More thrills than skills – A half-life in journalism, part 78

Over the next few weeks, is to publish, each weekday, edited extracts from the memoirs of Scottish war correspondent, Paul Harris. ‘More thrills than skills: A half-life in journalism’, is being scheduled for publication next year.

IT’S strictly a man’s world around here. Gun culture reigns supreme in the border badlands of northern Pakistan. It is here that the so-called tribal territories of the northwest frontier meet the terminally fractured land of Afghanistan.

Thirty miles or so down the Khyber Pass from the border at Torkham is the Pakistani frontier town of Peshawar.

Here, prolonged exposure to gun culture has bred a certain light-hearted phlegmatism.

There is a tombstone in the heavily-overgrown British cemetery at Peshawar: ‘Here lies Captain Ernest Bloomfield. Accidentally shot by his orderly, March 2nd 1879. “Well done, good and faithful servant”.’