The directions were vague: drive into Shahnoor, a cluttered corner of Lahore named after a movie studio, where the narrow streets are filled with carts loaded with bananas and motorised rickshaws, then telephone again for more information. After 30 stop-start minutes of 11-point turns we reached our destination. It looked like a half-constructed shopfront. Inside … More Lahore’s Gambling Dens
It has been a pretty thin time for good news in Pakistan. But you can always rely on the country’s famed military establishment to buck the trend. When they aren’t winning plaudits for delivering aid to flood victims, or being fingered as the hidden hand behind calls for a coup, its intelligence arm – the … More The Best Spies in the World
There has been a lot of coverage of “fake aid camps” here: relief villages that are set up just before the visit of a VIP then whisked away when the politician, diplomat or United Nations official leaves. Last week The News raises the issue in an editorial… Doubts over the manner in which relief activities … More What’s with the fake camps?
You’ve got to respect Baroness Amos. As British High Commissioner to Australia she could have whiled away her days with a spot of tennis followed by gin and tonics on the verandah, occasionally hosting a trade delegation or planning a reception for this winter’s victorious England’s Ashes team. But no. Less than a year into … More Baptism of Fire
I’ve got mixed feelings about celebrity advocacy. It’s great when they use their pulling power to highlight a cause. But, as readers of this blog will know, I have reservations about their impact on Darfur, for example, where instead of creating space for the policy discussion they have become champions of a particular analysis and … More Angelina Jolie Turns Spotlight back to Pakistan
Poor old George Clooney. While promoting his latest multimillion dollar movie with a string of interviews, he manages to slip in a mention of how the ongoing crisis in Darfur is causing him so much pain… “But in the case of Darfur it’s been the greatest failure of my life. “With other people, we’ve been … More It’s not about you, George
I’m still on the steep part of the Pakistan learning curve. Even so, after four months it’s pretty clear there are two things that you need to know about in this place: Cricket and conspiracy theories. The two have come together rather neatly in the betting scandal, when Mazhar Majeed apparently accepted £150,000 in return … More Cricket and Conspiracy Theories