I sometimes forget how beautiful Pakistan is

Published: November 26, 2012

I find myself turning to my phone, tuning out the news and tuning in to these beautiful visual moments.

I follow the news all day. Its my job, and yes, it makes me bitter and cynical.

Thankfully, I have found surprising solace and joy in browsing the wondrous photos of Pakistan shared daily by people using Instagram.

For those who have never heard of it, Instagram is a free photo sharing program and social network that was launched in October 2010, and has now gained a considerable following even in Pakistan after it was acquired by Facebook.

Throughout my eight hour (and sometimes longer) shift, I find myself turning to my phone, tuning out the news and tuning in to these beautiful, surreal, strange and sometimes hilarious visual moments captured or created by ordinary people.

I’m going to share some of my favourites from last week over here, but more than that, I would like to express gratitude to the people who share them (oh yeah, and the creators of Instagram!).

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Just your (super)ordinary Karachi sunset taken by zarakhanzk

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One more awesome photo of a Karachi sunset by zarakhanzk

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Inside the historic walled city of Lahore – by sanazulfiqar

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If you’ve ever been on a train across Pakistan, this should be familiar – by nikhatali

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Valley Upper Dewal, Murree captured by naidy86

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Back in Karachi, out by the port – by bambicash34

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Unreal! “This was way up in the air, going over one of the very many of Pakistani mountains… Subhanallah it was just beautiful.” – by amarabano

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At Dir City, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, by faizanahmad

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Is it cheating to manipulate an image too much? Honestly, I (and 90% of ordinary folk) don’t care! Just your regular Karachi street, by mannalmohammad

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A surreal moment at the Pak-India border, by nickadvani

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A gorgeous piece of Hawksbay beach, Karachi. By zaidchhapra

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Speaking of photo manipulation, an interpretative capture of Muhalla Khuda-daad, old walled city Peshawar by warpdrive

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Just a drive down Pakistan’s highways, by mannalmohammad

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Karachi; the old and the new merge – by darkmysticx9

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Sunrise in Naran! By warpdrive

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Last but definitely not least, “Frozen Lake Saif-ul-Mulook is shown on the top while we took this expedition in late winter of 2009. The bottom most photo shows the Lake from my tent and the middle one is a huge pano of Naran while climbing down from the mountains…” – by warpdrive

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If you loved these photos, do give a shout out in the comments section for the people above!

Also, feel free to email the web desk if you have an interesting set of photos you have shared on Instagram (or elsewhere).

We love photos!

Read more by Jahanzaib here or follow him on Twitter @jhaque_

Jahanzaib Haque

Jahanzaib Haque

News buff and Web Editor, The Express Tribune. Jahanzaib tweets @Jhaque_ twitter.com/jhaque_

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • https://twitter.com/BajiPlease Baji Please

    These are indeed beautiful. I have 100s of such photos that I captured while travelling all across Pakistan. Only if I were one of the people you were following on Istagram.Recommend

  • Ali Tipu

    That “Unreal” is really “Unreal”. Gave me goosebumps. Hats off to those adventurers who in the quest of finding nature at its very best capture such moments of extreme serenity for us.Recommend

  • syeda

    thanks for reminding us how beautiful pakistan is Recommend

  • Adil

    Coincidentally I have watched the movie Devil’s Double just last night. It’s really interesting to watch the same Jahanzaib Haque who was so hard on Maya Khan and those who call Theory of Evolution unIslamic, now sharing beautiful pictures of Pakistan telling us that we still have not lost everything precious.Good work though!!Recommend

  • Ayesha Pervez

    I love Pakistan! Long Live Pakistan! :) Beautiful photosRecommend

  • http://www.hackersgarage.com Alam

    I would say.. you couldn’t find good photos. :)Recommend

  • Muhammad Hasnain Gilani

    Pakistan is much more beautiful and resilient one can imagine and capture through lenses of camera.

    A PeshawariRecommend

  • Monet

    Beautiful! Made my morning. Thank you so much!Recommend

  • Adil Mulki

    Great Going. Keep uploading the good stuff…Recommend

  • Eric Kumar

    Yes as Mirza Galib said” Dil ko bhalaney kay liye, Galib yah khyal acha hai’”. its good thought for self consolation. A country greatness is that how a common man feel safe,sound and secure . Its children,its mothers,wives and sisters are safe. One can profess any religion,thought,and idea.one can express read,write and listen without being hurt by so-called strong and ruthless elements in the society and one is able to get two secure meals. You only enjoy nature and its beauty when one has means to go and enjoy. A poor man’s enjoyment is when he is able to pay his monthly rent,utility bills and has extra left to save for future emergency and needs. Garbage and filth you see all over along with natural beauty.Recommend

  • I.

    Wow.just wow Masha-Allah!Recommend

  • sars

    Lovely pictures !! thank youRecommend

  • Sab33N

    @Eric Kumar:
    Its actually “Dil kay behlanay kou .. Ghalib ye khayal acha hai”. The way you have quoted a very famous verse from Ghalib makes me wonder if you are an Indian. And If you are an Indian, this is no place for you to comment and this blog is certainly not about India or Indian issues.

