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Pakistan and Islamic Fundamentalism: Conversation with Khaled Ahmed, Consulting Editor, the Friday Times, Lahore, Pakistan; 2/19/02 by Harry Kreisler

This interview is part of the Institute's "Conversations with History" series, and uses Internet technology to share with the public Berkeley's distinction as a global forum for ideas.

Welcome to a Conversation with History. I'm Harry Kreisler of the Institute of International Studies. Our guest today is Khaled Ahmed, who is a consulting editor of The Friday Times, Lahore, Pakistan. He is one of the best known political analysts writing in the Pakistani press, and his weekly column appears every Friday in that journal.

  1. Background ... birth of Pakistan ... influence of parents ... tribal identity ... Persian-influenced education ... newspapers and books ... diversity of Islamic thought ... college and graduate work ... multilingual ... exposure to Western liberalism ... influential Western books
  2. Becoming a Writer ... late-eighties newspaper boom ... advocating rationalism ... conveying information and shaping style
  3. Modern Islam ... utopianism ... silence of the moderates ... influence of medieval jurists on modern Islamic states... tension between government and clergy in lawmaking ... spillover into anit-Westernism ... impact on economic development: the problem of banking ... the individual in Islam
  4. Pakistan as an Islamic State ... an incomplete ideological state ... pressure from clergy ... importance of free press ... Westernized elites ... space for a reformer committed to Islam
  5. Impact of Afghan - Soviet War on Pakistan ... overthrow of democracy at the beginning of the war ... Pakistan's covert role in the war ... returning soldiers exempt from civil laws ... fragmentation and destruction of Afghanistan ... ousting Afghanistan's moderate leaders ... "Talibanization" of Pakistan ... high church/low church conflicts ... the role of Saudi Arabian money
  6. Other Issues for Pakistan ... Kashmir ... nuclear weapons ... hope for the future of Pakistan: power of international persuasion ... fears for Pakistan: overpopulation ... economic problems and proposed solutions
  7. Lessons Learned ... cultural roots ... broad knowledge of other cultures

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