Salman Rashid

Travel writer, Fellow of Royal Geographical Society


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In March 1887, Quetta, a compact little frontier town with a British garrison served by businesses owned almost entirely by Parsis and Hindus, saw the first-ever railway train pull into its spanking new station building. This was, however, not in the service of the people of the land. The line, much faster than the earlier camel trains, was to put British troops in quick access of the unruly frontier with Afghanistan, where an ever-expanding influence of Czarist Russia was threatening British interests.

Whatever the case, looking back today, one can but only marvel at the heroic effort of putting this line through. The remarkable thing about the main line up from Sindh into Balochistan is that it was, in the words of railway historian P.S.A. Berridge, “a tale of appalling muddle in the beginning, of extreme privations in the face of terrible heat and freezing cold, and of success achieved through sheer grit and determination to win a route through forbidding and inhospitable desert and mountainous country.”
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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