The Duel: Pakistan on the Flight Path of American Power

  • Title: The Duel: Pakistan on the Flight Path of American Power
  • Author: Tariq Ali
  • ISBN: 9781416561019
  • Page: 150
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The Duel Pakistan on the Flight Path of American Power Pakistan is the sixth most populous country in the world It is the only Islamic state to have nuclear weapons Its border with Afghanistan extends over one thousand miles and is the likely hideout of O
    Pakistan is the sixth most populous country in the world It is the only Islamic state to have nuclear weapons Its border with Afghanistan extends over one thousand miles and is the likely hideout of Osama bin Laden It has been under military dictatorship for thirty three of its fiftyyear existence Yet it is the linchpin in the United States war on terror, receiving ovPakistan is the sixth most populous country in the world It is the only Islamic state to have nuclear weapons Its border with Afghanistan extends over one thousand miles and is the likely hideout of Osama bin Laden It has been under military dictatorship for thirty three of its fiftyyear existence Yet it is the linchpin in the United States war on terror, receiving over 10 billion of American aid since 2001 and purchasing than 5 billion of U.S weaponry in 2006 alone.These days, relations between the two countries are never less than tense Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf reported that U.S deputy secretary of state Richard Armitage threatened to bomb Pakistan back to the Stone Age if it did not commit fully to the alliance in the wake of 9 11 Presidential hopeful Barack Obama said he would have no hesitation in bombing Al Qaeda inside the country, with or without approval of the Pakistani government Recent surveys show that than 70 percent of Pakistanis fear the United States as a military threat to their country.The Bush administration spent much of 2007 promoting a dream ticket of Musharraf and Benazir Bhutto to run Pakistan together That strategy, with Bhutto assassinated and the general s party winning less than 15 percent of the contested seats in the 2008 election, is now in tatters.With increasingly bold attacks by Taliban supporters in the border regions threatening to split the Pakistan army, with the only political alternatives Nawaz Sharif and Benazir s widower Asif Ali Zardari being as corrupt as the regime they seek to replace, and with a newly radicalized movement of lawyers testing its strength as championsof the rule of law, the chances of sustained stability in Pakistan look slim.The scion of a famous Punjabi political family, with extraordinary contacts inside the country and internationally, Tariq Ali has long been acknowledged as a leading commentator on Pakistan In these pages he combines deep understanding of the country s history with extensive firsthand research and unsparing political judgment to weigh the prospects of those contending for power today The labyrinthine path between a secure world and global conflagration runs right through Pakistan No one is better placed to trace its contours.

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      Published :2018-011-24T14:20:13+00:00

    About Tariq Ali


    1. Tariq Ali Punjabi, Urdu born 21 October 1943 is a British Pakistani historian, novelist, filmmaker, political campaigner, and commentator He is a member of the editorial committee of the New Left Review and Sin Permiso, and regularly contributes to The Guardian, CounterPunch, and the London Review of Books.He is the author of several books, including Can Pakistan Survive The Death of a State 1991 , Pirates Of The Caribbean Axis Of Hope 2006 , Conversations with Edward Said 2005 , Bush in Babylon 2003 , and Clash of Fundamentalisms Crusades, Jihads and Modernity 2002 , A Banker for All Seasons 2007 and the recently published The Duel 2008.


    624 Comments


    1. An excellent overview of the history of political power in Pakistan - from pre-Partition through to Musharraf. (That's the one caveat: the book was published before Musharraf stepped down, so it isn't quite up to date with current events.) Ali obviously has a history and vested interest in Pakistan - that's what makes The Duel incredibly engaging, with its anecdotes and awareness of political culture & society, and indeed Ali's personal relationships with many of the people in power. It does [...]

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    2. Tariq Ali, reputed to be an inspiration for the Stones song "Street Fighting Man," has a commendable history of committed activism and is also a wonderful writer of both fiction and non-fiction (the only novle of his I've read is "Fear of Mirrors," which was tremendous). As a friend pointed out after listening to a recent speech of Ali's, the man is an artist.He knows of what he writes in this volume partly due to his lineage in a well-placed Pakistani political family. He thus has had contact w [...]

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    3. I'm consistently underwhelmed by Tariq Ali, whether it's his writings for the London Review of Books, or longer work such as 'Clash of Fundamentalisms' or this new book. Ali is poor at explaining complex subjects of which the reader might know little about. As this book is about Pakistan, a subject of which I am largely ignorant, I was expecting to learn a lot. However, it's written at the level of someone who already knows a whole lot about Pakistani history and politics. And then it is layered [...]

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    4. Tariq Ali writes in meticulous details on Pakistani politics, military and deplorable role of US in the evolutionary process of the country. Despite facing great challenges on multiple fronts, Tariq is hopeful that Pakistan is capable of putting things in order if genuine democratic leadership with sincerity controls reigns of the state instead of being run by an incompetent politicians or military brass seeking all-times mercy of their master, Uncle Sam. He gives practicable solutions to the ma [...]

