Picturing Pakistan's Past: The Beatles, Booze And Bikinis

Discussion in 'Pakistan' started by farhan_9909, Dec 20, 2012.

  1. farhan_9909

    farhan_9909 Tihar Jail Banned

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    Pakistan today is a conservative, Islamic country, but it was a far different place in its younger days.

    In the 1960s and '70s, Pakistan's elite, many of them educated in the West, could publicly indulge in more liberal acts, including drinking alcohol. Pakistan was also part of the "hippie trail," from Turkey to India, which young Westerners traveled.

    Once a major stop on the backpacking route, Western tourists don't exist in the Peshawar that I have come to know through my visits to family in the northwest corner of Pakistan, near the border with Afghanistan.

    If my parents saw "hippies" around hashish shops on their city's streets, they never mentioned them to me. The only Western women I've come by in Peshawar are in ads for talcum powder or maxi pads — their bodies often draped in an ominous shroud of black paint. Turns out this experience is common among millennials in Pakistan.

    "Most of the stories about a more open and liberal Pakistan have come down to the young, post-'80s generations of Pakistan from their parents as oral anecdotes," Nadeem F. Paracha tells me in an e-mail. "But since most young Pakistanis have only known a more troubled and repressed Pakistan, they were incapable of picturing it."

    Paracha, a columnist for the Pakistani newspaper Dawn, spent two years scouring newspaper libraries and the personal photo collections of family, friends and acquaintances for images that reveal a more open society. The pictures he found make Pakistan's past seem like a completely foreign place.

    What caused this great divide? Paracha offers one explanation: "We as a people and state began to crumble inwards."

    According to Paracha, beginning in the 1970s, a deep suspicion of foreign powers and minority faiths began to set in that gave way to a more subtle, Islamic version of Mao Zedong's Cultural Revolution.

    From the images Paracha collected, it's clear that a lot has changed for Pakistanis in the past few decades.

    In a four-part Web series called Also Pakistan, Paracha includes a newspaper clipping that describes how The Beatles' Paul McCartney was engulfed in a frenzy of fans at an airport bar in Karachi.

    In today's Pakistan, alcohol is officially banned except by permit for non-Muslims, and it's hard to imagine that any global music sensation would pass through the country if he could avoid it.

    While the pendulum might not swing back anytime soon, Paracha says presenting these photos has sparked optimism among young Pakistanis.

    "It has given them a sense of pride, and more so, hope," he tells me, "that if Pakistan had deep roots in things like religious extremism, military rule and corruption, there was still an important part of the country's history that radiated a more confident, progressive, tolerant and joyous Pakistan."

    [​IMG]

    Western tourists smoke hashish on the roof of a hotel in Peshawar in 1972. Pakistan was an important destination along the "hippie trail," a popular route for Western backpackers that ran across Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, usually ending in Nepal.

    [​IMG]

    Then-first lady Jacqueline Kennedy visited Pakistan in 1962. Here she is seen riding in a convertible with the then-ruler of Pakistan, Ayub Khan, through throngs of people in Karachi

    [​IMG]


    Rakhshanda Khattak, shown here in 1972, was one of Pakistan's leading fashion models in the 1970s, before quitting and leaving the country in 1979.

    [​IMG]


    A 1963 clipping from Pakistan's Morning News describes how Pakistani pop fans gate-crashed their way into a bar at the Karachi Airport where The Beatles were having a drink. The band had arrived in Karachi en route to Hong Kong.


    [​IMG]

    The 1975 film Dulhan Aik Raat Ki (A Bride for One Night) was "for adults only." Such racy features were popular among middle-class Pakistanis in the early 1970s.

    [​IMG]

    A German tourist stands outside a hashish shop in 1976. Shops selling hashish sprang up in northwestern Pakistan when young Western tourists began to pour in from Afghanistan in the late 1960s.

    [​IMG]

    The women on the cover of the May 1972 issue of Pakistan's The Herald look like they could be in Miami or Athens. The magazine initially focused on the changing fashion and social trends of urban Pakistani youth.

    [​IMG]

    Pakistani cricket batsman Sadiq Muhammad (left) and former Pakistani cricket captain Mushtaq Muhammad share a beer in Sydney in 1977. Later that year, alcohol would become illegal for Muslims in Pakistan.


