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Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Lahore, Off-Diary

Some of the work related to the Lahore attacks is here on Skynews.com and here too.
I am almost sure that despite the 'best intentions' of the authorities, the masterminds behind the attacks will not be apprehended or punished. The chain of command in any case is not linear. There will be arrests, but these will not prevent further violent operations. It is easy to round up suspects and sling them into jail. Happens all the time in this part of the world.

Lahore is a relatively laid-back city, compared to Karachi, with its bustling port activity, stock exchange and ethnic tension. Islamabad is considered a more sterile, manufactured place, with its wide boulevards and mainly administrative/diplomatic buildings.

Lahore has a real history dating back to Mughal times, and its people have their own fashion and sense of culture. The Pearl Continental Hotel, where I stay when working out there, and where the Sri Lanka team were, has a coffee bar and eating area where locals love to go in the evening and observe each other, just like on a fashionable Parisian boulevard, as elegant Lahorites languidly drift by in their up to the minute salwar kameezes.

Lahorites dress differently to differently to those from Karachi and Islamabad. The preparation of the gunmen is interesting, for they too dressed to completely blend in with the urban dwellers, some of them in the style of salwar kameez popular in this town, others in casual trousers, jackets, and shirts. They appeared clean-shaven and wore trainers, along with backpacks containing their deadly ammunition.

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