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    5. The name of the book, "The Duel," refers to the ongoing struggle between the poor of Pakistan, which make up the bulk of the population, and the landlord/politician/military elite, which have ruled the country since its creation in 1947. It is a struggle that the poor have been losing and continue to lose.This book is, in short, a brief history of Pakistan. But it is based on the fact that almost from the very beginning, Pakistan has been a pawn of the United States. Coups have taken place with [...]

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    6. 3.5 stars to be precise.Brings to light the various problems of our South Asian neighbor without really giving any concrete solutions to them!

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    7. SUMMARY:Pakistan is the sixth most populous country in the world. It is the only Islamic state to have nuclear weapons. Its border with Afghanistan extends over one thousand miles and is the likely hideout of Osama bin Laden. It has been under military dictatorship for thirty-three of its fiftyyear existence. Yet it is the linchpin in the United States' war on terror, receiving over $10 billion of American aid since 2001 and purchasing more than $5 billion of U.S. weaponry in 2006 alone.These da [...]

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    8. Tariq Ali has written a series of books on the state of Pakistan in the past and this is his latest offering sub-titled “on the flightpath of American power”. As always it pulls no punches and provides a good account of the politics in Pakistan up to and including the assassination of Benazir Bhutto in 2008. The intrigue, backstabbing, assassinations and plotting within the various Pakistan governments down the years have always been played out on a canvas of American design. Where Pakistani [...]

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    9. An excellent analysis of Pakistan's history and political affairs. The author veers off into Afghanistan for part of the book but I suppose the two are closely linked and the events and history of one country is directly linked to the other. The formation and more crucially, the break-up of Pakistan (East & West) is discussed in detail and I found that very helpful to understand the history of this country.The book does paint a rather bleak picture of Pakistan but I wonder if there is hope t [...]

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    10. A little bit of a mess, structurally. Overlaps information, shifts through time (especially before the 4 Generals section (but even during)), and is pretty digressive. Sort of seems like there was minimal editing. BUT: there is a ton of information in here. A good primer (I assume, being completely ignorant) from a well-defined point of view (i.e. you know what the biases are).In Pakistan itself the long night continues as the cycle restarts: military leadership promising reforms degenerates int [...]

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    11. PAKISTAN vs UNITED STATES This is a brilliantly written account of Pakistans history with particular emphasis on their relationship with the United States. History truly repeats itselfs with a never ending roll of Military Dictators and Civilian Politicians who are too busy with their hands in the till to do anything constructive for the people of Pakistan. The only person in power who comes out with any dignity is the head of the Pakistani judiciary who was dismissed for his efforts. All the hy [...]

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    12. Alternate history of Pakistan. Must read for all bred by Pakistani governmental historical propaganda. Starts of well with good insight into the reasons why Pakistan was created. I liked the bits about Muslim League own history, as a feudal based conservative party created to garner relations with their British masters. I also enjoyed the piece on the way how the colonialists used to brand certain nationalities like the Pathans for their own nefarious purposes. How an image of a warrior and a al [...]

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    13. Details India during the later portion of British Imperial rule, through the partition, and to present day Pakistan/India/Afghanistan. Tariq Ali has a way of including his own anecdotes with his unquestionably historical knowledge of the region and people's movements around the world. Tariq provides historical foundational backgrounds for every prime minister/president/military ruler of Pakistan's history. Reframing the partition, radical jihad, and international relations within in the region i [...]

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    14. This is the best book I've read to date on Pakistan. I attended a lecture by Tariq Ali in Chicago and was so impressed with him, I bought his book (which he signed)as a sign of appreciation. Two other guests were supposed to show up and share the stage with him, but Chicago winter weather didn't allow this Tariq Ali spoke extemporaneously for 50 minutes on life, Pakistan, Chicago etc. This amazed myself and my friend more than anything he said specifically. He provides a somewhat cooler perspect [...]

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    15. Tariq Ali is an outspoken critic of all things political in Pakistan. I agree with his viewpoints on the future of the region. In this book, he's a bit jumpy but focused enough to provide a realistic point of view in the history and politics of Pakistan.This book was published in 2007. Pakistan is a country where things drastically change every week, so it would not be much help in understanding post Musharaf era. I recommend this to anyone who wants to get an unbiased view into Pakistan. The id [...]

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    16. A little hard to follow at times for someone new to the topic but an interesting presentation of the conflicts and history of this relatively young nation. Whilst the author does have a distinct bias and some may criticise the book for this, I found if anything this added a personal insight into the the characters and parties involved that went beyond a dry objective depiction and as long as your aware of the bias you should be able to draw your own conclusions and opinions.Focusing mainly on Pa [...]

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    17. The initial half of the book was very interesting and very comfortably written. I did think that throughout the writing one could sense the left leaning aspect if writer's life. So the book is not completely free of all bias. It is an account of history and not the account of history. However I do think that for a foreign reader this is a very good account of the history. There were a few places where the author relied on his 'insider information' bit too much. I thought the book was divided int [...]

