#OnceUponATimeInPakistan a Picture Story

Che Ernesto Guevara, standing along side Pakistan’s first military dictator, Ayub Khan. Guevara stayed for a short while in Karachi during his whirlwind tour of Arab and third world countries (in 1959). He again visited Karachi in 1965

Che Ernesto Guevara, standing along side Pakistan’s first military dictator, Ayub Khan.
Guevara stayed for a short while in Karachi during his whirlwind tour of Arab and third world countries (in 1959). He again visited Karachi in 1965

Pakistani film industry and cinemas began experiencing a creative and financial peak in the late 1960s; a high that would last till about 1979, before starting to patter out in the 1980s and hitting rock bottom a decade later.

Pakistani film industry and cinemas began experiencing a creative and financial peak in the late 1960s; a high that would last till about 1979, before starting to patter out in the 1980s and hitting rock bottom a decade later.

 This is the front page of Dawn that appeared only days before Pakistani troops surrendered meekly to the Indian army in former East Pakistan (December, 1971).

This is the front page of Dawn that appeared only days before Pakistani troops surrendered meekly to the Indian army in former East Pakistan (December, 1971).

 It is a picture of real hippies enjoying a few puffs of hashish on the roof of a cheap hotel in Peshawar in 1972. Yes, Peshawar. Pakistan was an important destination that lay on what was called the ‘hippie trail’ – an overland route taken by young western and American bag-packers between 1967 and 1979 and that ran from Turkey, across Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, usually ending in Nepal. Numerous low-budget hotels and a thriving tourist industry sprang up (in Peshawar, Lahore and Karachi) to accommodate these travellers.

It is a picture of real hippies enjoying a few puffs of hashish on the roof of a cheap hotel in Peshawar in 1972. Yes, Peshawar.
Pakistan was an important destination that lay on what was called the ‘hippie trail’ – an overland route taken by young western and American bag-packers between 1967 and 1979 and that ran from Turkey, across Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, usually ending in Nepal.
Numerous low-budget hotels and a thriving tourist industry sprang up (in Peshawar, Lahore and Karachi) to accommodate these travellers.

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).

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).

 In July 1973, astronauts of the United State’s last mission to the moon arrived in Karachi. Their visit was widely covered by the press and Pakistan Television (PTV). The astronauts were also honoured by a ‘welcome motorcade procession’ that travelled from Clifton Road till Tower area. The photograph shows the motorcade reaching the Saddar area that was decorated with Pakistani, American and PPP flags and colourful banners

In July 1973, astronauts of the United State’s last mission to the moon arrived in Karachi.
Their visit was widely covered by the press and Pakistan Television (PTV). The astronauts were also honoured by a ‘welcome motorcade procession’ that travelled from Clifton Road till Tower area.
The photograph shows the motorcade reaching the Saddar area that was decorated with Pakistani, American and PPP flags and colourful banners

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!

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!

1977 photograph showing Islamabad’s Marriot Hotel (then called Holiday Inn) being constructed. Almost three decades later this famous hotel was blown up by suicide bombers and/or psychotics who were in a hurry to reach the rooms their handlers had booked for them in paradise.

1977 photograph showing Islamabad’s Marriot Hotel (then called Holiday Inn) being constructed. Almost three decades later this famous hotel was blown up by suicide bombers and/or psychotics who were in a hurry to reach the rooms their handlers had booked for them in paradise.

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 1976 photo of Pakistan’s Nobel Prize winning scientist, Dr. Abdus Salam (right), with a colleague at a summer college held at Pakistan’s scenic Nathiyagali resort.

1976 photo of Pakistan’s Nobel Prize winning scientist, Dr. Abdus Salam (right), with a colleague at a summer college held at Pakistan’s scenic Nathiyagali resort.

Cover of the soundtrack album (LP) of 1974 box-office hit, Miss Hippie. The film depicted the ‘effect hippie lifestyle and fashion were having on Pakistani youth.’ (sic) Starring popular 1970s Pakistani film actress, Shabnam, the film conveniently forgot that more than half of the hashish that was being consumed by the ‘invading hippies’ was actually being produced and smuggled in and from Pakistan!

