It’s a troubling journey into a complex society trapped between western liberalism and radical Islam, where distortions about India and Indian Muslims dominate most conversations.
Despite its imperfections—a jerky, disjointed narrative and long passages of recorded history—this is an interesting book, made so by the searching questions she asks her protagonists and gets asked in return.
It reads like a heated debate, on theology, diplomacy, perceptions, the Muslim identity and radicalism, democracy and dictatorship and cultural cross currents.
Versey terms the CBMs as “designer peace” and concludes that real peace will never come: being anti-Indian is a crucial component of the Pakistan identity despite their obsession with Bollywood films and Indian television soaps.
She writes with anguish and pessimism, a journey into hearts of darkness with no light at the end of that distorted prism, mainly because as she astutely observes, “every few years Pakistan writes a new fiction” to keep the embers alive.