Northern Pakistan is no Switzerland

Author: Obaid Khan
Publication Year : 2021

I have had the privilege of living in an eclectic mix of cities over the years; Geneva, Istanbul, Dhaka, and London to name a few. Due to my fond memories of my time in Switzerland, comparisons of Northern Pakistan to Switzerland have always piqued my curiosity. I used to often ask myself, ‘Is Northern Pakistan really Switzerland-esque?’ On my recent trip to Kumrat Valley, I found the answer to this question. Northern Pakistan is no Switzerland. There is an extreme dearth of airports in the region. The closest international airport is in Islamabad. A road trip from Islamabad to Kumrat Valley is an agonising 14-hour journey. And it takes this long when everything goes according to plan, which often does not. Traffic jams caused by landslides, vehicles breaking down due to being driven on unforgiving, unpaved roads and the general shortage and unavailability of fuel can increase travel times severalfold.

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