Picture of the Day: Imagining Pakistan

Posted on June 12, 2006
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Photo of the Day, Society
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Adil Najam

PIA print advertisement from the 1960s (Originally uploaded by PakPositive.com which is a blog that highlights the positives aspects of Pakistan).

Let me continue with the ‘Image Pakistan’ theme in choosing the picture for today. I find this advert for PIA absolutely fascinating; both for what it says about how PIA (Pakistan International Airlines) saw itself and how it saw Pakistan (or wanted Pakistan to be seen).

Was this the reality of Pakistan before theso-called ‘darhi wallahs’ took center stage? Or was this ‘image’ of Pakistan as much out-of-sync with the reality of what was Pakistan then, as the image of the bearded-gun-totting-bomb- throwing-jihadi-Pakistani is today?

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Speaking of ‘image’ and ‘brand’ the Association of Pakistani Professionals (AOPP) has recently launched an initiative on the subject and held a thoughtful and thought-provoking event on he subject in New York on June 3. I was asked to moderate part of the program, and found the discussion to be mature, reasoned and reasonable–something we should have more of.

162 Comments on “Picture of the Day: Imagining Pakistan”

  1. Dr. Shaheen Iqbal qazi says:
    June 13th, 2006 7:55 pm

    The picture is accurate. Pakistan was much more tolerant society back then. The trouble started with Communist invasion in Afghanistan.

    Unfortunately our intellectual class was already left-leaning so the anti-communist fight was picked up by the religious zealots. Rest of it as they say is history.

    Mullah and it’s interference was just a need for the hour. Now the need is over, so will the mullahism. You will see it vanish in the next 30 years.

  2. Hashir Zuberi says:
    June 14th, 2006 1:09 am

    I hope I misunderstood your point, but I’m rather saddened to see a scholar of your caliber equating the exploitation of female sex appeal with “positives [sic] aspects of Pakistan” and darhee wallahs with bomb-throwing. To see the world in such narrow, black-and-white vision is not a healthy sign in anyone. I’m not sure why certain factions in our society want to measure Pakistan’s “progress” with the yardstick of skin exposure and abuse of feminine charm. This approach, in the context of Pakistan’s society, is rather hypocritical, because the vast majority of Pakistani men and women (I’m not sure where you personally stand) would not want their wives, daughters or sisters to even be represented in this way, much less be involved in such endeavors.

  3. June 14th, 2006 1:42 am

    Zuberi saab, on this one there may well be a misunderstanding. Or, maybe, I was unclear.

    The ‘positive aspects of Pakistan’ line was describing the stated goal of PakPositive.com, which had originally posted the photograph. Nor is there an attempt to equate darhee wallahs with bomb throwing. On the contrary, my point is that both this image and the prevalent image of bearded-bomb-throwers are inaccurate because they miss the complex and multidimensional social realities of Pakistan; both now and then. I have no way of knowing what the ‘majority’ of Pakistani feel. But I do know that (a) both extremes do exist within society, and (b) there are many who are uncomfortable at either extreme.

  4. Hashir Zuberi says:
    June 15th, 2006 7:51 am

    It was considerate of you to clarify your position and address my misunderstanding. Upon re-reading the post based on your reply, the meaning is clearer. Regarding your last sentence, I completely agree with you, and myself am among those uncomfortable with both extremes.

  5. June 17th, 2006 1:37 am

    Interesting post…my interpretation of this picture is “Freedom”. From looking at this ad it seems like If someone or a corporation wanted to take out an ad in which a female was wearing a tank top, they could have done it without much public concern. Atleast I dont recall any riots outside PIA Office (Not that I was alive at that time).
    I obviously dont want to start an argument here but the point is the maturity of our nation or any nation or a people should be judged on the way they tolerate others with different set of values living next door to them.
    On another note, why arent the dargi walas against men beings shown topless on TV….I always said, God is a woman !

  6. June 19th, 2006 8:59 pm

    by the way, where is she now ???

  7. wellwisher says:
    July 10th, 2006 10:35 am

    Back Then, Only a few people read newspapers… illiteracy was higher and the mullahs were non existent… i mean the govt had not yet supported them… radio was the only wide media that that time still had few listeners (radio cannot even show nudity)…

    The upper class rich people were there reading the newspapers, middle class and low class were synonyms.

  8. Zakintosh says:
    July 17th, 2006 9:03 pm

    One of the stories around the time this ad campaign was in progress was that one proposed ad had been shot down for going too far. It had an asterisk below the last city name … with a small print footnote that said “Wait till we get to Sydney”

  9. Rameez says:
    July 22nd, 2006 1:13 pm

    Pakistan is about being liberal and being liberal does not mean having women showing skin. Pakistan should be about respect for majority and minority where everyone is looked upon as equal. Sluttyness had jack to do with being liberal I live in Canada and will be visiting Pakistan after 12 years. One thing I see on Pakistani channels is if a girl shows skin it is consider liberal Pakistan. Being liberal means treating everyone equaly not pradeing our women. IF you really want to be liberal why not even allow same sex marriage??? after all the west did and look they are fine???? There is a fine in being a liberal ISLAMIC state and being valuger. Pakistani’s don’t know the diffrence sorry to say that. In a country where 50% of the country earns less then $2 a day you have to worry more about ecnomy and health care and education not go after the “bearded-gun-totting-bomb- throwing-jihadi-Pakistani” who sadly do make majority of the countries population and they do because you idiots don’t spend money on education but rathar make nuclear bombs. For you shoing women with less clothes on is libreal which is reality is quick sad.


  10. Jawad habib says:
    July 24th, 2006 8:53 pm

    I absolutely love the image and identify myself and Pakistan with what’s depicted in it. Mullahs and other such fundamentalist are not us. They’re, as someone said, by-products of our mis-informed “war” against the “godless” communists in support of Afghanistan. Remember these mullahs were given weapons, power and media coverage on US’ command. US thought that if it could incite the religious fervor in the masses, we might help USA down it’s rival. After that the Mullahs were just allowed to run around free, and they corrupted our society.

    Showing skin is not about exploiting the feminine sex. It’s about freedom of expression and freedom of speech. Most female models choose [to], and have the right to refuse the show of skin. Let people do what they want to do and not what the Mullah wants them to do.

    Long Live Freedom, Long Live Liberty, Long Live Equality and Long Live Pakistan!

  11. Jawad Habib says:
    July 25th, 2006 5:35 pm

    Hashir Zuberi, you said: “This approach, in the context of Pakistan’s society, is rather hypocritical, because the vast majority of Pakistani men and women (I’m not sure where you personally stand) would not want their wives, daughters or sisters to even be represented in this way, much less be involved in such endeavors.

    Have you ever stopped to think what the “wives, daughters or sisters” would like to or want to do? and not what their husbands, fathers and brothers would want them to do.

    This is the main problem with our society. We treat women as if they’re incapable of choosing what’s right or wrong for themselves. We tend to define their morals and reality. How disgraceful. Our society disgusts me in more than a few ways. This is just one of the examples.

    Let women decide and choose what they want to do.

  12. Umera says:
    August 2nd, 2006 12:21 pm

    I think the image is a tribute to Pakistani as it was in 1960s and not because it shows a female in a tank top and that is a liberal. It is a tribute because it shows a society, which was tolerant and their religion was not threatened by woman in a tank top. It shows a society, which respects freedom of choice and expression.

  13. Salman says:
    August 3rd, 2006 5:32 am

    how ironic, when a chiristian pastor or a jewish has a beard, they are not called with names such as mullah or fundamentalist… but when a muslim decides to follow the path of their beloved prophet (PBUH) they are instantly turned into terrorists or fundamentalists… how ironic… isn’t it… especially when our own people has such views for us, to whom are we suppose to blame it for… May Allah Bless us all with wisdom… Ameen

  14. Ijaz says:
    August 3rd, 2006 6:29 pm

    dont know what is meant by a tolerant society or people? aint these liberals intolerant as well especially when the fumes are coming out of their heads upon seeing a bearded mullah/muslim? since when a woman wearing a tank top in a scoiety has become a reflection of freedom, intolerance in that society? dont you think that woman wearing a tank top can also be offensive to people in a society? was this kind of action allowed in the very first muslim society which was built in medina by our beloved Prophet Muhammd P.B.U.H? Would he or first four caliphs allow this kind of mass advertisement of this material in the society? Or did Prophet P.B.U.H or first four caliphs allow this kind of action? If yes then can somebody quote one example? However, we have many examples in which nakedness was discouraged when it is done in Public. So what do liberals or “cool english medium guys and gals” have to say about the biggest Mullah Prophet P.B.U.H. Just keep it simple – no need to insert fake philosophical discussions to convolute/hide the issue.
    Now to the question if this ad is in sync with our scoiety’s behaviour and trend – not sure. But I think it does reflect the urban society behaviours to some extent. But who cares? even if it is in sync with the behaviours in different classes and fabrics of the whole Pakistan’s society. My wife, sisters and mother would not want to wear tank top even if the large segment of society is running around in bikinis. “Cool Angraizee people” forget a very simple fact that women have brains and hearts (qalb e saleem) too, they do not always have to follow their husbands and fathers when Qura’an and Sunnah are there like day’s light for their guidance. They take hijab by choice not by force.

  15. MSK says:
    August 3rd, 2006 10:37 pm

    Dear Mr. Ijaz,
    -If you really see fumes coming out of someone’s head, please call for medical help!
    -Anyone who tries to impose their will on others is a problem. So, yes, if someone imposes a rule that women CANNOT wear a burqa or chador, then, yes that is intolerant too. No one is suggesting that all women should be forced to wear tank tops. But if someone wants to, who am I – or you – to object.
    -You are right, lets keep it simple. Lets also not insert fake religiousity into things. Religion is a personal and I have no right to impose my religious ideas and interpretations on you; nor you on me. That is what tolerance is about. And, please, do not insult the Prophet by calling him a Mullah.
    -There was no also no computer in Medina 1400 years ago; does that mean using a computer is also prohibited!
    -You are right on the final paragraph. Women, and men, should do what THEY want, and if they wish to wear hijab that this entirely their right; just as it is their right to wear tank tops if they want.
    -By the way, from your comment you seem to be one of these ‘Cool Angraizee people’ yourself. So, please, lets keep the namecalling down.

  16. Ijaz says:
    August 4th, 2006 4:24 am

    Now the problem is that we get angry when our beloved Prophet P.B.U.H is called a Mullah but dont get angry or take any notice at all if our beloved Prophet’s teachings are disgraced, nullified, joked around and not adopted. I could never understand this kind of cosmetic love. For example its just like I keep on saying to my wife that “honey, I love you more than anything in the world” but never do things practically, physically or emotionally to make her happy or content. I dont think wife or any human being can be fooled around with lip service only and we think that we can such with Allah or His Prphet – how insane !! This is just a comment on our (including mine’s) behaviours so please do not take it personally. And I or anybody would not know what’s in the heart of others – MSK (male or female – I am not sure) could be very pious and close to Allah than all of us, inshallah.

