This book comes at a time when India-Pakistan diplomatic friction is heightened in the wake of Uri attacks and the counter surgical operations. Sleepwalking to Surrender truthfully provides a perspective into the terror outfits operating from across the border, posing numerous threats to both India and Pakistan, former in form of insurgencies and latter with respect to the turmoil that is evident on its ground. It is becoming increasingly evident that Pakistan is on the brink of becoming a failed state since the only ambition that the leaders of the country have, is to continue harboring terrorists on its soil and using them to instigate proxy war in the Indian subcontinent. One can see this evident from the fact that the nation, which also obtained ‘Freedom at Midnight’ just like its neighbor, India, is not identified with development or public policy issues but by two identities – Taliban and Pakistan Army. In this hardbound nonfiction, over 450 pages book, the author has magnificently captured how the terror outfits control – by way of extortion, kidnapping and murder, the funding for their activities. The State’s attempt variously to enter into, what is termed interestingly as ‘peace talk’ confirms the surrender of a nation to extremism.
These non-state actors have, over the years, become more powerful than the state itself. Interestingly, Ahmed also attempts to contrast the ways in which India deals with its Naxalite-Maoist insurgency to Pakistan’s dealing with the Taliban. “India is not endangered by the Naxalite-Maoist insurgency
because the ideology of the state of India is not the same as that of the rebels.” In the wake of the sudden upheaval in the Indo-Pak relations, the eighth chapter of the book, “Modi and Pakistan” becomes significant. This particular chapter of the book loses its contemporary layer as the author is fixed around “will”, signifying his assumptions about the Indo-Pak relations from an earlier point of view. The chapter seems to have been penned earlier but carries significance nonetheless. “Prime Minister Sharif can hit it off with Prime Minister Modi”, writes Ahmed. “But will be hampered by elements that force the world to call Pakistan a failed state by reason of lost ‘internal sovereignty’. Modi will take the trade-first option offered by Sharif; but if he is squeezed on the ‘Kashmir-first’ option he will join the rest of the world on squeezing Sharif with ‘do-more’ pressure against Pakistan’s ‘instruments of foreign policy’, the non-state actors.”
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