Archive for August, 2006

‘The Man Who Would Be King’; a masterpiece featuring Lahore

This suggestion by one of our visitors sparked deep interest in my heart to find out and watch this movie. Based on a story by Rudyard Kipling with the same title, ‘The Man Who Would Be King’ was filmed at places no closer to its described locations. That, for the matter, made me imagine if they could have managed to film on original locations. Or, perhaps, we could ever have a remake of this 1975 movie.

Faraz Khalid gives his views like this;

“Very few people seem to know this, so I thought I should bring it to light. Some of the extremely brilliant hollywood movies in the past have featured Lahore. One such treasure of a movie is called The Man Who Would Be King.

Based on a Rudyard Kipling story (for the uninitiated, Kipling was a famous british writer who lived in Lahore for few years), the film is directed by John Huston (a highly acclaimed director / writer, nominated during his career for 10 oscar awards, winning 1).

Missing the Stansted connection

Pakistan International Airlines has introduced two weekly flights to London Stansted from Karachi (direct) and Islamabad (via Karachi) this August. The new flight services are going to significantly reduce pressure for Pakistani passengers that had to travel to London Heathrow in every case.


However, such a service from Lahore should also be added for it will help Lahorites to get pass Heathrow’s congestion.

I personally know many people who would be better off if such a service starts, only beacuse Stansted’s smaller, less congested, easily accessible and is much closer to many residential suburbs and communities.

Let’s see if it’s going to happen soon…

Bugti a misguided man? – A Lahori’s Perspective.

I can see why Lahori gentlemen are making comments over Bugti’s death. However, I do think it was yet another historic political blunder on the part of our Army. Bugti was almost 80 years old and his “martyrdom” has raised his profile among the Separatists and Nationalist as a great leader.

Pakistan Army and the government over the years have not done a good job in making their case to the public on the issue of Baluchi Separatists. Some among the people of Sindh, NWFP, and Baluchistan still feel that this was a (Punjabi) Army misadventure against a smaller province, trying to ask for its rightful share.

The politicians like MQM, PML, PPP, et. al., are cheap opportunists. Even when they know this will harm the solidarity of the nation, they will use his death to gain as much as political mileage as possible.

While I mourn Bugti’s death as a Pakistani, I do believe Bugti was a misguided man. He allowed himself to be used by nefarious foreign elements as a pawn against the good of this nation. We all know that it is not possible in this day and age to carryout such organized terrorist operations without a lot of money. These men often directly engaged the military through rocket and grenade attacks on the Military posts. The missions included targeting of the national energy infrastructure, gas pipelines, power-stations, grid-stations etc., including direct attack on Musharraf, governor house and military headquarters. Their boldness also suggests that they are not only well-funded, they are very well advised and trained.

While we know that he was in a position of leadership where he could have raised Baluchistan to be the richest and greatest Province of Pakistan. But his racism (hatred of Punjabis), his short-sightedness, and narrow-minded vision got better of him. We can be sure that there will always be differing accounts of history due to his controversial stance.

To some he will be a great leader and a hero, while to others an intransigent and oppressive Sardar, who sacrificed himself on the altar of his ego.

What puzzles me is the following question? We know that Musharraf is not a complete fool. I expect him to be aware of the pitfalls of solving political problems through the gun and bullets. The success rate of such operations is usually quite poor. For example, Indians got lucky in Punjab, but have failed in Kashmir. Pakistanis have their own nightmare of East Pakistan. So what gives Musharraf the impression that this time around they are doing things differently? “Are his advisors, including the political ones like Ch. Shujaat, Mushahid Hussein, et. al., giving him a correct picture of the ground realities?”

Beware! stay vigilant

Times are tough as law and order is becoming an issue of concern throughout the country following some serious security incidents in Baluchistan. Danger of further blasts, violence, or explosions is very much prevalent.

Here, we advise citizens of our beloved city to stay vigilant and observe their surroundings whenever they are out of their homes in public places on any purpose. Observe your surroundings including people, unattended luggage, shopping bags, traveller bags etc., or any suspicious person that may trigger an alarm in your mind.

