Author Information:

I was born in Karachi, Pakistan to parents who were deeply invested in education and had a social conscience. The nation had been vacated by the British, even while our neighborhood still had Christians, Zorastrians and Hindus who lived together like family. My father was the secretary general of the Karachi Theosophical Society and our conversations on the meaning of life greatly influenced me. While in my 20s, I left for the US to earn a Master's Degree in History - returning to become the only woman reporter for Pakistan's leading English language newspaper, Dawn. This was a period when the serving military dictator, Gen. Zia ul Haq had suspended fundamental rights and imposed harsh laws in the name of Islam. My 16-year-career (1984-2000) coincided with the nation's whiff of democracy as Benazir Bhutto gambled to become Pakistan's first woman prime minister. It was a transformational era, when as a front line reporter I acquired access to leading politicians and places hidden from public view. `Aboard the Democracy Train' is my first book, where I have used my personae to break down and provide an insider view of the complex history and politics of my home country. Based in the US after 2,000, I have used my vantage point to inform the book about how America's involvement in Afghanistan has intersected with Pakistan's internal dynamics, in a war that has no winners.

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