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A Confluence of the Arts and Literature

Leisurely light



the last frontier… ourHeritage


ISSUE 17 / MARCH 2013




moving towards

STRONG FUTURE I receive regular comments from the guests, eulogizing the products and services offered by the Hashoo Group hotels. My teams of professionals at the hotels are always doing their best to offer a little something extra for our guests, and I am pleased to learn through your constant feedback that you are more than satisfied. I welcome any additional valuable suggestions you are willing to call to my attention to maintain flawless and classic quality. Your reviews allow us to build stronger relationship with you. We are drawing closer to the General Elections in the country. 2013 will begin to see our economy turn the corner if every eligible Pakistani votes sensibly. Looking at the prevailing situation in Pakistan, many quite fear for the future of our country. Yet and still, there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about this country’s destiny. Pakistan is still one of the most attractive places for the investors, with best customer base for other nations to target. Although, the country has plenty of weaknesses owing to the reasons known to all, I still believe, on account of our massive strengths, we will eventually address our problems. The voters need to seriously think who to vote for; we need to vote for persistent, hardworking, stainless, competent and honest leaders who aim to serve this country and not to line their pockets. I wish you all the best!











Sana Safinaz


The designing duo with a difference

Most probably this fort was constructed by Arabs, or possibly built by a Persian Noble under the Abbasids by Imran Bin Musa Barmaki who was the Governor of Sindh in 836. PG 03

OUR RELATIONS ARE DEEP ROOTED An exclusive interview with the Ambassador of Tunisia to Pakistan


Mr. Mourad Bourehla


PG 06


PG 25


PG 13

The Beauty Within

the last frontier…

Capital gets a fresh slice of Italy PG 27

Stay Abroad or Return Home?


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Our Heritage is an in-house magazine of Hashoo Group-Hotel Division. No part of it may be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher. Views expressed are those of the writers and not necessarily those of Editorial Board. Responsibility of the contents of the advertisements lies with advertisers. Our Heritage is published by Pakistan Services Limited for Hashoo Group-Hotel Division. This magazine has been prepared by Events, Marketing & Communications Department, Pakistan Services Limited For advertisements and articles for this magazine, marketing-related proposals, joint promotions and cobranding etc. with Hashoo Group Hotels, please contact General Manager Events, Marketing & Communications Department NESPAK House, Ground Floor, Ataturk Avenue G-5/2, Islamabad, Pakistan Tel: +92-51-2272890-98 • Fax: +92-51-2274812 Email:

EDITORIAL BOARD Murtaza Hashwani Nadia Hashwani Tahir Mahmood Khan Bilal Safdar Mubashir Aziz Waseem Abbas Saira Zaheer Shafaqat Ali

editor’s note Hashoo Group’s awards-winning in-house magazine “our Heritage”, enables the readers to learn about our heritage sites, historical values, traditions and cultures, ecology, and the latest trends of Pakistan. This magazine has been instrumental in promoting Pakistan’s positive image at the international level. I am very thankful to all my and team, contributors, and the management of Hashoo Group Hotels’ Division for their outright support. The readers’ valuable suggestions have also played a pivotal role in improving further the quality of the magazine. TAHIR MAHMOOD KHAN EDITOR, OUR HERITAGE










Most probably this fort was constructed by Arabs, or possibly built by a Persian Noble under the Abbasids by Imran Bin Musa Barmaki who was the Governor of Sindh in 836.

By: Ghazala Shaheen Fort Ranikot is located in Lakki Mountains of the Kirthar Range to the west of the River Indus at a distance of about 30 kilometers from the present day town of Sann. A mountainous ridge, Karo Takkar (Black Hill), running north to south, forms its western boundary and the ‘Lundi Hills’ forms its eastern boundary. Mohan Nai, a rainstream enters the fort from its rarely used western ‘Mohan Gate’, where it is guarded by a small fortification, changes its name to ‘Reni’ or ‘Rani Nai’ or rain-stream and gives the fort its name. Ranikot is thus the ‘fort of a rain stream’ - Rani. It runs through it, tumbles in a series of turquoise pools to irrigate fields and leaves the fort from its most used ‘Sann Gate’ on the eastern side. It then travels about 33 kilometers more to enter the Lion River - Indus. Most of the twenty six kilometers long wall is made of natural cliffs and mountains which at places rise as high as two thousand feet above sea level! Only about 8.25 km portions of its wall are manmade, built with yellow sandstone. This was first measured on foot by Badar Abro along with local guide Sadiq Gabol. As one enters the fort, one can find hills, valleys, streams, ditches, ponds, pools, fossils, building structure, bastions, watchtowers, ammunition depots, fortresses - all inside Ranikot, adding more to its beauty and mystery. A spring emerging from an underground water source near the Mohan Gate is named as ‘Parryen jo Tarr’ (the spring of fairies).

Fairies come from far and wide on the Ponam Nights (full moon) to take bath at this spring near ‘Karo Jabal’! Splashing sounds of water falling on the rocks can be heard at another spring, Waggun jo Tarr or “the Crocodile Spring”, named so as crocodiles once lived there. with 45 bastions along the outer wall, of which 7 are rectangular and the others are in circular shaped. It was modified and expended accordingly through the ages to accommodate the use of gunpowder, this perhaps makes distinctive it to be the largest fort in the world. WHO BUILT THIS MIGHTY FORT? Some archaeologists suggested that the most probably this fort was constructed by Arabs, or possibly built by a Persian noble under the Abbasids by Imran Bin Musa Barmaki who was the Governor of Sindh in 836. Others have suggested a much earlier period of construction attributing to at times the Sassanians Persians and at times to the Greeks. Despite the fact that a prehistoric site of Amri is nearby, there is no trace of any old city inside the fort and the present structure has little evidence of prehistoric origins.

It is located about 30 km southwest of Sann, in Jamshoro District, Sindh Province, Pakistan, in the Kirthar Range,. It is about 90 km north of Hyderabad, on global co-ordinate of 25.8965N, 67.9025E its total circumference is about 20 km, it has approximate diameter of 6 km, the average height of the walls have six meters high and the materials are used for constructions consisting of gypsum and lime cut sandstone and. While originally constructed for bow and arrow warfare it was later expanded to withstand firearms. Why it was constructed the reason for the choice of its location is still unknown. It is reputed to be the largest unexplored fort in the world. Ranikot is the most talismanic wonder of Pakistan and Sindh Province. Its massive undulating walls twist and dip over the hills could be seen from several kilometers, with the circumference of about twenty kilometers, walls are built with dressed sandstone ourHeritage


MORE FEATURES OF FORT RANIKOT Talpur Mirs used Meerikot as their fortified residence. One can explore ruins of the court, harem, guest rooms, and soldiers quarters inside it. Its 1435 feet long wall has five bastions. Every structure in the Ranikot has its own uniqueness and beauty. Looking up from Meerikot one can find another fortified citadel - Shergarh (Abode of Lions) built with whitish stone, it too has five bastions. Though its location at 1480 feet above the sea level makes this fortress a unique structure, it also makes it equally difficult for supply of water, which can only be had from the brooks and rain streams, hundreds of feet below. The steep climb up to Shergarh gives a commanding view down over the whole fort and its entrance and exit points. On a clear day one can even see Indus, 37 kilometers away to the east.

Some Archaeologists suggest to 17th century as its time of first construction but now Sindh archaeologists agree that some of the present structure was reconstructed by Mir Karam Ali Khan Talpur and his brother Mir Murad Ali in 1812 at a cost of 1.2 million rupees. WHY THIS FORT WAS BUILT “The size of Ranikot defies all reasons. It stands in the middle of nowhere, defending nothing” writes Isobel Shaw. So why was this fort built here in the desolate terrain of the Kirthar range? Many theories have been developed to answer this question. According to Ishtiaq Ansari, the Talpurs had sent their families to Thar and Kachchh when Afsharids attacked Sindh during the times of Kalhoras. However, after acquiring the rule of Sindh, they wanted a safe and secure place where they can send their families during the troubled times. This might have prompted them to rebuild this fort to their needs. Rahimdad Khan Molai Sheedai holds view that its location in Kohistan on the western frontiers of Sindh gave it its strategic value. Whereas Mazher Ansari is of the opinion that, “It was first constructed in the Achaemenid Dynasty of the Persian Empire (550 - 330 BC)”. As this empire stretched from Turkey in the west, where a similar wall is constructed near the Caspian Sea called The Great Wall of Gorgan, which is 155 km in length and to the east up to River Indus in Sindh, where this majestic fort is located. TALES RELATED TO THE FORT According to a tale told by the local inhabitants, fairies come from far and wide on the Ponam Nights (full moon) to take bath at this spring near ‘Karo Jabal’! Splashing sounds of water falling on the rocks can be heard at another spring, Waggun jo Tarr or “the Crocodile Spring”, named so as crocodiles once lived there. Within Ranikot, there are two more fortresses; Meeri and Shergarh, each have five bastions. Meerikot takes its name from the word ‘Mir’ meaning top (for instance the top of a hill, chief of any Baloch tribe, etc.). M.H Panhwar (a Sindhologist) disagrees upon the name’s history being related to Mirs of Sindh, stating that “Of two forts inside the main Ranikot fort, the lower one is called Miri and is a word used in Seistan for small fortress. It has nothing to do with Mirs of Sindh. “ Both the main Ranikot and the inner Meerikot have similar entrances - curved, angulated with a safe tortuous path. From the military point of view, Meerikot is located at a very safe and central place in the very heart of the Ranikot with residential arrangements including a water-well. 5


Beside the Mohan Gate and the Sann Gate, there are two more gates, rather pseudo gates. One is towards the side of ancient town of Amri. This ‘gate’ is called the ‘Amri Gate’. Certainly it takes its name from the prehistoric ruins of Amri, but it must have taken this name much later than the times of Amri as the fort itself doesn’t appears to be as old as the Amri itself. In fact there is a bridge over rain stream ‘Toming Dhoro’ exiting from the fort called ‘Budhi Mori’. The breach in fort wall due to the river stream has been referred as a gate. Similarly, the Shahpir Gate to the south also appears to be a pseudo gate taking its name from a limestone rock with a rough shape of foot imprinted on it. The sacred footprint supposedly belongs to Hazrat Ali or some other religious personality and is venerated by locals. It seems to be a later breach in the fort wall instead of a formal gate because one can’t find any bastion or watchtower or their remains at the site, needed to guard any formal entrance or exit points. A mosque found in the fort appears to be a later modification of a watchtower or a later construction. Scattered animal skeletons and prehistoric fossils can be found on the top of Lundi Hills. One of the three graveyards has about four hundred graves made of Chowkundi like sandstone with engraved motifs of sunflowers and peacocks. Whether we can call them as theriomorphic and phytomorphic motifs are an open question. Another one appears to be a graveyard of Arabs. The third one, about a mile away from the Sann Gate, had sixteen or seventeen graves earlier but now there are only four graves. The local inhabitants call it the Roman’s graveyard. Currently, only the Gabol Baloch tribe occupies the area within Ranikot. The area has become a virtual village for the Gabol’s over the past century who earn their livelihood by offering tours to many of the visitors, as well as by small scale farming. Access to this man-made marvel of ancient times is possible through a metalled road, which goes up to Meeri Kot.



DEEP ROOTED An exclusive interview with the Ambassador of Tunisia to Pakistan

Mr. Mourad Bourehla By: Ishrat Hyatt

I have a very large network of Pakistani friends that make me feel that I am among my own family

unisia, officially the Republic of Tunisia, is the smallest country in North Africa. It is a Maghreb country bordered by Algeria to the west, Libya to the southeast and the Mediterranean Sea to the north and east. The ambassador of Tunisia to Pakistan Mourad Bourehla is a socially active and popular person both in the diplomatic community and among the Pakistanis who live in Islamabad. His wife, who accompanied him when he arrived and lived here for two years, now shuttles between her country and Pakistan because their daughters are now studying in Tunisia. “I love to come and meet up with my Pakistani friends,� she said before going off again. Here is a brief insight into Pakistan and Tunisia relations, as well as remarks about his personal feelings while he has been in Pakistan. You have been here five years. What is your general impression about the country and its people? What is your best memory of your stay and has your tenure been fruitful? It has been almost four years since my arrival in February 2009 and so far, it has been a rich and fruitful experience at all levels, professionally; socially and in public relations as well. Pakistan is a rich country with its history, landscapes and friendly people. I have a very large network of Pakistani friends that make me feel that I am among my own family. Of course my best memory is of the day I presented my credentials to the President of Pakistan, particularly since I was lucky and my wife and daughters were also present with me on this memorable occasion.



What has been your biggest achievement in this position? Upon my arrival, I was encouraged by the strong will of both Pakistan and my country to strengthen and expand our bilateral relationship especially in the economic field. With the help and support of my Pakistani friends I am proud of some achievements that I consider very important: These are 1. Two sessions of joint ministerial commission were held, the 7th in Tunis (5th - 6th. May 2009) and recently the 8th in Islamabad (19th.- 20th September 2012) under the aegis of the Ministers of State of both countries. They were successful and concluded with the signing of more than eight agreements and MOU’s especially in the economic field. 2. An agreement of a preferential trade agreement (PTA) is in its last stages, which shall constitute a cornerstone in the bilateral economic relations of our countries.. 3. The drawing up of the constitution of the Pakistan Tunisia Friendship Association (PTFA) during 2012.

Are you nervous about moving around the country? Frankly speaking, I never feel any inconvenience nor am I nervous about any threat in Pakistan. I move freely, along with my family among Pakistan people all over the country who I find to be friendly and hospitable wherever we go

What are the fields of co-operation between Pakistan and Tunisia and what more can be done to strengthen bilateral ties? As I have mentioned above, the political relations between our two countries are excellent, Pakistan and Tunisia enjoy brotherly relations, which are deep rooted in the heart of our two peoples. Nevertheless, I see there is a room to boost and increase the trade relations and the partnership and investment. Hopefully, when finalized, the PTA will be the engine of this move by diversifying the bilateral exchanges that already exist.

The ‘Arab Spring’ began from your country. In what manner has this movement improved conditions in your country? We have just celebrated on January 14th. the two-year anniversary of revolution day - the ‘Jasmine revolution’ which embraced the Arab world with a wave of political changes. Tunisia is witnessing a very unique and rich experience of nascent democracy. We are drafting a new constitution in keeping with the expectations of the new generation of Tunisians. We are consolidating the democratic process by establishing political institutions, delivering free and fair justice and enjoying complete freedom of expression via free media. Elections will be held during this year, which will be the crowning point of the process.

You attend cultural events quite often. Do you do this as a diplomatic duty or are you keen to understand the cultural aspects of Pakistan? Is there any similarity between your cultural traditions and ours? I regularly attend cultural events because I enjoy them, especially the musical programmes organized by some associations like Mausikaar and indeed I am impressed by the gigantic efforts done to preserve and revive the very rich and melodious Pakistani culture. 7


Tunisian people love Pakistani music ever since the performance of renowned maestro, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan during the International Festival of Carthage. I find some similarities between the music of both countries and since music has no boundaries, in 2009 I invited a renowned Tunisian violinist to perform in Pakistani. He also collaborated and played in fusion with well known Pakistani musicians in the Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA) auditorium and indeed the concert was a great success.




A Confluence of the Arts and Literature

Courtesy: Dr. Salman Ahmed, SADEQUAIN Foundation-USA Contributed By: Sadia Bilal Iqbal is considered one of the preeminent scholars of the IndoPakistan subcontinent. He has in fact been called the most serious Muslim writer, poet, and philosopher of modem times and has been held in high esteem by his admirers around the globe. Iqbal’s poetry and philosophy are mutually inclusive; his poetry serves as a vehicle for his philosophical thought. Iqbal’s message took a three-pronged approach: His Urdu and Persian poetry represents the most compelling example of enlightened thought, an exquisite collection of motivational lyrics exemplifying the richness of Islamic literature. Sadequain, a mystic artist and poet, was compared to Picasso in France, considered responsible for the renaissance of the calligraphic art in the Arab world, and declared the greatest modern day poet of Urdu rubai in India. His interpretive paintings based on the poetry of Iqbal, remind us that, renouncing the seduction and eschewing the allurement of material entrapments can help levitate mankind to an exalted state. This collection of paintings constitutes a singularly unique 9


achievement by an artist and belongs in a stratosphere where not many can reach. As we gaze at the extraordinary imagery we are transported to the core of our subliminal state. This visual journey through a blissful odyssey is an unadulterated experience of heightened awareness, as our senses process these mystic images and nurture our experiences for a meaningful life. These paintings reflect various states of self-realization and consciousness. When we are not in control of our intrinsic potentialities, they may stray off the course. But if we reach down and attain awareness of our innermost sentiments, then they manifest themselves in rapturous passion. The paintings in this article, probe the relationship between the arts and life; the basic human instinct to achieve harmony, balance, and rhythm through universal communication. If we postulate that life has a purpose, which is to perpetually seek knowledge, and paving the path of creative pursuits in the service of mankind, then all arts and literature must serve this goal in one way or another.

