Pakistan - Hitting the headlines for all the wrong reasons.
The numero uno wanted hombre in the world was recently taken out underneath the noses of the regime. A lot of questions remain in the dust and dried up blood. The dilemma backpackers face is simple.
Is this a safe country to travel or is this a safe haven for extremism?
Pakistan is situated in a very volatile region of the planet. Its bordered by Iran, Afganistan, China & India. Pretty much screwed on all sides in terms of niggly little armed conflicts and geo-politik tug-o-war.
Its safe to say that Pakistans long and windy roads are no longer the same as the famous backpacker trails of the Silk Road.
Those days are gone. Long gone are the free wandering hippies, goneski the tourism infrastructure, however loose it was back then, its looser now. The only thing left that remains from the free floating 1960s are the drugs.
Pakistans current tourism campaigns seem to be directed at all the wrong people. Theres no Flashpacker accommodation anywhere in Islamabad. Theres no party scene for those Partypackers in Karachi.
Slippery Osama had evaded the most intelligent intelligence in the world. He was a mythical figure, a mystery man, a man who was supposed to be hiding out in a cave. But nah, he was kicking it Pakistan. Living the dream with the million dollar pad, couple of attentive ladies, watching dvds with popcorn on the couch. Sounds like your average hungover day in an inner city hostel?!?
Lets not get carried away.....
Anti US and Johnny Foreigner sentiment is running at fever pitch. Coupled with the constant onslaught of Drone attacks in the countryside, its not such an inviting place at this time.
The only fun thing youll find in Pakistan at the moment is a game of cricket in the street. It could turn ugly real quick though. And never, ever, high five anyone.....
Stay cool, stay clear of Pakistan.