My country is beautiful, There is no disputing that.
But do the people of the world know of the green valleys, the rocky mountains, the snow-covered apices of high-altitude peaks?
Do they know that behind the label of “terrorist” and the greed of our politicians, there are places that every bona-fide traveller would kill to visit?
To set your foot in the freezing crystal-clear waters of Lake Saif-ul-Mulook? Where it is believed fairies frolic about, and where the Prince of Persia fell in love with a fairy princess.
To climb Rakaposhi mountain and admire the stunning views of the Hunza River and Valley it provides?
What tourist would want to miss the magnificence and regalness of the huge Rohtas Fort? In which, when you step you are taken to the world of Mughal princes and princesses, taking scented baths and walking idly along the landscaped gardens.
Or to feel the chills that run up your spine when you see the “Phansi Ghaat” of the fort, the place where criminals were hung and their bodies became suspended through the huge hole in the ceiling of the underground dungeon. And, when you look inside the closed off dungeons through this hole, all you can see is darkness and all you can feel is the whisper of spirits that caress your body.
Pakistan is a treasure trove of all things breathtaking, all things historical, and all things awe-inspiring. And just like the conventional treasure that is buried under hundreds of years worth of sand, Pakistan’s beauty is in need of being dug up and presented to the world.
Like the amateur archaeologist who finds little trinkets and sells them for nominal sums, until he stumbles upon something big, I have taken it upon myself to showcase our wonders for the world to see, using the amazing photographs provided by Payaam Trust. Until one day I might be responsible for a boost in our tourism industry.
Payaam Trust is an NGO whose efforts have brought many a smiles to many people’s faces. Apart from helping the poor and needy in genuine ways, the Trust has amassed a collection of photographs of the Pakistan’s natural bounty and posted them on their Facebook page for the world to see.
My objective is to spread these photos as far and wide as I can, so that the world will be able to see the true Pakistan.
Everyday I will post a single photo along with the descriptions provided by the Trust. Maybe, just maybe, a few people will be inspired to visit my wondrous land by looking at these photos. They will surely be as slack-jawed and as excited as was Princess Diana when she came to visit in 1996.
My gratitude is to Payaam Trust and to the photographers who captured all these overwhelmingly stunning photos.
Stay tuned for the first post!