Known for its splendid mountains, natural beauty, hospitable people, distinctive culture, and linguistics, Gilgit Baltistan is the talk of the town for welcoming outsiders with open arms. Each year, thousands of tourists flock to the region to spectate its beauty and diversity. However, the beauty of the region was once stained by the Dogra tribe. Gilgit Baltistan was liberated from the Dogra rule on November 1, 1947, and this year marks the 74th independence of the region.
Abdul Sattar Edhi, born in 1928, was Pakistan’s most notable philanthropist and humanitarian. From a small dispensary in Karachi, Edhi built a foundation that now extends to several countries and provides ambulances, shelter homes, clinics, asylums, maternity homes, blood banks, adoption centers, schools, and orphanages. The author, Alina Fayaz, notes that the Edhi Foundation, which relies on private donations and local volunteers, is breaking religious and social barriers. Through his hard work and untiring efforts, Edhi placed human life at the forefront of everything and helped people without any discrimination. This has continued to inspire people to donate to the cause, even after the death of Abdul Sattar Edhi. Edhi’s dedication to his work has won him several awards, but most of all, it has won him the hearts of the people.
In 2010, a disastrous landslide claimed the lives of 20 people in the Gojal region of Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan. This very landslide resulted in the water from the Hunza River being blocked for five months and formed one of the most beautiful lakes in Pakistan – the Attabad Lake. Today, the existence of the Attabad Lake reminds many of the tragic loss of life but its beautiful turquoise water surrounded by snow-capped mountains also provides the tourists and locals with a sense of tranquility. The author, Alina Fayaz, notes that the treetops in the middle of the lake are a constant reminder of the natural disaster which created the lake. She explains that despite the lake’s history, the scenic view of the lake and the numerous tourist activities attract foreign and local tourists alike.
The city of Mohenjo Daro, constructed in 2500 BCE, is a crucial aspect of Pakistan’s history and culture. The ruins of Mohenjo Daro once formed a part of South Asia’s Indus Valley civilization. Since its excavation in the 1920s, Mohenjo Daro has continued to surprise historians and archeologists. The authors, Ziyad Sheikh and Noor Ul Huda, note that although the city was built more than 4500 years ago, it had a proper drainage system, advanced architecture, a well-planned street grid, a trade network that contributed to its wealth, and one of the earliest public baths in the pre-modern era. The authors explain that despite there being numerous speculations as to why the city declined, researchers have failed to find the actual reason for the city’s fall.
Expo 2020 in Dubai is said to be the “greatest show on Earth” by many. The world’s largest fair was projected to commence in 2020. However, due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the date of the opening changed to October 1st, 2021. With that being said, the first look of it was worth the wait. Nestled in art, culture, history, landscapes, landmarks, and technological achievements among other things, 192 countries unlocked their untold tales and narrate them to the world with the aid of digital art, installations, live shows, special performances, and music. Pakistan’s theme at this year’s expo is ‘The Hidden Treasure,’ and true to the theme, the pavilion exhibits the transcendent history and culture of the country.
Colorfully decorated trucks with artistic impressions tend to adorn the roads and highways in Pakistan. For decades, these jingle trucks have acted as canvases for Pakistani artists and granted them a way to introduce the world to Pakistan’s culture, folklore, poetry, and art. The author, Ziyad Sheikh, explains that since truck art captivates the public, truck drivers in Pakistan are keen to decorate their trucks as much as they can, with some spending as much as $2,500 on basic paint jobs. Truck artists like Haider Ali view these mobile blank canvases as the perfect medium to spread a positive image of Pakistan.
Markhor, a magnificent wild goat, is the national animal of Pakistan. Its corkscrew-shaped horns and powerful hooves are just a couple of its imposing features. There are five sub-species of Markhors. Trophy hunting brought the creature back from extinction. However, the numbers seem to be dwindling again owing to the insufficent and irregular salaries of the wildlife department, motivating poachers to hunt the precious animal.
Multan, located in the southern part of Pakistan’s Punjab province, serves as the resting place for many Sufi saints. Being one of the oldest living cities in South Asia, its culture is a blend of the new and the old. The author, Alina Fayaz, notes that in recent years, Multan has taken steps towards modernization. One such step is the establishment of the Garrison Public Library in Multan—one of the largest public libraries in Pakistan. The library is the brainchild of the late Lieutenant-General (R) Ishfaq Nadeem Ahmad HI(M) who was the mastermind behind Operation Zarb-e-Azb. A bibliophile himself, he wanted to establish a library that would help preserve the literary, historic and cultural heritage of Multan region. Today, this stunning library stands as his gift to Pakistan’s booklovers. The beautiful architecture and the library’s facilities attract locals and tourists, all the while providing a comfortable environment for women and children – and particularly for individuals with special needs.
Pakistan has a large number of massive historical forts including the Rohtas Fort, the Lahore Fort and the Skardu Fort, with each fort showcasing the remarkable architecture of the past. The author, Daniyal Ali, features 8 breathtaking forts laid out all over Pakistan.
The author, Ziyad Sheikh, narrates the life of Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan as a tribute to his legacy. He worked in earnest to turn Pakistan into an atomic power, thus immortalizing his name as the ‘father of Pakistan’s atomic weapons program.’
The land of Pakistan holds some of the most sacred Hindu temples. The author, Muhammad Abdullah, reports the holy mandirs and the remarkable legends surrounding them. Discover, as legend would have it, how Sati’s head created the Hinglaj Mata Mandir, or how the Hindu God, Lord Krishna, foresaw the partition at the Kalyan Das Temple circa 1946.
Pakistan, an agricultural state with several types of soil, ecological zones, and climatic conditions, has enormous potential for olive cultivation. Pakistan’s cultivable land for olives is far more than that of Spain’s, yet, it has failed to fully utilize the available resources. The author, Zuha Tiwana, notes that since the 1950s, the state has launched several projects – some with the collaboration of the Italian government – to enhance Pakistan’s olive cultivation and the manufacturing of its olive products. She argues that if Pakistan wants to enter the neighboring market for these commodities, China is its most feasible option.
The author, Damiya Saghir, uncovers two heroic figures in the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) and their celebrated accomplishments. Introducing Group captain Saiful Azam and Air Commodore Sattar Alvi – two daring and wonderful air fighters.
Pakistan is home to the second-largest salt mine in the world. An increasingly popular tourist destination, the Khewra Salt Mine is a sight to behold! The mine was chanced on by horses of the army of Alexander the Great. The author encourages visitors to purchase exquisite salt lamps and decorative items.
Have you ever seen a magnificent graveyard? If you haven’t, there’s one in Pakistan – the Makli Necropolis. UNESCO even granted the site world heritage status. With architecture spanning four dynasties, Makli’s monuments and tombs portray a union of religion, culture, spirituality, and beauty.
From natural to cultural attractions, Pakistan’s tourism industry holds limitless untapped potential. Even as international travel journals & bloggers play an impactful role in attracting attention to the country’s vast scenic landscapes, substantial national investment in the sector can lead to great economic and social benefits for the country.
The members of Team Foxtrot are engineers from the Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute of Engineering Sciences and Technology (GIKI), one of Pakistan’s most prestigious universities. Team Foxtrot competes again this year in the international UAS (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) Challenge by IMechE. Having won the 2019 Highest New Entrant Award in their first year, this time they have their eyes set on first place – and in doing so, making Pakistan proud.