Cover of the soundtrack album (LP) of 1974 box-office hit, Miss Hippie. The film depicted the ‘effect hippie lifestyle and fashion were having on Pakistani youth.’ (sic)
Starring popular 1970s Pakistani film actress, Shabnam, the film conveniently forgot that more than half of the hashish that was being consumed by the ‘invading hippies’ was actually being produced and smuggled in and from Pakistan!

late Pir Pagara talking to the press at the Karachi Press Club in 1977. Pagara was heading a right-wing movement against the Z. A. Bhutto regime. Here he is seen talking to the press (surrounded by some members of the Jamat-i-Islami, Jamat Ulema Islam and Jamiat Ulema Pakistan). The men then got up to say their evening prayers. However, a commotion broke out between the religious leaders of the movement when JI and JUI men refused to pray behind JUP leader, Shah Noorani. JUI was inclined towards Sunni Deobandi school of thought whereas Noorani was from the pro-Barelvi JUP. Though united in their opposition to Bhutto’s ‘socialism’, both men thought the other was a ‘misguided Muslim.

late Pir Pagara talking to the press at the Karachi Press Club in 1977. Pagara was heading a right-wing movement against the Z. A. Bhutto regime.
Here he is seen talking to the press (surrounded by some members of the Jamat-i-Islami, Jamat Ulema Islam and Jamiat Ulema Pakistan).
The men then got up to say their evening prayers.
However, a commotion broke out between the religious leaders of the movement when JI and JUI men refused to pray behind JUP leader, Shah Noorani.
JUI was inclined towards Sunni Deobandi school of thought whereas Noorani was from the pro-Barelvi JUP. Though united in their opposition to Bhutto’s ‘socialism’, both men thought the other was a ‘misguided Muslim.

poster of Indian Ghazal king Jagit & Chitra’s tour of Lahore in 1979. They held a series of successful concerts, with the most colourful one taking place in the city’s historical Shalimar Gardens.

poster of Indian Ghazal king Jagit & Chitra’s tour of Lahore in 1979. They held a series of successful concerts, with the most colourful one taking place in the city’s historical Shalimar Gardens.

1980 photograph is from a violent protest held by female college students (in Lahore) against the Zia regime’s ‘masochistic attitude’ towards women.

1980 photograph is from a violent protest held by female college students (in Lahore) against the Zia regime’s ‘masochistic attitude’ towards women.

photograph of notorious Pakistani left-wing radical, Salamulla Tipu, hanging out from the cockpit of a PIA plane that he had hijacked with three other colleagues in 1981. Tipu, a leftist student leader from Karachi, had joined Murtaza Bhutto’s Al-Zulfikar Organisation (AZO) to instigate an urban guerrilla war against the Ziaul Haq dictatorship (1977-88). The plane was hijacked from Karachi, flown to Kabul and then to Damascus. Tipu and co. (armed with AK-47s and hand grenades), only released the passengers after the Zia regime agreed to release 50-plus political prisoners from jails. In 1984, however, in an ironic twist of fate, Tipu the Marxist revolutionary, was executed by the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul after he’d fallen out with Murtaza Bhutto, while the other hijackers travelled to Libya where they are said to be still living.

photograph of notorious Pakistani left-wing radical, Salamulla Tipu, hanging out from the cockpit of a PIA plane that he had hijacked with three other colleagues in 1981.
Tipu, a leftist student leader from Karachi, had joined Murtaza Bhutto’s Al-Zulfikar Organisation (AZO) to instigate an urban guerrilla war against the Ziaul Haq dictatorship (1977-88).
The plane was hijacked from Karachi, flown to Kabul and then to Damascus. Tipu and co. (armed with AK-47s and hand grenades), only released the passengers after the Zia regime agreed to release 50-plus political prisoners from jails.
In 1984, however, in an ironic twist of fate, Tipu the Marxist revolutionary, was executed by the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul after he’d fallen out with Murtaza Bhutto, while the other hijackers travelled to Libya where they are said to be still living.

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, addresses a rally at Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s mausoleum in Karachi in 1969. (Photo courtesy of eBay.) The rally was held immediately after a protest movement led by leftist students; labour and journalist unions; political parties, including PPP and the National Awami Party (NAP), had forced Pakistan’s first military dictator Ayub Khan, to resign. Construction of the mausoleum began in the early 1960s and was still underway when the rally was held. Wooden ladders and planks being used for construction purposes were acrobatically utilised by the crowd to gain vantage viewing points on the day of the rally.

