I’ve been resisting diving into the WikiLeaks controversy, in part because the information contained in the documents – including allegations of Pakistani complicity with the Taliban – is not new. Yet at the same time you can’t entirely dismiss as old news something which has generated such a media feeding frenzy. So here are a few pointers to add to the discussion.
Pakistan: Now or Never?
In a new book launched this week about the ill-fated attempt by British imperialists in the mid 19th century to occupy Afghanistan, I came across an interesting detail: the Afghans refused to play cricket. During the occupation of Kabul by British troops from India, “the Afghans looked on with astonishment at the bowling, batting and fagging out of the English players”, writes former Reuters journalist Jules Stewart in “Crimson Snow: Britain’s First Disaster in Afghanistan“.
With NATO saying it is nearing a deal to use Russian land and airspace to supply its security forces in Afghanistan, I’ve been trying to work out what this could mean for Pakistan.