Head to Head

Pakistan: Victim or exporter of terrorism?

General Asad Durrani, the former head of the ISI, Pakistan’s notorious spy agency, on its role in the “War on Terror”.

“They deluded themselves in believing that they were allies. Actually, they were not,” says former Director-General of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lt. General Asad Durrani, commenting on Pakistan’s rocky relationship with the United States since they allied in the “War on Terror”.

The least that I expect from an audience like this…is to give the Taliban and their supporters in Pakistan a big applause

by General Asad Durrani

In this episode of Head to Head, Mehdi Hasan challenges General Durrani on whether Pakistan is fighting or fuelling international terrorism.

We explore the nation’s role as a US ally in the “War on Terror”, and investigate claims that it has been backing the Afghan Taliban, whilst its offshoot, the Pakistani Taliban, wages a brutal insurgency at home.

Is Pakistan a rogue state? Or is it stuck between a rock and a hard place? And what role should the military play in a democratic Pakistan?

Joining this discussion are:

• Dr Farzana Shaikh, associate fellow at Chatham House and author of Making Sense of Pakistan
• Declan Walsh, Pakistan Bureau chief for the New York Times
• Shazadi Beg, a human rights barrister and Pakistan specialist

What do you think? Post your thoughts in the comments below.

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Head to Head is Al Jazeera’s forum of ideas, a gladiatorial contest tackling big issues such as faith, the economic crisis, democracy and intervention in front of an opinionated audience at the Oxford Union.

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