In an interview Sadequain famously said: People ask why I don’t paint flowers, butterflies and landscapes. I tell them that I seek the truth and I am after reality. I am not inspired by someone posing against the backdrop of roses in a vase or pink curtains. What inspires me is a person who has gone hungry for hours and is struggling for survival. The expression that lights his face at the end of the day when he has finally found some scraps, that is what touches me. I am a painter of the expression of reality. Sadequain painted about two dozen large paintings and several gigantic murals based on Iqbal’s inspirational poetry. A sample of poetry and corresponding visual interpretations by Sadequain will suffice to illustrate the depth of inspirational message of Iqbal and Sadequain’s masterful stroke.


Mehr-o-Mah-o-Anjum Ka Mahasib Hai Qalandar Ayyam Ka Murkeb Naheen Rakib Hai Qalandar


Dev Istabdad Jamhoori Qaba Mein Pae Kob Tu Samajhta Hai Yeh Azadi Ki Hai Neelum Pari



Sufi rides in the company of the Sun and the Moon He is not driven by the turning of the day or night

The evil face of occupation masquerades in the veil of democratic mask But you are naive and mistake it for an innocent nymph, symbol of promise of freedom



One of the challenges to illustrate this verse is to have a comprehension of the concepts of Sufism and belief in the Sufi order. Sadequain, in his writings and drawings, has abundantly paid homage to Sarmad, one of the leading Sufi figures of the subcontinent. The imagery in this painting captures Iqbal’s assertion that Sufi is the master of time and space and the act of turning of the day and night does not control the life of a Sufi Saint, or a Qalandar.

Iqbal admonishes those nations, which suffer under the iron fist of the imperial powers, to exercise caution and avoid being trapped in the net of connivance, weaved around them by the usurpers. What the occupiers are plotting, he warns, is to deceive the occupied into a false sense of security under the guise of promise for freedom. They preach equality, but in practice, show total disregard for even basic human dignity. What they are falsely claiming to be the fairy of freedom is in fact the devilish plot of occupation in disguise. It is infinitely more complex to paint a conceptual subject than to imitate an object.

Sadequain’s imagery is captivating. The character is absorbed and focused looking straightforward. He does not pay much attention to vanity, glittery attire or ostentatious appearance. What matters to him is the inside and not the outer appearance. He has in his control the turning of the day and night and the elements are wrapped around his finger, depicted by the cloud of elliptical orbit above his head. He is shown riding the horses, the time machines, stepping over the planets, leaving in his dust the nine planets of the solar system, clearly shown with their respective names inscribed on them. The caption of the painting is inscribed in the lower left hand corner, in front of the man riding the horse with a head of time machine.

This painting is rich in symbolism of projection of power portrayed by the domed buildings in the background. The kneeling man, his head kissing the ground, apparently has been in the submissive posture for so long that a crow mistakes his leveled back for a stationary fixture and comfortably lands on it. The Dev of the verse is illustrated by a repulsive creature, which is shown trampling over one severed head with his foot and hanging another head in his hand by the hair, the gesture perhaps suggesting decapitation of the ideals of freedom. The weapon with which the crime was committed is in open view of all with impunity, and a mask carried by the perpetrator signifies the irony of his masquerade. The Dev is also covered with ostentatious accessories; garlands around the neck, crown on the head, and huge earrings in a shameless exhibition of unbridled access. ourHeritage 10


Khool Aankh Zameen Dekh, Falak Dekh Feza Dekh Mashriq Say Ubhartey Huey Sooraj Ko Zara Dekh


With open eyes, observe the world, the sky, and the universe Observe and cherish the majesty of the rising sun from the East

INTERPRETATION/ ILLUSTRATION Iqbal admonishes mankind to explore the wonders of the endless universe and the benevolence of its Creator. The universe was created for the benefit of mankind so it would explore and harness its bounty. Most painters can draw figures, picture of the world, sun or the blue sky. But to illustrate the imagery of these entities in harmonic motion and illustrate Iqbal’s counsel to discern the blue sky with open eyes, cherish the universe, and observe the majesty of the rising sun from the east is an image that only a visionary can illustrate. Sadequain’s rendition is a study of time and three-dimensional motion in space. Starting from the left, one character shown in the foreground is holding a magnifying glass and intently examining through it the rare treasures that lie ahead. Another character is shown holding a globe firmly in his hands and diligently exploring it. The third character in this cluster keeps his eyes fixed on an hourglass and tracks the time — the fourth dimension that defines space. The center of the canvas is filled with instruments of knowledge and fruits of contentment. There is clearly a quill, the

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writing instrument to record the thesis, geometric instruments, a writing tablet, and of course to maintain a cheerful ambiance, a flower bouquet. The right side of the canvas is devoted to the exploration of space; one man is gazing upwards through the binoculars and is able to see the vastness and colors across the expanse of the cosmos, the stars, the planets, the new frontiers and the new destinations. Three characters in this group are shown keeping watchful eyes in multiple directions. Sadequain, to accentuate the purpose of the characters, has deliberately made their eyes wide open and bulging in wonderment.

Sadequain’s contribution to the field of arts is enormous and his contribution to the field of literature is immense. He did not simply produce ordinary paintings to earn a living, but painted monuments and donated all to mankind. There is no formal inventory of his works and their whereabouts in majority of cases are unknown. All images in this article have been produced from previously published material. It is estimated that Sadequain painted more than 15,000 pieces of artwork consisting of murals, paintings, drawings, and calligraphies. If sold in current market, his work is worth over a billion dollars, but he owned no worldly possessions at the time he passed away in 1987. He died penniless. In the tradition of Sufism, his end complied with his desires.

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Leisurely light LAND OF BUDDHA Compiled By: Sadia Bilal

The modern town of Taxila is 35 km from Rawalpindi/ Islamabad. Most of the archaeological sites of Taxila (600 BC to 500 AD) are located around the Taxila Museum. Exploring Taxila is a multi-dimensional experience. The richness and variety of the famed Gandhara sculpture will surely attract you. PHOTOGRAPHY BY: BILAL SAFDAR 15 ourHeritage


here are many images of Buddha, in stone and stucco and numerous panels depicting all the important stages of the great sage’s life. Exquisitely times of one of the world’s most impressive men of peace Gautama Buddha. Each carved bit of sculpture, from the colossal to the miniature and there are literally thousands of them is the items of collection. To find difference between the Greece-Roman counterparts and the Gandhara masterpieces will be a great challenge for you. To welcome you, there are stone men and women who will receive you open armed in Taxila. Then there are three distinct cities, which are in very good state of preservation. With your imagination sided by the carved people who inhabit these cities, you will have little difficulty in picturing crowds on the well laid out streets, families in the spacious houses, priests in the towering stupas and royalty in the great palaces. The earliest city of these is known as Bhir Mound. Which was established somewhere in sixth century BC, whose irregular streets, cramped houses and mediocre public buildings indicate its primitive origins. Then comes the Sirkap city which is on the opposite side of Tamara Stream, is much younger and it was built somewhere around 2nd century BC, and you’ll find the difference between these cities because this one is well planed. Jaulian is another marvelous complex of chapels, stupas, quadrangles, and a monastery with assembly hall, store rooms, refectory, kitchen and bathrooms. At five small stupas you will see beautiful stucco relieves of Buddha and Bodhisattvas supported by rows of stone elephants and lions. Two miles west of Jaulian is another well-preserved monastery at Mohra Moradu. In one of the monk’s cells, stupa was found with almost all the details intact. At Jandial, a mileand-a-half from Sirsukh, is an image-less temple in the classic Greek style, with sandstone columns and cornices. The men 3000 years ago knew that what they are doing when they choose Taxila to built there cities here.

JAULIAN MONASTERY Jaulian has been inscribed in 1980 upon the World Heritage List of the Convention concerning the protection of the world cultural and natural heritage. Inscription on the list confirms the exceptional universal value of a cultural site, which deserves protection for the benefit of all humanity. Jaulian, perching 300 feet above the surrounding field level, represents a Buddhist Stupa and Vihara of late Kushana era. Mr. Natesa Aiyar excavated this site in 1916-17 under the direction of Sir John Marshall. The main stupa, provided with a tall plinth and an offset projection for the steps, on the northern side, leads to the circular drum, which had entirely collapsed. Stupa plinth, divided in bays with pilasters, adorned with colossal seated figures of the Buddha in meditation. On the eastern side, a Buddha Dharmanadian. Around the main stupa in the upper court, twenty-one square votive stupas are constructed. Five other votive stupas occupy the lower court. The monastery on the east is located on a slightly higher level, measures 97 feet by 106 feet with as open low quadrangular court in the middle and a line of cells all around with a covered verandah in front. On the Buddha and another one accommodated the staircases for the upper part. Assembly hall is with four pillar bases. Other structural remains south of the assembly hall are of kitchen, storeroom, dinning hall and a guard’s room close to the eastern entrance. Some of the finest stucco sculptures have been shifted to Taxila Museum for preservation. Other finds included fragments of a Buddhist manuscript, written in Sanskrit language and Brahmi characters of the 5th century and copper coins of late Kushana and Indo-Sassanian rulers. Although, Jaulian had its own charm but perhaps due to economic strain, which followed the ruthless invasion of White Huns towards the end of 5th century, it was deserted and was left to share the decay and end with other Buddhist establishments in Taxila valley.

MOHRA MORADU Seated Buddha figure with a circular hole at the navel and an ex-voto inscription in Kharoshthi beneath, recording that it was the gift of one Buddhamitra, who delighted in the law (dharma). The hole at the navel was intended for a suppliant to place his finger in when offering prayers against certain bodily ailments. The healing Buddha is widely worshiped in Myanmar, Tibet, China and Japan According to popular belief in those countries; merely touching his image or calling out his name effectively cures some illnesses. Discovery of the image of healing Buddha at Jaulian indicates that the cult was originated from Gandhara around 3rd - 4th century or may be earlier and afterward it spread over the whole Buddhist World.

SMILING BUDDHA Stucco head of the Buddha with elongated face, highly developed forehead, oblique eyes and eyebrows. Slightly smiling mouth, with full under lip. Conventional curly hair indicated by small incised circlets. ourHeritage 16

MOHRA MORADU The most interesting find in the court of cells was this small stupa almost complete in every detail, which came to light inside cell no 9 at Mohra Moradu. It is standing to a height of 12 feet and is circular in plan with a plinth decided into five tiers, with elephants and atlantes alternating in the lowest tier, and Buddha seated in the niches alternating with pilasters in the tiers above. The core of the stupa is of kanjur, and the moldings and decorations are of stucco once decorated with viz crimson, blue and yellow. The umbrella was constructed in sections threaded on to a central shaft of iron, but in the course of ages this shaft had decayed, and the umbrella was found lying at the side of the stupa. The edges of the umbrellas are pierced with holes intended for streamers, garlands or bells. This not the only example at Taxila of a stupa having been erected in what seemingly was an ordinary monastic cell. The same phenomenon has already been observed in the case of Kalawan and Dharmarajika and the question presents itself whether these particular stupas were designed as objects of cult worship for the general use of the monastery or as memorials to signalize the sanctity of the cell where some specially holy bhikshu had lived and died.

MEDITATING BUDDHA’S CHAPEL This small chapel containing a singularly fine group of stucco figures, one of the best preserved of their kind in the center is seated the buddha in the attitude of meditation (dhyana-mudra), with a standing buddha to his right and left and two attendant figures behind. Of the latter, the one to the left carries the fly-whisk (chauri), the other is the Vajrapani holding the thunderbolt in his left hand. On the central image are still traces of the red and black paint and of the gold leaf with which it, and doubtless the other figures also, were once bedecked. The original figures have been removed to the museum and replaced, in the chapel, by plaster casts. 17 ourHeritage


PAKISTAN On broken wings of time, birds have been worshiped throughout the ages in ancient cultures and till today remains a symbol of power and freedom. In many myths and legends, birds link the human world to the divine or supernatural realms that lie beyond ordinary experience. In the ancient Egypt, a variety of birds were worshiped as gods, among the more significant:

By: Maria. S. The FALCON for its protective powers or Hawk usually associated with their god Horus; The GOOSE was sacred to the Geb – the Earth-god; HERON as the Phoenix, a symbol of sun and re-birth; IBIS as the Egyptian god of Wisdom or Power; OSTRICH the god of truth and justice; VULTURE as the Mother goddess of Upper Egypt, which represented eternal power and protection. Migration of birds is a spectacle of the complexity and the miracle of life and survival. There are total of 7 recognized flyways in the world: From Northern Europe to Scandinavian countries, Central Europe to Mediterranean Sea, Western Siberia to Red Sea, Ganga Flyway from Eastern Siberia to India, Manchuria to Korea, Chakotaka to California and Green Route from Siberia to Pakistan. According to the Pakistan Museum of Natural History (PMNH), some 700,000 to 1.2 million migratory birds flock to different areas of wetlands and deserts of Pakistan each year during the winter season from Europe, Central Asian states and India. The Wetlands of Pakistan boasts an unprecedented variety of bird life. The Pakistan Wetlands Project plays a vital role in protecting the fragile ecology of wetlands - a refuge to the native population as well as migratory birds, in providing creature comfort to a large variety of winged species. Some of these birds enter through Indus Flyway, also called the Green Route, from the month of November, which is the migratory route from Siberia and over the Karakorum, Hindu Kush, and Suleiman Ranges along the Indus River down to the delta. After spending the winter months in the rich and diverse environment of water or desert areas and 45 sanctuaries and reserves spread over an area of about 900,000 hectares in Sindh alone, they retreat their flight back home in March, depending on weather conditions in Pakistan and place of origin. Another fleet of birds travel from northern latitudes arrive the coastal creeks of the country. Some of these migratory birds of diverse species, to

name a few, are Siberian ducks, water fowls, cranes, teals, pintail, mallard gadwall, including the rare white-headed duck (found by the lakes including Kallar Kahar and Soon Valley however maintains an encouraging population in Pakistan as it declines in other countries), Houbara Bustard and Siberian crane. Migratory birds make a useful contribution to benefit ecological conditions. The birds fecal material consists of organic matter that contributes towards soil fertility and they prey on insects and weeds, thus towards a healthy harvest. Some of the birds listed here are found in common in many parts of Pakistan: the house sparrow, common Mynas, Bulbuls, Stoutbodied Pigeon, Turkestan Hill Pigeon, Hill Pigeon, Wood pigeon, Alexandrine or large Indian parakeet, Plum headed parakeet, Slaty-headed Parakeet, Rose Ringed Parakeet, Grey Hornbill, blue peafowl, flying tipplers, strawberry finch, Kalij Pheasant, Red Jungle Fowl, Cheer Pheasant, Monal Pheasant, Quail, Indian Little Quail, Button Quail or Yellow-legged button Quail, Rain Quail or black breasted quail, Common Quail or Grey Quail, Grey francolin, Black partridges, Western Tragopan, Spice Finch, Ram Chakor, Seesee Partridge, Rock Dove, Red Turtle Dove, Indian Ring Dove, Red Turtle Dove. The redheaded vulture bird is at the brink of extinction in Pakistan. Another vulture species found in the region, the Egyptian vulture is also globally endangered. Three birds that are endangered in neighboring India, the great Indian bustard, lesser florican and Baer’s pochard, might no longer be found in Pakistan. ourHeritage 18


CITY DWELLERS ISLAMABAD In territories of the Capital Islamabad, natural environment make home to a large variety of birds in the Rawal Lake and the surrounding agricultural areas, shrub land and woodland. Other than resident birds, the Margalla Hills, the Daman-e-koh ravine and the woodland that runs from the base of the ravine to the Faisal Masjid and the ridge of Margalla Hills also play host to visiting birds in season. Birds sighted in the Rawal Lake and surrounding woodland area includes Weaver, bats, Ferruginous Duck (Aythya nyroca), Crested Kingfisher (Megaceryle lugubris), Eurasian Eagle Owl (Bubo bubo), Brown Crake (Amaurornis akool), Mew Gull (Larus canus), Pallid Harrier (Circus macrourus), Rufous-Bellied Niltava (Niltava sundara), Scaly Thrush (Zoothera dauma), Asian Pied Starling (Sturnus contra), Graceful Prinia (Prinia gracilis), Russet Sparrow (Passer rutilans), Olive-Backed Pipit (Anthus hodgsoni), Pink-Browed Rose Finch (Carpodacus rodochrous), Pine Bunting (Emberiza leucocephalos). Although not too distant from Rawal Lake, Margala hills and surrounding woodlands and ravines attracts different variety of birds, among the known – to name a few: FulvousBreasted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos macei), Sinf Woodpecker (Dendrocopos assimilis), Chestnut-Bellied Rock Thrush (Monticola rufiventri), Orange-Headed Thrush (Zoothera citrine), White-Tailed Ruby throat, Brook’s Leaf Warbler (Phylloscopus subviridi), RedBilled Leiothrix (Leiothrix lutea). Jungle Mynas are also seen in the hills of Murree, and the Indian Plaintive Cuckoo species is seen in the Margalla Hills of Islamabad and one among the winter visitor is the Common Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs). 19 ourHeritage

LAHORE The second largest city of Pakistan, Lahore is the hub of a variety of bird species. While the green areas and old endemic trees of Lahore makes home to many resident bird species, the water areas play host to migratory birds. Some of the green areas including spacious gardens at monumental buildings have been classified as places of breeding, nesting and roosting for several bird species. These premises includes the Shalimar Gardens, the Lawrence Garden, Jinnah Gardens, the Lahore Zoo and the buildings such as the Fort, Badshahi masjid and rural areas that makes home to


various bird species since time immemorial. The giant large fruit bat roosts by day on large Banyan trees in Jinnah Gardens and Lahore Zoo. Palm squirrel populations are common in gardens areas. Flocks of Blue Rock Pigeons breed and roost at night in the walled city as well as in old buildings scattered around the city. Grey hornbill is found in fig trees particularly in the Lahore Zoo, Jinnah Gardens, Mayo Gardens extending the whole of canal area and the Cantonment.


