Fancy a trip to the Mall? No thanks

No apologies for a follow-on from last week’s column about the changing ways of life in my home village. Apart from clean water and a plummeting infant mortality rate I saw something first hand that I had hitherto only heard of second or…

The changing shape of poverty

It was 1993 when I had my first acquaintance with what I now regard as my home village. I wondered about putting “” around the word home and then decided no – because it is my home village just as much as Pakistan is now home. It is the…

Remember the Holocaust?

If you are in Pakistan then probably not. The Holocaust? Yes, it was a genocide (there have been others before and since) that happened during World War 2 during which Nazi Germany murdered around six million European Jews in an effort to…

Sahiwal – a horror already fading

The clamour has subsided, the dead are buried, there are no street protests and the government, both federal and provincial, can rest easy in the knowledge that all is well and the murder of a family of innocents will be on nobody’s agenda…

The Brexit bomb

Even in deepest Pakistan one would have had to have been living under a large rock for a long time to have missed the fact that the United Kingdom is leaving the European Union. Viewed from a safe distance – or so I thought – this exercise…

Changing channels

Gilgit, October 1993 and the Hunza Inn. Cold wet and with a bicycle in need of maintenance having been ridden up the Karakoram Highway – all the way from Karachi. Assorted travelers cuddling their cups of scalding sweet tea and an ancient…

Trains, planes and frustration

Having travelled much of the length of the country in the last ten days using the national carrier Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) I can deliver a first-hand report on the quality of its services - and they are first-class rubbish.

And in better news…

The last column of the year is usually reflective and this will be no exception, and it has its origins in a conversation with my editor at my new-ish employers, the National Courier. We were musing over the events of the last year and I…

Now is the winter of our discontent…

Another year draws to an end. A chilly sun shines in Bahawalpur. The extra-thick quilts are on the beds and the heaters disinterred from the storeroom, the cat sleeps indoors and the lovebirds have unexpectedly produced a chick. Plans are…