Now in paperback, from a writer with unrivalled access and knowledge, a riveting portrait of America’s closest ally in the war on terror as it spirals into political chaos.The sixth most populous country in the world, Pakistan is the only Islamic state to have nuclear weapons. Its border with Afghanistan extends over 1,000 miles and is the likely hideout of Osama bin Laden. 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.
With unilateral incursions into Pakistan by U.S. troops pursuing Taliban fighters, and surveys indicating that more than seventy percent of Pakistanis fear America as a military threat, relations between the two countries remain tense. 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 The Duel, 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.
Writer, journalist and film-maker Tariq Ali was born in Lahore and was educated at Oxford University, where he was president of the Oxford Union (a position subsequently occupied by Benazir Bhutto). He was a prominent leader of opposition to the war in Vietnam. Today he writes regularly for a range of publications including The Guardian, The Nation and The London Review of Books and is on the editorial board of New Left Review. He has written more than a dozen books including non-fiction such as Can Pakistan Survive? The Clash of Fundamentalisms, Bush in Babylon and Pirates of the Caribbean, and fiction including Shadows of the Pomegranate Tree, The Stone Woman and A Sultan in Palermo, as well scripts for both stage and screen. He lives in London.
"A well-informed, compelling narrative...Ali uses his own encounters with historical figures - Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Indira Gandhi, Benazir Bhutto...they add an urgent, intimate layer to the narrative." -- The Guardian
"Pakistan is the most dangerous country in the world...Yet most Americans don't realize how much of the Pakistani peril is our own fault. The Duel ... should be read for an understanding of, first, what role America has played in creating this dangerous mix and, second, why many Pakistanis see us as responsible for their problems." --The Washington Post