Photos: Powerful views of Pakistan

The South Asian nation of Pakistan has two national days, Independence Day and Pakistan Day. Today, they celebrate the latter, marking the 77th anniversary of the Lahore Resolution which called for a separate homeland for British India’s Muslim population which eventually became Pakistan.

Since the War on Terror began, tourism has dropped to Pakistan. In 2014, it only attracted 530,000 foreign visitors compared to more thanΒ 8.9 million in neighbouring India last year which is a shame because it’s an amazing place to visit. Here is what you’ve been missing:

#Deosai #Pakistan Pic by @dr_who_pk

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Modest fashion pakistani#hijabis #lahore #karachi #makeupartist #bloggers #hijabi#karachi

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Video: We are what we eat: Pakistan

A National Geographic photographer talks about his time in the Hunza Valley in northern Pakistan’s tribal regions. It’s an area that I was lucky enough to visit many years ago. The people there were among the most welcoming I have ever met in the world. It’s a harsh landscape, but achingly beautiful.

Video: The mighty Karakoram Highway

I had the good fortune to travel the Karakoram Highway before 9/11. It was one of the most beautiful places in the world, as this video hints. I was also overwhelmed by the hospitality of the people I met there. The security situation there would give me pause to visit today, but I hope it will one day be more accessible to outsiders.

Photo: Entering China the hard way

I don’t imagine a lot of people are travelling the Karakoram Highway in this post 9/11 world, but back in 1995 it was relatively easy to traverse this route between Pakistan and China.

This photo was taken on May 2 at the China-Pakistan border. We had hoped to cross the frontier on May 1, the first day the road, which is the highest paved international road in the world, was open for the season, but because May Day is a holiday in China, we had to stay in Pakistan another night.

When we did make the crossing, we were high in the mountains and the only indication of the border was a painted line on the road and this marker. There was no one there, but a herd of yaks. It was cold, windy and snowing as we snapped this shot marking our milestone.

We drove several more kilometres down the road until we found a lonely border outpost where baby-faced Chinese soldiers who were barely 18 didn’t know what to make of a group of shaggy foreigners entering their country.

The soldiers searched our jeep and our bags then waved us on and we continued our drive to Tashkurgan where we didn’t actually get our passports stamped until the following afternoon.