Every time we see ‘Pakistan’ make headlines in international news we’re scared to continue reading the dreaded bulletin. That is most likely to contain news of honour killing, theft, destruction or terrorism, having happened in some corner of the country, that will now go on and project the image of all of Pakistan.
We all admit that Pakistan is in no way perfect, and has its flaws – Massive ones – But their constant trajectory and the convenient ignorance of our accomplishments and beauty is immensely frustrating for all loyal citizens who recognize its true colours and know that it is not what others believe it to be.
It is understandable why tourists are hesitant to step foot within our borders, as the image portrayed to them is not exactly likeable nor true. But when they do visit, they’re always left surprised to see that we are not a war torn state, nor are our people dressed in rags and our populous cities are a unique mixture of liberal culture and conservative values and YES, to see that our women do attend schools and work in public offices.
The exact same thing happened with this french couple – Robin and Pierettee Denis – After visiting India they hesitantly made their trip to Pakistan, from where they would head over to Iran. Despite their friends advising them to bypass Pakistan, they courageously made the journey only that would leave them pleasantly surprised.
They had a safe trip in which they faced no security issues; in spite of the great advice they assumingly received on how to tackle.
“Because of media reports, we thought we will face many difficulties in Pakistan, but we are enjoying our stay and there are no security issues as reported in the media,”
Mr Denis said during an interview
Not only was there trip safe, it was also very enjoyable. They were absolutely won over by the hospitality, kindness and welcoming nature of the locals.
“Pakistanis are very nice and they offer us food and tell us to stay in their homes. Not a day goes by when someone does not invite us to have tea or food with them,” he added.
Yep sounds about right, we all love to feed guests!
“We went to Muzaffarabad today because we wanted to go to Gilgit-Baltistan, but someone told us the best route to get there is via Mansehra, so that is where we are going now,”
Touring the Northern Areas, Robin and Pierettee Denis were headed towards Gilgit – Baltistan,where they’ll surely get to see stunning visuals of soaring peaks, running streams and gorgeous scenery that the area is known for – Convincing them that apart from being a hospitable nation we’re also a very beautiful one.
“We left France in August 2015 and we have visited many countries since, including European countries, Asian states, China, India and now Pakistan. The people and places of this country are very beautiful,”
Mr Denis said.
The couple was also very intrigued by the truck art they continuously saw on the highways and were blown away by its detailings and vibrant colors. So much, that they ended up taking several pictures of it and uploaded them on their website.
They captioned their posts as:
“In Pakistan, street art is rather the road-art, or more precisely the-art truck. Impossible not to fall in awe of these huge trucks, buses and rickshaws overgrown with a profusion of colourful patterns.”
This french couple fell in love with this beautifully but misunderstood country because they were brave enough to give it a chance and look beyond social prejudice and the manipulated image the media continually preaches.
By: Umana Khan