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Pakistan's Identity Crisis

Steve Coll describes hearing a Pakistani author's fascinating snapshot of a schizophrenic nation:

As evidence that Pakistan is a less easily defined place than newspaper headlines typically allow, he cited: 1) Two Pakistani mock news shows that blatantly imitate Jon Stewart, down to the anchor’s wardrobe; and 2) sold-out Lahore productions of the musical “Chicago,” with an all-male cast. More worryingly, he described picking up his favorite Urdu-language, pulp detective-fiction magazine in a Karachi bookstore and being startled by a passionate editorial denouncing the U.S. Predator drone attacks as a violation of Pakistani dignity and sovereignty. After the editorial, it was pulp fiction as usual. It was a reminder that the United States is not thinking nearly hard enough about how its counterterrorism policies may be destabilizing mainstream Pakistan.

--Michael Crowley