What might link a group of middle-class Pakistani women sipping coffee demurely in a living room, with the fiery young women in black burqas threatening shopkeepers in Islamabad? When and how do an adolescent girl’s aspirations translate into the maturing of a social and political revolution in urban Pakistan? Will this woman find a resolution to her angst or, like Rosie the Riveter, retreat to her cloister? Does Bhutto’s death mark the death knell of secular female political participation in Pakistan? The actors in these pages span over two decades (from 1988 to 2008) of Pakistan’s tryst with a difficult history, trying to decipher the convoluted equation of militarism, political Islam and gender politics.
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