In case of any suspicion, doubt or danger, call on to your nearest police assistance or dial Rescue 15. Believe me, these people are there to help us out despite of whatsoever their behavior in normal circumstances be.

It always is the public that can help the agencies to debug such elements from society. Although, it’s difficult to ask but whenever you visit any public place that may be a potential target of tragedy; stay vigilant, cautious but, at the same time, relaxed and calm. Don’t panic as this is what these cowards are trying to induce in our minds.

We are not going to allow them do this; or, are we?

It’s upto you to decide; for the power is yours!

Bomb Explosion rocks Lahore

Update/Correction: The explosion was, in fact, caused by a ‘desi’ bomb placed in a dust bin close to Milli Shoes in the main Liberty Market. Glass windows of shops just across the road were shattered as many nearby parked vehicles were damaged.

It was by sheer luck that there were no fatalities for this place is really congested with people in the evenings. Three injured were transferred to hospitals while the damaged cars were being removed by the police.

Some group or organization still has to claim the responsibility of this attack.

A parked car has exploded at Liberty Market Square; one of Lahore’s busiest areas. The incident happened almost at 7:00pm when evening traffic rush was on and this part of Lahore’s jam packed with businessmen and shopping goers.

At least three people are reported to be injured by the blast that occured near Hafiz Juice Corner. The police reached the area just after incident and has been searching for any other explosives.

Further deatils will be posted as soon as they are revealed to the public.

Car in a hole….

I found this one in today’s edition of Daily Times. One the one hand, its quite funny but on the other hand, this is a very serious and improtant issue for our city. Open manholes needlessly claim so many lives every year. I remember, they used to be made out of cement slabs which would often break and needed costly replacements and then they were for the most part replaced by metal covers which the drug addicts starting stealing in order to sell to the metal scrappers. I don’t know if the same thing happened here where a motorist is stuck in an open manhole in Iqbal Town, or was there some cleaning work going on and someone took a break without bothering to put the cover back on.


Lahore History Tour – Installment #21

This post will conclude our tour of the Shish Mahal courtyard of the Lahore Fort. On our way out, here is a glimpse of the surrounding structures that can be viewed by looking west from the Shish Mahal courtyard.


This veranda in the Shish Mahal courtyard overlooks the Badshahi Mosque and Samadhi of Ranjit Singh which lie to the west of it.


View of Badshahi Mosque and Samadhi (tomb) of Ranjit Singh from the veranda in Shish Mahal courtyard. The Badshahi Mosque, literally the ‘Royal Mosque’, was built in 1673 by Emperor Mohiuddin Aurangezeb Alamgir.

Lahore History Tour – Installment #20

After a couple of posts about the other important structures in the Shish Mahal courtyard, today we come to the crown jewel of the courtyard, the Shish Mahal itself. Personally, I haven’t seen the structure from inside for over 10 years and every time I have gone to see it since then, it had been closed off due to renovations. Even during my last trip in August 2005, there was a metal fence guarding the entrance to the building, although there was no one working inside.


Built by Shah Jahan in 1632, Shish Mahal is the palace of mirrors, adorned with tiny concave mirrors set in gilt and carved plasterwork as part of an elaborate ceiling design. The palace consists of a spacious, lofty hall in front with several rooms behind and on either sides of it. A spacious courtyard in front of the chambers is paved with stone slabs of various types of variegated marble. There is a shallow water basin in the centre of the courtyard. It is round in shape and has four fountains.

شاہی سواری! or The New Ricky!

The govt. of Punjab has imposed a ban on the old, blue-colored ‘Vespa’ rickshaws. Of course, this is now very old news. But given that I was given a good ‘lecture’ by one of the drivers of this ‘shahi-sawaari’ only a couple of days back, and also that I have a ‘chingchee’ for one of my own projects, I feel that one should come up with a ‘new’ rickshaw. Something that is not as ugly as the ones promoted by the government (those CNG green globs), and something that is silent and smooth and something you would want to hitch a ride on. some like this, I’d say would do jusssttt fine:


Hair raising, anyone?


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