T.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.