Thursday, January 1, 2015

Magnificent Delusions by Husain Haqqani

Husain Haqqani, the author, is a former Ambassador of Pakistan to US. He was charged with conspiring against the Pak government and had to leave his country and take shelter in the USA. Haqqani a member of Benazir Bhutto's party PPP is an erudite in foreign affairs and Pakistani history. Having access to the corridors of power in the both US and Pak he was privy to secrets and top level Pakistani government and Army functionaries.

Haqqani elucidates the diplomatic and foreign relations between Pak and US starting from the conceptualization of Pakistan, which would serve as a home to Muslims of South East Asia and to the discovery and assassination of infamous mass murderer Osama Bin Laden in Abbotabad, Pakistan in 2011. Haqqani describes how the US has played a pivotal role in harboring, nurturing and supporting the Pakistani establishment in the form of billions of dollars in aid and arms.

The most enlightening facet of the book is how each Pakistani leader starting from the civilian rulers like Liaquat Ali Khan, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto to Military dictators like General Ayub to Zia and to Musharaff have begged for aid and money from the American Presidents. This is a recurrent theme in the book, as Haqqani is taking us through a tour of Pak history and its relationship with the most powerful nation in the world each new leader keeps on repeating the same things to the Americans ad nauseam, Pakistan's strategic location, its powerful military, anti-communism and the viscous machinations of India.