I first reported on Asia Bibi’s case almost nine years ago. I am thinking about it again as she awaits the outcome of her final appeal – and wondering whether she might now be free if there had been no publicity. In most cases, the more publicity, the more outrage, the more pressure the better. … More Does publicity help Asia Bibi?
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
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
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…”
It was moment of high drama in the trial of Abid Naseer, the Pakistani man accused of masterminding a plot to blow up a shopping centre in Manchester. Alexander Otte, an FBI legal attache, was giving evidence for the prosecution. Zainab Ahmad, Assistant US Attorney, wanted to wring maximum dramatic effect So on February 25, … More The Abbottabad papers and Seymour Hersh
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…
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