AHMED RASHID – DESCENT INTO CHAOS
In his new book, DESCENT INTO CHAOS, AHMED RASHID asks what has gone wrong since the invasion of Afghanistan.
This interview was recorded June 13th. This from an editorial in that m…
AHMED RASHID – DESCENT INTO CHAOS In his new book, DESCENT INTO CHAOS, AHMED RASHID asks what has gone wrong since the invasion of Afghanistan. This interview was recorded June 13th. This from an editorial in that morning’s New York Times: “There is enormous confusion about what happened Tuesday night on Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan. Pakistani officials say that American air and artillery strikes killed 11 of their paramilitary troops, and some are angrily demanding an end to all military cooperation. The Bush administration says that American forces were firing in self-defense — against Taliban fighters crossing into Afghanistan — and made conflicting statements about whether any Pakistani troops had died.” A center of global instability for many decades, this is just the latest example of why Pakistan may now be the most dangerous place on Earth. Bordering Iran, Afghanistan and its perennial enemy, India, the nation straddles racial and religious fault lines, the impoverished majority Sunni population rubbing up against a minority of wealthy Shiites. The Islamic republic has spawned thousands of religious seminaries whose graduates have gone on to fight across South Asia, Chechnya and the Philippines, and most recently planned attacks in Madrid, London and Frankfurt, Germany. Almost every global terrorist plot carried out or prevented since 2004 has been traced to training, funding or material support from al-Qaeda based in Pakistan's northwest areas. To top things off, there is our allie’s unsecured nuclear weapons program and the nuke bazaar run for years by General Khan which supplied “rogue” states with nuclear technology and expertise. The US has spent over $10 billion in aid to Pakistan since 2001, about half for operations on our behalf against extremists, especially in Afghanistan. Following the murder of Benazir Bhutto, the change in Pakistan's government and military structure, and the recent attempt on the life of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, the political climate is no more stable than it was seven years ago -- when AHMED RASHID introduced the English-speaking world to the region in his New York Times bestseller, TALIBAN (translated into 26 languages, English language sales over 1.5 million copies.) AHMED RASHID is a Pakistani journalist, based in Lahore, who writes for "The Daily Telegraph (London)", "The Washington Post", "The International Herald Tribune", "The New York Review of Books", "BBC Online", and "The Nation". His books include JIHAD, TALIBAN, and THE RESURGENCE OF CENTRAL ASIA, and his newest, DESCENT INTO CHAOS. In January 2002 he established the ‘’Open Media Fund for Afghanistan’’ (OMFA), which gives cash grants to newly starting independent print media in Afghanistan.