    Whats wrong in calling somebody a Mullah if West has made Mullah a bad word? In our traditions Mullah was never considered to be a bad word. Atleast in language we need to be freed up from western shackles.

    Its not about me, you or somebody else wants, in Islam it is about what Allah wants. I am not asking you to read tafseer or “interpretations” – we (including me) just need to open Qura’an and make our decisions based on this “kitaab ul furqaan”. As a muslim I am only interested in what is right and wrong based on Qura’an and Sunnah not in what men or women or societies want. By the way one can be naked or can drink or can do anything in her or his house and Islam does not allow anybody or state to do anything in regards to that but when all of the above is done publically then Islam impose some duties on state.

    Also I did not get the answer if Prophet P.B.U.H or first four caliph would allow such behaviours.

  17. MSK says:
    August 4th, 2006 9:48 am

    Dear Mr. Ijaz

    -On Mullah, maybe I was not clear. I do not care what the ‘West’ thinks r who it labels what. Mullah, to me is someone who is dogmatic about religion, cares more for ritual rathen than intent, focusses on the word rather than the intent of religion, and is forever concerned (interfering) in the actions of others and the imposition of his own narrow version of religion on other (by definition a Mullah is arrogant becasue they assume that they KNOW religion better than other… the easiest way to tell who is a Mullah is to find people who spend their time identifying what is wrong with others rather than doing the right things themselves; and nearly always they point fingers at rituals. Nor is this a new terminology. Bulleh Shah and others were talking about the same mullah that I am. So, in my view the Prophet was not a Mullah. He was kool becasue he was anti-establishment, a revolutionary, a visionary. Mullahs are usually none of these things.
    -As to what the caliphs did. That is historically interesting and surely there may be lessons in some of those actions that we could learn from. What Pakistan does should be based on what the people of Pakistan want. And ALL people of Pakistan (not all of whom are Muslims and nor all are ‘similar’ Muslims). As a Pakistani I am interested in what is good for Pakistan and for ALL her people.
    P.S. It should not matter whether I am male or female, right?

  18. Ijaz says:
    August 4th, 2006 5:02 pm

    Ok so then Mullah is not name calling :-) but “Cool Angraizi medium guys and gals” is. I wish you had used the same logic when you advised me to refrain from name calling. It should be very clear, if we are into serious discussion, that I was referring to a behaviour which I think is completely immersed in extremely deep inferiority complex when I used “cool Angraizi guys and gals”. One does not become cool angraizee medium if he or she writes in english :-) rather it is a reflection of those “wanna be” behaviours which we observe left and right espeially within Pakistan’s elite class.

    Anyways very respectfuly I “completely” disagree with your ideas because to me my deen Islam is the most important assest for me and it comes first before any other ideology, ism, liking or wanting. Now if you call me bigot, fundamentalist or Mullah :-) – I really do not care.

    For your kind information the huge lands those four Great Caliphs ruled over were much more diversed culturally and religiously than today’s Pakistan and yet to them Qura’an and Sunnah were the supreme Law NOT the people’s choices (of course muslims of those eras always preferred Islam over their Nafs and were never ashamed of Islam like the muslims of today are …. to the extent that they do not want Islam to be the way of their lives). By the way more Christian, Jews, Zortishts and people of other faiths were part of Muslim lands than they may be found in today’s Pakistan. So keeping in view the actions of our Prophet P.B.U.H and four rightly guided Caliph I find it completely out of logic and place when one says that whatever Islamic Republic of Pakistan does should be based on what people want.

    This vision is so weak, lousy and baseless that if we extrapolate on this further then we will find that there should not be any place for religion, Prophets or guidance from Allah in human life because the whole framework of Prophets which is based on Tazkiya, Anzaar and Dawah will look as if they tried to impose the ideologies on free human race.

    Anyways to your point that these religious people/mullahs think that they are better muslims than others and that they find others mistake all the time etc etc …. I think Islam has no option for such disgusting behaviour and if somebody does it then he does it because of not knowing what Islam demands from them, actually he/she disgraces himself/herself in the similar fashion the liberals or those “cool Angraizi medium guys and gals” do the disgrace to themselves by going against the well established teachings of Islam becasue of their Inferiority Complexes of superlative degree and not knowing what Islam demands from them.

    This is my last post and will not respond further because I do not see any point.

    May Allah bless all of us with right knowledge, wisdom and courage to accept our shortcomings and mistakes. Regards…. Ijaz

  19. Saif says:
    August 4th, 2006 8:03 pm

    Dear Ijaz:

    I have followed your exchange with MSK with interest. You say, “to me my deen Islam is the most important assest…”. That is an unnecessary statement because I didn’t feel if MSK was trying to snatch anything from you or even to dislodge you from your firmly held perch. He was simply trying to explain his/her viewpoint.

    You make an interesting observation, even though to prove a different point, when you say, “… more Christian, Jews, Zortishts and people of other faiths were part of Muslim lands (during the early caliphate) than they may be found in today’s Pakistan”. Did you know why?

    Pakistan, too, was a very diverse country when it came into being? It had between 20-25 percent non-Muslim citizens including Hindus, Sikhs, Christians and Zorastrians (Parsis). That is why one fourth of the Pakistani flag was designed to be white, representing the minority faiths. But because of the mullaism (do what I do, wear what I wear, look the way I look, and talk the way I talk, or else …) most of them left the country. Today the minority faiths represent only 2 percent of the population. It was Pakistan’s loss. And look what is happening among the remaining 98 percent.

    Iqbal was right when he said openly, “Deen-e-mulla fi sabilillah fasaad !” and then more subtly: “Teri azaaN maiN nahiN hai meri sahar ka piyaam”.

    To your prayer at the end of your message, I would say Amen!

  20. MSK says:
    August 6th, 2006 12:39 pm

    Hopefully, Mr. Ijaz and I can agree that anyone trying to impose their vision on others (on religious grounds or on grounds of so-called modernness) are equally wrong and equally intolerant. If so, then we also agree that all people have a right to make decisions for themsleves on what they do, what they wear, etc. I fnd it equally unacceptable to put women into a skirt as someone trying to put women in a burqa.

    I am still not prepared to accept the equation of mullah with religious person. That is just wrong. Was wrong when Bulleh Shah was warning us about the dangers of the mullahs and is wrong today. I consider myself to be a VERY RELIGIOUS person. I take my faith seriously. I just don’t try to impose it on anyone. This is why I find the mullah so dangerous. Decisions of faith SHOULD be based on people’s personal faith might be. That also means everyone has the right to do things according to THEIR faith. I would certainly be very very worried if Muslims living in a country where the majority is non-Muslim were forced to act against their faith and according to someone else’s. The same should be true for non-Muslims in Muslim countries, no?

    On your last prayer. I fully endorse it. Amen to that, for everyone.

  21. Umera says:
    August 9th, 2006 5:17 pm

    If an Islamic country state should be allowed to force a Islamic lifestyle on the people – should in the governments in secular countries be allowed to exclude expression of faith from public life? If it is ok for the government or mullah’s to force wearing of hijab then is it ok for the french Government to to forbid Muslim girls from wearing hijab? If we are going to accept the mandate of forcing Islamic lifestyle on other people then we should also accept forcing of non Islamic lifestyle on us.

    I think my point was very aptly made by MSK when he said: Decisions of faith SHOULD be based on people’s personal faith might be. That also means everyone has the right to do things according to THEIR faith. I would certainly be very very worried if Muslims living in a country where the majority is non-Muslim were forced to act against their faith and according to someone else’s. The same should be true for non-Muslims in Muslim countries, no?

  22. Hasan says:
    August 12th, 2006 12:33 pm

    A string of thought that I think can knit all these factions of thought is that Islam is not concerned purely with indivisual’s faith.So therefore in the early Caliphate did live the aforementioned masses of non-muslims;no one is forced to pray,do Hajj wear hijab(well it is a social-cum-personal issue)or have darhhi.
    Islam has a more holistic goal of collective benifit for everyone.An influential majority is aimed at believing that if Allah’s orders aren’t obeyed, the concerned indivisuals may have to face the music sometimes.It is analogous to all of us thinking robbery a crime,smoking bad and raping evil.This combined with a true altruistic concern and compassion for others should force us to stop such wrong things from happening.
    Such an approach help those who are at a weaker level of goodness(like me).Such people are analogous to those who think robbery is wrong but may do it when needed.By providing a social ambience in which one is compassionately explained and even forced not to think about doing wrong do alot of good to us all.
    I think we have a society the elements of which have different yardsticks of what is right and what is not.
    Publicly striping,using obscene language and the likes are totally unacceptable,drinking may be fine somewhere,movies and music have fans as well as refrainers while males not wearing proper shirts seem accepted at large.It is when an act is dislocated from your spectrum to someone else’s that clash arises.

  23. Zain Imran says:
    August 13th, 2006 1:59 am

    I have skimmed through the comments on this post. It is my view that this ad is in no way “exploiting” the woman in question. The very first thought that hits my brain upon seeing this ad is how stunningly beautiful the model is. From a business standpoint, it is excellent advertizing considering the originality of the commercial, plus the fact that the airline’s tagline was “The most relaxing way to fly”. This and other commercials like it are not exploiting women. On the contrary, they are celebrating women. A woman is the beautiful side of humanity, the more loving half of humanity, the more deserving of freedom. Why force every woman in the country to lock herself up or cover every inch of her skin while out in public? If your mother, sister, wife etc does not want to be “indecent” then by all means let them live as they wish. But to say that this is offensive is partisan. Its only a tank top. How does a tank top cause even remote offense unless you are a bigoted, self righteous, self appointed guardian of morality? I am not flaming any person who posted here, but the zealots who tear down billboards bearing the images of women in Pakistan.

    I am perfectly okay with my girlfriend, wife, mother or daughter appearing in any commercial she wants to. Why should somebody else impose his ideology on her? The bottom line is that liberalism and tolerance mean that you live others live the way they want to, even if it is against your own beliefs. If you don’t like it, don’t look at it. Don’t force your religious ideas on me or my family please. This ad would not appear in the press today because of the religious constraints. That is why I believe this ad is such a symbol of Pakistani liberalism.

    As for this ad being an accurate representation of the 60′s Pakistan, from what I have heard from my mother/grand mother/father about old school Pakistan, it is at least semi accurate.

  24. Arshad says:
    August 13th, 2006 2:11 pm

    When you live in a society you follow the norms of that society – while you can run around naked on nude beach (if you like) but if you do that in NYC, you will be booked. So this whole notion of “I can do whatever I like” or “do not impose your views on mine” – these only go to a certain extent, if you cross the social and moral lines of the prevaling society ineffect – soemeon will stop you (if not the state) – that’s how it works, even in the most advanced so called liberal world.