    Picturing Pakistan's Past: The Beatles, Booze And Bikinis : The Picture Show : NPR
     
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  3. Blackwater

    Blackwater Veteran Member Veteran Member

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  4. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    @farhan_9909,

    Not to take away from the intent of the op, which I presume is to show that Pakistan was once just as liberal as India or any other neighbouring country in the region (which one?), at least in the view of many of the Pakistanis living abroad as they see it in comparison with India.

    But what this article is basically saying, is that Pakistan once had a handful of elites who wore bikinis, alongwith the tourists who came to Karachi as part of the 'hippy trail'; allowed the sale of drugs openly to tourists on the streets; and had licensed beer bars that sold to foreigners and to those elite locals who could afford them.

    Does the op realize what a 'liberal society' truly is? A liberal society is one that allows its people to do what they want: without considerations of caste, race, gender or religion, within the ambit of the law, which is itself framed upon the principle of: 'Live and let Live'. India is not a liberal society because it allows millions of foreigners to come into the country and do what they want in Goa and Rajasthan every year. That is a liberal tourist policy, not a liberal society. Iran has something similar on the island of Kish even today, even under the present Islamic regime. India is a liberal society because it allows under law a variety of lifestyles: under religious and secular persuasions, under sexual, gender or genetic predispositions; under racial, regional, ethnic, caste-based or political influences; that law being: respect for each others lives, liberty and property. I'd be hard pressed to find even a single year, when Pakistan was truly a 'liberal society'.
     
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  5. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    This interpretation of Cultural Revolution is a novelty :wave:
     
  6. Ash

    Ash Regular Member

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    Pakistan and Afghanistan are 2 good examples of countries that have been under the yoke of religious zealots
    for far too long. Reminds me of a quote by Lucius Annaeus Seneca,

    Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.
     
  7. hit&run

    hit&run Elite Member Elite Member

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    No one would have imagined that such a society will be held hostage of some undercurrent rag tag religious philosophy brought out in its real form.

    I remember viewing Pakistani women wearing fancy cloths (contradiction/hypocrisy) on PTV many many years back in a market interviewed by a tin pot Pakistani journalist, cheering for Taliban and what they are doing for sake of Sharia. Same Pakistani people unleashed their Punjabi army when the news of Taliban nearing Islamabad spread like fire in dry woods, within a decade.
     
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  8. indian_sukhoi

    indian_sukhoi Regular Member

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    The bikini part really sold me to take a peek into this topic.

    So all these religion fanatics destroyed Pakistan from its former glory
     
  9. farhan_9909

    farhan_9909 Tihar Jail Banned

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    may be when pakistan was "State of Pakistan" not Islamic republic of pakistan
     
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  10. roma

    roma NRI in Europe Senior Member

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    would be nice if you could tell us when that name change took place - during ZA Bhutto's regime perhaps ? ( just a guess on my part )
     
  11. Snuggy321

    Snuggy321 Regular Member

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    back then in the 70s officers from India and Pakistan even exchanged letters during war, congratulating each other for bravery. And now half of their military is islamist infiltrated organization without proper control....
     
  12. farhan_9909

    farhan_9909 Tihar Jail Banned

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    No read this...
    And from independence till 1956 indian constitution of 1935 with certain modification was adapted.

    Constitution of Pakistan of 1956 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  13. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    I've not studied the Constitution of Pakistan, but I know that the Constitution of 1956: which adopted the name 'the Islamic Republic of Pakistan' and the Islamic Provisions [Articles 227-231] Section within that Constitution; the constant revoking and institutionalization of new Constitutions: including the Constitution of 1962, that ordained all existing laws would be made Islamic in character; and the final nail-in-the-coffin of the constitution of 1973: which thoroughly institutionalized through a designated 'role' in the 'Principles of State Policy' the Islamization of Pakistan, and brought it to fruition over the next 40 years, meant that Pakistan never truly was a liberal state. Having never been a liberal state, rather one that concertedly pushed the Islamization of Pakistan, it could not have been expected to be a liberal society either (having or exhibiting Western traits among the elites is not liberalism) because in a sense: political Islam is not 'liberal' in the treatment of religious, sexual and other minorities, women and non-adherents under islamic jurisprudence. Also, from that link of yours, I garnered an important statement: Liaquat Khan, the first Prime Minister of Pakistan, while moving the 'Aims and Objectives Resolution' of the Constitution, in March 1949, said:

    "Sir, I consider this to be a most important occasion in the life of this country, next in importance only to the achievement of independence, because by achieving independence we only won an opportunity of building up a country and its polity in accordance with our ideals. I would like to remind the house that the Father of the Nation, Quaid-i-Azam, gave expression of his feelings on this matter on many an occasion, and his views were endorsed by the nation in unmistakable terms, Pakistan was founded because the Muslims of this sub-continent wanted to build up their lives in accordance with the teachings and traditions of Islam, because they wanted to demonstrate to the world that Islam provides a panacea to the many diseases which have crept into the human life today" (which can be read as all of those 'social evils' attendant to a liberalizing society).​
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2012
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  14. farhan_9909

    farhan_9909 Tihar Jail Banned

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    sorry i dnt agree with you on ths
    though i agree after jinnah thng had gone wrong.

    But under him

    *Pakistan was Only "State of Pakistan" not Islamic

    and Now this

    Secularism in Pakistan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  15. Sunder singh

    Sunder singh Regular Member

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    actually 3:countries forgot Iran.
     
  16. Blackwater

    Blackwater Veteran Member Veteran Member

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  17. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    If you can prove to me that Pakistan was legally and constitutionally 'liberal' in the sense implied above, I'd be happy to retract my argument.

    Clearly, as seen from the above, the fact that Islamic Provisions were enshrined in Pakistan's very first Constitution [1956], that it's second Constitution [1962] established that all secular laws would be made Islamic in character and that its third Constitution [1973] established a very defining role for Islam in the 'Principles of Policy' meant that it was clearly NOT.

    That article on Secularism in Pakistan is based on a marginal interpretation of the ideals of Jinnah as advocating a 'muslim-majority state that would be free of theocracy' but it is not the interpretation that has come to be enshrined in the Constitution, nor the interpretation that has come to be inscribed in law, nor the interpretation that has come to be espoused by the institutions of the state. Moreover, as witness from the ever-growing radicalization of Pakistan, it is not the interpretation that has come to be voluntarily embedded or espoused by Pakistan society either.

    An Islamic society cannot by definition be a liberal society, unless its liberalism encompasses 100% homogeneity of belief and practice. Political Islam, in legal and jurisprudential practice, is socially and culturally homogenizing; and restrictive of practices that are 'deviant'. 'Liberalism' has no homogenizing action: either socially, culturally or politically; its only [legal] regulator is the principle of: Live and let Live.

    Pakistani society is pluralistic, and hence necessarily heterogeneous, as long as it continues to have a sizable number of Shias, Christians and Hindus. As such an 'Islamic Republic of Pakistan', whether in title or in (constitutional/legal) practice, cannot be simultaneously 'liberal'. A state that is not 'liberal' and that patronizes and supports political religious values instead, will necessarily after a while. see its citizens become 'illiberal', in the absence of any foreign influences that sufficiently counteract this tendency. This is what has happened in Pakistan.

    Jinnah died in 1948; and perhaps an extension of his life could have brought about a more 'liberal' undercurrent in Pakistani politics; that is a matter of pure speculation. But many accounts have painted him as growing more religious during his dieing days as well. And some would argue that the very raison d'être of Pakistan, given its demographic and religious composition, meant that one or the other: an Islamic republic or a secular state, would have to be sacrificed in the pursuit of a 'liberal' political society.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2012
  18. SADAKHUSH

    SADAKHUSH Senior Member Senior Member

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    I like the way you put the essence of the way people think and interpret religion around the world. This quote applies in particular to most of the Islamic countries and the question is how to bring the followers or outdated thinking out of their tunnel vision and see some real economic measurable development.
     
  19. SADAKHUSH

    SADAKHUSH Senior Member Senior Member

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    You got him by his b**ls. Sooner or later the hypocrites get caught in their own web of contradictory statements.
     
  20. anoop_mig25

    anoop_mig25 Senior Member Senior Member

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    TiT for TaT i like IT
     
  21. jamesvaikom

    jamesvaikom Regular Member

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    According to me Iranians are more civilized than Saudi Arabians. They are giving education and jobs to women. They are giving importance to family planning. They are tolerant to other religions compared to other Middle East countries.

    I agree that they are involved in some terrorist attacks. But Shia Muslims are facing more terrorist attacks than other communities. I would like to see US and Israel resolving their problems with Iran. All oil and gas fields in Saudi are owned by Saudi Aramco. But if Iran solve their problems with US and Israel then ONGC can explore oil there. If US lift sanctions and allow Iran to sell more oil then terrorists will get only less funds from Saudi.
     
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