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  • Sachin, Kajol and the butt of their jokes

    Broadcast On July 26, 1999

    ... in last week. I called the piece I wrote on Pakistan ‘The Problem of Pakistan’. I thought it expressed what I wanted to say. It was also sober and sensible. However, come sunday morning I found ...

  • Beware of dead politicians

    Broadcast On August 2, 1999

    ... the law an ass or is it, in fact, well ahead of its time? A relevant even if not obvious question. Send Thackeray to jail, if you want, but let him vote “Last week you criticised Pakistan ...

  • Singing for his supper in London

    Broadcast On October 26, 1999

    ... different and less elevated but also quite fortuitous. I was lunching with an old friend from Pakistan at The Ritz when I suddenly began to listen to the tune being played out on the piano in the foyer. ...

  • Well, Mr. Zaidi, for your sake I’ll repeat myself

    Broadcast On November 1, 1999

    ... when the Ambassador is in the front row!” Everyone laughed.  No one misunderstood the joke, not even the large number of Pakistanis in the audience.  But later, at dinner, the Indian ...

  • Generals Zia and Ershad : my role in their dictatorships

    Broadcast On November 19, 1999

    ... I have known a few.  Well, forgive the exaggeration, but I’ve met two.  Zia of Pakistan was the first.  Ershad from Bangladesh followed in quick succession.  I don’t know ...

  • The man behind Jeffrey Archer’s downfall and the memories I have of him

    Broadcast On November 29, 1999

    ... small smile of relief to the Sharif family but the Bhuttos will have heard his sentiments with, at best, a wry smile. In 1979, when an earlier Pakistani military dictator had to decide about the hanging ...

  • A comforting thought for 2001

    Broadcast On January 23, 2000

    ... is what they were – ranged from domestic controversies to pompous thoughts on Britain, visits to Afghanistan and a juvenile attempt to understand Pakistan. After a bit Karlekar asked me to write leaders. ...

  • Was Mr. Narayanan right?

    Broadcast On January 31, 2000

    ... almost everything that happens in India with the possible exception of the growing number of white hairs on my head. To be honest I even have my doubts about that. I count a large number of Pakistanis ...

  • General Musharraf’s tie and Shah Rukh Khan’s photograph

    Broadcast On February 7, 2000

    ... for almost everything that happens in India with the possible exception of the growing number of white hairs on my head. To be honest I even have my doubts about that. I count a large number of Pakistanis ...

  • A little self-indulgence

    Broadcast On February 14, 2000

    ... with Pakistani dictators, who are our enemy, should not be broadcast by Doordarshan. To do so is to undermine India and give Pakistan an advantage. Really? Is that actually the case? Or is the paper ...

  • Soldiers, their sentiments and the rest of us

    Broadcast On February 28, 2000

    ...  It was in the second half that I became aware of how different was the response of the jawans sitting beside me. On stage an Indian brigadier was questioning a captured Pakistani soldier. He was ...

  • The secret of his success

    Broadcast On March 27, 2000

    ... not so susceptible to flattery. Was it because he put the boot into Pakistan? Whilst that is understandably welcome I can’t believe we are so small as to be bowled over by such vicarious thrills. No, ...

  • Sorry, luv, but as far as I’m concerned you’re Indian

    Broadcast On July 10, 2000

    ... to a sharp falsetto. “Bert says they’re all Indians. Even the Pakistanis are actually Indians. Did you know that, luv? Bet you didn’t. Bert says he can never understand why they want to call themselves ...

  • The boot, my friends, is on the other foot!

    Broadcast On July 24, 2000

    ...  Honestly, I hadn’t a clue what he was talking about. “I gather you’ve declared that Kashmir is Pakistani and that India should hand it over.” “What!” “Yes, you apparently said this at a seminar ...

  • The novel that makes George’s point

    Broadcast On August 15, 2000

    ... of May shortly after midnight. Sixteen hours later General Hamid Khan, Pakistan’s Army Chief, storms into Parliament in Islamabad, arrests the civilian government and takes over the country. To ensure ...

  • Don’t cry for me Islamabad

    Broadcast On August 28, 2000

    ... a few months later. But at the time he was still Prime Minister of Pakistan and the daughter was the President of the Oxford Union. I was the visiting president from Cambridge and the occasion was Benazir’s ...

  • A Kuala Lumpur diary

    Broadcast On September 30, 2000

    ... of Singapore. I doubt if the locals would want that. I’ve heard the most amazing story about the Managing Director of Pakistan Television. He was invited to judge one of the earlier rounds of the ...

  • A lady, a school and my favourite ice-cream

    Broadcast On October 23, 2000

    ... Pakistani political counsellor to dinner. Tasnim Aslam has spent four years in India and is due to return home next month. The evening was planned as a farewell. I showed up late and found the other ...

  • My big time in Barcelona

    Broadcast On November 21, 2000

    ... passed by. “Look at me” it seemed to say. “You’ll never see anything like this again.” Now, believe it or not, Barcelona has taxies that remind you of India and is full of Pakistanis. The cabs ...

  • A Singapore Diary

    Broadcast On December 11, 2000

    ... this interview. Usually Doordarshan fights shy of Pakistani dictators. Not this time. Last saturday morning I watched a long discursive interview with Lee Kuan Yew on Channel NewsAsia where he ...