Philip Reeves

Philip Reeves is an award-winning veteran international correspondent based in Islamabad, Pakistan. Previous to his current role, he covered Europe out of NPR's bureau in London.

Reeves has spent two decades working as a journalist overseas, reporting from a wide range of places including the former Soviet Union, the Middle East and Asia.

A member of the NPR team that won highly prestigious Alfred I. duPont–Columbia University and George Foster Peabody awards for coverage of the conflict in Iraq, Reeves has been honored several times by the South Asian Journalists Association.

In 2010, Reeves moved to London from New Delhi after a stint of more than seven years working in and around South Asia. He traveled widely in India, taking listeners on voyages along the Ganges River and the ancient Grand Trunk Road. He also made numerous trips to cover unrest and political turmoil in Pakistan.

Reeves joined NPR in 2004, after spending 17 years as a correspondent for the British daily newspaper, The Independent. During the early stages of his career, he worked for BBC radio and television after training on the Bath Chronicle newspaper in western Britain.

Over the years, Reeves has covered a wide range of stories - from the Waco siege, to the growth of the Internet, Boris Yeltsin's erratic presidency, the economic rise of India, and conflicts in Gaza and the West Bank, Chechnya, Iraq, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka.

Graduating from Cambridge University, Reeves earned a degree in English literature. He and his wife have one daughter. His family originates from New Zealand.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Here's a vital reality about the troubled nation of Pakistan. The most common victims of Islamist extremists in that country are the extremists' fellow Muslims. Attacks by the Taliban and other fundamentalist groups dominate headlines about Pakistan yet most Pakistanis follow a different form of Islam - more moderate and peculiar to South Asia. To extremists moderation makes Muslims into targets. NPR's Philip Reeves reports.

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Over the weekend, someone tried to kill the most famous television anchorman in Pakistan. Hamid Mir hosts a television show on politics on Pakistan's popular Geo News channel. He can be outspoken and confrontational. And now gunmen have confronted him and opened fire, wounding Hamid Mir as he was being driven from the airport to his office in the giant city of Karachi. NPR's Philip Reeves is covering this story. He's on the line. And Phil, first, who you explain who Hamid Mir is? A very distinctive figure.

Spring has crept up to the foothills of the Himalayas and, in Islamabad, Pakistan's purpose-built capital, the air is full of the scent of roses and the yelling of birds.

Yet, even in this most stately of South Asian cities, it is impossible to escape the realities of an unstable nation that has yet to figure out how to meet some of the basic needs of its 200 million or so citizens.

To Pakistan, the Afghan elections and the withdrawal of most U.S. troops seems reminiscent of the Soviet departure decades ago — leaving Afghanistan in Pakistan's lap, for better or worse.

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There's also anxiety in Pakistan because it is a country where you can get into big trouble because of what you say. Recently, gunmen there opened fire on a prominent journalist who's a critic of Islamic extremism, killing his driver. Twenty-five journalists have been killed over the last decade. Non-journalists like the young activist Malala Yousafzai have been attacked. NPR's Philip Reeves went to see two young Pakistanis who think they're better off singing about their political views than talking. He sent this postcard from Lahore.

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

We occasionally get postcards from our international correspondents who report and live in various spots around the world. NPR's Philip Reeves is based in Pakistan where violence has killed tens of thousands of people in recent years. Philips says some in the capital, Islamabad, to find ways to escape the pressure.

PHILIP REEVES, BYLINE: Islamabad can sometimes seem surprisingly tranquil. My house is a short drive from Parliament and the Supreme Court. The foothills of the Himalayas aren't so far away.

If there was a competition to find the world's Most Optimistic Law, then here's a promising contender.

A law has just been introduced in Pakistan that bans people from scrawling graffiti on the walls of Karachi, a vast, chaotic port city on the shores of the Arabian Sea.

It is impossible to drive through Karachi without being struck by the manner in which the city's walls yell at the passersby.

His grandfather was hanged by a military dictator. His mother was assassinated. One of his uncles was slain by the police. Another died in a mysterious poisoning.

His father spent eight years in jail, yet later served a full term as president of Pakistan.

The Bhutto family history is a roller coaster ride, veering from prison, exile and corruption scandals to wealth, fame and power.

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. When you hear us say Karachi, Pakistan, you might assume we're going to bring you're a story about terrorism or a bombing or a kidnapping - and you would often be right. It is the most violent city in all of Pakistan. But NPR's Philip Reeves found that isn't all there is to the city. In fact, there's often a gap between Karachi's reputation and the reality of the place, as he explains in this letter from Pakistan.

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An intense debate is underway in Pakistan over what to do about a surge of deadly Taliban attacks. The city's chief counterterrosim officer was killed a few weeks ago. Superintendent Chaudhry Aslam Khan was and remains a legendary figure.

Prickly relations between the U.S. and Islamabad are becoming even thornier because of one issue: the case of Shakil Afridi, the Pakistani doctor who helped the CIA find Osama bin Laden in 2011. Afridi is seen as a hero by many Americans, but that didn't deter Pakistan from jailing him for alleged militant ties. The U.S. Congress is withholding $33 million in aid to Pakistan until the doctor is freed. But Afridi's lawyer fears this tactic will antagonize Islamabad. He urgently wants Afridi freed, warning that the doctor is at severe risk of being killed by fellow prisoners.

