Frontline World

PAKISTAN - On A Razor's Edge, March 2004

Related Features THE STORY
Synopsis of "On a Razor's Edge"

Assessing Musharraf's Predicament

The Brink of Peace

Reporting on the Nuclear Scandal

Background, Government, Issues

India/Pakistan Relations, Islamic Fundamentalism, Media Resources




Links and Resources

• General Background
• Ongoing Coverage From The New York Times
• Pakistan As a Nuclear Power
• Islamic Fundamentalism in Pakistan
• Pakistan and India
• Media Resources

General Background

The Government of Pakistan
The official home page of Pakistan's government includes a profile of the country's first president, Ali Jinnah, incorporating streaming video and audio clips, as well as profiles of the current president and current prime minister. The site also links to Pakistani official news and to several portals with more information about the country.

CIA World Factbook: Pakistan
The CIA World Factbook is updated annually but contains selected information added throughout the year. The Pakistan entry provides an overview of the country's economy as well information on transnational issues involving Pakistan, including refugees, illegal drug smuggling and the dispute over Kashmir.

BBC Profile: Pakistan
The BBC country profiles provide information on a country's history, politics and economic background. The Pakistan profile includes an extensive historical timeline of key events, background and facts, a profile of General Pervez Musharraf and media resources.

"A Primer Guide to Understanding Pakistan"
This feature from The Washington Post addresses several fundamental questions about Pakistan's relations with the international community, including its relations with India, the United States and groups on the United States' list of terrorist organizations.

Pakistan Virtual Library
This online resource of links about Pakistan is a regional section of Sarai (South Asia Resource Access on the Internet), a virtual library maintained by Columbia University. The Pakistan Virtual Library includes regularly updated links to Pakistan headline news and background on government and law, economics, and culture. The library's currently (March 2004) featured site is a photo essay about the Pakistan folk art of truck painting.

"Lahore Kite Festival Takes Off"
This is a BBC report on the annual kite-flying festival celebrated each February in Lahore, Pakistan, that marks the beginning of spring.

"Return to Pakistan"
In this combination of personal essay and reportage,'s Central Asia correspondent Asra Nomani writes from Lahore, Pakistan weeks after 9/11, weighing in on her own experience returning to the country of her birth, global lash outs against the Muslim world, and what Nomani describes as the rumblings of war.

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Ongoing Coverage From The New York Times

On February 4, 2004, Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, founder and head of Pakistan's nuclear arms program, confessed to his nation in a televised speech that he had shared nuclear technology with Libya, North Korea and Iran. A day later, General Pervez Musharraf pardoned him, saying that as the father of the Islamic nuclear bomb, Dr. Khan remained a national hero. The international pages of The New York Times provide ongoing coverage, from reporters David Rohde and Amy Waldman, of Pakistan's recently unveiled international nuclear proliferation. (All stories require registration.)

"Delicate Dance for Musharraf in Nuclear Case"
This article by David Rohde and Talat Hussein concisely summarizes the extraordinary chain of events culminating in the admission on national television by Pakistan's top nuclear scientist, the much-revered Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, that he sold nuclear weapons secrets. After the apology, which opposition party members and Khan supporters say was coerced, Pakistani president General Pervez Musharraf also appeared on national television, granting Khan a full pardon. The authors of this article mention the delicate "balancing act" by not only Musharraf but also the Bush administration in handling the case. (New York Times, February 8, 2004)

"A Tale of Nuclear Proliferation: How Pakistani Built His Network"
Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, the father of Pakistan's atomic bomb, recently admitted to selling nuclear weapons secrets to Iran, North Korea and Libya. This article explores the subterranean network of nuclear arms trafficking, from Dubai to Pakistan, Malaysia to the Netherlands, and shows how Dr. Khan and his operatives skirted International Atomic Energy Agency rules and nonproliferation oversight. (New York Times, February 12, 2004)

"General, a 'Bridge' From Islam to the West, Worries About His Foundations"
New York Times reporter Amy Waldman conducted this short interview with Pakistani president General Pervez Musharraf after two assassination attempts on the president, in as many weeks, took place in Rawalpindi, the nerve center of Pakistan's military. (New York Times, February 10, 2004)

"Pakistan TV: A New Look at the News"
New York Times reporter Amy Waldman examines the widespread popularity and influence of Geo TV, a private channel, upon Pakistani media and society. The cable channel began broadcasting in 2002 and was founded by a consortium of private investors who hired consultants from CNN and the BBC to train Geo TV's scrappy young staff. Not only does Geo TV feature female reporters, but its live reports, particularly in the wake of the recent assassination attempts on President Musharraf, have shaken Pakistan's state-run channel, PTV, out of its complacence. (New York Times, January 25, 2004)

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Pakistan As a Nuclear Power

"Musharraf set on radical change in policy: Pakistani leader moving surely on terror, new Kashmir strategy"
An article from San Francisco Chronicle foreign service correspondent Juliette Terzieff addresses President Musharraf's recent changes in policy, including the firing of the so-called father of the Islamic bomb, Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, and how these changes relate to the two assassination attempts the president survived in December.

