In recent weeks I have come across many excellent websites, instagram accounts and other resources that offer a glimpse into the real Pakistan. A Pakistan that, unfortunately, does not appear much on the news in our TV channels, let alone in the rest of the world.
So, if you would like more information about Pakistan, without further ado, here are the resources you can use:
@tapujaveri : Tapu Javeri is one of our more famous fashion photographers. At the same time, he is an avid traveller, a jewellery designer, and a radio jockey. His instagram account is full of images from his travels across Pakistan and the world, as well as from his fashion shoots. For those of you inside Pakistan who may not be able to access instagram, you can check out this link.
Pakistan Software Houses Association (PASHA) counts 500 of the over 800 Software companies in Pakistan as its members. The organization mentors local computer science students, holds startup competitions, and consistently fights for good ICT, cyber crime and other IT related policy changes. It also chooses software companies and products that will represent Pakistan in international competitions and consistently builds a stronger network of software professionals who help each other grow. The organization is run by the very able, inexhaustible and dynamic Jehan Ara, who as a woman also tries to attract other women to technology. Check out their website to learn about all the different software products created by Pakistanis, and all that the Pakistani IT industry has to offer the world. The website is full of Pakistani IT sector updates, as well as video chats with various Pakistani entrepreneurs.
TheKarachiWalla is dedicated to highlighting the known and forgotten landmarks of Karachi, also featuring our past influences from the British, the work of our Parsi and Goan philantrophists and the truly multi-cultural fibre of our city. The creator of KarachiWalla also offers tours of Karachi to locals and tourists to help them discover the “real” Karachi. Check out his website and feel free to contact him if you wish to also discover all the beauty of Karachi that is often hidden or lost due to our busy lives.
Sohni Dharti is also created by Karachiwalla, but dedicated to the rest of Pakistan. You will be awed by the beauty you see in the photos here, as he explores the Alternate Pakistan he wants to show the rest of the world.
The wonderful Youtube has allowed Pakistani television shows to now have a global audience. And some very dedicated volunteers have also added English subtitles to these videos. So go ahead and watch some of our award winning television dramas and sitcoms, which tend to be quite accurately mirror the life of normal citizens of Pakistan.
And here is a Youtube channel dedicated to showing Pakistani videos (TV shows, music videos, movies) with English Subtitles.
Dawn is the first Pakistani English newspaper and was established in 1947. For the latest in Pakistani politics and other news, there is no better source to read.
Coke Studio has reignited the music scene in Pakistan. Although pop and rock music was thriving in Pakistan over the last couple of decades, our traditional folk music was dying a slow painful death. Coke Studio, produced by Rohail Hayat, came on the scene and brought all our music masters of the past out of oblivion to match them up with the rock stars of the current generation to create music of such beauty that it will undeniably move you. Here are some of my favourites:
This one is a lullaby sung by the lead singer for his child who passed away because of cancer.
Explore Pakistan organizes treks, safaris and tours all over Pakistan and especially through the beautiful valleys and foothills of the Karakorum and Himalaya mountains up North. So if you are in the mood for an adventure, or would just like a peaceful holiday away from all the hustle bustle, contact Explore Pakistan or just surf through their website to get more vacation ideas.
Wikitravel has a page dedicated to Pakistan. If you click on the Cities Tab, then you can see the individual pages for the major cities of Pakistan. The information is very detailed and answers all your questions about what to see, where to stay, what to eat, and how to move about the city and country.
Here’s a link to the Dawn article that inspired my post. The author has chosen her favourite Instagram accounts that really showcase Pakistan and Pakistani culture on the ground.
Do you know of any other resources about Pakistan that you like?