people are immature. However, there are signs that after a couple of generations are reared in an atmosphere of freedom and suitable education on which we have launched, a national outlook will emerge. Until then we have to be continually on our guard, and may even have to do things to save [the] people against themselves." Ayub's constitution was replaced by a third constitution in 1973, which reverted to a prime-ministerial form of government, and was made necessary by the cataclysmic events that followed the secession of East Pakistan in 1971. Along the way, this constitution was amended numerous times, mostly notably by the third military ruler, General Zia ul-Haq, who introduced the infamous Eighth Amendment giving the president the power to dismiss the prime minister and dissolve parliament. Subsequent civilian governments softened this amendment. However, in December 2003, this provision was brought back into the constitution in the form of the 17th Amendment. Ironically, that amendment was crafted by Syed Sharifudin Pirzada, a lawyer who was a personal assistant to the Quaid. Cohen notes that Pirzada had earlier assisted the three previous military rulers in establishing their legal bona fides. A separate parliamentary bill has recently passed both houses of parliament in Pakistan allowing General Pervez Musharraf to serve simultaneously as the president and army chief. Earlier, in April, a bill was passed creating the National Security Council to promote political stability. This is designed to institutionalize the involvement of the armed forces in national decision-making and is patterned after a similar arrangement that has been in place in Turkey. In the words of Musharraf, "You have to let the army in in order to keep the army out." To most people this sounds like letting the fox guard the henhouse. Moreover, as Cohen points out, the Turkish example is becoming increasingly irrelevant, since that country has almost cured itself of the scourge of militarism. Musharraf continues to fight a crisis of legitimacy five years after he seized power in 1999. He declared himself president after holding a referendum in the spring of 2002. This was widely regarded as a farce that drew only 10% of the voters to the polling booths. Musharraf claimed that 98% of the votes were cast in his favor, contradicting every analyst's assessment. Similarly, when he decided a few months ago to change his December 2003 decision to retire from the army the following December, he claimed that 96% of the people supported the reversal of his decision because the realities had changed. Winning percentages in the high 90s only accrue to military dictators and are rarely found in mature democracies. Musharraf does not realize that a general in uniform is expected to lead armies, not nations. During the five centuries of the Roman republic, its consuls were elected on an annual basis. During times of military emergency, dictators were elected by the Roman senate for a six-month term. Augustus Caesar put an end to this practice when he declared for himself imperium proconsulare maius (control over the provinces and the army) and tribunicia potestas (personal inviolability and the right to veto the actions of other lawmakers) for life, thereby acquiring complete control of the state, which contributed to the end of the Roman republic. Moved by Musharraf's consolidation of multiple functions in his person, an advocate recently petitioned the Lahore High Court to declare Musharraf the king of Pakistan. The petition was rejected on technical grounds. Perhaps he would have fared better had he asked that Musharraf be called "Qaiser-e-Pakistan", Pakistani Caesar. Cohen provides an extensive critique of militarism in Pakistan and how it has adversely affected the nation's national security. Not one to mince words, he says, "The army lacks the capability to fix Pakistan's problems, but it is unwilling to give other state institutions and the political system the opportunity to learn and grow; its tolerance for the mistakes of others is very low, yet its own performance, when in power, has usually dug the hole deeper." The Pakistani military is now more than 600,000-strong and includes some 165 generals, admirals and air marshals of two-star rank and above, of whom some 125 are in the army. There are five officers of four-star rank, including Musharraf, the chairman of the Joint Staff Committee, the vice chief of army staff, the air chief and the naval chief. Forty officers hold the three-star rank and the balance hold the two-star rank. The army has divided the country into nine corps formations, and it would be fair to assume that Musharraf rules the country with the concurrence of these formation commanders. During the past five years, he has very adroitly replaced all formation commanders who could have been a threat to his rule, either because they helped bring him into power or because they had fundamentalist leanings. The army is about 50% greater in size than it was during the crisis of 1971, when half the country was lost to the formation of Bangladesh. There is no evidence that the security of Pakistan has improved with the increased strength of the military. In fact, since it has diverted resources from other dimensions of national security, such as social, political and economic security, one can argue it has lessened. Cohen points out how Western leaders and academics have often ended up supporting military dictators. For example, he mentions how the noted Harvard professor Samuel Huntington called Ayub Khan a Solon, after the great Athenian lawgiver. General Zia was widely praised in the West for being a bulwark of freedom against the Soviet Union. Much of the same is true of the standing that Musharraf enjoys in the West. Cohen argues that Musharraf's international backers "see him as a wise and modern leader, a secular man who is not afraid to support the West or to offer peace to India, and a man who can hold back the