And so we move on with our series of ‘Also Pakistan’. Travelling from Also Pakistan, zigzagging across Also Pakistan-II and Also Pakistan-III we finally conclude with this final feature in the series.It was an effort that with the help of painstakingly researched and collected images, tried to capture a Pakistan that now seems like a different planet compared to what it has been ever since the 1980s.
A strange, alien place that was also called Pakistan.
A 1955 bottle of Pakola. Every Pakistani knows about Pakola Ice-Cream Soda. The bright green coloured soft-drink that is also hailed (unofficially, though) to be ‘Pakistan’s national soft-drink.’But for the first few years Pakola struggled to find a market for itself that was packed with popular soft-drinks such as Coca-Cola, 7Up and Bubble-Up.
Then in 1955 it even had to print the words ‘Non-Alcoholic’ on its bottles because thanks to its striking colour, some stores (in Karachi) actually began storing it alongside their stock of alcoholic beverages!
By the 1970s however, Pakola finally established itself as a popular soft-drink.
The charismatic Jacqueline Kennedy, wife of the popular US President, J. F. Kennedy, visited Pakistan in 1962. Here she is seen riding in an open-top limo with the then ruler of Pakistan, Ayub Khan, in the Saddar area of Karachi jam-packed by young men and women who had gathered on both sides of the road to greet her.
Crowds gather at a runaway at the Karachi Airport to witness a ‘flying parade’ and joint military exercises of American and Pakistani armed forces (1953).
A modern ‘rail car’ made in Pakistan with the collaboration of Japanese engineers parked at the Lahore Railway Station in 1964. Popular with travellers wanting to move rapidly between cities, the cars were commissioned out of service in the 1980s.
The iconic Mausoleum of Pakistan’s founder, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, under construction in Karachi. This picture was taken in 1965. The imposing structure was finally completed almost five years later.
A 1967 image of the American Embassy in Karachi. It was one of the most recognisable buildings in Karachi’s Abdullah Haroon Road area.Built in 1958, the Embassy, apart from handling the visa issuing operations, also had a large library.
As can be seen in the picture, it hardly had any barriers or security and its doors were open to all.
However, from the late 1980s onwards, when Islamist violence began to rise within Pakistan, the Embassy was fortified by a tall wall.
Later, especially after the tragic 9/11 event and after the building faced at least three terror attacks in the 2000s, the walls were thickened, barriers placed and security tightened.
The library that was hugely popular with Karachi’s school and collage students was closed and the visa section was moved to Islamabad.
In 2011, the building was abandoned and the Embassy was moved to a different location in Karachi. The building still stands, though.