A Dive into the Abyss


Pranay Kotasthane, PRAGATI

Published 17 March, 2017


The Pakistani state has an unenviable reputation. It is a complex run both by the military and by jihadis. It is a prominent exponent of rent-seeking behaviour. It is a basket case of military supremacy with a diplomatic veneer. And yet, there is one reason to be pleased that it exists. (more…)

Pakistan: A Dangerous Divide

Vivekananda International Foundation, Published 16 March 2017


The civil-military tug of war in Pakistan has masked what could be an even more dangerous divide in the polity. This is the growing alienation among Pakhtuns in Pakistan during the last few years, culminating in the recent racial profiling of the community in Punjab. (more…)

Officially Outlawing Love

KHALED AHMED, Indian Express

Published 04 March 2017

Officially Outlawing Love

Extract from article

Pakistan is evolving from, according to Tilak Devasher in his easily-the-best book on Pakistan, Courting the Abyss, Jinnah’s lack of clarity on what the state would be. On August 11, 1947, Jinnah said: “You may belong to any religion or caste or creed; that has nothing to do with the business of the state.” But on December 14-15, he told the Muslim League: “Let it be clear Pakistan is going to be a Muslim state based on Islamic ideals.” On January 25, 1948, he declared that Pakistan’s Constitution would be based on Islamic law (sharia) “to make Pakistan a truly great Islamic State”.

The writer is consulting editor, ‘Newsweek Pakistan’

United with a rope of sand


AJAI SAHNI, India Today

Published 03 March 2017


We live in an age of jingoistic ultranationalism, and a book on Pakistan by a former top Indian intelligence officer raises expectations of a high measure of rancour and stridency. Instead, Devasher approaches his subject with extraordinary calm, but is unblinking in his gaze on Pakistan’s endless courting of the abyss. (more…)

CPEC: A game changer or debt enhancer for Pakistan?


SOUTH ASIA MONITOR Published 03 February 2017


Book extract from the chapter on Pak-China Relations

There are several issues with the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project. For one, transparency and accountability have been sacrificed because details of the projects have not been shared, there is no public bidding or even announcement. Clearly, the intention is that the major proportion of these loans will be channelled back to China to (more…)

Pakistan: Courting The Abyss


THE CITIZEN, Published  24 January 2017


Excerpt from a chapter in the book ‘A Question of Identity and Ideology’

For Pakistan’s leaders, defining a Pakistani identity was a critical issue for two reasons. First, the geographical areas that came to constitute Pakistan had never before existed as a country.

Second, the identity had to be different and distinct from India since Pakistan had been carved out of India and as a new country with an unfamiliar name had to be acknowledged by the world as such. (more…)