Rereading MQ’s ‘Caps of Pakistan‘ as I was thumbing through today’s news from Pakistan I was suddenly struck by how many of the news photos that flashed by me had Pakistani wearing caps in them. I thought I would share a sampling, and maybe others (including MQ himself) could give a commentary on some of them.
The first two pictures are the ones that fascinate me the most – both are from a ‘Tourist Festival’ held in Peshawar this week to attract tourists to Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa, a region that has been so ravaged by extremist violence of various kinds. The first photograph is of a Pakistani model presenting the creation of a local designer. Interestingly, while caps are not often worn by women in Pakistan a number of the creations that this particular fashion show included traditional or traditionally inspired headgear for women. The second picture is of musicians at the festival wearing traditional headgear, as described by MQ in his ‘Caps of Pakistan.’
The second and third photographs are both from recent protests by religious groups against the possible pardoning of Asiya Bibi. One of a protestor, one of a policemen. Neither cap may be rooted specifically in Pakistani heritage per se, but both have become permanent features of our political landscape.
The fifth picture is also not particularly ‘Pakistani’ but is seen so often in the Pakistan news-scape that it deserves inclusion: a Pakistani batsman at the playoff game against Sri Lanka which won Pakistan the Asian bronze medal in cricket.
The final picture in this group is President Asif Ali Zardari landing in Sri Lanka on a state visit wearing a Sindhi topi. While both Nawaz Sharif and then Gen. Musharraf used traditional caps as props in their public speeches in different regions of Pakistan, Mr. Zardari has used the cap much more as a regular headgear. I am very glad he has done so and I think he wears the Sindhi topi with distinction. I certainly believe that our traditional caps and turbans should be supported and encouraged much more.