Category Archives: Books

Crossed Swords

Crossed SwordsBased on 30 years of research and analysis, this definitive book is a profound, multi-layered, and historical analysis of the nature and role of the Pakistan army in the country’s polity as well as its turbulent relationship with the United States. Shuja Nawaz examines the army and Pakistan in both peace and war. Using many hitherto unpublished materials from the archives of the United States, the United Kingdom, and the General Headquarters of the Pakistan Army, as well as interviews with key military and political figures in Pakistan and the United States, he sheds light not only on the Pakistan Army and its US connections but also on Pakistan as a key Muslim country in one of the world’s toughest neighbourhoods. In doing so, he lays bare key facts about Pakistan’s numerous wars with India and its many rounds of political musical chairs, as well as the Kargil conflict of 1999. He then draws lessons from this history that may help Pakistan end its wars within and create a stabler political entity. Forthcoming April 2008, Oxford University Press (Pakistan) and May 2008 OUP, USA.

To order from OUP USA please visit here.

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Advance Reviews

“This is by far the fullest and most authoritative analysis yet pubished of Pakistan and its army and intelligence services”
William Dalrymple, The New York Review of Books, Feb 12, 2009

“Shuja Nawaz has used his considerable expertise to delve deep into the Pakistan Army. The result is an insightful study of an institution that has been, and remains, the center of gravity in Pakistan. This superbly researched book comes at a critical time in Pakistan’s history. A must read to understand the past and the ongoing events.”
General Jehangir Karamat, Chief of Army Staff, Pakistan. 1996-98

“This exceptionally authoritative book, rich in insider history, could not have come at a better time as a key to understanding the underlying power structures of Pakistan as it struggles to find its place in the world.”
Barbara Crossette, former South Asia Bureau Chief, The New York Times

“Shuja Nawaz’ study is as definitive as we are likely to get: no other book has penetrated so deeply into the army, and so carefully examined this powerful institution in the context of Pakistan’s history and politics.”
Stephen P. Cohen, The Brookings Institution, Washington DC, author of The Pakistan Army, and The Idea of Pakistan

“An exhaustive account of the most powerful pillar of the Pakistani state structure, this is more than just a study of a single institution. It is an insider’s considered view of sixty years of Pakistani history. Using information culled from an array of hitherto unused sources, including some rare interviews and the Pakistan army’s own archives, the author blends astute analysis and gripping historical narrative with consummate skill. Containing a welter of insights into the military mindset, its partnership with the civil bureaucracy and attitude towards the political fraternity, this is a book no serious student of Pakistan can afford to miss.”
Ayesha Jalal, Mary Richardson Professor of History, Tufts University

“To understand Pakistan you need to understand the army and to understand the army you need to read this book.”
Owen Bennett-Jones, BBC, author of Pakistan: Eye of the Storm (Yale 2002)

At a time of crisis and peril for Pakistan, this ground breaking book offers unprecedented information about and provides unique insights into the country’s most important and powerful institution. Nawaz opens new ground on the army that has ruled Pakistan for half its political life. The army wields immense power in troubled Pakistan. Nawaz explains why and how in the most well researched and lucidly written book of its kind.”
Ahmed Rashid, author of Taliban, and Jihad: the Rise of Militant Islam in Central Asia

“Running at more than 600 pages, this densely researched study of Pakistan’s army – the country’s premier political institution – is set to become a standard reference. Based on a wealth of primary documentary sources and privileged access to key players, both domestic and foreign, it lays bare the less-than-benign role of a power broker that has dominated Pakistan’s national politics and that could yet determine its future course”.
Farzana Shaikh, Associate Fellow, Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House), London

‘Crossed Swords is extremely authoritative and based on extensive research; it balances the in-depth knowledge of the insider with the critical eye of the scholar; and is both accessible enough for students while invaluable for specialists. In short, it is much needed and fills a longstanding gap on the existing literature on Pakistan.’

Yasmin Khan, author of The Great Partition: The Making of India and Pakistan (Yale University Press 2007)

FATA — A Most Dangerous Place

FATAIncreased militancy and violence in the border region between Afghanistan and Pakistan known as the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan has brought FATA into sharper focus, as U.S., Afghan, and Pakistani leaders attempt to find solutions to the problems underlying the situation there. This most dangerous spot on the map may well be the source of another 9/11 type of attack on the Western world or its surrogates in the region. Should such an attack occur, it likely will be spawned in the militancy that grips FATA and contiguous areas in Afghanistan and Pakistan today. The principal actors are the Taliban, in both countries; their allies—former Soviet-era mujahideen commanders including Gulbadin Hekmatyar of the Hezbe Islami and the Haqqani group (headed by Jalaluddin and his son Siraj); Sunni militants from Central and Southern Punjab; and al Qaeda, which benefits from links to most of these insurgents. The Taliban leader Mullah Omar is suspected to be hiding in southwestern Afghanistan and Pakistani Balochistan. The Taliban are engaged in a struggle against foreign forces inside Afghanistan and now against the military in Pakistan. Hekmatyar has spoken against the Pakistani government but has not yet taken up arms against it. The Haqqanis have also not provoked a battle with the Pakistani forces as yet. The Punjabi militants, however, have become franchisees of al Qaeda and have been linked to attacks on the Pakistani state and its army.

While many ideas have been put forward for tackling the issues facing FATA, too often they rely on longer-term plans and solutions. This report attempts to define the conditions that spawn militancy and violence among the Pakhtun tribesmen that inhabit FATA and suggest practicable ways of approaching them in the short and medium term. Concrete actions by the principal actors—the U.S., Afghan and Pakistan governments and the U.S. and Pakistan militaries—are suggested. These will need to be underpinned by a national debate in Pakistan, in particular, on the nature of the country’s polity and the need to tackle terrorism and militancy as domestic issues. But the debate will need to be rooted in a clear consensus among the civil and military leadership on the nature of the Pakistani state and society and how to tackle the growing militancy inside the country and in broad-based support from major political parties and the general public. The United States needs to forge a longer-term relationship with Pakistan and its people, shifting from a transactional relationship to one built on strategic considerations and respect for Pakistan’s political and development needs. Failure to bring peace and to restore a modicum of stability to FATA will have widespread repercussions for the region and perhaps the world.

This report by a team sponsored by the Center for Strategic and International Studies of Washington DC was released on January 7, 2008. The principal author is Shuja Nawaz.

You can download the report as a PDF file: FATA – A Most Dangerous Place

The video and audio can be reached at http://www.csis.org/component/option,com_csis_events/task,view/id,1893/

Journeys

JourneysJourneys is Shuja Nawaz’s travelogue that traces a complex of journeys across the globe. But wherever he goes, the pull of memory draws him towards Pakistan. He captures the sounds and the sights of his homeland while viewing foreign lands through the lens of a native Punjabi. He attempts to revisit and revive many of the rhythms and rhymes of Punjabi poetry in English verse, using his experience with translations, including that of the Potohari verse of the late Baqi Siddiqui of Rawalpindi. This book of verse is a celebration of Shuja Nawaz’s deep and strong emotional links with the land of his birth. Published by Oxford University Press 1998. Out of Print.