Most people are afraid to visit countries like Pakistan. The images from TV channels and newspapers seem to flash through their minds-religious fanatics who hate America, guns, violence, intolerance.the list goes on. But what is it really like visiting Pakistan? Is the country really as bad as it is shown? Let’s find out.
The Aryans were the first tourists to come and settle in ancient Pakistan. They liked it so much so that they never went back. Invaders and other settlers too came. The Persians, Greeks, Huns, Arabs, Turks, Mongols all came. All of which have given Pakistan a unique blend of different cultures and an extremely rich heritage.
Situated in South Asia and part of the Indian subcontinent, Pakistan has a population of around 140 million people. The nation gained independence from India when the British left. It is a relatively new nation but with a rich history that dates back many centuries.
Pakistani people have different cultures, traditions and customs and even languages. Although Urdu is the national language of Pakistan there are a whole variety of languages spoken. Pakistan’s people display amazing contrasts in terms of their colour, race, clothing, languages and even religion.
The people are diverse and so is the land. The unforgiving deserts in Punjab and Sindh have sizzling temperatures. The snow topped mountains in the northern areas are a huge tourist attraction. Unspoiled natural beauty is one of Pakistan’s biggest attraction. Here are a few of the other tourist attractions;
There is a saying in Punjab Jinne Lore nahi takya jamya e nay’ or in English “The one who has not seen Lahore is yet to be born.” Lahore has a blend of the old and new and is the cultural capital of Pakistan.
Built by the Moghal Emperor Shah Jahan in 1641 the Shalimar Gardens are now a World Heritage site as well as being a tourist hot spot for both local and international tourists.
The Badshahi Mosque is another place not to miss in Lahore. It was built in 1673 by the Moghal Emperor Aurangzeb. It is a very well known attraction famous in Lahore and all over Pakistan. It is the second largest mosque in Pakistan and can accommodate over 55, 000 worshippers.
The Khewra salt mines in Lahore are worth visiting. You will need to take a short drive from Lahore, the salt mines contain beautiful sculptures.
The Silk road;
A tourist attraction with tons of history. It is popular amongst backpackers and wealthy tourists too. The Pakistani authorities are trying to revive the old trade routes.
Karachi used to be the capital of Pakistan. This is the economic hub of Pakistan and does attract business minded tourists. If you love to shop then Karachi is the place for you and while you are out shopping you could stop for a bite at many of it’s trendy restaurants showcasing both local Pakistani and international food.
Being the capital of Pakistan, Islamabad has modern architecture and designs. The large Faisal Mosque is tourist favourite, the city has a clean modernistic feel to it.
The second largest mountain on Earth is located in northern Pakistan and has fascinated many tourists. K-2 is thought of by many people as the world’s most difficult and dangerous to climb. It is given the nickname, “The Savage Mountain.”
Pakistan is a mesmerizing, captivating place to visit but still has not managed to become a major tourist attraction. This is a loss to the tourism industry because if promoted properly it could become a major hotspot for tourists and lessen the divide between East and West. To those who say Pakistan is dangerous I would ask if they could name me a single place in the world where there is zero danger? Even in the US, Europe and leading nations there is still danger. Just use your common sense and research and enjoy your visit to Pakistan. It’s not one you will forget easily.
Footprint Pakistan Handbook: The Travel Guide (Paperback)
Here is the link;