The Pakistan we missed
1980s: Tourists enjoying Tea in Ziarat – Balochistan
1970s: “Koko korina” – Rock n’ Roll star of #Pakistan – Waheed Murad in his study room.
Waheed Murad (2 October 1938 – 23 November 1983) was a legendary Pakistani film actor, producer and script writer. Waheed is considered to be one of the most famous and influential actors of South Asia and one of the pioneering Rock n’ Roll stars of Pakistan. Due to his romantic and subtle style of acting, he became famously known as the ‘Chocolate Hero’ and ‘Lady Killer’. His hair cut, dressing style and even his conversation style were very popular among the youth. One can say that he was becoming the cultural icon of the Pakistani Film Industry
1968 – Crown Prince Hassan Bin Talal, younger brother of King Hussein of Jordan smiles with his bride Sarvath Ikramullah of Pakistan at their wedding in Karachi. Both met while studying in London.
1950: First Lady Mrs. Rana Liaquat Ali Khan is delivering speech on “Women of Pakistan” to a gathering at New York Town Hall, USA.
A 1965 vinyl recording of the song ‘Karachi’ written and performed by popular American jazz ensemble, Maurice Miller Trio.
A 1973 PIA brochure promoting tourism to the site of one of the oldest civilizations in the world, the Mohenjodaro (located in the Sindh province of Pakistan). In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the tourist traffic from abroad and from within Pakistan to Mohenjodaro grew rapidly, so much so that the government built an airport, rest houses and small hotels near the site and began running regular flights there. However, ever since the 1990s, the number of tourists to the site steadily declined and so did the number of flights.
A video grab from PTV’s live transmission of a wrestling match between top Pakistani wrestler, Akram Bholu, and Japanese wrestler, Anokhi in 1975. The match that took place in Pakistan was watched by thousands of people in the ground and by millions on TV. It was also telecasted live in Japan.
From 1970 till about 1985, T-shirts of most famous Western rock and pop groups were almost all made and exported from Pakistan. T-Shirt makers in Pakistan got orders from the management and marketers representing major rock musicians such as Rolling Stone, Pink Floyd, Fleetwood Mac, Eagles, Aerosmith, etc, and thousands of these T-Shirts were exported to the US and the UK and ended up being sold outside concert halls and arenas in various Western countries.
A group photo of Pakistani and Iranian mountaineers outside a hotel in Islamabad in 1978. The group would go on to successfully climb the K2 Mountain.
The Pakistan film industry began growing expediently in the 1960s and reached a peak in the 1970s, before pattering out in the 1980s and ultimately collapsing from the 1990s onwards.
However, the industry entered the 1970s with vigour and confidence, wanting to ‘internationalise’ Pakistani films by getting into joint projects with Turkish, Iranian, Greek and film industries of various other countries.
One of the first projects in this regard was the 1971 film, ‘Operation Karachi’ (see poster) – a steamy thriller with a pop soundtrack punctuated by bouncy numbers by famous Pakistani singers Ahmad Rushdi and Runa Laila.
The film was a massive hit, especially on the screens of Karachi and Lahore’s open drive-in cinemas.
Imran Khan signing an autograph for a young fan in just before the start of the Pakistan-India series
A western tourist dressed like a local poses with a group of Pushtun children (and a man) outside a shop in the Bara area of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (1975).
A 1968 press ad of Coca-Cola. This ad also appeared in American newspapers.
A vintage 1969 coaster of Pakistani beer brand, Murree. This particular coaster is from the bar at Karachi’s Excelsior Club that was situated in the Saddar area but forced to close down in 1977.
A Pakistani minister meeting a visiting American football team before a match in Karachi (1968). The team played three matches against the Pakistan team, winning two and losing one.
Ibn-e-Safi was Pakistan’s most prolific and popular suspense novelists. He wrote over 200 such novels and amazingly, almost each one became a best-seller. Since his novels were immensely popular among the youth and full of action, exotic locations and characters, it was only natural that a Pakistani film-maker would turn at least one of them into a film
A rare photo of future MQM chief, Altaf Hussain (3rd from left), with friends outside the Arts Department of the University of Karachi in 1977
Western tourists entering Pakistan from Afghanistan on a bus in 1975