According to one research study, Lahore is the home for 240 bird species, but showed a sharp decline in another study conducted in 1992, which recorded only 101. This alarmingly decrease in bird population obviously points to an increase in the rate of urbanization, thus a toll on ecology of Lahore. The resident species of Lahore includes Babblers, Bulbuls, Doves, Grey Hornbill, Kingfishers, Parakeet, Spotted Owlet, Flycatchers, Mynas, Woodpeckers, Crows, Kites, Ashy Prynia, Warblers, Red Wattled

Lapwing, Oriental White Eye, Yellow-footed Green Pigeon and the common Pigeon. In the summer, visitors fly into Lahore from southern parts of the country in search of food and for breeding ground. These visiting birds include variety of Cuckoo species, Quail, Purple Sunbird, and Golden Oriole. They also come here to stay in urban Lahore from March till September. Passage migrants during spring and early summer take a short break in Lahore – a blessing for the farmers as these species feed on locusts, but also nibble on fruits, berries and other insects. Jungle Myna, Roufous Tailed Finch Lark and Indian Plaintive Cuckoo include among these visiting birds in Lahore.


Lahore needs a re-development a plan to cultivate green pockets by planting trees and vegetation like bushes and groves to attract a variety of birds creating different nesting altitudes from tall trees offering different kinds of fruits and figs to the ground levels flowering shrubs.

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The designing duo with a difference By: Khuzaima Fatima Haque Sisters-in-law, best friends and business partners, Sana Hashwani and Safinaz Muneer are two names that have done wonders for the Pakistani fashion scene. They have given it a world-class label... Sana Safinaz. Starting off just as a hobby, the label today has grown to include prêt wear, formals and bridals, an export line, seasonal lawn and silk collections that sell like hot cakes as well as a furniture line. Amalgamating the western and the eastern design sensibility to create a graceful, elegant, trendy and chic style, Sana Safinaz is a label that turns heads .Not to be missed at any cost their’s is signature style that has dominated the fashion scene from day one . Here, Khuzaima Fatima Haque speaks to Sana Hashwani and Safinaz Muneer about their journey in the world of fashion design.

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Q. What is your design philosophy? Our designs philosophy is to be updated on international fashion trends when it comes to cuts, colours, fabrics and everything. We always try to keep our finger on the pulse of emerging international fashion forecasts so we are at par with global market aesthetics. Q. How do you assess and rate your professional growth? How has the journey to becoming a world-class label been? What have been the ups and downs of the journey? In 1989, at the time we emerged there was a gaping void in Pakistan’s local market for well priced, innovative luxury design outfits. Our Prêt line was established primarily as a result of this and we have never looked back. Today, the Sana Safinaz Lifestyle brand includes Prêt, Formal/Bridals, an Export line, seasonal Lawn and Silk Collections and we will soon be opening retailing stores in the first quarter of 2013. We believe that because we have the courage of our own conviction when it comes to our design philosophy and don’t allow ourselves to be swayed or dictated by mainstream ideals or benchmarks; we remain at the forefront as the trailblazers. We like to constantly reinvent ourselves and never shy away from the contemporary or the unaccustomed. Q. What is the Sana Safinaz woman like? Who do you design for? We cater to all kinds of women from different walks of life, various age groups and numerous nationalities. Sana Safinaz as a brand name is synonymous with elegance, glamour and confidence. A Sana Safinaz woman is always comfortable in her own skin; she’s feminine, sexy and fashion forward.

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Q. What is your inspiration? On a creative level we draw inspiration from our surroundings and our experiences. Inspiration is all around us and we try to tap into our surroundings as a valuable resource. Q. How do you two work together? After two decades of working together we have mastered the art of agreeing to disagree! We don’t take anything to heart. Our friendship is what matters most to us. Q. Stepping into lawn was a challenge. How did you find it? We have been doing lawn for approximately fifteen years with different companies over the years. It was a natural progression that was required in order to reach the masses and make our brand name available to them. The response has been overwhelming and very happily and humbly received! Q. Where do you see yourselves in another 10 years? The sky is the limit! We hope to have several more retail stores open nationally and indeed internationally. Q. Why did you feel the need to set up a separate furniture line? What is that all about? Our venture into home/interior décor began about fifteen years ago when we were furnishing our own homes. We did all the interior design, décor, and furnishings ourselves and were met with a tremendous positive response from friends and family who insisted that there was a huge demand for our style of interior decoration. At this point, we decided to test the waters by holding a furniture exhibition which was very widely received. This helped us realize the scope for extending ourselves into home décor and we have not looked back since.

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the last frontier… By: Dr. Babur Zahiruddin

From Taobutt to Kail and back to Rawalpindi/ Islamabad. This is an excerpt from book

Shandoor and beyond 09th July 2012 (Helmit) Taobutt is the last village in the NEELUM Valley bordering the Indian Kashmir. The previous town headquarters was at NIKRON but during the last Kargil campaign had to be relocated to its present location at TAOBUTT. Morning of 9th July 2012 in Helmit we were tucked cozily in our beds in the mess. We were all lazy in getting up but as per my army training I could not break the bed (mattress) beyond 9.00 a.m. and went outside in the garden and ordered bed tea. After some time I was joined by BILAL who came out side rubbing his eyes and also wanted a cup of tea. The mess waiter brought the cup of tea in about 10 minutes and we started enjoying the weather and the surroundings. River NEELUM flowed on the left side of our mess with full majestic grandeur and potential force, much is written on the internet about the source of the NEELUM river but very few people know that two NALAH’S namely Gagai Nard and Dudh Gai Nard join together at TAOBUT to make the common NEELUM river. One of these NALAH’s originates from the Pakistani side next to 25 ourHeritage

the camp of the animal transport regiment where it is like a small stream and by the time it reaches the junction/ confluence it becomes the big NALAH. The second NALAH originates from the Indian Kashmir side and then turns and makes an S-bend and comes into the Pakistani territory to meet with its counterpart at the confluence to make the NEELUM river. On course to KAIL Neelum river is fed by many other NALAH’s like the HUNTI NALAH and unnamed brooks, river lets, streams and torrential water courses thus finally it joins with the JHELUM river at DOMAIL near Muzaffarabad. The SHUDHA monument in the mess is a befitting tribute to the guardians of our frontier who laid their lives in the defense of their motherland. Nations are built on the sacrifices of its people and future generations must remember that how independence for this country was achieved by the sacrifice’s given by our ancestors. We left HELMIT at about 12 O Clock in our hired Jalopy and stopped at various places for photography and cooling of the engine. On route they are many beautiful water falls and cascades

We reached KAIL at about 4.00 pm and tried to hire a jeep for MUZAFFARABAD but the high cost demanded by the jeep drivers put me on an austerity campaign and after consultation with my expedition members we decided to take the local bus to Muzaffarabad.

The cold and leg cramps took a toll of me and there was the frequent urge to use the washroom and his unscheduled stops came like a blessing in disguise and I was able to relieve myself at these stops, minus the water for abolition and the tissues came in handy. At about 1, O’ clock at night the bus stopped at SHARDHA and we all queued up for the restroom first and then into the driver hotel for a quick cup of tea.

The bus was scheduled to leave at about 9.00 pm so we took time to explore the BAZAAR and grab a bite. KAIL BAZAAR is hardly one kilometer long and you run out of any shopping possibilities as there is nothing to buy and not even to window shop. As the washrooms were scarce and those available the sanitary and hygienic conditions were far from the desired level…….so we decided that no oily food or NAN’s will be consumed.

By this time our hunger pangs had started and we could not resist to have a bite so I ordered hot and KARAK NAN’s which we dipped in the tea and enjoyed the make shift dinner, remember we were not eating anything lavish lest the bus ride gushes everything down in a few minutes taxing our bowel movements which in turn would force us to have frequent visits to the toilet which were all in the open air.


The bus horn brought us back to the present and once again we all got in to the bus and started with our journey, by this time the mettaled road had become better and the going was less bumpy and the speed was better.

which are worth watching and enjoying and these could turn into a potential source for hydel generation.

The bus started at its scheduled time but the seats were cramped and very little leg space was available. Zeeshu being a tall burly and hefty man we made him sit with the driver and the three of us packed ourselves like sardines in one of the hind seats. When was the last time I traveled in a bus like this? I went down the memory lane way back in 1979 after clearing my Faculty of Sciences from Cadet College HASSANABDAL, I went to KOHAT for I.S.S.B for 53, G.D.P. After clearing my I.S.S.B some of the cadets boarded a local bus from KOHAT to Peshawar where we were perched on the roof of the bus and stopped at DARA ADAM KHAIL for CHAPPAL KABAB’S and Peshawari KAHAWA. Coming back to the present scenario the bus was really a bus like in URDU where the rights, opinion, likes and dislikes of the passengers did not matter and we were completely at the mercy of the bus driver who drove the bus like a F-16 pilot despite the hilly terrain and the dangerous condition of the road. It was his prerogative to stop at places where the bus should not stop and not stop at the places where the bus should stop. So in other words he behaved like a typical Pakistani bureaucrat much like the pseudo politicians that we have in our country.

The irony of fate that the bus driver was stopping after every 20 minutes to pick up passengers / goods for transportation and some of the passengers started complaining and which as usual fell on deaf ears. At about 2.30 we passed the NEELUM Jhelum hydropower project being built by the help of the Chinese engineers and saw the diversion work in progress, hope that this project will be completed in time to augment the electricity crisis in Pakistan which is on priority number one as regards the problems of the people of Pakistan and is taxing on the nerves of the whole nation. In the meantime it started raining cats and dogs and the speed of the bus was limited to about 15 km/ hour due to poor visibility. Somehow or the other we managed to limp to Muzaffarabad at about 5 O Clock in the morning but due to heavy down pour we were compelled to stay in the bus till 6 O clock when the visibility was better and mist had gone away. From this bus we boarded a coaster for Pirwadhai Islamabad and this bus ride I will never forget. ourHeritage 26

Stay Abroad or

Return Home? By: Atle Hetland

There are several millions of Pakistanis working in foreign countries. Many work in the Middle East but also in other countries. They leave their families at home and come to visit only once a year, even less often. Their families in Gujrat and elsewhere in Punjab, in Bagh in Kashmir, Peshawar and the boarder areas with Afghanistan receive remittances for the families’ general upkeep, health expenses and not least important, education of their children. It is an important contribution to Pakistan’s economy, ranked second only after industrial export. Many Pakistanis have emigrated and settled abroad, usually in Europe, North America and Australia. Then the men go first and after a couple of years they bring the rest of their immediate family. In Norway, there are about 40,000 Norwegians of Pakistani origin in a total immigrant population of half a million and an overall population of 5 million. The Pakistanis began coming in the late 1960s and are now in the second and third generation. Many Pakistanis have done well in their new homeland, rising from being bus drivers, restaurant workers, renting corner shops to becoming owners of restaurants and larger shops and so on. But it is usually not the first generation that can reap the fruits; it is the children and grand children. The Pakistanis had planned to return to Pakistan after they had made some money abroad. But now most of them have actually settled in Norway. Most immigrants succeed through education and hard work. And in Norway, where everyone is entitled to a pension from 67, immigrant women, too, who may never have worked outside the home receive a pay cheque in their own name. No wonder that 27 ourHeritage

Pakistani-Norwegians are patriotic on behalf of their new, oil-rich Norwegian land with insignificant unemployment and a welfarestate for all - in spite of it getting a bit cold and dark in winter.

But not everyone who becomes a labour migrant or immigrant stays abroad for good. Labour migrants return, and many immigrants, too. In our time, due to relatively cheap air travels, many stay in the sending country as well as the new land; they keep coming and going. Over time, they also grow roots in the new land, especially when the children and grandchildren grow strong roots there. The young ones have loser ties with the parents’ homeland. The just find it pleasant to visit grand parents and other relatives but they don’t find it natural to move there permanently. And when they grow adult they also take advantage of Norway’s free education and then they get into well-paid jobs. And then, they establish family, often with a spouse from Pakistan, but more often from Norway or another European country. Although many young Pakistanis have Norwegian girl friends or boyfriends, when the time for marriage comes, few marry ethnic Norwegians since parents still have a say about what they think is best. It is likely that this tradition and practice will change over time. And then, some Pakistani-Norwegians come back to their land of origin. Let us meet one, Muzaffar Mumtaz. Muzaffar came back to Pakistan three or four years ago, after having completed his law degree and early practice in Scotland, and more than a decade in Norway, where he is a citizen and has his daughter. Now he has married in Pakistan and has a family of a young son and daughter. He finds in both pleasant and practical to live in Pakistan, especially with small children. “I appreciate almost everything in Norway”, Muzaffar says. “Yet, at this particular time in life, I hope to be able to earn enough as a consultant in international and corporate law, based in Islamabad”, he says. “But I visit Norway at least twice or trice a year to keep in touch with my daughter there, and also for work reasons.” “When my children grow older they may also go to Norway for further education. After all, Norway is an advanced country with

a very good education system, which is free too. Well, there are no fees, but it is a high-cost land so you need more money in Norway than in Pakistan to keep going. I feel the daily stress is less in Pakistan and people seem to have more time for each other”, he adds. Muzaffar is a lawyer by training. But he is also a poet. He has published in journals and periodicals, and has written a book in Urdu entitled “Ishiraf”, which can be translated to mean ‘deviation’ in English. “I am a member of the Norwegian Writers Association”, he says proudly. He stressed that he considers it important that people in our time don’t only focus on utilitarian, everyday chores but also set aside time for meditation and socialization. “We must all try to discover our inner self and admit that spirituality is part of what we are as human beings.” “My book is about fourteen autumns. In a way it is a summary of important events in my life among people far north in the world, almost at the North Pole”, Muzaffar says. “But now I am in Pakistan, and I do like Pakistan, too. I like the East and the West, yes, and the North”, he adds. “We can philosophize about life, about travel and about where we live. Where is really home? Is it only where we were born, or can it also be where we move to, within the country or abroad? Is home rather where our loved ones live, where our children grow up and grow roots? And yet, there is always something special about “home” in the sense of our birthplace and home country.” “Pakistan is a country where every person is very social. Therefore you can never really leave the country. Even when you are abroad, you often think about the people and places ‘at home’. In future, I pray that living conditions and peace will prevail in the beautiful land of Pakistan – as in Norway. And I do hope we will deepen our contact with the land and people of Norway”, lawyer and poet Muzaffar Mumtaz says. He is one of the many immigrant Pakistanis – who is now, temporarily or permanently a returning immigrant. If he stays, his experience and views will enrich Pakistan – and if he returns to Norway, or at least keeps paying frequent visits, his second homeland will benefit too. ourHeritage 28

