A bit of a bump on the head

A few years back I visited Vietnam with my brother for a long weekend break. Never been before. First impressions all good…airport clean and organised well set up for tourists and we left to get the taxi to our modestly priced hotel and…

The trouble with tourism

That Pakistan is a tourist destination with almost boundless opportunities is beyond doubt. From the majesty of the Karakorams in the north to the miles of pristine beach along the Makran coast to innumerable places of historic interest and…

Combating child sex abuse – rights and wrongs

The sexual abuse of children in Pakistan is so widespread as to be almost commonplace. Occasionally there are incidents  - Kasur, for instance – that briefly hit the headlines and public awareness is momentarily raised, only to lapse into…

Women challenged men. It was not pretty.

The scene opens at dawn in a henhouse in northwestern France. In one corner a dead fox. In several other corners a lot of hens looking completely innocent. The tale goes – and it may just be an apocryphal urban myth – that a young fox got…

The Great Elephant Hunt

Sources differ as to the origin of the phrase with one having it as 1935 and another 1959 but ‘the elephant in the room’ has been around for a long while. Pakistan has so many elephants in the room it probably qualifies for a conservation…

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…