onrush of demagogues and Islamic extremists". Yet, he notes, "no serious Pakistani analyst sees Musharraf in these terms". They see him as claiming to act in an undefined and abstract "national interest" and "taking people into confidence" after having made the key decisions. Cohen aptly comments that Musharraf believes that no civilian can understand the national interest. One wishes he had analyzed this point further. Does it imply that no civilian can be trusted with its protection? If so, that might suggest something more sinister, that in Musharraf's lexicon, the term "national interest" is a synonym for the military's interest. Over time, "Pakistan has adapted to changing strategic circumstances," Cohen observes, "by 'renting' itself out to powerful states, notably the United States, but also Saudi Arabia and China." He warns that the September 11, 2001, windfall and the al-Qaeda card will, beyond a certain point, cease to guarantee cash and support. And although economic growth is currently strong, Pakistan has a fundamentally weak economy. Seeking to put a new face on its legitimacy, the military government has put its macroeconomic statistics on parade. It says that over the past two years, gross domestic product (GDP) has grown at an annual rate of 5.8%, per capita income at 13.9%, and exports at 17%. National savings, as a percentage of GDP, have grown by 8.3 percentage points since 1998-99. Pakistan has attracted foreign direct investment of almost $1 billion and foreign-exchange reserves are at an all-time high of US$12.5 billion. Moreover, defense spending is coming down as a percentage of GDP. In other words, Musharraf would like investors to think that Pakistan is a rising tiger. During a recent visit to Washington, DC, the governor of the State Bank of Pakistan (and not the president of the central bank, as he is referenced in one place in the book) argued that these positive results could not have been achieved by a democratically elected government. Of course, Ishrat Husain has emerged as one of the leading apologists of the military regime. His book Economic Management in Pakistan, 1999-2002 reads like an apologia for military rule and a paean to Musharraf. One can only imagine what would be left of Alan Greenspan's reputation if he penned a similar work about any of the presidents of his tenure. Husain's thinking runs contrary to recent thinking in social science. What matters to the common person is her or her happiness, which depends on a number of microeconomic factors other than the country's macroeconomic indicators. People's happiness is influenced by a number of factors, including the kind of political system they live in. This is borne out by analysis of data across 38 mainly developed nations at the beginning of the 1990s. Citizens in a democracy are likely to be happier because they can vote poor leaders out of office, while those in a dictatorship can't. Cohen does not comment on the freedom of the press in Pakistan under military rule. According to a report put forward by Reporters Without Borders, last year the press in Pakistan was ranked in the 90th percentile from the bottom. A year prior, it had ranked in the 85th percentile. This group has labeled Musharraf a "predator of press freedom", alleging that he uses the military intelligence agencies to "watch, intimidate, manipulate or arrest both Pakistani and foreign journalists who annoy him". It cites the secret detention and torture of Khawar Mehdi, who investigated Taliban groups on the Afghan border with two journalists from the French weekly L'Express, who were themselves arrested and then released. It also mentions that an investigative journalist was fired from his newspaper in June 2003 because Musharraf accused him of tarnishing the country's image, and another journalist was condemned to death after criticizing the activities of an anti-narcotics governmental agency. In 2002, only 10% of Pakistanis said they were satisfied with their lives as a whole - which was the lowest percentage in a survey of 80 countries. Only one in five persons described him- or herself as "very happy". These are depressing results and are at odds with the rosy impression created by the government's parade of rising macroeconomic indicators. As a result of the largess conferred upon Pakistan by Washington, Pakistan has been able to reschedule $12 billion of its foreign debt and lower the amount of debt-servicing payments. It has received a $1 billion grant from the US and a package of $3 billion over a five-year period, subject to congressional approval. The US has also written off $1 billion in bilateral debt. In addition, Pakistan has received a large one-time injection of funds from its expatriate population in the US. It is questionable whether economic growth in the 6-8% range is either achievable or sustainable for Pakistan without continued foreign assistance. The fundamentals of the economy have not changed. It remains dependent on the export of raw cotton, textiles and apparel at a time when much of the region has shifted to information technologies. The continued political uncertainty and the ongoing "war against terror" do not provide a good backdrop against which to attract foreign direct investment. Cohen discusses the failure of Pakistan to develop much of a tourist industry that would take advantage of its natural beauty in the Karakorums and rich archeological heritage. Quo vadis?The book lays out six scenarios of the near-to-mid-term future: (1) continuation of the status quo, which involves rule by an establishment-dominated oligarchic system, (2) liberal, secular democracy, (3) soft authoritarianism, (4) an Islamist state, (5) divided Pakistan and (6) postwar Pakistan. While the scenarios are intrinsically interesting in themselves, alas, they represent the author's personal opinion. The methodology for developing them is never laid out clearly. The driving factors and their cross-impact matrix, well-recognized