  25. Zain Imran says:
    August 13th, 2006 11:58 pm

    Why are you equating a tank top wearing woman with running around naked? As long as a person is not truly naked (ie no private parts showing) let people wear what they want. I remember me and my cousins were in Karachi as kids and being from “liberal” countries we just wore our swimwear and decided to walk to the beach with nothing else on as it was so close. The whole time we were out people were staring at us as if we were green little martians with antlers sticking out of our heads. Traffic was slowing down, and it seemed to us it was the first time those people had seen someone going for a swim at the beach. But did we give two cents? No we had our fun and walked proudly back home. People ogling at others because they are in swim trunks/bikinis is unheard of anywhere in the world, maybe except the most extreme countries like Saudi Arabia. If Pakistan’s “social norms” deal with such trivial things then I truly feel sad for them. Like someone above said, how would Muslims feel if their right to dress the way they want is taken away? Every Pakistani dosen’t hesistate to condemn France for banning headscarves but oh no people inside pakistan can’t be allowed to wear what they like cause it clashes with the majority’s “moral lines”
    Inetestingly, what would happen to me if I decided to do the same thing today? Would I get arrested for walking to the beach in Karachi in my trunks? I’m 19/male.

  26. AwryDude says:
    August 14th, 2006 9:12 am

    Dunno why every such pic,ad,film,phrase or what ever ignites an uncontrollable fire over personal liberty and religious responsibilty.
    If one thinks that it is one’s responsibility to strip her of her tank top then go on do it.Stop all such things without infringing rights of others,distroying property or being unreasonable.
    And if you wanna model you too go on have your way.
    Bottomline:do good and dont do bad

  27. [RainArmy] says:
    August 16th, 2006 10:14 pm

    In my opinion Arshad has got it spot on when he says that when you live in a society, you have to follow its norms. I am what you could call a recovering liberal. To be a confessed liberal in Pakistan is simply a dishonest phiosophical position to take. What some of our friends here fail to realise is that barring the last two or three generations, most Muslims in undivided India were proud of their Islamic culture and heritage and deemed it sufficient as a guidline on how to order their lives.

    We are just an aberrent minority who are disoriented by the western education that we have recieved, not comfortable in either skin. A tiny speck in a country of 150 million!! The majority of Pakistanis are rural and lacking in even primary education. Asking them to be liberal is just clutching at straws when your foremost priority is surviving in a hand to mouth kind of impoverished existence. Do they care if its Ayub Khan’s liberalism, Bhutto’s socialism or the current ‘moderate enlightenment’ that is putting food on their table?

    Yes we may view the racy TV shows, read the controversial books and appreciate the risque art, and may secretly long to replicate that in our own lives, but that is simply a private affair. we cannot ram it down the throats of people who find it objectionable. The whole problem with a liberal outlook of life is that while we want unfettered freedom to indulge in our whims and fancies, we also insist on talking down to the less enlightened as they are too incompetent to know what they really need.

    Specifically in response to equating tank tops with nudity, Mr. Zain Imran is welcome to come down to the Beach Avenue (sea view) and wear his cute shorts. While he may not bring traffic to a standstill, yes he will recieve more than his share of attention from the public and he should gracefully accept their difference of opinion. This would be the same as some young woman walking on the famous nude beach in Paris (that is no more) being hassled if she was wearing a hijab.

  28. [RainArmy] says:
    August 16th, 2006 11:16 pm

    salam alaikum all

    Arshad hits it spot on when he writes that you have to respect the norms of the society you live in. I am what you would call a recovering liberal. What some friends here fail to realise is that except for the previous 2 or 3 generations, all Muslims and especially those in undivided India took pride in their Islamic culture and heritage and deemed it as a suitable guidline for ordering their lives. Something which worked for 1200 out of 1400 years! Sir Syed Ahmed Khan did his bit, but he only created an elitist entity at Aligarh, which he honestly admitted was his goal. To be a confessed liberal in Pakistan today is to take a dishonest philosophical position.

    Those of us who have recieved a western education are just an aberrent tiny majority in a nation of 160 million. we are not comfortable in our own skin, confused as to which world to embrace, while the majority are rural and lacking even primary education. I mean when you are leading a hand to mouth existence without education, healthcare, or economic livelihood, would you care if it was Ayb khan’s liberalism, Bhutto’s socialism or the current ‘moderate enlightenment’ that put food on your table?

    Yes we watch the racy TV shows, read the controversial books and appreciate the risque art that comes with a western lifestyle and maybe even yearn to replicate that in our own lives, but that is a personal choice. We cannot force it down the throats of people who find it objectionable. Stereotyping all religiously observant people as mullahs and ‘daarhi walas’ is not very liberal or tolerant now is it?

    A case in point being the Pakistani-American doctors who famously visited Israel recently on a peace mission. We all know what happened there when they did not meet the Palestinian elected representatives. I mean here was something which even the State of Pakistan had the spine to stick to a position for the odd 50 years and which had popular support, but all undone because a bunch of greedy doctors wanted to please their jewish friends back in the US. what right had they to speak for the rest of us?!?!

    Which brings us to the whole problem with Liberalism. On one hand we want unfettered freedom to indulge our whims and fancies, but yet we still insist on the right to talk down to everyone else because they are too incompetent or uneducated to know what they really want. That sounds like cultural fascism to me.

    Mr. Zain Imran is welcome to come down to Beach Avenue (sea view) in his cute shorts and while he may not bring traffic to a standstill, he WILL be the focus of attention, which he should gracefully accept. This would be akin to a young woman walking on the famous nude beach in Pqaris ( which is no more) being harrased because she is wearing a hijab.

    As for the PIA ad which started this discussion, someone above has mentioned that it would only be seen by a few urban folks at the time it came out. For everyone’s information there are currently numerous billboards and print ads appearing here that are even more risque, but i dont think any newspaper office has been sujected to arson on that count. Things may be different in Peshawar or Quetta, but not in Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Multan, Faisalabad et all. Sadly in our part of the world we DO equate a woman’s liberation as the freedom to reveal more skin, which transalates into the freedom to make yourself a sex object

  29. MSk says:
    August 17th, 2006 1:04 am

    YES. Those who live in a society should follow the norms of society. EXACTLY. That is the definition of liberalism. So, on that point we agree. In fact, those who live in a society should not only follow the norms of society. They should SET those norms. That is the question. What are those norms, who sets them and how.

    Is anyone suggesting that we should force risque dress, or controversial books, or racy shows, or whatever “down the throats of people.” Indeed, liberalism is the exact opposite of that. i.e., that we should NOT force things down people’s throats. The ‘forccing down peoples throat’ is coming from the other side. The debate here is simple. Should a few (whether they have darhis or not) dictate on others what they do and what they wear, or should people make that choice themselves (whatever the choice might be; bikini or burqa, shorts and shalwars). My vote is to be with the liberal side. To let people decide themselves what they do and what they don’t. I will support as vigorously the right of someone to wear a headscarf in France if she so wishes, as I would her right to wear a tank top in Karachi if she so wishes. It is the hypocrites who will support her right to do the one (whichever ) but not the other that I oppose. So, yes, I am a liberal. And a practicing Muslim. And, since when has liberalism become the opposite of Islam? And, no, there is no contradiction between the two.

  30. Adnan Khan says:
    August 20th, 2006 5:50 pm

    why do we have to imagine just one Pakistan. we have 160 million people, they can have various ideas, various attitudes, various priorities. the question is whether we can imagine a Pakistan that is for all Pakistanis and for all the visions they have for themselves and their country

  31. Jameel Afridi says:
    August 21st, 2006 4:19 am

    The picture was, and is pretty much irrelevant to Pakistan or PIA. Probably some kinky fella in PIA management had one too many and clipped a still out of photo session with some wanna be model ….. Tattoos, piercing and all. In sober hours he realized his folly and ordered the publicity department to crop everything out except the face!.

  32. Sahar Humayun says:
    August 23rd, 2006 1:12 pm

    Assuming that this string of discussion hasn’t gone cold, i’d like to add my two-cents worth. Associating a country or a nation with Islam limits Islam into boundaries, which it certainly is not meant to be. I, for one, do not associate the “Pakistani Image” with the “Islamic Image”. They are two different entities, one being a country, with a particular culture, a particular people, a few languages and heritage, etc. Islam, on the other hand, does not belong to one culture, people, language, heritage, etc.

    Just as not every Pakistani is a Muslim, not every Muslim is a Pakistani. Rather, they both contribute a bit to each other’s image. Islam encompasses more than just Pakistan, and “Pakistaniant” also, is not primarily defined by Islam, whether anyone likes it or not.

    As for the image, it’s an advertisement, meant to sell. As a journalism major, i can frankly say, depending on the audience, it serves its purpose – it attracts the eye, it entices the reader into reading the message, and more likely than not, retain it.

    And last but not least, I think the question should have been limited to the media’s freedom in Pakistan in the ’60s rather than crediting this picture as a symbol of Pakistan (image, freedom, etc.) in that era. Very few pictures can grasp the multidimensional existence of a people in such totality. So I guess, i’m kinda saying that this picture is not symbolic of Pakistan in the ’60s, though my reasons are different from it being unIslamic or Liberal.

  33. abid says:
    August 26th, 2006 7:35 pm

    Yes, the ad is just an ad. But the fact that we could have this ad for the national carrier is telling. It does not mean that women in Pakistan looked all like this. Normal women never look like models anywhere. It does mean that we were more open to multiple views on things. I think we are again becoming that and the Zia shadow is slowly lifting. Aameen.

  34. Adnan Siddiqi says:
    September 3rd, 2006 2:43 am


    Dr. Shaheen Iqbal qazi,How Exposing a woman’s body make any state TOLERENT??

    THE US should be considered most tolerant nation on earth than?What an absurd relation of exposing with tolerence.

  35. Adnan Siddiqi says:
    September 3rd, 2006 2:45 am

    @Sahar Humayun:Which culture of Pakistan preaches Exposing of female body.Which religion on earth permits a woman to be present as a ‘pleasureable toy’? Maybe that so called pathetic secularism permits it?

  36. Sahar Humayun says:
    September 5th, 2006 9:56 am

    @Adnan Siddiqi: The culture we are touting in media. This competition we’ve started to place Pakistan in the global market with an “image” that does not reflect the true “Pakistaniat”. If you read my comment again, I never said it was an accurate portrayal of Pakistan, then or now.

    I don’t like it when people use Islam as a shield, a cover of any sort for their own shortcomings. Islam is perfect, Pakistan is not, so let’s keep them separate. Personally, I believe in covering oneself, but here is the strange part – in Western countries, you can go out wearing next to nothing, and no one will stare; however in Pakistan, even with a hijaab and abaa, men just won’t stop staring. That in itself, is more of an incentive to cover than not to.

    When people say it’s a personal choice for a woman to cover or not, I think it’s digression from the rulings of Islam to not cover her body as ordained. I can only encourage others to do a good deed, not force them – I think that’s what this discussion is about. Qura’an itself says: (interpretation of meaning) “There is no coercion in religion”, so who am I to do that?

  37. Adnan Siddiqi says:
    September 5th, 2006 2:31 pm

    and no one will stare; however in Pakistan, even with a hijaab and abaa, men just won’t stop staring. That in itself, is more of an incentive to cover than not to.

    Because people in west get sex easily?what else?still we hear so many crappy things tht women are abused by different means in that region.

