Laal: Surkh Ghata

In Lahore, history falls apart

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Lahore- a short film by Nashmia Khan

Posted by Raza Rumi:

I was completely dazzled by this rather off-beat short film on Lahore by Nushmia Khan. She tries to defy the conventional way of capturing a city and succeeds in capturing some fine moments of this gorgeous city. The  music has been composed by Basheer & The Pied Pipers

The lost son of Lahore

By Shreya Ray:

It is an uncanny coincidence that Nawab Muhammad Ahmad Khan Kasuri, the magistrate who signed the death warrant of Bhagat Singh, was killed, more than 40 years later, at the same spot as the 23-year-old freedom fighter. The roundabout in Shadman Colony, Lahore—where the execution chambers of the Lahore Central jail used to be—is where the magistrate was shot in 1974. Not that many Pakistani youngsters know these details about Singh’s death, or even that he was from Lahore; to them he’s the guy Ajay Devgn played in a Bollywood movie.

Resurrecting Singh—and reclaiming him—as a son of Lahore is Pakistan’s Ajoka theatre group, in the first-ever Pakistani production on the freedom fighter, Mera Rang De Basanti Chola. The play, to be staged today at the National School of Drama’s (NSD’s) Bharat Rang Mahotsav, is third in a series of Ajoka’s plays that question the Arabised Pakistani identity, and emphasize its roots with the Indian subcontinent. Drawing constant parallels with contemporary society, peppered with traditional folk song and dance (including a Tangewala ki ghodi, a type of Punjabi folk song on the verge of extinction), this is a typical Ajoka play.Click here to read complete article.

Introducing Artesia Photography

Lahore is proud to have Artesia Photography that offers services for portraiture and casual outdoor photo shoot in Lahore. They also do commercial photography, for promotion purposes, and have worked with non-governmental organization for awareness campaign photography, along with journalistic projects for news organizations. For more detailed portfolio, visit

An old folk song on Lahore

Singer: Narinder Biba

Old Punjabi Folk Song ‘Daal Dass Shehar Lahore Ander Kinne Boohe Te Kinnian Baarian Ne’


The Water and Power Development Authority was created in 1958 to develop Pakistan’s water and energy potential.  The WAPDA Building, located at Lahore’s Charing Cross, shares views of the Summit Minar and Punjab Assembly Building along with the Masonic Lodge, Shah Din and Alfalah Buildings.  It is one of the icons of the city’s architectural landscape.

The WAPDA Building was designed by the American Architect Edward A. Stone and completed in 1960.  Until about a decade ago, the building also housed, below the ground floor, the Saloo’s Restaurant.  With that closed, the public’s entry into the building is restricted.  I’ve had the chance, once or twice, to visit the building and never fail to take pictures of it when I can (though Architect Rana Atif Rehman has done a good job documenting its exterior).  I’m posting two for your distraction.

Shaheed Bhagat Singh at Lahore Railway Police Station

Shaheed Bhagat Singh photographed secretly at Lahore Railway Police Station, during his first arrest 29 May to 4 July 1927 – in connection with Lahore Dussehra Bomb Case (25 Oct 1926) with Gopal Singh Pannu DSP, CID Lahore.

Posted by:  Shiraz Hassan

Documentary on Hazrat Ali Hajveri Part1

Black Sheep in Black Coats

By Kashif Chaudhry:

Lawyers are considered an educated community. However, recent events by upholders of this legal profession have mesmerized civil society and left our heads hang low in shame.

The lawyers, instead of following the law they have taken oath to safeguard, decorated the murderer Mumtaz Qadri with flowers on more than one occasion. Elsewhere, the black coats have been a regular part of pro-Qadri processions. They can be seen chanting slogans such as, “Qadri tere Jan Nisaar Beshumar, Beshumaar” and “Hurmat-e-Rasool par Jan bhi Qurban hai.” They were also one of the first to offer funeral prayers of Osama bin Laden, even though he was not a Pakistani and had done nothing except give the country bad name. Continue reading

Pakistan tops Google search for SEX – Lahore among top 10 cities.

With over 20 million internet users and growing fast, Pakistan has managed to secure the number one slot for searching the term ‘sex’ globally for all years.

According to a 2010 Fox News report, Pakistan had outranked all countries in Google searches for pornographic terms last year. Narrowing the analytics for the search term to just 2011, Pakistan maintained the number one position, followed by India and Vietnam.

Islamabad featured in the top 10 cities worldwide to search the word ‘sex’ in September and December 2011.

Provincial capital Lahore also featured in the top 10 cities for the months of January, March, April, May, June, July, September, October, November and December 2011.Click here to read complete article.

Rare pic: Akbari Gate of Lahore

Akbari Gate

Akbari Gate of walled city of Lahore. This gate exists no more. This pic was taken in 1962 by an unknown photographer.

