Launch at Pakistan National Counsel of Arts, Islamabad
Launched at Indus Valley School of Art & Architecture, Karachi
White in the Flag took me across the parched deserts in Sindh, to the pristine mountains of the North, to the many temples and places of worship in every nook and cranny of urban cities. It gave me the opportunity to interact with people of all faiths, which has been a truly fascinating and an eye-opening experience. By interacting with the communities (I prefer not to call them minorities), I have learnt far more about my country and religion than I have from any other experience.It has been a very exciting, sobering and educating adventure.This book and its title...The green in the Pakistan flag represents Islam, the majority religion; and the white stripe represents religious minorities and minority religions. The crescent and star symbolize progress and light. The flag symbolizes Pakistan’s commitment to Islam and the rights of religious minorities.It stems from the clear instructions of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH),“Beware!Whoever is cruel and hard on a non-Muslim minority, or curtails their rights,or burdens them with more than they can bear, or takes anything from them against their free will; I (Prophet Muhammad) will complain against the person on the Day of Judgment.” (Abu Dawud) And this determined saying of Mohammad Ali Jinnah, who said:“You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place of worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed that has nothing to do with the business of the State”. In the same speech he said, “We are starting in the days where there is no discrimination, no distinction between one community and another, no discrimination between one caste or creed and another. We are starting with this fundamental principle: that we are all citizens, and equal citizens, of one State.”Along the way, some of us have forgotten these precepts and promises. Hence the title of this book.
Launched at Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture, Karachi
Launched at Pakistan National Council of Arts, Islamabad
Launched at Lahore Literary Festival, Lahore
'Dharkan: the Heartbeat of a Nation' was published in 2013 This book is an effort to share that journey with the world. To introduce the incredible people who truly are the pulse of Pakistan. Pakistan is full of heroes. Some are recognizable, some are anonymous. I wanted to meet and photograph them all, and see what made them tick. I began by photographing people I had heard of before, people who I like to call my personal icons – and, as I proceeded with my project, things fell into place in mysterious and serendipitous ways. The icons I met introduced me to other notable people I hadn’t even thought of before; the busiest and most important personalities somehow found time to see me on short notice. All this helped convince me that my project was sound. During the course of this project, I’ve travelled further than I thought I would, both physically and emotionally. I’ve travelled through Sindh’s deserts and up the snow-capped mountains in the north. I’ve been moved by the selflessness displayed by the unlikeliest people – some who have little to give, but give it all anyway.