techniques for developing scenarios and used by the texts cited by Cohen, are not presented and may not have been used in the development of scenarios. Implicitly, probabilities are assigned to the scenarios through means that are unclear. Perhaps these scenarios can be viewed as the starting point of a Delphi process. The generals have come to power on virtually the same premise every time, ie, to save the country from imminent destruction. They have used Kelsen's doctrine of necessity to justify their unconstitutional takeover. Not surprisingly, the Supreme Court has always blessed the treasonous act, validating Sir John Harrington's remark that "treason doth never prosper; for if it doth prosper, none dare call it treason". The "khakis" have assiduously cultivated a myth of their indispensability and overstayed their welcome. The commotion surrounding their entry into power blinds them to the need to develop an exit strategy. When they are forced to exit, the nation is no better off than when they had arrived on the scene. While discussing US options vis-a-vis Pakistan, the author says US policy has always given short-term gains priority over long-term concerns. He says this is no longer feasible, since ignoring the long term could have "grave consequences". For example, the Reagan administration was uninterested in the consequences of supporting the mujahideen because they were thought to be the best anti-Soviet fighters. Currently, terrorism has zoomed to the top of the US agenda but it needs to be given a long-term preventive quality, not just a short-term military quality. Democracy needs to be emphasized, despite the Musharraf government's contention that it would bring incompetent politicians or radical Islamists to power. Education should be a major priority. In the $3 billion aid package, only $100 million has been earmarked for this topic area. Cohen would like the United States to help change the technocratic focus of Pakistan's education system, which is designed to feed workers and scientists into a military-educational-industrial complex that is currently in place. Cohen says "this is an educational vision appropriate for a totalitarian state, not for one that aspires to be a free society". He calls upon the US to encourage the government of Pakistan to increase the share of its expenditures that go for education, especially primary education, by reducing military aid if a minimum amount is not spent on education. Similarly, Cohen argues that the amount of the US aid package should be made to vary with Pakistan's progress in democratization. In his view, the army is the biggest threat to democracy in Pakistan. For 29 years it has ruled directly and for the other 28 it has ruled indirectly. It has unlimited access to the government's budgetary and foreign-exchange resources. It sets the nation's foreign policy and its national-security strategy (inclusive of its nuclear-weapons policy) even when it's not in office. Cohen says that Musharraf is not a truly exceptional person, and the best service he could do for his country would be to allow capable civilian institutions to develop that would allow the military to exit the political sphere and focus on its military duties. He cautions that the army leadership will resist US pressure to change Pakistan's policies, whether foreign or domestic. At the same time, he reminds US policy officials that Musharraf is not irreplaceable and were he to be forced out of office, his replacement would be a like-minded general who will do the establishment's bidding. Unanswered questionsThe book covers a lot of ground in its 400-some pages. However, by the time one gets to the end, many important questions remain unanswered. For example, Cohen says the Pakistani army is long on memory and short on foresight, but he does not discuss either why that is the case or whether it can ever be changed. In addition, by presenting a scenario where the oligarchic establishment continues to rule as the most probable scenario, he seems to be endorsing Pakistan's recidivist militarism rather than analyzing and challenging it. Cohen says it is improbable that liberal democracy will take hold in Pakistan. Just a couple of decades ago, the same was being said of Latin America and Eastern Europe. He posits that Bangladesh, which also had an episode of military rule but now has a democratic setup, is unlikely to revert to military rule since it does not have a security problem. The implicit hypothesis that security problems lead to military rule is a non sequitur. Otherwise India would have military rule a fortiori, since it has security problems with Pakistan and China, in addition to numerous security problems in the eastern and southern states with separatist movements. There is no evidence that any serious coups have been attempted in India. Cohen alludes to Punjab's dominance in Pakistani politics but does not explore the implications of this for national stability. This single province accounts for 56% of the population and about 70-80% of the military and civil service positions. It is widely regarded as the most prosperous province and there is no question that its dominance has alienated the smaller provinces. India, with a population of a billion people, has continued to divide the states it inherited at independence to retain a national balance and the Indian Union now consists of 26 states. None of the states accounts for more than 15% of the population. Afghanistan, with a much smaller population of 29 million, has 34 provinces. The small nation of Switzerland, with a population of 7 million, is divided into 26 cantons, each with its own constitution. The federal character of the US would change irreversibly for the worse if one of the 50 states accounted for half of the population and three-quarters of the government jobs. Would it not make sense to subdivide Punjab into three or four provinces, resulting in a much more equal distribution of resources, assets and