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    18. Perhaps one of must enlightening books I have read on the dynamics of a country in turmoil. Faced with dilemmas , paradoxical scenarios and unlikely politics thrust down it's throats , the land called Pakistan survives and lives on. Histories of nations are never complete but rather tales in progress. Anyone who has yet been confronted with understanding of the post independence scenarios and the role the country plays with the desire to answer the question that who's in charge any way this coun [...]

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    19. I read this because I felt I did not know much about Pakistan. The author certainly has a bias, but it may be justified. This is mainly an account of the history of Pakistan, with a chapter (more or less) devoted to each rulerl of them thieves or thugs or both. It is fascinating (and disturbing) to read Ali's take on several Pakastan leaders and how his opinion differs so radically from what we hear in the western press. For example, I used to have a good opinion of Benzair Bhutto. However Ali p [...]

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    20. I have just finished this book; and now I find myself not only more knowledgeable about the real situation in Pakistan and it's military history; but I can also understand why my Pakistani friends are critical of their military. If you want to know one point of view on Pakistan's history tracing from its separation from the erstwhile Indian state; the role of military in its politics - then you should read this book. Tariq Ali is an acclaimed journalist and writer; and he has put together this r [...]

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    21. The author, Tariq Ali, is undoubtedly very knowledgable (although not without bias) of the history of Pakistani government and foreign involvement in the politics of the country. This book is crammed full of information that would be beneficial to anyone interested in the subject provided they can get through it. I rate this text very low on readability, not only due to complexity of the topic but also because of a rudimentary style of organization that bounces back and forth chronologically and [...]

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    22. History, Analysis, Commentary, Opinion. Of massages, midnight romps, horrible examples, and of boiling water at the right temperatureThis is a sweeping and often trenchant look at Pakistan, its leaders, its geo-politics, the role of the US, and the challenges facing the nation. It is not a comprehensive account, nor is it altogether impartial, but it is a jolly entertaining and at the same time educational read.My full review is at blog.abhinavagarwal/2012/0

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    23. I can't recommend this book enough: it is thought provoking and makes you look at things from a completely new and very different perspective. The history of Pakistan (a country that never should have been - one can only agree with Tariq Ali) is told briefly but clearly and explains why democracy never got a chance there. How the USA supported and propped up one of the most corrupt regimes in the world for geo-political reasons, should make you shake your head in wonder. You will never look at t [...]

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    24. The short history of the country of Pakistan including it's culture, corruptness, foreign relationships, military coups, role of Islam, role in the war in Afghanistan, etc is complex. This book helps a bit to understand these issues but is not well structured. Bits of information appear repeatedly, other parts seem out of order and there is not a lot of coherency to what is the basis to the book's argument - how the US pulls the strings.There are some interesting parts and Tariq Ali's personnel [...]

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    25. This book is a great analysis of the current situation of Pakistan with historical background. The author demonstrates his great knowledge of political and social situation in Indo-Pak region.I used to get very agitated by the name of Pakistan mainly because of the trouble they created and are still creating for India. After reading this book, I feel sympathetic for the people of Pakistan. The current condition of Pakistan is primarily because of the Army, Politician and religious extremists.

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    26. Like other reviewers,I found the structure of this book to be a little scattered's not always clear why material is included in one chapter rather than another,and the titular concept of 'the duel' is seldom referred toybe he was just struggling for a title?That said,he has a pithy turn of phrase,a well-developed vocabulary (I haven't seen the word 'quondam' in print for a while!) and a wry sense of humour that comes out perhaps unexpectedly in a book of this sort.a recommended overview of the f [...]

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    27. I loved the book gives the Overview of Pakistan of Political history of Pakistan and american influence on it. Describes how Pakistan lacking a firm political infrastructure fell into the hands of elite n establishment, support of dictators by the americans and the devastating results of the policies that were adopted. Readers with very little knowledge of Pakistan might struggle through, but for those interested in understanding Pakistan, how it came to be what it is today, its highly recommend [...]

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    28. A comprehensive account of Pakistan's political history, which covers the complex and macabre nexus between the U.S. Government and Pakistan's military and central government (at risk of sounding redundant). Tariq Ali demonstrates firsthand insight into the sociopolitical failings of one of South Asia's most important political actors, and how policies and behaviors displayed by the U.S. and Pakistani governments stubbornly continue down a path of socioeconomic deterioration and violence.

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    29. A critical narrative of the political history of Pakistan. Frank assessment of the issues and what is needed. plenty of interesting and sometimes intriguing nuggets of facts / perspective on historical events. but at times the arguments are repetitive and the narration could have been tightened a bit. Overall a good read for both folks who are familiar with south Asia and also folks who don't have much background.

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    30. Superb and unconventional review of Pakistan's short history. Ali's continuous return to U.S.'s unhelpful involvement and ill-advised support of Pakistani dictators is a bit repetitive and tendacious. But, this is Ali and I can accept that. His critical eye in the internal should be a must read to all interested in what is happening today. And why!

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