Wednesday, 6th November, 2019

The Mountbattens: Their Lives and Loves-a talk by Andrew LownieMountbattens 

Time: 6.00 for 6.30pm start
Venue: High Commission for Pakistan, 36 Lowndes Square, London SW1X 8JN.
Admission: This event is open to Members of The Pakistan Society and their guests.
RSVP: Please ensure that you register your attendance via the website for security and catering purposes. REGISTER HERE

Please note: You may book only for yourself, your spouse and two further guests or yourself and three guests (maximum of four in total). You will be asked to fill in the name of the person each place is for, including your own. You will receive an email confirmation of your places but no physical tickets will be issued.

If you wish to bring more guests please email: info@thepakistansociety.org.uk

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Andrew Lownie will talk about his new book, The Mountbattens, Their Lives and Loves‘. It will cover the Mountbattens’ time in India looking at the transfer of power, partition and the relationship with various Indian politicians including Nehru.

Drawing on four years of research around the world, prize-winning and bestselling historian Andrew Lownie provides a fresh and revealing portrait of the glamorous couple behind the modern royal family.

A major figure behind his nephew Philip’s marriage to Queen Elizabeth ll and instrumental in the royal family taking the Mountbatten name, Dickie Mountbatten’s career included being Supreme Allied Commander of South East Asia during World War Two and the last Viceroy of India.
Once the richest woman in Britain and a socialite who enjoyed numerous affairs, Edwina Mountbatten emerged from World War Two as a much loved and very effective charity worker.

From British high society and the South of France to the battlefields of Burma and the Viceroy’s House in India, this is a rich and filmic story whose characters include all the key figures of the Second World War from Churchill and Montgomery to Roosevelt and Eisenhower as well as the Duke of Windsor, George VI, the Queen, Prince Philip and Prince Charles, Charlie Chaplin, Noel Coward, Salvador Dali, George Gershwin, Joan Crawford, Fred Astaire, Barbara Cartland, Grace Kelly and Merle Oberon.

Andrew Lownie says: “Though both Dickie and Edwina have had individual official biographies many years ago, this is the first joint biography and is based on extensive research not just in their own private papers but also archive collections around the world, interviews with dozens of people who knew them closely and Freedom of Information requests on both sides of the Atlantic. What I found surprised me and gives a very different picture of the couple and their relationship than in previous books.”

This is an account of an unusual marriage which, whilst beset with infidelities, was also a loving and mutually supportive one. It also reveals much new information on many of the controversies of Mountbatten’s career from the disastrous 1942 Dieppe Raid to the rapid transfer of power in India in 1947 as well as his murder in 1979.

Andrew Lownie was educated at Magdalene College, Cambridge, where he was Dunster History Prizeman and President of the Union, before taking his Masters and doctorate at Edinburgh University. A Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and former visiting fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge, he has run his own literary agency since 1988. A trustee of the Campaign for Freedom of Information and President of The Biographers Club, he has written for the Times, Telegraph, Wall Street Journal, Spectator and Guardian and formerly served in the Royal Naval Reserve. His previous books include acclaimed lives of the writer John Buchan and the spy Guy Burgess.


Wednesday, 11th December, 2019

Pakistani Cinema in the early years-a talk by Siraj Khan 

Time: 6.00 for 6.30pm startCinema in Pakistan
Venue: High Commission for Pakistan, 36 Lowndes Square, London SW1X 8JN.
Admission: This event is open to Members of The Pakistan Society and their guests.
RSVP: Please ensure that you register your attendance via the website for security and catering purposes. REGISTER HERE

Please note: You may book only for yourself, your spouse and two further guests or yourself and three guests (maximum of four in total). You will be asked to fill in the name of the person each place is for, including your own. You will receive an email confirmation of your places but no physical tickets will be issued.

If you wish to bring more guests please email: info@thepakistansociety.org.uk

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Siraj Khan will talk on the Pakistan cinema with a historical perspective and will showcase the crucial role that it has played in a developing society in Pakistan’s formative years, for the nation to emerge as an exemplary modern Islamic state.

