Labor of War

Books by Maniza Naqvi

This has been a decade of bombardment of non-fiction books focused on inventing and imagining Pakistan and on burying it under these explanations. In addition to these titles from 2001 to 2011 there has been a proliferation of prolific instant experts explaining Pakistan and what should be done in and to Pakistan.

Type in “Pakistan” in the search bar on and an instructive number of non-fiction titles come up. I stopped at 51 afraid that along with getting nauseous because of the titles I would get carpal tunnel. Some of the titles sound like pulp fiction with words such as “deadly embrace” or “hard” or ‘deep inside” or “to live or perish” or “deception” or “reconciliation” or “duel” or “soldiers of god” and, dangerous, most dangerous, frightening, failed, chaos, or hard and so on but alas disappoint. Interestingly, though only three came up listed for Pakistan as novels. The impressive number of novels by Pakistani authors can be found by typing in the names of the authors or the titles of the books.

The Pakistan flag also comes up, in stock at a discounted price down from US$2.40 marked down to US$1.60 four by six inches.

On the basis of this list alone there have been about five books per year. The Lonely Planet Guidebook for tourists on Pakistan comes up as well. However, this narrative of war and violence in these 51 books provides another kind of guide book on the yearly trend of where it is moving towards geographically and politically. Title 5, released in 2004 and written by Bernard Levy (yes now of Libya liberation fame and yes the so called philosopher) and title 50 by Peter Bergen (the media anointed expert on terrorism) released June 2011 fresh after the story in Abbottabad on May 1, 2011 doesn’t come up under Pakistan but chapter 15 is devoted to belaboring the point, it is called Pakistan: The New Base.

These titles are listed in chronological order below to give a sense of the rising crescendo of screeching hysteria and assault against Pakistan and provide the narrative that has been written and marketed over the last decade:

1. The United States and Pakistan, 1947-2000: Disenchanted Allies (Adst-Dacor Diplomats and Diplomacy Series) by Dennis Kux (Paperback – Jun 5, 2001)

2. Islamic Leviathan: Islam and the Making of State Power (Religion and Global Politics) by Seyyed Vali Reza Nasr (Hardcover – Sep 13, 2001)

3. Soldiers of God: With Islamic Warriors in Afghanistan and Pakistan by Robert D. Kaplan (Paperback – Nov 27, 2001)

4. Pakistan's Drift Into Extremism: Allah, then Army, and America's War Terror by Hassan Abbas (Paperback – Aug 2004)

5. Who Killed Daniel Pearl by Bernard Henri Levy (Paperback – Nov 4, 2004)

6. Pakistan: Between Mosque And Military by Husain Haqqani (Paperback – Jul 2005)

7. The Idea of Pakistan by Stephen Philip Cohen

8. Deadly Embrace: Pakistan, America, and the Future of Global Jihad by Bruce O. Riedel(Paperback – Aug 1, 2006)

9. Islamist Networks: The Afghan-Pakistan Connection (The CERI Series in Comparative Politics and International Studies) by Mariam Abou Zahab and Olivier Roy (Paperback – Nov 14, 2006)

10. Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace… One School at a Time by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin (Hardcover – Feb 2007)

11. Military Control in Pakistan: The Parallel State (Routledge Advances in South Asian Studies) by Mazhar Aziz (Paperback – Dec 9, 2007)

12. Military Inc.: Inside Pakistan's Military Economy by Ayesha Siddiqa (Paperback – May 9, 2007)

13. Deception: Pakistan, the United States, and the Secret Trade in Nuclear Weapons by Adrian Levy and Catherine Scott-Clark (Hardcover – Oct 16, 2007) – Bargain Price

14. Reconciliation: Islam, Democracy, and the West by Benazir Bhutto (Hardcover – Feb 12, 2008)

15. The Duel: Pakistan on the Flight Path of American Power by Tariq Ali (Hardcover – Sep 16, 2008)

16. Frontline Pakistan: The Struggle with Militant Islam by Zahid Hussain (Paperback – Jul 25, 2008)

17. Soldiers of God: With Islamic Warriors in Afghanistan and Pakistan (Vintage Departures) by Robert D. Kaplan (Kindle Edition – Dec 24, 2008) – Kindle eBook

18. Madrassah Challenge: Militancy and Religious Education in Pakistan (Perspectives Series) by C. Christine Fair (Paperback – Mar 2008)

19. War, Coups and Terror: Pakistan's Army in Years of Turmoil by Brian Cloughley (Hardcover – May 1, 2009)

20. Descent into Chaos: The U.S. and the Disaster in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Central Asia by Ahmed Rashid (Paperback – Apr 7, 2009 also see Jihad: The Rise of Militant Islam in Central Asia by Ahmed Rashid (Paperback – Dec 31, 2002)

