I grew up in Lahore. All my
life I lived here except for the seven years in the army and ten in Karachi. I returned again in December 1988 and have lived here since. I knew a Lahore that was a very beautiful city. It was a city of people who ere cultured, courteous and with a sense of humour that was sharp without being vulgar. This was a city of the most magnificent Mughal buildings and gardens. It was also a city where you could actually get into the countryside without going anywhere. The urban sprawl of what is now Johar town was a place of mango orchards and fields where one could hear the song of more than a hundred different species of birds.
Lahore was a city where the gates of your house were always open, except when you turned in for the night. It was a city where armed robbery or rape was unknown. Lahore was where a traffic accident did not mean you were lynched. It meant people got out of their cars and quietly resolved who was to pay for the damages. Here a young man and woman could walk hand in hand without being accused of ‘obscenity and vulgarity’.
The Lahore that I grew up in was a great place to live in. But we have cut down all the indigenous trees and replaced them with useless asoka and ficus trees where birds do not roost because these trees do not belong to this land. And now we are blighting this once beautiful city with palm trees. The Chief Minister says he will turn Lahore into Paris. For crying out loud, please just turn this urban lifeless jungle once more into Lahore [From Here].