KARACHI: There were 30 vehicles and several people, including women and children inside them, collecting at the Mai Kolachi Bypass for the Race to Gwadar GT 2017 early on Friday morning.
Everyone was looking forward to seeing Gwadar and enjoying the view on the way. “I’ve been to Kund Malir in Balochistan, but it will be my first time in Gwadar,” said Afshan Yawer travelling with her husband Yawer Shameem and nine-year-old daughter Zara Yawer in their black Pakistan-assembled Land Rover.
Apparel designer Neshmia Ahmad, who was also travelling with friends in a Toyota Land Cruiser, said that she had so far only seen Gwadar from a plane and it looked “like a hammerhead from above”. She said she was also looking forward to reaching there by road and their two-day stay there at the town’s main five-star hotel. “We have some 31 rooms booked there,” she said excitedly.
Farooq Amin, another among the adventurers, travelling in his Mini Cooper S, said that he had travelled up to Gwadar multiple times. “It is absolutely beautiful with excellent sights throughout the way though after you cross Winder, there are hardly any eating places or bathrooms,” he laughed.
The organiser of the car rally, Mohsin Ikram, said that they would be making a tea stop at Kund Malir, pass by Ormara beach, drive through Buzi Pass on the way to Gwadar. “It will be an out of this world driving experience on the coastal highway running along the Arabian Sea,” he said, while getting ready to drive off in his Hilux.
“We are braving Balochistan in SUVs, sports cars, jeeps, etc, without any security. There is not a single guard coming along with us. None of us work for the government, but we really believe that things have really improved and Pakistan has turned around. It will also project a soft image of Pakistan for the rest of the world,” he said. The rally has been organised by Motorheads Pakistan.
Published in Dawn, January 21st, 2017