Pakistan: Eye of the storm
||Owen Bennett Jones
About the author
Table of contents
Excerpt from the book:
On the evening of 8 September [Nawaz] Sharif revealed his anxiety. General Musharraf was in the lobby of the Hotel Shangri-La outside Skardu showing off a new Italian laser-guided pistol to the information minister, Mushahid Hussain...the prime minister walked into the lobby...Mushahid Hussain called Sharif over. "Have you seen this new pistol?" he asked Sharif. "It's remarkable". Uncharacteristically, Sharif did not ask how the pistol worked, but he did put one question to the army chief.
"General", he asked, "Who are you aiming it at?"
Pakistan, a nation for only 55 years, has had a turbulent history. Ruled by the military for half it's existence, it has seen three wars with India and the loss of much of it's territory. The combination of political instability, deep-seated economic and social problems, and access to nuclear weapons
has made it one of the most strategically sensitive countries in the world. The war in neighbouring
Afghanistan has placed it at the very centre of global attention and projected it's military ruler,
General Pervez Musharraf, onto the world stage.
Musharraf has become the first Pakistani ruler in thirty years to dare to confront the country's Islamic extremists.
But can he succeed in controlling the forces that helped create the Taliban in Afghanistan and
fuelled the bitter conflict in Kashmir? Will his army and intelligence agencies be able to tame the
radical elements that they created and sustained? In this powerful history of Pakistan from 1947 to
the present, Benett Jones describes the many fault lines in Pakistani society. He assesses the
rule of the nationalists in the provinces, the feudal landlords in the countryside, and the
bureaucratic elite in Islamabad and analyses the complex relationships between religion,
regional politics, and the armed forces.
As a BBC correspondent in Pakistan between 1998 and 2001 Bennett Jones witnessed at first hand
many of the events that brought General Musharraf to power. His book contains the first
detailed accounts of the 1999 coup, the Kargil conflict, and how Pakistan came to test its nuclear
It will be essential reading for anyone who wants to understand a country that was crucial
to the expulsion of Soviet forces from Afghanistan in the 1980s and which, after the
11 September 2001 attack, became a key coalition partner in America's 'war against terrorism.'
"Pakistan is at the centre of global concerns about terrorism, Islamic fundamentalism,
and nuclear proliferation. In this revealing and riveting account, Owen Bennett Jones
explains why Pakistan's stability is vital. A seminal work for along time to come."
Ahmed Rashid, author of Taliban and Jihad
|Shipping Weight (lbs)
The book reads like a Tom Clancy political thriller. There is mention of events in the book that you would never come across in any newspaper.
Owen Bennett Jones was educated at the London School of Economics and at Oxford University.
He has written for the Guardian, Financial Times, and Independent newspapers and the London
Review of Books and Prospect magazine and has broadcast regularly for BBC Radio and BBC World
Pakistan: Eye of the storm