A French couple visiting Pakistan said that contrary to the portrayal of the country in international media, they have received a lot of love, hospitality and care from locals.
Robin and Pierettee Denis arrived in Pakistan via road from India a few days ago and will go on to Iran next.
The couple said their friends advised them not to go to Pakistan and that they were convinced there would be no law and order in the country.
“Because of media reports, we thought we will face many difficulties in Pakistan, but we are enjoying our stay and there are no security issues as reported in the media,” Mr Denis said while talking to Dawn.
“Pakistanis are very nice and they offer us food and tell us to stay in their homes. Not a day goes by when someone does not invite us to have tea or food with them,” he added.
Dawn caught up with the couple at the Danoie village, some 25 kilometres from Murree, where they were making a stop to refill their fuel tank of their purpose built jeep, which houses a small kitchen and a room and has the capacity for storing 180 litres of fuel.
“We went to Muzafarrabad today because we wanted to go to Gilgit-Baltistan, but someone told us the best route to get there is via Mansehra, so that is where we are going now,” he said,During their stop over at Danoie, locals offered them soft drinks and some insisted the couple have a meal with them.
“We left France in August 2015 and we have visited many countries since, including European countries, Asian states, China, India and now Pakistan. The people and places of this country are very beautiful,” Mr Denis said.
The couple is particularly taken with Pakistani truck art and have uploaded several pictures on their website.
One of the posts says: “In Pakistan, street art is rather the road-art, or more precisely the-art truck. Impossible not to fall in awe of these huge trucks, buses and rickshaws overgrown with a profusion of colourful patterns.”
This article was originally published in Dawn October 24th, 2016.