Hilt of Passion by Fatema Ahmed

Hilt of Passion img_100100100_0707070720122012020217172727pmpm662 Pakistan, a jewel on the face of the globe is the 7th largest nation, population wise, in the world. With India on the east, China in the north, Afghanistan and the famous Durand line in the North West, Iran on the west and finally the Arabian Sea on the west, Pakistan is blessed with all 4 seasons ranging from the extreme winters of the mighty Karakorum to the pleasant weather at the coastline is a marvel in itself.To see more beauty of Pakistan tourism points check: https://dreamers2016.wordpress.com/2014/03/27/pakistan-our-country-by-amna-abid/

Shandur Polo Festival for sports:Visiting the great Karakuram Range in the summers is a tourist delight.   The Shandur Polo Festival is held every year in the first week of July. The festival is hosted on the highest playground of the world situated at 3700m above the sea level and with gigantic mountains fencing the valley giving a jaw dropping touch to the scenery. The Shandur top is virtually flat with a very gentle gradient. It provides a playing field for a tournament that has been held annually since 1937 when the teams of Chitral and Gilgit invited other teams to come and compete with them on their home ground.

Shandur polo festival for tourism:03 Shandur Polo Festival The Shandur Polo Festival attracts many foreigners and locals every year. The festival apart from the tournament also includes folk music, dance and a makeshift village is setup to accommodate the downpour of the tourists. The polo is played on a free-style format, the teams compete with one and another to claim the winner’s stand. There are no referees to judge the game and the game sometimes become brutal, but the players play in high game spirit exhibiting their outclass skills on the field. To the local teams it is a matter of life and death to win the tournament as it will bring honour to their family and tribe.

The Shandur Polo Festival is a place to spend your summer vacations away from the busy life of the cities in the calm and quite of the Karakoram. The journey can be done on jeeps all the way from Gilgit to the tournament arena. Whereas the KKH can be covered on cars and special buses operated by private operators. Tourists from all over the world come to see these heaven like beauty!

To get to know past stories about Shandur Polo Festival, visit http://www.shandur.com/

To watch a video on the event, visit http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xcegaj_shandur-polo-festival_sport


“Branding Pakistan – The Point Of View Of Tourism” By Anosheh Asif


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Travelling is the ultimate relief for many. Concern for money only for those who wish to go on international trips but even those wishing to simply have a little relaxation and leisure time find travelling simply the best idea.

Just for a new experience, just for a change, people even from the lower income class seek to have a few holidays just outside their cities to explore places there and to just ease themselves. Everybody ought to consider the benefits of travelling with friends and family. The amount of relief it gives is just simply unparalleled by any activity in my opinion. Travelling is worth our attention seeing the peaceful merry time it gives us with our loved ones, no?

So when talking about travelling, in my very own opinion, Pakistan itself is an amazing place to roam about. Hence if you’re on a vacation why go abroad when you can make the best of it in Pakistan? Pakistan is not only about politicians fighting, people protesting for the ever increasing inflation, shortage of resources, electricity short fall. In fact, Pakistan is about beauty, aesthetics and an unlimited number of beautiful places. From hottest deserts to the coolest mountain peaks, greenest jungles to rocky roads, this country has it all.

Yes, we do have some flaws but we need to see the other side of the picture too. Pakistan with its diverse cultures, languages, people and landscapes is as attractive as heaven would be. From old civilizations like Taxilla, Mohenjedaro and Harrapa to the old forts and buildings like the Lahore Fort, Badshahi Masjid and what not. I repeat, Pakistan has it all.

We have been blessed with four seasons and seven beautiful rivers. We have four provinces and about six prominent languages are being spoken here. The northern areas of Pakistan have been blessed with some of the highest peaks in the world like the Himalayas or The Mount Everest (second highest peak in the world) for that matter.
The velvet like carpet of greenery and the fresh air that one gets to breathe in the northern areas of Pakistan is truly bliss. The snow covered mountains that one gets to see and to top it all the sports activities one gets to indulge in are as amazing as wondered. Other than that, from shopping to having the richest cuisine, one would never get enough of Pakistan.

Here is a list of places which are a must to be visited in Pakistan:

-Khyber Pass
-Port Fountain
-Lahore fort
-Badshahi Mosque + Faisal Mosque
-The Lahori Food Street
-Pir Suahawa
-Shah Jehan Mosque
– Wagha Border
-kheowra Salt Mine
-Lake Saif Ul Malook


For any further information you can always visit the official tourism website http://www.tourism.gov.pk/ and for any further queries or your feedback please feel free to comment.


Pakistan — Our Country by Amna Abid

There are many places in Pakistan that diverts people’s attention. Pakistan could be branded through tourism and we have many beautiful places all over the country that could be promoted in a positive way. Some of which are as follows:




Deep into the Karakorum wilderness lies the hall of the mountain kings. Described as the most   scenic single spot on the planet, this “throne of the mountain gods” has four eight-thousanders (including K2) in close proximity and an unlimited offering of breathtaking mountain scenery.



2The seat of Hunza valley, this little town is the capital for western tourists in Pakistan. Famous for its apricots, legends of longevity, Hunza water (an alcoholic drink!) and the gigantic Rakaposhi, this place is guaranteed to live in your memories forever.





Nanga Parbat has the most accessible base camp of all 8000ers and in decent weather can be reached in a single day. The approach itself is an adventure and includes the most exhilarating jeep ride imaginable. The beautiful Fairy Meadows are located close to the base camp with splendid views of the mighty peak, soaring high above everything around.




