Salman Rashid

Travel writer, Fellow of Royal Geographical Society

Fata in 1980s

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September 1985. I was freewheeling in what was then North-West Frontier Province. One evening I found myself in Bannu in a really ratty dosshouse — the only place to overnight in town. Having dined on mutton karahi (I had then not gone vegetarian), I was downing my second pot of qahwa when this large man plonked himself across me from my tin table.

Railway merits a revamp in the area

In thickly accented Pashtun Urdu he asked me where I was from, and if I had seen Miran Shah. I hadn’t, I said. And the man offered to take me there. With no real plans of going anywhere I agreed. The man got up, righted his black and grey turban and said, “Chalo!”
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posted by Salman Rashid @ 12:54, ,


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There are two aspects of a good travel book. One, that towards the end it makes me a bit sad that it is going to be over — I actually read slower and slower near the end. Second, that it makes me want to leave everything and go travelling where the author has been. The bonus is that it draws chuckles.

Isambard — ‘Bard’ to his friends — Wilkinson’s Travels in a Dervish Cloak succeeds on all counts.

It was in 1984 that Geoffrey Moorhouse wrote his beautifully witty To the Frontier, which was billed by Ayaz Amir as a “very sympathetic account” of Pakistan. Moorhouse’s journey through Pakistan took place in 1982 when the country was just beginning to break loose from its moorings under the cockeyed version of a dictator’s sham piety. Back then, society still maintained its original charm and beauty and it was easy for Moorhouse to show us an original Pakistan. There was more beauty, fewer warts.
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posted by Salman Rashid @ 12:15, ,

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