The Role of Islam in Pakistan’s Future

By Husain Haqqani

The Washington Quarterly, Winter 2004-05

Although listed among the U.S. allies in the war on terrorism, Pakistan cannot easily be characterized as either friend or foe. Indeed, Pakistan has become a major center of radical Islamist ideas and groups, largely because of its past policies toward India and Afghanistan. Pakistan supported Islamist militants fighting Indian rule in the disputed territory of Jammu and Kashmir and backed the Taliban in its pursuit of a client regime in Afghanistan. Since the September 11 attacks, however, the selective cooperation of Pakistan’s president and military ruler, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, in sharing intelligence with the United States and apprehending Al Qaeda members has led to the assumption that Pakistan might be ready to give up its long-standing ties with radical Islam.

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