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Aboard the Democracy Train: A Journey Through Pakistan's Last Decade of Democracy
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Aboard the Democracy Train: A Journey Through Pakistan's Last Decade of Democracy

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  15 ratings  ·  8 reviews
'Aboard the Democracy Train' is about politics and journalism in Pakistan. It is a gripping front-line account of the country's decade of turbulent democracy (1988-1999), as told through the eyes of the only woman reporter working during the Zia era at 'Dawn', Pakistan's leading English language newspaper. In this volume, the author reveals her unique experiences and cover ...more
Paperback, 236 pages
Published April 1st 2011 by Anthem Press (first published November 1st 2010)
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May 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: politics, pakistan
It is once again open season for political protests and anti government agitation in Pakistan.The more things change,the more they stay the same.

This book is about Pakistan's politics,from the late 80s to the late 90s,but has many parallels to today's situation.

The author was a journalist for the Pakistani newspaper Dawn during the 1980s and 90s.It is a memoir of the time when General Zia ruled Pakistan,and it was later followed by Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif playing musical chairs and takin
Tariq Mahmood
May 17, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: pakistan
The problem of writing about Pakistan is that you cannot come up with a better story line than the reality of events on offer. Dynastic families with political aspirations, a military with unaccountable power, spineless politicians with few values, a bureaucracy with no morals, and a journalistic core willing to sell their souls to the any bidder.

So disregarding the timelines of events, the book was rather disappointing. I was expecting a lot more insight into the lives of the main characters p
Vikas Datta
May 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another perceptive look into an embattled country and where Ms.Hoodbhoy scores is starting much earlier in a more dangerous decade which has however not got its adequate share of attention due to the lesser outward manifestations of violence, save in benighted Karachi and Sindh.... One little disconcerting issue is that in the post-9/11 account, all the personal touches disappear and it is all bald fact, incisive no doubt, but doesn't tell much about the author's own experiences and thoughts. Ov ...more
Karen Mcfly
Oct 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Unputdownable! Required reading for anyone who is interested in how Pakistan came into being, developed into the country that it is today and what it was like in between being the only women journalist during dictator Zia ul Haq's military rule. Nafisa Hoodbhoy is a an extremely brave and defiant woman and a great writer whose storytelling qualities enable one to live through the different times as she has. Certainly worth reading a second time. ...more
Peter Jacob
Nov 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this personal - impersonal blend of style and somewhat a biographical account of Nafisa Hoodbhoy. Besides information and insights about particular instances of struggle for democracy, the book brought intimate memories alive of my time as student and human rights activist. Readers might want to have a look on piece on the book. ...more
Sameena Nazir
Jan 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Anyone who wants to understand the complexity, diversity and resilience of Pakistani society, must read 'Aboard the Democracy Train' (2016 Edition). The briliance of Nafisa's writing takes the reader on a journey of magic realism on every page. Her journalistic skill mixed with unique insights into the life of Benazir Bhutto, makes this book a captivating read. Nafisa Hoodbhoy is the Isabel Alleande of Pakistan. Review by Sameena Nazir, Pakistan Program Advisor at Networks of Change. ...more
Kaustubh Kirti
A thrilling tale that follows the death of Zia on 1988 and folllows much of Pakistan's history till the shahadat of Benazir Bhutto. The book gives a close acccount of what goes behind the scene in the political landscape and how specific events change the functioning of democracy in Pakistan.

Fragility of the civil institutions have directly been related to the weakness of democracy in Pakistan however the tussle between civil military as the book shows continues when the civilian government was
Steve Edwards
Nov 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Light on character development and providing few insights into the why? of deeply ingrained cultural traditions that superficially at least appear discriminatory, running contrary to values held dear by liberal "westernized" elites from democratic societies. Otherwise, for the outsider, an exposition of the defacto politics, current affairs and attitudes of a troubled region in the midst of fracticious change and shifting tribal and international allegiences, that resists the tendancy to sensati ...more
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