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We've been hearing this week about a special relationship between many British people and something called the Shipping Forecast. It's a broadcast on BBC Radio of sea and weather conditions off the coast of the British Isles. Even landlubbers enjoy it each night before bed.

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This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

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And I'm Audie Cornish.

This week we're dipping our toes into the waters around the British Isles. We're exploring a few of the places behind the names listed in what's known as the Shipping Forecast. It's basically a report of sea and weather conditions around the isles, broadcast several times a day on BBC Radio.

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From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

We're going to venture out onto the sea now off the coast of Britain. Yesterday, we heard about a British cultural institution called the Shipping Forecast. Every night, landlubbers who know nothing of the sea tune into BBC radio, to hear about sea and weather conditions off the British Isles. Songs and poems have been devoted to the forecast.

It is a bizarre nightly ritual that is deeply embedded in the British way of life.

You switch off the TV, lock up the house, slip into bed, turn on your radio, and begin to listen to a mantra, delivered by a soothing, soporific voice.

"Viking, North Utsire, South Utsire, Forties, Cromarty, Forth, Tyne, Dogger ...." says the voice.

You are aware — vaguely — that these delicious words are names, and that those names refer to big blocks of sea around your island nation, stretching all the way up to Iceland and down to North Africa.

He defied a military dictator, sacked a prime minister, and persistently sought to call generals and intelligence chiefs to account.

He became a symbol of hope for an impoverished multitude, seeking to assert their rights in a land where these are frequently ignored and abused.

He was one of his country's best-known figures who was seen — though not usually heard — on his nation's television screens as frequently as celebrity actors and cricket stars.

Malala Yousafzai, the 16-year-old Pakistani activist, is among the five winners of the 2013 United Nations Human Rights Prize, an award that is only made every five years and was once won by Nelson Mandela. She receives the prize Tuesday in a ceremony at U.N. Headquarters in New York.

This addition to the swelling list of prizes held by Malala underscores the dramatic extent to which the teenager's life has changed since she was shot in the head by the Taliban in an attempt to silence her demand for all children to have access to education, especially girls.

For the first time in its history, Pakistan is poised to put a former president and army chief of staff on trial. A special court has been convened to hear allegations against General Pervez Musharraf. He's charged with committing treason after he suspended the nation's constitution in 2007 and declared a state of emergency.

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From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

In Pakistan, the army chief is considered the most powerful man in the land. Now, there's a new one. General Raheel Sharif was appointed today. He has the tough task of responding to an Islamist insurgency that's cost thousands of lives. That involves taking on Pakistan's Taliban militants. And they also have a new leader, as NPR's Philip Reeves reports.

At the Old Bailey Courthouse in London Wednesday, the prosecution laid out the case against former journalists of the now-defunct British tabloid News of the World.

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The leaks from former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden are still trickling out. The latest reports include allegations that the U.S. is collecting data on millions of citizens in countries such as Spain and France. The steady stream of NSA revelations has drawn attention to an intelligence-sharing agreement known as Five Eyes.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And news that Washington has finally reached a deal, averting a potentially catastrophic debt default, is drawing a mixed reaction from the rest of the world.

NPR's Philip Reeves, in London, is watching the markets for us.

PHILIP REEVES, BYLINE: We all know that, at times, the markets can be panicky and irrational. Yet, during this crisis, they held their nerve. Analysts say traders were always pretty confident there would be a last-minute deal. This time, they were right.

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And I'm Robert Siegel.

In medieval times, the south bank of the River Thames in London was full of seedy theaters, brothels and scoundrels. But centuries later, it has become one of the world's finest centers for the arts. Recent plans to expand the arts center has revealed a uniquely, contemporary conflict. As NPR's Philip Reeves reports, this conflict is reviving grassroots activism in Britain's capital.

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This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. Around the world today, there are deliberations about Syria. The governments of the U.S., France and Britain are pushing for action in response to last week's alleged chemical weapons attack. They blame the Syrian government for the deaths of hundreds of people outside Damascus.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

If the United States takes military action against Syria, it will not act alone. Its allies will certainly play a role, including Britain. NPR's Philip Reeves says the British government has already launched an offensive to win public support for military intervention.

PHILIP REEVES, BYLINE: U.N. inspectors in Syria have yet to deliver their conclusions. But Britain's prime minister, David Cameron, seems pretty sure he already knows who's to blame for last week's attack that killed hundreds of Syrian civilians.

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From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel. The Church of England's top bishop is in a little hot water. The archbishop of Canterbury is embroiled in a controversy about ethical investment. As NPR's Philip Reeves reports, it involves a company called Wonga.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Let us greet our newly installed archbishop with great gladness.

(APPLAUSE)

PHILIP REEVES, BYLINE: Four months have elapsed since Justin Welby was enthroned as the 105th archbishop of Canterbury.

"Royal Baby Fever" is gripping Britain.

So say the breathless TV pundits gathered from round the world to report the infant's arrival.

Is it true?

An Ipsos Mori poll published this week found the Royal Family's certainly enjoying a golden age, after rebounding from the disasters of the 1990s — including the death of Princess Diana.

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