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, addresses a rally at Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s mausoleum in Karachi in 1969. (Photo courtesy of eBay.)
The rally was held immediately after a protest movement led by leftist students; labour and journalist unions; political parties, including PPP and the National Awami Party (NAP), had forced Pakistan’s first military dictator Ayub Khan, to resign.
Construction of the mausoleum began in the early 1960s and was still underway when the rally was held. Wooden ladders and planks being used for construction purposes were acrobatically utilised by the crowd to gain vantage viewing points on the day of the rally.

Army troops patrol the streets opposite Club Road and near PIDC building in Karachi, during the anti-Ayub Khan protest movement in 1969. The picture was taken by a foreign tourist from his room at the Hotel Intercontinental (now, Pearl Continental), which is situated diagonally opposite the PIDC building.

Army troops patrol the streets opposite Club Road and near PIDC building in Karachi, during the anti-Ayub Khan protest movement in 1969.
The picture was taken by a foreign tourist from his room at the Hotel Intercontinental (now, Pearl Continental), which is situated diagonally opposite the PIDC building.

Legendary jazz saxophonist and trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie, visited Pakistan during 1950s. Here, he is seen playing his sax with a Sindhi snake charmer at a public park in Karachi in 1954.

Legendary jazz saxophonist and trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie, visited Pakistan during 1950s. Here, he is seen playing his sax with a Sindhi snake charmer at a public park in Karachi in 1954.

 Hollywood stars Ava Gardner and Stewart Granger arrive at Lahore Airport, 1954. The actors arrived in Lahore with a full filming crew to shoot a major portion of the film ‘Bhowani Junction.’

Hollywood stars Ava Gardner and Stewart Granger arrive at Lahore Airport, 1954. The actors arrived in Lahore with a full filming crew to shoot a major portion of the film ‘Bhowani Junction.’

Ava Gardner shooting a scene at the Lahore Railway Station in 1954.

Ava Gardner shooting a scene at the Lahore Railway Station in 1954.

Pakistani fans and artistes gather around the main cast of Bhowani Junction on the film’s sets in Lahore.

Pakistani fans and artistes gather around the main cast of Bhowani Junction on the film’s sets in Lahore.

American tourists enjoy a camel ride at Karachi’s Clifton beach in 1960.

American tourists enjoy a camel ride at Karachi’s Clifton beach in 1960.

1964 PIA press ad featuring famous Hollywood comedian and actor Bob Hope. PIA was one of the first airlines in the world to introduce in-flight entertainment. It regularly featured in all the prestigious top-10-airline lists for over 20 years, before dropping out in the mid-1980s.

1964 PIA press ad featuring famous Hollywood comedian and actor Bob Hope.
PIA was one of the first airlines in the world to introduce in-flight entertainment. It regularly featured in all the prestigious top-10-airline lists for over 20 years, before dropping out in the mid-1980s.

a 1967 press ad published in LIFE magazine for the American insurance company, Continental Insurance. The number of American and British tourists visiting Pakistan began to grow from the early 1960s. The trend hit a peak in the late 1970s before starting to dwindle and peter out in the mid-1980s. It (in a tongue-in-cheek manner) addresses those traveling to Karachi and getting injured during a ‘camel crash.’

a 1967 press ad published in LIFE magazine for the American insurance company, Continental Insurance.
The number of American and British tourists visiting Pakistan began to grow from the early 1960s. The trend hit a peak in the late 1970s before starting to dwindle and peter out in the mid-1980s.
It (in a tongue-in-cheek manner) addresses those traveling to Karachi and getting injured during a ‘camel crash.’

American Embassy building under construction in Karachi, 1957. (Photo courtesy of eBay.)

American Embassy building under construction in Karachi, 1957. (Photo courtesy of eBay.)

Newspaper ad (taken from DAWN’s 7 February, 1972 edition) announcing the arrival of a Lebanese belly dancer in Karachi. Between the early 1960s and late 1970s, Karachi was dotted by a number of nightclubs that competed for clients by offering the best in-house pop bands, bars and professional belly dancers invited from cities like Beirut, Cairo, Tehran and Istanbul. Nightclubs were ordered shut in 1977.