    I can only encourage others to do a good deed, not force them – I think that’s what this discussion is about.

    The discussion is that individuals should do respect of the culture of the country where they are living.Thats what my othe fellows said above.In India women cant wander in biknis like west.

    There is no coercion in religion

    Absolutely wrong example here.That verse is all about that I cant force a christian to become a muslim.Read 2:256

    There is no compulsion in religion; truly the right way has become clearly distinct from error; therefore, whoever disbelieves in the Shaitan and believes in Allah he indeed has laid hold on the firmest handle, which shall not break off, and Allah is Hearing, Knowing

    This verse doesn’t mean that if a muslim is drinking alchol then I shoudn’t stop him and you keep your lips sealed.

  38. Kabir says:
    September 13th, 2006 9:27 pm

    I love the image. I dont see anything that would be vulgar in anyway. In fact it seems pretty decent. I want to remind the people of Pakistan that our country was founded by Jinnah not Bin Laden. Nothing can/should change that fact. Also I’d like to request our sisters to come forward and “take control”, the nation needs you today more then ever before.

  39. Suleman says:
    September 15th, 2006 2:41 pm

    Well here is an image posted on the net, with over 500 hits on digg.com so much for the image of Pakistan and PIA being associated with 9/11 , although absurd, but that is another image. The pic is from 1979. check out the link here

  40. farrukh says:
    September 15th, 2006 3:31 pm

    That is a good find, Suleman.
    In normal times this would have been just ‘an interesting but eerie coincidence’ that this is what an old PIA ad looked like. In teh climate of paranoi today, the fear mongers will try to instill all sorts of fears and intentions and conspiracies behind this. For my own sanity, I find that the best way to deal with those who would do so is just to ignore them.

  41. Junaid says:
    September 16th, 2006 12:38 pm

    @Sahar Humayun

    Where do you live? I am born and raised in Europe. Go to Europe and you will see plenty of men staring to women. And the remark about a society being more “tolerant” because of advertisements like these are really funny. You can see these kind of advertisements in Pakistan still today.

    God bless the people with ghayrat.

  42. Bhitai says:
    September 23rd, 2006 3:15 am

    60s sound like paradise lost to many, but I wonder, was it really that great a time? I mean wasn’t it a time of lopsided prosperity when only certain classes were thriving at the expense of the majority (the east-west economic gap was as wide as it gets). Yea I’m sure rich people were interested in flying PIA, and they are probably the target audience of this ad anyway. It probably didn’t give a damn about the village-dwelling illiterate majority of the country (that *did* eventually get to fly PIA when the oil boom started in the gulf). This ad is a classic example of an elitist culture, and I won’t necessarily equate that with a ‘tolerant’ culture.

  43. Samdani says:
    September 23rd, 2006 2:33 pm

    Bhitai, thank you for that. I think you are right. In the 1960s we were an even more divided country than now. The rich lived a life that had nothing to do with the rest of Pakistan. They were in a London-Paris mode. I fear we are getting there again, but this time the disconnect is between those who live the Dubai-New York life and this time that group is larger in number. But the disconnect is still there. This ad was not the reality of Pakistan then, but it did reflect an elite’s vision then as you say. The elite’s vision today is very different.

  44. Mast Qalandar says:
    September 23rd, 2006 10:37 pm

    [quote comment="3095"]60s sound like paradise lost to many, but I wonder, was it really that great a time?[/quote]

    “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. …”

    It was the time when PIA’s slogan was “great people to fly with” and everyone believed it.

    It was the time when there were supposedly 22 families who owned most of the country’s wealth.

    It was the time when one could drink in the clubs and the army messes, and a Murree Brewery bear would cost 5 rupees a bottle.

    It was the time when most young people in Karachi and Lahore had never seen a handgun in real life. They hadn’t heard of heroin either.

    It was a time when one could travel from Karachi to Peshawar in a car at night (usually a VW beetle) without the fear of being robbed or killed.

    It was the time when people saying goodbye to each other would say Khuda Hafiz instead of Allah Hafiz.

    It was the time when a plaque was unveiled or a ribbon was cut to inaugurate something people would clap instead of raising their hands for the cameras.

    It was the time when Pakistan fought the first all out war against India that ended without any result.

    It was the time when Nur Jehan sang her famous war song “merya dhol sipahiya – tenu Rab diyan rakhaan …” and won everyone’s heart — soldiers and civilians alike.

    It was a time when the second martial was imposed in Pakistan.

    It was the time when the first, and so far the last, fair general election was held in Pakistan — its results were not implemented.

    It was the time when the secession movement in East Pakistan began in earnest.

    Yes, “it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”

  45. bhitai says:
    September 24th, 2006 4:23 pm

    Someone told me this was from the days of Omar Qureishi, the Berkley graduate who became popular later as a cricket commentator. He was some sort of PR head at the PIA.
    In any case Mast Qalandar, you did get me a bit nostalgic (though I never lived in the 60s anyway) – btw I still stick with ‘khuda hafiz’ as a small protest against Ziaism..

  46. Zafar Iqbal says:
    September 27th, 2006 5:37 am

    Allah keep the muslims on the right track

  47. Ahsan H says:
    September 27th, 2006 5:57 pm

    So ads were more racy then. They are still racy. But was the society as a whole (not just some elites) any more liberal than it is now. I am not sure.

  48. Abbas Raza says:
    September 27th, 2006 4:55 pm

    The Advertisement almost makes me want to fly PIA after 10 years avoiding it!! two thumbs up to the marketing team of the 60s.

  49. Mast Qalandar says:
    September 28th, 2006 10:57 pm

    [quote comment="3162"]Someone told me this was from the days of Omar Qureishi, the Berkley graduate who became popular later as a cricket commentator. He was some sort of PR head at the PIA.
    In any case Mast Qalandar, you did get me a bit nostalgic (though I never lived in the 60s anyway) – btw I still stick with ‘khuda hafiz’ as a small protest against Ziaism..[/quote]

    Yes, Omar Kureishi, the cricket commentator and columnist, was with PIA but one can’t say if it was he who was instrumental in bringing out this particular ad. Incidentally, he went to University of Southern California, not Berkeley.

    I believe “Khuda Hafiz” is as Islamic as Allah Hafiz. Plus it is more indigenous. They switched over to Allah Hafiz during Zia’s time when he tried to Arabize things. Ironically, Arabs do not use Allah Hafiz. They say “ma-assalamah” for goodbye.

  50. Mast Qalandar says:
    September 29th, 2006 2:32 pm

    [quote comment="3321"]“But was the society as a whole (not just some elites) any more liberal than it is now. I am not sure.”[/quote]


    Yes, I think socially it was more liberal era then; there was more religious freedom; attacks on places of worships were unheard of. Loudspeakers were quieter and didn’t spew as much hatred as they do now. Couples holding hands in the parks or on the beaches were not asked to produce nikahnamas by the police. No one cared if you partied or celebrated the New Year. There was no ban on music or movies. Yes, it was a more liberal society that way. Political freedoms, however, were limited because of the miltary dictatorship.

    We have greater freedom of expression and of press today — not because of generous heartedness of any individual, though, but because of the Internet, satellite channels and globalization of information.

  51. Samdani says:
    September 29th, 2006 3:03 pm

    Mast Qalandar, thank you for a thoughful message on an important topic.

    You are probably right on most of those points, but all was not good for everyone. Yes, a certain class had it very good and yes they were truly and deeply liberal. They could party all they wanted and for them it WAS a very liberal time. But for the vast majority it was a much more feudal time. The liberalism was of the elite, and they were ‘more elite’ than they now are; that is they had more power (or the rest of the country had less). It was clearly a more divided, even more apartheid time. ZAB was the one who changed it and his real revolution was giving the Pakistani ‘awam’ a voice they did not have before. In that sense the 60s Pakistan was defined by a much narrower segment of Pakistanis (liberal elites) than it now is.

    I AM NOT SAYING THAT NOW IS GOOD. I AM JUST SAYING THAT THEN WAS NOT THAT GOOD EITHER, BUT IN DIFFERENT DIMENSIONS. Pakistan, as a society, was no more liberal then than it is now. It is just that then the liberals in Pakistan called the shots and now it is the conservatives. The real challenge is for the society as a whole to embrace liberal ideas. That was neither true then, nor no.

    On religious tolerance all was not perfect. This is the exact time when we ran out all the Jews of Pakistan and the foundations of the anti-Qadiani movement were laid. Finally, in terms of ethnic relations this was the time when we started branding entire provinces and regions with broad brush, often inciteful and hurtful stereotyping. Especially against Bengalis. Now, unfortunately, it has become routine to talk about ‘so and so being such and such’, often in the negative. You constantly hear things like ‘Baloch are like this,’ ‘Pathans are like this’, ‘Sindhis are like this’ ‘Punjabis are like this’ and so on… often in spiteful and pejorative terms. Many of the elites of the 60s who were liberal in other ways, were also racists in ethnic terms.

    AGAIN, I find the current extremism that has seeped into society very very disturbing and I am not saying that now is better. But maybe now is not better because then was not that good either.

  52. September 29th, 2006 3:29 pm

    [quote post="96"]Ironically, Arabs do not use Allah Hafiz. They say “ma-assalamahâ€

  53. Mast Qalandar says:
    September 29th, 2006 4:33 pm


    Yes, you are right. It was more a classist society in the 60s than it is today. And liberalism (the social part of it) was more evident in upper segments of the society. You are also right that ZAB shook the established social structure — for better, and also for worse.

    We began to lose religious tolerance, I think, during Yahah Khan’s time when the government drafted Jamaat Islami’s al-Badar and al-Shams gangs to beat the Bengalis in East Pakistan. After the fall of Dhaka, however, the Islamists turned their frustration and anger against Bhutto and started and used the anti-Qadyani movement as a convenient tool. Ironically, a liberal man like Bhutto, gave in to the mullahs, at a terrible cost — to the society and to personally himself.

    But looking backwards, after having seen all turmoil and troubles in Pakistan since 1971, the 60s do look a much quieter, more peaceful and tolerant era. I am aware, though, that the past always looks more pleasant than it actually was. That’s what nostalgia is. Isn’t it?

    Adnan Siddiqi,

    I have lived among Arabs for several years. The popular greeting for “goodbye” is “ma-assalamah”, which means “remain safe”.

    “fi-imaanallah” is correct but not commonly used, unless the tableeghis have been working there too.

  54. September 30th, 2006 3:23 pm

    MQ:And i was not attacking you or your knowledge. i was also talking about literal translation of Allah hafiz and it has nothing to do with arab culture.

    [quote post="96"]unless the tableeghis have been working there too.[/quote]

    It has nothing to do with tableegh. Its all about what’s provided in a language. Arabs don’t have issue like Khuda/Allah Hafiz so such assumption is pretty lame.

  55. MQ says:
    September 30th, 2006 6:16 pm

    [quote comment="3469"]
    “Anyway I prefer to call God with orignal name that is Allah rather depending on other language terms.” [/quote]


    Yes, you are right on this. God’s original name even in pre-Islamic Arabia was Allah. The pagans of Arabia had several gods and godesses like Al-Laat, Al-Uzza, Al-Manaat etc. but the high God was called Allah, which in Persian became Khuda.

