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The Last Ones Left: Inside the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971

With a simple “good luck” from President Richard Nixon, Ambassador Joseph Farland set out to Pakistan, unsure of what to expect. Having previously worked with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) during World War II, Ambassador Farland was always cautious of those around him. Thus, when he entered this post, he had been preparing for […]

Benazir Bhutto, USAID, and Girls’ Education in Pakistan

Nine days after David Sprague arrived in Pakistan to work for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), a plane crash killed President Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq and American Ambassador Arnold Raphel. Three months later, in December 1988, Benazir Bhutto became the prime minister–and the first female to lead a democratic government in a Muslim majority country. […]

The “Blood Telegram” That Angered Henry Kissinger: Violence in East Pakistan/Bangladesh

Shortly after joining USAID in 1969, Desaix “Terry” Meyers found himself witnessing both the aftermath of a major natural disaster, and the devastating levels of sectarian violence that followed in East Pakistan in the early 1970s. After a cyclone hit Pakistan in the fall of 1970, killing over 500,000 people, a famine ensued. This particular […]

Brass Tacks and Kashmir: India-Pakistan Military Crises in the 1980s

A crisis between India and Pakistan erupted between November 1986 and March 1987 after India launched the largest-ever military exercise in the subcontinent, called Operation Brass Tacks. The exercise took place in the desert area of Rajasthan, a few hundred miles from the Pakistani border, and included nine infantry, three mechanized, three armored and one […]

Kashmir and the 1965 Indo-Pakistani War

In the summer of 1965, India and Pakistan returned to the battlefields of Kashmir in a renewed attempt to establish their respective claims over the disputed, fertile region. On August 5th, more than 25,000 Pakistani soldiers, disguised as Kashmiris, infiltrated the area, mingling with their Muslim coreligionists and encouraging insurgency. Indian forces responded violently, launching […]

“Two Men, One Grave” — The Execution of Pakistan’s Ali Bhutto

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, founder of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), served as president of Pakistan in the 1970s.  By 1977, opposition against Bhutto and the PPP had grown due to incidents of repression, corruption, and alleged election fraud. Violence escalated across Pakistan, and Bhutto was overthrown by his army chief, General Zia-ul-Haq. Bhutto was put on […]

Bangladesh and Pakistan

Back to Diplomats and Diplomacy Bangladesh and Pakistan: Flirting with Failure in South Asia “The clarity of Milam’s writing, the comprehensiveness of his coverage, and the underlying terms of his argument, make this book essential reading for anyone with an interest in South Asian politics. Indeed, as a teaching tool this book is simply indispensable.” […]