by Amir Mir (Author), Khaled Ahmed (Foreword)
This title offers authentic insights by a renowned Pakistani Journalist…into the Islamic nation’s plunge towards Talibanisation. ‘Amir Mir has earned fame for his investigative reporting and for facing odds during the Musharraf dictatorship. His latest book is a dramatic, authoritative account of the menace convulsing Pakistan and sending shock waves throughout the world. His extraordinary first-hand and second-hand reportage takes the reader into mountains and plains, to shanty towns and capitals to know the guerrilla fighters, militant religious leaders, and terrorists. No one has covered the terrorist attacks, including the one which killed a former prime minister, Benazir Bhutto, as Mir does, detailing the origin and larger political and ethnic context in which they took place.
The book should be required reading for the architects of Pakistan’s often disastrous foreign and domestic policies. The author’s rich combination of experience, sources, research and interviews has produced a significant body of knowledge about a deeply misunderstood subject. What makes his book worth reading is the way he treats his subject without sensationalizing or patronizing it. Mir manages, against all odds, to get a fix on a phenomenon that is complex, elusive and kaleidoscopic. Most impressive, however, is his ability to assess the situation with a clear eye, objective attitude and enormous intelligence’ - “The News” - Pakistani English Daily. “Talibanization of Pakistan: From 9/11 to 26/11” is a comprehensive and authoritative handbook on the rise and growth of Islamic militant groups in Pakistan which are a threat to not only neighbouring countries but also the very society that sustains them.
The book portrays a dangerous and tragic picture of Pakistan, founded by a secular and moderate leader Mohammad Ali Jinnah, but a nation now on the verge of Talibanization. The author maintains that Pakistan might be a frontline state in the war against terror but jehadi groups continue to thrive there with the tacit support of sections of the military and intelligence establishments. This book is the story of a monster created by a Frankenstein state which is now out to devour its own master. It is packed with events and anecdotes which, when juxtaposed, give a clear view of how individuals as well as institutions have, in their own ways and for their own self- seeking agendas, watched the creation of a jehadi culture.
The author’s effort is best described as a text book on Pakistan’s involvement with al-Qaeda and the Taliban-linked jehadi labyrinth, from which it is not easy for it to come out of. The author takes stock of the 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attack, noting that Pakistan, despite being a key American ally in the war against terrorism for years, continues to reverberate with the call of jehad. Therefore, the flag of militant Islam keeps fluttering high more alarmingly, with the extremist jehadis literally marching on the state.
This is not a book for anyone who is looking for easy solutions; the author addresses the larger issue of Islamic fundamentalism by tracing the socio-political circumstances due to which Pakistan, as a nation state, got into this quagmire. The book is essential reading for those interested in understanding contemporary Pakistan by a Pakistani living in the country, who has come under repeated pressure for his bold writings. This is not an opinion book, but an informative book, created by a Pakistani journalist to expose his country’s own establishment.