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ISBN: 9789694026374

Price: $8.97 / Rs2,494.00


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Publication Date: 2022

Extent: 644 pages


The Book:

This is the second volume of a series of books by veteran journalist Najam Sethi on Pakistan's sputtering journey under democracy from 1988 to 2021 after it emerged from a stifling decade of autocracy under Z A Bhutto from 1972-1977 and ruthless dictatorship under General Zia ul Haq from 1977 to 1988.

In this collection of nearly 200 articles, reports, commentaries and analyses, Sethi discusses a wide range of issues relating to state, society and government under the Nawaz Sharif regime from 1990 to 1993. Among the many subjects covered are: mockery of justice and judiciary under pressure; the "law of necessity"; state terrorism; humour in uniform; thinking beyond Saddam; privatise or perish; cold war blues; Nawaz Sharif's options; freedom, fairness, state and party; disintegration of the social contract; the rise of Nawaz Sharif; India's dangerous legacies; waylaying the press; the price of press freedom and accountability; the "great game" revisited; how the other half dies; US-Pak agenda for nuclear talks; art of stealing elections; dialoguing with India; unravelling Afghanistan; grasping cynics and power plays in Islamabad; Benazir Bhutto's social contract; "cleaning-up the fanatics"; killing fields of fundamentalism; how and why to get rid of the 8th Amendment; third force vs third solution; the tragedy of General Asif Nawaz; Establishment vs Civil Society; Discretion vs Justice; Nawaz Sharif's Lafafah legacies; and grand delusions of Mairaj Mohammad Khan and Rao Rashid.

The writing is full of sardonic humour, wit and penetrating analysis.


The Author:

NAJAM AZIZ SETHI is an alumnus of Government College University, Lahore, and Cambridge University, UK. He was Alumnus of the Year and Eric Lane Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge University, in 2011.

Sethi is South Asia's most decorated independent journalist, with three international press freedom awards: Courage in Journalism from Committee to Protect Journalists, New York; Freedom in Journalism Award from Amnesty International; and Golden Pen of Freedom from the World Association of Newspapers in 2009. He is also a recipient of the Hilal i Imtiaz (2012), the highest civil award for public service in "defense of democracy and freedom" in Pakistan.

He is a Founder-Editor in Chief of The Friday Times (19894 Daily Times (2002-2009) and Daily Aajkal (2008-2009), three leading newspapers in Pakistan. He was Pakistan Correspondent of The Economist, UK, from 1990-2009 and of Economist Intelligence Unit from 1997-2007. He is a frequent speaker at International Conferences on Geo-Strategic issues and a regular interviewee on international TV and radio. He has occasionally contributed to The Wall Street Journal, NY, The Independent, UK, The Telegraph, Calcutta, and various other newspapers. His TV program Aapas Ki Baat (2011-2017) on Geo TV was the top rated independent political talk-show of Pakistan. He currently speaks on Najam Sethi Official YouTube Channel.

He was interim Federal Minister for Accountability in 1996-97 and interim Chief Minister of Punjab province in 2013, Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board 2013-14 and 2017-18, and Chairman of Pakistan Super League 2014-2017.


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