Spotlight: Pakistan


In early 2018, I was commissoned by Spotlight magazine in Munich to write an article on contemporary Pakistan - Spotlight is an English-language magazine read across the German-speaking world. It’s also a brilliant language-learning tool. That lots of people in Pakistan speak English was central to the commission, and the idea was to take it from there.

I was, however, determined to eschew the usual stereotypes of Pakistan. With some terrific interview partners, and a great layout, we came up with what I hope is more nuanced depiction of the country than that usually presented in much of the press across the world. Thanks particularly to Kamran Khan (general secretary of the UK Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry) and Ramsha Jahangir, a forward-thinking young writer at Dawn newspaper, who has high hopes for her country.

Issue 5/2018 Spotlight magazine

Pakistan – behind the headlines

Pakistan really is a land of opportunity,” says Kamran Khan, general secretary of the UK Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry. “It has so much potential, it’s situated in a strategic location, it has a very young population and it is very dynamic.”

To hear Pakistan described as a “land of opportunity” may come as a surprise to some. Since the British left India in 1947 and partitioned the country, India and Pakistan have struggled to recover from the terrible violence and population transfers that ensued: a million people died and 15 million were displaced. Since then, Pakistan has rarely appeared in the media in a positive light.