I grew up around Pakistanis but know too little about the country and how I’m learning more about Pakistan’s punch 75 years on.
On a hill above Glasgow’s arterial Sauchiehall Street, and across Scottish towns and cities, Pakistanis answered the call.
From bankrupt Britain, to help her in her hour of need.
And from schoolboys at St Aloysius College for whom the Pakistanis in Hill Street provided the key service… sweets.
Of course the Seventies mobs of white entitled Scottish Catholic boys didn’t give the shopkeeper the respect he deserved.
While the newspaper shopkeepers, who remember always stayed open when Scottish shops did not, were also there to serve the locals.
A new Stan-dard
Thankfully those who have come after us have come to appreciate Pakistanis’ worth and how their rich culture has enhanced our society.
And we now thankfully have Scots-Pakistanis in high positions in government, journalism, the arts and culinary.
All of which thrive back in Pakistan, though our media would have you believe it is a dusty, deprived and depraved backwater.
Channel Four’s excellent India 1947: Partition in Colour gives newbies a beginners’ course in all things Sub-Continental.
Land of adventure and nature
Of course being schooled in a Pakistan area we were never taught one thing about our neighbours’ history or geography.
Well, your map will show you the mighty stretches of the Karakorams in the North and the delta of the Indus River in the South.
And not just the grimy streets of Islamabad or Pakistanis playing cricket, although I always like to go where locals play and pray… so bring on the mosques and the midwicket.
But there is so much more to Pakistan than that (Doh!).
And if you’re the outdoorsy type then you can check out the trekking, mountaineering and white water rafting (dare I try that after my Colorado adventures).
There’s wild boar hunting too (who knew?), mountain and desert jeep safaris and camel (another fave) nd yak safaris and trout fishing and bird watching.
Take your pick
And because the attractions are limitless we’re just going to give you a sample here.
Dream Trip Planners offer a Top Ten Wonders of Islamabad guided city tour from £101.21.
Rocket Tourism will open you up to Pakistan’s rich UNESCO history with a world heritage tour near Karachi from £118.94 per group.
And because we know you love a Peshawar then the self-same Rocket Tourism has Peshawar City Tour from £107.74.
Search Skyscanner and you might be able to get return flights from Glasgow to Islamabad for as little as £635.
Yes, I’m liking what I see about Pakistan’s punch 75 years on.