The Leopard and the Fox
A Pakistani Tragedy
5.5 x 8 inches, 216pp. 2006
ISBN : 9781905422296
Rs 425.00 (HB)
‘Ali broadens our horizons, geographically, historically, intellectually and politically. His mode of history telling is lyrical and engaging, humane and passionate.’—The Nation
‘Just reading the script, you feel his [Ali´s] command of the political subject matter.’—Morning Star
The BBC commissioned Tariq Ali to write a three-part TV series on the circumstances leading to the overthrow, trial and execution of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, the first elected Prime Minister of Pakistan. As rehearsals were about to begin, the BBC hierarchy—under pressure from the Foreign Office—decided to cancel the project. Why? General Zia ul Haq, the dictator at the time, was leading the jihad against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. He was backed by the USA. According to expert legal opinion, there was a possibility of a whole range of defamation suits from the head of state to judges involved in the case. In consequence, it was decided not to broadcast this hard-hitting and provocative play.
The Leopard and the Fox presents both the script of the series and the story of censorship.
Tariq Ali is a writer, critic and film-maker. He has written over a dozen books on world history and politics as well as scripts for both stage and screen. The first novel of his Islam Quartet, Shadows of the Pomegranate Tree, has been translated into several languages and was awarded the Archbishop San Clemente del Instituto Rosalia de Castro Prize for the best foreign language fiction published in Spain in 1994. The third, The Stone Woman was published by Verso in 2000.