Newspaper ad (taken from DAWN’s 7 February, 1972 edition) announcing the arrival of a Lebanese belly dancer in Karachi.
Between the early 1960s and late 1970s, Karachi was dotted by a number of nightclubs that competed for clients by offering the best in-house pop bands, bars and professional belly dancers invited from cities like Beirut, Cairo, Tehran and Istanbul.
Nightclubs were ordered shut in 1977.

A vibrant 1973 poster prepared and printed by the Pakistan Ministry of Tourism to attract tourism to the city of Lahore.

A vibrant 1973 poster prepared and printed by the Pakistan Ministry of Tourism to attract tourism to the city of Lahore.

copy of famous spy novelist, Edward S. Arron’s 1962 book ‘Assignment Karachi.’ The book was one of the many he wrote that involved the adventures of CIA agent Sam Durell in various cities across the world. This novel, which narrated the tale of Durell working with Pakistani authorities to capture Soviet-backed henchmen, became an instant best-seller in Pakistan. However, in a quirky twist, some copies of this novel were set on fire by pro-Soviet leftist students during a demonstration (at the Karachi University) against Ayub Khan’s education policy in 1962.

copy of famous spy novelist, Edward S. Arron’s 1962 book ‘Assignment Karachi.’
The book was one of the many he wrote that involved the adventures of CIA agent Sam Durell in various cities across the world.
This novel, which narrated the tale of Durell working with Pakistani authorities to capture Soviet-backed henchmen, became an instant best-seller in Pakistan.
However, in a quirky twist, some copies of this novel were set on fire by pro-Soviet leftist students during a demonstration (at the Karachi University) against Ayub Khan’s education policy in 1962.

A 1967 tourism poster for Karachi

A 1967 tourism poster for Karachi

special stamp released by government of Pakistan in 1973, to plead the return of the 90,000 Pakistani prisoners of war captured by the Indian forces during the 1971 war.

special stamp released by government of Pakistan in 1973, to plead the return of the 90,000 Pakistani prisoners of war captured by the Indian forces during the 1971 war.

A 1970 copy of a paperback version of the conspiratorial (and fictitious) book, ‘Protocols of Zion,’ printed in Pakistan in 1969. The Protocols, a book describing a Jewish conspiracy to take over the world, first appeared in Russia in 1903. It was written by an obscure Russian anti-Semite author (most probably as a novel), but was given a whole new angle and widespread publicity by anti-Semite American industrial tycoons like Henry Ford and then by the Nazi regime in Germany. Though constantly debunked as a hoax and a farce, the book soon became popular among Arabs incensed by the creation of Israel in 1948. The book was little known in Pakistan until the Saudi Arabian regime used Pakistani publishers to print it for the Saudi monarchy in 1969. Millions of copies of the above-seen book were published between 1969 and 1976 in Pakistan. Most of them were shipped off to Arab countries. In fact late King Faisal of Saudi Arabia used to hand a copy to visitors. He was assassinated by his nephew in 1975. Many copies also found their way back on the shelves in Pakistan’s book stores. Initially, they became popular with anti-US leftist students, but by the mid-1980s, the book had almost entirely been adopted by the religious right. It is interesting to note that almost no copies were published in Pakistan after the assassination of King Faisal in 1975, but newer editions with additions made by certain ulema, religious parties and Islamists in Pakistan, have been appearing ever since the 1980s. The book has also been influential on popular conspiracy theorists in present-day Pakistan.

A 1970 copy of a paperback version of the conspiratorial (and fictitious) book, ‘Protocols of Zion,’ printed in Pakistan in 1969.
The Protocols, a book describing a Jewish conspiracy to take over the world, first appeared in Russia in 1903. It was written by an obscure Russian anti-Semite author (most probably as a novel), but was given a whole new angle and widespread publicity by anti-Semite American industrial tycoons like Henry Ford and then by the Nazi regime in Germany.
Though constantly debunked as a hoax and a farce, the book soon became popular among Arabs incensed by the creation of Israel in 1948.
The book was little known in Pakistan until the Saudi Arabian regime used Pakistani publishers to print it for the Saudi monarchy in 1969.
Millions of copies of the above-seen book were published between 1969 and 1976 in Pakistan. Most of them were shipped off to Arab countries. In fact late King Faisal of Saudi Arabia used to hand a copy to visitors. He was assassinated by his nephew in 1975.
Many copies also found their way back on the shelves in Pakistan’s book stores. Initially, they became popular with anti-US leftist students, but by the mid-1980s, the book had almost entirely been adopted by the religious right.
It is interesting to note that almost no copies were published in Pakistan after the assassination of King Faisal in 1975, but newer editions with additions made by certain ulema, religious parties and Islamists in Pakistan, have been appearing ever since the 1980s.
The book has also been influential on popular conspiracy theorists in present-day Pakistan.

