Why “the mall” in Pakistan is too important to ignore

March 28th, 2014
Grand-Bazaar.jpgT.S. Eliot may have had the best take on trying to understand the world when he said   that,  “we shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”  Perhaps that is even more true today, as some places in the world are ever changing and that with each visit we need to see and understand them anew.  

Haroon Ullah is a Pakistani American scholar and diplomat.   In The Bargain from the Bazaar: A Family's Day of Reckoning in Lahore, he gives us a picture of a slice of Pakistan today.  A county both a key part of and deeply removed from the world.

In fact in that contradiction lies the very reason we need to understand Pakistan. It has the power to upend the world even while it and its people try desperately to find a place in it.

My conversation with Haroon Ullah: