Pakistan’s “American Dream”

Posted by: Simon Cameron Moore

Pakistan cropped up with uncomfortable regularity during the U.S. presidential campaign, but listening to Barack Obama and John McCain it was difficult to discern how different their approach would be in dealing with one of America’s most complicated and conflicted allies.

Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari met leaders of both the Democrat and Republican camps just weeks after his own election in September, but unfortunately the controversy stirred by his unguarded compliment for Sarah Palin earned more comment than the substance of those meetings.

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An Exclusive Interview with Ahmed Rashid by Wajahat Ali

Modern day Pakistan and Afghanistan are hardly the sterling role models of political stability; instead, they represent volatile and erratic nation states violently searching for a new identity amidst a recent history of extremism, corruption and chaos. Decorated journalist and commentator Ahmed Rashid has followed the turbulent history of both countries for nearly three decades. His book, Taliban, released shortly before the 9-11 tragedy remains a seminal work on the subject and his subsequent work Jihad provided a well researched examination into the rise of religious extremism and political terrorism in Central Asia. His latest book Descent into Chaos: The United States and the Failure of Nation Building in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Central Asia represents a lifetime of research and reporting from the region with Rashid blasting all parties, even the United States, for their shared responsibility and culpability of a region teetering on the tenuous ledge between reformation and anarchy. This exclusive interview, taken before Musharraf’s recent resignation, focuses on the reasons for the return of the Afghan Taliban, the creeping Talibanization of Northern Pakistan, the rise of Pakistani extremism, the United State’s failure to curb terrorism due to misguided policy, and the role of Central Asia in fighting the “War on Terror.”

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