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I want to thank you again for an amazing trip.  My favorite to date.  I can't believe how many incredible once-in-a-lifetimes experiences I had whilst in Pakistan, all thanks to you. My life...

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Nepal Earthquake Donations


For those wishing to donate but not sure who to give to, please take a minute to read the following from our dear friend and brother, Badri Gajurel, our partner in Nepal.

 

Badri is a man of the highest integrity and I know that every penny that is recieved will go to those that need it most.

 

Thank you

Sohail

 

 

As you are aware, Nepal is facing very dark times which we hope and pray will never be repeated again anywhere in the world.  On the morning of 25th April, a massive earthquake of 7.9 magnitudes struck Nepal causing widespread destruction; more horrifying are the repeated aftershocks. People have no homes, no shelter, no food, no drinking water, medical facilities, hospitals have no space to enter with injured and even more than you can imagine!

 

Being Nepali living abroad, is currently the most painful position to be in; helplessly witnessing the death of our people, family relatives and those innocent people; we feel powerless, nervous, besieged and dejected. For most of us, as much as we want to be in Nepal, it is not easy to go.   So today, we all request our friend, family and well-wishers, who are feeling the pain and would like to help please share  and circulate this message and our request to make whatever contribution you can for those effected by this tragedy.  Our aim is to provide immediate help to those who are in need now.

 

We will also be organising various prayers and fund raising events to support the people of Nepal in their challenge to survive this disaster and would urge you to support us.

 

Please contact me at devighat@yahoo.com or my number is +44 7932684271

 

Should you wish to help by making a donation please do by using the account below.   Please state your name as Reference.

 

Lloyds TSB

B Gajurel

Sort code: 30-97-85

Account Number: 11458468 

 

Our prayers, wishes for those who have lost their loved one and speedy recovery for those who are injured.

 

Thank you for your support,

 

Regards,

 

Badri Gajurel

The Kalasha of The Hindu Kush. Pakistan High Commission 23rd May


Thursday, 23 May 2013


The Kalasha of the Hindu Kush


An evening with Professors Peter Meadows, Sitara-i-Quaid-i-Azam, and Azra Meadows, OBE

 

The Chitral region of the Hindu Kush in Pakistan is one of the most isolated areas of the western end of the Himalayas, and is surrounded by high mountain passes. It is also one of extreme beauty.  The remote human communities, including the Kalasha people, live in narrow valleys dominated by mountain rivers and natural hazards, and prehistoric sites abound. Chitral's biodiversity is also important, and many of the passes are migration routes for animals between central Asia and the subcontinent.

 

The Kalasha have lived in this unique area for many centuries, and some think they are descended from parts of Alexander the Great’s army more than 2000 years ago.

 

The Meadows will talk briefly about the current life-style of the Kalasha in terms of their sustainable use of limited natural resources and periodic natural hazards, and will also anwer questions.

 

We hope that this will be followed by an outstanding, Swiss-made documentary film on the Kalasha.

 

Time: 6pm

Venue: The High Commission for Pakistan, 36 Lowndes Square, London SW1X  8JN.

Admission:  This event is open to members of the Pakistan Society and their guests

RSVP email:  info@thepakistansociety.org.uk   or Mobile: 07427 500 377

Looking forward to welcoming you,

Geographical March 2013 Article on The Kalash Spring Festival of Joshi


In 2013, we were the only tour operator that made it to the Kalash Festival of Joshi. Lucky for us that we had world renowned travel photojournalist, Steve Davey with us to capture some amazing footage as well as pen a great article about the Kalash for Geographical - the prestigious publication of The Royal Geographical Society.

We hope you enjoy it!

Click here 

 

Emel Magazine Article on History and Culture Tours of Pakistan


Check out the article that came out in the December edition of Emel Magazine.

 

It reflects the trend that more people want to visit Pakistan to experience the History and Culture than simply trekking in the North which has always been the focus of tourism in Pakistan. 

 

Click here

 

 

The Guardian article on Punjab


Saints and Singers and Pakistan's Punjab

A new tour of Pakistan's Punjab province offers mystical culture, amazing food and friendly homestays


Great to have the Guardian run this piece on Punjab as we're sure it's the first time that it's been written about in a national newspaper as a tourist destination.

Click Here

 

Sunday Telegraph Article on Pakistan


Paradise Lost - are we wrong about Pakistan?

 

In case you hadn't read it - here's the latest article on Pakistan that came out in The Sunday Telegraph Magazine on 26th Feb 2012.

