Daily Archives: July 3, 2008

Kinhar to Khunjerab

Traveled for days,
in quest for patterns
Raveling of existence
From Kinhar to Khunjerab
In days to remember,
The old photographs
Old features and formation
From old Russian cigarettes
To adventure with death
In the old mountains
Beautiful and serene
Unforgiving & brutal
Characters of past,
From one town to another
Followed we those steps
As words follow the book
Of all those moments
and its loss
as we traveled for days
in quest for patterns
raveling of our existence!



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Filed under Citizens, History, Pakistan, poetry, Writers

Pakistan Re-Visited – Lahore, Karachi and Reflections

This is the second post on the travelogue by the Jeddah based writer Tariq Al-Maeena on his travels to Pakistan.

Pakistan Re-Visited – (4)
The road to Lahore

On a day following several meetings with officials from the Pakistani government that ran later than scheduled, we missed our flight reservations to Lahore. Faced with the option to drive from Islamabad to Peshawar and take a flight to Lahore, or else take a four hour drive to the Punjabi city, the Saudi media delegation unanimously opted for the latter. The drive would provide us a closer insight into the countryside of a country that was quickly garnering admiration from each one of us by the moment.

A few miles out of the city of Islamabad we soon passed a toll-booth on the outskirts of the city and were soon on our way in a Toyota Crown graciously supplied by our host on the M2 expressway that would lead us to Lahore. A six-lane highway that was meticulously clean and well asphalted with none of the pot-holes and road carnage we have been so accustomed to in Jeddah had us all marvel at the will of the Pakistani road authorities who have indeed managed to maintain a world class motorway.

An hour into our journey, we passed through a hilly region noted on either side by well planned trees and shrubbery. The road was clean and traffic laws strictly enforced. Road signs every few miles reminded motorists not to litter, and there was ample evidence that motorists paid heed. Our group was definitely taken aback with the ease and comfort of driving as we moved on. Contrary to our expectations, we did not witness one road incident that would have raised alarm.

Towns and villages flashed by; names like Kallar Kahhar, Chakwal, Gujran and Sarghoda sped by, each with its unique flavor. Some were farming villages, others terraced communities that lay on either side of the expressway. Halfway en route, a rest area beckoned us, and we decided to stop for a short break and some refreshments. Similar but so unlike the SAPTCO rest stop between Jeddah and Madinah, this rest stop afforded its guests a full fledged restaurant and other amenities. The difference lay in its standards of cleanliness. Even the restrooms had us Saudis shaking our heads at the pitiful conditions some of us have encountered at the SAPTCO stop. And this was supposed to be a third world country? Continue reading

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Filed under Karachi, Lahore, Pakistan, Travel, Writers