Hunter figure surrounded by ibexes

The Sacred Rock of HunzA


By: Daniyah Sehar


he name Haldeikish is given by the locals and it means “the place of the male ibexes.” The reason behind giving this name is the presence of carvings of ibexes. A male ibex in Burushaski language is called Halden, hence Haldeikish. These ibex’s petroglyphs also testify to the ancient local tradition of Thuma Saling or ceremonial ibex hunting which appears to have been linked to a fertility cult. These ibex petroglyphs are in various shape and size ranging from short horned ibex, curved horns ibex, angular horns ibex, and semi circular as well as dotted. These ibexes range from pre-historic time to the late historic period and are arranged in different hunting scenes as well as in Cultural and religious groups. In the cultural group one can see a hunter in the middle surrounded by ibexes while in the religious group the petroglyphs are of human deities with ibexes playing around them. 29 ourHeritage

Haldeikish also known as “Guest Book of the Silk Route” is about 200 yards long and has a height of about 30 feet. It is not a single rock as usually portrayed but in actual is a group of four rocks. These rocks are further divided into two stages, Upper stage and the lower stage. Upper stage rock was originally approached by well cut stone steps which lead to a series of Buddhist cave shelters. Most of these steps and caves are now fallen. All four rocks are covered in petroglyphs (inscriptions and carvings). The Sacred Rock of Hunza is a complex of over one hundred Kharosthi and Brahmi inscriptions. These inscriptions though primarily written in Brahmi, Kharosthi, Proto- Sarda and Sogdian (Persian) languages but there are also evidence of inscriptions in Tibetan, Chinese, Hebrew and Bactrian language. The Kharosthi script was used for writing ancient Gandhari language. Gandhari language was adopted for commerce, trade and administration and always has been linked with propagation of Buddhism in Northern Pakistan,

Up in the Hunza Valley at an elevation of about 2000 meters and just two hundred kilometer beyond Ganesh Village, below Karimabad on the left side of Karakorum Highway ,between the Hunza River and the road itself, lies Haldeikish – The Sacred Rock of Hunza. Eastern Afghanistan, Northwest India and the Southern Silk Road oases between the 2nd to the 6th centuries AD. These Kharosthi inscriptions as deciphered by the historians and anthropologists seem to carry Buddhist messages. On rock number two a Chinese inscription distinctively written from top to bottom, tells of a visit of a Chinese ambassador from the Ta-Wei dynasty which may date from the 6th century. One can also see a very intriguing carving on the first rock of man in long robe with a cap, typically Kushan dress and bearing a striking resemblance to the image of the Kushan emperors who appeared on the coinage from the time of the emperor Kanishka onwards. Haldeikish also provides clues about the religious affiliations, geographical origins and social backgrounds of the inscribers. Over one hundred names or fragments are in Kharosthi and Brahmi inscriptions. Almost fifty names are clearly Buddhist containing elements Buddha, Sangha and Dharma or the names of the famous Buddhist monks. There are also a large number of names bearing Sogdian (Persian) influence. The rest can be traced to Burushaski and Dardic languages that are still spoken in northern areas of Pakistan. The Rock despite of its remote location stood at the crossroads of several trans-Asian trade routes linking Gandhara and Kashmir with the ancient Silk Route. Though it was mostly visited by

Buddhist monks yet there is no evidence that it was a monastery. Rather it was used as a Caravanserai (Camping site) by merchants, pilgrims and monks traveling through the Karakorum passes. Hunza was not an inaccessible hideaway in ancient times, but was quite an important link in a network of long distance trade routes. The Rock provides clear evidence of Hunza as the crossroads of transregional movements and intercultural transmissions between Pakistan, Iran, China and Central Asia. . Saptaratna (Seven precious jewels which included Ruby, Pearl, Sapphire, Emerald, Coral, Diamond and Lapis Lazuli) was the main reason of trade by the Buddhist to such far flung and difficult places. Silk was traded for these Saptaratna and other luxury goods. Haldeikish a unique testimony of ancient history is now on verge of destruction. Their deterioration is patently obvious to anyone who has seen them for a few years. Now this deterioration has accelerated due to heavy industrial activities in the area. A stone-crushing factory has been established by the National Highways Authority and the Chinese Roads and Bridges Corporation (CRBC), right above the site, creating fear in the region about the possible negative impact on the historical inscriptions. The need of the hour is to safeguard this historical site otherwise we will lose an important place that deciphered many a puzzles about the long distance transmission of Buddhism to the Tarim Basin (present-day Xinjiang, China) oases and the Silk routes to China. ourHeritage 30

rupal valley facing the silver wall Compiled By: Kashif Hussain

The province of Gilgit Baltistan is known for many things; mostly most of them have to do with mountains and ancient cultures prevailing in this part of the world. However, there is a lot more to this part of the world in terms of history, culture and geography. Speaking of the latter, one of the unsung jewels of this area is the Rupal Valley.

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he Rupal Valley is located in the Astore District of Pakistan’s Gilgit-Baltistan region. It lies just south of 8,126-meter Nanga Parbat and is popular for treks to the mountain’s Rupal Face, one of highest mountain faces in the world. The Rupal is home to Shina speaking herdsmen, who have grazed and harvested wood in the valley for hundreds of years. Towering peaks on either side of the valley make it a breathtaking, although remote destination for adventurers. Most treks to the Rupal Valley begin in the village of Tarashing, located at the southwestern terminus of the Astore Valley. Rupal meaning silvery in Shina, is the name of last village facing southern side of Nanga Parbat. Village so named for Nanga Parbat looks like a silver wall in the moonlight. South face of Nanga Parbat is one of the greatest sheer walls in the world. The Rupal Face on its south flank is the world’s tallest face, rising 15,000 feet from base to summit. The Rupal Face was climbed by brothers Reinhold and Günther Messner in 1970, but descending the backside Günther was killed by avalanche. The Rupal trek was recently highlighted in international media when a Slovenian mountaineer, Tomaž Humar, during a solo attempt to climb Nanga Parbat in 2005, was trapped by avalanches and melting snow at an altitude of nearly 6000 meters. After six days in a snow cave he was rescued by two daredevil and courageous Pakistan Army pilots, who on 10 Aug

05 flying their helicopter beyond its designed operational limits saved Tomaz from the jaws of death high on the Rupal Wall of the killer mountain Nanga Parbat. News of his six days ordeal and subsequent unique rescue remained focus of the media attention and spotlight through out the world. He claimed to celebrate his new Birthday on 10 Aug as he landed at the Rupal Base camp still suspended from a rope under helicopter’s belly. Nanga Parbat is the world’s ninth highest mountain and Pakistan’s second highest, which make it a popular destination for both mountaineers and trekkers. The Rupal Trek, named after the mountain’s Rupal face, is our most popular trek. The journey begins from the small villages of Chorit and Tarashing and continues over glaciers, through beautiful meadows and the village of Rupal, past shepherd camps, and into the first of three main base campsHerrligkoffer. It was named after Dr. Karl Herrligkoffer who led eight German expeditions to Nanga Parbat including the first successful one in 1953. After Herrligkoffer Camp, the trail becomes more difficult as it climbs up to the edge of the Bazhin Glacier and then across the ice and rock to the other side. Suddenly, the Latobah meadows come into view as the trail descends from the glacier and an easy walk through the meadows leads to Latobah Camp. The Rupal face towers 4572m above Latobah, making it the highest vertical rise from base camp to summit of any mountain. The meadow offers a great place to play games or just take a nap in the sun. There is also a small glacial lake just a short walk above camp. Shaigiri Camp, easily identified by a big, white boulder, is usually the turn-around point for the Rupal Trek; however, the trail can be followed over Mazeno La (5400m) and into Fairy Meadows with a few more days of walking. Rupal Peak is also becoming a popular side trip for experienced trekkers and beginning mountaineers. Overall, the Rupal Trek is one of the most enjoyable and budget friendly treks in Pakistan. The people of lower Rupal originated from Baltistan and still speak a form of Balti mixed with Shina. Shina (Urdu)(also known as Tshina) is a Dardic language spoken by a plurality of the people in the Gilgit–Baltistan autonomous territory of Pakistan, formerly known as the Northern Areas, and the town of Dras in Ladakh, Kashmir. The valleys in which it is spoken include Astore, Chilas, Dareil, Tangeer, Gilgit, Ghizer, and a few parts of Baltistan and Kohistan. It is also spoken in Gurez, Drass, Kargil, Karkit Badgam and Ladakh valleys. There were 321,000 speakers of Gilgiti Shina as of 1981, and an estimated total of speakers of all dialects of 550,000. The women wear Balti hear dress decorated with beads and buttons and a brown felt tail hanging down on the back – reminiscent of headdress of Ladakh. ourHeritage 32

Discovering the magic of


By: Dr. Shaukat Mahmood

The contribution of the Muslim World to a wide range of arts, sciences, technologies and academic disciplines is often overlooked due to sheer prejudice of the western scholars and so called Orientalists. The mausoleum of Shaikh Safi at Ardabil provides a glimpse of the rich cultural heritage within the Muslim World and the significant role that Muslims have played in the advancement of knowledge. It presents the rich creativity of Islamic Arts and Architecture.


rdabil is a historical city in northwestern Iran. The name Ardabil probably comes from the Zoroastrian name of Artavil, which means a holy place. Ardabil is notable for its silk and carpets. Ardabil Carpets are considered as one of the best of the classical Persian carpets. Ardabil is also known as the seat of a World Heritage Site: the sanctuary and tomb of Shaikh Safî adDîn. The large and exceptional group of Chinese porcelains, which Shah Abbas presented to the Ardabil Shrine in 1611, also represents a form of collecting and collection(s) ultimately intended for display in the shrine’s chinikhana. Neither the porcelain collection nor its exhibition in specially constructed niches is unique to Shah Abbas but rather represent earlier traditions documented at least to the Timurid period. Porcelain was invented in China from 608-676, though it was not a sudden invention. They don’t know exactly how or when the first true porcelain was made, but the most common theory is as follows. It was said to be made by Tao-Yue, who supposedly found some white clay or Kaolin. Kaolin, also called china clay is soft white clay that is an essential ingredient in the manufacture of china and porcelain and is widely used in the making of paper, rubber, paint, and many other products. Kaolin is named after the hill in China (Kao-ling) from which it ha been mined for centuries. Other materials mixed with China clay to make porcelain clay have included feldspar, ball-clay,

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glass, bone ash, steatite, quartz, petuntse and alabaster. Like the assembling of contemporary albums, the amassing of Chinese porcelains by princes and notables for purposes of display seems to represent a specific aesthetic impulse and cultural practice, which sheds further light on the art history of the Timurid and Safavid periods. Sheikh Safi al-Din Is’haq Ardabili (lived 1252–1334) eponym of the Safavid dynasty, was the spiritual heir and son-in-law of the great Sufi Murshid Shaikh Zahid Gilani, of Lahijan in Gilan Province in northern Iran. Most of what we know about him comes from the Safavat al-Safa, a hagiography written by one of his followers. Shaikh Safi

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was a Sunni Muslim who was well respected by many Shias as well. Shaikh Safi’s descendants founded the Safavid dynasty in the sixteenth century. The mausoleum of the Shaikh is situated in the city of Ardabil and includes the celebrated chinikhana, built to house one the most remarkable collections of Chinese porcelain. As far as chinikhanas are concerned no other building in the world can compete with the elegance, glory, design and the complexity of the chinikhana of this shrine. It is from the Chinikhana of this shrine that the term ‘chinikhana’ came into vogue. Very soon the construction of chinakhanas became a must in the prestigious buildings and royal monuments. In this connection a reference to the Salarjangs of Hyderabad, India, is worth referring to. Diwan-i Devdi was the palace of the nobles, the Salarjangs. It is situated close to Charminar and Chowmahalla Palace in Hyderabad. Diwan-i Devdi has some 78 rooms in it. It had different buildings like Ainakhana, Lakkad Kotha, Nizam Bagh. Noor Mahal, and a grand chinikhana, which no more exists. There were five people from the family, who served as Prime Ministers of the Hyderabad state. This building has now been turned into Salarjang Museum. The museum was inaugurated on 16 December 1951, and its priceless collection of Chinese porcelains was housed in this 100-year-old palace. This unique collection of porcelains once adorned the chinikhanas of the palace. But much before the Salarjangs (1720-1948) Iranian and Mughal ruler in India had adopted the chinikhanas in their palaces and forts. There is a hardly a single building of the Mughals which does not have a chinikhana in one shape or the other. Though chinakhana was basically a three-dimensional concept Mughals made it two-dimensional as well by introducing it in paintings and on the walls in paints or in inlaid stonework. We can see lot of 2-D stonework examples in the Mausoleum of Jahangir at Lahore. Jahangir’s Fort at Shaikhupura has a 3d chinikhana, though in a ruined state today. Shahjahan later on added yet another dimesion to the concept of chinikhanas. In the Shalamar Bagh of Lahore which he built a Lilliputian building called Sawan-Bhadon (The Monsoon) was introduced. This structure is in fact a three-sided waterfall measuring 26 feet 7 inches by 21 feet 3 inches with a fall of 9 feet 3 inches. The fourth side (northern) is open and a covered walkway is provided there. In the three sides there are series of niches all made of marble. Oil lamps were placed in these niches and the water fell in front of these perfumed lamps in the form of a chadar, so accurate was the leveling that nowhere the sheet of water was broken. On the northern side of the walkway there is another small chinikhana (meant for lamps). This is at a very low level and visitors to the garden seldom notice it. In the Lahore fort, in the huge courtyard which is outside the eastern side of the Shish Mahal-Naulakha complex there is also a small marble chinikhana built with the same purpose as that of Sawan-Bhadon of the Shalamar Bagh. With the popularity of the so-called chinikhana of Sawan-Bhadon in the Shalamar Bagh the concept of chinikhana stands greatly distorted. It is now assumed that chinikhana is always used to retain oil lamps and the sheet of water falling in front of them. An authentic chinikhana is the one where a cluster of small niches, may be of varying sizes are used to retain the elegant decorative Chinese porcelains. 35 ourHeritage


Nisar Bazmi

1925-2007 By: Aijaz Gul

Film music in our films in the last sixty-five years is a treasure we must cherish. We shall be writing here in the coming month on several composers like Nisar Bazmi, Khawaja Khursheed Anwar, Robin Ghosh, Rashid Attrey, Inayat Hussain and Sohail Rana but Nisar Bazmi first.


isar Bazmi passed away in 2007 but he lives through the large reservoir of compositions (mostly from films). Bazmi Sahab, as he was called in the film trade, was born in India and turned to music in his early teens. His first chance came with a theatrical production in Mumbai called Nadir Shah Durrani. He had also worked before on All India Radio Mumbai. His film career began when he was twenty-one with Jamana Paar (1946). And even though Bazmi Sahab went on to compose for dozen of mediocre titles like Jeb Kutra, Extra Girl, Daghabaaz Dost, Bholey Bhaley, Josh, Ghazab, Ram Bharosey, Gorilla, Khooj, Adam Khor, Pyara Dushman, Silver King, Bhala Admi, Kal Kia Ho Ga, Jungle Prince and Khaufnaak Ankhaeen, he always remained blunt and was always frank to admit that he never was able to get a prestigious assignment in Mumbai (Asha Bhonsley sang for him). According to Nisar Bazmi, his film share in Mumbai consisted of almost entirely stunt; Low-B and even C rated films. Nisar Bazmi wanted to cross the border and compose for Noor Jehan. He migrated to Pakistan around 1962 and settled at Karachi. It was tough to get film assignments here or at Lahore. The film music scene was dominated by Khursheed Anwar, Rashid Attrey, Chishti, Inayat Hussain and they were joined in by Sohail Rana and Robin Ghosh. So where would Nisar Bazmi fit in. His first assignment in Karachi was Head Constable which was an instant disaster. However, he managed to have his wish come true with Noor Jehan’s “Ai kash merey lab pey tera naam na aata”. Saleem Raza’s “Jan-e-Jaan pyar aa raha hai” was also a soothing melody but Karachi’s poor orchestra was a damaging factor. For good A- Class orchestra, one had to move down to Lahore.

