By SIMON ROBINSON
The Badshahi Mosque in Lahore, Pakistan, one of the country’s most beautiful destinations.
(Charles Bowman / Alamy)
The young man at the airport approached me with a nervous smile and a hint of hesitation. He was from the Ministry of Tourism, he explained. Would I be so kind as to fill out a survey on my stay in Pakistan? The previous week had been eventful, to say the least. I had landed in Lahore on Thursday, Dec 27. As I left the airport for my hotel my cell phone pinged with an SMS from my wife: “Bhutto dead in Rawalpindi blast.” The following few days are a bit of a blur, and then on New Year’s Eve I fell sick with some intestinal bug that took two days to beat. “I’m not sure I’m the best person to help you,” I told the man. But he insisted, and so I was soon filling out the three-page form, which mixed statistics gathering (nationality, places I visited, number of nights I spent in hotels) with questions like “During your stay which features did you like most?” more