Click here

Attitudes to Tourism Survey Results


Thanks again to all of you that took part in our survey. We've tried to highlight the results below without over complicating it. In some cases we've only identified the most popular answers

 

Q1. Respondents' Gender (%):   Male: 60   Female: 40

 

Q2. Respondents's Ages (%):  

 

   > 60:  25.8

31-40:   22.6

41-50:   19.4

21-30:   16.1

51-60:   10.8

18-20:   5.4

 

Q3. Of Pakistani Origin? (%):   Yes: 43   No: 57

  

Q4. 80% of you are attracted to Pakistan for History and Culture holidays vs 65.9% for Adventure and Trekking holidays

 

You were also more likely to prefer History and Culture tours if you were:

Female

In an older age bracket

Of Pakistani origin

 

Q5. The most popular special interest activities were (%):

 

Architecture: 74.7. Higher for Women

Cultural Tours: 74.5

Trekking: 70.1

Wildlife: 68.2. Higher for Women

Photography : 59.4

 

Q6. The most important aspect of visiting Pakistan for you was (%):

 

A uniquely different country: 87.6

Interaction with local people: 80.7

A country with no mass tourism: 78.2

 

For those of Pakistani origin 82.9% it was about a reconnection of your roots and seeing Pakistan in a new light

 

Q7. The main obstacles for visiting Pakistan were (%):

 

Safety and Security: 68.8. This was lower for women.

Reliability (transport/infrastructure): 47.3

Lack of faith in state institutions: 46.2

The least important obstacle was being in a Muslim country.

 

90% of those of Pakistani origin felt that the same concerns applied to them as they did for non Pakistanis

 

But interestingly enough...

It seems as if those of Pakistani origin are significantly more concerned about the above three than those that are not. Strangely enough, more of you are also concerned about being in a Muslim country and face more objections from friends and family (20% vs 2%)  

 

Q10. Across the board the board, the most important qualities required from a specialist tour operator were (%):

 

Experience: 97.8

Local Knowledge and Contacts: 96.7

Excellent Service: 95.5

Pre trip information: 92.3

Authenticity: 88.8

Women specifically also rated the following:

Speedy email responses

Easy to use website

Good English speaking guides

 

Q11. Newsletters

 

Perhaps we phrased this badly as it would have been interesting to have seen the response if it had been about recieving an emailed newsletter because...

 

33% of you don't like them at all!

 

It was pretty much an even split between preferences for 6 months, 2 months and 1 month but only 2.2% would like one every two weeks

 

Q14. Communication to others

 

92% of you said that word of mouth was the best way to promote what we do. Followed by:

 

Travel Magazines: 75.0

Documentaries: 74.7

Travel Agents Specialising in Pakistan: 73.6 (mainly from those of Pakistani origin)

 

 

 

 

Tourism in Pakistan Survey


In order to try and understand the needs, wants and concerns of visitors to Pakistan, we have put together a short 15 question survey that we really hope to will take the time to complete.

 

It will help us to be better for you by providing the services that you want as well as escalating issues that are out of our hands to make Pakistan better.

 

Thank you very much!

CLICK HERE for Tourism in Pakistan 

Is Pakistan safe to travel to?


It's THE question that we get asked all the time and there is no easy way to answer the question as it is such a complex issue.

 

Pakistan has been in turmoil for many years now and of course there are no go areas but there are so many places in the country that are absolutely safe to visit and enjoy. We've been taking out travellers since 2005 and have never had any problems at all. Just read our testimonials page and see for yourself.

 

We have staff, family and friends all over the country and are in regular communication with them tpo really get a feel for what is happening on the ground rather than what a biased media report may be saying or writing.

 

Certainly, the draw for most travellers are the mountains and valleys of the north. Many are quick to associate this with the border areas close to Afghanistan but this is simply not teh case and places like the Hunza and Skardu Valleys are a far cry from the extremism often mentioned.    

 

There's always some political issue ongoing in Pakistan but it can be argued that it's been that way since 1947 when it gained independence.

 

Right now a very unpopular government is in power but the one saving grace is that the party were elected by the people and it is the longest serving democratically elected party in Pakistan's history.

 

Up until now, everytime the government became unpopular, the all powerful military establishment would take over in a coup on the grounds that the politicians were corrupt. They would typically promise elections in 90 days and then stay for years!

 

It certainly doesn't look like that is going to happen this time and the best that the people can hope for are ealrly elections rather than in 2013. 

 

So coming back to the question - if you're going on a well reasearched and planned itinerary with people who know what they are doing and the contacts to boot then the answer is most emphatically YES!

 

 

 

 

Feedback from The Pakistan High Commission


We got this the day the Guardian article was published on May 5th 2012

 

 

Subject: Appreciation


Message: This is a message for Mr Sohail Azhar.

 

I was enthralled by Jini Reddy's article in today's Guardian on her visit to Multan and other places in Pakistan.

 

As representative of the High Commission I really wish to highly appreciate your extremely good work for the projection and promotion of Pakistan and its image building. Jini's article is one of those rare positive picks which complete Pakistan's real picture as others mostly tend to present only the negative side _ not peculiar to Pakistan alone.

 

I owe this change of perspective of a British Journalist to you and express my gratitude for sharing the objective which is our collective responsibility.

 

Profound regards,

 

Nafees Zakaria
Minister (Political)
High Commission for Pakistan, London

 

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