Stories about Chitral

Thank you, Peter Oborne, for standing up for Muslims worldwide

I first spoke to renowned author and journalist Peter Oborne when I was working on a documentary about the misconceptions of Islam in the West during the summer of 2008. I had researched his profile and felt that he was the perfect candidate to speak to about the dehumanisation of Muslims in western media. It was a privilege speaking to him – he was very thorough and well versed in the subject. After the completion of my work, we stayed in touch and soon after he decided to visit Lahore. I never thought that our interview would result in such a ...

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Travelling through Pakistan with my (fake) husband

I am travelling to Pakistan with a stranger I met on a layover in Hong Kong. Within minutes of meeting each other, we knew we could travel together. We hatched a plan over lukewarm Tiger Beer while sitting on smurf-sized chairs in Hanoi. Out of respect for Islamic values, and as precaution, we decided to pretend to be husband and wife from elsewhere, anywhere but America. We rendezvoused in Guangzhou and entered Pakistan from Western China down the Karakoram Highway. As I stood at the airport waiting, I thought, Do I know what he looks like? I wondered for the briefest moment if ...

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Shahzaib Bajwa: More than just a name in the papers

A few months ago, I wrote a piece that appeared on this site about my experience as a Palestinian, in Chitral and how my view of humanity had changed for the better. Not only did I have the chance to explore an area of the world that not many Pakistanis have been to – much less foreigners – the way I viewed the world drastically changed and that is not a minor thing. The time I spent in Chitral changed my life and I will be forever thankful for the experience. My objective for writing this blog, however, is because one of ...

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From Palestine to Chitral: Miracles do happen

In an age in which reading or watching the news is enough to turn any normal human being into a raging lunatic or a hardened cynic, the smallest piece of good news is often like a breath of fresh air and can do wonders for restoring a positive outlook on life. Rooftops near North Jerusalem. Photo: Abdullah Saad I am originally a Palestinian from Jerusalem, and like many Palestinians, I suffer (or perhaps benefit) from a severe case of Wanderlust. Dome of the Rock. Photo: Abdullah Saad This means that we have to remain on the move ...

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Why Pervez Musharraf is Chitral’s hero

Despite the boycott of the 2013 general elections by the All Pakistan Muslim League (APML), the party managed to get two seats (one national and one provincial) from the constituency of Chitral under special permission to contest the elections from its party’s president, Pervez Musharraf. This victory for the APML in Chitral proved yet another time that the common people never forget leaders who give prime importance to their demands and are keen to serve the people at all costs. Chitral is a far-flung area in the north of Pakistan with scenic beauty and breath-taking picnic spots located all over the ...

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