positions? This is a fundamental issue to the survival of Pakistan that may be worth addressing in the second edition of this book. While discussing the ebb and flow of the tide in US-Pakistani ties, Cohen does not explore the reasons that the tide has always been at a flood when a Republican administration has been in power in the White House and a military dictatorship in Islamabad. It cannot just be a coincidence, since it has happened at least four times in the past half-century. During Ayub's tenure, the ties were very strong during the Republican administration of Dwight Eisenhower and weakened during the succeeding Democratic administrations of John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson. Agha Muhammad Yahya Khan had good ties with the administration of Richard Nixon but Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto's ties with the Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter administrations were marginal. During the former, Henry Kissinger threatened Bhutto with making a horrible example of Pakistan if it continued with its nuclear program. Carter stopped arms shipments to Bhutto's government when it used force on protesters that were trying to toppled Bhutto from power. Zia's ties with Carter were poor but they improved dramatically under Reagan. Finally, Musharraf's ties with were very poor during the Clinton period and picked up dramatically under George W Bush. Cohen does not recognize that Pakistan's failure to emerge as a democracy is in part due to systematic US interference in its political development. There is strong evidence that the people of Pakistan want democracy. According to the World Values Surveys carried out by the researchers under the direction of Ronald Inglehart of the University of Michigan, only 4% of Pakistanis support military rule and 88% support a democratic dispensation. The data come from a random statistical survey of 2,000 Pakistanis in the year 2000. The surveys bear out Cohen's contention that the country is run by an oligarchy, with 89% saying the country is run by "a few big interests". Only 34% support having a strong leader who does not bother with an elected parliament. An even smaller percentage, 19%, support having experts (ie, technocrats) rather than elected officials make decisions of national importance. The analysis of anti-Americanism in Pakistan is weak. Cohen seems to suggest that this problem is confined to a segment of the population when surveys suggest the problem is much more pervasive. According to a survey conducted last spring by the Pew Research Center, only 16% of Pakistanis support the war against terror and 7 percent of have a favorable view of President Bush. As expected, conservative religious groups are not in favor of the US. But even the liberal elements of Pakistani society have now formed a negative opinion of the US because of that country's continuing support for military rule in Pakistan and the ongoing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Much of Cohen's analysis does not appear to be based on micro-sources, such as interviews, surveys and polls. Another shortcoming is a lack of comparisons across regions and continents. The few that are made pertain to India or Bangladesh. This otherwise fine book seems to have been rushed off to the publisher. In places, the writing is labored and drags. In other places, the smooth flow of the text is interrupted by a series of dashed paragraphs that suggest they were transcribed from notes in bullet form. The concluding paragraphs in a couple of chapters are not motivated by the discussion in the body of the chapter. And the same event is given different dates of occurrence. In one place, Musharraf's referendum takes place in the year 2001 and in another place in 2002 (the latter is correct). The date of Yahya's takeover from Ayub in 1969 is cited as March 26 in one place as March 25 in another place (the latter is correct). The book comes with copious endnotes, but the source materials listed in these notes are a very small sample of the current literature on Pakistan. In his book on the Pakistani army, Cohen provided a very useful set of bibliographic notes, and one wishes he had done the same in this one. The sourcing of Islamic materials is quite weak and not likely to inspire confidence in the author's understanding of either Islam the religion or Islam the polity. In one instance, he uses a paper by Daniel Pipes to define an Islamist state. This is like citing Bernard Lewis as an authority on Islam or the Muslim world. These authors are inimical toward the idea of an Islamic state, since they assert that such a state would intrinsically use violence to destabilize the West. But the view widely held in the Muslim world is that an Islamic state is simply one that applies Islamic law (Sharia) to all those who live within its boundaries. The index is incomplete and does not list authors whose works are cited in the endnotes nor does it list topics such as the "oligarchs" or "Aristotle's Politics" that are discussed in the text. Even with these limitations, the book is a must read, if for no other reason than for the discussion of the "American Options" in the last chapter. Its most notable contribution is the counsel to Washington to factor in the long-run implications of its actions, especially regarding the need to support the implementation of democratic reforms in Pakistan. Given the author's standing as a veteran South Asian analyst, the book will be widely read in the corridors of power throughout the globe. It presents a US view of Pakistan, an increasingly apprehensive view, but one that can only be ignored by the military rulers in Islamabad at their own peril. The Idea of Pakistan by Stephen Cohen. Washington 2004: Brookings Institution Press. ISBN 0-8157-1502-1. Price US$32.95; 382 pages. (Copyright 2005 Asia Times Online Ltd. All rights reserved. Please contact us for information on sales, syndication and republishing.)




