by Bilal Qureshi
The army did wonders in Swat and proved that few militants, even if they are determined to die, but inflict tremendous harm to others are no match for a disciplined army, thank God. At this point, it seems obvious that the situation in Swat is getting better in terms of the defeat of the Taliban. The government seems in control and sooner or later, the residents are going to start coming back to their villages, homes and towns.
And that is where the new problem begins! Continue reading
Despite all the reigning chaos, anarchy and restlessness, there is no dearth of latent spirit of nationhood that simmers in the hearts and souls of the majority of the Pakistanis. No amount of exploitation_ social, economic, political or religious_, the designs to divide the nation into ethnic and sectarian groups or propaganda has so far been able to achieve the ultimate underlying ignoble objectives.
A lot of damage has been done. We stand divided, bruised and deeply fissured. As a nation, we have lost focus and are relegated to a bunch of unorganized and motley crowd devoid of all bonding, unity and interlocking. Tolerance, sense of brotherhood and mutual respect have become the hallmarks of the past and attributes of the earlier generations. Continue reading
President Zardari’s Peace formula for india and Pakistan
The PAKISTANI GOVERNMENT under President Zardari started peace initiatives with India taking tentative steps to liberalise Trade and tourism with India. Zardari send delegations comprising of Civil society SAFMA,PIPFPD and HRCP members for back-channel diplomacy with India after 26/11 terrorist attacks. Zardari’s live webcast (his firstever) with english speaking Internet users in India and coining terms like “we are all half Indian/half Pakistani” was very optimistic. Continue reading
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A valley that has long fed the natives on its thriving tourism industry suffers the consequences of ignorance
By Zulfiqar Ali Kalhoro
The landscape of Kalash is breathtaking, to say the least. It encompasses verdant valleys, running river waters, meandering roads and wooden hamlets.
Kalash is located in three isolated mountain valleys: Bumboret (Kalash: Mumret), Rumbur (Rukmu), and Birir (Biriu) where both Muslims and non-Muslims live together. The non-Muslims are known as Kalasha — ‘the wearers of black robes’. Their dwellings are made of wood and tucked in the mountains.
Tourists from all over the world have always been fascinated by the serenity and the variegated culture of Kalash, especially during the traditional festival days when the place is so crowded that it is hard to find a room in any hotel in the locality. However, in the past few months, the place has seen a dramatic decrease in both domestic and international tourists. “The law and order situation in Swat and other parts of the NWFP is to blame,” says Ijaz Ahmed, owner of a foreign tourist inn. Continue reading
Found this racy travel account here – the pictures are stunning and the narrative right from the heart and informal.
Our friend Kelly Cordes
, who tests gear and writes copy for us, went
climbing in the Charakusa Valley of Pakistan last summer and sent us
some photos to share. Though Kelly and his climbing partner, Scott
DeCapio, were unsuccessful on their attempt at a new line on K7, they
returned with some spectacular images — enjoy!
[Photo: Arrival into base camp in Pakistan’s Charakusa Valley, late August, 2007, with K7 in the background. All photos © Kelly Cordes]
Arrival at the Islamabad airport. Things look calm here, but generally it’s mass chaos, which sounds intimidating except that everyone’s super friendly. This was my third time to Pakistan – the place grows on ya, in large part because of the incredible people, especially in the villages. In all my travels, nowhere in the world have I been greeted with the kindness and warmth of the people of northern Pakistan. The spectacular mountains feed the attraction, too. Continue reading