The capital of Pakistan is Islamabad and the country’s population is about 190 million. The official languages are Urdu and English, and the dominant religion is Islam. A very small percentage of the population practices either Christianity or Hinduism. Its top exports are house linens, rice, pure cotton yarn, non-knit men’s suits, and heavy woven cotton. The time zone is 9 hours ahead of EST.
I loved my time in Pakistan, although it was cut short due to a flight cancellation with Pakistan Airlines. Wow, what a powerhouse of a country! I learned so much about this place during my short time here. Let’s start with…
This is a young country which was carved out of India when the British left in 1947, and its borders were dictated by which regions in India were Muslim controlled so, India ended up with the Hindu territories and Pakistan is now the only Muslim country with nuclear weapons.
Pakistan is rich with oil gas and many minerals. It’s a large country with plenty of fertile soil so, it also grows lots of cash crops. So, economically, one would think it should be an international marvel… and it should. But its government has its issues, squandering its resources on the world’s eighth largest army and exporting dissension through the region. Unfortunately, tourists don’t flock to Pakistan because of its poor reputation for supporting the Taliban, harboring Osama bin Laden and fomenting terrorism. Let’s hope that this is in its past, as the new government seems to be moving forward, with billions of dollars in new investments by the Saudi‘s and Chinese.
My guide Didar couldn’t have been any better in representing his country. His nonstop smile, curiosity, and upbeat attitude were infectious. During our time together, we traveled through Rawalpindi, Islamabad, and some surrounding cities. We envisioned going to Hyderabad to see where Osama bin Laden‘s house was but we didn’t have enough time. The highlight of my time was playing cricket in one of the parks outside of Islamabad.