Report – Book Launch “No Win War: The Paradox of US-Pakistan Relations in Afghanistan’s Shadow”

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The Centre for Afghanistan Middle East and Africa at the Institute of Strategic Studies hosted a book launch of ‘No Win War’ by eminent journalist Zahid Hussain. The distinguished speakers at the occasion included, Senator Sherry Rehman, Ambassador Salman Bashir and Ambassador Asif Durrani.

The introductory remarks were given by Ms. Amina Khan, Director Centre for Afghanistan, Middle East & Africa (CAMEA) at ISSI. While giving her remarks, she stated that the Book ‘No Win War’,  authored by Zahid Hussain gives a valuable insight of the PAK-US relationship post 9/11 era in the shadow of the war in Afghanistan, making the book a timely and  important  addition to the existing literature on the subject. She further said that the book explores the connection between Pakistan’s domestic political developments and US’s foreign policy in the region, particularly Afghanistan, and sheds light on how the Pak-US relationship has often waxed and waned due to deviating views on Afghanistan. The book rightly highlights the efforts made by Pakistan as a facilitator in the Afghan peace process and how it helped the US and Taliban reach a negotiated settlement. She said that the author outlines the contradictions that have characterized Pak US relations and how relations have usually evolved in response to global or regional geopolitical realities. She also said that one may not entirely agree with the Zahid Sahib’s views regarding Pakistan’s alleged patronage of the Taliban and pursuance of the policy of ‘strategic depth’, which is an outdated narrative to say the least. She further said that overall the book brings a rather interesting perspective on the need for all sides to rectify past mistakes. The book also throws light on the fact that despite all odds a complete breakdown of US Pakistan relations is certainly not an option.

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