I have been a foreign correspondent for over 20 years, specialising in conflict, humanitarian and security issues. An author and broadcaster, with a particular interest in the Arab and Islamic world, I have also previously worked for Reuters and the Institute for War and Peace Reporting.
Travel across Pakistan and it's impossible to avoid its military history, bases and the trappings of army life. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the country's turbulent North West Frontier Province (NWFP) that borders neighbouring Afghanistan.
During the years I spent based in the NWFP city of Peshawar in the 1980s, I remained fascinated by its famous Bala Hisar Fort and the existence of exotically named Frontier Corps regiments like the Khyber Rifles and Punjabi Rifles who are the guardians of this wild mountainous hinterland.