x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

The Unraveling: ex-diplomat examines deteriorating US-Pakistan relations

The former US diplomat John R Schmidtexamines the many mistakes made by both the Pakistani government and its one-time US ally in The Unraveling.

The UnravelingJohn R Schmidt
Farrar, Straus and Girook

"Pakistan in the Age of Jihad" seems like a good topic for discussion when left to such an experienced political counsellor as John R Schmidt. The Unraveling charts the progression of terrorist encounters in the country, stemming from religious and sectarian clashes, with Schmidt chipping in his own two cents on how such crises could have been averted from becoming the full-blown catastrophes documented by the press nowadays.

As befits his previous occupation as an employee of the US State Department, Schmidt employs a diplomatic form of description that recounts his observations based on his time in Islamabad. He expands on this further as a foreign affairs analyst, recounting the repercussions of the many mistakes made by both the Pakistan government and their one-time staunch American allies. In fact, the only thing missing from this potent mix is an explanation of how most of these events fall under the misnomer of "jihad" when what they really are catalysed by are underhanded political dealings.

Apart from that oversight, The Unraveling offers an astute explanation for Pakistan's woes and even a few solutions for how it could overcome them in the future.