21. Making Sense of Pakistan (Columbia/Hurst) by Farzana Shaikh (Hardcover – Jul 2, 2009)

22. FATA–A Most Dangerous Place by Shuja Nawaz (Paperback – Jan 7, 2009)

23. Crossed Swords: Pakistan, Its Army, and the Wars Within (Oxford Pakistan Paperbacks) by Shuja Nawaz (Paperback – Oct 11, 2009)

24. Songs of Blood and Sword: A Daughter's Memoir by Fatima Bhutto (Hardcover – Sep 28, 2010)

25. The Scorpion's Tail: The Relentless Rise of Islamic Militants in Pakistan-And How It Threatens America by Zahid Hussain (Hardcover – Nov 16, 2010) –

26. U. S. Strategy for Pakistan and Afghanistan (Independent Task Force Report) by Richard L. Armitage, Samuel R. Berger and Daniel S. Markey (Paperback – Dec 17, 2010)

27. Pakistan: Deep Inside the World's Most Frightening State by Mary Anne Weaver (Paperback – Feb 16, 2010)

28. To Live or to Perish Forever: Two Tumultuous Years in Pakistan by Nicholas Schmidle (Paperback – Mar 2, 2010)

29. Pakistan: Democracy, Terrorism, and the Building of a Nation by Iftikhar Haider Malik (Paperback – Jul 16, 2010)

30. Counterinsurgency in Pakistan by Seth G. Jones and Christine C. Fair (Paperback – Jul 16, 2010)

31. Pakistan: In the Shadow of Jihad and Afghanistan by Mary Anne Weaver (Kindle Edition – Apr 1, 2010) – Kindle eBook

32. The Afghanistan-Pakistan Theater: Militant Islam, Security & Stability by Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, Clifford D. May, Hassan Abbas and C. Christine Fair (Paperback – May 20, 2010) India, Pakistan, and the Bomb: Debating Nuclear Stability in South Asia (Contemporary Asia in the World) by Sumit Ganguly and S. Paul Kapur (Hardcover – Feb 22, 2010)

33. Playing with Fire: Pakistan at War with Itself by Pamela Constable (Hardcover – Jul 19, 2011)

34. Pakistan: Eye of the Storm, 3rd edition by Owen Bennett Jones(Hardcover – Jul 19, 2011)

35. Pakistan: Beyond the Crisis State by Maleeha Lodhi (Hardcover – Sep 14, 2011)

36. The Unraveling: Pakistan in the Age of Jihad by John R. Schmidt (Hardcover – Sep 13, 2011)

37. Playing with Fire: Pakistan at War with Itself by Pamela Constable (Kindle Edition – Jul 19, 2011) – Kindle eBook

38. The Most Dangerous Place: Pakistan's Lawless Frontier by Imtiaz Gul (Paperback – May 31, 2011)

39. Pakistan and the Mumbai Attacks: The Untold Story (Kindle Single) by Sebastian Rotella (Kindle Edition – Jan 18, 2011) – Kindle eBook

40. Pakistan: Terrorism Ground Zero by Rohan Gunaratna and Khuram Iqbal (Hardcover – Feb 15, 2011)

41. Deadly Embrace: Pakistan, America, and the Future of Global Jihad by Bruce Riedel (Kindle Edition – Jan 11, 2011) – Kindle eBook

42. How Pakistan Negotiates with the United States: Riding the Roller Coaster (Cross-Cultural Negotiation Books) by Teresita C. Schaffer and Howard B. Schaffer (Paperback – Apr 1, 2011)

43. The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan by Kim Barker (Hardcover – Mar 22, 2011)

44. Afghanistan and Pakistan: Conflict, Extremism, and Resistance to Modernity (Woodrow Wilson Center Press) by Riaz M. Khan (Hardcover – Jul 19, 2011)

45. The Pakistan Cauldron: Conspiracy, Assassination & Instability by James P. Farwell and Joseph D. Duffey (Hardcover – Oct 31, 2011)

46. American Interests in South Asia: Building a Grand Strategy in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India by Robert Blackwill, James Dobbins, Michael O'Hanlon and Clare Lockhart (Paperback – Mar 14, 2011)

47. The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan by Kim Barker (Kindle Edition – Mar 22, 2011) – Kindle eBook

48. In the Shadow of Shari'ah: Islam, Islamic Law, and Democracy in Pakistan (Columbia/Hurst) by Matthew J. Nelson (Hardcover – Jun 7, 2011)

49. Pakistan: A Hard Country by Anatol Lieven (Kindle Edition – Apr 12, 2011) –

50. The Longest War: The Enduring Conflict between America and Al-Qaeda by Peter L. Bergen (Paperback – Jun 28, 2011) Chapter 15: Pakistan: The New Base.

51. Instant City: Life and Death in Karachi by Steve Inskeep (Oct 13, 2011)