Review by ‘My Opinion’ on Amazon – 2 Jan 2013
This book is an outstanding insight into the frontier states of Pakistan. More than that, it is a wonderfully enjoyable read. Real people, going about their every day lives, interwoven with events that quite literally would change our world. Every chapter leaves you asking “what next”.
Thorny issues are dealt with sensitively and with humour, while no-one can doubt their gravity. A bubbling melting pot of growing extremism is described from right in the middle of the area, showing the stark contrast with the every day lives of the good people who just happen to live there, and are now caught in the middle of a “world trouble spot” they neither want nor deserve.
This is not a book about policy or politics, but about every day people, and the institutions who have either helped cause, or at least allowed this mess to be created.
Western media have been quick to talk about Afghanistan with fleeting references to Pakistan. This book is a microscope on Pakistan: both the involvement and responsibility of key figures, but also the innocence and goodness of every day people overrun by an unwelcome religious extremism. They are shown as the victims too. For me that is the book’s greatest triumph.
From Mohammed Ali OBE – CEO of QED in Bradford – 27 December 2012
“I found the book well written and an honest account of your five years experience of working in extremely challenging circumstances. I bet no college principal in the UK can match that. It was brave of you to take this on; your background and contact helped. You obviously did a great job in introducing women to the college and pulling off a fascinating centenary celebration event – that was a gripping tale to match any political thriller.
The books paints a candid view of what it’s like working in Pakistan, a brief political history of the country and a description of circumstances which let to current predicaments. As you know things have got worse in Pakistan since you left over 12 years ago. The hope lies in students that are studying at Edwards College. Pakistan needs such an institution in every province as a minimum to bring real sustainable change. That would be a good investment for UK DFID who are planning to increase their budget for Pakistan considerably. I think you should suggest this to them – we will support you. These funds are not used well from my little knowledge of them.
From your experience, knowledge, and a feeling for Pakistani people you can play a key role in supporting Pakistan. No doubt you will have plans to translate the book in Urdu- and perhaps even Pashto!”