Proliferation News and Resources: South Asia
Proliferation News and Resources of the Non-Proliferation Project is an arm of the global policy program of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a private nonprofit organization. The South Asia resources page compiles current headlines about Pakistan's status as a nuclear power and includes a 2002 map of Pakistan's nuclear laboratories and test sites.

Nuclear Threat Initiative: Pakistan Profile
This group was founded in 2001 by news mogul Ted Turner and former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn. The Nuclear Threat Initiative looks for ways to reduce the global threat posed by nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. An online research library features a wealth of detailed information about Pakistan's arsenals of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction, along with a chronology of the steps in Pakistan's development as a nuclear power.

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
The IAEA is the world's center for nuclear cooperation and monitors nuclear proliferation worldwide. The director general of the agency, Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, recently called for increased vigilance to thwart the developing nuclear black market.

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Islamic Fundamentalism in Pakistan

"Assassination tries linked to al Qaeda; Pakistan investigation points to inside help"
An article from San Francisco Chronicle foreign service correspondent Juliette Terzieff discusses possible al Qaeda ties to the December 14 and December 25, 2003, attempts to assassinate President Musharraf.

International Crisis Group (ICG)
The ICG is a nonprofit, multinational organization that produces regular reports on areas of the world that are at risk of engaging in deadly conflict. The organization recently produced reports on the Pakistani government's relationship with extremism on its borders.

"Militant Flourishes in Plain Sight"
The Los Angeles Times examines how despite President Musharraf's November ban against jihadi activity in Pakistan, Islamic militancy continues to rally outside of Pakistan's capital city through the efforts of leader Fazlur Rehman Khalil. (Registration required.)

Q&A: Islamic Fundamentalism
Learn more about the basic tenets of Islam and how fundamentalist groups fit into the religion. In this question-and-answer feature, reporters from The Christian Science Monitor talk with Professor Charles A. Kimball, chair of the department of religion at North Carolina's Wake Forest University.

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Pakistan and India

CNN Interactive Report on India and Pakistan
Fifty years after India and Pakistan gained independence from Britain, this CNN site from 1997 presents the history of India and Pakistan and of their tumultuous relationship as neighbors. The site includes video and audio clips of key moments in both countries' histories, timelines, and links to breaking news about the two countries.

International Crisis Group (ICG)
The ICG is a nonprofit, multinational organization that produces regular reports through field research on areas of the world that are at risk of engaging in deadly conflict. Recent ICG reports following the organization's research in Pakistan provide differing perspectives on the longtime dispute over Kashmir, from the points of view of Islamabad, New Dehli, Srinagar and "lessons from the past."

The Guardian's Special Report on Kashmir
This special report from The Guardian in the United Kingdom provides ongoing coverage of the disputed territory of Kashmir. The comprehensive and up-to-the-minute site includes reports that explain the history of the conflict, an interactive guide to the region, a photo gallery, and a timeline that chronicles key dates in the conflict between India and Pakistan.

India-Pakistan Dispute From PBS's Online NewsHour
The NewsHour's ongoing coverage of the various frontiers of the conflict between India and Pakistan includes a timeline of the dispute as well as detailed maps of the region that lend geographic context to the regularly updated news.

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Media Resources

Pakistan Press Foundation
The Pakistan Press Foundation is an independent media research, documentation and training center whose stated mission is to promote freedom of the press in Pakistan and internationally.

The Nation
This is the online version of an English-language newspaper based in Lahore.

The Dawn
This is the online version of Pakistan's most widely circulated English-language newspaper, based in Karachi.

The Weekly Independent
This is the online version of a weekly newspaper based in Lahore.

Pakistan News Service
Established in 1991, this online news wire service distributes nonpartisan, independent news to 50 countries worldwide.

The Friday Times
The Friday Times is an independent weekly newspaper based in Lahore.

Geo TV
Geo TV is an extraordinarily popular independent television broadcast company in Pakistan.

Pakistan Television Corporation Inc.
This is the homepage to Pakistan's state-run television corporation.

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