In the footsteps of Danny Pearl — and of A.Q. Khan
I’ve just started reading an advance copy of To Live or to Perish Forever, a memoir by Nicholas Schmidle, a young American journalist who had the courage to walk in the footsteps of my old Wall Street Journal colleague Danny Pearl in the back streets of Karachi, Pakistan. I’m finding it really good, written with ...
I’ve just started reading an advance copy of To Live or to Perish Forever, a memoir by Nicholas Schmidle, a young American journalist who had the courage to walk in the footsteps of my old Wall Street Journal colleague Danny Pearl in the back streets of Karachi, Pakistan. I’m finding it really good, written with a nice clarity and restraint.
Here is my favorite passage so far:
Not all of my friends, however, were the kind that I would have brought home for Christmas. Considering that my father is a Marine general, and my younger brother a Marine lieutenant, I can say with some confidence that Abdul Rashid Ghazi would not have been a welcome guest at the family dining room table. Ghazi, a pro-Taliban leader in Islamabad, ran Lal Masjid, or Red Mosque, [red dot in photo above] with his brother. In July 2007, the siblings gained international notoriety when they staged a rebellion in the center of the capital that lasted ten days and led to hundreds of deaths, including Ghazi’s own. Yet I learned more from Ghazi, and he opened more doors for me, than perhaps any other single person.”
Speaking of Pakistan, it was so uncool of its government to release nuclear proliferator A.Q. Khan last week. He’s the real axis of evil — the man who connects the weapons programs of Pakistan, North Korea, and Iran.
And I thought the troubled places in Pakistan were supposed to be the Afghan borderlands and Swat, along with some mosques in the big cities. But I see that over the weekend, “militants” killed eight policeman at a checkpoint in the Mianwali area of the Punjab and then blew up their police building. Yow.
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