Jemima plans to write book chronicling experiences in Pak
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Last Updated: Sunday, October 11, 2009, 21:07
  
London: Jemima Khan, ex-wife of Pakistani cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan will write a book on her experiences in the country till she left it in 2002.

The book, provisionally called 'Surprising Encounters', is being promoted by literary agents A P Watt at the Frankfurt Book Fair and will be published in October 2011.

"I've narrowed it down to Middle Eastern Politics, International Relations or Comparative Religion," Jemima told to Dawn newspaper.

According to A P Watt of London, founded in 1875 and describes itself as "the longest-established literary agency in the world", the book on Pakistan "will be an accessible and anecdotal, witty and revealing portrait of a country at the febrile epicentre of world affairs."

"In this book she revisits the country she got to know in the 1990s, undertaking a journey which begins in Lahore, moves north to Peshawar and Islamabad before heading down to Karachi," the agency said.

"Along the way, she encounters a dazzling array of people - the ordinary, the infamous and the extra-ordinary - who best illustrate the paradoxes of this country of 165 million people, which encompasses more than a dozen languages, several hundred tribes and is very different from the bearded zealots or military men of the stereotype," it added.

Jemima was only 21 when she married Imran in 1995, who was twice of her age and converted to Islam. She learnt Urdu and moved to Khan's extended family house in Lahore. During the next decade Jemima came to know and love Pakistan, 'the land of the Pure', in all its bewildering complexity and contradictions.

The 35 year-old now lives in London but "has remained involved in Pakistan, raising funds after the 2005 earthquake and setting up the 'Free Pakistan' campaign in 2007 to protest the state of emergency during which her ex-husband was incarcerated".

Raised as a Protestant and baptised and confirmed when she was in her teens, religion was never a driving force in Jemima's life before she met Imran. Her father, James Goldsmith, was raised as a Catholic but his father was Jewish.

The religious eclecticism meant that Jemima "didn't have any particular religion but felt an affinity to all religions and had a more or less non-religious upbringing," the agency said.

Jemima left studies to marry Imran but resumed it when she came back. In March, she submitted her dissertation for her Bachelor's degree in English Literature from Bristol University, which she abandoned in 1995. Keenly awaiting the results, she is figuring out what to study for her Master's.

Besides her literary pursuit, Jemima led demonstrations outside Downing Street two years ago against the then military dictator of Pakistan, Gen Pervez Musharraf when he was meeting British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, and helped ensure no serious harm came to her former husband locked up under a military state of emergency.

She is currently an ambassador to UNICEF UK, trustee for the Afghan Children's Trust and a patron of the Quilliam Foundation, a counter-extremism think tank in the UK."

Bureau Report


First Published: Sunday, October 11, 2009, 21:07


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