IGE Research Fellow Joshua T. White was quoted in a Christianity Today article by Susan Wunderlink entitled “Taliban Targets.” White, who has lived in Pakistan’s Northwest Frontier Province for 10 months, comments on the complex power struggle that Pakistan is facing in the wake of Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto’s assasination. He states, “What you have is the army, the Islamist parties, and in the third position these neo-Taliban who are based in Waziristan.” White also explains that while native Christians were initially hopeful about Bhutto’s emphasis on freedom and democracy, she proved to be a dissapointment. He says, “n truth [Bhutto ended up] not doing a lot for advancing women’s rights or minority rights.”

White wrote about his Pakistan experience in a previous edition of Christianity Today, where his April 2007 article, “Living With Islamists,” was featured as part of the Christian Vision Project — a series that examined the question, “What must we learn, and unlearn, to be agents of God’s mission in the world?”

As part of IGE’s Pakistan program, Josh lived for almost a year in northwest Pakistan in 2005-6 in the frontier city of Peshawar, where he stayed as a personal guest of the Islamist provincial government. During that time he came to know dozens of high-level Islamist political leaders (most of whom were elected on a pro-sharia, anti-American platform); and also interacted at length with the minority Christian community, which is regularly confronted with economic and religious discrimination. He returned in the summer of 2007 to take part in an interfaith conference in Peshawar and conduct research on the changing nature of Islamic politics in Pakistan.