Pakistan has been on the verge of tourism “next big thing” for more years than we remember. It is a destination that has much to offer visitors, boosting the Karakoram Highway through the endless mountain peaks of Karakoram, or stroll through the architectural glories of the old Mughal capital Lahore, Quetta ancient bazaars or the cosmopolitan streets of Karachi. But every time the country seems to be preparing to refresh the jaded palates of travelers bound for the hip last year, headlines the world send things off the rails – again. No matter the attractions, tourism in Pakistan has always been something of a hard sell. A look at the map shows that the country is in a quite difficult: Afghanistan always rebel aside, Iran to another, and a border with India that crosses the fault line of 60-year-old Kashmir. But since the events of 9/11, Western experts have been wondering if every time that Pakistan is not only living in a tough neighborhood, which is the tough neighborhood.
Pakistan and political stability have never been bedfellows especially happy. President Pervez Musharraf, who seized power in a coup in 1999, seemed to have an unassailable position until relatively recently. Sell himself as a bulwark against radical Islam on the one hand and the old corrupt elites, on the other, he became a key player in Washington’s “War on Terror” and was rewarded with soft loans and military aid . In 2007, everything was in disorder. An attempt to dismiss Chief Justice of the country resulted in a red-faced retreat in the face of protests from the middle class. Furthermore, local Islamists stepped up their bloody campaigns in the wake of the deadly assault on the Red Mosque in Islamabad. Pakistan’s army had already found himself fighting to a standstill in the lawless tribal areas along the Afghan border, and then end the violence related to the Swat valley. Pact was signed short Waziristan who negotiated peace – of all kinds – with the Pakistani Taliban, but in the end showed that, after having given official sanction of the government for such radical now be holding a tiger by the tail.
It was a mystery as Musharraf attempts to pull things together would play. The imposition of a state of emergency restricted to the press and the judiciary, and soon after being lifted, the country was rocked by the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, recently returned from exile to replace it again in Pakistani politics. A high-profile murder presaged a potentially very problematic future for Pakistan. However, in this context, there is another Pakistan, a world away from the headlines. Although conservative, the Pakistanis are, by nature, friendly people and hospitable to foreigners, trying to get ahead in the midst of his government’s indifference and occasional hostility from the outside world. High politics is of less interest than the use and cost of cooking oil and flour.
As such, travelers are often met with genuine interest and enthusiasm. Scams and excitement you can experience in the high traffic density are India rather be seen here. Instead, we expect spontaneously offered cups of tea and talk about cricket. You will feel that the country itself. Attractions that have been splashed by the glossy pages of the newspaper travel supplements are almost empty. While the travel advice notices enthusiasm is tinged with official government travel, you have to keep an eye on the news before you book your ticket – but once here, you will realize that Pakistan is really the world’s secrets best kept travel.