Mesmerizing Photographs from Old Pakistan

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Historic Pakistani Pictures (1)

Time when a Pakistani president could easily slap U.S President in Fun That is how strong the relations were.

Historic Pakistani Pictures (2)

A group of hippies (British, French and American) wait for a bus in Lahore (1972). Pakistan was an important destination on what was called the ‘Hippie Trail.’

The trail was used by thousands of young European and American backpackers between the late 1960s and 1979. It was an overland route that began in Turkey, ran through Iran, curved into Afghanistan and Pakistan and then from India ended in Nepal.

A huge tourist industry sprang up in these countries to accommodate the backpackers. In Pakistan, the travelers entered Peshawar (from Jalalabad in Afghanistan). From Peshawar they went to Lahore. Some took a bus into India while others visited Karachi and Swat before returning to Lahore and crossed into India.

The trail closed after the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran; the beginning of civil war in Afghanistan; and due to the reactionary nature of the Ziaul Haq dictatorship that came to power in Pakistan in 1977.

Historic Pakistani Pictures (3)

A foreigner filling his car at a petrol station.

Historic Pakistani Pictures (4)

A modern ‘rail car’ made in Pakistan with the collaboration of Japanese engineers parked at the Lahore Railway Station in 1964. Popular with travellers wanting to move rapidly between cities, the car were commissioned out of service in the 1980s

Historic Pakistani Pictures (5)

Begum Ra’ana Liaquat Ali Khan with Walt Disney in Washington DC

Historic Pakistani Pictures (6)

Former Pakistani Prime Minister, Liquat Ali Khan (left), having a chat with famous Hollywood actor and star James Stewart (second from left) in Lahore (1951)

Historic Pakistani Pictures (7)

One of the rare photographs available of Karachi’s famous nightclub scene of the late 1960s and 1970s.

Live music, great food, lots of booze and dancing were the hallmarks of the scene. Shown here is a club band playing to a happy audience at a ‘mid-range’ nightclub in Karachi (in 1972).

According to former nightclub owner and entrepreneur, Tony Tufail, ‘Karachi would have gone on to become what Dubai later became if not for the ban.’*

*Nightclubs were closed down in April 1977.

Historic Pakistani Pictures (8)

Western tourists pose with a group of locals outside a rest house in Ziarat in Balochistan (1974)

Historic Pakistani Pictures (9)

This is a 1974 picture of Karachi’s iconic Pearl Continental Hotel (then called theIntercontinental). Notice the short walls of the hotel, hardly 3 and a half feet tall!

Now compare them with the tall, thick walls and the chaotic barbed wire that surround the same hotel today and what with all the concrete barriers and dozens of armed security personnel that one has to go through.

Historic Pakistani Pictures (10)

Natives of a Sindhi village drench a European tourist with cold water from a well to beat the summer heat (1973).

Historic Pakistani Pictures (11)

Pakistanis and tourists wine and dine at Karachi’s Beach Luxury Hotel in 1969.

Historic Pakistani Pictures (12)

US Vice President, Richard Nixon, writing his comments on the visitors’ book at Radio Pakistan’s Karachi station in the 1950s. With him is famous Pakistani radio personality, Z A. Bokhari.

Historic Pakistani Pictures (13)

Here, a street dentist in Karachi works on the teeth of one of his clients in 1951.

Historic Pakistani Pictures (14)

A scene from Hollywood blockbuster ‘Bhowani Junction’ being shot outside a Lahore police station.

Historic Pakistani Pictures (15)

 

The charismatic Jacqueline Kennedy, wife of the popular US President, J. F. Kennedy, visited Pakistan in 1962. Here she is seen riding in an open-top limo with the then ruler of Pakistan, Ayub Khan,

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