  56. October 1st, 2006 2:50 am

    [quote post="96"]The pagans of Arabia had several gods and godesses like Al-Laat, Al-Uzza, Al-Manaat etc. but the high God was called Allah,[/quote]

    Please don’t pollute and degrade my statment by injecting your own thoughts which you would have learnt from websites like this

    The name you mentioned were idols of pagans and they NEVER used to believe in any god which was named ‘Allah’. I hope you are not one of those who believe in theory that Allah was old crescent god. Allah, Almanaat and others were not same anyway because those pagans didn’t used to believe in monotheism and ‘Allah’ is pure monothestic unlike pagans who used to worship several gods.

    The term Allah is more closely related with old Hebrew terms ‘Elah’ or ‘Elohim’ or “Eli” in greek which was found in greek version of Mathew. I never said and believed that pagans’ gods and muslim/jews/chrisitan’ GOD were same and I was definately talking about those other Abrahamic religions but not idiol worshipping.

  57. MQ says:
    October 1st, 2006 8:56 am

    “Where ignorance is bliss, it’s folly to be wise”

  58. October 1st, 2006 1:55 pm

    [quote post="96"]ignorance[/quote]

    Yes it’s really ignorance when one mix polyethism with monotheism and assert on a statment. The topic was about PIA and it was converted into to pagans and Islam and gods. I wouldn’t say further to make this topic further off the topic. That was my mistake that I had forgotten that you were same person who once was giving me lecture about secularism on other thread by equating it with a religion.

  59. Habib says:
    October 7th, 2006 1:22 pm

    Back after a while. Good to see you guys are growing and doing well. This picture seems to have become icon and symbol for this site. It is striking. I do not think this is real Pakistan. But there are many Pakistans and all types should exist together. WHy should this version replace other. Or any other version replace this.

  60. Koonj says:
    October 17th, 2006 5:25 pm

    Fascinating. Having been raised under Zia, I couldn’t imagine this coming out of Pakistan.

    Needless to say, am highly ambivalent about the use of women’s bodies – still, it is an interesting sign of those times.

  61. Steve G. says:
    October 29th, 2006 4:46 pm

    Dear friends, I am doing my Masters thesis on the evolution of identity in Pakistan and this website is now something I visit every day, many times, to see first-hand the discussions Pakistanis have with themselves. I have been a silent observer all along, but I finished my final draft yesterday and wanted to write in to thank you for being such a great place to peep into your conversations. Thanks.

  62. Yahya says:
    October 29th, 2006 6:13 pm

    Steve G., where can we take a peek at your thesis? Just in case we need to burn its copies. Just kidding. Good luck with the thesis.

  63. sultan says:
    October 29th, 2006 9:18 pm

    PIA was the first asian airline to fly the big jets and was competing with all the major airlines of the time. Sadly now it is only an airline for the ethnic Pakistanis and no matter what marketing miracles the management conjoures up with kenyan and japanese hostesses etc. it will not change the way the world looks at PIA.
    PIA need to come to the truth and concentrate on this ethnic market.
    The news that the high flying team of PIA were refused an audiance with the European Community Airworthiness Authorities who have banned some of their airplanes from flying in their airspace is to say the least SHOCKING.
    PIA has refused to accept what the world is saying that their airplanes are unsafe ………..hope there is not accident or major incident and PIA beefs up their maintenance

  64. Steve G says:
    November 2nd, 2006 11:54 pm

    I will send the abstract of the thesis to the website once it is final. It will eventually also be in the UCLA system. Thanks.

  65. Qurat ul ain says:
    November 20th, 2006 5:22 am

    i wouldn’t know. i’ve only seen the pakistan which likes to deny that women too have bodies.

  66. Omer Qaisrani says:
    November 23rd, 2006 1:52 pm

    Aslamu Alekum

    I dont want to decide for you people that weather the social hirearchy in 60′s was better or is it better now, Was the skirt wearing stewardess more charming or the Dupatta wearing Hostess has more devine beauty, All i say is that if the change is must, It must come internally, neither 60′s modernism was brought by the public of pakistan and neither 80′s conservativeness was the result of internal social changes, They were thrust upon us by leaders or political fractions not depicting the whole society, I am a firm believer that if we allow the society to progress and take its normal course it would choose for it self things which might not always be right or wrong, but i am damn sure they will last longer and have better roots in the common man, See our ideas of modernisms are imported from west and conservativenes from the Holy Land, Why not have our own ideas of modernism and conservativenes, If wearing skirts is trendy in US, It doesnt necessarily mean it would follow suite here, Let me give u an example of Sarhi and Skirt, Both are revealing clothes, Sarhi probably more than skirt but why is sarhi a symbol of tradition and Skirts considered a dominance of westren culture and values, Simple answer is that while sarhi hay evolved in south asian culture Skirts have been thrust on the culture. So Whatever way is choosen for people,let it be the result of natural evolution rather than brisk implementation of ideas of ceratin Dictator or ruling class.

  67. MQ says:
    November 23rd, 2006 2:33 pm

    Omar Qaiserani,

    I agree with you. Dress usually evolves and cannot and should not be imposed. But PIA stewardess never wore a skirt either in the 60s or later. Their uniform always consisted of three elements: kameez, shalwar and dupatta, and additionally a cap in the early days. The styles and colors kept changing but the basic elements always remained the same.

  68. Omer Qaisrani says:
    November 24th, 2006 1:11 am

    Dear MQ
    I have not mentioned the sarhi skirt phenomenon as being curtailed to PIA air line hostesses, I was merely mentioning the trends followed by South Asian Women, Nevertheless thank you for correcting.
    FiAman Allah

  69. Anwar says:
    November 27th, 2006 12:42 pm

    Pre Zia time was an era of decisions making process based on right vs wrong. Post Zia period is that of national discourse subjected to Halal vs Haram. This approach is fundamentally flawed as it depends on contextual interpretations.

  70. Ambreen says:
    November 30th, 2006 12:03 pm

    Love the add… Actually for those who think this is demeaning women, it is not at all… let at her… her confidence…. this is not teh weak woman who has to be saved… this is a woman comfortable with herself…

  71. sarosh says:
    December 2nd, 2006 6:12 pm

    this image represents pakistan,we must all stand against mullacy,pakistan is being ruined by islamic extremism,i hope musharraf liberates pakistan from the clutches of islam

  72. Saadat says:
    December 5th, 2006 12:30 am

    THESE comments demonstrate just how divided a country we are. How many different images we have of what Pakistan is or should be.

  73. December 3rd, 2006 8:49 am

    The picture reflects Internationalism, although its quite provacative for Pakistani Media, but again, International Advertisers [IAL] know where they fit it, because its not really a billboard poster inside Pakistan..

    The only thing i dont see is Pakistan being refered as GREAT and as many people cannot today indicate where/how Pakistan shopped a worlds best airline that boasted ‘Great People to Fly With’

  74. Steve says:
    December 7th, 2006 12:30 am

    This is a geat looking advert. Great find guys.

  75. I.S. Jadoon says:
    December 7th, 2006 9:55 pm

    I want to thank everyone for this beautiful website and the great discussions here. This is real Pakistaniat. As long as we talk to each other and disucss things amongst us even when disagree, that is good thing.

  76. Azad says:
    December 8th, 2006 1:01 pm

    Pakistan is not an ad. Pakistan is not a naara. Pakistan is us. It will be what we are. If we are progressive it will be progressive. No use in discussing what Pakistan should be. Better to work on making it what we think it deserves to be. Lets DO something.

  77. Hafiz Ikram says:
    December 14th, 2006 11:34 am

    This is a very good site and makes you think about what is Pakistan. We are people uncomfortable with ourselves. Which is why in every discussion we bring in Islam. Cant even talk about cricket without bringing in religion. I hope we can go back to being a open socciety we once were made of different views and differnet type of peopel without anyone, mullah or military, trying to impose their views on anyone else. Let people be whatever they want to be. That is real freedom.

  78. Ghalib says:
    December 10th, 2006 11:51 pm

    from the poster u have to read tht its about PIA if u get close to it from far it will look like some magazine add like MAG VOGUE or watever!60s was modern but theres a fine line bw modernity and modesty this picture will show 2% of the women in pak not the 98% that will see the pic an wud have said “darn”
    i can say with utmost respect that its “not the pic of modern pakistan” y we have to show our selves that way as shown by the west to equilibrate ourselves as mods? are/were they the dictionary of modernism?
    its sad when we forget wat we are!!!

  79. Umair says:
    December 15th, 2006 2:25 pm

    One of my favorite quotations from Khalil Gibran:

    “I have learnt silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet strange, I am ungrateful to these teachers.”

  80. MQ says:
    December 14th, 2006 1:16 pm

    [quote]“Let people be whatever they want to be.” [/quote]

    Hafiz Sahib, that is great message. Really.

  81. khizar says:
    December 21st, 2006 5:55 am


    hey take it easy guys,wot got published was history try not to practice or allow these kinoff pics to be published nor let thm b the trend makers…i hope its clear to u all as u’r quite mature enough to understand the theme of islam:)

  82. December 22nd, 2006 1:14 am

    Even with their beards (which is a rarity comparatively), the christians and jews are technologically advanced and posses a constructive, competant, and progressive mentality, unlike our “bearded” mullas who still live (and wants others to live) in mediavl age.

    [quote comment="944"]how ironic, when a chiristian pastor or a jewish has a beard, they are not called with names such as mullah or fundamentalist… but when a muslim decides to follow the path of their beloved prophet (PBUH) they are instantly turned into terrorists or fundamentalists… how ironic… isn’t it… especially when our own people has such views for us, to whom are we suppose to blame it for… May Allah Bless us all with wisdom… Ameen[/quote]

  83. Awais says:
    December 25th, 2006 11:30 am

    [quote comment="958"]I have skimmed through the comments on this post. It is my view that this ad is in no way “exploiting” the woman in question. The very first thought that hits my brain upon seeing this ad is how stunningly beautiful the model is. From a business standpoint, it is excellent advertizing considering the originality of the commercial, plus the fact that the airline’s tagline was “The most relaxing way to fly”. This and other commercials like it are not exploiting women. On the contrary, they are celebrating women. A woman is the beautiful side of humanity, the more loving half of humanity, the more deserving of freedom. Why force every woman in the country to lock herself up or cover every inch of her skin while out in public? If your mother, sister, wife etc does not want to be “indecent” then by all means let them live as they wish. But to say that this is offensive is partisan. Its only a tank top. How does a tank top cause even remote offense unless you are a bigoted, self righteous, self appointed guardian of morality? I am not flaming any person who posted here, but the zealots who tear down billboards bearing the images of women in Pakistan.

