Jamil Ahmad was born in 1931 and educated in India and Pakistan. He joined the Civil Service of Pakistan in 1954 and served mainly in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, or FATA. He was also Development Commissioner for the Frontier and Chairman of the Tribal Development Corporation. In addition, he was posted as a minister in Pakistan’s Embassy in Kabul at a critical time before and during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. After his retirement from the Civil Service, he served for four years with the World Bank as a consultant on Afghanistan. He lives in Islamabad with his wife, Helga Ahmad, a nationally recognized environmentalist and social worker.
'The mullah left the fort with the boy walking beside him and the little puppy, who had been with his new owner less than a month, trotting behind'. The boy - known as Tor Baz, the wandering falcon - journeys between tribes. Where does he come from, and what is his story? He meets men who fight under different flags, and women who risk everything if they break their society's code of honour. Set in the decades before the rise of the Taliban, Jamil Ahmad's stunning debut takes us to the essence of human life in the forbidden areas where the borders of Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan meet. The media today speak often about 'the tribal areas' - a remote region; a hotbed of conspiracies, drone attacks and conflict. Now, for the first time, this traditional, honour-bound culture is revealed from the inside. Jamil Ahmad is seventy-eight years old and has spent long years among the people of the frontier. In "The Wandering Falcon", he describes a world of custom and cruelty, of love and gentleness, of hardship and survival, a fragile, unforgiving world that is changing as modern forces make themselves known. With the fate-defying story of Tor Baz, he has written an unforgettable novel of insight, compassion and timeless wisdom.