A New Years in Islamabad – “One like no other”

Last year during my exploratory fieldwork in Karachi, I spent new years with family. This year, I spent my first new years ever in the not to exciting but still fascinating city of Islamabad. I wanted to do something special. I had quite the adventure on new years eve. Islamabad is not like other cities, within the city itself you won’t find an official process of setting up. Upon finally finding a place to sit and watch some fireworks in a new kind of night scene I haven’t encountered in Pakistan just yet, I realized I came to the wrong place. The Islamabad police shut down fireworks all over Islamabad tonight for security reasons…

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I came to a strangely secluded place called “Secret Sky” after spending the entire day trying to figure out what to do for new years, just to see some fireworks and drink karak chai underneath the stars, since i couldn’t make it to Bharia Town, which was much farther away where the larger fireworks were supposedly planned. Just 15 minutes before midnight when the fireworks was to be put on display, all of a sudden they make an announcement confirming the cancellation and then immediate evacuation from the premises. They even tried to pay off the police to let them stay open, but it didnt work. So when they shut off the lights, we set out to find fireworks and a new venue…

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It appears that this experience is commonplace in Islamabad on new years or any major events. I was informed that police are really scared of large young crowds. I was a bit dismayed that even in a secluded cozy area, in F-10, the Police would not allow it. 

I missed the fireworks this year but this too was something to experience. And I had a lovely evening…I drank a lot of karak chai and kava throughout the day too… and ate some Pakorae with Karak Chai on new years eve, Lol … Happy New Year!

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