Saturday, September 16, 2006

Come and see Pakistan!



Shirazi is a blogger friend from Lahore, Pakistan. Through his blog, he shares – with love, insight, and tenderness - his land, her history, sights and sounds, people, culture, language, food … He is a great ambassador for Pakistan. Reading his pieces – one has to urge to go there immediately!

Come and see Pakistan!

Especially in the present context of the “war against terrorism” and the unfortunate association of terrorists with this country – it is vital that people across the world see Pakistan and know the country and her people for themselves. They would realise that everything they heard and thought about Pakistan was only a distorted image through a discoloured lens. The real Pakistan is something else. It’s a land of amazing human warmth and cultural and spiritual wealth that would captivate anyone – of sensibility. Every sensitive visitor to Pakistan would return as an ambassador of this country.



Reading Shirazi’s posts, it struck me that someone like him should be organising conducted tours for discerning people from across the world. I remember the advertisements for cultural tours in magazines like New Yorker and Harper’s (or CAM, the Cambridge Alumni Magazine). Shirazi’s posts establish that Pakistan is a prime candidate for similar tours.

Yesterday evening I was talking to Mick Douglas, a friend from Melbourne, who had organised a inter-cultural project in Karachi and Melbourne, highlighting the fabulous “mini-bus art” of Karachi. Mick agreed with me that aesthetics and art is impregnated in the daily lives and activities of the common people.

One comes across Visit Thailand Year, Visit Malaysia year, even Visit India Year. I don’t recall a Visit Pakistan Year. India organised several Festivals of India in different countries in the 1980s. I don’t know whether Festivals of Pakistan have taken place anywhere. Its high time …

I would like to see a Come and See Pakistan! movement, taken up by the people of Pakistan: civil society organisations, business and professional groups, artists, performers, sportspersons etc.

Pakistan is a very special country, a precious treasure in the world community. The world needs to start discovering this now, and thus be uplifted towards building a better world. And thus would the real Pakistan too emerge out of the dark clouds that have overshadowed this beautiful land for a long time.

Where the high mountains are …
Come and see Pakistan,
A beautiful country.

Where the cradle of civilisation is nestled …
Come and see Pakistan,
A beautiful country.

Where treasures of antiquity abound …
Come and see Pakistan,
A beautiful country.

Where mystics and saints hover …
Come and see Pakistan,
A beautiful country.

Where songs of ecstasy resound …
Come and see Pakistan,
A beautiful country.

Where bedazzling textiles sway …
Come and see Pakistan,
A beautiful country.

Where feasts of emperors invite …
Come and see Pakistan,
A beautiful country.

Where the friendliest people are …
Come and see Pakistan,
A beautiful country.


Note to Shirazi: Don’t forget to pass on my commission, okay?

9 comments:

Shirazi said...

Your commission:: Please come to see Pakistan and be my guest at Food and Heritage Street, Gwalmandi. You have a standing invitation.

Thanks for this nice post.

Owais Mughal said...

Rama
Thanks for this article. Pakistan is indeed much more than what we see on news media. It is a tourist's paradise; just needs to be marketed better.

Anonymous said...

I am going to see Shirazi's Pakistan.

Maria

Le Magnifique said...

Thank you Rama and your friend Shirazi, me thinks we need more people like you - the world is very small and getting smaller by the day and we need things that unify us rather than split us apart so thank you for what you bring to this melting pit (pot) ...

Anonymous said...

Swamiji Adab...wonderful info into the land that many think a den for terrorists across the globe. Good timing for an alternative view on the land. Maybe Indo-Pak forum could take ur suggestions seriously.

Adil Najam said...

Just wanted to add that Shirazi is doing a big service to Pakistanis themselves becasue his choice of areas to highlight are off the beaten path... therefore, for me, his biggest contribution is introducing the 'other' Pakistan to Pakistanis themselves.

Thainland Tours said...

Excellent Article! Pakistan has always been a favorite countries of mine. I'll take the invitation for sure

Thailand Golf said...

Hi there everyone I just wanted to say that I liked your site Keep working on it!

Trueman said...

Your blog is just like a cool breeze in the scorching heat of a vast desert, a desert of indifference and opposition, an opposition which reaches to the extent of madness. (So unfortunately created by history books written by each side to distort the facts, by the media and above all by the respective governments in India and Pakistan to tilt the version in favour of the particular side of the border they belonged).
May your ideas and thoughts help the climate of friendship between India ad Pakistan to turn this subcontinent into a region harnessing long term cooperation and friendship whereby both countries can benefit from each other’s resources ultimately moving towards a goal of economic freedom – for the downtrodden and have-nots of the society.

Nayyar Hashmey
http://wondersofpakistan.wordpress.com