Writing prompt

By now we know the story of how the Calibri font let to the downfall of Nawaz Sharif as Pakistan’s PM. But I only just caught up with this New Yorker piece on its history. I particularly enjoyed the way its designer dismissed competitors with a studied disdain that makes you want to write a … More Writing prompt

Keeping out the poor

So many exceptions. But who is going to decide if someone is famous or not? #CentaurusEntryTicket pic.twitter.com/PKtAtONMBE — Husham Ahmed (@hushamahmed) July 2, 2015 The decision by Centaurus Mall in Islamabad to charge 100 rupees for entry has kicked off a not inconsiderable fuss, particularly given that many of the people exempt are those that can … More Keeping out the poor

“Mr Ambassador…. I didn’t wake you did I…”

This is by far my favourite tale from the OBL raid. It gives the sense of utter shock running through the Pakistani government as it realised what had just happened on its soil… The American ambassador’s phone rang shortly after 3am. It was Salman Bashir, the civil servant who heads Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs: … More “Mr Ambassador…. I didn’t wake you did I…”

How Pakistan deals with Americans trying to join the Taliban…

There was a revealing moment in the testimony of Zarein Ahmedzay last week in the trial of Abid Naseer. No-one else in the Brooklyn courthouse paid it much heed. But it gave this former Pakistan correspondent an opportunity for a wry smile. Ahmedzay was one of three young American Muslims – two of Pakistani and Afghan extraction and one … More How Pakistan deals with Americans trying to join the Taliban…

Please Inform Allah

Frequent readers of this blog will know that I wrote about PIA, Pakistan’s national airline, some weeks ago in The Sunday Telegraph. Fresh moves are afoot to bring it into the 21st century by ending the bleeding of cash, updating the fleet and rationalising its bloated workforce. I wish it the very best. You’ll also … More Please Inform Allah