Salman Rashid

Travel writer, Fellow of Royal Geographical Society

Happy Birthday to Me

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I am 2300 years old!

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posted by Salman Rashid @ 12:32, ,

The Fort of Jewels

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I first saw this fabled hilltop fort in 1989. It sits above the village of Mari, some 40 kms north of Mianwali and overlooks to the west, on the far bank of the Indus, the picturesque riverside town of Kukranwali.


The Mianwali district gazetteer of 1915 noted it was known as Maniot, corrupted from Manikot, signifying ‘Fort of Jewels’. This, the gazetteer recorded, was because the ‘Kalabagh diamonds’ were found here. Whatever these diamonds were, no one could tell me then nor on a recent visit.Read more »

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posted by Salman Rashid @ 13:08, ,

Tomb Recorder

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A nthropologist Zulfiqar Ali Kalhoro is working in overdrive. Taking time off from his teaching assignment at Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, this young and gifted researcher seems to be forever on the move in the wild regions of Pakistan.


His work is genuine, without shortcuts in his fieldwork and research methods, and the result — whether in his frequent newspaper articles or his books — is primary material for the reader interested in anthropological works. Kalhoro reminds one of the tireless and brilliant Adam Nayyar, executive director of the Pakistan National Council of the Arts who, sadly, left us too soon.Read more »

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posted by Salman Rashid @ 08:41, ,

Gwadar: Song of the Sea Wind

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Rizwana Naqvi

For long, images of the golden, unspoiled beaches of the Makran coast had “captured the imagination of the romantically inclined” as a place where one could “actually be away from the madding crowd.”

Other images, showing hills in “crumpled disorderly piles devoid of every shred of vegetation”, would tempt the wilderness enthusiast. But reaching the coast was not easy and, hence, the place remained unexplored.

However, things are changing fast and Gwadar — on the Makran coastline — is poised to become a bustling seaport and industrial city, mostly because of the much-celebrated China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Ever since Gwadar became easily accessible by road from Karachi, via the Makran Coastal Highway, there has been a regular inflow of tourists to the city, though foreign tourists are still to discover it.

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posted by Salman Rashid @ 09:48, ,

Mithi: Whispers in the Sand

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Ali Bhutto
   
Up until the early 1990s, the portion of the Thar Desert that lies within Pakistan was largely devoid of blacktop roads, with the nearest one ending at the desert’s western periphery in Naukot. All travel from this point onwards was done either by camel, vintage Reo trucks from the Second World War — locally referred to as kekrra [crab] — or privately owned jeeps.


Back then, the journey from Naukot to Nagarparkar, which lies at the easternmost edge of Tharparkar district — today, a five-hour drive — would take up to 14 hours, writes Salman Rashid in his new book, Mithi: Whispers in the Sand.
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posted by Salman Rashid @ 10:49, ,

Walton Aerodrome

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I have two abiding memories of the Walton aerodrome. This first is from 1956, or the year after. I would have been four or five. Driving with my uncle, the doctor, in his Austin, just the two of us, we came to an old house where my uncle sat in the living room and chatted with another doctor, a European.


Besides a servant or two, there was no one else in the house and I, wearying of things I did not understand, wandered off into the large garden outside. Through a gap in the hedge, I saw several planes parked by a steel wall. Today I know that would have been the wall of an aircraft hangar.Read more »

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posted by Salman Rashid @ 10:08, ,

Rehman Sahib

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I first met Ibne Abdur Rehman, Rehman sahib to everyone who knew him, in January 1989. It could have been sometime later, but that really is of no consequence. As an avid newspaper reader, I was acquainted with his work both as journalist and as human rights crusader as well as his activism in the dark days of the longest martial law of our sorry history. It was not without a degree of awe that I entered his office at Pakistan Times and introduced myself.

With Rehman sahib and Mahboob Ali, the only woodcut artist in Pakistan

Only months earlier, I had foolishly invested everything we had in those infamous ‘investment companies’ and lost my last rupee within three months. Incidentally, the company I invested with was Alliance, owned and run by a bunch of bearded mullahs of the Tablighi Jamat. So much for these spurious claims to lay down lives for the honour of prophet hood! Shabnam and I were completely impoverished in the name of religion as practiced in Pakistan and we had borrowed from friends in Karachi to move back to Lahore.
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posted by Salman Rashid @ 10:55, ,

Happy Birthday to Me

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I am 2300 years old!

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posted by Salman Rashid @ 00:00, ,

From Landi Kotal to Wagah

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The Unesco and the government of Pakistan launched a new joint publication titled “From Landi Kotal to Wagah: Cultural Heritage Along the Grand Trunk Road” on February 10 at the Pakistan National Council of Arts.


The result of a collaboration of more than two years, the coffee table book explores the built and intangible heritage along the Grand Trunk Road (GT Road) in Pakistan, combining a thoroughly researched narrative with a wealth of photos that illustrate the diverse and rich panorama of this 2500-year-old historical trade road. Over the centuries, the road has been extensively travelled by traders, pilgrims and great civilizations like the Greeks, Turks and Mughals who left their marks, perpetuating the mythical status of this legendary road.
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posted by Salman Rashid @ 14:53, ,




My Books

Deosai: Land of the Gaint - New

The Apricot Road to Yarkand


Jhelum: City of the Vitasta

Sea Monsters and the Sun God: Travels in Pakistan

Salt Range and Potohar Plateau

Prisoner on a Bus: Travel Through Pakistan

Between Two Burrs on the Map: Travels in Northern Pakistan

Gujranwala: The Glory That Was

Riders on the Wind

Books at Sang-e-Meel

Books of Days