“BREAKING- Pakistan violates ceasefire in J&K!!” (A Facebook post by some random Indian news channel)
And then starts a saga of obscene comments on either sides of the border..
What does Pakistan mean to you? What is Pakistan for you? What is the first word that comes to your mind when you hear the word ‘Pakistan’?
Okay. I’ll go first. Don’t judge me. The first word that comes to my mind when I hear the word ‘Pakistan’ is LOVE. There’s this happy feeling and it’s like my heart is tingling. Pakistan, for me, is like a forbidden fruit. It’s like a fantasy land.
Since childhood, Pakistan has fascinated me like no other country. I’ve always wanted to know more about this country. I’ve always wanted to get acquainted with my neighboring country. Even if an Indian child has no idea about any country in this world, he/she will have very strong views about Pakistan. Pakistan, irrespective of the lifestyle, background, religion etc. of the Indians, holds a very special place in our hearts; negative or positive, depends.
Indians have grown up with the knowledge of Pakistan through the media, because obviously the travel is restricted. And, unfortunately, all we hear about is different terrorist groups operating on the Pakistani soil, bomb blasts, Pakistani politicians demeaning India, etc.
I’ve always thought of Pakistan as a country where nobody is safe. Often I hear about advocates, diplomats, human rights activists and politicians being brutally murdered. I remember when Benazir Bhutto returned to Pakistan, I thought of her as an idiot to come back to a very unsafe country. One of our neighbors came running to our home and broke the news of her death in an election rally. This is how massive Pakistan is for the Indians.
Agree with me or not, but Internet is a very powerful tool. So I took to YouTube in the hope of changing my perspective about this country. And I wasn’t disappointed. I watched vlogs, hundreds of them. The one vlogger, Lord Aleem, who resides in the United Kingdom started the ‘My Motherland’ series with a mission to show the world that Pakistan isn’t what media portrays it. And he has succeeded. Through his vlogs I found Pakistan to be just as normal as India. I saw cities like Gujranwala, Lahore, Islamabad and also places like Mirpur, Kaghan valley, etc. Pakistan is gorgeous!
So, now I’m on a mission to show you how beautiful our neighbor is!
- World’s 2nd largest Muslim nation
- 28th May, 1998, became the 1st Islamic nation and 7th country in the world to attain nuclear power
- 3rd largest English-speaking population in the world.
- 7th largest standing armed force.
- 8th largest wheat producer.
- 5th largest gold mines.
- 7th largest pool of scientists and engineers.
- 2nd largest salt mines in Khewra which was discovered by Alexander’s troops in 320 B.C. Largest source of salt in the world.
- Highest paved international highway- Karakoram highway.
- World’s largest deep sea port- Gwadar.
- 2nd largest dam by volume and largest earth filled- Tarbela dam.
- Oldest civilization- Indus Valley Civilization.
- World’s highest desert, cold desert- Skardu.
- Highest Polo ground- Shandur top, located in Gilgit, Pakistan. Called the ‘Roof of the World’ elevated at 12,200 ft. Gilgit and Chitral teams play polo match once a year.
- World’s tallest vertical cliffs- Trango towers.
- Asia’s largest air base- PAF Masroor Base, Karachi.
- Longest Railway Gradient- Rohri to Quetta (20 tunnels, 368 bridges)
- Shah Faisal Mosque, Islamabad can accommodate 100,000 worshipers at a time.
- Largest Irrigation Network- serves 14.4 million hectares of cultivated land. Fed by water from the Indus river.
- Thar desert
2.Himalayan Range and K-2.
3. Ranikot fort- World’s biggest fort.
5. Deosai Plateau, Shangrila.
6. Kaghan valley.
7. Katasraj temple.
8. Hunza valley.
9. Mir Ali valley.
10. Hingor National Park, Balochistan.
11. Banjosa lake, PoK.
12. Helmat village, Neelum valley.
13. Nanga Parbat- Highest face of the mountain.
14. Dudipatsar lake.
15. Mai Pir old cave civilization.
16. Laila peak.
18. Lake Saif ul Malook, Naran.
20. Rawal lake, Islamabad.
- Largest ambulance network run by the Edhi Foundtion. Abdul Sattar Edhi started the foundation in Karachi. Now it has branches in UK, USA, Canada, Japan and China.
- Sialkot is famous for making sports equipment. More than 50% of world’s footballs are made in Pakistan.
- Youngest Civil Judge– Muhammad Ilyas passed the exam enabling him to become a civil judge in July, 1952 at the age of 20 years and 9 months.
- World’s youngest Microsoft Certified Professional- (Late) Arfa Karim.
- Parveen Saeed, owner of Khana Ghar, started her business to provide hot meals for 3 rupees to low income individuals.
- Mir Zafar Ali is an Oscar winner Movie Visual Effects Curator. Worked for Spiderman- 3, X-Men and The Mummy. Won Oscar in 2007 for the movie ‘The Golden Compass’.