    I am perfectly okay with my girlfriend, wife, mother or daughter appearing in any commercial she wants to. Why should somebody else impose his ideology on her? The bottom line is that liberalism and tolerance mean that you live others live the way they want to, even if it is against your own beliefs. If you don’t like it, don’t look at it. Don’t force your religious ideas on me or my family please. This ad would not appear in the press today because of the religious constraints. That is why I believe this ad is such a symbol of Pakistani liberalism.

    As for this ad being an accurate representation of the 60′s Pakistan, from what I have heard from my mother/grand mother/father about old school Pakistan, it is at least semi accurate.[/quote]
    Actually this is the first time I have visited this particular site while searching for some other web site on google.com.
    I just want to comment on this. Actually Pakistan is a Muslim country and it has nothing to do with liberalism. People shouting slogans for liberalism are actually not practising muslims. They do not have any aim of life and also do not know which path is the right path for them.
    Islam always emphasize on HIJAB for women. And the picture about which we all are talking is somehow does not fullfill this criteria.
    And if someone says that he or she does not mind that his or her family members go for such modelling, is a very wrong kind of attitude. On the day of judgement when we will be asked for what we have done in this world, that time we will also be asked that how we guided others related to us in our life.
    For example if my sister is going out in public in such a dress that is not permissible by Islam and I am just watching and not acting in a way that I should. Not communicating to her that this is not Islamic. And not stopping her to act against Islam then on the day of judgement I will also be penalised for it.
    People making comments against Islamic teachings in any way, either you take it as liberalism or freedom of exprerssion, this is not a right way to comment.
    I am a Muslim and I know how to act in Islamic way. And in my personal opinion this picture is not Islamic and should have not been used by any Pakistani company.
    Thanks & regards

  84. TURAB says:
    December 26th, 2006 1:59 am

    AWAIS the religion should between and individual and GOd and no one else has the right to implenment religion on the other… as deen mien jabar nahien hai. You are not answerable for others on the Judgment Day. So check yourself and keep yourself in balance!


  85. Ghalib says:
    January 6th, 2007 12:51 am

    Turab i concur with u on this!!
    u shud read islam the basic message is “togetherness” how wud u achieve it when one says one an the other facing the other direction?thats the message or the media has infused in us that religion an politics are 2 diff things and its ur own individual thing!its totally rong islam has thrieved propelled with poilitics with science and this is wat a hidden fight agianst islam that its impracticable its very practical juss showin women on posters wont help chage or propel society or make women equal to men!its the constructive efforts that will do it! women shdnt be made a peice of advertisement as depicted by the poster whoch juss showed 2% of the women in pakistan an taht too that have a lil knowledge of mainstream pakistan!

  86. Bahadar Ali Khan says:
    March 16th, 2007 2:06 am

    I am not sure how pertinent is the slogan “Pakistan ka matlab kia……”. But certainly the creation of Pakistan had nothing to do with this slogan. How can you expect it from a bacon-eating and whisky drinking man to go for this slogan and enshrined with a separate state.

    Showing more or less skin is not the point here, the point is making forward looking country that should be free of bigots. A country that could tread the successful civilization’s path. Where the ‘iman’ of mullah should not only focus on women’s apparel and let honest, straight forward and clean thinking prevail. Are we really so naive to acknowledge what our youth thinks and does? The do every thing what a youth from a ‘liberal’ country does, just they do it in clandestine way. When they are asked they lie. Simple. Thus we create hypocrites who watch blue-films and say Friday prayers regularly. A sex starved society where the only purpose of Internet is to see porn. Look at Google search Trends, Pakistan is top of the list for searching word ‘sex’ followed by ten other Islamic countries. Height of frustration! A country where character is judged by your biological behavior and not by the honesty and truthfulness of the individual.

  87. Faraz says:
    March 18th, 2007 6:35 am

    Religion, morals, culture, freedom, society… oh my! This is an incredibly complex issue and I am not even going to try to offer any solutions or conclusions.

    I would like to share some observations though:

    1) Freedoms/liberties have their limits. They are fine as long as they are not harmful to other members of the society. Definition of harmful is of course decided by each individual society. I can argue that images such as this PIA ad can be harmful to the society, and that’s the same point a “mullah” would make.

    2) A lot of the folks here have made the argument that religion is something personal. We should not try to impose our religion over others. That’s a noble idea. However, Islam is a deen and not just a religion. In it’s true nature it should govern all aspects of our lives, including the government. So how is it supposed to be just a personal thing? It just doesn’t work that way. (Would a non-believer be allowed to post an ultra provocative banner outside his shop at the Zainab Market, or sell alcohol in public at Tariq road?)

    3) The photo is only as provacative as we think it is. Sex/skin is such a taboo in Pakistan. If it wasn’t, nobody would care and I wouldn’t be writing this reply. It seems the West is over this and perhaps it’s better that way? May be Pakistanis should get used to a little more skin and get over it already.

    4) It’s fascinating that so far very few of us have mentioned that the photo in question is just simply against the teachings of Islam. Women are only supposed to show their face. And a tank-top is definitely out of the question. There should be no debate about that. And since we are all Muslims, except for Steve, why are we even debating this? Is anyone here saying that hijab is no longer necessary for Muslims?

    5) I am a confused Pakistani, and likely, so are you.

  88. Jabir Khan says:
    March 19th, 2007 1:18 am

    PIA wanted to portray what the ‘Roahsan Khayal’ Govt of that era wanted it to show. (Was PIA working out of Govt influncne then? ofcourse not).
    It was Ayubi martial law. What freedom was there? So what I understand is these ‘tactics’ were nothing more than experiments (by an illegal govt) to test the limits of average public tolerance and to keep them away from democracy. It backfired then as it will now (can you see the similarities?)
    Pakistan has to develop its unique identity. Copying west will not help. Have pride in yourslf.

  89. Zain says:
    March 27th, 2007 3:11 am


    Don’t tell me what I am and what I am not. If I claim to be a Muslim, I am a Muslim. You do not need to go around passing self-righteous judgements on other people. It’s just a picture of a woman with various destinations silhouetted against her neck. Geez, get over it people.

    If you don’t like it, don’t look at it.

  90. Social Mistri says:
    March 31st, 2007 10:21 pm

    I wish we could somehow bring the Pakistan promised by this image back… Zia badbakht ruined everything!

    Some of my friends on this forum have looked upon this image as sexual explotiation, and I just have one question to ask. What is wrong with you? How depraved is it to look at a woman’s face and to consider her exploited? It says more about the gazer than the gazee, if you get my drift. Chill.

    Allah karay mullah hazraat ka khatma hoey. Can’t wait to have ourselves rid of this menace.

  91. Angel Boy says:
    April 2nd, 2007 2:01 am


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  92. Mudassir Rana says:
    April 2nd, 2007 11:24 am

    I m very sorry to read the comments of majority of the people. Reading all the material above we can conclude that today we have become purely unislamic. we have pushed the teachings of islam aside. we haven’t ever opened the HOly Book to get some guidance where each and avery aspect of human life is described in complete detail. Today we can easily converse on such topics without having even a minimal knowledge of Islam. If we had read what is the object of our life there would be no need to oppose each other and we would have agreed on every single point. Allah has created us only for being worshiped by us. God could have sent all of us to “Jannah” directly but he wanted to test us.He wanted to judge who makes himself deserving on account of good deeds. So he sent Hazrat Adam (A.S) on earth. So we have to understand one fact that we have been basically sent on earth only to justify ourselves to be sent to “Jannah ” by saying our Prayers and doing every thing only as required by Our Creator. So we need to eat, Drink and live just to live long and Spread the Message of Allah to all the Mankind. In Quran are mentioned thousands of times the things going to happen in the LIfe which comes after this meagre span of time which we spend on earth. But i am very sorry to say that we have considered this life the ultimate and final blessing of God. So we are trying to get extra and axtra in all the aspects whether it is money or any thing else. Real Pleasur is in “Namaaz” but we think it lies in singing, dancing, skin exposure, mixing of males and females. This is absolutely rubbish. Why? Because it creactes a number of problems in society. a women who exposes herself boldly among the people do u think its liberty? no, never. It creates in youth an urge to chase after her and to satisfy their needs through eye contact and sometimes through physical contact. So who will wish her sister or wife to be treated like this. If still we tolerate this and call it the liberty, there is a serious defect and flaw in our brain.
    NOw the need is to bring ourselves under accountability and seek the knowledge of Islam and Leave the rest on Allah being hopefull for the better and peacefull ending of each Person. For this we have to say prayers 5 times and recite HOly Quran once every day. If we do this we will definitely start diffrentiating between the right and the wrong.
    May God bless all of us with the real sense and confer upon us the knowledge of Islam. ( Ameen ).

  93. Social Mistri says:
    April 2nd, 2007 5:29 pm

    Mudassir, I appreciate your sentiments. And I am sure you practice what you preach and it makes you happy. That’s all that matters, in the end.

    However, the issue here is one of freedom. The same Quran that says everything that you mentioned, also says there is no compulsion in the matter of religion. If someone does something outright illegal in the sense of harming another person, fine, prosecute them. But if a woman wishes to wear a dress or a skirt or jeans or a hijab, let them be. Take it upon YOURSELF to look away if you don’t like something.

    Secondly, when you say things like, “who will wish her sister or wife to be treated like this”. Well, I just want my mother, wife and sisters to do what THEY want to do. I don’t want to control their lives and I genuinely believe that they have their own moral bearing and have as much intelligence as I do to formulate opinions of their own. Therefore, I don’t feel the need to tell them what to do.

    Consider also, that the image here is NOT immodest. She’s not naked. Yeah, she doesn’t have a hijab, but it isn’t as if this image is pornographic. It’s actually quite pleasant. Why is it that the unislamic west is actually able to control themselves/behave themselves in the presence of women who are wearing, say a skirt, whereas the God fearing musalmans amongst us believe that the appearance of such a woman would rob Islam from everyone’s hearts…. essentially amounting to a free-for-all. For God’s sakes.

    After all, that would be like saying stop wearing gold because you may tempt someone to steal it. Stop driving in a fancy car because someone may have their faith tested and they might want to wrest it from you. Where does it stop?

    Religion is a personal thing. Let it stay that way. Malaysia shows a good mix of allowing people to do as they wish. Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, shows what happens when you force people into behaving a way they are not comfortable with… many Arab ladies remove their hijabs and burkhas as their plane lands in London or Paris and reveal the latest skimpy D&G fashions underneath. Is that healthy? Is it healthy to suppress people to the point where all the “Evil” goes underground where it is unregulated and flourishes anyway?

    I hate mullahs by the way. They are a completely unislamic phenomenon. The whole point of Islam was to make the relationship between God and man direct. They have inserted themselves as Allah mian’s private assistants. Which they are not. All they do is make religion a business, and they make decisions which are beneficial to the business, not to the word of God. They need to be done away with if we ever want true Islam.

  94. PakParsi says:
    April 10th, 2007 2:57 pm

    This is a great ad, I love it and hope to see Pakistan move this way more in the future (when Benzazir returns (inshallah)).

    I saw some pretty western ads recently in Karachi so I don’t think its too hard to imagine a liberal, tolerant Pakistan. As someone else said, diversity (which is now lacking) is the key. I wonder if it would be possible to draw more people back?

