Alive and Well in Pakistan by Ethan Casey

By Ethan Casey

Casey updates his knowing of the Pakistan event and units it inside of a context of modern and modern heritage. He humanises household 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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Paradoxically, I gained a new appreciation for what Naipaul had done. No longer was An Area of Darkness mere literature; now, to me, it was a depiction of something true, a true story. In May I returned to Kashmir; the place had got under my skin. A friend had joined me from Bangkok, and we planned to go trekking. Haji insisted, with proprietorial pride, that it was not easily forgivable to visit Kashmir without going trekking. The day we arrived was the eve of the Muslim festival Eid, and Haji had bought four handsome tall goats for the occasion.

But they are not with organisations. They are taking advantage. We also collect money, but not by force. ’ Did most Kashmiris want an Islamic regime, then? ’ I asked what was the group’s attitude toward foreign tourists. ‘We do not prohibit the touriasm to Kashmir,’ said Sharif ud-Din. 34 Pakistan Book 21/7/04 5:52 pm Page 35 VESTIGES AND RUINS What about foreign mercenaries? ‘Afghani mujahedin came here to fight against India,’ said Sharif ud-Din, ‘because Kashmiris also fought against Russia in Afghanistan.

He seemed to enjoy the notoriety. Naipaul had arrived unannounced in 1989, he told me. He had not written ahead. But yes, he had recognised him immediately. Naipaul and his wife had stayed four and a half months in 1962, and in 1989 Naipaul had returned without his wife but with some other people and had stayed three or four days, at the Palace. Naipaul was an ‘Anglo-Indian’, and his wife was German or American or something like that. Somebody went to fetch Aziz’s son, Nazir. As we waited Aziz told me, unprompted, a story he had told Naipaul; apparently it was still on his mind.

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