‘All those interested in South Asia and its complex politics and culture should read this book’ – Pankaj Mishra
The demise of Pakistan ? a country with a reputation for volatility, brutality and radical Islam ? is regularly predicted. But things rarely turn out as expected, as renowned journalist Declan Walsh knows well. Over a decade covering the country, his travels took him from the raucous port of Karachi to the gilded salons of Lahore to the lawless frontier of Waziristan, encountering Pakistanis whose lives offer a compelling portrait of this land of contradictions. He meets a crusading lawyer who risks her life to fight for society’s most marginalised, taking on everyone including the powerful military establishment; an imperious chieftain spouting poetry at his desert fort; a roguish politician waging a mini-war against the Taliban; and a charismatic business tycoon who moves into politics and seems to be riding high ? till he takes up the wrong cause. Lastly, Walsh meets a spy whose orders once involved following him, and who might finally be able to answer the question that haunts him: why the Pakistanis suddenly expelled him from their country.
Intimate and complex, unravelling the many mysteries of state and religion, this formidable book offers an arresting account of life in a country that, often as not, seems to be at war with itself.

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Author Description

Walsh Was Educated In Dublin, Receiving A BComm International From University College Dublin And An MA In Journalism From Dublin City University. Walsh Started His Career At The Sunday Business Post In 1998. A Year Later He Won An Irish National Media Award For Social And Campaigning Journalism And Moved To Kenya To Work As A Freelance Journalist. Based In Nairobi, Walsh Travelled Widely Across Sub-Saharan Africa To Report For The Independent Of London And The Irish Times. In 2004 He Joined The Guardian As The Paper's Correspondent For Afghanistan And Pakistan And Moved To Islamabad, Pakistan. In January 2012 He Moved To The New York Times As Its Pakistan Bureau Chief. Following His Expulsion From Pakistan, Walsh Assumed The Position Of Cairo Bureau Chief For The New York Times After Which He Moved To Nairobi, Kenya, As The Paper's Chief Africa Correspondent.