He was signed by Fazal Karim Fazli for Asia Bhi Hota Hai in 1964 and the film came out with smashing musical score in 1965: Noor Jehan and Ahmad Rushdi’s all –time popular hit “Mohabat mey tery sar ki qasam” and Noor Jehan’s solo number “Ho tamana aur kiya jan-e-tamana aap haeen”. This was then the beginning of Nisar Bazmi in Pakistan and there was no looking back. Raza Mir and Syed Afzal Hussain’s Lakhon Mein Eik in 1966 turned Bazmi Sahab into a superstar. Aasra, Aag, Jesey Jantey Nahi, Anjuman, Amrao Jan Ada, Andaleeb, Anmoil, Wafa, Saiqa, Taj Mahal,Tehzeeb, Dushman, Peechan, Talaash, Sachai, Anila, Nag Mani and the rest is all now our precious film history. He became the most expensive music director in Lahore and only super rich producers could afford his extra large orchestra. He was known for spending outrageously on his orchestra. Bazmi Sahab was not just a composer. He made sure to arrange the orchestra himself, thereby becoming a composer and arranger. And nobody could beat Bazmi Sahib in his game. He went for classical, semi-classical, folk and even pop compositions and turned them into all-time hits. Even his background score for films had its grandeur. His tussle with Noor Jehan over using Runa Laila in Umrao Jan Ada is also part of our film history. Noor Jehan could cross all boundaries on maintaining her stardom and monopoly, but she could also wipe off tea drops from Bazmi Sahab’s shoes with her sari. And when Bazmi Sahab asked her not to insult him with this gesture, Noor Jehan said “whatever singer’s worth is, it is due to composers like Bazmi Sahab. However, later when Bazmi Sahab described the supreme importance of a composer in film music, Noor Jehan was offended by this comment. And Bazmi Sahab decided to opt out. ourHeritage 36

Nisar Bazmi won numerous awards for Saiqa, Anjuman, Meri Zindigi Hai Naghma, Khak aur Khoon and Hum Eik Haeen. Even for a completely dry film like Khan Aur Khoon on the Pakistan Movement, Bazmi Sahib came out beautifully with a poem of Ahmad Faraz in Mehdi Hassan melodious voice “Mei teri yaad ko is dil sey bhaloon kesey”. What was the forte of Nisar Bazmi! Good compositions with good lyrics by Masroor Anwar, Shevan Rizvi, Saifuddin Saif, Qateel Shiafai and others (Bazmi himself was a poet and his collection of his poems has been published). His other asset was to control a rich orchestra. He was also known for introducing and promoting fresh talent and the playback singers ranged from Runa Laila and Alamgeer to Akhlaq Ahjmad. But apart from Runa Laila, most of his best songs were rendered by Noor Jehan, Mehdi Hasan, Mala and Ahmad Rushdi, and in the later years, by Mehnaz and Naheed Akhtar in films like Peechan and Talaash. And since Nisar Bazmi was highly expensive composer, his choice of directors was highly selective: Hassan Tariq,

Pervaiz Malik and S.Suleman. From his first film Head Constable to his last film Very Good Duniya Very Bad Loag, nobody could touch him in his compositions and orchestra. Talking about music, Nisar Bazmi recalled that there are some ragas which settle firmly at the very earliest stage like Kalyan on which he based popular ghazal of Ahmad Faraz in Mehdi Hassan’s voice from film Mohabat “Rangish hi sahi”. He also praised Runa Laila who at the age of thirteen was able to grasps all the teachings of Bazmi Sahab. Many of her songs were passed by Nisar Bazmi in the trial takes. And then there were though assignments like”Jo bacha tha who lutaney key leye aye haeen” in Umrao Jan Ada by Noor Jehan where Bazmi Sahib worked for seventeen hours and he was still not satisfied on what came out. One guess is that Noor Jehan by now had lost some of her magic and her vocal cords had been partly or wholly damaged by excess she had committed with too many loud Punjabi compositions. Nisar Bazmi composed for seventy films in Pakistan in over thirty-five years, and spent last part of his life in Karachi, mostly teaching young music enthusiasts. He also composed some of the best TV national songs: “Yeh watan tumhara hai”, “Khayal rakhna and “Hum zinda qaum haeen”. Today, physically, Nisar Bazmi is no longer with us. He would always be with us through his compositions and imaginative use of highly impressive orchestra.

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The Beauty Within Words & Pictures: Saifuddin Ismailji

A certain breed of human beings – Foreign and inland, have crafted a situation that nature lovers are today being told to keep away from enjoying some of the world’s most magnificent scenic wonders that the nature has bestowed Pakistan, all across its length and breadth. However, the beauty within this land is intact in its dramatic landscape - a potpourri of cultures and colorful traditions that even today reflects the origins of the ancient civilization, back in time more than 7000 years ago.

Pakistan display the greatest show of natural wonders on the Earth in the forms of craggy shorelines of the coastal areas, the vast expanse of deserts and the greatest mountain systems of the Karakorum, the Himalayas and the Hindukush; the valleys in the shadows of the Sulaiman range and the Pamirs that extends into China. When a lost wanderer finds his way to experience a part of comfort zones in Pakistan’s total area of 770,880 square kilometers (2012,, he is overwhelmed with the hospitality extended by the simple people living in a life of a common people in the mountains and across the vast floors of the deserts to the shores of the Arabian Sea; a thousand colors paint their cultures and traditions on the canvas of stark and intensely pleasant landscape. On this “unthreatened” journey through Pakistan, meet the peace loving people who may not have much to offer but to add enrichment into the unforgettable memoirs of your travels. THE SOUTH The provinces of Sindh and Balochistan stretches along the coastal belt of Pakistan enriched with wealth from the vast Arabian Sea and the mineral deposits in the land of Baloch, ourHeritage 38

Journeying farther up, the Salt range comprises of two rows of low lying hills that run east to west between the Soan and Jhelum rivers from the Grand Trunk Road near Jhelum city to the River Indus near Kalabagh, enriched with 600 million years of the earth’s history, when the salt was left behind by the receding sea, which extended over the Indus plains and the Potohar plateau. Persians, Macedonians (326B.C.), Bactrian Greeks, Huns, Sassians, Turks and the Mughals (1526 - 1707) - all entered into the Sub-Continent via the Khyber Pass or the ardent terrain of the Karakorum, including the troops of Alexander of Macedonia; who would be regarded a Terrorist in the world after 9-11, indicated by modern historians as narrated in a documentary on the BBC: “In the footsteps of Alexander the Great” The modern Capital of Pakistan, Islamabad boasts the most beautiful city of the country in terms of natural surrounding and neat living. Located on the Potohar plateau and by the banks of Soan and Kurang Rivers, the region - historians claim, was a domain for the earliest human habitation in Asia. On the other side of the Margalla Hills, about half hour drive from the present capital, traces roots of the ancient capital at Taxila, then the main center of the Gandhara Kingdom that prospered from 550 BC to 2c AD. THE MOUNTAINOUS NORTH

the origin people who are the direct descendants of the Dravidian – the inhabitants of the Indus Valley Civilization. Karachi, Thatta, Hyderabad and Quetta as the main capitals of the South; the Makli Hills, Bhanbore, Mohenjodaro and Harappa are among the significant historic and heritage sites that endorse rich beginning and origination of the land now Pakistan. The spine of the country, the port city Karachi with a population of 18 million makes the business hub and the international point of arrival of the country. Quetta is the capital of Balochistan – the region rich in mineral deposit. The Mohatta Palace at Clifton Karachi, the Shah Jahan masjid Thatta, Chaukandi tombs at Makli and the ruins of Mohenjodaro - 7,000 years back in time are some of the remains that speaks volume of the past glory. THE CENTRAL AND THE UP-COUNTRY The central part of the country takes a dramatic change - from the coasts beds with a strong contrast between urban and indigenous population of the coast; into desert and semi-arid land including the desert zones of Cholistan and Thar; the Salt Range and the ancient capitals of Uch, land of the Sufis: Multan, famed for Kashi work, hand painting and glazed ceramic tile since the medieval period; and Lahore - the capital of the Land of the Five Rivers (Punjab). Lahore’s magnificent past is secured in a treasure chest consisting of grand buildings offering a rainbow spectrum of spectacular sights from the remnants of the Moghul dynasty and British Raj to century’s old haveli (houses) of the indigenous people. 39 ourHeritage

The north is access via the Karakorum Highway, the 8th Wonder of the World, with a total length of 1,300 kilometers starting from Haripur-Hazara district and extends into Kashgar (China) via Gilgit-Baltistan district. The northern most stretch link the ancient Silk Route, which was the main trading route connecting the West with the East into China. As a nature lover, I am privileged to be born in a country like Pakistan - a destination with unlimited variety in bio diversity through the length and breadth, and to discover

the untouched, stunning treasures of nature. Millions of years ago, nature’s cataclysm raised a large area of the Sub-continent. The present day Northern area is located in an active collision zone between the two continental plates that roars to the wounds and casting this unworldly place into a deep chasm. These mountain valleys embraces towering snow peaks, radiant lakes, brooding alpine forests, stunning glaciers and vast terraced fields fed by cascading water. In the Northern valleys of Gilgit – Baltistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (Chitral) districts, you will be mesmerized with the dimensions that would take your breath away - everything is sublime: an ultimate collection in this great outdoor museum stored with natural treasures complemented with an almanac of history dating back more than 500 years BC. In the Northwest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, the emerald green Swat valleys is a gem of a place in a realm of nature located abound the lush Hindukush. Unlike the rugged black granite Karakorum in the Gilgit-Baltistan region, the Hindukush green slopes has at its base glaciers, rolling grasslands, turquoise green rivers teeming with trout.

sub-continent and in that time, Chinese pilgrims were probably the first tourists, notably Xuan Tsang, into the region back in time 500 years BC. They traveled southwest of Hunza on pilgrimage journey to the Holy Buddhist sites at the Gandhara capital of Taksashila (now Taxila). Scientists claim that the people of Hunza probably descend from the troops of Alexander of Macedonia who invaded the Gandhara land in 326 BC and butchered peace-loving people until they surrendered on his invasion route. Hunzakuts, in that time, barter exchanged goods with Chinese traders. History narrates that people living in this hostile environment were often forced to raid trade caravans. A domain slit with glaciers abound rugged terrain remained under the reign of the local mirs (rulers) for more than 900 years.

Farther north in the region, the Kalash valleys wear a veil of mystery of the origin of the Kalash people. All the women folk attired in black robes, adorn in intricate embroidery work using red and yellow thread and a string of seashells prettify the headgear with colorful buttons tailing down the back thus adding a vestige of colors on the black dress. The three valleys: Bamburit, Rambur and Birir is linked with jeep-able road along the mountain streams in down the ravine of broad green valleys. Gilgit and Baltistan region along the Karakorum range is an ultimate paradise for mountaineers, trekkers and nature lovers. Abundant of trekking routes intertwine the central and upper parts of Hunza. From Nagar, a trek along the hoper glacier lead into the Baltistan area that offers one of the world’s most rewarding “Concordia Trek” to the base camp of K-2 mountain (8,611 meters) – the world’s second highest mountain. The region remained one of the most remote parts of the ourHeritage 40

silvering cooking pots

By: Ishrat Hyatt

In days gone by, service providers for households would walk the streets crying out the name of their trade and housewives would call them into the house to do the needful. While there are still some of these providers making the rounds, complete with modern megaphones and tools of trade, many have gone into shops and wait for customers to come to them, especially in the cities. In villages some old timers can still be seen as it’s not always possible for the womenfolk to venture far away from home.


ake for instance the ‘kaliee wallah’ (person who ‘silvers’ brass, iron and copper). There used to be a time when all households used utensils made from these metals to cook in or other uses and these had to be ‘silvered’ every now and again because it is well known that it is not good for ones health to leave them as is. The man would come down the road calling out his trade in a sing song voice, asking – ‘kalieeeeeeeeeee kara lo – bartan chamka lo’ (Roughly, ‘get a shine on your utensils’) shades of the ‘One pound fish’ phenomenon that has gone viral on the internet! For the sake of convenience, many housewives would have a fixed day in every month for this ‘cleaning’ to take place and that was much appreciated by the ‘kaliee wallah.’ Out would come all the pots and pans and the man would sit down on his haunches, set up a temporary stove with bricks and light a fire with coal as the heating medium if he could afford it, or use dry wood he had gathered along the way. He used to have a large blower, a pair of tongs to hold the utensil while it was heated and being silvered and a thick cloth to rub the silver and spread it evenly. The silvering material, which is aluminium, was cut into thin strips. These were caught by another pair of smaller tongs and spread over the heated utensil, which had been scrubbed clean 41 ourHeritage

of all deposits before it was silvered. After a rough application from the strip, the utensil was rubbed with the cloth to spread the silver evenly while the utensil was turned around with a flip of the wrists. A ‘touching up’ action took place if any spot was left undone. As children, we watched this process with fascination as the dull utensils became bright and shining right in front of our eyes, the mans hands moving quickly and expertly to make an ‘old’ item look like new – the genie touch! The hot utensil would then be put into cold water to cool, giving out a sizzling sound with steam rising up in the air and then it would be put aside. The finishing touch was given to cooking pots by applying a thin coat of ‘chiknee mitti’ (clay) to the bottom and hey presto, the work was complete. Nowadays processed aluminium or ‘non stick’ utensils are used in homes so there is no need for their expertise. The main customers for these silvering experts are the cooked food suppliers who prefer to use very large pots made of copper or iron like the ones in the picture and since food is very much in demand for all occasions, the ‘kaliee’ men do good business. It’s a tough job and must be exhausting but the expert manner in which we saw the man handle the heavy pots was just as fascinating and it was well worth the trip into the inner city where this one is located.

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By: Ansar Ahmad

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Sikhism founded on the teachings of Guru Nanak Dev and nine successive gurus in the fifteenth century on the soil of Pakistan, is the fifth largest religion of the world. This system of religious philosophy and expression has been traditionally known as the Gurmat (literally the counsel of the gurus) or the Sikh Dharma. Sikhism originated from the word Sikh, meaning “disciple” or “learner”, or siksa meaning “instruction.”

The followers of Sikhism are ordained to follow the teachings of the ten Sikh Gurus or enlightened leaders, as well as the holy scripture entitled the Guru Granth Sahib, which includes selected works of many philosophers from diverse socio-economic and religious backgrounds. The text was decreed by Gobind Singh, the tenth guru, as the final guru of the Khalsa Panth. Sikhism’s traditions and teachings are distinctively associated with the history, society and culture of the Punjab. Adherents of Sikhism are known as sikhs. Sikh religious philosophy has roots in the religious traditions of northern India. The Saint Mat traditions are fundamental to the teachings of Sikhism’s founder, Nanak. Especially important to the connection with Sikhism were the teachings of some of the saints such as Ravidas and Kanir. Nanak’s teachings diverge significantly from Vaishnavism in their rejection of idol worship, the doctrine of divine incarnations and a strict emphasis on inward devotion; Sikhism is professed to be a more difficult personal pursuit than Bhakti. The evolution of Nanak’s thoughts on the basis of his own experiences and study have also given Sikhism a distinctly unique feature. Rise of Sikh power in Punjab starts in the first half of the 18th century. The period from 1707 to 1799 in Punjab was a highly turbulent time politically and militarily. This was caused by the overall decline of the Mughal Empire, particularly in Punjab caused by Sikh military action against it. This left a power vacuum that was eventually filled by the Sikh Confederacy. The Sikh Confederacy would eventually in the 9th century be superseded by the Sikh Empire founded by Maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1799. The Empire extended from the Khyber Pass in the west, to Kashmir in the north (touching) the borders of Tibet, to the Indus River in the south and in the east to Himachal Perdash. The main geographical footprint of the empire was Punjab. The religious population demography of the Sikh Empire was Muslims (80%), Hindu (10%)and Sikhs (10%). The once strong empire was severely weakened after the death of Maharaja Ranjit Singhin 1839. Maharaja Kharak Singh, Chand Kaur, Sher Singh and Duleep Singh ruled respectively. The Empire ended, with the British Empire annexing its territory in 1849, after the second Anglo-Sikh war. Ranjeit Singh and his successors were great patron of fine arts, craft and buildings. Immam Bakhsh Lahori was the famous artist of Sikh period. In his paintings he depicted court of Maharaja Ranjit Sigh, his family members, his ministers and daily life of Punjab. His miniature paintings are the proud collection of various museums in the world. Lahore Museum possesses a wonderful collection of miniature paintings of Imam Bukhsh. The Sikh rulers also constructed magnificent monumental buildings in Lahore, Gujranwala, Katas, Rohtas, Kasur and other cities of Punjab.

