He presents in this book his narrative of the progress of Indo-Pak relations, from the ’70s to the opening years of the new millennium. His writing bears the style of old classical historians like Badauni and Lahori. He also discusses issues like Kashmir and the pursuit of nuclear and missile capabilities in the face of non-proliferation and missile technology control regime. Remember Z.A. Bhutto’s menacing statement that the people of Pakistan were determined to possess atom bombs even if it meant eating grass? He discusses all these issues and the Agra summit of July 2001 too without emotion, in a factual, dry style.
The book itself is a lucid, readable account of the refusal of Indo-Pak relations to move towards any kind of normalcy or neighbourly co-existence, despite their ability, from time to time, to negotiate and accept meaningful agreements like those of Tashkent and Simla. Dixit explains that within its first decade, Pakistan abandoned the new state’s objectives as laid down by M.A. Jinnah. These were to create a modern, democratic, multi-religious, perhaps secular state. The state Jinnah’s successors built up found it unavoidable to invent an enemy they perceived as anxious to pounce upon Pakistan and gobble it up; denying them their rights of acquiring J&K; keeping large segments of Islamic populations under their tyranny and thralldom; a ferociously inimical state which Pakistan must, to defend itself, fracture and fragment. And this monstrous state of Dinia (as originally argued by Chaudhry Rahmat Ali) had to be subdued and occupied by the True Believers in Pakistan. The theme rather subtly runs throughout the book.