- Shoaib Akhtar known as the Pindi Express. One of the fastest bowlers in the cricket history.
- Sahibzada Muhammad Shahid Khan Afridi, also known as Boom Boom Afridi is the only cricketer who slapped 400 sixes in the cricket history.
- Amir Khan, a UK boxer of Pakistani origin who has many records under his belt.
This isn’t all what Pakistan has to offer. Pakistan is rich in culture and tradition. And what else portrays it best than the fashion industry?
Now, I have made myself a promise that I’ll be a Sabyasachi bride and nobody else, but my trousseau will have all the Pakistani designers! Sabya is a class apart designer and I adore his work, but since I’ve discovered what Pakistani women wear, I stalk each and every Pakistani designer on Instagram! My love affair with Pakistani designers started when I accidentally discovered Zehra Saleem.
All you fashion enthusiasts in India, you may know that recently the Bridal week was going on and Sabya collaborated with the shoe-stalwart, Louboutin. If you watched the Gauri and Nainika bridal show, and went all crazy for the dreamy gowns, I may kill your fantasy. Zehra Saleem had already designed the same dresses earlier this year! So yeah, although Gauri and Nainika‘s couture show was to die for, it didn’t impress me much, knowing that I’ve already seen this stuff in Zehra‘s collection!
TOP FASHION HOUSES-
1.Hassan Shehryar Yasin, popularly known as HSY, is the Pakistani Sabyasachi! His designs are, what you call them, La shoriat!
4.Elan fashion house which makes couture and ready-to-wear dresses is a perfect blend of modernism and tradition.
5.Ali Xeeshan– Boxer Amir Khan and his beautiful wife Faryal Makhdoom introduced me to this extraordinaire fashion designer who will blow your mind with his exquisite designs. Be it his structured lehengas or chic skirts, he has everything to offer.
6.Zara Shahjahan– The pleated dresses, the red carpet gowns, the pant-kurtas, the anarkalis and what not!!
7.Shehla Chatoor– When you talk big names in the Pakistani film industry, you talk about Shehla Chatoor.
A great news is that you can actually shop the biggest fashion names of Pakistan in India! Pakistan Fashion Design Council has a store in New Delhi–
M-4, South Extension, Part 2
New Delhi, 110049
All the big fashion designers- Elan, Fahad Hussayn, HSY, Layla Chatoor, Nickie and Nina, Libas, Umar Sayeed, Sana Safinaz and many more have their collections in the Delhi store.
Pakistani talent is unparalleled for, we know this. Adnan Sami, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Atif Aslam and Ali Zafar are a few of the Pakistani singers who have given Indian singers a run for their money. Ali Zafar, is in fact, a very sought after actor in Bollywood with movies like Kill Dil, Mere Brother Ki Dulhan and Tere Bin Laden in his kitty. Another actor who is ruling the hearts of Indian women is Fawad Khan. With his very royal debut in Khoobsurat, Fawad has engraved his name in many hearts. Humaima Malick, who debuted in Bollywood opposite Emraan Hashmi is also another Pakistani beauty making it big in the Indian film industry. In fact, with the resurrection of Lollywood, Humaima has paired with handsome hunk Sikander Rizvi to star in Dekh Magar Pyaar Say which is set to release on Pakistan’s independence day. Mikaal Zulfiqar, who played an important role in Akshay Kumar’s Baby, is also making waves in Bollywood. My personal favorite is Ayesha Omar, a fashionista in true sense, who is preparing for her upcoming movie, Karachi Se Lahore.
At what point did you think that I’m talking about a country many abhor? Pakistan is as normal as any other country.
- A seven year old boy in Lahore is happy that he doesn’t have to go to school on 14th of August.
- A 35 year old woman in Peshawar is busy making meals for the big dinner tonight.
- A 62 year old man in Islamabad has brought gifts for his grandchildren.
- A 28 year old woman in Karachi has just given birth to twins.
- A 38 year old man in PoK in rearing sheep.
- A 42 year old man in Gujranwala is selling sweets.
- A 24 year old man in Lahore is in love.
- A 20 year old woman in Multan is gushing over her new dress.
- A 53 year old man in Islamabad is worried how he will manage to buy meals for his family.
Isn’t it familiar to you? Haven’t you experienced all these circumstances around you? Then why so much of hatred? Why blasting hate comments at strangers on Facebook and Twitter? Why blaming absolute strangers when you know nothing about them? Our struggles are same. Our victories are same. Our feelings are same.
We are totally aloof of the fact that Pakistan constitutes of people like us. People who have dreams. People who get scared. People who laugh. People who cry. People who win. People who lose. People who die. People who give birth. People who steal. People who give. All sorts of people. That is who we are. HUMANS. Not PAKISTANIS. Not INDIANS. But HUMANS.
I would love to hear your thoughts about Pakistan.