Nicholas Shmidle’s The Idiot’s Guide to Pakistan, with the description ‘Everyone in Washington is talking about Pakistan, but few understand it. Here’s how to dazzle the crowd at your next Georgetown cocktail party.’ My favourite part so far:
The ISI is the intelligence wing of the military. The Army, meanwhile, has its own intelligence wing, confusingly named Military Intelligence (MI). The Interior Ministry has its own: Special Branch. And so on and so forth; there are more intelligence wings in Pakistan than there are varieties of dal. And when Pakistanis on the street suspect that they’re involved in something nefarious, they simply refer to “the agencies.” That way, there’s no need to specify which agency was responsible because no one has any idea who is behind what, frankly.