Friday, June 8, 2007

Writer on the run

On reading our post about Benazir Bhutto's wish to return to Pakistan, our colleague Anil Kalhan kindly pointed us to his own commentary on the country at the latest addition to our "connections" list, Dorf on Law. We've highlighted tumult over the suspension of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudry in the wake of his criticism of disappearances, and Anil has focused on that as well (here and here). Still, he'd direct our attention to governmental unrest respecting the publication of Military, Inc., an instantly banned book about "the lucrative business interests that feed the Pakistan Army's power," written by Dr. Ayesha Siddiqa (left), a security analyst and 2004 recipient of a Woodrow Wilson Centre fellowship. Anil writes:
Not to diminish the high drama over the Chief Justice, but to me the real sleeper story in there is the story of Dr. Siddiqa -- her book on the Pakistan Army's business interests brings a taboo subject out into the open, and the government seems to have wasted no time in getting the book off the shelves.
Yesterday, the same day as our latest post on the plight of women journalists, Siddiqa left Islamabad for London, having receiving information that if she remained in Islamabad she soon might have to stand trial on charges related to her book.
Thanks, Anil, for this tip; we'll keep eyes open as all this unfolds.

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