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Sunday, August 19, 2012

‘The Indus Intercept: In the badlands of Balochistan, every step is a minefield’ by Aruna Gill

Islamabad
“Late in the night, a car with deeply tinted window glass and a curtained rear window drove through the quiet expansive boulevards of Islamabad. It turned into the residential side streets of Sector F-10, past the twinkling lights of the Cat House, a private and exclusive ‘dance club’ with prostitutes from all over Pakistan, China and Russia. The car turned yet again, before stopping at the gates of an unprepossessing house named ‘Orchid’.’
“The driver rolled down his window as an armed guard approached. When he saw the man seated in the rear, the guard hurriedly saluted and shouted to his partner to open the gates. Pinky Aunty, the Madame of the house, stood waiting in the gleaming white marble flyer for her VIP guest. A plump, heavily made-up middle-aged woman, she was dressed in a deep-purple silk salwar-kameez suit, with large dangling silver and amethyst earrings.’
“Normally, she faced all challenges with equanimity: kitchen catastrophes or pregnancies among the lissome working beauties, forbidden love affairs or angry tantrums, black-market liquor or special refined opium supplies, doctors to replenish her stock of Viagra or to repair the wounds inflicted on her girls by frustrated men unable to perform. But today she nervously used the end of her dupatta to wipe away the beads of perspiration that kept appearing on her forehead.”
(p. 81, ‘The Indus Intercept: In the badlands of Balochistan, every step is a minefield’ by Aruna Gill - Harper)

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