The cultural capital of Pakistan, this is a city with a non-stop buzz. Once the capital of the Mughal Empire, sites of historical significance are found here in abundance, with Lahore Fort and Badshahi Mosque two of the grandest. The old city, Sufi night, Food Street and the eloquent flag lowering ceremony on the Indian border are some of the many charms available.




Shandur Pass connects Chitral with Gilgit and is the site of the highest polo ground in the world. Each summer this desolate wilderness holds a huge mountain party called the Shandur polo festival. Teams from Chitral and Gilgit come face to face in a raw, freestyle. The pass is mostly uninhabited and crossing its snow-covered slopes in winters is an extremely challenging high adventure.



Whether a country’s brand creates economic opportunity though investment and tourism, it is an asset that should be managed and measured. A nation is branded based on availability and lack of natural and human resources. These resources are usually called strengths an they can be positive in nature. In times of economic uncertainty, a country’s brand is an asset that can unite government and business alike to encourage travel and tourism.

It is important for us to be aware of our weaknesses and the threats, but even more important to channel our strengths towards seizing the opportunities. There needs to be collaboration of purpose amongst the higher ups in a country both from the government and the private sector.






Cricket vs. Misogynism by Abubakar Mourige

Recently, the video of Shahid Afridi’s sexist remarks against the women cricket went viral on the internet, especially amongst the Pakistani ‘liberals.’ A keen observer like me could not let go of this opportunity to chip in my few cents about this issue. Now, I, myself became an Afridi fan, again, after his heroics in the Asia cup and the Afridi-mania went to its peak. One must appreciate the timing of the video going viral which questions an Afridi fanatic like me – Can I be an Afridi fan while calling myself a supporter of supreme women freedom and rights?

The answer to this question is subjective to many factors.which I will discuss later on but first it is necessary to analyze the statement given by Afridi:

When the interviewer expressed his delight over women cricket trial in Peshawar and enquired Afridi’s opinion about it, Afridi answered with a stereotype that Pakistani women are good cooks implying that their place is in kitchen rather than in office or cricket fields, for this matter.

The irony when Shahid Afridi appeared in the recent Pepsi T20 ad with the Pakistani women's team captain, Sana Mir. The ad aired only few days after Afridi's video went viral.

The irony when Shahid Afridi appeared in the recent Pepsi T20 ad with the Pakistani women’s team captain, Sana Mir. The ad aired only few days after Afridi’s video went viral.

The saddest part about this matter is that Afridi, despite being followed by millions of women across the country and worldwide, showed the chauvinistic mentality that exists within our society from ages. Shahid Afridi has travelled across the world, met people from every sphere of life yet all this exposure could not break the shackles of misogynism in his mind. Moreover, the fact that he represents Pakistan on global arena puts more responsibility on him. After all, he doesn’t only represent the men of Pakistan but also the women that reside in this country.

Such events are not new to Pakistan, however, now globally known figures like Mukhtara Bibi and Malala Yousafzai are the result of continuous oppression against the women, especially in rural or north-northwestern areas. At times like these when we hear stories about acid attacks on women or young girls committing suicide after not finding justice over rape attack, celebrities like Shahid Khan Afridi, who are considered role models by millions, should give responsible statements.and refrain from expressing opinions which have no moral basis. Perhaps, these men should be reminded of Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy who won an Oscar for Pakistan which no other man could do. Or maybe about Ayesha Farooq who has reached the skies by becoming Pakistan’s first female combat plane pilot. How about Samina Baig, someone from the sports community, who became the first Pakistani women to ever climb the mighty Mount-Everest.

Mr. Shahid Khan Afridi should be reminded that this is not Saudi-Arabia where women cannot even enjoy the right of driving, this is Pakistan where the women in our cities progress equally with men. They have the right to get quality education, get jobs and work in any sphere of life. The constitution of Pakistan ensures that. Our ex-Prime Minister was a woman, our ex-Governer State Bank was a woman so why can’t our women excel in sports too? The courage and passion of Pakistani women can be determined by the example of Maria Toorpakai Wazir, grew up in North-Waziristan and had to dress up like a boy to play squash. Now she is competing in international tours representing Pakistan.

Finally, the question that I raised in the beginning that after all the aforementioned concerns, is it okay to be a supporter of Shahid Afridi as a cricketer? In my opinion, the answer is yes. There is nothing which can undermine his might in cricket and he has reminded us of his greatness in cricketing world in the recent Asia cup. He has survived to lead one of the longest cricketing careers in Pakistan’s history and given his current form, he is most likely to stay, not only in the cricket team but in the hearts of the people. As far as his personal opinion goes, one must be sensible enough not to follow everything blindly that our ‘beloved’ celebrities say. I, for one, think highly of John Lennon’s music but I do not consume heroin just because he did. I admire Hitler’s leadership skills but I do not support mass murder or genocide. However, we can use this story as an opportunity to raise awareness amongst the masses and instigate a conversation about gender equality so that we can have more fathers like Shamsul Qayyum Wazir – father of Maria Toorpakai Wazir who supported her to follow her despite the death threats from the tribal locals. Or Ziaddun Yousafzai, who supported her daughter in every forefront, on every forum. In fact, I would like to end this discussion by the words of Mr. Yousafzai. When he was asked on a TEDx conference recently that how did he raise such an inspirational child, he replied with a small yet profound answer: “I didn’t clip her wings.”

The writer is currently pursuing his business degree from Lahore School of Economics and is a keen observer of current affairs.