Stories about tourism

Journey to Quetta: The road less travelled

At 5:00am, my mother woke me up for our long awaited trip to Quetta. Although I have been to Quetta many times, this time around I woke up to a heightened level of excitement. I now owned a Nikon D7000 and could not wait to take pictures of the scenic route to Quetta. We began our adventure at 6:00am. By 7:00am, we had reached Daraban. A gust of fresh air and a soundless environment greeted us ─ no traffic signals, no pollution, no horns. It was only us, the sheer silent beauty of nature and an escort that accompanied us for 10 ...

Read Full Post

London Olympics 2012: The biggest party on the planet!

Before the 2012 Olympics began, London’s mayor, Boris Johnson was proclaiming to the world that the games would show that it is ‘a great time to be British’. Two weeks later, I can safely say that if anything, I think it was a great time to just be in London! It was as if the games had permeated every nook and cranny of the city. I will be honest, before the games started, most of us were unsure of how successful they would be. There were public transportation nightmares, security personnel glitches, bustling crowds, and for a while everyone had their ...

Read Full Post

Euro 2012: So Poland and Ukraine can host but not Pakistan?

The UEFA‘s decision to choose Poland and Ukraine as hosts for the Euro 2012 was dealt with criticism and rightfully so: The two countries are known for their hostile attitudes. Poland, where 96.7% of population is pure Polish, is ranked number 14 in the list of the most racist countries in Europe. Ukraine, which has a whopping 78% of pure Ukrainians, has bagged the 23rd position on the list. However, we were not aware of the situation regarding racism in Ukraine and Poland before the release of the famous BBC documentary “Stadiums of Hate”. ...

Read Full Post

Culture cousins: Beirut and Karachi

The population is made up of people from diverse religious, linguistic, ethnic, and socio-economic backgrounds. Political parties are based on ethnic and sectarian lines which go hand in hand with political identities. Unity is relatively rare among the political leadership and the population in general. The masses blindly follow the incompetent and corrupt leaders and unfortunately some have no other choice as their livelihood depends on it. The same faces and names remain in power for years on end considering the main qualification for holding office is that you belong to a specific family. The blame game never ends (external or ...

Read Full Post

Reviving tourism in Swat

Known for its dazzling beauty with high-peak mountains, lush green valleys, spectacular waterfalls and magical lakes, Swat Valley has remained a tourist’s paradise. Containing thousands of years of history, the valley is not only known for its natural beauty but also for its rich cultural heritage and various civilisations which sprang there. Apart from summer tourism, the valley offers much more for winter tourists. Every year, the skiing slope of Malam Jabba is swarmed with tourists who enjoy the serene environment and hills covered in snow. Tourism, apart from agriculture, is the backbone of Swat’s economy. More than half of ...

Read Full Post

One dozen provinces, please

Recently, the voices calling for the division of Punjab have been getting louder and louder. But do we really need to? What will the consequences be? What are the advantages? My personal view is that many people are demanding division for their petty agendas, but the step is not in the larger interest of Pakistan. Keeping personal interests aside and treating the matter without bias we have come to the conclusion that: Pakistan has certainly developed but not uniformly, many smaller cities have been overlooked (not only in Punjab but in all provinces) Facilities are not provided equally to people of all regions A ...

Read Full Post

Let’s promote ‘religious tourism’

Over 8,000 Sikh pilgrims from various countries visited Pakistan recently to celebrate the 543rd birthday of the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak Dev. This is not the only occasion in the calendar year when Sikh pilgrims come to Pakistan to visit their religious sites. The federal government has always been sensitive to the needs of Sikh pilgrims, but few in government may have thought that this traditional hospitality can also be converted into a source of earning. Since so many Sikhs visit the country throughout the year, it can use their arrival ...

Read Full Post

Open letter to Shahbaz Sharif

Dear Mr Shahbaz Sharif,  If only you knew a little about economics and governance policies, I would not have been writing this letter today. For the past couple of weeks I have been hearing and reading constant malicious criticism from you and your fellow political puppets on the Government of Pakistan’s policy on two weekly holidays. Keeping the power shortfall debate aside for which this policy has been implemented, I would like to state certain economic arguments in favour of this policy, which of course you would have known of, if you would have ever taken an economics course in ...

Read Full Post

I read so you don’t have to: Outrageous!

This week offered proof, once again, that our politicians wouldn’t be quite so problematic if they just never spoke. We already knew that the outrageousness of Rehman Malik’s words is matched only by the outrageousness of his ties; that Zulfiqar Mirza vomits out inflammatory speeches as if it’s a medical condition for which there’s no cure; and, that the world would be a happier place if Pervez Musharraf never spoke again. Still, you’re most likely sitting at home and refusing to go out because of the heat, so you might as well relive their cringe-worthy comments of the last week. That ...

Read Full Post

Pakistan: Where life can be a blast

The ‘enlightened moderation’ mantra from the Musharraf era prompted Pakistan’s oft-quoted ‘soft image.’ Seen as a much-needed leap beyond archetypal vistas of K-2 and the Lahore Fort (think 1970s photographs issued by PIA and the Ministry of Tourism), well-meant consultants were hired for the purpose of promoting a progressive image for the country—or at least, that’s what the aim was in flying out designers and models to put on fashion shows at Pakistani Consulates around the world. One can almost imagine spectators gawking: “Gosh, they have women in their country who don’t wear a burka and aren’t getting stoned for ...

Read Full Post