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Showing posts from May, 2011

VIEW: You Can’t Handle The Truth? —By Afrah Jamal

(Sequel coming NEXT hopefully)

Published in Daily Times / Monday, May 30, 2011

The guard is on edge. He sits up warily as a small car pulls up by the PAF Museum. But it is just some good Samaritans who hesitantly walk over to the stone slab to deposit a bouquet. The tribute is for the martyrs of the PNS Mehran tragedy who have given their lives protecting their base just a few hours earlier. The onlookers are moved. A media man leaps up with his camera.

This little show of solidarity came at a time when the Pakistani nation needs major reassurances. A handful of men who can storm a major naval aviation base, take out its main surveillance capability, inflict heavy casualties and hold up the entire garrison for more than 16 hours not only challenge the military’s omnipotent status, they play havoc with its image.

While this is not the first attack on Pakistan’s armed forces, it is the first of its kind. There is a wave of sympathy for the fallen, buried under an avalanche of criticism…

BOOK REVIEW: Invitation

Published in Daily Times / Saturday, May 14, 2011

Reviewed by: Afrah Jamal
Author: Shehryar Fazli

“Cabarets, conspiracies and a couple of crazies.” It is the early 1970s and Pakistan is in transition. The air crackles with energy; the land sizzles with intrigue. The significance of this time will not be lost upon readers. Islamists were still searching for a foothold; democracy beckoned; and Pakistan was about to lose its East Wing.

Anyone casually trawling through the streets of Karachi now will find little trace of its once vibrant nightlife. Back then it was not a ‘safe haven’ — just a haven.

Shehryar Fazli’s generation may have missed the excitement but his protagonist will return to his native country — and land atop a pit of vipers. It will be a fraught homecoming.

The author thinks the nation has yet to get over what happened in December 1971. He feels connected to this juncture in time as a moment when Pakistan could have gone a different way — and that they let this opportunit…