The Nine Lives of Pakistan: Dispatches from a Divided Nation

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The Nine Lives of Pakistan: Dispatches from a Divided Nation

The Nine Lives of Pakistan: Dispatches from a Divided Nation

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He had worked with the spy agency, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), and painted a frank picture of how the agency worked from the inside. The opinions expressed by the authors published in this Journal are not necessarily those of members of the Editorial Advisory Board. There’s been periodic uprising by disgruntled Sindhis, Pashtuns, and Balochs, always directed at Punjab and military-centric governments. The reader will learn basic facts about Pakistan as well as the challenges facing the contemporary Pakistani state and will be conversant with events covered only marginally in American media. Or what about some of the more interesting and neglected early pioneers of Pakistan (Mohammad Ali Bogra or Suhawardy?

Remarkables REMARKABLES Intriguing, stunning, or otherwise remarkable books These include fine editions, foreign publications that are exceptional for their interest or production, special editions and some first-rate books from very small publishers. By the end of The Nine Lives of Pakistan, it seems almost unbelievable that the author himself has survived the experience.Within The Nine Lives of Pakistan, Walsh indicates how he ‘poked an unexpectedly tender spot’ (pg xx) which led to his expulsion from the country – his questioning of government activities is referenced throughout the book.

What’s the reason behind Balochistan’s information blackhole and what can the media do when there is no access?The former New York Times Pakistan bureau chief paints an arresting, up-close portrait of a fractured country. Walsh does not deny this assumption of the ‘lumpy stew of tribes, tongues and cultures’ (pg 54) but instead focuses on the reasons for the tensions such as religious differences, extremist groups, political power and military dominance that also play a part in geopolitical studies. Most of the time he is not looking for trouble, and it is hard not to envy him all the parties and feasts to which he finds himself invited.

Even while expanding cooperation into other areas, Pakistan is keen on reviving the traditional security focus, especially in the face of the TTP threat. Interestingly, Walsh notes Jahangir told him how “you can’t be a self-respecting citizen in this country if you don’t go to jail” (p109) which underlines the importance of human rights developments not only in Pakistan but worldwide too. Declan describes his travels through the country and the larger than life characters that he comes across, as well as the reach of the Pakistani intelligence service and Pakistan's fraught relationship with India from Partitian to the present day.

Sometimes fascinating, but ultimately a bit of a mess in the way that books by journalists used to writing in a shorter form so often are. This key driver for the book’s creation is reflected in the theme of tensions and divides and is highlighted through discussion of religion, politics, gender and class.

Walsh] plunges into the messy country beyond and threads the nation's recent history into the biographies of some of the extraordinary people he meets . This makes the disputes unsurprising due to the differences in views and the desire for Pakistan ‘to be everything India was, and was not’ (pg 277). We learn from the book that there was a plot to kill veteran activist Asma Jahangir when she opened up against human rights abuses in Balochistan.Equally, later in the book, Walsh notes how new redrafted Indian textbooks have a ‘Hindu first’ approach (pg 281) and Jinnah’s South Court home on Malabar Hill is considered ‘enemy property’ by new Indian leaders (pg 282).

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