Among the sacred places of Sikh Religion the most venerated are the Nankana Sahib and Panja Sahib both places are associated with the founder of Sikhism the first Guru, Nanak Dev. He was born at Nankana in 1469. The name of the place at that time was Rai Bhoi di Talwandi but it was renamed as Nankana Sahib after the Guru. Nankana Sahib is in Sheikhupura district near Lahore. There are several shrines connected with the memory of Guru Nanak Later Guru Arjan dev and Guru Hargobind also visited Nankana Sahib and a Gurdwara was also raised subsequently in their honor. Grudwara Sri Panja Sahib is situated in the historic town of Hasan Abdal. The town is 40 km northwest of Rawalpindi on the GT Road. Gurdwara Panja Sahib is one of the most sacred places of Sikhism. Thousands of Sikhs visit the Gurdwara on the eve of Besakhi every year The other historical place is a tomb erroneously called Lala Rukh Tomb. There is a grave inside a square walled Garden and a fresh water fish pond near the tomb. On the nearby hill there is a meditation chamber attributed to a saint Baba Hasan Abdal also known as Baba Wali Qandhari with local folks. The city is named after this saint. List of sikh shrines and secular monuments to be documented Gurudwara Sri Panja sahib in Hasan Abdal, district Attock Gurudwara Janam Asthan in Nankana Sahib, district Sheikhupura Gurudwara Bal Lila at Nankana Sahib, district Sheikhupura Gurdwara Patti Sahib at Nankana Sahib, district Sheikhupura Gurudwar Kiara sahib at Nankana Sahib, district Sheikhupura Gurudwara Mal ji Sahib at Nankana Sahib, district Sheikhupura Gurudwara Tambu Sahib at Nankana Sahib, district Sheikhupura Gurudwara Chhevin Patshahi at Nankana Sahib, district Sheikhupura Baradari in Sherawala Garden in Gujranwala City Sardar Hari Singh’s Haveli, Katas Choa Sadan Shah, district Chakwal Huzuri Bagh, Baradari, Lahore Sikh Monuments inside Lahore Fort Samadh of Ranjit Singh Karak Singh & Nau Nihal Singh, Lahore Fort Gurudwara (out side Lahore Fort) Baradari & Samadh of Maharaji Sher Singh, Lahore Kucha Nua Nihal Singh, Inside Bhati Gate , Lahore Fort Museum, Old Fort, Lahore Lahore Museum, Lahore Faqeer Khana Museum, Shahi Mohalah, Lahore ourHeritage 44



By: Nyla Daud

“The Marquessa (saithaani) dressed to kill (soulan singhar kiyay), dyed her hands and feet in paste (mahawal) .Wore a ring in each finger, (pur, pur challay pehnay). Her skirt was of gingham. She donned a red headscarf( chunree orhee), wore a ring in each finger, (pur pur challay pehna,. drew a kohl coated needle across her eyelids (patian paar kay kajal aankh main lagaya), her ears she loaded with rings and studs (jhumkay or murkian pehnee),put sandoor in the parting of her hair, bangles(pohnchian) on her arms and anklets (karay) around her feet, she decked up all ten toes with rings (annoot bichool) and then the sweet maid sauntered abroad to a rendezvous with her lover” 45 ourHeritage

Just two minutes into the performance and the story tellers had the audience spellbound in a fairy-like tale that, back in time, originated in the hinterlands of Indian Rajasthan, travelled to America in translation by Christie Merle and back again to Delhi in India when it was discovered by stalwarts of the Urdu language for what it was worth! The net result has been the revival of an art form that had long been relegated to the back burner under colonial pressures when the novel was all that was allowed to prosper. In time it had lost its oral glory and practitioners became a forgotten art. History traces Daastan Goee as an oral story telling tradition that originated in ancient Arabia and which always had the legendary Amir Hamza as its legendary hero. He was fabled to possess powers out of this world and many a yarn woven out of his exploits would keep the listener’s adrenalin flowing . With the arrival of the tradition of Daastan Goee in India in the sixteenth century, it became so popular that the emperor Akbar commissioned life sized portraits of the fabled characters. Of those paintings only a hundred or so remain in different museums of the world. In Moghul India Persian became the language of expression and more Daastans came to be written. From the development of its written versions in Persian, down to its translation into the clipped Urdu syntax of Rampur, Lucknow and Hyderabad by the nineteenth century performers, the art of Daastan Goee or oral story telling has had to come a long way before we in Pakistan finally got a taste of it, thanks to the Faiz Foundation Trust. Across the borders, the practise has been revived with

gusto and is finding disciples in all age groups, the youth not being the less charged for this novel form of entertainment December 2012 was the second time in two years running, that Lahori connoisseurs of this traditional art form sat through a performance by two of its most renowned practitioners in recent times: Murtaza Danish Hussain and Mahmood Farooqui travelled from neighbouring India at the behest of the Faiz Foundation Trust which, in collaboration with the Lahore Arts Council arranged the performance, in keeping with its ideology of dedication to the promotion of the arts. This particular art , Daastan Gooe as it is known in the annuls of Urdu literature has brought an amazing awakening that measures just as well with the coming of the talkies or contemporary motion picture. Its audiences increasing by daily count, the art has created its own niche in the performing world as more and more youngsters get on the bandwagon either as performers or listeners. Initiating the evening with a traditional invocation to the Creator, Farooqui and Hussain carried a breathless audience on a journey into fantasy land for a whole two hours, after the latter had given an introductory brief on the art of Daastan Goee. Daastan-iChouboli , the evening’s story, centred around a Rasjanthani fable in which the hero, a Thakur, habitually shoots arrows through the nose rings of his terrified senior wife in a bid to

practise and boast of his acquisition of martial arts. However it takes another wife of the Thakur to prove the point because as she puts it “chivalrous is when you win in marriage the hand of the beautiful princess Chauboli who is sworn to silence, speak in four attempts.” Thus challenged the Thakur ventures in to Chouboli’s presence, fails to win the bet and is locked away in the dungeons to await his fate as have been her earlier suitors. Along comes his young wife the Thakurani, dressed as a man. She proceeds to spin four tales in a bid to make the princess speak for only then would she marry. Thence the performing duo wove a colourful fabricated account of the Thakur’s travails, his witty wife’s bravado and competence at spinning a yarn in his quest to make Chauboli speak. Basically an inspiration from the Thousand and One Nights in which the teller of the tale wards off his own death , Chauboli, literally meaning one who speaks four times, lay in the extent to which the audience willingly suspended disbelief to partake of their share in a voyage across magical realms . And nothing, not even the periodic insertion of Rajasthani dialect diverted their attention. A beautifully and enticingly woven tale, the performance of the Daastan was one amazing and intelligent rendition of words, wherein speech devolved into scenic paintings through feats of delivery in all its forms. The narration, aided by the pristine, classic vocabulary gave the audience a peep into world of Urdu linguistics that has long eluded popular practise. Moments of sheer literary delight in the oral tradition alternated with changes in the performer’s voice tones, and syntax and perfectly modulated delivery. In between, the performers jostled with each other in an obviously well scripted and pause punctuated concert that detractors could term as escapist. All this was covered with only just as much bodily expression as could be depicted without the traditionally dressed performers moving an inch out their seats on the stark stage. It was obvious that the escapism, and there was no dearth of it during the two hours, was well received. ourHeritage 46

The Enchantment of Rectangular

Kufi in Islamic Architecture

By: Dr. Shaukat Mahmood

Saffron is the perfume of maidens And ink is the perfume of men. Al-Mawardi Plato considered as the grand-father of Mathematics and geometry and Euclid, the student of the student of Plato would have never imagined in their wildest dreams that the geometry that they discovered and invented will, one day, be used in a highly ingenious manner by the genius of Islamic calligraphers, artists, architects and designers. Geometric figures and shapes play a vital role in the formation of patterns for decoration in Islamic art. Calligraphy is the major component. Vegetal pattern is another aspect. Geometry with its in-iconic quality suited the Muslim designers whether isolated or used in combination with non-figural ornamentation. These geometric designs not only decorate the superficies of Islamic monuments they also function as the major aesthetic ingredient. Though geometric decoration may have reached its climax in the Islamic arts and architecture, no doubt, its roots lay in the Greeks, Romans, and Sasanians arts. Islamic artists making use of geometry appropriated key elements then complicated them to such an extent that only experts in the language could read them. This was out of the desire to invent a new form of decoration that stressed the importance of unity and order. The significant intellectual contributions of Islamic artists who excelled in mathematics and science were the corner stone to the creation of this unique new style. 47 ourHeritage

Generated from simple forms like the circle and the square intricate combinations were produced and the calligraphy was so cleverly woven into these designs that they turned into marvels. This thus became one of the most distinguishing features of Islamic art. Nevertheless these complex patterns often violate the strict rules of geometry as well as classical Islamic calligraphy. These designs suggest a remarkable freedom dogmas and principles. The starting point of Muslim calligraphy must have been two fold; an angular script (Kufic) used for transcribing the Holy Qur`an and certain other documents and a rounded script (Naskhi) meant for public and more frequent use. The angular script was imposing stately and monumental and had a hieratic flavor, as the other was unpretentious but fluent. In the seventh century AD, Kufic existed only in an immature form so it would be relevant here to go further back and trace its beginnings as well those of Naskhi. The Arabic script originated long after the development of the Arabic language itself. When this language had fully matured, the script was still passing through a period of infancy and early development. The two earliest known inscriptions in Arabic, one trilingual with Greek and Syriac and the other bilingual (with Greek only), are dated 512 AD and 568 AD respectively. Arabic script began to take shape and developed ultimately as a separate branch of writing to serve the language, which had already existed for centuries without a script of its own. Arabic script, once born, shows a continuous process of development and there is a clear difference between the scripts of the first and the fifth centuries AD. Indeed, the fifth century Arabic script is so much Arabicised that the conclusion is inescapable that Arabic writing was derived from the Nabataean script. This idea is further strengthened when we look at the various Nabataean inscriptions found in the lands the Nabataeans once inhabited. Of particular interest are the inscriptions of 1. Umm-al-Jimal (about 250 AD), 2. Namrah (inscription) of the pre-Islamic poet Imr-al-Qays of (328 AD), 3. Zabd (512 AD) and 4. Harram (568 AD). These inscriptions show the gradual Arabicisation of the Nabataean script. Any person who is slightly familiar with present-day Arabic can read these Nabataean inscriptions without serious difficulties. These

Nabataean scripts were particularly favored by the people of Hira and Anbar in the east of Arabia in the late fifth century. In the early sixth century, these Nabataean scripts spread to the Hijaz and the towns of Makkah and Madina. The coming of Islam affected the growth of the Arabic language and script tremendously. It necessitated serious attention to the art of writing. The Holy Qur`an itself points out the importance of writing: 96:1 Proclaim! (Or read!) In the name of thy Lord and Cherisher, who created 96:4

He who taught (The use of ) the Pen, -

The diffusion and importance of Arabic grew to rival Latin itself and was diffused with extreme speed. The need to record every syllable of the Qur’an with unqualified exactness inspired Muslims to take an unsurpassed interest in writing. Their enthusiasm charged with religious fervor changed the ordinary art of writing into an accomplishment of the highest order. Muslims throughout the world have put much of their genius in to the art of calligraphy and epigraphy alike and thus have developed an art, which has never been surpassed. The opulence and intricacy of this profoundly Islamic art can only be assessed if a thorough study of various inscriptions on vellum, paper, ribs, shoulder blades and papyri besides brick, stone, tile, faience, metal, wood, pottery and textiles is conducted. These inscriptions are of both Qur’anic and nonQur’anic content. Bukhari states there are as many as forty ahadith, which sing the praises of beautiful writing. One such prophetic tradition is quoted by Schimmel: “He who writes bismillah, obtains innumerable blessings.” In architecture when bricks or regular blocks of stone are laid in courses two kinds of joints become visible vertical and horizontal. The bricks and the stone blocks have to follow this pattern. This material when used for calligraphy automatically forces the designer to follow the same pattern hence the birth of angular script. In spite of this fundamental constraint Muslim mason and artist were able to devise curves as well as angularities when the script, space and design required so. We can therefore subdivide the geometric kufi into many variations like; Rectangular Kufi where only right angles and straight lines

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are used, Angular Kufi where all sorts of angles and straight lines are used, Geometric Kufi where circles, curves and straight lines are used and Squared Kufi where the finished product appears like a compact square made up of straight lines of uniform thickness. Knotted Angular Kufi where straight lines with knots are used. It is not established exactly when this style of calligraphy had its beginning in Islamic architecture. At the same time it is also interesting to note that this all-important type of Islamic art and calligraphy has not been given serious attention. Islamic monuments and Islamic calligraphy are like hand and glove. Hardly there is an Islamic mosque or a tomb building, which is without calligraphy. Besides Naskh, Nasta’liq and Thulth Rectangular Kufi is the most used style used on Islamic edifices. I would like to refer to Minaret of Jam. It is believed that the minaret was built to commemorate the Ghurid Sultan Ghiyath al-Din Muhammad bin Sam (1163-1203) conquest of Ghazna in 1173. The minaret is a brick structure, cylindrical in plan showing three clear external stories. Three tapering cylindrical stories rise from an octagonal base, the whole completely covered in intricate brick decoration. Interlocking chains, polygons and medallions wind delicately around the shaft, interspersed with text from the Qur’an. The lower shaft features a number of calligraphic panels bearing Sura al-Mariam in relief in Rectangular Knotted Kufi. The 49 ourHeritage

voids have been filled with intricate geometric designs. “The dedicatory inscription above the panels includes the name and celebratory titles of Ghiyath al-Din, written in a Geometric kufi script highlighted with turquoise glazed tiles. It is framed with tile bands of varying width, including series of circles and roundels fitted with floral inserts.” At another place at the same level of the minaret the name of the architect, ‘Ali ibn Ibrahim of Nishapur is also rendered. Fragments remaining of the fifth epigraphic band on the base of the minaret show that it also contained titles of the Ghurid sultan in a knotted kufi script. Another reference can be made to Gur-i-Amir in Samarqand, Uzbekistan. Generally known as the Tomb of Amir Timur it was actually built by Timur as the resting place of his grandson Muhammad Sultan, who died in battle in 1403 at the age of 29. In 1405 Timur himself was buried here, and later his sons Miranshah and Shah Rukh and grandson, Pir Muhammad were also interred in the same building. Its two minarets flanking the gatehouse and octagonal base of the tomb chamber have fine examples of Rectangular Kufi rendered in blue, turquoise and azure tiles. Inscription done on minarets are rendered in a spiral manner making the eye travel from bottom to top and top to bottom. Other prolific examples of Rectangular Kufi exist on several mosques and tombs of Iran and that of Central Asian States. The quizzical character of Rectangular Kufi on monuments and otherwise invokes tremendous interest for the viewer.

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Galliat Region in Winters By: Tahir Imran Khan

At the foothills of Himalayas, the Galliat region and Murree is one of the most popular tourists’ attractions in Pakistan. With Pine covered hill, ranging from a height of 5000 to 9000 feet above sea level, the area is a year round destination with two of its most attractive seasons i.e. summer to beat the scorching heat of plains and southern areas of Pakistan and winter for heavy snow fall, which is an attractive sight for people from lowlands.


he region is sandwiched between Islamabad and Margalla Hills in South, Azad Kashmir in East, Kaghan Valley in North and Abbottabad in West. There is a series of hill stations e.g. Murree, Bhurban, Patriata, Changla Gali, Ayubia, Khanaspur, Dunga Gali, Nathia Gali, Kalabagh and Thandiani etc. with several other small hamlets. Murree, 2413m, is the most popular destination and lies in Punjab. Its altitude is 7500feet which makes its weather different from plain areas. Its shopping center, Mall road is the main attraction with shops of handicrafts and souvenirs, food stall and restaurants and hotels ranging from very basic level to most comfortable.

