Which is the best book to read about Pakistan’s history, including the wars and politics?

Mudassir Ali
Jan 09, 2020 10:02 AM 1 Answers
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Which is the best book to read about Pakistan's history, including the wars and politics?

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Sep 30, 2021

There are books you can use as starters, but read them very critically. Just assume everything to be subjective.

The problem is that Pakistan is a product of negative factors. Lack of rule of law in the final days of British India (and thereafter) resulted in a bloody partition. Both India and Pakistan went crazy in their own ways from then on.

Next, Pakistan joined the US side in the Cold War. Afterward, it got lost in figuring out a strategy to control its military (which has kept making India crazier).

So it would be very hard to produce a level-headed account of Pakistan that at least acknowledges different perspectives. You need a guide to piece together the puzzle.

Shahab Namah is one such road map. The author had the honestly to admit to his hallucinations (by giving a chapter to messages from an invisible ‘ninety-year ‘young’ fakir). You have to balance it with Ayub Khan’s autobiography, knowing that it was written before the country split.

The country is culturally as interesting as its geography. You have the Indus Valley civilization, the dawn of the Vedic culture that led to Hinduism, a lot of contact with Central Asia, and even the Greeks, as well as Hinduism. The encounter between mystical Islam and the Bhakti movement is again fascinating.

No one does justice to this. Empires of the Indus is a fascinating book, but the lady who wrote it seems to not like the ‘Punjabi Army’ all that much. The latter is still part and parcel of the land. You can check out Imran Khan’s Indus Journey for another view.

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