6 Comments:

Anonymous free forced matrix said...

Hi Ahmad Faruqui,
You have a great The Idea of Pakistan--A Book Review blog here.
I wanted to share with you and everybody reading this comment an amazing opportunity. Maybe you have heard about free forced matrix before but trust me, I have studied many other free forced matrix thats available on the net, none can compares with this one.
You have to study my free forced matrix site to understand what I mean.
I am 100% sure of this opportunity that I will pay your initial membership so you can try it out for FREE! You have nothing to loose.
Best regards

10:07 PM  
Anonymous power forced matrix said...

Hi Ahmad Faruqui,
You have a great The Idea of Pakistan--A Book Review blog here.
I wanted to share with you an amazing opportunity. Maybe you have heard about free forced matrix before but trust me, I have studied many other free forced matrix thats available on the net, none can compares with this one.
You have to study my free forced matrix site to understand what I mean.
I am so sure of this opportunity that I will pay your initial membership so you can try it out for FREE!
Best regards

2:03 PM  
Anonymous free forced matrix said...

Hi Ahmad Faruqui,
You have a great The Idea of Pakistan--A Book Review blog here.
I wanted to share with you an amazing opportunity. Maybe you have heard about free forced matrix before but trust me, I have studied many other free forced matrix thats available on the net, none can compares with this one.
You have to study my free forced matrix site to understand what I mean.
I am so sure of this opportunity that I will pay your initial membership so you can try it out for FREE!
Best regards

9:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HI! Your forum is very interessing and my information will be good for you (I hope):)
anal sex movies
gaping anal sex
extreme anal sex
anal painful sex
anal porn sex
galleries anal sex
anal sex valley
anal sex pics

5:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any idea how credit crunch affected porn?


----------------
kelly divine

4:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Crucial Key Elements To help you dominate the Louis Vittoun-market Is Very Straight foward! [url=http://cheaplvhandbagsonline.webs.com/]Cheap Louis Vuitton Handbags[/url] The essential principles of the Louis Vittoun that you're able to make full use of starting off today. [url=http://cheaplouisvuittonpurses.tripod.com/]Cheap Louis Vuitton Purses[/url] Perform the following to discover Louis Vittoun before you're abandoned. [url=http://louisvuitton-neverfull.weebly.com/]Louis Vuitton Bags Sale[/url] Incredible Creative Louis Vittoun technique Figured out By My Pal [url=http://lvbagforsale1.blogspot.com/]Louis Vuitton Monogram Canvas Neverfull[/url] The Secret dominate the Louis Vittoun-market Is Really Simple! [url=http://louisvuitton-monograms.blogspot.com/]Louis Vuitton Outlet[/url] Actual Options To Grasp Louis Vittoun Plus The Way One Might Be part of The Louis Vittoun Elite [url=http://buycheapbag.webs.com/]Cheap Louis Vuitton Outlet[/url] The actions Folks Should Know About Louis Vittoun [url=http://needshopping.tripod.com/]Louis Vuitton Outlet[/url] The Very lazy Male's Secret To The Louis Vittoun Profits [url=http://bagshipping.tripod.com/]Cheap Louis Vuitton[/url] Impartial piece of writing uncovers Couple of innovative new things around Louis Vittoun that absolutely no one is talking about. [url=http://lvbagsfreeshipping.webs.com/]Louis Vittoun Bags Outlet[/url] Methods to find out each and every thing there is to understand concerning Louis Vittoun in Just a few easy ways.

12:25 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home