Synopses & Reviews
After September 11, 2001, Pakistan's president, Pervez Musharraf, vowed to fight extremism in his country and has since established himself as a key ally in America's "global war on terror." But as veteran Pakistani journalist and commentator Zahid Hussain reveals in this book, Musharraf is in an impossible position. The Pakistani army and intelligence services are thoroughly penetrated by jihadists. In fact, the current government came into power through its support of radical Islamist groups, such as those fighting in Kashmir.
Based on exclusive interviews with key players and grassroots radicals, Hussain exposes the threads of Pakistan's complex political power web and the consequences of Musharraf's decision to support the U.S.'s drive against jihadism, which essentially took Pakistan to war with itself. He recounts the origins and nature of the jihadi movement in Pakistan and Afghanistan, the long-standing and often denied links between militants and Pakistani authorities, the weaknesses of successive elected governments, and the challenges to Musharraf's authority posed by politico-religious, sectarian, and civil society elements within the country.
The jihadi madrassas of Pakistan are incubators of the most feared terrorists in the world. Osama bin Laden himself is believed to be hiding close to the Pakistani border. Although the country's "war on terror" has so far been a stage show, a very real battle is looming, the outcome of which will have grave implications for the future security of the world.
"Zahid Hussain has produced an important and informed inside look at the military and religious politics of Pakistan and the inevitably fatal inconsistencies of its President. Frontline Pakistan is also a history of our times, as seen through the eyes of George W. Bush's Washington and Pervez Musharraf's Islamabad. The future is now, and it is very worrisome." Seymour M. Hersh, author of Chain of Command: The Road from 9/11 to Abu Ghraib
"Frontline Pakistan is the first serious exposure of the rise and continuation of Islamic extremism in Pakistan. Zahid Hussain shows the links between the major jihadi groups of Pakistan, Al Qaeda, and the ISI with a degree of detail not seen in any Western writing on the subject"
Ahmed Rashid, author of Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central America
"This book continues the excellent Pakistani journalistic tradition of writing contemporary history." Manvendra Singh, India Today
"[Hussain] offers a detailed and persuasive account of the received wisdom on Pakistan since 9/11." Carl Brown, Foreign Affairs
"A wonderful read that deserves to be read. Written in a dramatic narrative style, the book combines the virtues of being a compulsive page-turner with being informative." Vivek Balaraman, Desicritics.org
"Hussain lucidly articulates the challenges and limitations faced by Musharraf....Highly Recommended." Choice
About the Author
Zahid Hussain is the Pakistan correspondent for the Times of London, the Wall Street Journal, and Newsweek.