Films play a formative role in crystallizing a culture or addressing a contemporary issue, especially in an emerging landscape. In the first decade after its independence in August 1947, Pakistan too had multiple challenges staring at it, but it was also in these first 10-15 years, that its structure was cast into place. Being a composite art, cinema became responsible for popularising music, dance and literature among the common people of Pakistan. In the process, films started to have almost a hypnotic influence on most adults and even children. To go to a cinema to watch films was to escape into a different world for a few hours, which made it easier to accept the hard realities of real life, at an affordable price.

By the end of the first 10 years of Pakistan’s formation, black-and-white cinema had become a powerful vehicle for culture, education, leisure and propaganda. Films of many genre, from documentary to drama were produced, which had a dramatic impact on lives in many tangible ways and are now excellent examples of the important role they have played on the social landscape in those years. Irrespective of the theme – whether joy, suspense, romance or social drama, entertainment was always the over-riding factor. Perhaps, the most striking aspect of this development was that until TV made its entry in late 1964, Pakistan’s fledgling black-and-white cinema provided the only source of family entertainment for the elite, middle class and the common man alike. This talk will take you down the route it took to get there.

Siraj Khan was born in Karachi, to parents who had migrated from India after partition, and lived in the city until he was 25. Having travelled to 75 countries across five continents, living in the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region, he and his family now live in Boston. A ‘world citizen’ living a life without boundaries, he is a connoisseur of South Asian film music, using art and culture effectively, to build bridges between boundaries and people. He has written scripts and directed many successful concerts of performing arts in multiple cities of the US, South Asia and UAE and as a freelance writer, contributes regularly to several journals and publications.

By profession, Siraj is a global finance and audit specialist, who has in the past worked for multinationals like British Petroleum, Schlumberger and Alcoa in the corporate sector and the global non-profit Pathfinder International. He has also served the Government of Pakistan, several times and sits on the board of several non-profits and charities in the US, Pakistan and India. Siraj has been recognized for his work towards women empowerment and services to children and youth.


Wednesday, 18th December, 2019

Rafting down the Hunza Valley-a talk by Jonathan Rider and Edmund Le Brun

Time: 6.00 for 6.30pm start 
Venue: High Commission for Pakistan, 36 Lowndes Square, London SW1X 8JN.
Admission: This event is open to Members of The Pakistan Society and their guests.
RSVP: Please ensure that you register your attendance via the website for security and catering purposes. REGISTER HERE

Please note: You may book only for yourself, your spouse and two further guests or yourself and three guests (maximum of four in total). You will be asked to fill in the name of the person each place is for, including your own. You will receive an email confirmation of your places but no physical tickets will be
issued.
Edmund Le Brun

If you wish to bring more guests please email: info@thepakistansociety.org.uk

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Jonathan Rider and Edmund Le Brun travelled down the Hunza Valley by raft and foot to see how the Karakoram Highway is changing the region. Taking in some of the most spectacular scenery Pakistan has to offer, they pass through landscapes rich in culture and history. By taking the less travelled route along this world famous highway, they hope to see another side to this region. The Hunza is unchartered waters. Jonathan and Edmund are the pioneers of travelling down the Hunza river in a raft. They share their Hunza adventures while noting how the Karakoram Highway is changing the landscape. Passing along the same course as its ancient forebear – the Silk Road – the new Karakoram Highway promises to bring economic development and growth to the region as well as other changes and developments.

Jonathan Rider
Jonathan runs Aleph Strategies, a consulting firm specialising in overseas development and humanitarian aid. A Fellow of the RGS, Jonathan trained as an archaeologist at the Universities of Nottingham and Oxford before working in public affairs in Westminster. Later, in Afghanistan, he worked for the Aga Khan Foundation, before managing conservation activities for UNESCO at the Bamiyan World Heritage Sites.

Edmund Le Brun
Edmund is an Oxford graduate and a Forbes 30 under 30 social entrepreneur. He set up his business, ISHKAR, after living in Afghanistan for three years, and today works on projects in war-torn countries around the world. Alongside adventure talks, Edmund also regularly speaks about social entrepreneurship, and doing business in frontier.

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