I do not want to add anything from my end to what Peter Oborne has written in a post in The Telegraph /Travel, dated 28 February except a few excerpts from his post "Are we wrong about Pakistan?"
When Peter Oborne first arrived in Pakistan, he expected a 'savage' back water scarred by terrorism. Years later, he describes the Pakistan that is barely documented - and that he came to fall in love with.
It was my first inkling of a problem. I had been dispatched to write a report reflecting the common perception that Pakistan is one of the most backward and savage countries in the world. This attitude has been hard-wired into Western reporting for years and is best summed up by the writing of the iconic journalist Christopher Hitchens. Shortly before he died last December, Hitchens wrote a piece in Vanity Fair that bordered on racism.
Pakistan, he said, was “humourless, paranoid, insecure, eager to take offence and suffering from self-righteousness, self-pity and self-hatred”. In summary, asserted Hitchens, Pakistan was one of the “vilest and most dangerous regions on Earth”.
Certainly, it is a country scarred by cynicism and corruption, where rich men do not hesitate to steal from the poor, and where natural events such as earthquakes and floods can bring about limitless human suffering. But the people show a resilience that is utterly humbling in the face of these disasters.
The prejudice against Pakistan dates back to before 9/11. It is summed up best by the England cricketer Ian Botham’s notorious comment that “Pakistan is the sort of place every man should send his mother-in-law to, for a month, all expenses paid”. Some years after Botham’s outburst, the Daily Mirror had the inspired idea of sending Botham’s mother-in-law Jan Waller to Pakistan – all expenses paid – to see what she made of the country.
Unlike her son-in-law, Mrs Waller had the evidence of her eyes before her: “The country and its people have absolutely blown me away,” said the 68-year-old grandmother.
After a trip round Lahore’s old town she said: “I could not have imagined seeing some of the sights I have seen today. They were indefinable and left me feeling totally humbled and totally privileged.” She concluded: “All I would say is: ‘Mothers-in-law of the world, unite and go to Pakistan. Because you’ll love it’. Honestly!”
I am sure this would prompt you to read Peter's full post to understand what Pakistan is, and certainly NOT AT ALL how it is perceived in the world or is made to be perceived by the rest of the world.
After reading the full post at The Telegraph / Travel, ask yourself: Are we wrong about Pakistan?
And if you go by what Peter Oborne has seen and experienced, do take a look at some of the posts below I had written awhile ago: