My name is Mehvi, I am from Pakistan. Please hear my story. I am not a journalist. I am not a writer. But I have a dream and I speak from my heart ...
For thirteen years, we humans of Pakistan and our country have been portrayed as a land of terrorists. But there is more to us than the AK-47s, you see on TV. My dream is for the world to know how beautiful my country is. I want people to see all of Pakistan, not just what mainstream media is telling you.
I pick up international newspapers, I watch social media, and I see talk about my beloved country, but that talk is only seen through one dirty lens. The lens that causes friends across oceans to hesitate when I ask them to come to visit me. “Mehvi, how can I visit? Is it safe?” They ask.
And I get it. The stereotypes are so entrenched. But I ask myself. “Really, do I belong to a country full of terrorists? ” Because that’s all I seem to hear about. I want you to see I am not a terrorist. I want you to see that we are human, not to be labelled as a terrorist country.
Come, hear the sounds of the river, fishermen laughing and cool water running across the surface of the stones.
My Green Passport from Pakistan
When I travel out of Pakistan, I’m treated with suspicion. That’s my experience. I line up with my husband at immigration to enter a foreign country where my relatives live. An officer calls out to us, his unkind face nodding for us to step out of the line.
“You, come with me,” he points and grunts. Hundreds of eyes follow us as we are led to a lounge where we are asked question after question after question.
For a moment, I see it was just myself and my husband pulled out of the line. But then we see another man, there. His head down, face full of stress. He too held the green passport from Pakistan. He’s waiting to be questioned.
It’s not the problem of being questioned. I understand security is important. It’s just that we are the only ones, and we are the ones holding our green Pakistani passports. And this happens every time we travel. Every time. I suffer a sea of unsmiling faces staring as I’m led away like a criminal. Children pointing, adults whispering. I want to say to them all, “We are not terrorists. We are human too!”
The Pakistan I Know & Love
I want to say, come and see the Pakistan I know.
The Pakistan I grew up in, where I played on the streets with my friends, where I sat with my family, and we ate Karahi together. Where relatives gather for special occasions and holiday seasons just like you.
I wish you could see how beautiful my country really is.
I wish you could come and see my heaven on earth.
Heaven on Earth
You’ll see a country filled with the best mountain ranges on the planet: The Pakistani Himalayas. These mountains are truly without rival anywhere in the world. Pakistan, for its mesmerizing natural beauty and warm hospitality, was named the best travel destination of 2018 by the British Backpacker Society. I want you to know that.
Come sit in a restaurant, on the edge of a pine-covered mountain on the Northern side of Naran. You’ll see a beautiful river flowing into Lake Sett. On a cold day, you’ll see ice on the mountains.
On another day you’ll hear the sounds of the river, fishermen laughing and the cool water running across the surface of the stones. You’ll feel the fresh breeze brush across your shoulders and you’ll find your peace. You’ll feel like you’re in a fairy-tale.
Experience The Culture & Hospitality of the Pakistani People
Come experience our hospitality. See how we live, and how you are treated as an honoured guest. Pakistan will make you feel at home – like you are visiting your best friend’s flat. Pakistanis are rich of heart. We will pamper you with a lot of hugs. You’ll taste a variety of delicious dishes. Perhaps you will love the Chicken Biryani most, as many of my friends do.
Come and experience our colourful culture. Pakistan is as diverse in culture as India is in religion (and culture of course). Starting from the southern Sindhi ancient culture, that takes you back hundreds of years to Mohenjo-daro times. Balochistani-Iranian culture; that too is as ancient as Arabian culture. And the most vibrant of all; the Punjabi culture.
There are people living in the mountain ranges of Karakoram and Gilgit. Their life is filled with colour and their own unique way of living. They are famous for their hospitality and true friendships.
This is the Pakistan I want you to know.
I want you to recognise me and the people of my country for who they really are. I want to introduce you to my peaceful, beautiful and hospitable country. Some people say my dream to show the world the real Pakistan is not possible.
But, I must try. I have a great task ahead of me …
I know security and safety is the most important consideration when travelling. ln any developing country, there are areas to avoid for both locals and foreigners. So please, to find out more about where to travel, and the best places to see, do your research & connect with me here on Instagram
And please, share my story. Help me tell the world about the real Pakistan.
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