Posted by:  Shiraz Hassan


People and their Professions in Lahore – 1946


Continue reading

Lahore: From the perfect stew to confectionary heaven

Many of my fellow diners have had to patiently listen—often in mid-morsel—while I belabored the fact that I love the spicy dish but couldn’t handle how it set my mouth on fire. On a week I spent in the ancient city of Lahore in Pakistan, I had many occasions to explain this point—in between hasty gulps of water.

Lahore, the capital of the province of Punjab, was once among the great cities of the Mughal Empire. With Kabul, Delhi and Agra, it was the site of many grand edifices erected by the Mughal emperors.

As venue of an imperial court, it is expected that Lahore would develop a cuisine of elaborate concoctions as demanded by a regal palette. Continue reading

Dev Anand and Lahore

By Ishtiaq Ahmad

Dev Anand remained devoted to Lahore all his life. He was also an ardent supporter of India-Pakistan peace and reconciliation. Therefore, he was one of the most prominent passengers in the bus that brought Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to Lahore

The news that matinee hero Dev Anand died in London on December 3 as a result of cardiac arrest saddened fans all over the world. A very large number among them are Pakistanis. Dev Anand was born on September 26, 1923, not in Lahore, but less than 50 miles from. His ancestral village, Gharota, was in tehsil (now district) Pathankot, district Gurdaspur, but he grew up in Gurdaspur where his father maintained a successful practice at the district courts.Click here to read complete article.

Prelude to the Ashura festival in Lahore, Pakistan

Shi’ite Muslims congregate around a white horse and touch it for good luck on December 5, 2011, in a prelude to the Ashura festival in Lahore, Pakistan which began today. via Hungeree.

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Fair Weather Friend – Poor Rich Boy

The struggle for Pakistan and Bhagat Singh:

By Haroon Khalid


The independence achieved in 1947 ushered a new era for India and Pakistan, but with it, also marked the end of a legacy. For India and Pakistan, Congress and Muslim League respectively became the vanguard of independence from the British Empire. Whereas there is no denying the fact that both of them played a pivotal role in achieving freedom, nonetheless there were also other parties and movements, who had the laid groundwork for these two to build on. Without their impact and achievements, perhaps these two parties would not have been able to achieve the success that they eventually did. Post independence, the credit that should have been given to the former parties was taken away from them.

In India, the Indian National Congress was generally more receptive to political activists from other parties and movements, who also were able to shake the foundations of the British Empire. In Pakistan however, all of the former movements became a relic of the impure-Hindu-mixed past, which needed sifting. We ended up with fine grains starting with Muhammad Bin Qasim, coming to Babur and Aurangzeb, and ending with Muhammad Ali Jinnah. All the other characters were just not required anymore. So whereas in India, despite their differences, the Congress government was acknowledging the contributions of Bhagat Singh, M.N. Roy and other nationalist leaders, we were purging our historical narratives of these kafirs.

Recently I met an army official, whom I would not name for my own safety, who like me also follows the history Lahore. Talking about various obscure and neglected monuments, we reached to the Shadman Chowk (Bhagat Singh chowk), where Bhagat Singh was hanged. I asked him why we couldn’t own Bhagat Singh as a son of Lahore, to which he answered that since he was a Sikh. My dear friend, he was an atheist!

However it is not because of him being a Sikh or an atheist that we fail to own him. It is because nowhere in his struggle, he talks about Hindus and Muslims separately. Neither does he only talk about the plight of just one community. He talked about an entire nation, which composed of people from all religious hues and not. So it would have hardly made a difference had he been Muhammad Aslam or Bhagat Sadiq Ram. There would have been no room from him in the historiography of Pakistan’s Independence struggle. Students of history would have continued thinking that the role of Muhammad Bin Qasim in freeing the Muslims of British India from the British Empire (secretly working for the Hindu baniya) is greater than the role Muhammad Aslam’s hanging did. To further establish the point, let us leave Bhagat Singh aside for a moment and talk about practicing Muslims who also like him, gave up their lives for the independence of their nation but were later disowned or never acknowledged by an independent Pakistan.