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BHURBAN, 6000feet, just in the vicinity of Murree is famous for its deluxe hotel, the property of Pakistan’s largest deluxe hotel’s chain, Peal Continental. The facility is parallel to any comfortable place in world, while transport facility from Islamabad is available for its guests. PATRIATA, 2123m is known for its cable car facility which is the most modern and covers the longest track to reach the highest point with restaurant and other facilities there. AYUBIA, 2400m, is another picturesque place with Pakistan’s first facility of public chair lift. There are several restaurants and shops in the bazaar, with Montana Lodge and few others as nice places

to stay, while the best accommodation in Ayubia is PTDC Motel, with its nice location and booking facility in Islamabad and at several other cities. While visiting or staying in Ayubia, one of the most interesting activities is to hike on Pipeline Track. A beautiful forest track connects Ayubia with Dunga Gali. The path is flat and doable by anyone and recommended for visitors of all age groups and people from various walks of life. The trail offers superb view of forested hills and distant snow capped mountains of Kashmir. The track would be done on return basis or by arranging transport to pick you from Dunga Gali.

Miranjani is the highest peak of the Galliat region, which towers above Nathia Gali at a height of 2980 meters above sea level. A hike in summers to the Miranjani top is moderate while the track is tough in winter while covered with snow. A three day’s walking option to Thandiani is the other attraction from Nathia Gali, which passes through Dagri and Biran Gali. There are some interesting spots around Nathia Gali which can be explored while staying there and with local guidance.

Dunga Gali, 2500m, is another small mountain refuge with a few old and new hotels with good facilities to stay and dine. Besides Pipeline track, the other attractions include a wildlife museum, Lalazar and an uphill hike to Mukshpuri top. Mukshpuri is the peak above the town of Dunga Gali. This area is also known for wild Daisies, which blossom in summers and covers the whole slopes of the hills and plateaus around. A walk to Mukshpuri top is extremely pleasant experience and walkers must take their water bottles alongwith them.

places, while a couple of day’s trip is ideal to visit the famous places of the area. However, a week long holiday in this Himalayan Heaven is an unforgettable experience and matchless experience. Further, a trip to Galliat maybe connected to Azad Kashmir, mainly Neelum Valley or Kaghan Valley.

Thandiani is another picturesque place above the famous town and military garrison of Abbottabad. Thandiani is 31 kms from Abbottabad The region has a variety of flora and fauna however the most and 25s km from Thandiani-Nathia Gali crossing. Thandiani with basic common and interesting is to watch monkeys in groups along the facilities for tourists offers good panorama around, while on clear roadsides. They are friendly with visitors as wait for people to throw days, the peaks of Kaghan Valley and distant Nanga Parbat can be some dibbles for them like corns, however one must be careful and watched with naked eye. don’t get very close to the animals. From Islamabad or Abbottabad, one day trip may cover one or two

Nathia Gali 2380m. ( as Ayubia and Dunga Gali ) lies in KPK province and the place was selected in British Raj as summer headquarters of NWFP government. With its matchless beauty and still some serene areas with abundance of nature around, Nathia Gali offers all kinds of accommodation facilities and is well connected by an all weather asphalt road between Murree and Abbottabad. In extreme winter season, the road maybe slippery or blocked at times so visitors must take proper information about weather and road conditions, before visiting the place. ourHeritage 52


The magnificent

By: Ishrat Hyatt

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inches long while female markhors have horns that are up to 25 cm / 10 inches in length. The markhor is mainly active in the early morning and late afternoon. During the spring and summer months it is a grazer, while in the winter it turns to browsing for nourishment.


he colloquial name is thought by some to be derived from the Persian word ‘mar,’ meaning snake and ‘khor,’ meaning “eater”, with some persons interpreting it to either represent the species’ ability to kill snakes or as a reference to its corkscrewing horns, which are somewhat reminiscent of coiling snakes. According to details available on the internet, the markhor stand 65 to 115 centimetres (26 to 45 in) at the shoulder, 132 to 186 centimetres (52 to 73 in) in length and weigh from 32 to 110 kilograms (71 to 240 lb).[2] They have the highest maximum shoulder height among the species in the genus Capra, but is surpassed in length and weight by the Siberian ibex. It has a grayish and light brown to black coat which is smooth and short in summer and grows longer and thicker in winter. Males have long hair on the chin, throat, chest, and shanks, while females have smaller fringes. The lower legs have a black and white pattern. The tightly curled, corkscrew-like horns are present in both sexes and start close together at the head, spreading towards the tips. In males, they can grow up to 160 cm / 64

It is worth the journey and trekking the difficult terrain to observe these nimble animals who often stand on their hind legs in order to reach high vegetation where they eat grass, leaves, and whatever other vegetative matter they can find and amazingly, can balance on the smallest of ledges in very steep mountain ranges. Warm clothing and good boots should be worn and a pair of binoculars should be the only equipment carried when going on a markhor sightseeing trip! The binoculars will help you in spotting the herd since it blends in with the landscape and is very often difficult to see with the naked eye. According to conservationists, their population densities in Pakistan range from 1-9 animals per square kilometre. During the mating season males fight for breeding rights and these competitions involve lunging and locking horns, followed by the two combatants twisting and pushing in an attempt to make the other lose his balance. When alarmed, the markhors call resembles the nasal sound that is similar to that of the common domestic goat. According to folklore, the markhor has the ability to kill a snake and eat it. Thereafter, while chewing the cud, a foam-like substance comes out of its mouth which drops on the ground and dries. This foam-like substance is sought after by the local people, who believe it is useful in extracting snake poison from snake bitten wounds. Unfortunately the species is classed by the IUCN as ‘Endangered,’ as there are fewer than 2,500 mature individuals and the numbers have continued to decline by an estimated 20% over two generations. This is because they are threatened by intense hunting pressure (now with modern weapons from local conflicts), warfare, deforestation, and increasing competition and disturbance from domestic goats and sheep. There are some persons working to preserve the animal but more efforts are needed to see that this beautiful and rare species of the goat family is still there for coming generations to observe and appreciate.

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pearl- continental muzaffarabad

your escape to paradise

Muzaffarabad, considered a paradise on earth, is located where the rivers Jhelum and Neelum meet. The valley attracts tourists and nature lovers because of its renowned retreats, resorts, lofty mountains, and lush green forests of Chinar, Deodar and Pine trees.

the location Pearl-Continental Muzaffarabad, a landmark 5-star “resort hotel�, is located on a hill top overlooking the sweeping spectacle of Pir Chinasi and the surrounding mountain ranges.

transportation Muzaffarabad is 138 kilometers from Islamabad. Excellent roads allow guests and visitors to travel between the two cities in about 3 hours. Transportation to and from the city is through Murree and Abbottabad. Furthermore, plans are in progress for direct air transportation from Islamabad to Muzaffarabad. 55 ourHeritage

accommodation The 102 guest rooms, each with a breathtaking view, are equipped with luxury beddings and 5-star amenities of international standards. • 41 standard rooms • 31 Deluxe rooms • 27 Executive Rooms • 03 Suites

dining MARCO POLO Offers a Pakistani and Continental culinary journey, served through buffet and A la carte creations. Thrill your palate in this all-you-caneat dining experience with, delicious kabobs, freshly baked naan and other savory dishes. For those looking for the sweeter side of the buffet, feast your eyes upon the extravagant display of our sweet delights. TAI-PAN Authentic Szechuanese and Cantonese Cuisine. BARBECUE The restaurant serves an array of succulent spicy barbecue in the beautiful setting of our scenic gardens. IN-ROOM DINING • Delicious treats in the comfort of your room. • Door knob Breakfast menu • A la carte breakfast • All Day Dining • Late night Dining

services & facilities

business center

• Banquet and Meeting Facilities • Round-the-Clock Security • 24-Hours Room Service • Executive Lounge • Billiard Room • Laundry and Dry Cleaning • Indoor Games (Billiards, Table Tennis, Ludu, Card Games, Carom Board) • Doctor and Hotel Ambulance • Free High Speed Internet / Wi-Fi in rooms • Fire Safety and Emergency Systems, in compliance with international standards • Secure Parking • Health Club • Car Rental Service • Shopping Arcade

• Secretarial Services • Photocopying • Folder Binding • Facsimile • E-mail • High-Speed Internet

meeting/banquet rooms • Zaver Ballroom (Capacity: 500 persons maximum) • Board Room • Ballroom Foyer Conference Facilities • Video Conferencing 3 Outdoor Function Areas • Lawns and Patios

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The Mystic World of Tribes and Tribalism Words and pictures By Saifuddin Ismailji

Picture in your mind a ritual held in a secluded place, deep in in the desert or a forest on a full moon night – the musicians recital of indigenous composition to the realm of the spirits in a gathering of indigenous people and visitors, humming along with the lyrics that you don’t hear in the modern world, while some dance on the beating of the drums around a bonfire to create an unworldly milieu. Tribal population, though very marginal, is like a spine of a nation’s cultural identity. A Social Group which started to exist before the development can be termed as Tribes. The ethnic groups – small or large have lots of things in common: shared race, religion, language and customs.

Among the oldest known tribes - Bushmen or the San, believed to be from Southern Africa lived in their homes in the Kalahari Desert about 20,000 years ago. Paleo-Indians inhabited the North and South America and paleontologists believe they existed between 38,000 BC to 10,000 AD.

A Tribal Group is formed on the principle of loyalty to a tribe or other social group” especially when combined with strong negative feelings for people outside the group”. These groups comprise “numerous families, clans, or generations together with slaves, dependents, or adopted strangers”.

The tribal groups dots in almost all the seven continents - from the Masai Mara of the great savannah plains of East Africa, the Celtic people of the British Isles and the European Alps; the Moors of the Sahara and Bedouin wanderers of the Desert; Miao, KarenPadaung Hill Tribes and Iban of South-east Asia; the Aborigines of Australia and Awa of the Amazon to the Boat People, Pashtun and Kalash in the North Sub-continent – the tribes live in almost all of the 193 independent countries on Earth.

Traditionally, tribes observe a nomadic way of living in a world without using currency as a medium of exchange of goods. Many tribes still live in isolation - some totally detach from modern world, as in an Indian island in the Andaman Sea - so much so that they show zero tolerance to foreign visitors, which has led to killing of visitors in their territory. 57 ourHeritage

Even today, as I roam the vast land around the globe, I meet the Bedouins living in the oasis in the middle of nowhere in the scorching desert of Oman in the Arabian Gulf. In the jungles

part of the nation. Despite being home to 2.4% of Pakistan’s population, it makes up only 1.5% of Pakistan’s economy, with a per capita income of only $663 in 2010only 34% of households managed to rise above the poverty level. “Each Tribal Agency has roughly 2–3,000 Khasadars and levies force of irregulars and up to three to nine wings of the para-military Frontier Corps for maintenance of law and order in the Agency and borders security. The Frontier Corps Force is headed by Pakistan’s regular army officers and its soldiers are recruited mostly from the Pashtun tribes”.

of Borneo, the Ibans – one of the tribes in Malaysia, live in their ancestral Longhouses, and the Karen-Padaung, called the longnecks practice ancestral custom wearing brass rings around their necks, arms and legs – not as a piece of jewelry, but protection against the tiger’s bit. The Kalash in the northern Pakistan adhere to their time immemorial traditions, observing spirit rituals and ceremonies as performed hundreds of years ago by their forefathers. Currently, the Awa tribe of the Brazilian amazon stands at the brink of extinction by human incursion as development warns them to leave their natural habitat in the Amazon. Despite surviving violence and disease over the past two centuries, the Awa will not survive if they lose their homeland. According to the Awa, “The loggers are destroying all the land - Monkeys, peccaries and tapir are running away. Everything is dying”.

The lack of understanding of tribe and tribalism has, somewhat, led to unrest in the modern world, which has in effect evolved into a new group of people under the influence of Geo-Political Global Warming, which is initially formed between a small minority of devious politicians who “promote divide and rule for parochial gain” and another group of minority of fanatics who believe callously that their way is the only way. Both these groups exist in all countries and religions - though in terms, there is a departure from the original definition of tribal group. The rising geopolitical temperatures between peoples, societies, communities and countries is a clear and present danger to the global economy and a brotherhood of man and “there is a growing danger in this latest round of racial tribalism. Stirring up the pot for short-term political gain in a multiracial society is abjectly insane. If the new racialism grows unchecked, it will eventually lead to cycles of backlash and counter-backlash — and someday to something like the Balkans or Rwanda “People are just people. But they can turn into veritable monsters when — as a great American once warned — they look to the color of our skin (nationality or religion) rather than the content of our character”.

Some 15% of the total population (180 million) in Pakistan comprises of tribes in a significant diversity between the different groups. Among the tribal populations of the country are the Pashtun (13.8%), the Sindhi (7.7%), Punjabi (descendants of Indo Aryan) and the Balochi of Arab origin (4.3%). Pashtun tribal groups enjoy special status under the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). Major tribes in the Pashtun group include Afridi, Aurakzai, Bangash, Khatak, Mehsood, Shinwari, Tori, Wazir, Yousufzai to name a few. Other tribal groups come under the National development plan. A significant number of small groups of indigenous and tribal people - semi nomadic or pastoralists including the Khans and Mors, indigenous peoples of the Indus as well as the Boat People, the Bazar from the Suleiman Mountains and the Calash people in the Calash valleys near Chiral. These small groups, often not accounted for in National Census figures, can be extremely vulnerable due to mainstream development processes and encroachment by the outside people. About seven tribal districts and six frontier regions comes under the FATA (Bajer Agency, Mohamed Agency, Khyber Agency, Frontier Region Peshawar, Frontier Region Kata, Orakzai Agency, Kurram Agency, Frontier Region Bannu, North Waziristan Agency, Frontier Region Lakki Marwat, Frontier Region Tank, South Waziristan Agency, Frontier Region and Dera Ismail Khan. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to the east and Balochistan to the South. The territory is almost exclusively inhabited by Pashtun tribes, who also live in the neighboring Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and some areas of Balochistan. Tribal Areas are the most impoverished ourHeritage 58

SUKKUR BRIDGE Lansdowne Bridge over the Indus River completed in1889

By: Ansar Ahmad

The bridge was designed by Sir A. Rendel, the consulting engineer to the Indian government. Any vistor to Sukkur-Rohri Pakistan is usually awe struck by the largest man made monuments in the area. They are two in number. One is the 118 year old Lansdowne bridge and the other is the 45 year old Ayub Arch. History Of The World’s First Iron Bridge The construction of the world’s first iron bridge speed up the progress of the industrial revolution and changed the art of bridge building forever. Manufacturing in the area around Iron Bridge, England, became known as the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution by successive Abraham Darbys. To ensure continuing economic prosperity, a bridge to connect areas rich in raw material with the emerging industrial towns, was needed to cross the River Seven. However, as at the time this was the second busiest waterway in the world, the river had to be traversed with a single span. Iron and Steel bridges are used today and most of the worlds major rivers are crossed by this type. The picture shows the first iron bridge in the world. It was built in Telford in 1779 by Abraham Darby was the first large structure in history to be constructed from iron. It revolutionized the way structures were built enabling engineers to build ever larger structures and buildings. 59 ourHeritage

