Stories about tourism

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 ...

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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 ...

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10 reasons Islamabad isn’t lame

Islamabad, although valued highly by its long-term residents, is often criticized by people who have moved here for personal or professional reasons. “It’s like a ghost town,” a recent arrival commented. While a long-time resident remarked, “Islamabad is a place for retirees. Anyone younger would go crazy there.” I have heard mixed reactions from tourists. I often hear acidic remarks like “Islamabad has a lame and depressing social scene and I prefer not to socialize here,” and “the nightlife is sleazy and full of shady old uncles.” But there is much to love in this sleepy, young town. One visitor remarked: “I was ...

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Journalists need to help Swat

All reporters and journalists should join hands together to help rebuild Swat Valley and restore it to its previous glory. Known as the Switzerland of Asia, the region was, it seems, deliberately pushed into the hands of extremists who were not only financially nurtured but also backed, many say, by the powers that be. There is considerable evidence of this, especially in how Mullah Fazlullah, then head of the Swat Taliban, was allowed to air his venomous broadcasts to the people of the valley for many months. I would request all my colleagues and other patriotic reporters of my country to write ...

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Road trips to Sindh’s secret tourist treasures

Recently, I had an opportunity to travel to interior  Sindh and discover the wonders of the ancient necropolis of the Makli, the Shah Jehan mosque and Haleji Lake. All of these attractions are in the district of Thatta,  just a few hours away from Karachi. If developed, these places could be great tourist spots not only for Karachiites who love road trips but also for people living in other parts of Pakistan. Haleji Lake Haleji Lake is the largest bird sanctuary of the country and is about 70 kilometres from Karachi. A few kilometers of uncarpeted road links it to National Highway and ...

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