According to conventional wisdom, Swat has often been likened to the Switzerland of Pakistan. Frequently, the touristy and picturesque destinations in Pakistan are reduced predominantly to the northern regions, mainly iconic locales like Hunza, Murree, and Swat.
While there is unquestionable beauty in these places, it is both unfortunate and misguided to assume that these regions epitomize the entirety of Pakistan’s tapestry of scenic grandeur.
Renowned artist and activist Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto took to Instagram to share his thoughts on a reel featuring a caption that boldly asserted, “Reminder that Pakistan will look like this in a few months,” accompanied by footage showcasing the cherry blossom trees in Hunza, hinting at their anticipated bloom during March and April.
In response to this, Bhutto remarked, “No offense to the creators of this video but Pakistan does not exclusively mean Hunza. Sindh’s great river will begin to swell, our lotuses will come to bloom and the Baloch Juniper trees will bloom and spread their seeds. Our country is deserts, mangroves, the sea, forests and harsh beauty”. He went on to add photographs to further his stance as well.
Bhutto’s response on Instagram reflects a broader call for a more comprehensive and deep understanding of Pakistan’s diverse topography. He emphasizes the geographical diversity beyond the northern highlands. The predominant narrative has confined Pakistan’s tourism discourse to a select few regions.
It’s about time we advocate for a more nuanced and inclusive perspective, inviting enthusiasts to explore the lesser-known but equally majestic destinations that make up Pakistan as well as educating Pakistanis of their country’s landscape.