Languorously puffing on Gold Leaf, with an occasional enigmatic smile, Pakistani author Mohammad Hanif held court for a select few as he rambled on about all things in Pakistan. Here're words of wisdom straights from the horse's mouth.
Current political scene in Pakistan
Media is always looking for some imminent drama or collapse in Pakistan, it isn't likely to happen. No elected government has ever completed its term, but this government has already completed four years. You can see political rivals who want to pack it off, but it is not easy. There's a tension between the elected government, the political opponents, the judiciary and the powerful army. It is a very complex situation, I don't think there will be any dramatic solution, as a citizen I hope that elections take place and a new civilian government comes in.
On Imran Khan's political endeavors
He is a very determined person, he has worked very hard, everybody used to make fun of him when he said he would become the country's prime minister someday, now it seems like a possibility. Young people are sick of political dynasties, they think he might bring some change, if he can or will only time will tell. I might not vote for him but I would like to see him in political arena, he would be different.
On Musharaf's return to Pakistan
"Musharaf doesn't have the guts to face Pakistani policemen, you can be a dictator and run the country for nine years, but when it comes to the reality of spending time in jail, you back out."
On the plight of journalists in the country
Journalists are endangered species in Pakistan, especially ones in war zone like tribal areas in Baluchistan, in fact one was killed just three days ago. If you write fiction in English nobody bothers you, its journalists in the frontline, reporting from the ground who are at high risk.