Two hippie tourists at a tea shop in Sibi, Balochistan, in 1972.

Two hippie tourists at a tea shop in Sibi, Balochistan, in 1972.

A 1973 photo of Nawaz Sharif, he was a music and film enthusiast and a PPP/Bhutto supporter at college (in the late 1960s). In the 1970s his family had a falling out with the PPP regime it nationalised a large part of the Sharif family’s businesses.

A 1973 photo of Nawaz Sharif, he was a music and film enthusiast and a PPP/Bhutto supporter at college (in the late 1960s). In the 1970s his family had a falling out with the PPP regime it nationalised a large part of the Sharif family’s businesses.

1974 press ad of Red & White cigarettes. Just like in other airports of the world at the time, smoking was allowed in all areas of Pakistani airports as well. The shoot for this ad took place at the old Karachi Airport that worked as a hub in the region and was one of the busiest airports in Asia receiving up to 60 flights in an hour from around the world. The man is sitting at a famous waiting lounge/restaurant at the airport (Sky Grill) that also had a full bar and was the only place at the airport that was centrally air-conditioned.

1974 press ad of Red & White cigarettes. Just like in other airports of the world at the time, smoking was allowed in all areas of Pakistani airports as well. The shoot for this ad took place at the old Karachi Airport that worked as a hub in the region and was one of the busiest airports in Asia receiving up to 60 flights in an hour from around the world.
The man is sitting at a famous waiting lounge/restaurant at the airport (Sky Grill) that also had a full bar and was the only place at the airport that was centrally air-conditioned.

Poster and still from 1975’s Pakistani film, ‘Dulhan Aik Raat Ki’ (A Bride for One Night). The flick was Pakistan’s first Urdu film advertised as ‘For Adults Only.’

Poster and still from 1975’s Pakistani film, ‘Dulhan Aik Raat Ki’ (A Bride for One Night).
The flick was Pakistan’s first Urdu film advertised as ‘For Adults Only.’

A still from one of the most famous one-off plays on Pakistan television, ‘Quratul Ain’ (1975). It starred Naveen Tajik (right), a Pakistani Christian, who, along with Roohi Bano and Uzma Gillani, was hailed as one of the finest TV actresses in Pakistan (in the 1970s). ‘Quratul Ain’ (scripted by Asfaq Ahmed) tells the story of a young man who wants to join the air force and is in love with a girl (Qurat). The play was part of PTV’s ‘Aik Muhabbat Soh Afsaney’ series in which Sufi themes were set in modern urban settings. Naveen, though hugely successful as a TV actress and fashion model, failed to make a mark in films. She left for the US in the early 1980s.

A still from one of the most famous one-off plays on Pakistan television, ‘Quratul Ain’ (1975).
It starred Naveen Tajik (right), a Pakistani Christian, who, along with Roohi Bano and Uzma Gillani, was hailed as one of the finest TV actresses in Pakistan (in the 1970s).
‘Quratul Ain’ (scripted by Asfaq Ahmed) tells the story of a young man who wants to join the air force and is in love with a girl (Qurat). The play was part of PTV’s ‘Aik Muhabbat Soh Afsaney’ series in which Sufi themes were set in modern urban settings.
Naveen, though hugely successful as a TV actress and fashion model, failed to make a mark in films. She left for the US in the early 1980s.

Karachi on the day the reactionary military junta led by Ziaul Haq toppled the Z A Bhutto regime (July 5, 1977).

Karachi on the day the reactionary military junta led by Ziaul Haq toppled the Z A Bhutto regime (July 5, 1977).

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