Pakistan

Altaf Qadri / Associated Press

Around the world this weekend, all eyes were on Nepal. But nowhere more so than on the Indian sub-continent. Lawrence Pintak reports from Islamabad.

Mobeen Ansari / http://www.npr.org/

Imagine your life if attending a concert were against the law. Now imagine trying to bring the music back to life, in a country where the skills to play it have been almost lost. A new documentary takes you to Pakistan, where it's more than just an imaginary scenario.

On one of the first weekends of the Pakistani spring, more than 45,000 people gathered in the city of Lahore for three days of lectures, performances and old-fashioned people watching. The second annual Lahore Literary Festival brought artists from all over the world to Pakistan's cultural capital to share their work — and to celebrate the power of expression.

"I think Malala is an average girl," Ziauddin Yousafzai says about the 16-year-old Pakistani girl who captured the world's attention after being shot by the Taliban, "but there's something extraordinary about her."

In The Faithful Scribe, Shahan Mufti examines the history of Pakistan and its relationship to the United States. He also explores how his own family story is part of the tumultuous story of the world's first Islamic democracy.

"A huge impetus for me in writing this book was actually being on both sides of this present conflict, where America is involved in this war in Afghanistan," Mufti tells NPR's Arun Rath. "As we know, the place of Pakistan in this conflict is very dubious and questionable."

Dr. Lawrence Pintak, Founding Dean of The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication, is an expert on media and journalism in the Middle East. He was on today's edition of WBUR's Here and Now discussing the current state of journalism in Pakistan, where reporters are frequently targets for violence. As Dr. Pintak points out, the danger still doesn't deter many journalists from their mission to independently report on the state of their country, and pass those journalism values on to Pakistani students.