WMU News

Pakistan is 'between a rock and a hard place'

Sept. 24, 2001

KALAMAZOO -- Pakistan is caught in a squeeze between Afghanistan and the United States and has to tread carefully to maintain its equilibrium and national stability, says Dr. Lawrence Ziring, the Arnold E. Schneider Professor of Political Science at WMU who specializes in Asian studies and Pakistan as well as U.S. foreign relations and NATO.

The world renowned expert on Pakistan's political history says so far, Pakistan's "rhetoric is favorable to our position, but talk is cheap. I'm still waiting to see how this becomes operational." Ziring has been visiting Pakistan regularly since 1957 and is the former president of the American Institute of Pakistan Studies.

"Pakistan does have a great deal of influence over the Taliban because Pakistan created the Taliban with the help of the U.S. and Saudi Arabia," Ziring notes. "The Taliban has a very real connection with the larger Pakistani population -- especially that element of the population that can be easily whipped into a state of religious fervor. And that's a sizeable part of the population."

Media contact: Marie Lee, 616 387-8400, marie.lee@wmich.edu

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