    In case you are a resentful Pakistani, my friend you are quite negative in your thinking. The whole country is not full of filth. Everyone has issues. Point out one country in the world that does not have any issues or where people dont have to pay utility bills. yes we do have poor people and a lot of other safety / security issues but must we always see the darker side of the picture? This blog is not about that. It just simply tries to show the other side of the picture .. the other side of the picture which is not as ugly .. These photo’s are real and such beauty exists in Pakistan which is what the blog is all about. In case you want to rent on about how bad the country is and how many problems we are facing, then you dont have to look further .. there are quite a few other blogs where country bashing can be acquired easily .. but I would request you to leave this one out. Recommend

  • Anum Talat

    JUst amazing and beautiful.. mashallah!!!
    I too want to capture the serenity of our country and i hope i will be able to so soon!!! In sha allah!!Recommend

  • harbans

    enticing photographs.each one,nature gives humans opportunities to experience soulful and etheral sights which remind one of his limitations in front of infinite nature.the other photographs of peshawar,high ways and karachi fully show life in full play.again wonderful.nature is not country specific.Recommend

  • Sinclair

    So admiring nature is OK with Islam. Its just when we begin to revere it in our anthem that it becomes unislamic?Recommend

  • Mj

    Pakistan is indeed beautiful, but most of these photos have been over-processed and over-saturated.Recommend

  • http://asianetpakistan.com/ Muneeb Qasim

    This is the Pakistan.but when we see the recent situation of our beloved country we feel very pity and don’t know what has happened to this nation……Recommend

  • gp65

    Beuatiful pictures nd also strangely familiar though I have never visited Pakistan. The Karachi pictures could very well have been taken in my beloved Mumbai.

    There is a song in the movie Veer Zara called Aisa Des Hai Mera’. Shah Rukh (playing Indian Veer) describes India lovingly to Preity (playing the Pakistani Zara) ending each stanza with the refrain ‘Aisa Des Hai Mera’. In the end Preity says
    Tere Des Ko Maine Dekha, Tere Des Ko Maine Jaana;
    Jaane Kyon Mujhko Lagta , Hai Ye Jaana Pehchana;
    Yahaan pe wohi shaam hai wohi savera;
    Aisa hi Des Hai Mera, Jaisa Des Hai Tera.

    It describes exactly how I feel upon viewing these photographs.Recommend

  • gp65

    @Sinclair: “So admiring nature is OK with Islam. Its just when we begin to revere it in our anthem that it becomes unislamic?”

    I am pretty sure you are talking about Vande Mataram here. Admiring nature is not the issue with Vande Matram. The issue relates to misunderstanding that some Muslims have about the phrase Vande Mataram. They think that the mother that one bows to in that phrase is a Hindu Goddess rather than the motherland. This is why they mistakenly consider it unislamic. Clearly A R Rehman does not – he made a song called Vande Mataram and neither does Salman Khurshid.

    Enjoy the pics my friend. They are beautiful.Recommend

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/aqs-theconcept Faisal` .

    Nice and heart warming to see my photos here. Thanks Tribune and OP for liking. To those of you who think what has gone wrong with this country, there’s only one word, ‘own’. Try to own each and every inch of this space like you own and care for your personal belongings and you will see the perceptions changing.

    It’s indeed true that you find little to zero motivation to find and see beauty around when there’s so much bad going on everywhere, let alone getting out there and capture it, but in the end, all of it affords you to become a better human being and learn from your mistakes if you allow it a chance.

    @Eric Kumar above is right in my opinion that one’s inherent capacity to receive and perceive beauty is crippled with the sort of circumstances we are faced with everyday in our lives here in this country. Even photographers often get credit (sometime financial) by presenting slums and poor naked children and aftermath of a blast/war in the human rights, environment and portrait categories, not realizing the fragility of the situation at those places but that’s probably how the God’s world works.

    @Sab33N, I agree with your approach that everyone everywhere have issues and you can’t just sum it up to a total negative scene but I don’t agree with you on this, “And If you are an Indian, this is no place for you to comment and this blog is certainly not about India or Indian issues …” We want everyone to come here and see the beauty we want to present to the world, be it Indians or Americans or whoever, respect and love for everyone.

    If you like those photos here, you can check more of them on my Instagram feed, I post by the name warpdrive or my flickr galleries here (www.flickr.com/photos/aqs-theconcept).

    To Pakistan, the beautiful !

    Faisal` .Recommend

  • niki shah

    i agree with you brother pakistan is so beautifull country but some people that can only need money and they can also use pakistani mans and kill womans and also childrens in the name of islam and also infected the public and natural beauty of pakistan .the people of pakistan can not speed our vacations in our week because of target killing and bombs they cannot see the national beauty of sawat .

    vacations dealsRecommend

  • http://www.risingkarachi.blogspot.com Nouman Ahmed

    We don’t live on Mars we know what is instagram Recommend

  • Saif Khan

    Thanks Jehanzaib for recognition of my country. Recommend

  • hAFIZ KASHI

    Pakistan is so beautiful specially the rural areas. AmazingRecommend