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Meena Menon was The Hindu’s correspondent in Islamabad till she was expelled by the Pakistani authorities in May 2014. In spite of her truncated stay, and the restrictions placed on her movements, Menon managed to write on a range of subjects covering swathes of life in Islamabad. She spoke to people from the persecuted Ahmadi community, covered protests, interviewed victims of bomb blasts, spoke to Partition survivors, visited the sprawling, crowded Afghan refugee camp on the outskirts of the capital, wrote about the Murree Brewery, and described political events, including the high-treason trial of General Musharraf. Reporting from Pakistan is considered one of the more difficult—if exciting—assignments in journalism, more so for an Indian. Despite the limitations, Menon has produced a probing, incisive portrait of a conflicted society; it is both nuanced and wide-ranging, and tries to look not just at politics—but also at the human realities beneath.
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