Of all the places I’ve visited, Pakistan has to be one of the most enigmatic. Its brief history as a nation-state has been marked by turbulence. Since independence from Great Britain and the subsequent partition with India in 1947, Pakistan has been involved in several wars with India. It also endured a civil war that saw East Pakistan secede to become Bangladesh. There have also been military coups, political upheaval, and an ongoing struggle with terrorism.

Pakistan is also in the club of nations with atomic weapons, a fact that has rattled the nerves of many world leaders, given the volatility of the neighborhood. The country shares borders with Afghanistan, India and China, in what has to be one of the most rugged corners of the globe. (more…)