Book Reviews

“The Warrior State – Pakistan in the Contemporary World”

tv paulT.V. Paul takes us through the psyche of the Pakistani state and gives detailed academic reasoning on why Pakistan depends upon its military strength and its Jihadist policies. These can be summed up by the words of General Mohammad Zia ul Haq who brought military rule and Marshall Law in 1977 to Pakistan, “The professional soldier in a Muslim army pursuing the goals of a Muslim State cannot become professional if in all his activities he does not take on the color of Allah.”

The book also speaks to Pakistan’s turbulent history accurately and the role played by the military and IS to weaken Pakistan`s democracy and institutions. Paul describes in detail the four wars Pakistan fought and also Pakistan’s involvement in the war in Afghanistan.

Paul writes of the history of Muslims in the sub-continent and gives the geo-political and geo-strategic dimensions and importance of Pakistan`s location.

After the 1977 coup of General Zia ul Haq, the trend to Islamize Pakistan is mentioned in detail by Paul, incorporating the use and misuse of religion.

Although Paul tries to compare the military situation in Pakistan with European wars – in my opinion it does not stand up to scrutiny. Also the flow of the book is a bit out of sequence.

Overall, the author leaves out details of two important elements that also influence Pakistan and its policies: the IS and Sufism.

This is a well-researched book that should be read at least once.

 

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Sohail Raza
Sohail Raza is Director Forum for Learning, Vice President of CPCMO (Coalition of Progressive Canadian Muslim Organizations) and a Director with The Council for Muslims Facing Tomorrow. Raza is an airline veteran of 30 years. In his last assignment he worked closely with law enforcement and corporate security. Raza is a keen observer of politics in the Muslim world in general, and Pakistan in particular. Having travelled extensively throughout the Middle East, he lived in Baghdad for five years where he got his first taste of Middle East politics. Raza has appeared on mainstream media to comment on these topics and how they relate to the Canadian diaspora. He teaches a course in Politics and Islam at George Brown College. He is recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jublilee Medal for service to Canada (2012).