‘The Flight into the Abyss’ – The Independent reviews The Duel

The Duel reviewed by Salil Tripathi in The Independent, November 5, 2008.

Too many reasons to be cheerless about Pakistan’s near future.

Once again, Pakistan is in crisis, with Waziristan the newest “most dangerous place” in the world. Islamabad can’t control the escalating conflict, and the government is again run by an unpopular, incompetent and nepotistic civilian administration.

And again, Pakistan is going hat in hand to the IMF, Saudi Arabia and China to face off oil prices, food inflation, dwindling foreign exchange and declining terms of trade.

Tariq Ali has been warning of Pakistan’s collapse for four decades. For those sins, his books have often been banned there, and “generals, corrupt politicians and bearded lunatics” dislike him in equal measure. In The Duel, Ali provides a gossip-filled, witty and polemical history, revealing, with perspicacity and verve, the flight into the abyss. read more