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Himalaya

Day 23: Islamabad

Michael Palin - HimalayaOn matters of religion he feels the clergy, rather than the scholars, are the big problem. The Koran, he maintains, quoting from it with confidence, is an example for life, but the mullahs seek to reduce its message to fit their own interpretations.

'And some of them are decadent, you know,' he says with a real touch of anger.

He feels the Taliban began as a genuine people's movement, a reaction against the summary justice and tyranny of the warlords.

'But they were taken over by extremists.'

We talk about the British influence. He thinks it not only strong, but fundamental. India
and Pakistan were created by the British, who saw the plethora of tribes, small rulers, languages and customs as unwieldy and difficult. By playing them off against each other they created
a centralized administration that India had never known before. It was a classic case of divide and rule.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Himalaya
  • Chapter: Day 23: Islamabad
  • Country/sea: Pakistan
  • Place: Islamabad
  • Book page no: 48

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