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.