    Part of the reason most Pakistanis earn less than $2 a day is because of childish mullahs who are more concerned about a woman showing her wrists than starving to death – these people have to go and the country can start with the red mosque that has been creating many problems recently.

  95. Saba says:
    April 16th, 2007 11:04 pm

    What a beautiful ad. Those who find it smehow dirty, the dirtiness is in YOUR own mind, not in the ad.

    April 26th, 2007 11:18 am

    It is not only the attitudes of society but also PIA that has been messed up over the years. The fall of PIA mirrors the fall of society’s tolerance. Neither seems to be on the path to recovery.

  97. Bilal Zubairi says:
    May 5th, 2007 7:06 am

    Word for Ms.Saba.. that our preconceived notions of this scene are so powerful that our mind blocks out the incongruity and overrides our eyes.

  98. May 6th, 2007 5:51 pm

    the ad looks quite recent not of 1960′s
    and about what should one wear or not
    islamically not
    but i think instead of wasting our energies what girls should wear or not
    its upto them
    one should tell them what we think but not force them

  99. Sami says:
    May 15th, 2007 5:05 pm

    Hey guys and gals,
    This is troubling me for quite some time. Can anyone answer? Here’s the question….


  100. Adnan says:
    May 16th, 2007 12:38 am

    Nice Ad! Really liked it

  101. Qurat ul ain says:
    May 16th, 2007 2:11 am

    sad society with ‘how women dress up’ as its ‘central’ concern. please come out of it.

  102. neo says:
    May 16th, 2007 8:17 am

    Jawad Habib, showing some skin is ok to you right? u use phrases like freedom of expression to justify this. how ironic that the flagbearers of this “modern” thought of freedom themselves dont allow such freedoms?: frace doesnt allow hijab, britan and usa dont allow public nudity. where is the border drawn between indecency and acceptable skin-showing?? and who draws this line??? people?? people who dont know whats right and wrong? the same people who elect idiots like bush in usa and mqm in karachi???

    grow up.

  103. neo says:
    May 16th, 2007 8:19 am

    Qurat ul ain, why dont you leave such a ‘backward’ society if you dont like it??? muslims like you are the reason the whole muslim nation is backward

  104. neo says:
    May 16th, 2007 8:26 am

    agree with usman… even islam doesnt allow one to force a female into covering. compulsion should come from religions education and understanding of ahkaam.

  105. Ahsun says:
    May 17th, 2007 2:42 am

    Pakistan is a country which was made so that Islam could be practiced in it.This picture is Un Islamic because the woman does not conform to the Islamic dress code.This is why this picture should not have been published in advertisement by our national flag carrier.
    What gives you the leadership of the world is a system that is founded on justice.
    Some of my friends have been mistaken very much.If for example if a man gets a noble prize in physics and he also has been smoking all his life, we can not deduce that he has won this prize because of his habit of smoking.Similarly if nudity is trademark of the west then we can not deduce that nudity is the cause of their progress.Hope this helps.

  106. Jawad Habib says:
    May 17th, 2007 5:22 pm

    All the guys on here who think that this image is demeaning to women should read the comments are are written by women. Most women see this ad as a self-assertation. So empower the women; let them chose what they want or not want to wear. who the hell are you to tell a woman what she should do. only guys who lack in self-confidence treat women as inferior – a problem with over 90% pakistani men. i wish i could their hypocritical self-righteousness.

  107. manman says:
    May 17th, 2007 7:44 pm

    man what ever it is..i view it as a nice ad..that lady is gorgeous too :P

  108. arshad says:
    May 18th, 2007 3:50 am

    Jawad Sab, U should rather say…
    “Long live Freedom, Long live Nudity, Long live Pornography”
    The people like U are desperate to turn this region into a sex-free zone.

  109. SUfYAN says:
    May 18th, 2007 9:36 am

    rightly said jawwad sahab that who are we to decide what a strange woman should wear or what she should not wear . . .
    yes . . . similarly if a woman wants to wear burqa then you should not feel her inferior or a man wants to wear a beard with typical shalwaar kameeez its his CHOICE!!

  110. Muhammad Khurram Hanif says:
    May 29th, 2007 7:14 am

    Salam, the only thing disturb me a lot is “We simply dont have our own Brain, no way to choose our way of life” so let me explain you, here in west all possible problems are being imposed on Muslims starting from wearning Scarf for Muslim ladies to Building Minarats for Masjid’s ( in our country unfortunatly due to propoganda of hidden powers, we start to belive is freedom is live in whatever way one wants wearning cloths or not should be one’s own choice) so my dear Brothers and Sisters wake up, wake up. If there is nudity around you one day it will become part of your life and your children’s one. We get our Pakistan so that we can practice our religion without interfarance of other’s but unfortunatly they have penetraint between us and now we are crying to live the way they want !!!

  111. beenum says:
    June 3rd, 2007 4:31 pm

    Ohhhh mu God i m amazed to see this advertisment for those who r thinking tis is sum sort of FAHASHI kindly try to open up ur minds and see how much innovative we were back then and if u cant understand tht simply switch on ur tvs and try watchen sum pakistani ads after which one can stop purchasin the product then buying it……being a moderate youngster,a pakistani and a gurl i wish i was born in that old Pakistan then tis one where either one has to keep proving he is a muslim or ppl are so close minded tht tey cant difrentiate between exploitation and innovation…..kunda is ok,not paying tax is fine but anything tht can bring betterment esp the topic of women here we have our very own ISLAM….i wish we cud be a better society and our older generation cuds have made better decisions

  112. beenum says:
    June 3rd, 2007 4:37 pm

    one last thing…………its soo sad tht everyone above and 90 percent of the pakistanis apparently everyones religion gets threatened by a female in a tank top…..how fast are our belives…..once again i can only say i wish our older generation cud hav produced men who wud see women not as a product like so many said after looking at tis ad i mean look at the concept but all the ppl here can see is the lady in the tank top……sumwhere in every pakistani esp men lives a rigid maulvi only on women issues unless we change tht thinkin we are way far frm achieving anything

  113. NAB says:
    June 9th, 2007 7:21 am

    Wowwww, thats amazing. People talk about tolerance without having it for others. Isn’t it quite odd?

    I was reading a few comments above “Ohhh Pak was so tolerant then that women could wear a tank top and nothing happened, and now these bomb-throwing stupid Mullas…”

    Hmm.. not allowing a women to wear a bikini and dress provocatively is intolerance, illiteracy and rigidness but calling a person following the True Religion a MULLA(which itself is a derogatory term), bomb-thrower and terrorist is tolerance!!! I am not a extremist but would prefer to be called a fundamentalist or extremist rather than a wanna-be Western moderate.

  114. Aurangzeb says:
    June 25th, 2007 9:37 am

    NAB, I agree with you a 100%. Speaking about Islam or making Islam your main point of reference – as it should be for all Muslims – is enough in these days of “enlightened moderation” to be branded a “Mullah”. May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala save Pakistan from the curse of westoxification…

  115. June 26th, 2007 6:07 am

    Please amend: “Sharraty Logoon Key Leay Sazza Ka Makool Intezaam Hay. Yahan bhee Whaan Bhee”….Allah Subhana Wa Tallah

    Azhar Latif

  116. M. AmjaD says:
    June 27th, 2007 3:40 am

    Hey open minded innovative & modern people,
    We need a straightforward divine punishment. Please hold on, an earthquake is on its way.
    Good Luck!!!

  117. Ayaz K. says:
    July 25th, 2007 3:15 pm

    In this picture, I guess DW’s (DarhiWallas) would be more concerned about what is beyond SHANGHAI – no pun intended :)


    The interesting part is, the world map was so different those days — Beirut used to be a considerably decent place to visit —
    and for some reason I don’t see any US destinations at all like New York, Chicago, Los Angeles….

    Thanks for sharing!

  118. mazhar butt says:
    July 25th, 2007 4:43 pm

    The Ad, is really fascinating; it reflects ‘moderate enlightenment” which even ”daarhi wallas” used to enjoy in those days !

    khailte hien shikar pardey mien
    daarhi waalon ki daarhian toba !

  119. Tania says:
    August 14th, 2007 1:34 am

    I found this picture very annoying due to objectification of a woman’s body. On one hand we take pride in defending our women and on other hand we make money at her expense. What an irony!!

  120. August 23rd, 2007 12:13 pm

    Awesome ;)

  121. muhammad khalid shad says:
    August 31st, 2007 11:52 am

    Remained a student of UET from 1978 to 1985 and qualified the double Graduation in Mining & Civil Engg.Now working as a Professional Civil Engineer.The website is wonderful.The web should be further developed & a directory of old students may be created so that missed links could again be restored.

  122. Tanveer says:
    September 4th, 2007 10:48 am

    There is saying in Urdu, translated as “Crow tried to be swan, and forgot his own style also”. This is Pakistan under Musharraf, who is proud of his dancing mother (written in his book), may Allah’s curse be upon him. When he leaves, I hope we shall be able to depict our very decent culture in the true sense.

  123. Rafay Kashmiri says:
    September 14th, 2007 4:48 am

    Ref: PIA’ssuggestive Pub & Ayaz K’s remarks of 25th july made me laugh my head off, your guess of DW about beyond Shanghai is quite simple, well beyond Shanghai there is nothing but simple flat runway !!!!get it ????

  124. Imran says:
    September 20th, 2007 12:00 pm

    Dude, I say that if a chic is ugly, cover her up

  125. Imran says:
    September 20th, 2007 1:05 pm

    Oh yeah, one more thing, even at such low number of working women in Pakistan including massis, jamadarnis (maids), I appears that Pakistani working woman are much more of an asset to the country and humanity and contribute more to the GDP than all the lame good for nothing, mithai eating, burden on earth mullah

  126. Imran says:
    September 20th, 2007 10:29 pm

    One final word, I am never ashamed or embarrassed (and nobody in the right mind should be unless he is unsecured) when I am walking around with my gorgeous wife, who thank God doesn

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  128. Rafay Kashmiri says:
    October 3rd, 2007 9:46 am

    Ya to bhula hey Nakhudah resta
    Ya haden hatt gaeen hein sahil ki

  129. Umair says:
    October 19th, 2007 9:11 am

    why do we have to imagine just one Pakistan. we have 160 million people, they can have various ideas, various attitudes, various priorities. the question is whether we can imagine a Pakistan that is for all Pakistanis and for all the visions they have for themselves and their country

  130. October 19th, 2007 11:30 am

    Hello friends,
    By looking at this picture I can only imagine how tolerant our country was back in 60′s. Its only after the invasion of military in politics, country lost track, and became an intolerate state. Pakistan is rich in everything, from culture to history, from Art to science, only mismanagement is making country a mess. I can only hope Pakistani army should realise this fact and instead of attacking their own country, they should concentrate of new techniques of wars.

