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A State in Denial by veteran journalist B. G. Verghese explores a subject of immense global significance - Pakistan and where it is positioned in relation to India and the world. After a brisk overview of the events that have come to define post-Independence Pakistan - the battle for Kashmir, the integration of Karat and Hyderabad into India, the creation of Bangladesh - Verghese, drawing from rare archival material, approaches subjects that have long been contentious - the Indus water treaty, Siachen and A. Q. Khan's dangerous nuclear forays. Even while analyzing Pakistan's present-day plunge into internal dissent, self-made jihadi extremism, provincial rivalry and military rule, Verghese offers a gentle way out of the nation's self-made dilemmas - by encouraging Pakistan to become more than the Indian 'other', and urging it to move away from fundamentalism and embrace the syncretic, Sufi-infused Islam it once knew. B. G. Verghese's last book is a powerful reminder that the core issue with Pakistan is not Kashmir - rather, it is the lack of a clear identity, the absence of a positive ideology and the reluctance of the nation to fully accept its history.
About the Author
B. G. Verghese (1927-2014) is one of India's best-known and most respected journalists. He was also a visiting fellow, centre for policy research, New Delhi, a columnist and an author. Born in Maymyo, Burma (Now Myanmar), Verghese studied at the Doon School, read economics at St Stephen's College, and at Cambridge. He was with The Times of India until 1966 and was later the editor of The Indian Express (1982 - 1986). At various points in his distinguished career, B. G. Verghese was also information adviser to Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, information consultant to the defence minister in 2001, a member of the National Security Advisory Board, and a member of the Kargil Review Committee. For his commendable work, Verghese was a recipient of the Magsaysay Award in 1975 and Assam's Sankaradeva Award in 2005. He passed away on 30 December 2014.