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Letter from Lahore

March 26th, 2018 1 comment

 

the only person in Lahore wearing a pork pie hat

It’s not every literary festival where you have to check out the foreign office security warnings before you attend.  It certainly doesn’t apply to Cheltenham.  But then the literary festival which has just taken place in  Lahore was no ordinary one.

For a start, there were guards with machine guns at every entrance.  Lahore remains a city where foreign nationals have sometimes needed to exercise caution, as have the Pakistani locals.

I’ve been before and thought I knew my way around.  So I felt particularly stupid – and alarmed – when I realised the taxi taking me from the airport to the hotel on my arrival was heading in the wrong direction.  Moreover the driver only spoke Urdu and brushed aside my questions.  Then he pulled into a lay-by and another younger and meaner-looking driver replaced him.

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