By Ethan Casey
Casey updates his knowing of the Pakistan event and units it inside a context of contemporary and modern background. He humanises family politics, attitudes in the direction of the West and India in addition to the Kashmir and Afghanistan matters. His literary reportage demystifies the uneasy position Pakistan occupies in an doubtful global.
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Extra resources for Alive and Well in Pakistan
Naipaul had written that Nazir was studying accountancy. ’ I remarked. He smiled. ‘Yes,’ he agreed. ‘It is needful whatever you do. ’ Naipaul had been mistaken to write that he had never been outside the Valley. Nazir told me he had gone yearly to Delhi and Bombay to solicit business from travel agents. But not since 1989. I asked about the awkward moment at the end of Naipaul’s visit, when Naipaul had offered him money for having shown him around. He hadn’t wanted money, he insisted, a little fiercely as though he really earnestly wanted to make the point.
They had wanted me to see that they were giving blood for the militants. Another day, a Friday, Haji took me with him to an important large field called the Idgah, where he would be among a large crowd offering prayers. It would be the first time Eid prayers had been offered there since the insurgency began. Haji went ahead to meet some friends and pray with them, and I settled on the grass to watch. Within moments, a cluster of young men gathered around me. ‘… or we could go under UNO,’ said one.
My first visit to Pakistan achieved its main goal – a sense of what the Kashmir problem looked like from the other side – and a great deal more. Over two eventful, dusty months I conceived a genuine liking for this improbable, hyper-political country that wore its many grave problems on its national sleeve. ‘Pakistan’s strange origins have given it a tendency to national self-analysis which initially attracted me to the place,’ writes Emma Duncan in Breaking the Curfew, her excellent account of the transition from the Zia dictatorship to the civilian government of Benazir Bhutto in the late 1980s.
Alive and Well in Pakistan by Ethan Casey