Bridging the Channel Between Bukkur and Rohri The river Indus flows through a gap in a range of low limestone hills at Sukkur and gets divided into two channels (Sukkur and Rohri channels) by an island called Bukkur. The Bukkur Island thus provides the best spot for a river crossing. The river channel between Sukkur and Bukkur got bridged by 1885. The river bottom here is rocky so it provided solid foundations for masonry piers. This bridge got completed with three girder spans of 90, 230 and 270 feet. A 2007 photo of this bridge can be seen here. Bridging the channel between Bukkur and Rohri was not so easy. The river bed here consisting of silt., which made it difficult to build a bridge pier. Therefore it was decided that bridge designs would be without pillars. One such design was for an arched bridge but it was not considered in 1870s. Interestingly later on in 1962 the river was bridged using a very similar design that came to be known as the Ayub Arch. Between 1872 and 1882 bridge survey was conducted and different people suggested 5 different bridge proposals. None Photo: Akbar Ali

of them was considered completely feasible at that time. An engineer by the name of Sir Alexander Rendel was then called in and he proposed a design consisting of two anchored cantilevers, each 310 feet long, carrying a suspended span of 200 ft in the middle. Interestingly, this design was considered feasible and later came to be known as the Lansdowne Bridge. Finally the design by Sir Alexander Rendel on the cantilever principle was accepted and the Lansdowne Bridge, built to support heavy steam locomotives, was one of the great British engineering feats of the 19th century, at the time of its construction it had the largest cantilever span of bridges in the world. The bridge crosses the channel from Rohri to Bukkur Island. Surveys were made between 1872 and 1874, then several years were spent in considering different proposals for the plan of the bridge and the most suitable point of crossing. Work commenced at the end of 1883 but was stopped in March 1885 as the iron for the big span had not arrived. Work resumed in September 1887 and was completed by the end of 1888; it was inaugurated on 27th March 1889 and named in honour of the Marquess of Lansdowne, Viceroy of India, 1888-1894. The clear span of Lansdowne Bridge at Sukkur over the Indus is 790 ft., and the suspended girder 200 ft. in length. The span to the centres of the end uprights is 820 ft.; width between centres of main uprights at bed-plate 100 ft., and between centres of main members at end of cantilevers 20 ft. The bridge is for a single line of railway of 5 ft. 6 in. gauge. The back guys are the most heavily strained part of the structure, the stress provided for being 1200 tons. This is due to the half weight of centre girder, the weight of the cantilever itself, the rolling load on half the bridge, and the wind pressure. The anchors are built up of steel plates and angle, bars, and are buried in a large mass of concrete. The area of each anchor plate, normal to the line of stress, is 32 ft. by 12 ft. The bridge was designed by Sir A. Rendel, the consulting engineer to the Indian government. ourHeritage 60

Pearl-Continental Hotel Karachi

A Truly Cultured Pearl

By: Khuzaima Fatima Haque

Standing proud amongst the hustle and bustle of the port city of Pakistan, The Pearl-Continental Hotel Karachi is a landmark in terms of its location, aesthetics, services and quality of cuisine offered. Tourists coming to visit the city, businessmen finalising deals, families travelling together en-route foreign trips or locals simply walking in to enjoy the numerous delicacies offered at its restaurants can all be seen at Pearl-Continental Hotel Karachi. The place has its imposing presence written all over. Just fifteen kilometres from the city’s airport and a mere five from the Arabian Sea, Pearl-Continental is a must visit place, an island where once the joy sets in, beckons its guests at all times to come. Pearl Continental Hotel Karachi is quite essentially the best kept secret in luxury living in Karachi, the economic hub of Pakistan. 61 ourHeritage

The hotel spells comfort right to its last letter, offering a variety of luxury packed rooms, stylish restaurants and contemporary business facilities. No doubt that as one walks into this world, an oasis of comfort and luxury, one simply cannot miss the numerous services offered here. Right from the moment one steps into the hotel, security of the occupants and the visitors has been taken into account to a great extent. A dedicated team

comprising of highly trained security personnel including guards, security officers and supervisors are present twenty-four hours on the premises. They are either assigned to a specific post or patrol the building throughout the day and night. Pearl-Continental Karachi houses a variety of cuisines in the numerous restaurants housed inside the hotel. Catering to its walk-in as well as live-in guests belonging to all age groups with different preferences, the hotel accommodates all types of tastebuds. The first restaurant that welcomes guests at Pearl-Continental Karachi is its time tested continental eatery, the Marco Polo. True to its name, the explorations continue. Offering a wide range of food for brunch, high-teas, lunch and dinner, the place offers a seating capacity of hundred and fifty people. In the evenings, melodious musical nights make the experience more enjoyable. Performers, musicians and jazz bands play here four days a week. Sometimes favourite hit Indian songs can also be heard. At other times, ghazal singers especially hired by the hotel perform in the nights. So an avid ghazal listener wishing to take pleasure in the melodious surroundings till three in the mornings listening

to these ghazal singers can very well do so in a safe and secure environment because the hotel hardly sleeps. Anyone can just walk into Marco polo anytime and simultaneously enjoy the food and music together. Additionally, lavish thematic food festivals are also held at Marco Polo. “In a month we normally hold two to three festivals, catering to different countries from around the world”, says M Abdul Azeem Qerishi, General Manager Pearl-Continental Karachi. The food festivals not only showcase the respective country’s food but also its culture and traditions. Food sculptures showcasing country related art pieces followed by detailed food carvings and food specialties are presented to the guests. Live counters offer guests the chance to enjoy the authentic food delicacies of the respective countries in a festive mood. Additionally, Marco Polo’s approachability right towards the entrance is something that guests walking into the hotel simply cannot give a miss. The spacious set-up makes room for all food festivals and festive occasions. The Pearl-Continental Bakery is an impressive simple and small setup that also has an in-house seating area. Guests can choose from a variety of brownies, cakes and snacks. This irresistibly cosy little space beckons both young and old passing by who either come in and pick up a snack or enjoy little chats over steaming hot cups of coffee and tea. Grape-Vine is another in-house eatery. Its speciality is definitely masala chai. You have it once and you are hooked on it for life. But Grape-Vine not only offers this. A professional violinist plays his violin and performs in the evenings for guests coming in. The experience is so spell binding that one can see people specially stopping by at the hotel at this time to listen to the violin, a rather upbeat elite experience. Meanwhile a mini hi-tea at Grape-Vine is also being offered. In just two hundred rupees this mini hi-tea is really a big treat. Next in line is Tai-Pan, an oriental all time favourite Chinese restaurant. Done to the last detail in red, with its hanging Chinese lamps, it is a bustling place where ones who wish to enjoy the authentic cuisine can eat to their heart’s content. Offering buffet as well as a la carte, Tai-Pan’s management also offers arrangements for parties, booking of its private dining rooms to corporate as well as personal customers. Then there is Sakura. An artist’s delight, a food connoisseur’s treasure trove and a busy executive’s retreat, the Sakura, is a one of its kind Japanese restaurant in Pakistan. Nestled on the tenth floor of the Pearl-Continental Hotel Karachi, it offers a true taste ourHeritage 62

of Japanese cuisine. The chef of the Masala TV fame cooks here. The eatery is fenced with life size glass windows on three sides. This grants its guests an unparalleled view of Karachi, the city of lights. The sprawling green field of the Gymkhana situated on the right, adds colour to the beauty of the panoramic view of the city from the restaurant. The eatery can easily host up to eighty-five people with its spacious seating arrangement and also can make room for are a total of hundred and twenty individuals when booked for a party. For guests, who wish to have more privacy, a private room enclosed by bamboo made sliding doors, offering a seating for ten people is also available in one corner of the restaurant. Sushi is a delicacy Sakura proudly offers to its guests at the sushi bar. Artistically presented with a variety of colours, the variety of Sushi offered at the restaurant will bring back memories of their homeland for all the Japanese personnel visiting this place. Serving a la carte menu, Sakura also offers its guest a live cooking counter, the payaki platter, situated right in its midst. Chandani is another traditional restaurant at the hotel. Offering traditional dishes with a significant Indian touch, a bit of saffron, the Mughlai ambiance is very much there. From payee to kheer, from nihari to seekh kebabs, food varieties range from sea food, kormas, biryanis, salads, all done in the real traditional style. Even the dressings for salads are offer pickled varieties. The aroma of the saffron coming out of the open kitchen welcomes its guests to sit down to enjoy a traditional experience to its last detail. Executive Chef at Chandni Mr Iqbal says, “At Chandni, kunna, sajjee and lahori fried fish, and BBQ are quite the best”. Derived from original recipes Mr Iqbal, for the past three decades has been cooking up these delicious mouth- watering cuisine and the restaurant is always busy. Apart from the traditional sweet platter, for the kids, the continental platter with custard pies is also available at all times. The Jason’s Steak House is another compact eatery offering the best in terms of steaks. It has got an amazing décor and the venue on its own, done in browns is a remarkable start to a great 63 ourHeritage

evening out. Overlooking the grand baradari plus the aerial view of Karachi’s cityscape, its minimal capacity is perfect for a private outing with continental classics playing in the background. The latest feather in the hotel’s crown is the Terrace Café, an outdoor café cum communication lounge where mostly youngsters can be seen meeting up with each another, talking and simply having fun while eating the delectable snacks including tapas, Arabic food, and other combination platters. The lights are switched on in the evenings and the background is a picturesque view of the city sprawling across the land Summing up the Pearl-Continental Karachi’s experience Mr. Azeem says, “Pearl-Continental Karachi is a trend setter, the biggest cosmopolitan hotel in the region. There is simply no match or catch to it. Ever since 1964, it has proudly served generations as its clientele has regularly kept coming back over the years. Pearl-Continental Karachi has stood the test of the time and has been part of the Karachi scene since ages. Overall, it is very much a happening place”. For guests who stay here, may it be a few hours or a few weeks, they feel at home right from the moment they step into the hotel. “We are proud to say that each guest is made to feel at home,” adds Mr Azeem. Five star facilities are offered to the deluxe room occupants. Executive and the E- floor guest rooms have free local telephone calls, 24 hour personalized butler services and there is express check in and check out facility for the executive floor

guests. Nestled on the 9th floor, officially called the executive floor, three luxurious suites offer its guests packages especially designed for its corporate clients. Tastefully designed, these exquisite executive suites feature a living room with a guest washroom, a separate bedroom with scenic views. Larger in size as compared to the executive suites, the deluxe suites come with a living and dining area, guest bathroom which offers both tub and shower cubicle and a separate bedroom. Guests in suites can avail the facility of complimentary breakfast, use of meeting rooms, 24 hour personal butler service and limousine transfers to and from the airport. The Deluxe rooms are well equipped with modern amentias including mini bar, wireless internet connectivity, phone and fax, in-room safe, plasma TV, 24-hour in-room dining, laundry and butler service on demand. The Integrated Information & Entertainment System (IIES) brings each guest a feast of information services, world news as well as unlimited access to on-line movies and music.

In this day and age, when working women are ruling the skies, travelling is very much part of their job routine. Keeping in view this development in the professional world, PearlContinental Karachi offers a special package for women travelling alone on business trips for meetings, conferences, corporate visits or trainings. The hotel not only gives them a special treatment since “they are out there in the world on their own” but welcomes them by presenting the working woman staying at the Pearl Lady Room with a beautifully designed Pearl Lady Brooch, a masterpieces with a sparkling brooch with a shining pearl right in the middle of it. Pearl lady room’s occupants also get special deals on food and services. Additionally Pearl-Continental Karachi is very much a happening place. Approached by multi-nationals and private parties alike, for conferences, workshops, promotional programmes or playing host to the latest lawn exhibitions and fashion shows in town, the hotel is a world in itself. The hotel also serves as a favourite place for hosting diplomatic events as well. The marquee can cater to one thousand to fifteen hundred people under its roof and serves as a preferred choice for weddings as well as major corporate events. Numerous banquet halls inside the hotel can cater up to a total of four thousand people in all. The staff is extremely helpful and has a customer friendly attitude. Last but definitely not the least, the hotel’s parking area, christened as Bara Dari is a humongous area that can at one time house seven hundred cars. This round the clock secure facility is not only for visitors but also officers working in the hotel’s vicinity can avail it on a yearly basis on very nominal charges. No doubt, the over all Pearl-Continental Hotel Karachi experience is worth a million. Standing tall amongst the old cityscape, it can be proudly said that Pearl-Continental Karachi is an undisputed, premier business hotel with customer care vary much at its heart. ourHeritage 64

Your oddest

body quirks

explained By: Kashif Hussain

Goose bumps. Popping joints. Laughing till’ you cry. These little body quirks are certainly familiar, but it doesn’t make them any less mysterious. Here is what’s behind a few of your body’s stranger habits, plus why a less-than-desirable physical trait could actually be healthy

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Why does chopping onions make you tear up? When you cut into an onion, you rupture its cells, releasing enzymes that produce a gas called propanethial sulfoxide. Once that gas reaches your eyes, it reacts with tears to produce a mild sulfuric acid. And that hurts. The brain then signals the eyes’ tear glands to produce more liquid to flush the stuff out. The more you chop, the more irritating gas you produce and the more tears you shed. “The onion’s chemical reaction is a defense mechanism that evolved to repel pests,” explains University of WisconsinMadison horticultural professor Irwin Goldman, PhD. Keep the stinging and crying to a minimum by chilling an onion in the freezer before cutting it cold temperatures slow release of the enzymes. The highest concentration of enzymes is at the bottom of the onion, so cut it last to postpone the weeping (and the irritation) for as long as possible.

Why do your joints crack? The most common type of joint in the human body is the diarthrodial joint - knuckles and shoulders are examples - in which two bones come together in a capsule. Inside that joint capsule is a lubricant called synovial fluid, which contains dissolved gases. When you stretch the joint, you’re actually compressing it and the fluid within, forcing those nitrogen-rich gases to escape the synovial solution. The release of “air” within the joint capsule is what you hear as a “pop.” Once the gas is released, the joint is a bit more flexible (enabling you to go a little further in a yoga pose, for example). But you’ve probably noticed

that you can’t immediately crack the same joint again. That’s because the gases released in a pop must first reabsorb into the fluid, a process that takes 15 to 30 minutes. If you habitually crack your knuckles to relieve tension, try concentrating on your breath for 30 seconds instead. Knuckle cracking doesn’t lead to arthritis, but it can lead to decreased grip strength.

Is it true that your ears grow throughout life? Yes, the outer ears do. Starting at birth, the ears are, proportionally, the body’s largest feature, with a Spock-like prominence. They grow rapidly until about age 10, then slow to the languid pace of about 0.22 millimeter per year, according to a study by Britain’s Royal College of General Practitioners. Other studies show that the earlobe itself also lengthens throughout life (men have longer lobes than women). However, the size of the ear canal, which is formed by bone and cartilage, does not increase with age.

What causes the feeling of “pins and needles”? Called paresthesia, pins and needles are caused by blocked blood flow to a pressed nerve. If you sit too long in an awkward position - or even just with your legs crossed - you may press hard enough on a nerve to interrupt its signaling to the brain, causing your feet, for example, to “fall asleep,” or go numb. This is not the same as a pinched nerve, a longer-lasting condition that occurs when a part of the body, swollen because of injury or misalignment, applies steady pressure on a nerve. Paresthesia is usually felt in the extremities - hands, feet, and ankles. That crazy-making prickly sensation is the resumption of pain messages to the brain. Simply changing your position is almost always enough to allow the nerve to resume communication. But prickly feelings more rarely can be symptoms of diseases as diverse and serious as diabetes, lupus, and MS.

Can “cankles” actually be good for you? Scientists haven’t studied the significance of ankle shape, but other research on fat distribution may point to an answer. Ankles that have lost a bit of definition and appear to merge with the calf might actually improve your health, as long as you’re not seriously overweight. Fat stored in the intra-abdominal region - in and around the organs - can indicate a risk of metabolic disorders, such as type 2 diabetes; fat in the legs is least linked with these maladies, possibly because women with more leg fat often have less fat around their middle.

When you find something really funny, why do you sometimes “laugh till you cry”? Experts don’t really know. One thing to consider: Laughing and crying are similar psychological reactions. “Both occur during states of high emotional arousal, involve lingering effects, and don’t cleanly turn on and off,” says Robert R. Provine, PhD, a psychologist at the University of Maryland, and author of Laughter: A Scientific Investigation. We associate crying with sadness, but tearing up is an even more complex human response. Tears are triggered by a variety of emotions - “by pain, sadness, and in some cases even extreme mirth. It’s just the way we’ve evolved,” says Lee Duffner, MD, a professor of ophthalmology at the University of Miami’s Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. As it turns out, that’s good, because both laughter and crying can ease a stressful experience, probably by counteracting the effects of cortisol and adrenaline. So if you ever find yourself laughing until you cry, count yourself lucky. ourHeritage 66




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Our Heritage Magazine-17  

Our Heritage is an in-house magazine of Hashoo Group-Hotel Division. No part of it may be reproduced without the written consent of the publ...

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