  131. Yogesh Khandke says:
    October 20th, 2007 1:50 am

    I am repeating most of Mr. Zuberi’s message as I think it makes so much sense. I have a eight year old daughter and though I would like her to be as free and liberated as any other person male or female, I would consider it very undesirable if she labours under such images and such mentalities where a female’s liberation is measured by the amount ofher skin visible. Remarks in brace brackets are mine.

    Quoting Mr. Zuberi
    “… I

  132. Noman ali says:
    October 31st, 2007 5:04 pm

    The society in pakistan is moving towards extremism, the darhi is the sign and hijab are the signs , signs of observance or you may say fear and intolerance . Yes the 60, 70 were the years of tolerance . I was there

  133. mansoor says:
    November 2nd, 2007 11:02 pm

    Yes we are moving towards extremism. It is high time to tell these mullahs – “dont preach”. Just because you sit in Masjid, does not mean that you should preach us. Who are you to decide on hijab?
    Say No to Fatwa. In fact, make Fatwa illegal by law. These mullahs use fatwa as a means to increase their say in political society.

  134. SAJID ALI KHAN says:
    November 3rd, 2007 9:01 am

    I read ur atical, you show a clear picture of Pakistan, I appericiat you.
    May Allah make a Pakistan as a good, soft and respectable picturial form.

  135. A Pakistani says:
    November 3rd, 2007 3:11 pm

    Comments on PIAs Pakistan image lady are so serious. How if some one ask PIA chief or his masters to post similar, may be more open pictur of his sister or daughter on PIA promotion magazines? If they feel shame, they are still auckward like me and they should stop doing these things in the name of Pakistans promotion as an open country.

  136. Hameeduddin Khan says:
    November 27th, 2007 11:17 am

    Yes, am right PIA use to have only one air craft (Dikota) and the name was Orient Air Ways . Then they worked hard and grow up very fast, because they were working hard.The staff of Orient Airways (PIA) was only for working, but now they have staff more than the requirement, peoples comes sits and goes to home and come and collect the salaries. PIA should reduce the staff and keep only the honest and working people. So they will be again the best PIA of 1960′
    All this I wrote because I love my country Pakistan and want every thing is attached to Pakistan should be grow and honest. with my best wishes.
    Hameeduddin Khan (LAKRI)

  137. January 3rd, 2008 4:42 pm

    I have been reading a lot of articles on ATP lately and it fills me up with hope. The Pakistan that is projected here(in India) and more so in the Western media looks in a tragic state. It is not my intention to offend anyone but frankly I had not thought such discussions were possible in the Pakistan that I had heard of. As far as the girl in the poster is concerned, I was pleasantly shocked that it was a 1960′s pic from PIA. Internet is an efficient seamless media for direct contact. No filtering, no censoring and most importantly no altering. Got to know a lot about the real Pakistan from ATP. These were the things that matter.

  138. February 6th, 2008 1:11 am

    The image is not depicting the Pakistani society and culture. It is the betrayel from Pakistani norms and culture. Remember the motives and slogan of those sacrifying peoples at the time of Pakistan movement and creation. Does it’s means progess? No, absolutly No.

  139. Zovc says:
    March 3rd, 2008 2:00 am

    Seductive, i wonder what the airhostess’s thought about it back then.

  140. YLH says:
    March 19th, 2008 1:53 am

    I am sick of people telling Pakistanis what their culture ought to be or ought not to be.

    Do as you please. Screw the moral police.

  141. Gill says:
    May 1st, 2008 2:07 pm

    And I’m sick of people acting as if they have any claim to the title ‘Pakistani’ simply by being born here.

    Pakistan is what Jinnah and Iqbal primarily envisioned it to be. Iqbal moreso than Jinnah.

    People make up their own values and say that’s Pakistan. From all sides. People saying forget the ‘dhari-wallahs’, and other people saying forget the Westerners. But everyone forgets the original side, the one of Pakistan itself.

    As far as I’m concerned a Pakistani is a citizen of the vision of Allama Iqbal and Jinnah, and those who helped them in appropriate proportion. The rest of the people are just displaced Indians (that is, after all, exactly what they act like).

  142. Salman Tahir says:
    May 16th, 2008 5:54 pm


    a simple question to those who are saying that;

    1. this image is un islamic
    2. if some one is thinking that there is no harm in this image, then that person is not a true muslim and its our obligation to rectify him

    should first ask themselves that how good a muslim they are.
    ok just ask yourselves, are you 100% muslim, the way our Prophet (PBUH) told us to be.
    i bet there is not a single person up there, then why dont you guys first rectify your selves. if some is still saying even after looking himself not a 100% one that he is right and i am wrong then it is very sad.
    you people have no rights to impose your believes on me if you are not fullfilling them yourselves and you dont have right to impose them even if you are fullfilling.
    if you are not 100% then stop posting comments or arguind any where else.

    why dont you guys keep you religion with yourself. why just you people dont let any one the way he wants to be. why there is zero tolerance.

    this is not a matter of showing once skin is modern or not but it is a matter of how tolerant we are towards once believes and freedom of action. and that what creats love and harmony. these days there are lot of people who are killing people, and still some are saying that this act is right like sucide bombings and there is bombings in the mosques also in the name of Islam, some people are looting others are smugling, there is corruption every where.
    i would preffer to walk naked in front of 10000 people but not doing these (i think former being the bigger sins, because in doing so i am harming others but if i am naked i am responsible for myself as haqoq ALLAH maaf ho jain gay, haqooq ul abad naheen). and the interesting thing is these people will only see my nakedness and will try to cover me up and other sins will remain there in those people and they will keep on doing that. you will not become a muslim by covering me, but try to make yourselves more responsible to yourself.
    sorry for bad english, i hope i made my point clear.
    live and let live, let me do what i want and i will let you what you wand. peace. khud hafiz

  143. Humayun says:
    September 27th, 2008 4:41 am


  144. Hammad Khan Afridi says:
    November 10th, 2008 8:11 am

    This ad is a fake potrayed Pakistan in in 1960s or 1970s. Firstly non-Pakistanis especially Indians shouldn’t really get involved in this debate like ”Sarosh” above did. Pakistan is just being given a bad name by a gameplan in which mullahism and islamisation gets a bad name and people become modern i.e. lifeless like westerners. We are muslim and Pakistan was made for muslims, only country made in the name of religion back then. This ad is for foreign markets, the truth is wether before Zia or after Zia, both situations were the same. Poverty was always there. Terrorism has been introduced by Musharraf & USA. Tribal areas always lived like they do now, how come there was no terrorism there before? People writing comments above obviously beleive secularism and being western is allowed in Islam. Islam is a very modern and meaningful religion. Suicide bombing and radicalism is introduced by US, they are using Pakistan as frontline again like they did in 80s against Soviet Union. USA has never given Pakistan anything never, always helped India and others around but what Pakistan has done for USA we have never been rewarded. USA fears Pakistan’s nuclear bomb, obviously directly USA can not do anything to Pakistan. Therefore, they use terrorism and other issues an excuse to destabilise Pakistan… Pakistanis living in US especially are just senseless

  145. Saim says:
    November 27th, 2008 12:21 am

    The image here doesnot depict the true Pakistan. This is not as per the culture of the country. As for terrorism and extremism, these were something which were nurtured by Zia and America in 1980s with full support given to Jamat-e-GHAIRIslami to form talibans and other extremist groups so that they can fight the communist Soviets. What Zia and Amercia sowed in 1980s is what we r reaping today.

  146. Madiha Raza says:
    November 27th, 2008 11:06 am

    I should make my graphic design fellow mates to see this. Am sure they
    ll be ready to hang themselves.

  147. Humaira says:
    November 27th, 2008 11:51 am

    Actually, as an Ad, I think this is a spectacular ad!

  148. ayesha says:
    November 27th, 2008 11:48 pm

    this ad is not something Pakistanis should be proud of

  149. G. Qadir says:
    November 27th, 2008 11:50 pm

    This reminds us of a time when we were a more tolerant and better society. These mullahs have actualy made us more hateful and therefore LESS Islamic!

  150. Mariam says:
    November 28th, 2008 8:06 am

    Amazing advert. Artistically it is just superb. Socially it reminds us of a Pakistan that the Mullahs have killed today.

  151. Mariam says:
    November 28th, 2008 11:01 am

    The image actually portrays two different sides for me. One that is of the positive and the other is of the negative. Keeping in mind the current situation of jihad and terrorism, this is a good image that needs to be show cased to be people; that may portray liberalization. On the other hand I see this image as the reason behind the loss of the heritage of Pakistan. When things like this will be portrayed where the image of Pakistan needs to go up, we will automatically lose out on what is really ours. Be that the traditional dress or the colors our flag!

  152. ahmed says:
    November 28th, 2008 11:07 am

    im glad some one from us looked at it from a brighter perspective but PIA is our identity around the world and this so not us .altough i agree with earlier comment mariammade in favour of the advert i still fail to accept this image on PIA advert.

  153. faisal says:
    November 29th, 2008 5:48 pm

    what, I ask, is this “true pakistan” you talk about? “Pakistan” is not some ossified entity or deity whose essence is violated because your sensibilities are violated. The nation and the culture are things that we construct through our actions and words.

    This advert is indeed a reminder of how far we have come. We have descended to such depths that “our” culture and heritage finds offense in any depiction of feminine beauty; from here it takes only a few steps before one begins to protect women’s honor by pointing the barrel of the gun against their head.

  154. amir says:
    June 28th, 2009 5:03 am

    Hi Good Morning,
    Evrey one How are you wish you happy life .
    pleas pakistani good picter send my email thanks you my nam amir im 18year old studint beautifull boy living in dubai .
    im wating for your reply anxiously,amirhussain6@yahoo.com
    takecare Hav nic day

  155. ahsan says:
    July 10th, 2009 9:57 am

    what can i write

  156. Majid says:
    August 29th, 2009 3:34 pm

    This is just beautiful. Unimaginable how rational we were. I born in 81, whenevery i happen to see the culture of 60′s and 70′s and whenever i meet with people who were young in that era , it mesmerizes me. Can anybody let me know who is responsible for such a fast degradation of everything in Pakistan?

  157. Shaban Malik says:
    September 9th, 2009 9:39 am

    It’s pretty much the same guys that are running the show today. The day PPP and its ilk took over the reins of Pakistan after those fateful dark days of December 1971, Pakistan has been headed downhill ever since.

  158. Rana Dilawar says:
    October 4th, 2009 4:18 am

    Hi everybody
    I need PTV Commercial Hussain Ki Lawn if anybody have it please send me or contact me Thanks

  159. November 13th, 2009 12:29 am

    my family wa from lahore hence the interest.when Pakistani mags came the greater family’s way we were delighted.

  160. HarOON says:
    January 10th, 2011 3:05 am

    I wonder what would happen if PIA used this ad today?

  161. July 2nd, 2011 4:23 am

    PIA once was the most popular air line of Pakistan and in the world it ranked 5 at its peak but now ohhhhh

  162. Ali says:
    August 16th, 2011 8:22 pm

    This is a splendid website. I wish some of your articles were in Urdu so they can be read by a bigger part of the Pakistani population. Have you considered publishing them in Urdu newspapers?

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