The Gaddar Movement is an example of one such struggle which has been thrown off into the sea to keep the boat of Pakistani Nationalism afloat. Having originated from San Francisco and other British colonies, this movement had its roots in the Punjab because of the predominant role that the Punjabis played in it. Bhagat Singh’s father and uncles were also members of this movement, and it is argued that it became the source of the Naujawan Bharat Sabha. Contrary to the popular belief, there were many non-Sikhs involved. This was a massive movement which spread from USA into Canada, Mexico, Burma, Malaya and Japan. Indians living in these far away regions got together for the cause of the freedom of this land. It also found support in the Communist Russia and Afghanistan. In 1915, the Gaddaris established a Free Hindustan government-in-exile in Kabul. Its President was Raja Mohinder Pratab, whereas its Prime Minister was a Muslim, and a Professor of Arabic in Japan, Maulvi Barkatullah. He was also one of the founders of the Gaddar Party. It was his revolutionary literature that became the backbone of this movement. He died in San Fransico. Among other Muslims, who held important positions in the government-in-exile were Maulvi Ubaidullah (Interior Minister) and Maulvi Muhammad Bashi (Youth Minister). The callous treatment meted out to these towering Muslim personalities of their time leads one to question: is it then just because of the religious beliefs of Bhagat Singh that we fail to acknowledge him or is there something else?

There was another Muslim, who played an important role in this movement. This was Syed Rahmat Ali Shah, the first Martyr of this struggle. He was captured near Ferozpur, and then executed in the Montgomery (Sahiwal) Jail. His body was interred in the graveyard in front of the Jail, as nobody came to claim it in the required period. His grandsons today live a life of abject poverty in a small village on the Sundar-Raiwind road called Sultan-keh. They know that their grandfather was an important person, because their father had been called to India once, where he was given an award and a picture on behalf of his father. They say that the name of their grandfather is also written at the entrance to their ancestral village of Wazir Keh in India.

A strategy that the Gadaris had adopted was of secretly passing on revolutionary literature to the Indians in the British Army. In a lot of instances this proved to be a successful tactic, as quite a few regiments revolted against the authorities. One such example was the 5th Native Light Infantry Singapore Case, which included 2 regiments of Infantry, both of them dominated by Muslims. The Gaddar Movement was supporting all sorts of Independence struggle, which were targeted against the British authorities, which is why they also lend their hand to the Khalifat Movement. Mujataba Hussain, aka Mool Chand of the Gaddar Movement played an important role in this Singapore case, where a lot of the Muslim personnel were sympathetic to the cause of the Khilafat. Similarly there was another person from Gujrat called Mian Qasim Mansoor, a rich trader, who financed the scheme. This particular case caused a lot of problems to the authorities. Finally when it was crushed, all the officers had to face Court Martial and many of them were executed on the 2nd of March 1915.

The Gaddar Movement unlike the movement of the All India Muslim League was not a predominant Muslim struggle, but a cause for all the oppressed people of India, who wanted to get rid of the British yoke. The focus of this article has been on a few prominent Muslims in the movement to shed a light on the fact that the Muslim League was not the first political party to have attracted the Muslims. Much before this party was to become a prominent player in the Indian political sphere; secular movements like the Gaddar were already involving Muslims. However when the Muslim League came to power, it downplayed the role of all the other parties, which could have possibly undermined its thesis. However the struggle it claimed to have won single handedly would not have been possible without the sacrifices of Barkatullah, Syed Rahmat Ali, Mujataba Hussain, Mian Qasim Mansoor and Bhagat Singh.

Lahori Jazz takes the world by storm

by Raza Rumi
Sachal Studios, a brainchild of Izzat Majeed and supported by an immensely talented poet and music producer, Mushtaq Soofi has now gained international attention. Here is an Al-Jazeera report from Lahore.Please also read my earlier post on this group by clicking here .



By Haroon Khalid

ImageJust 2 days after the 3 days annual urs celebration at the Bibiyan Pak Daman, attended but hundreds of thousands of devotees, Shiias and Sunnis alike, I visited the shrine. The entire atmosphere suffered from a collective hang over. Everything was slow. There were far fewer devotees, the guards were lazy too. People slept under the waan trees at the tomb, protected by the heat of severe heat of Lahori summers, by the cool marble floor and shady trees. Langar, or community kitchen, was running as usual, but there weren’t enough eaters.

The shrine situated near the Shimla Pahari, Davis road, Lahore and is believed to be one of the oldest Muslim shrines of the city. It is visited by hundreds of devotees every day. Besides Shiia and Sunnis, Christians and Hindus also come here for special prayers. During the 3 days urs celebration both the Sunnis and the Shiias combine to make the arrangements. On a Saturday that I visited it there were a few hundred people present there, given the fact that this was just a few days after a major celebration. This was a combination of old, young, men and women. While I was exploring a woman, in her late 30s appeared in a worn down shalwar kameez and tied a red thread on my hand. The tying of the red thread around the hand is an important feature of the shrine culture and is generally associated with a wish that is asked for at the shrine. She asked for a reward, so I gave her a note of Rs. 20. A young man, who was watching the entire episode asked me to join him where he was sitting. He asked me about my whereabouts. After being satisfied by my identity he told me that his name is Yasir Arish and that he is a Sunni Muslim. He told me that he visits the shrine almost every week. He told me that he had seen his elders do it, and coming here gives him peace. Continue reading